If certain pundits, journalists, and politicians are to be believed, the United States is about to fall into a third-world state of disrepair and the economy will quickly collapse. The end time, it seems, is upon us. All this because parts of the federal government have been functioning at less than full bureaucratic capacity for 27 days.
The very hysteria and indignation that followed this partial shutdown highlights the sad fact that many people have come to view government as not only vital to every aspect of human society, but it’s most important institution. That anyone is even talking about the impact of the shutdown on the U.S. economy demonstrates how sprawling and pervasive the federal government has become.
…and there is, of course, nothing the government can do that the private sector cannot do.
Government Spends Too Much Money on Itself
The United States has the largest economy of any country in the world, dwarfing that of China, which now has the second-largest. As an aside to those who believe Russia represents anything close to an existential threat to the U.S., Russia’s is the world’s twelfth-largest, with a GDP that comes in around one-tenth of America’s. The point, though, is that when a partial government shutdown has any significant effect upon such an enormous economy, that government is far too big and is spending far too much money, just on operating costs – never mind what it spends on actually running federal programs.
Democrats, for whom a government shutdown is the worst thing that can ever happen, apparently, are busy appearing on cable news shows, painting grim pictures of all the things the government is currently not doing. Even if they were being honest – which is not the case, in many respects – it seems that the world continues to turn and Americans are going about their business with a few inconveniences. The well-compensated federal workers who have been furloughed will get back-pay when the shutdown eventually ends. In some cases, the private sector has stepped in to pick up the slack and there is, of course, nothing the government can do that the private sector cannot do.
What Defines a Real Crisis?
Thousands of migrants from Central America are massing just over the southern border, at the mercy of criminals, rapists, and those who traffic in humans and drugs. These people have been made false promises and are now homeless and vulnerable to anyone wishing to do them harm – which often turns out to be their fellow countrymen. This, according to Democrats, is not a crisis – but a few government agencies temporarily scaling back their operations is. This is a snapshot of the leftist mentality: The health and welfare of the government itself are more important than that of actual human beings.
Shutdown is Not All Bad News
One anonymous Trump administration official sees the shutdown as an opportunity. The Daily Caller published an op-ed written by this individual, who describes how the deep state is working furiously to cripple the Trump agenda and how so many federal workers, knowing it is extremely difficult to get fired, do as little work as possible. “80 percent [of the federal employees known to the op-ed’s author] feel no pressure to produce results,” he or she writes. “If they don’t feel like doing what they are told, they don’t.”
“Most of my career colleagues actively work against the president’s agenda. This means I typically spend about 15 percent of my time on the president’s agenda and 85 percent of my time trying to stop sabotage, and we have no power to get rid of them. Until the shutdown.”
The official goes on to point out that, during the shutdown, most federal agencies are actually functioning more efficiently since the lack of funding means that only essential employees are at work. This unnamed writer – whose identity is known to The Daily Caller – suggests senior government officials can use the now extended shutdown to refocus, reprioritize, and “weed out the saboteurs.”
Ultimately, no-one will starve to death or meet any other form of untimely end as a direct result of the shutdown. The nation continues normal activity, albeit with some extra-long flight delays. The federal government itself continues to function in its usual, dysfunctional way. The only people who are really freaking out over the shutdown are Democratic politicians and other leftists who cannot imagine life without the constant overbearing interference of the almighty administrative state.