Author Topic: Impact of US government spending impasse  (Read 6422 times)

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Offline splin

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Impact of US government spending impasse
« on: January 12, 2019, 05:49:17 am »
Well lot's of impact of course, but one that's relevant to this forum is NIST - their website, https://www.nist.gov/ is currently showing:

Quote
NOTICE: Due to a lapse in government funding, this and almost all NIST-affiliated websites will be unavailable until further notice

It amazes me that a first world nation can reneage on its liabilities to pay its employees at the drop of a hat and, it would seem, to be exempt from, at least some, employment law. These shutdowns, although they usually don't last long, must cause a great deal of hardship to loyal employees.
 

Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2019, 06:05:26 am »
Well lot's of impact of course, but one that's relevant to this forum is NIST - their website, https://www.nist.gov/ is currently showing:

It amazes me that a first world nation can reneage on its liabilities to pay its employees at the drop of a hat and, it would seem, to be exempt from, at least some, employment law. These shutdowns, although they usually don't last long, must cause a great deal of hardship to loyal employees.

Most (not all) affected employees have been furloughed and as such are not required to be paid. There are some employees who are required to work without pay until the partial shutdown is concluded, but they'll receive back-pay.

Governments (and lawmakers) routinely exempt themselves from the laws they impose upon others.

If you work for a government agency (as I do) then you take steps to ensure you can weather these events. If you do not, then you're being fiscally irresponsible and have nobody to blame but yourself.

As for impact, I suspect the average american, if s/he didn't listen/read the news, wouldn't have an inkling there is a partial government shutdown at the moment.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2019, 06:09:49 am »
If you work for a government agency (as I do) then you take steps to ensure you can weather these events. If you do not, then you're being fiscally irresponsible and have nobody to blame but yourself.
:wtf: Why the hell would someone want a job which doesn't pay for time to time? The whole reason to have a job is to get paid regulary.  :palm:
With the economy booming a lot of public servants probably go look for a job elsewhere and the government is left with the people who can't find (fit in) regular jobs. That will have an effect on the efficiency of the government for sure.
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Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2019, 06:17:36 am »
:wtf: Why the hell would someone want a job which doesn't pay for time to time? The whole reason to have a job is to get paid regulary.  :palm:

Shutdowns are not that frequent and are usually short-lived. Since employees eventually get paid for the time they were furloughed, in the long term, they do not "lose" anything.

It is a commonly held sound financial principle you should have 3-6 months of salary on hand in savings to weather financial hardships. Since shutdowns never last that long, if you practice sound financial principles, you will not notice a thing.


Quote
With the economy booming a lot of public servants probably go look for a job elsewhere and the government is left with the people who can't find (fit in) regular jobs. That will have an effect on the efficiency of the government for sure.

Doubtful. Our benefits are (usually) better than those we would receive in the private sector. For example, in addition to my salary (which is lower than what I would make in the private sector, but nonetheless is very generous) I am in a government-funded defined pension benefit program, pay below-average market rates for my health insurance, and get more time off than Jesus Christ (between vacation, personal days, holidays, etc.) over the course of year I work less than 4 days per week on average. Can't get that in the private sector.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2019, 06:24:51 am »
It is a commonly held sound financial principle you should have 3-6 months of salary on hand in savings to weather financial hardships. Since shutdowns never last that long, if you practice sound financial principles, you will not notice a thing.
That is assuming you manage to do that. I'm sure a lot of people ate into their rainy day funds during the crisis and are still recovering.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Online maginnovision

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2019, 06:34:44 am »
It is a commonly held sound financial principle you should have 3-6 months of salary on hand in savings to weather financial hardships. Since shutdowns never last that long, if you practice sound financial principles, you will not notice a thing.
That is assuming you manage to do that. I'm sure a lot of people ate into their rainy day funds during the crisis and are still recovering.

To me those are the same things. As far as I know at JPL they won't even be furloughed until 30 days so as yet haven't been impacted at all. Vacation pay is a way to continue being paid though. Considering the small difference <6b in >1T budget hopefully they can figure it out soon.
 

Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2019, 06:38:26 am »
That is assuming you manage to do that.

...and if you do not, then you have nobody to blame but yourself. You, I and everyone else out there cannot be responsible for their financial irresponsibility.


Quote
I'm sure a lot of people ate into their rainy day funds during the crisis and are still recovering.

