June 8, 2010

The Line to Our Future

Justin Katz

Would it count as a lighter note to consider, for a moment, Mark Patinkin's report from the lines of the Pawtucket DMV?

By 2:30 p.m., my wait was officially longer than the one I'd experienced at Moscow Airport in 1989. It was a remarkable achievement. The Rhode Island DMV proved better at creating endless lines than Eastern European communism.

There were still 150 people in front of me, which left plenty of time to go receive a child home from school. I drove home and soon returned. I got back to the DMV at 3:19. There was a security guard blocking the entrance. He said the door closed at 3:15 p.m. and only those still inside would be processed. I showed him my ticket and explained I’d waited four hours. He told me that was too bad. No entry allowed.

Considering that we're on a path to government-centered healthcare, I'd say that the tribulations of vehicle regulation aren't the light commentary they used to be. After all, the reason for the historic wait times, according to Patinkin, is computer training, and that is necessary no matter the service being provided. As Mark writes, "I have never heard of an entire company being closed a day a week for six months for computer training." Perhaps not a company, but that's government — the entity to which we're entrusting more and more of our society's activities.

ADDENDUM (10:21 a.m.)

Well, look what press release has just hit the email:

Starting this week, the Division of Motor Vehicles (DMV) will be returning to regular business hours at its Pawtucket office; at the Middletown, Woonsocket, and RI Mall branch locations; and at the Operator Control office in order to service the increased number of customers who transact business during the summer months. ...

The agency has been closed to the public on Wednesdays to work on data issues and systems testing and training related to the implementation of the DMV's new computer system. The new system, dubbed RIMS, will allow the DMV to offer new customer benefits, as well as providing more timely services to the public and other agencies with whom the DMV works.

So is that the power of Patinkin at work?

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

I wonder if Mark considered the reduction in state employees having something to do with the longer wait at the DMV.

Posted by: michael at June 8, 2010 10:14 AM

The wait at the DMV is nothing new, but there is a trick to it. I've shown up at the opening and there's already a line down the block and then 4-5 hour wait inside.

BUT if you get there at 3:05, you'll be out before 4:30.

Ahh, motivation to go home is a wonderful thing.

Posted by: Patrick at June 8, 2010 10:30 AM

I think most people can agree that a DMV is often a good indication of the efficiency of state government. Most all of these have had problems in the past - yet most states have gone a long way toward fixing them.

On a positive note, I had a good experience registering a boat here! They actually took phone calls and explained things to me!

But there is no excuse.....in this day and age...for wait times over 45 minutes. The DMV and other such services are where the government meets the people.

They can and should do much better.

Posted by: Stuart at June 8, 2010 11:18 AM

Who do we even have a DMV? All they do is collect revenue for the state.

I just answered my own question.

Posted by: Dan at June 8, 2010 11:24 AM

People who talk to themselves often end up in an institution. I hope you are financially well endowed, otherwise you'll face inadequate staffing and sub-par care, largely due to your own oft stated reluctance to pay taxes for social causes.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at June 8, 2010 12:40 PM

Let's examine Justin's "logic" to see if it holds up to scrutiny, especially in light of the superb and careful well drilling in the Gulf. Senor Katz makes no comparisons between BP and the medical care system that left 47,000,00 of our citizens uncovered. BP's troubles are placed in an isolation chamber, the DMV's are trotted out as an example of the inconvenient horrors of a government program. Conclusion, it is much worse to wait 3-4 hours in the DMV than to spill millions of gallons of toxic oil into what used to be the nation's premier warm water fishing area. As proof of his conviction, try to find comment on the Gulf oil spill by the principals who write in this blog. Nada, Zilch!

There are nasty lines at the DMV, states Senor Katzz, this proves that there will be long waits for medical care. Mussolini was an Italian, this proves that Carcieri is a Fascist if you apply the same logic. Quite a leap, a leap too far, one might say.

The conclusion, by implication is that the medical system which was in place before Obama's election was doing just fine and nobody waited to see a doctor except those who have no medical insurance. They often despaired of seeing one in the first place. What the hell, they're poor people. Let them eat cake while they wait - my insurance covers me. I'm okay, the hell with you. And god bless some Americans.

Posted by: OldTimeLefty at June 8, 2010 1:14 PM

OldTimeLefty, I'd be glad to pay into a system that would see you put into an elderly home where you can safely rant about what's best for everyone else from the comfort of your lazy-boy armchair in front of the community television. I'm sorry, is that hate speech since you are a member of a protected class?

Back to the issue we were discussing before your ad-hominem nonsense, remind me again what the DMV does that couldn't be done with a simple online system? Oh, but that would cost public jobs which would deepen the recession, wouldn't it? All hail John Maynard Keynes.

