What if They Shut Down the Entire Government?
It's been intolerably boring, not to mention hugely annoying, the last couple of weeks watching the same set of politicians on both sides blaming each other for the government shutdown.
You start to turn off on the whole lot of them, at least I do. And it's only a partial shutdown. Almost everything is the same. Even the stock market has barely burped, as of Friday anyway.
Unless you were suddenly about to go to Yosemite, it's no big deal. Even if you're a furloughed government worker, you're going to get paid for staying home. Yippee!
In other words, no disaster so far. Not even close.
So I thought -- what if they went the whole nine yards and shut down the entire government? What would happen?
Well, we might have some problems with public order. All those homeless in my neighborhood might get a little obstreperous (not that the cops do much about them now). And maybe the criminals would go a little crazy.
And then there all those jihadists out to kill us. I understand that al-Libi character's on a slow boat back here. I don't think we want to set him loose in a mall.
So, all in all, we probably should keep some police and military on the payroll, but after that... not so simple, is it?
There's the schools, of course. But with the quality of education, it's hard to say whether the kids learn more inside or out of them. And if the schools were locked, parents would be forced to deal with their children, perhaps even to educate them, just as they did centuries ago.
And then when they're ready for more advanced education, they could pay for college or go on scholarship. They just wouldn't be government scholarships -- or government loans (which they would have to pay back for the rest of their lives).
Now we shouldn't forget the fire department. Especially here in Southern California, it's a concern. But it seems to me the last few fires volunteers were all over the place. Maybe they could handle it. And then there are some districts where people pay for private fire-fighting forces. I hear they work well, better than the public ones, in fact.
The same thing could probably work for potholes. I'm sure in my neighborhood we could get them fixed faster through a private source. Maybe it would even work for highway construction. The first railroads were private companies, weren't they?
So I'm beginning to think there's a big upside in this government shutdown, if only we could encourage it to grow and expand. Tell your congressman. He or she can go home.
We'd all save a lot of time, too. No more bureaucracies and red tape. If John Lennon were still alive, he would have to rewrite "Imagine" to make us appreciate such freedom. ("Imagine there's no taxes, state or national too, no forms to fill out, no more punch holes to do.... Imagine all the people, ignoring the IRS," etc... you get the idea.)
Okay, I know I'm forgetting something. There's a reason this can't work. Some way in which government is indispensable.
What is it? What is it?
Oh, yeah, I think I remember now. It's four syllables. Starts with an "O."
Right -- Obamacare! I knew there was a reason we can't close down the government. I'm sorry. I forgot.
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