One thing I've come to understand over the past 72+ hours is that people are inherently selfish. Oh, I knew that already. I've known that since I was a little child, despite being raised in a "share with your sister" environment. As long as you have yours, you're not so worried (well, ok, maybe a little bit) about the person next to you. The old saying, "if you're out of work, it's a recession, if I'm out of work, it's a depression" stems from the same mindset.
Ok, so. Poll after poll after poll has indicated, for many years, that as long as you don't gore my ox, I'm really good with smaller government. Maybe not Norquestian drown-goobermint-in-a-bathtub small, but yeah, a nick here, a cut there. No problemo.
It's called "diminished expectations". Most millennials, and even some X and Y'ers, have really grown up in an age of government austerity, when raising taxes / finding revenue to fund important social programs or launch new ones was verboten. Ronald Regan made it so. Government = bad. Free market = good. And when you've grown up in an era economically guided by Milton Friedman's economic philosophy, that's all you know.
Until it isn't.
If nothing else, the current government shutdown has and will continue to be a great education for the X, Y, and M'ers. No Panda Cam. The Grand Canyon is now just a ditch visible while traveling by air in flyover states. Maybe grandma got furloughed at the local SSA office. Or, your sister got laid off at the cafeteria in the IRS regional office (not operated by the IRS) because no one is in the IRS building.
But how about unexpected impacts? For instance:
The State of Arkansas furloughs nearly 1000 employees due to government shutdown. Among those are:KKK rally cancelled:
Environmental Quality 92
Geographic Information Services 0
Geological Survey 0
Health Services Permit 3
Human Services 202
Natural Resources Commission 29
A planned Ku Klux Klan rally at Gettysburg National Military Park is canceled because of the federal government’s shutdown.Who will think of the hot dog vendors on Seminary Ridge? Or the sheet manufacturing industry?
Park officials said they rescinded all permits for special events because of the shutdown that began Tuesday.
The permit had been approved for a Maryland-based KKK group, the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, for a Saturday gathering.
But one thing that really struck me yesterday is that taking nearly a million people out of the national commuting pool on a daily basis has got to be hurting industries from Big Oil to Amtrak. That's a million people every day who aren't putting gas in their tanks, stopping at Starbucks, or paying an NJT, MTA, or Metro fare. A million freakin' people. So, I think Bloomberg's figures on the daily cost of the shutdown are way, way low-balled:
A partial shutdown of the federal government will cost the U.S. at least $300 million a day in lost economic output at the start, according to IHS Inc.
Got any unusual "unintended consequences" impacts from the government shutdown that you've heard about? Please, dish in the comments.
Author's note: I was savaged the past couple of days for being one day ahead on my shutdown calendar. I was actually counting from Sept. 30, when the GOP dug in their heels and said "shut this sucker down". But anyway, to satisfy the pedants of the past few days who took extreme pleasure pointing out that I was math challenged or something, there, I compromised and met you more than halfway.