What I’ve Learned From The Government Shutdown

The government shut down imposed by none other than president donald trump lasted for over thirty days, leaving over 800 thousand government workers and aid recipients stranded and stuck, unable to pay their bills and receive the care and benefits they needed. This was all because he was so adamant about the funding he demanded for the Wall that he promised during his entire presidential campaign he would “make” Mexico pay for.

Oy.

Today, he announced a “temporary lift” of the shutdown for “at least three weeks”, even though nothing has come of his childish efforts and no funding has been granted to him for this project at all.

I’ve learned quite a bit about people that depended on the government in some way (workers and benefits recipients), as well as people that do not work for the government, yet responded to the shut down in several ways. Let’s read on.

What I’ve Learned From The Government Shutdown:

 

Reanna Robinson, a 22-year-old from Washington, D.C., has been balance life as a student and mother during the month-long government shutdown. Jeffrey Pierre / NPR

1.  People can be disgustingly mean and it is really a shame.

In lieu of this shut down, there were all kinds of people that do not work for the government, nor receive any governmental benefits at all, that had a lot to say about benefits recipients.  The lack of self-awareness and outright meanness was startling as I saw people on social media bitterly making posts about how aid recipients shouldn’t need aid, suggesting that they are unfit parents if they use SNAP/food stamps and other gov’t given aid initiatives, and other such meanness.

Practicing humility is important, but having the proper perspective is even more important.  While the working class assists with making these types of funds available for people to have, it is also these programs which helps to keep taxes from sky-rocketing in your area, school programs that your child is a part of, and school lunches that are provided in public schools. Assuming that someone on Section 8 is “just using the system” and “being lazy” assumes that they are not working at all.  And statistically, less than 1.5% of welfare and government aid recipients partake in fraudulent use of the programs.  Majority of the people that receive these benefits actually do work.  The reality is that they are underpaid and are usually below the poverty line. For example: an adult working in a store could certainly pull only minimum wage while still having kids to take care of and a home to maintain.

If you see someone with SNAP that keeps their hair done also, please mind your business. Just because they are poor does not mean they dont deserve to look nice and feel good about themselves.

 

2. Entrepreneurship and working for small businesses is more important than ever.

If the shut down proved anything, it’s that entrepreneurship is more important than ever before. There are thousands of government workers around the country that were direly affected by this shut down – unable to buy food for themselves and/or children, suddenly without health insurance, so when they needed to visit the doctor for the flu and receive treatment, they had no insurance (I hope the hospitals held off on sending bills out because of this shut down), and other grievances.  It has been a huge mess, and on top of that, furloughed employees still had to work with no idea of when they would be paid for their labor. And while entrepreneurship isn’t for everyone, and not everyone is meant to be a business leader, I think this shut down has taught some to consider other options for themselves.  Maybe that business you’d been thinking of starting should be more than just a thought. Maybe you can get a small part time working for a small business, see if you like it, and eventually cut ties with being employed by the government. Maybe you can find a job for a small business that will pay you more than your current government position with great benefits as well.  Who knows?  There are a lot of options and I think the conversations are starting and can pick up steam in light of what’s happened.

 

After all – 45 is a business owner and his business was not affected in the shut down.  Maybe there’s a page to be taken from that.

 

3. A minimalist life is a simple life

In the month’s time that the government was on a stark hiatus, leaving a lot of people uncomfortable, and ultimately uncertain of how they’d  be able to make ends meet, a lot of people naturally began to downsize and find clarity in being without some things.  I considered this an upside of sorts to the shutdown.  The circumstances were just unfavorable.

 

4. The shutdown affected more than just aid recipients and government employees

The shutdown also affected industries where fresh fruit and veggies were sold, dairy items, and bakery items that contained fillings.

 

5. There are a lot of people that “don’t support/hate trump”, but lean in and pay close attention….they are supporters on the lowest of keys

There is a “stereotype” that fits the vast vast majority of trump supporters.  They tend to talk a lot, share and believe false information (that they will double down on and argue about even after they are told the information is false), have harmful rhetoric towards others, don’t believe in women’s rights entirely, and believe that welfare recipients are “lazy” and can not be educated on the fact that the overwhelming majority of welfare recipients are extremely poor and simply use the welfare service to just be AT the line of poverty, not above it.(meaning: they are still extremely poor even with SNAP benefits). The degree of separation between the beliefs these people have and the ideals that trump spews are not far off from one another at all.  Hidden in plain sight, they probably didn’t vote for trump, if they voted at all, and they certainly don’t believe they think anything like him, but that’s entirely the point:  trump supporters, much like trump himself, are incredibly lacking in self awareness, thus they support trump but don’t even realize they do.

 

6. 45 needs to be impeached. And it is only a matter of time.

If it wasnt his rape record, his abuse record, his xenophobia and/or homophobia that puts him out of office, the fact that he meddled with the money of far more than just black and brown people for well into a month screams to me that this will (hopefully) be one of the straws that breaks the camels back for 45.  As we see so much of the trump camp go down in flames for various indictments, coming out with tell-all books, and taking interviews that speak out against 45 and his dealings and practices, it won’t be long before we can finally be done with this guy.  And when that day comes, I may finally fall in love with Politics again.

Today, a “temporary” end of the shutdown was announced with a three-week period to reconvene on the overall budget of the country to try and finance the Wall.  I guess.  This entire plan needs to be trashed altogether.

 

 

 

 

Sources:

The Very Short History of Food Stamp Fraud in America

 

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