About the US government shutdown without politics.

By on October 1, 2013 3:23:24 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

sjaminei

Join Date 10/2012
+19

Just wondering if it's actually possible to discuss this topic without the current politics in here. 

Suggested starting points:

-The structure of the government/fundamental flaws in the original US system. (history hopefully)

-Does it matter for the rest of the world? (examples)

-Monarchy vs Republic. (Australia 1975 for instance) 

So I guess what we are really discussing, is there something lacking within the US government/constitution that US should have had? I mean this has happened 17 times before right?

 

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October 1, 2013 3:43:59 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I think this topic might have academic value, however it is posted in a less than optimal location. Also, the discussion would be innately political. 

It would have been better had you posted it on joeuser.com where the discussion would be freer.

 

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October 1, 2013 4:24:39 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It actually doesn't matter period, the rest of the world isn't necessary to take into consideration.  Few in the US would notice it were it not for the news running stories on the trivial functions that close.

 

The shut down is largely a joke.  People seem to be under the impression that the government in it's entirety is just going to grind to a halt, but everything critical is kept separate from what's considered discretionary spending.

 

Social Security still mails checks, the military still operates, etcetera etcetera.  The only people that are severely hampered are the employees that work for the ancillary functions.  After the last shutdown, they gave them all back pay for sitting on their bums, so it was a free vacation in the end.  Even most of what is cut is proportional funding for state entities.  They only see a temporary drop in revenue with the majority of their funds coming from the state treasury to begin with, assuming it wasn't already block granted in advance.

 

Politics is really the only thing to discuss, because that's pretty much all a shutdown will be.  One side will blink, probably the Republicans since few of them are actually taking a stand on principle, and things will go back to normal.

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October 1, 2013 5:29:19 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

From an outside point of view, american politics seem dumb. 

 

If any other country would do such a thing, their rating would probably be smashed down into oblivion. Lucky, that the important rating agencies are located in america and so they have no interest in doing much. 

 

The underlying problem is simple, the US spend money they dont have. And often on things that make no or little sense.

 

Take the inflated military.... some self defense capability is certainly reasonable, but the amount of money the US sink into it is abstruse.

 

The US budget was looking reasonable in 2000.... but that was before the start of multiple wars. Those wars more than anything else made US public debt skyrocket.

 

And if you are at it, the NSA and similar agencies seem to have to much money at their disposal, too. Otherwise they would not have the ressources to spy not only on terrorists, but allies and friends alike.

 

Especially this spying of official allies probably wont do the US any good in the long term. Any short term advantage due to economic espionage will be mitigated by relation loss and raising distrust.

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October 1, 2013 5:31:16 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting psychoak,
The shut down is largely a joke.

It's not a very funny joke for a lot of folks.   As a veteran with a disability, I've seen it that my checks might be affected, though active duty military is covered supposedly.  My job as well is in tied to these games.  I'm not laughing as I don't know how my pay and bills might be affected.

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October 1, 2013 6:43:37 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I have read on CNBC that stocks are hardly ever affected, historically. So economically it doesn't matter, statistically.

Maybe this time is different.

There's a more important decision to make in a few week's time: the debt ceiling needs to be increased.

If that fails as well, then the economic implications will be huge. The US cannot fund the government and they cannot pay their debt oblifagions.

The political structure is not really flawed, it's how democracy works. You'll get 2 years of an ineffective government and after that, the people will chose a new government which is probably more effective.

Most nations have this problem.

Italy is one of the worst.

The Netherlands was pretty good until recently, we're facing exactly the same problem as the US (where one house blocks decisions by the other).

I think it's pathetic and childish and politicians aren't really interested in the act of governing anymore, they are more interested in getting re-elected even if that means that the entire government grinds to a halt.

But ultimately even that is up to the voters, because the voters are the ones who buy into their political  campaign stories, the more fantastic the better, and they do not vote for moderate politicians probably because those are boring.

So I think the problem is with the voters. Probably this comes from watching too much TV and a certain inability to tell truth from lies.

 

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October 1, 2013 7:09:39 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,
So I think the problem is with the voters. Probably this comes from watching too much TV and a certain inability to tell truth from lies.

In the US part of the problem is also redistricting/gerrymandering, which is entirely politicians faults. If most everyone in your district is solidly of one party or another, you have little to gain by compromising and much to loose if other politicians from your party say you violated core principles and should be replaced by a more ideologically pure member.

 

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October 2, 2013 1:05:01 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

Quoting GeomanNL,

I have read on CNBC that stocks are hardly ever affected, historically. So economically it doesn't matter, statistically.

Maybe this time is different.
 

