The government shutdown has been going on for a week and a day now, and some people could not be happier. Proponents of small government have been saying that the furloughing of 800,000 people makes such a small difference that it shows how much we don’t need government. There are a few things that make this viewpoint rather dumb.
First off, it has only been a week. Many effects of this shutdown will not be seen within a week. National parks and monuments shutting down for a week or a month probably won’t have a big impact, however Meals on Wheels going out of operation will affect many Americans who cannot afford food. With time, more people will be affected.
Secondly, non-essential personnel are still working. If all the air controllers and postal workers were furloughed, people would be ticked off and the conservatives’ precious private sector would be negatively impacted. The fact that people are not hurting too much shows that the government is keeping the right people working.
Thirdly, the economic impact of 800,000 employed Americans not getting a paycheck will not be felt until they run out of savings to spend on their basic necessities. If this shutdown continues, it will inevitably lead to a quarter of negative growth in the economy.
The whole rhetoric of the right on this situation has been full of double standards and simple ignorance. If the government caused an industry to lay off 800,000 workers then they would be up in arms about how the government is destroying American jobs, while right now, the government is destroying American jobs. Furthermore, would Wal-Mart laying off 800,000 workers have an impact on the lives of most Americans? I’d guess not, but the right wouldn’t be gloating about how we don’t need Wal-Mart then.
Both the right and the left are to blame for the shutdown, but only one end of the spectrum seems to be enjoying the shutdown. Politics is a huge mess and will always be one, but the last thing we need is a bunch of pigs wallowing in the muck, having a blast.