My daughter needs to get her driver's license. She took Driver's Ed a couple years back, did segment one and segment two. Now, she just needs to take her driving test. Back in the '70s, you gave the cop a ride and that was that.
We learned that since Jane is over 18, we have to get a Driver's Permit before she can take the driving test. OK. We went to the Secretary of State. Stand in line. My daughter complains. I tell her, "get used to it." We get a number and a form to fill out.
"I don't know my Social Security Number."
While I'm trying to contact my wife to ask her what Jane's number is, the bureaucrat turns my daughter away. I get back without the SSN, wait to talk to the bureaucrat and ask if they can take the paperwork without the SSN and we'd call it in. No, they can't do that.
We rush home (the office closes at 5:00), get the SSN and return just before the office closes. We wait through the line again. Jane hands the girl the form with SSN.
She says, "Do you have your Birth Certificate?"
Of course, we don't. I tell the bureaucrat that this is our second visit. Unspoken is the question, "why didn't bureaucrat #1 say we'd need that, too." Bureaucrat #2 is adamant. She needs three pieces of ID. I show her the SSN card, printed by the Federal Government. That's not good enough. She says we'll have to come back.
When are you closing tonight? 5:00. What time is it? Three minutes till.
Driving back without the permit to take the test to get the license, I find something good from the experience.
"Jane, do you know what's good about all this stupid inefficiency?"
"Imagine having to stand in lines like this to everything. Imagine a society where everything is run through a bureaucrasy like this. Nobody'd get anything done, they'd spend all their time standing in line. That's why the Soviets lost."