Finalizing a plan

Barb and I own a little bit of farm land and because of various government programs intended to help farmers (yes stuff related to the subsidies, but also “helpful” stuff mandated by the environmentalists) we get mailings from the Federal government every once in a while. The one I got the other day made me laugh. It must have tickled my sick humor funny bone. This one is from the United States Department of Agriculture. FSA stands for Farm Service Agency:

Dear Clearwater County Producer:

The Idaho State FSA Office has been instructed to devise a plan for closing offices in Idaho. In keeping with that directive, a Committee was formed last spring to identify and prioritize the offices with the State that could be considered for closure. Now six months later, after extensive debates, discussions and arguments, the proposal is out — Clearwater County tops the list as the first office in Idaho to close should that become a requirement.

It is important to note that no directives have been issued to actually close offices at this time. The Agency is simply looking forward, and in an attempt to be ready should future budge restrictions force the issue the office closure plan would be ready for implementation. It is also important that you know that the entire process will take approximately two years to complete. After the plan is finalized in Idaho, it is submitted to the National Office for approval, then on to Congressional Representatives for review, and finally back to the local community for comment. All in all, it can take as long as two years for a plan to be finalized.

[… blah, blah, blah…]

Two years just to come up with a plan??? How long to actually close the office? A decade if they really work at it? If it were a private business wanting to close an office the size of that one the plan would take a couple weeks and by the end of the next month new renters would be occupying the office space.

There are very, very few things government can do well. Examples abound from the airport security issues to prohibition (alcohol as well as modern day recreational drugs) to gun bans. Government is colossally incompetent at nearly anything they do. My favorite example is that for 70 years the USSR tried to increase food production in their country. During essentially those same 70 years the U.S. government tried to decrease food production in the U.S. Both governments failed.