The Government Shutdown… and Other Reasons to be Cheerful

By Joel Bowman, Editorial Director, International Man
January 22, 2019

LA CONDESA, MEXICO CITY - We journeyed to the Republic last week to catch up with friends and associates, old and new. First stop was the belly of the beast, Washington D.C.

There in the nation’s capital we witnessed, first hand, the much-ballyhooed government shutdown… in all its underwhelming glory.

As relayed in these pages at the time, we expected to see bonfires burning in the streets, smashed windowpanes (a Keynesian economist’s dream come true!) and unruly mobs of jilted federal workers roaming the streets.

At least, that’s what the papers foretold…

“Longest and Dumbest Government Shutdown” ran a headline on CNN.

“Trump, Democrats Inch Closer Amid Personal Shutdown Sniping” reported Bloomberg.

“Still No End In Sight For The Longest Government Shutdown” whined NPR.

Sheesh! Anyone would think decent individuals were incapable of taking care of themselves – and each other – without Big Brother’s guiding hand.

It’s true that, as the shutdown enters its second month, federal workers are beginning to feel the pinch. But is that a bad thing? We’re unconvinced.

Over in the private economy, “non-essential” workers go by another name: “unemployed.”

Yes, Dear Reader, out in the “real world,” workers must demonstrate a willingness and capability to provide goods and services of real world value. That is, they must meet the needs of the free market. They must prove they are worthy of their customers’ hard-earned money.

And if their widgets aren’t up to snuff… if their ideas don’t cut the mustard… if they don’t show up on time, do a decent job and charge a fair and honest price…

The market soon delivers them an important message: shape up, or ship out!

One suspects that government workers would do well to heed the same lesson.

Joel Bowman for International Man


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