This article by Walter Block posted on Lew Rockwell caught my attention this morning, so I wrote a short companion piece to it which is shown below. After you read it, think about the instances of long lines you are aware of or have been a part of and imagine if they would exist without government “assistance”. Probably not.
One of the hallmarks of communist societies is long lines. It is said that, in the Soviet bloc, if someone saw a queue anywhere, he would get in it because he assumed that there was something of value to be had at the end. He would line up even if he had no comprehension of what was being offered or whether the good or service was valuable to him or not.
The DMV in America today produces long lines of people just waiting, patiently or impatiently, to purchase the “service” DMV mandates. Hordes of bored bureaucrats function as gatekeepers to keep you in line, making sure that all of the protocols are followed and all of the paperwork is completed–before you are allowed to exit the queue and go about your own business. Maybe you’ve wasted a few hours of your valuable time. Who cares? That is the cost of “doing business” with the government.
After all, as everyone knows, freedom isn’t free.