Looking at the news this morning was both a shock and yet not. The United States Government has shutdown and no one seems to know for how long. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and considering the fact that history will repeat itself if not learned from, I don’t think this will be the last time either.
Neither side can agree on what to spend the government budget on, or even what the budget itself should be. All they can seem to agree on is the fact that it’s not their fault, it’s their opponent’s fault that Congress is at a standstill. One side wants it their way or the highway. Well, we’re on the highway now and the rest of the world is still cruising along at 80 mph or so while the US is walking or using bikes for those who still have work to go in to.
The US isn’t completely shutdown, but at least 800,000 people are temporarily out of work until a new budget plan is agreed upon. Some of the workers who are still working are doing so without pay at the moment. They will be paid when the budget gets passed. Considering how interconnected the world is today, this isn’t just a hit to the US economy. It’s likely going to hit the rest of the world just as hard if the standstill lasts more than today.
It makes me wonder what the qualifications for being in Congress are. When I looked them up they were as follows: 1) be at least 25 years of age; 2) US citizen for at least 7 years; 3) at time of election be a member of the state you’re elected to represent. There is nothing on education, which helps to even the field so to speak, but also nothing on what they know about law or finances. It usually helps during an election to have knowledge of those things, but isn’t required. Utah started requiring their high school graduates to take a Financial Literacy class to help curb the growing poverty level in that state. That includes being able to plan and stick to a budget plan and learning to compromise with a spouse in order to do so.
I’m starting to wonder if such a class should be a requirement of joining the US Congress as well. We’ll find out how this plays out as the days pass, but let’s hope that: a) this doesn’t last too long and b) nothing disastrous happens in the meantime.