Friday, December 31, 2010

The two New Yorks

My response to the Facebook post of this article:
This is what happens when you rely on the government to do something. If there was no concept of the government plowing streets (I am sure the Founding Fathers didn’t include that in the “and for these reasons the governments are formed”), people would take matters in their own hands. They would each pay a little for a plow per block or something like that... Instead of contributing to the taxes that go down the drain.

“On my block, we decided to take matters into our own hands, tied a huge board to the front bumper of my neighbor's old Yugo, and plowed our own street.”
— manrico
(from that article’s comments)

Also, to some degree it makes sense that there are two New Yorks: Manhattan and the rest. There are also two New Yorks in other sense: the one with Mercedes and the one without. The one that can afford to eat out every day and the one that must do grocery shopping. Etc.

If it’s normal that some people can afford X and some cannot (whatever X is — e.g., Mercedes, iPhones, eating out every night, a trip to Hawaii), why is it not normal when X = “getting your streets plowed in time”?

My car’s tires are bald, because I don’t have money to buy new ones. I don’t have money for X = “replacing your bald tires in time”. It has an adverse effect on my quality of life. I am not complaining. I am not blaming the society or expecting it to chip in (of course, I won’t refuse willful donations — contact me for my account number).

This, of course, has nothing to do with the fact that the city promised to clear the streets after stealing money from people for this service. No wonder. When there is no choice whether money will be paid for the service or not, plus when there is no competition, the quality of service drops.
The whole idea of a “package” is ludicrous. In a civilized business relationship, people pay for services rendered when they receive them. I order a U-Haul truck from time to time. When I order it, I pay for it. Wouldn’t it be nuts for U-Haul to come with a small army to my house and get me to pay a regular fee in advance, explaining that “everyone has to move from time to time; when you do, you will be able to move for free”? I will make the decision whether to pay for moving or not when that time comes, thank you. And I will have a choice between U-Haul vs. other moving/rental companies vs. Floo Network.

(By the way: don’t go to U-Haul of Brighton, MA. Horrible service.)

No comments: