And they’re a more profound existential threat to America than the terrorists will ever be.
Incremental decline is easy to get used to. I’m sure a few of my correspondent’s fellow commuters are equally droll about it and a few more get angry, but untold thousands more just shuffle uncomplainingly up and down, scuffing shoes and bumping backpacks. That’s the trick with decline: persuading people to accept it. The Transportation Security Administration, which in a decade of existence has never caught a single terrorist, has managed to persuade freeborn citizens to accept that minor state bureaucrats have the right to fondle your scrotum without probable cause. The TSA is now unionizing, which means that this hideous embodiment of bureaucratized sclerosis will now have its fingers in your gusset until the end of time. (…)
In such a world it becomes more difficult to innovate, and frankly not a priority. When I deposit a New Zealand check at my bank in Montreal, the funds are available to me within two seconds. The last time I deposited a New Zealand check at my bank in the U.S., they sent it for “collection” (an entirely artificial concept in the computer age) to Australia, and by the time it came back it had expired. They couldn’t understand why I was annoyed — c’mon, man, we were in the ballpark!
To resolve the issue, I had to go to the bank president, who, on being informed of my Canadian comparison, said, “Well, you must understand smaller countries by their nature have to get used to dealing with the rest of the world. It’s different for America.”
As I keep warning you:
The greatest threat to the West aren’t elected officials. Elections are a sideshow, but with uglier, less talented exhibits.
The real damage is done by unionized, heavily pensioned, unelected job-for-life bureaucrats, some of whom also happen to be armed.
And if you are one of those bureaucrats but insist upon calling yourself a “conservative” or a “Tea Partier”, but are unwilling to sacrifice your kid’s dental for your country, you’re part of the problem.
Many of my American readers are a little too smug.
Because they haven’t lived or traveled elsewhere, or paid much attention when they have, they are too ready to insist that America is “free” and supports “free enterprise” and they’re a bunch of “rugged individuals.”
Which is true in theory, but in practice, all kinds of weirdness goes on.
I have never had a Canadian merchant even glance at the signature on my credit card receipt to see if it matches the one on the back of my credit card, or ask me for I.D. at a cash register.
They do it compulsively in the US and make a big deal out of it if it.
If that was a really great way to prevent credit card fraud, we’d do it in Canada. Our banking system is vastly superior. Instead, it seems like one more stupid thing somebody told Americans to do, so they do it.