Driving us crazy

It is fashionable in some circles to talk in Norquistian terms about the steady shrinking of government until it reaches bathtub size dimensions. That's all well and good when one is bloviating away in order to put forth a position of fiscal conservatism, but it often comes up short when confronting reality. For example, I'm inclined to thank Big Government pretty much on a daily basis for saving the entire economy from being mangled beyond repair after Dub/Darth sent it flushing towards the sewer hole in the fall of '08. All that horseshit you hear on Fux News about how the market will magically and properly correct all things financial was completely inapplicable during those anxious days in '08/'09 when it became quickly obvious that the only entity capable of righting a ship that was taking on gigantic dumpsters of water was the much accursed federal goddamn government. I don't know about you, but I didn't look forward to the possibility, however remote, that our money was suddenly gonna be no good. Try using an ATM in an economy based on gold dubloons.

So contrary to the current fashionable trends in cocktail chat, Big Government still has an important part to play in our world. And you know one great way the state of Nevada could participate in Big Government in a way that all of us, from flaming psychedelic communists to crazed Bundy-loving gun kooks, would love unconditionally? Build another goddamn Department of Motor Vehicles!

I had to renew my driver's license in February. I showed up at 9 at the only DMV left, the big one on Galletti Way, figuring I would write off the entire morning to do my stuff. I got my number, got in line, and sat down with my mags, thoroughly prepared to grind it out. Four hours later, I got the call. Four freaking hours! My license took 10 minutes.

I'm not crabbing about the people working at the DMV. Not at all. The woman who took care of me was courteous, friendly and professional. But the glaring 800-pound gorilla in the room is that the place is overwhelmed. There is simply not enough DMV to take care of the 400,000 people who now live in Greater Reno Sparks, and our Legislature needs to acknowledge this reality, authorize however many millions it will take to build a bigger, better, zippy, shiny new DMV mega-joint somewhere in Sparks and give us poor citizens a break from our current version of Kafkaesque normalcy.

Yes, the new texting system of line updates is laudable and does indeed allow one to run around town for three or four hours to do whatever. But the bottom line is, it's still gonna take half a day to get your DMV business done. It may not be an excruciating pain in the ass, but it's still a pain of considerable size, and one that could be eliminated with a new DMV that we desperately need.