Most ironic was the image of government that was born of these experiences. As any scholarly treatise on the subject will tell you the great advantage bureaucracy is supposed to offer a complex modern society like ours is efficient rational uniform and courteous treatment for the citizens it deals with. Yet not only did these qualities not come through to the people I talked with it was their very opposites that seemed more characteristic.
People of all classes—the rich man dealing with the Internal Revenue Service as will as the poor woman struggling with the welfare department—felt the treatment they had received had been bungled not efficient; unpredictable not rational; discriminatory not uniform; and all too often insensitive rather than courteous. It was as if they had bought a big new car that not only did not run when they wanted it to but periodically revved itself up and drove all around their yards.