Isabel, we hardly knew ya. I live in the DC area. A few weeks ago a hurricane called Isabel paid us a visit. It had skipped past Florida and Georgia and decided to rage through North Carolina, Virginia and DC. More a tropical storm than a hurricane by the time it got to our neck of the woods. Still, it caused damage. There were power outages.Â The wrong power got hit, though. For example, the DC Metro system decided to shut down its subway when it was not yet really necessary to do so for the sake of safety. In fact, the system was shut down in the middle of the day, and hours before the storm was scheduled to show up.
Why did they Metro this? Power play. Social engineering: they wanted to encourage people to stay off the street. The chairman of Metro’s board, Jim Graham, told The Washington Post that the decision to close was “part of a coordinated action to get people to stay at home.” So because Metro decided that it knew better than its customers whether its service was really wanted and needed, thousands of people had to scramble for other transportation.
Totally unnecessarily. Metro is, of course, not an independent private company worried above all to keep its customers happy. They’re a brainchild of government, and subsidized by the government. And they seem to think they are obliged when they have the chance to impose bureaucratic mothering on their riders. This is why I say the wrong power lines got knocked down that day.
This is Common Sense.Â I’m Paul Jacob.