Since this "crisis" is less than a month old, it's doubtful. If you mean the "last" shutdown, then no, they were made whole and received all back-pay they would have received when the shutdown was concluded.

Vacation pay is a way to continue being paid though.

Many people do this. I generally do not, since I have adequate cash reserves on hand (plus my wife makes more than enough to cover our household expenses with her salary alone), and I cannot replace my vacation time once I use it.
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Offline cdev

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2019, 06:39:29 am »
Did you realize that this all has changed and that now we're all (the multilateral trading system does this) on a fast track to privatization of most of those kinds of jobs? Unless you live in a short list of poor, officially 'least developed' countries.

Regardless of what level of government you work at, (Federal, state or local) unless your particular area is exempted via rules which are very narrowly defined.

This has been planned for a long time, back to the late 1980s, to be honest. Its been the subject of countless huge gatherings of officials from all around the world, in various places, generally cities in the developing world, and also in Geneva, Switzerland. The two main 'rounds' were Uruguay and Doha.

The idea is that by doing this, costs would fall and large 'efficiency gains' would be realized while developing countries would get a leg up on repaying the illegitimate debts they owe to the big countries. Since most of them have little in the way of industry of their own but an oversupply of highly educated degree holders, its agreed that labor is their most competitive export, and largely also that they should get to export it, somehow.  Then it starts to get tricky, though. There are lots of additional questions on wages, and the degree to which countries should be forced to do this if they didnt already volunteer to do it in a binding agreement like the US did. However, we retained limits which are being contested now. The limits restrict the numbers to a tiny fraction of what they will rise to if we lose that case. Which would aso likely affect other countries as well. Its hard to say.

The main point I am trying to make is that long term, everything involving the spending of taxpayer money is increasingly being impacted by international agreements, which take precedence over local, state and federal policies and regulations. Its a completely different set of priorities, which will seem Byzantine and in many ways evil, since they forbid most of the good things that governments could do in the past. Also, privatizing services which people have depended on to make many things affordable which a deregulation of so many things and strict reliance on market forces might well put out of their reach.

:wtf: Why the hell would someone want a job which doesn't pay for time to time? The whole reason to have a job is to get paid regulary.  :palm:

Shutdowns are not that frequent and are usually short-lived. Since employees eventually get paid for the time they were furloughed, in the long term, they do not "lose" anything.

It is a commonly held sound financial principle you should have 3-6 months of salary on hand in savings to weather financial hardships. Since shutdowns never last that long, if you practice sound financial principles, you will not notice a thing.


Quote
With the economy booming a lot of public servants probably go look for a job elsewhere and the government is left with the people who can't find (fit in) regular jobs. That will have an effect on the efficiency of the government for sure.

Doubtful. Our benefits are (usually) better than those we would receive in the private sector. For example, in addition to my salary (which is lower than what I would make in the private sector, but nonetheless is very generous) I am in a government-funded defined pension benefit program, pay below-average market rates for my health insurance, and get more time off than Jesus Christ (between vacation, personal days, holidays, etc.) over the course of year I work less than 4 days per week on average. Can't get that in the private sector.
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Offline nctnico

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2019, 06:45:49 am »
That is assuming you manage to do that.
...and if you do not, then you have nobody to blame but yourself. You, I and everyone else out there cannot be responsible for their financial irresponsibility.

That is very easy to say if you (appearantly) make a lot of money. Trust me, there are lots of people out there who aren't so lucky and it is really not their own fault. I'm finding your statements rather offensive towards people who need their pay checks to be paid on time. Think about the people who have low paying jobs like cleaning the buildings. These people often don't have the possibility to save a lot of money.
There are small lies, big lies and then there is what is on the screen of your oscilloscope.
 
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Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #9 on: January 12, 2019, 06:56:40 am »
That is very easy to say if you (appearantly) make a lot of money. Trust me, there are lots of people out there who aren't so lucky and it is really not their own fault. I'm finding your statements rather offensive towards people who need their pay checks to be paid on time. Think about the people who have low paying jobs like cleaning the buildings. These people often don't have the possibility to save a lot of money.

*shrug* If you're offended, feel free to find a safe space and pet a puppy.

I believe in personal responsibility, and have taught such concepts to my children, just as my parents taught them to me.

