4 Things The Government Shutdown in USA Taught Us

James Preston 2 7:03 AM
The USA Government finally ended their Shutdown on Wednesday night, 16 October, after 16 days of not being able to come to an agreement as to how its Government should be funded. So instead of agreeing to disagree, all Government departments were shutdown.

The shutdown intrigued the world, as it should taking place in the world's most dominant economy. Here are 4 things the circus-like shutdown has taught us:

1. Bureaucracy doesn't work
Democracy is a great thing, and in many ways a Godly thing. But something is amiss in society when Democracy itself gets in the way of significant decisions.

The bureaucratic systems in society today only serves to make people wait weeks for something that could take only a few hours to act on.

This is why the Virgin Group is not a stock-exchange-listed company. Richard Branson pulled Virgin off the London Stock Exchange many years ago. He could not handle the amount of time it took for decisions to made because all the shareholders had to be in agreement before it was enacted.

He bought all the shares back and took Virgin private again. All so that ultimately only a handful of people could make the important decisions and keep Virgin at the forefront of innovation.

I am not advocating autocratic dictatorship, but the truth is, the more people feel like they have a stake in a big decision, the longer that decision will take to get made.

This is why when America is at war, the President of the United States as "Commander-in-Chief" has power and authority to make decisions without consulting congress. It is too dangerous a time to wait for a decision to be made, they must be made quickly and efficiently.

In the same way, a big decision like funding the entire Government should be one that requires an authoritative voice to make the final decision.

I'm not saying Democracy doesn't work. It is the lesser of many evils. But the more bureaucracy involved in making decisions, the less powerful a leadership is. There must be a final, small, group of people, even one person, who can stand up and make that all-important final decision.

I know this is idealistic, and I don't really have many proposals to offer a solution. But maybe you do. It's food for thought when you're running a country one day.


2. Everyone wants a King like Jesus
This is a point Bill Johnson makes. And I love it.

Following on from point 1, the fact is... people actually long for a hero. Look at how George Bush was praised during the 9/11 attacks. Look at how Barack Obama was almost worshipped as the hero to rescue America after the financial crisis of 2008. Or the love the world has for the idyllic relationship between Prince William and Princess Kate. Deep down inside, people desire a hero and leader they can trust to lead them to greener pastures.

Our bureaucratic systems have emasculated those gifted to lead.

Many people would disagree with point 2. But that's because they think of Jesus as a harsh, Just Warrior who will wipe out anyone who disagrees with Him. The fact is; Jesus is the greatest King this world will ever have. His blood pulses with Love for every single person on this planet. Every one of them. His decisions would always be made with this in mind. His decisions will lead us to Heaven on Earth.

People (especially Americans) were desperate for President Obama to stand up and say "enough is enough, we are going ahead with this whether you like it or not!" As this News Anchor so accurately (and passionately) points out on this live TV show. I wonder how Jesus would have handled this crisis?


3. The divide in America is getting greater
It's getting clearer and clearer. Republican and Democratic footsoldiers are on the verge of hating each other. I say footsoldiers because the leaders themselves understand politics is a game of looking friendly with as many people as possible. But the footsoldiers are looking at the other party and shaking their heads, even clenching their fists.

The divide between Republicans and Democrats has never been greater. And this is seriously worrying.

This fact was clearly highlighted in this Government Shutdown. The Republicans were so opposed to the Democrat's healthcare plan, they boycotted the national budget. How much do you have to disagree with something to shut your entire Government down?

This only served to fuel more anger from the Democrats (especially the footsoldiers) toward Republicans, and I shudder to think where it could land up. I won't get into this divide now, the fact is, the rift between the two parties was never highlighted more than in this Shutdown.


4. The USA has more debt than it can handle
When someone cannot fund their own household because they don't know which debt to pay first, that person needs debt counselling.

When a leadership can't fund its own government, that nation is "in over its head" with financial crisis.

In a basic nutshell: This entire crisis stemmed around the fact that the USA had a deadline to agree upon how they would pay their debt before 17 October. The government couldn't reach that agreement.

I have heard some horrifying predictions regarding the US economy. I choose to hope those predictions won't happen. But the fact remains; the USA is in deep financial crisis, and something drastic needs to happen to keep it afloat.

There is no doubt they can get out of this. No doubt whatsoever, but if they keep playing bureaucratic politic games, they will only find themselves in a nationally crippling crisis.

Something must be done, and it must be done soon. It is going to take a radical decision by a radical leader to do it.
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American politics are fascinating. I, like many of the world, am captivated by them, because they truly are a great nation. Almost every decision their government makes affects world economies. But with the spotlight on them for so long in such important times, how long will it take before one of their leaders rises up to actually make that all important heroic decision?

If I were an American, I wouldn't be worried. I would support my government, and pray that a courageous leader would emerge. That leader isn't going to be the anti-christ. What a load of hogwash. (Another post for another day). That leader will be blessed by God to lead the world's largest economy onward to greatness. Without it, they'll be left in the dust of Chinese imperialism.

2 comments

This is a great post. As an American who came of age just in time to vote for Obama the first time, I still have much of my idealism regarding democracy. Or at least, I had it until Congress started all this "push it back til next year" nonsense.

I'm not too worried about our ability to get out of our financial crisis, but I am worried that the ideological divide is not going to get better. Everyone agrees in their disapproval of Congress, but our two-party system means that people get more and more separated in which issues to make a stand on. People pick one issue to get behind, and have to take the party's platform on all the rest. I have been told I'm not a true Christian for voting for Obama (re: abortion). I think that's the problem we have to solve: separating the issues from the parties' stances.

One cause to hope: my generation, the Millennials, seems to prize community over ideology, so hopefully the polarization of the public will not continue to grow. If we can get over our political apathy, I think compromise and complex views on issues are possible.

What a great point, Jessica! Thanks for the sharing. I think everyone is an idealist at heart. And that's why Obama's campaign gained so much traction in his first election, he was playing at people's longing for ideals. And wow, I couldn't agree more re: your point on the Millennials. The next 50 years are going to be greatly interesting!

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