I got an odd bit of mail today, in an official USPS envelope with a handwritten address. It was a check. A check I wrote. To the State Department.
Apparently, my passport renewal check got swept up in a pile of bills and other envelopes I dropped into the local mailbox. I didn't even realize I'd mailed the check without an envelope. And I remember thinking, as I reprinted the check a couple days later, "crap, another one fell behind my desk. I'll get it later."
Thank you, anonymous Chicago postal worker, for sending my check back.
Even better, I got an email from the State Department today saying they've completed my passport renewal already. I mailed it in on the 29th, without requesting expedited service. They sent me an email when they received it on the 3rd, and now, only one week later, they're done. Huh.
Let's review. (This is especially important to you ignorant starve-the-beast neo-Hobbsians out there.) Two public-service agencies, one quasi-public and the other a de facto (and, actually, de jure) part of the U.S. Government, apparently have conscientious, hard-working employees who do their jobs better than expected.
That they do this in the face of deliberate, malicious actions by elected officials only underscores how wrong the myth of "government bureaucracy" really is. In fact, government (and postal!) workers, like any others, come in many varieties, but mostly they just want to do their jobs well.
So here's a challenge to the right-wingers who read The Daily Parker—especially the one running for public office: can you tell me how your life would, on balance, be better without government?
Keep thinking. I've got time. And I've got my check back, and I'll have my passport Tuesday.