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View Diary: Government Shutdown: What It Is, and What It Isn't (Update x1) (88 comments)

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  •  Paying essential employees who work during (0+ / 0-)

    shutdowns is not optional, but would be delayed until an appropriation is passed.

    •  ALL employees do "essential services" (1+ / 0-)
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      This is one of the myths the GOP has pushed, that somehow most of those folks are just pushing useless paper around and no one would ever miss them if they just disappeared.

      There are people whose jobs must be done 24/7 without fail (prison guards, comes to mind). There are others where having an unplanned 1-week break isn't life-threatening -- but that week of work still has to get done later.

      •  People die even when "non-essential" work (0+ / 0-)

        does not get done.  NIH has to turn away patients from treatment and clinical trials.  Nobody calculates the 'cost' of their deaths, so they do not appear on any balance sheet.  The GOP shrugs it off, if they even think about it.  This is research the drug companies will not do. (I think the FDA is in the same situation.)

        My lab does not treat patients, but we have experiments with living cells in culture that will die if we can not come to work.  Some of those experiments took months or years to get to this state.  If they die, then it will take weeks to months of work and materials to get them back.  That is if the Congress even gives us enough of a budget to do so.  Some experiments are just too expensive to re-start.  In any event, using up scarce resources to re-start a previous experiment means that money and personnel time is not available for new work.  That does not appear on any balance sheet, but it's a real consequence of Congressional gridlock.

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