When I heard that the government was shut down, my immediate thought process went through my mind something like this: lights everywhere became dimmer; locks for banks no longer worked correctly, leaving those without immediate access to their accounts vulnerable to being stolen from; and finally, I thought that all sorts of mayhem might erupt and violence and independent justice would be served.
Thankfully, this is not an apocalyptic action movie we live in: This is the “real world.”
Luckily, it seems most parts of society are not dissolving into vigilante street justice. The government shutdown, however, does have lots of ramifications that probably either directly or indirectly affect most people.
One of the ramifications is that the U.S. government may lose (more) respect worldwide for not being able to handle its matters in the Capitol. The United States is no stranger to heated debates and passionate stands for and against certain causes, events, programs, etc., but this has reached a new level of scary.
No, again, not scary like post-apocalyptic-crazy. But it has reached a level where the government had to give itself a time out, which negatively affects millions of people’s lives in the meantime.
Having found myself temporarily on a type of “furlough” a couple years ago (nobody let me know at the salon I was working at that construction would take almost a month, effectively meaning I had nowhere to work within the business, and no paycheck for a month), it was definitely an uncomfortable feeling. Not having saved for such a dip in my income, I scrambled at a job I’d barely kept as a side employer to give me enough hours to pay my rent, keep fed, feed my dog and keep gas in my car. It’s harder than you expect. Yes, you get a “vacation,” but it is hardly a vacation when you’re worried every day about how you’re going to make the ends meet again.
National parks are now closed until further notice. This is great if you don’t mind hopping fences to enjoy nature in solitude (what I imagine might be a great and liberating experience).
But the flipside of that is knowing that systems within the parks are not managed. The buildings and shelters are not being kept up. Many parks actually monitor and check on campers at certain sites to ensure they’re safe, run educational programs, and educate the public on conducting themselves in a safe manner in the park.
Again, these park rangers and managers are on furlough.
Are we still paying taxes during this time of adversity to our government? Absolutely. Does that really feel right? Not really. As programs are put on hold, the people who need to be around to pass laws are off work because of a massive disagreement over the Affordable Care Act/ObamaCare. It seems this harms more people and their families, the environment (the EPA runs much leaner), and the country’s reputation, more than it could ever “prove” a point that an act shouldn’t pass.
It’s time that America graduated from high school.