Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Five Real(?) Impacts of a Government Shutdown

You want to prove that a government "shutdown" is really a misnomer and that hardly anything that really matters gets affected?  Perhaps you should look around at the major media reports of what is going to happen.

For example, you might want to take a look at this story form Elizabeth Hartfield of ABC News.  She penned this article Saturday, and it seems that she wants to convince you that a government shutdown is a horrible thing to endure. Her tone implies that she believes a shutdown should be avoided at all costs.

But why does she believe that?  Why does she have such a concern about a government shutdown that she would write an article for a major news source titled "Five Real Impacts of a Government Shutdown,"  an article whose title alone seems to imply fear about even considering the idea?  Well, of course, we're lucky enough to have her spell those reasons out to us.  I think you'll find, though, that those reasons might surprise you.

You see, Hartfield goes back to the last real government shutdown, in late 1995 and early 1996, and examined what REALLY happens when the government is shut down.  She points out that she fears the current lawmakers that are considering a shutdown may not really remember the impact of the shutdown that occurred back then.  And, as you might imagine, in order to prove her point, she picks out some of the biggest things that were impacted.

And that's where I find the point that a government "shutdown" isn't really all that bad at all.  Let's take a look at the five things she mentions.

Suspension of Approval of Applications for Small Business Loans

Don't get me wrong here...I love small business.  I believe that small businesses are truly the driving force of America.  But I am not convinced that suspending approval for small business loans for some indefinite, but probably short, time is necessarily all that bad.  In fact, I'm not even sure that it's the government's job at all.  I'm not completely against the idea of these loans, but there's no way you can convince me that a temporary suspension of these loans is going to have have some horrible impact on our country as a whole.

Museums, Monuments and Parks Would Shut Down

So what?  Again, don't get me wrong, museums, monuments, and parks are all great.  I do believe that there is some benefit in our government archiving our history and our arts.  I do believe that there is benefit to having some areas of land set aside for us to be able to enjoy the beauties of nature.  But I also think that if the government is in dire straits, these should be the first things to go.  And considering the reality that any government shutdown is going to be short-lived, no harm done.

Medical Research Interrupted

So this one sounds pretty bad.  But that's just SOUNDS bad.  Truth is, it sounds worse than it is.  It makes it sound like all medical research in the world would come to a screeching halt, and that simply isn't the case.  Plenty of private organizations are doing medical research and plenty of government funded research has already received its money.  You're going to hear plenty of people try to spin this like the cure for cancer will somehow now be lost forever, but that simply isn't the case.

Passport Services Suspended

Well, except in case of emergency.  A passport is good for ten years.  Unless you're a traveler that has procrastinated, then no worries.  This will impact like 0.001% of people.

D.C. Residents, Start Composting

So apparently residents of the District have trash pickup as a government service.  Since Congress must pass the D.C. budget, things like trash service would probably be suspended.  But I'm sure there will probably not
be any shortage of private companies coming to save the day by offering trash pickup to the city.  As a resident of a city that takes care of trash pickup, I wouldn't mind the option to shop for the best service myself.

So Does That Sound So Bad?

Take a second and just look back over that list of five things above.  Try not to chuckle when you do so.  Go ahead...I'll wait.

Now ask yourself, was there anything on that list that really concerns you at all?  I mean, even if you would like to keep the above things going, don't you think it's not going to hurt anything if they are all put on pause for a bit?

And don't forget that this list came from an article that was written to scare you.  It was written to convince you that a government shutdown is unbearable  She says she's afraid you don't remember or weren't around for the last shutdown and went back and did research to remind us of all the bad things that will happen.

But mostly don't forget that, after all that trouble, the above list was all she could come up with when it was time for her to write down the top five reasons a shutdown should scare us.  Yep...that's the five worst things she could find.

I think I can live with that.  How about you?

Click "Subscribe" in the upper right corner of the page, then check out my other recent posts:

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1 comment:

  1. The recent shutdown have caused a lot of disadvantages to every sectors of the country.