An economy is so much more than just the price of stock on the public stock markets. The estimates I've read seem to put the total GDP loss at somewhere between 0.15% and 0.5% per week of shutdown. My personal opinion is that those numbers would scale exponentially after the first week when the market can no longer "make do" without the vital government functions.

Which is really sad, in a way. The government is in everything to such a degree that the market can't compensate for it suddenly disappearing. And you can't start thinking about the free market taking over government services because there's no way to tell when the government will be back in action - a day or a month?

It gets even trickier when you realize you're still paying taxes for the shutdown.

I guess the only people that are happy are the politicians (still get paid, get to show off) and the newspapers (sooo much to write about!).

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October 2, 2013 6:32:22 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

Yeah, stocks probably won't be much affected unless this goes on for a month and the Treasury is depleted and can't pay all of the bills.  There may be hundreds of thousands of individual people who can be very affected if they don't get paid, but it takes a while for that lack of consumer spending power to hurt the economy.  If the shutdown goes long enough to hurt consumer spending power, then the markets will react to the much bigger problem of the US defaulting on bills.  

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October 2, 2013 8:58:24 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

not sure how monarchy v republic is relevant.

seeing as i seriously doubt anyone would advocate a monarchy with power that a us president would have. if the us president is mostly ceremonial much like the constitutional monarchs in europe, then it doesn't really make much difference whether it's a monarchy or republic..

 

thus i suspect the more apt question would be on the power of the president. us style with actual power or more ceremonial figurehead.

 

that said... not entirely certain it matters. even if there's no such thing as president, i imagine you'll still get a deadlock between the 2 houses. it's not like uk's lords being just a revising chamber with the commons enjoying primacy.

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October 2, 2013 12:15:18 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

The English queen (or her representative) fired the entire australian parliament in 1975 for a similar situation. They have not shut down since It's a valid point to discuss if the US should have something similar in place for situations like this. Not necessarily monarchy, but some power able to force elections to start over.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1975_Australian_constitutional_crisis

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October 2, 2013 12:29:27 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

Quoting sjaminei,
The English queen (or her representative) fired the entire australian parliament in 1975 for a similar situation.

I'm not being sarcastic, that's exactly what I would like to see happen.

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October 2, 2013 12:29:57 PM from WinCustomize Forums WinCustomize Forums

I know this isn't about the shut down but it does have some relevance. I've always admired other countries because of universal health care and I hope this is our first step towards that. On the other hand I've got neighbors out of work right now so I feel for them.

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October 2, 2013 12:57:33 PM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

.....  but that means they'll need to fire the president too. so what does that make the president? 2 posts of President E(xecutive) and President C(onstitutional) for laughs?

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October 2, 2013 1:13:46 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

It takes a while just for people to not get paid.

 

The government shut down end of day the first of the month.  Anyone on a monthly pay basis doesn't give a fuck that they get a free vacation for however long this lasts unless it actually goes longer than a month.  Even bi-monthly pay basis still gives a solid two weeks before the economy would even notice people not getting paid.

 

Veterans with disabilities not getting paid is just scare tactics.  The VA is still operating, they aren't even closing hospitals.  Some asshole Senator said they might have to short check or delay payments, as if he had any clue what he was talking about, or any reason to be honest, and the news ran with it.  They've already stated that they have funding through most of the month.  If anyone expects either party to last a month on this, I'd love to hear their reasoning on how a bunch of spineless shits that didn't even go to the wire the last time around are going to survive a month of the media laughing at them.  Thoughts of the media running around to the homes of people that had their legs blown off in Iraq and Afghanistan not getting their disability pay would have them all losing their sanity from sleep deprivation before they hit day zero.

 

As to the market compensating for government disappearing, this is a misconception of what government does.  Government gets in the way, it does not facilitate.

 

Government inspects cargo coming into the US, no inspectors means no inspections.  No inspections does not mean no cargo, just that the minute percent of them getting inspected now wont be.  Government inspect food production, no inspections once again just means no inspections.  In this case it's even less useful because government inspections have a bad habit of never actually inspecting until after someone gets sick.  Until someone does, inspections consist of an inspector walking into a factory, looking around briefly, and then leaving.  They don't even swab something to see if the surface of processing equipment is actually being cleaned, or nobody would ever get sick from eating contaminated peanut butter shipments.

 

Transportation is unaffected.  Customs is still operating all critical services, the FAA is still operating all critical services.  The FDA isn't even shut down, nearly all of the above inspection services are still taking place.  We basically still have a fully functioning government with their fingers involved in far more than the libertarians would like.  Most of what we've lost is access to a bunch of gated parks and federal buildings.

 

This only poses some kind of problem if it runs a month plus.  If we weren't such an irresponsible society that lived from paycheck to paycheck with all our credit cards maxed, it wouldn't be a problem even then.

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