Many Private Harms Caused By The Government Shutdown Are Due To Its Own Insistence On Meddling In Our Lives
” The government is so involved in our lives that even basic commerce—simply hiring people—is threatened by political jockeying. Democratic Sen. Harry Reid attacked Republicans as “anarchists” for bringing about the shutdown. Nothing could be further from anarchy than fishing boats sitting idle, waiting for a government functionary to give sailors permission to work. And yet, the common response is anger about the government shutdown, not anger about having to jump through so many hoops in the first place. Even before the shutdown, it would take months for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to approve permits for craft breweries.
Of course, should the crab fishers attempt business as usual, they would undoubtedly find that the parts of government that enforce the regulations are still working. The federal employees with the ability to punish are still on the job.
Such is often the case when municipal governments face cutbacks as well. Citizens may discover it can take months to navigate government bureaucracy and workers point the finger at staff cuts. But fail to jump through the hoops, like small businesses in non-functional Detroit have attempted, and the bureaucrats and enforcers will come to shut it down.
Government has cleverly made itself impossible to live without because officials have made it illegal for nearly any commerce to take place without its extensive permission structure. The ultimate consequence of such broad government intervention in all aspects of the economy reinforces the idea that we cannot shut down or cut back government, because the regulatory structures and laws still exist.”
The Government Shutdown and Our Permission Society