Low Expectations

What we expect determines what we’ll accept.

It’s Boston, so the roads are bad.

Fixing the subway would take time and money, and it would be difficult, so we’ll keep up the duct tape maintenance plan.

Since these things are public goods, they couldn’t possibly be made right — so I guess we’ll just have to live with the potholed, rickety, rackety status quo.

Expectations like those let everyone off the hook. And, when you stop to think about it, they train us to accept shamefully poor services.

You wouldn’t accept that attitude from the people who make your car: we take it for granted that, every single year, they’ll produce a safer, more efficient model that’s less likely to break down.

Yet we expect and accept that the roads we drive on will get worse every year — or at least until or unless the pizza company takes matters into its own hands.

Let’s face it: that’s shameful. Isn’t it time we re-trained ourselves to expect better, and accept nothing less?