One of the most fundamental things that people expect governments to provide are roads. A common rebuttal to libertarians seeking to reduce government is the banal “Without government, who would build the roads?!”. It’s become a standard argument used against libertarians because we would rather have private companies and voluntary associations build the roads instead. While that might sound radical it really isn’t when you get down to it. This Office Space meme does a good job of explaining why we don’t need the government to build roads.
In the cult classic film a software company called Initech hires efficiency experts to review the workforce and fire unnecessary employees. They eventually come across Tom Smykowski, a completely useless, incompetent old man who serves as an intermediary between clients and engineers. Throughout the interview process it’s found out that Smykowski doesn’t even do that. His secretary actually does all of the work.
Libertarians are represented by the Bobs, the two efficiency experts, who are trying to slim down the company’s bloated workforce. The efficiency experts recommend that Smykowski is let go, which he is, and the company continues on without missing a beat. It applies perfectly to how citizens should be treating the government today. The man is the perfect metaphor for describing the government’s role in building roads as you can see in the Office Space meme above.
The people have become complacent and expect government to take care of far more tasks than it should. Many of its present responsibilities should be eliminated and privatized. We should be investigating incompetence, waste, and corruption and eliminating it. We should be getting rid of governments providing services like roads and hire private companies ourselves.
Private companies are perfectly capable of building roads. They’ve been building toll roads for hundreds of years in this country. In fact, the first paved road in this country was built by a private company in Pennsylvania in 1795. If it could be done then it can certainly be done again now. The government is just a middle-man and one that can easily be replaced with technology. There’s no reason not to believe that companies like Kickstarter and Indiegogo couldn’t provide a medium for funding for roads as well.
This Office Space meme proves that we don’t need government to build the roads anymore than Initech needed Tom Smykowski to deal with the customers.
If you’re still missing out on the reference and haven’t seen Office Space yet you should. There are several Office Space memes out there on the internet that will make a lot more sense after you’ve seen the film. For some added context on this meme here’s a clip of the scene from YouTube.