It’s a safe bet that if any of us ran a business where people didn’t compromise or negotiate, one of two things would happen: the leadership would go, or the business would cease to exist. Unfortunately, that’s what is going on with our government this week, and about 800,000 of its employees are not working as a result, and one million are expected to work without pay.
Right now, some industries like tourism and federal government departments and bureaus, are getting hurt more than others. The longer this goes on, however, the greater the impact, including the ripple effect of the unemployed and unpaid not having money to purchase goods and services.
Economic consulting firm IHS Global Insight estimates the shutdown will cost about $1.6 billion each week, or $300 million per day. How long it will go on is anyone’s guess at this point.
As annoying and inconvenient as the government shutdown is, it’s just that — an irritant. The greater danger for industries and for our economy is the debt ceiling. No one knows what will happen if we don’t increase the debt ceiling because it’s never happened before. Speculation is the government could run out of cash to pay its bills, causing severe financial turmoil.
It’s time for those in Washington who espouse “my way or the highway” and delight in shutting down the government to come back to the table to listen, negotiate and compromise. Our country deserves better from those who serve us in Washington.