Thursday, April 16, 2015


Truck crash on I-93 April 16, 2015.

This summary by Wikipedia is wonderfully concise.

  • Malfeasance is the failure to act where action is required - willfully or in neglect.
  • Misfeasance is the willful inappropriate action or intentional incorrect action or advice.
  • Malfeasance is the willful and intentional action that injures a party.

This morning in Boston a truck crashed into a guard rail on Route 93 South near my neighborhood. The truck's cabin hung over the lip of the expressway. The location of the accident was not particularly problematic for the southbound travelers, since the accident occurred at a wide access ramp area, not in a lane of traffic. In fact, the normally lighter traffic southbound traveled quite normally.
The northbound lane was jammed up causing a 3-fold delay in the time it took from the south. It took 1 hour for traffic to travel about 12 miles. Why? Because the state police do not veil accident sites as police do in many parts of the developed world. Veiling accident sites has been shown to eliminate the neck-craning and tie-ups caused by human curiosity. This curiosity factor often causes multiple secondary accidents.

This is not the only example of malfeasance in this area. The obsolete HOV lane still in use on the same highway causes predictable and avoidable delays every single day it is used. It obviously exists for the benefit of those who are paid to operate it. Not for the driving public.
Obsolete policing techniques are a common example of malfeasance in government. Some other forms of malfeasance include:
  • obsolete application procedures for permits,
  • obstructive procedures to prevent access to public information,
  • generally rude and slow customer service by clerks in government offices,
  • failure to maintain and clean infrastructure such as sidewalks and roads,
  • failure to include public dialogue in making major environmental decisions
  • failure to provide adequate public transportation
  • failure to adequately apply legislated supervision of utilities
  • failure to enforce environmental laws.
  • failure to upgrade systems for efficiency and cost-savings to tax payers.
Malfeasance in government and private contracted services is against the law. Failure to deliver private contracted services is fraud. Malfeasance is often disguised by slovenly public employees who claim that the citizens have not adequately followed reporting procedures, which are often layered to insulate government employees from public scrutiny and pressure. A double bind to befuddle vigilant citizens.
Libertarians have paradoxically enabled more government malfeasance by fostering the popular idea that government inefficiency and corruption are to be expected. Libertarians have created a general popular sense that it is the job of Libertarian politicians to disembowel government. By further degrading public respect for, and expectations of, government, Libertarians have encouraged all politicians to distance themselves from support of good government. Politicians routinely fall back to a defensive stance, making excuses, instead of doing anything about malfeasance. I believe they have learned that cynical citizens will eventually shrug and walk away.

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