If you know it is a possibility you may experience a shutdown in your job and do not take steps to weather such an event, then the onus is upon you, nobody else. Which may mean not taking the job in the first place -- although, of course, there's no guarantee a 'private sector' job will give you a paycheck on time either, a simple google search will yield plenty of examples of situations where employees have gone to cash their paychecks, or look for their overnight direct deposits, only to find the money isn't there and the company has closed their doors.

Lesson #1: There are no guarantees in life.
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Offline wraper

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2019, 07:00:56 am »
That is assuming you manage to do that.
...and if you do not, then you have nobody to blame but yourself. You, I and everyone else out there cannot be responsible for their financial irresponsibility.

That is very easy to say if you (appearantly) make a lot of money. Trust me, there are lots of people out there who aren't so lucky and it is really not their own fault. I'm finding your statements rather offensive towards people who need their pay checks to be paid on time. Think about the people who have low paying jobs like cleaning the buildings. These people often don't have the possibility to save a lot of money.
Nope, it's exactly about spending behavior, not amount of income. People just want to live better than they can afford, and no sane amount of money will solve their financial irresponsibility. Just being responsible and having less useless credits to pay leaves you with more money to spend while having same income. There literally are people who have $ 300k+ annual income and still not have any money left after paying their bills and crying poor  :palm:.
 

Offline vinicius.jlantunes

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2019, 07:04:51 am »
I find it amusing that someone can think it's OK for an employer (any employer) to not pay you on time and think it's your fault if you don't have savings to cope with it.

I don't disagree that everyone should strive to have reserves to cope with financial difficulties, but that does not in any way make the situation acceptable - in my humble opinion.

As nctnico said - it's easy to enunciate rules that everyone should have 3-6 months of savings and if you don't you're a loser and deserve to be in trouble - but it's a very narrow view of what individual realities can be. It's not that easy to accumulate that kind of money depending on your reality.

We have similar problems in some states and cities here in Brazil that through financial irresponsibility have been left with insufficient funds to pay its employees. It's NOT OK. I really feel for those who sometimes go unpaid for months .
The fact that shutdowns in the US tend to be shorter don't make the situation any less serious, in my opinion.

Offline cdev

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #12 on: January 12, 2019, 07:15:28 am »
One of the patron saints of neoliberalism is Vilfredo Pareto whose economics basically tell elites what they want to hear, which is the opposite of what they used to be told before all these changes. Instead of beseeching them to try to improve the lot of the human race, now they worship 'efficiency' for its own sake, setting up a race that almost nobody can win.

This transformation has silently occurred everywhere and it doesn't play by the rules in any way. (Its basically might makes right or Fascism)

Since people would never vote for it its being very sneaky.

That is very easy to say if you (appearantly) make a lot of money. Trust me, there are lots of people out there who aren't so lucky and it is really not their own fault. I'm finding your statements rather offensive towards people who need their pay checks to be paid on time. Think about the people who have low paying jobs like cleaning the buildings. These people often don't have the possibility to save a lot of money.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 
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Offline wraper

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #13 on: January 12, 2019, 07:26:26 am »
We have similar problems in some states and cities here in Brazil that through financial irresponsibility have been left with insufficient funds to pay its employees. It's NOT OK. I really feel for those who sometimes go unpaid for months .
The fact that shutdowns in the US tend to be shorter don't make the situation any less serious, in my opinion.
I don't think anyone said it's OK not to pay. But at he same time those who have immediate problems when salary is delayed by a month, especially at US income level, are simply financially irresponsible in the vast majority of cases. I have some relatives who cry poor not because they don't have enough income but because they are plain stupid. Smart people don't buy new TV on credit when there is zero money left this month and you spend quarter of your income just to cover interest rate on stupid credits you took  :palm:.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 08:14:15 am by wraper »
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #14 on: January 12, 2019, 07:31:38 am »
Shutdowns are not that frequent and are usually short-lived. Since employees eventually get paid for the time they were furloughed, in the long term, they do not "lose" anything.

It is a commonly held sound financial principle you should have 3-6 months of salary on hand in savings to weather financial hardships. Since shutdowns never last that long, if you practice sound financial principles, you will not notice a thing.

Doubtful. Our benefits are (usually) better than those we would receive in the private sector. For example, in addition to my salary (which is lower than what I would make in the private sector, but nonetheless is very generous) I am in a government-funded defined pension benefit program, pay below-average market rates for my health insurance, and get more time off than Jesus Christ (between vacation, personal days, holidays, etc.) over the course of year I work less than 4 days per week on average. Can't get that in the private sector.
Note that this isn't as commonly held as a sound principle outside of the US. Having some money in reserve is a good thing everywhere, mind you. It's just that employers can't typically pull these kinds of stunts on you at will.
 

