This government shutdown is now longer than any in history. The media keep using the word “crisis.”
“Shutdown sows chaos, confusion and anxiety!” says The Washington Post. “Pain spreads widely.”
The New York Times headlined, it’s all “just too much!”
But wait. Looking around America, I see people going about their business—families eating in restaurants, employees going to work, children playing in playgrounds, etc. I have to ask: Where’s the crisis?
Pundits talk as if government is the most important part of America, but it isn’t.
We need some government, limited government. But most of life, the best of life, goes on without government, many of the best parts in spite of government.
Of course, the shutdown is a big deal to the 800,000 people who aren’t being paid. But they will get paid. Government workers always do—after shutdowns.
Columnist Paul Krugman calls this shutdown, “Trump’s big libertarian experiment.” But it’s not libertarian. Government’s excessive rules are still in effect, and eventually government workers will be paid for not working. That makes this a most un-libertarian experiment.
But there are lessons to be learned.
During a shutdown when Barack Obama was president, government officials were so eager to make a point by inconveniencing people that they even stopped visitors from entering public parks.
Trump’s administration isn’t doing that, so PBS found a new crisis: “Trash cans spilling… (P)ark services can’t clean up the mess until Congress and the president reach a spending deal,” reported NewsHour.
But volunteers appeared to pick up some of the trash.
Given a chance, private citizens often step in to do things government says only government can do.
The Washington Post ran a front-page headline about farmers “reeling… because they aren’t receiving government support checks.”
But why do farmers even get “support checks”?
One justification is “saving family farms.” But the money goes to big farms.
Government doesn’t need to “guarantee the food supply,” another justification for subsidies. Most fruit and vegetable farmers get no subsidies, yet there are no shortages of peaches, plums, green beans, etc.
Subsidies are a scam created by politicians who get money from wheat, cotton, corn, and soybean agribusinesses. Those farmers should suck it up and live without subsidies, too.