Posted by: Dan at June 8, 2010 2:04 PM

"remind me again what the DMV does that couldn't be done with a simple online system"

Take photographs for ID and examine eyesight?

But your point is valid. At least 90% of what they do could be done online or via mail for the Luddites.

Posted by: Patrick at June 8, 2010 2:23 PM

Join AAA.It's more than worth it and includes road service.
Wealthy scumbag liberals like Stuart who hate this country while battening their bank accounts off it should have to pay property tax on RECREATIONAL boats.
Relax,Phil-those who WORK on the water don't need any more problems.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 8, 2010 3:22 PM

Damn, joe...so I'm a scum bag for having a sailboat that I can tow behind a honda!

Maybe I should lobby the government and tell them to tax me on it.......then they can pass such a tax and chase another major industry out of Rhode Island.......

Dang, I only excuse you because of your condition(s)......you seem like a nice dude who is just lashing out at the wrong things.

Oh, well. If you can look in the mirror and honestly think your hate and vitriol are "who you are", then it is fine by me.......at least here!

Posted by: Stuart at June 8, 2010 9:01 PM

Dan, the canine Libertarian man.
1. What rant are you talking about. I merely point out that you talk to yourself, and that it's unhealthy. You then fly off the wall about it. It shows your basic insecurity.
2. Do you deny your previously stated antipathy for taxes for social causes? I wished you financial security to pay for your asylum stay.

Since you present no argument your crappy assertions are not worth refuting. You're naught but Justin's attack dog.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at June 8, 2010 10:50 PM

Small "l", OldTimer. I have never been associated in any way, shape, or form with the Libertarian Party.

You initiated the ad hominem nonsense, as usual, and hiding behind sarcasm after the fact is a cheap juvenile bully tactic. Come to mention it though, I believe the standard for commitment is whether one poses a risk of harm to oneself or others. Since you are intent upon using government i.e. violent coercion against your neighbors to solve virtually every inconvenience or hardship of normal adult life, perhaps you should be the one fleeing the men in white uniforms, since you clearly pose a risk to your neighbors' liberty and property. I, by contrast, have no intention of harming anyone, unless you we are using progressive-speak, in which denying others the products of my labor is the same as punching them in the face.

"Naught but Justin's attack dog." I guess that must be limited to fiscal issues since I disagree with Justin on virtually every hot button social issue of our society, and even then it must exclude military spending and most criminal justice spending. You never were one for accuracy or edification, so keep the insults coming.

Posted by: Dan at June 8, 2010 11:16 PM

Whew,I'm so relieved to be "excused" by Stuart,the Vietnam era backstabber.
General Giap and Ho Chi Minh both credited the Stuarts of this country as an essential element in their ability to keep their troops' morale elevated.
I'd rather see a hateful person in the mirror than a condescending,smarmy puke who is afraid to use his real name.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 9, 2010 7:02 AM

Anyone else notice how Stuart's "yacht" is now barely more than a bathtub toy?
Lies are hard to keep straight.

Posted by: joe bernstein at June 9, 2010 7:15 AM

You have me all over the place. First you place me in an elderly home, then you accuse me of being a juvenile. Try to make up what's left of your mind before you attempt to express another idea.


Posted by: OldTimeLefty at June 9, 2010 11:12 AM

Not a difficult distinction to comprehend - you are an old timer who has regressed behaviorally to a self-important juvenile-like state. Or perhaps you never did know how to interact peacefully and respectfully with other adults, I can't quite be sure which is the case.

Speaking of characterizations that are "all over the place," perhaps you should take your own advice on that point. Which is it, am I a fringe purist libertarian or am I an attack dog for the neo-conservative corporatist establishment? You can't quite make up your mind which of these two completely contradictory caricatures you wish to use to discredit me.

Posted by: Dan at June 9, 2010 2:58 PM

Hi All!

What a coincidence. I just got back from the FL DMV.

I waited until now (just after my birthday) to register my vehicle here as FL has annual renewals triggered by one's birthdate, and doesn't prorate for partial years.

I registered / applied for new title and was in and out in exactly one-half hour! Eat your heart out, remaining Rhode Islanders!

Now I can send my plates back and get off of the RI property tax rolls before the big increases come.

Fairly hefty one-time fee for first registration here, about equivalent to what I paid for one year's property tax on the vehicle in RI. But here there is no property tax on cars, so my savings will compound, year after year.

Florida also gives you a choice of plates. I chose what I like to think of as the special "ACLU edition." Instead of "Sunshine State" at the bottom it says (the state motto) "In God We Trust."

I'll stay here trusting in God, and say a prayer for those of you still trusting in the RI General Assembly.

Posted by: Tom W at June 9, 2010 3:53 PM
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