The socialist parking lot

Here in Kansas City we recently had a snow storm come through that dropped nearly a foot of snow on us. As such, for much of today, people were taking time clearing the snow as best they can. I live in an apartment complex without assigned parking, meaning the parking space I clear out to get my car out might not be available when I get back.

And so was the case. Not just once, but twice.

This afternoon I went out to my car at about 11:30am to dig it out… from behind about 18 to 24 inches of snow. I was out there for about an hour doing this. Because I had done this around high noon on a sunny day, it didn’t take nearly as long as it easily could have.

Then in the afternoon, my wife and I left to go take care of a few things. We came back about 3 hours later and the parking spot I spent an hour clearing was occupied by someone who didn’t bother to clear their space before leaving.

Later in the evening, my wife and I needed to go to the grocery store to get a few things we forgot during our first outing. Because my initial spot was taken when I returned initially, I needed to dig out the car again. And when we got back from the store, not a half hour later, the spot I had dug out — not completely cleared, mind you — was again taken by another person who again had not bothered to clear out the parking space they were originally in at the start of the day.

Parking lots for apartment buildings are a clear example of socialism in action. The only competition is to see who can get to the best parking space first. But when snow falls and parking spots need to be cleared out, those who do the least amount of effort to get out of the parking lot will be the ones to benefit from those who expend effort, sometimes considerable effort, to clear the way for their vehicles.

Now there are canopied parking spaces available that are assigned to those willing to pay for them. If I had one of those spots, then all of my labors this afternoon clearing away the snow from around my car would not have been in my own vain. Instead I would be parked in my spot that I cleared, and no one else would be able to take it from me. And that would be capitalism, folks, with protection for property rights.

After all if I clear out a parking spot, it would be considerate for everyone else to not take it. After all they didn’t expend the effort to clear it, and they know they didn’t expend the effort to clear it, so they should leave it be and let the person who did clear it have the spot back when they returned.

If we were to be getting regular snowfalls, I have no doubt the pattern experienced today would repeat itself over and over. The reason is quite simple: most people, it seems who live in apartment complexes don’t bother buying snow shovels for their own use. Instead they’d rather rely on others who do have them, and steal the cleared-out parking spots when not looking.

Now I can hear the argument already: what about those who can’t use a snow shovel? There is one such person in my apartment building, but she lives with people who can. They just choose to not and instead were trying to dig their car out this morning using pots and pans. But if such a person was living alone in my building and I knew who they were and what car they drove, I would’ve happily dug out their car without being asked. That is called charity, folks.

Now I’m not one for revenge, so while the thought of burying in the other two cars did cross my mind, I think I’ll let this one go. Just this time.