From Mr Sailer:

One of the amusing aspects of Matthew Yglesias's blog is his 1966 liberal obsession with the superiority of the Blue-Eyed Utopias of Northwestern Europe. . . . Obviously, the reason for the difference in quality of postal service between Scandinavia and the Brown-Eyed Dystopias such as Italy, with their excessive clutter of paintings, statues, and other useless junk, must be some wonkish detail in organizational structure.

I grew up in Minnesota, then went to school in Missouri, then moved to DC and now live in Seattle.  I'll add a bit of personal observation to bolster Mr Sailer's point.  Pretty much everything works better in Minnesota and Seattle.  For example, going to the Post Office is simple and quick in MN or WA as compared to DC or MO, where it was nearly impossible and torturous.

I remember going to the DMV at Judiciary Square not long after we moved to DC.  There were rows of chairs in the waiting area and an aisle down the middle of the rows of chairs.  Everyone was sitting on the right side.  So, I sat down on the left.  Then I realized why everyone was on the right side.  Someone had vomited on the floor on the left side.  So I moved to the right.  Two hours later, when my number was called, the vomit was still there.  Everyone was just pretending that it wasn't there.  A parade of new people came in, sat on the left, then realized they were sitting by vomit and moved away.  No one did anything.  I assume someone eventually cleaned it up.  No "wonkish detail in organizational structure" will make the DC janitor clean up the vomit in a reasonable period of time.  In MN, the vomit would not have sat there for hours during normal working hours.

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