Offline Richard Crowley

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #15 on: January 12, 2019, 07:33:55 am »
Well lot's of impact of course, but one that's relevant to this forum is NIST - their website, https://www.nist.gov/ is currently showing:

Quote
NOTICE: Due to a lapse in government funding, this and almost all NIST-affiliated websites will be unavailable until further notice
Well, https://nist.time.gov/ seems to be ticking along nicely. 

As for impact, I suspect the average american, if s/he didn't listen/read the news, wouldn't have an inkling there is a partial government shutdown at the moment.

What shutdown?   :-//
 

Offline rdl

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #16 on: January 12, 2019, 07:34:17 am »
There's a shutdown? Does this mean I won't be getting my check this month?
 

Offline Mr. Scram

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #17 on: January 12, 2019, 07:35:10 am »
I don't think anyone said it's OK not to pay. But at he same time those who have immediate problems when salary is delayed by a month, especially at US income level, are simply financially irresponsible in the vast majority of cases. I have some relatives who cry poor not because they don't have enough income but because they are pain stupid. Smart people don't buy new TV on credit when there is zero money left this month and you spend quarter of your income just to cover interest rate on stupid credits you took  :palm:.
Problems often arise when people needed to dip into their emergency stash for other reasons. Having separate emergency funds for everything often isn't realistic.
 
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Offline dr.diesel

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #18 on: January 12, 2019, 07:37:02 am »
I've not noticed any Digikey delivery delays, so no issues here either!



 
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Offline cdev

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2019, 07:38:54 am »
I personally have known lots of people who have at various times been struggling financially and have never in my entire life known any of these people who are alleged to be spending money they don't have on luxury items instead of necessities. Nor have I ever been that way myself.

I think a lot of those tales are a deliberate fabrication promoted to obscure the fact that the safety net which people used to have available when the economy dealt them a unexpected setback have been dismantled in the name of funneling more money to those at the top and basically efforts to make society less unequal like public higher education and health care are being dismantled systematically.

And now everything else people depend on is on the table, being traded away.

The result is, that globally, the ladders to success are being pulled up. It's intentional.

I don't think that practically anybody wants this so at some point, we're likely to see how we've been bamboozled and want to grab democracy back. So whats happening is an attempt to both make that impossible and confuse people enough so they wont realize what is happening or what we need to get back to do it.

What I think we need is to dump the "Golden Straightjacket" as Dani Rodrik calls it and return to democratic politics as people think still exists but without the "simulacrum" of two phony parties (here in the US) and phony disagreement (which is what we've really had for as much as 30 years or more here) to hide the fact that the international agreements they have signed in back rooms away from the public eye, tie legislators hands from actually fixing anything. And we have to do that before they end up costing everybody big. People have no idea what they have done.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 07:48:25 am by cdev »
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #20 on: January 12, 2019, 08:19:01 am »
Wraper,

Poor people in the US - people who live on fixed incomes like Social Security are hardly living well, many are so poor they literally have to go through restaurant garbage to be able to eat. I used to see them, on my morning walks with my dog, otherwise well dressed but struggling older people. (I am that age now, almost!) literally going through garbage for food.

US businesses are not by any means booming, either. Businesses are struggling under huge costs for things like employee health insurance. Thats where wages have gone for the last 30 years.

There is very little in the way of a social safety net and what little they had is being dismantled for stupid reasons like so the US can tell poor countries to stop stockpiling food for their poor people because we stopped doing it. (Food stamps) And jobs are vanishing or being outsourced and offshored to the other side of the world in large numbers as a first step to automating them.

There is a dishonest representation that this neoliberal agenda - which benefits almost nobody but the most wealthy, that we espouse internationally is the product of some consensus, when in fact most Americans don't even know about it and if they did, most certainly many or most if not all would vehemently disagree with it.

Americans, largely unaware of the creation of the multilateral trading system decades ago, a really huge change, largely think US policy is were it was around 30 years ago, before hyperglobalization gave largely US created 'global economic governance institutions' control over most things involving business and money.

