his katrina?

atlanta snow 2014What is it with Republican governors and traffic jams? Up in New Jersey, we’ve got Chris Christie’s staff ordering up some “traffic problems” for Fort Lee, perhaps as a prank, and in Atlanta, Georgia, we’ve got Nathan Deal and the Mayor of Atlanta hosting each other at lunch while the traffic all around the city flops around in slush.

The weatherman accounts for people abandoning their cars, leaving their children sleeping in the gym at school and taking refuge for themselves on the floors of grocery stores as a “policy failure.” Governor Deal explains himself as not wanting “to cry wolf” and fearing the loss of income on a 20% chance of all the roads freezing.

Of course, it is a matter of fact that people stuck in traffic jams for hours don’t cost the state government anything. Wasting people’s time has no line in the state budget. It’s not possible to count what you don’t collect. But wouldn’t it be nice if we had a scale to measure inconveniences caused by public servants and make it public policy to fire the worst offenders?

Image: by William Brawley from his flickr photostream and used under creative commons license.

Monica Smith

Monica Smith writes Hannah's Blog. Born in Germany, she came to the United States as a child, living first in California, then after an interval in Chile, in New York. Married to a retired professor at the University of Florida, where she lived for 17 years, she moved to St. Simons Island, Georgia, in 1993 and now divides her time between Georgia and New Hampshire. (New Hampshire, she says, is always interesting during a presidential election.) She and her husband have three children and five grandchildren. Ms. Smith says she "learned long ago that I am not a good team player when I got hired at the Library of Congress, fresh out of college with a degree in political science and proficiency in four foreign languages, to 'edit' library cards and informed my supervisor that if she was going to insist I punch the clock exactly on time, my productivity was going to fall from being the highest to being the same as everyone else's. The supervisor opted to assign me to another building where there was no time-clock. After I had the first of our three children, I decided a paycheck wasn't worth the hassle."