A tense drama unfolded this week with the virtual shutdown of vital government agencies: the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as many other such federal agencies. Without them, the Founding Fathers could not have imagined the republic.
Even if fewer than one-fourth of federal personnel are furloughed, many Americans expressed fear and outrage. “Babies will soon be dying in the streets,” complained a distressed mother while drinking her latte at Starbucks. Many taxpayers were similarly dismayed by the shutdown of IRS audits. “How can I maintain my blood pressure at a safe level when I know that the IRS will not audit me?” asked a Massachusetts patriot. “If I need surgery,” he added, “I don’t even know if the surgeon general will operate on me.”
President Obama, who knows that government and the economy are one and the same thing, declared that America was victim of an “economic shutdown.” Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) echoed him by referring to the situation as a “shutdown of the solar system and even the Milky Way.” Her colleague Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) was not happy with the hyperbole: “Don’t attack my state,” she quipped.
Although many services to the public are shut down, federal law enforcement is expected to continue with its usual viciousness.
Another outraged senator remarked that “our Founding Fathers never intended Congress to refuse rubber-stamping the administration’s budget plans.”
The National Security Administration is, along with the Securities and Exchange Commission, among the agencies that stayed open. (In another sense of the word, the NSA has also been a bit more open since Edward Snowden revealed some of its dirty secrets.) Despite reduced personnel, the NSA will dutifully continue to monitor the citizens of the freest country in the free world. Similarly, the secret court is expected to continue issuing its secret rulings for secret eyes only.
The D.C. establishment is also happy that the armed forces were spared furloughs. They will continue to stand guard, as always, to protect the life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness of Americans on American soil.
Although many services to the public are shut down, federal law enforcement is expected to continue with its usual viciousness. Hunters can’t purchase their required hunting licenses to hunt migratory birds, but they will be charged with poaching if they hunt without the feds’ permission.
The government capacity to make door-to-door searches will not be affected. And the ratio of militarized police to hunted suspects will remain around 5,000-to-1.
Meanwhile, senators and representatives are going for each other’s throats in raw debates, suggesting to the outside observer that the rule of law has become the lure of raw.
A few extremists, however, are happy with the shutdown. A housewife in rural Massachusetts, who refused to give her name and to answer questions by phone or email, said, “It’s about time they get shut down. They don’t miss an opportunity to put us in lockdown.” In Deer Trail, Colo., one of the proponents of municipal licenses to shoot down government drones declared that “what we need is not the government to shut down but to be shot down.”
One American who expressed disappointment was Joe Jefferson of Austin, Texas. Young, black, and trying to make ends meet in the drug market created by government prohibition, Jefferson knew he was bound to be arrested and jailed at some point. He was shocked, however, that it would happen just when the government had been shut down.
Carried away in shackles from the court to start serving his 10-year sentence for selling a few ounces of pot, he shouted to the crowd: “How can they do this when the government has shut down? Were they lying once again?”
This newspaper is closely monitoring the situation, including the more serious debt-ceiling issue, and will report regularly to its readers in the Galaxy.
Prr Lzkdrqxcwm, The Martianfor The Daily Reckoning
Ed. Note: The last thing the country needs is more regulation. But that’s what we’re likely to get, when the government finally comes back online… which, like it or not, it certainly will. Best to be prepared. Laissez Faire Today can help with that. Every day it offers readers unique opportunities at actionable investments. It’s the best way to grow your wealth in the face of government incompetence. Sign up for FREE, right here.
Original article posted on Laissez Faire Today
If you think you have a "right to privacy" or that your liberty is being protected... Think again. Just ask poor David Eckert, who underwent the most invasive invasion of privacy a person can go through... just because he ran a stop sign. Dave Gonigam explains...
Born on Mars centuries ago, Prr Lzkdrqxcwm is Earth’s correspondent for The Martian, the main newspaper of the Red Planet. He covers the whole of the United States, even Massachusetts, California, New York, New Jersey, and DC. He’s written articles for a number of websites in the Galaxy, and has been called many names from “the Martian Tocqueville” to “the Mencken-in-the-cloud.” Occasionally he indulges in some political satire. False rumors (even fraudulent signatures) have circulated in the earthy press as to who is Prr really is...
With Janet Yellen more or less committed to keeping the money spigot open, you'd think Wall Street would be rejoicing. Yet, stocks are mostly a mixed bag right now. Oh well... No matter what stocks do, it appears the Fed and other central banks' folly will keep the Wall Street casino awash in free money for the foreseeable future. Read on...
Today, Wayne Mulligan counts down the top 5 most profitable investments in history and discusses the one thing they all have in common... and the one "golden rule" that increases your odds of doubling or even tripling your money in the markets. Read on...
When the government pumps trillions of dollars into the economy, it's not actually printing the money. It enters as digital entries in banks across the country. It's made the system fast, responsive, and unfortunately, vulnerable. And ff this network goes down, the entire world could fall apart. Bill Bonner explains...
Debtor's prison is supposed to be illegal in the U.S., but these days it's making a comeback. Today, Alexander Tabarrok explains how a simple failure to pay court fees can start to snowball, eventually ending in jail time. And he begins by focusing a keen eye on the problems going on in Ferguson, Missouri. Read on...
People assume that markets and financial instruments have some kind of long-term average they tend to flock toward. But in reality, a handful of wild swings in various directions often skew these averages to a point where the "long-term" is not at all reliable, let along predictable. Chris Mayer has more...