When Gummint Fails

…which is to say, almost all of the time, it’s incumbent then for citizens to step in and fix the problem, if they can.  As did a couple folks in the People’s Collective of Oakland, Californistan:

We don’t need to remind Oakland drivers their streets are some of the worst in the country, costing locals an extra $1,049 a year in car maintenance on average.
The problem has prompted two Oakland residents to go rogue, pulling off covert missions to patch potholes in the middle of the night. They’ve dubbed themselves the “Pothole Vigilantes” and show off their work on an Instagram page by the same name.

Needless to say, Gummint isn’t impressed:

When asked about the unauthorized roadwork, Oakland Public Works empathized with the problem at hand, but made it clear that Oakland residents shouldn’t be taking to the streets to themselves.
Said Sean Maher, a spokesperson for the department, “We can’t recommend anyone do this work themselves, not least because it raises safety issues while people are working in the streets.”

Oh yeah, the old “safety” bullshit.  Like hundreds of people hitting deep potholes with their cars every day is a “safer” alternative.  I also like the other part:

Maher made a plea for patience, saying more resources to fix roads are on the way. The city council is set to vote on a $100 million plan to repave streets over the next three years. The money would come from Measure KK, approved by voters in 2016.

Okay, let me just make sure I’ve got the arithmetic right.  The voters approved the necessary spending in 2016.  We are now nearly halfway through 2019 — and the council is only now “set to vote” on the repaving plan?  Uh-huh.  No wonder people are getting impatient.  I wonder what else the OakGov may have been doing over the past couple years, that prevented them from working on the thing any earlier… never mind, I remember now:  Oakland City Hall was busy preventing ICE from rounding up illegal immigrants, making themselves feel all virtuous by defying federal law.  But back to our story:

“They are frustrated and fed up with the pavement condition in their neighborhood,” said Maher.

I bet this guy also works for the Oakland Department Of The Blindingly Obvious.


  1. “…$100 million plan to repave streets over the next three years…”

    Right there.
    The citizens are fixing it RIGHT NOW and doing so with OUT OF POCKET MONEY.

    Sean Maher is worried about job security and using the tired “safety” ploy as a cudgel. Get a rope.

  2. Yeah, that $100M will go to pave roads. More likely it’ll go to bike lanes, road diets and other such nonsense. Nary a pothole filled, I’d wager.

  3. I was visiting a cousin in Virginia some years ago and he took me down to Orange County where our many time great grandfather lived in the 1740’s where he was a cooper owning a barrel making business. We traveled down a narrow road and cousin told me that John Embree was in the records for several years at that time being tasked with keeping the road repaired using his efforts and those of his neighbors. Being assigned that legal duty was a form of taxation with the obligation of making sure the road was kept open and passable with penalties if the job was not done.

    Kind of a different take on things in the past isn’t it.

  4. “…..The voters approved the necessary spending in 2016. We are now nearly halfway through 2019 ……”

    So, which of the lying, cheating thieves’ pockets has it been in all this time, and whose pocket is it in now?

    Government is a plague; some of it is necessary, but pretty damn little in the overall scheme of things. There are a number of reputable accounting firms acattered across the country; I doubt the statutes of any state would support it, but it would be interesting for a governor to select 5 counties from a hat to be fully audited annually by an accounting firm also selected at random, with a state-standard uniform non-felonious jail term – say, 7 years – for economic malfeasance and graft. Full rights restoration upon completion of term, lifetime ban from receiving any monies or benefit(s) from any governmental body in the state.

    Cheaper than a revolution or civil war, in any rate.

  5. And there in lies the difference between the Public and private sectors. In the private sector you get ahead by taking risks and making your customers happy because the customers are who are paying.

    But in a Public Sector job ….. risk is completely avoided at all costs. There are always mountain paperwork and procedures that need to be followed before anything can happen. Everything needs to be approved by endless layers of approval thereby spreading any risk to everyone. And of course the best way to avoid risk is to not commit to anything at all. The customers may still be paying the bills, but the only thing that counts is if the endless layers of bureaucracy are happy, and that can only happen if no one takes any risks but has all the proper procedure’s followed. Now eventually when they really really need to get something done a contractor will be hired to either actullly get something done or be the Fall Guy if and when the project goes south . That why every thing the gorverment touches is hopelessly behind schedule and over budget.

    Decision making is to be avoided. No descision – no risk time passes PENSION !!!!

  6. And there you have it.

    Government is a process-driven enterprise; the private sector is a results-driven enterprise.

    To say there are completely different mindsets and thought processes that drive those differences is a massive understatement. I can’t remember who said it, but someone deep in the issue stated that Islamic radicals not only think differently than those of us in the West, they “may think differently than we can think.”

    Same holds true for process-driven government thinking and results-driven private sector thinking. One mind concludes checking the right boxes and correctly filling in the proper blanks on the right forms will lead to Nirvana while the other focuses on measurable performance achievements in relation to pre-established goals. It ain’t just a “cats and dogs” thing, it’s “earthlings and martians,” a radical systemic difference in brain operation.

    “…Now eventually when they really really need to get something done a contractor will be hired…” is a stop gap measure which produces limited – and temporary – success eventually leading to corruption of the contractor because bread is buttered only on one side; once Joe’s Paving or Sally’s Plumbing is beholden to gummint monies for a substantial portion of their income it changes the way that business operates because metastasis of the gummint bureaucratic processes tolerate no other way.

  7. Nevikov is right. At it’s base, gov’t thinking is flawed to fail.
    I took on a project back in the mid 90’s, the downtown redevelopment of Fort Myers Beach, Florida. But I could only get so far into it before I realized it was set up to fail. I’m a business owner programmed to not fail. In order to go to the next step I would have had to invest heavily into more resources, not because they were necessary but because the gov’t required it. Fer instance, I had no handicapped people on the payroll but one of the hundreds of gov’t requirements was that 10% of my employees working on the project MUST be handicapped. And on and on. Here’s the rub, and I was ignorant to fall for it. It cost me over $10k to get into it to the point that I was allowed to know this. IOW, if I hadn’t spent that $10k I would never have known about the issues nor would I have had a shot at the project. I consider that lost $10k, which I wrote off as a business expense, as one more payment on my continuing lifelong education at the school of hard knocks. Wonder why gov’t projects are so expensive? They are laden with useless bureaucracy that only benefits the system and not the taxpayers. The gov’t at all levels is bloated beyond belief. Only through massive theft can it exist.

Comments are closed.