One of the reasons I’m a libertarian is that virtually all of my personal interactions with government are unpleasant.
* Governments make flying a miserable and time-consuming experience.
* Governments make me waste time in lines to get my car registered and inspected.
* Governments require me to deal with surly and slothful bureaucrats if I have to go to the Postal Service.
* Governments operate crummy monopoly schools that necessitate me spending lots of money to get my kids educated.
Today, I discovered a personal reason to despise Amtrak.
I have to take the train to New York City for an “Intelligence Squared” debate tat will take place this evening about Keynesian “stimulus.”
But because Rick Perry announced his flat tax plan today, I have been swamped with press calls and radio interviews. In an effort to maximize my output, I timed my last talk radio interview to conclude just before I would have to go to Union Station to catch the train.
However, traffic was bad on the way to the train station (I can probably blame that on government as well, but I’ll resist the temptation), so I didn’t arrive until 5 minutes before my train. A bit nerve-wracking, but presumably not a crisis.
I rushed to the gate, saw the door was closed, so I snuck through another door (along with two other tardy passengers) and got to the track before the train left.
Seems like a happy ending to the story, right?
But we’re dealing with the government. So rather than a helpful employee greeting us and saying “glad you guys made it on time,” we were chased down by Amtrak bureaucrats and a cop, all of whom yelled at us for violating the rules.
We pointed at the train, which was about 30 feet from us and pleaded for some common sense and human decency, but the bureaucrats seemed happy about forcing us to wait an additional hour for the next train.
If (and I realize this is unlikely) we ever get a Congress that believes in the Constitution and decides to eliminate corrupt and inefficient subsidies, I will be thinking of these bureaucrats when explaining to members of Congress why Amtrak should lose its spot at the public trough.