This was done to give a 'certainty' to international investors they never in all of human history had before.  You can bet that a lot of these other events are part of a trend towards theatrical events to cover up facts about the real world that otherwise would become widely known. Subjecting the real ruling system to unwanted attention by voters angry at having their vote no longer mean what they thought, some kind of control over things. because thats whats happened, policy has been changed and bad choices for most of us are being carved into stone in the interests of preserving wealth and power in a rapidly changing present and especially unpredictable future where riches are also losing their connection to 'work' or some perceived virtue. So its very unwise to try to tie governments hands as they are and then hide it with sham events to explain the consistent failure to help those who elected them. We're all being presented with a false narrative where the real issues are deliberately kept out of sight. The key means by which this was first set up and remains most constrained by is found in videos BY2tUTA4mzM and LHIfSfb-RvM on the same site that Dave uses.

We have similar problems in some states and cities here in Brazil that through financial irresponsibility have been left with insufficient funds to pay its employees. It's NOT OK. I really feel for those who sometimes go unpaid for months .
The fact that shutdowns in the US tend to be shorter don't make the situation any less serious, in my opinion.
I don't think anyone said it's OK not to pay. But at he same time those who have immediate problems when salary is delayed by a month, especially at US income level, are simply financially irresponsible in the vast majority of cases. I have some relatives who cry poor not because they don't have enough income but because they are pain stupid. Smart people don't buy new TV on credit when there is zero money left this month and you spend quarter of your income just to cover interest rate on stupid credits you took  :palm:.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline raptor1956

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #21 on: January 12, 2019, 08:38:16 am »
We've had too many of these shutdowns since the mid 70's and it is now the norm.  The federal workers are a bargaining chip and the folks doing the bargaining don't have to worry about their pay being withheld.  On the question of saving enough for a rainy day ... that sounds great but life throws lots of curve balls that can't be planned or budgeted.  So a flood destroyed your home and insurance will only cover  part of the cost -- there goes every penny of your 6 months cushion and them some.  Your 4 year old car just went out of warranty and wouldn't you know that's when the transmission would die -- there goes you 6 months cushion.  You son just got excepted to a good university when you's expected him to go to community college and now you need to drop twenty-large just for starters -- there goes you 6 months cushion and then some.

There is a political world-view that blames individuals for problems beyond their control because they have a social Darwinstic idea that when bad things happen the people deserve it.  Compassion is for pussies I guess...


Brian
 
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Online maginnovision

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #22 on: January 12, 2019, 09:38:38 am »
Your 6 month cushion is all over the place... We typically lay the responsibility on individuals is because despite the cases where people truly can say it is bad luck(cancer, insurance issues, accidents, etc...) most people aren't actually so poor they can't afford a place to live or food. It is typically personal choices that cause the issues. Too many kids, buying new cars you can't afford, loans and credit being used to buy phones, couches, tvs, computers whatever, living in an area you can't afford housing, not planning ahead(we ALL have set backs). It's really easy to sit back and say not my fault but it isn't usually the truth.
 
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Offline vtwin@cox.net

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #23 on: January 12, 2019, 09:42:59 am »
I find it amusing that someone can think it's OK for an employer (any employer) to not pay you on time and think it's your fault if you don't have savings to cope with it.

You conveniently ignore the fact the affected employees are made whole with full back pay, effectively giving them a "free" vacation.


We've had too many of these shutdowns since the mid 70's and it is now the norm.  The federal workers are a bargaining chip and the folks doing the bargaining don't have to worry about their pay being withheld.  On the question of saving enough for a rainy day ... that sounds great but life throws lots of curve balls that can't be planned or budgeted.  So a flood destroyed your home and insurance will only cover  part of the cost -- there goes every penny of your 6 months cushion and them some.  Your 4 year old car just went out of warranty and wouldn't you know that's when the transmission would die -- there goes you 6 months cushion.  You son just got excepted to a good university when you's expected him to go to community college and now you need to drop twenty-large just for starters -- there goes you 6 months cushion and then some.

I guess we can spend all evening fabricating all sorts of hypothetical sob stories in an attempt to justify people's poor financial management practices.
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Offline cdev

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Re: Impact of US government spending impasse
« Reply #24 on: January 12, 2019, 09:46:46 am »
Its a diversion to use up news story time without saying anything. To prevent the media from being forced by some inescapable, inconvenient fact into looking too closely to what is actually being done in that budget.
We've had too many of these shutdowns since the mid 70's and it is now the norm. 
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