I really wanted a government shutdown. Not because it would act as a symbolic gesture proving how serious the Republicans are about cutting the budget (they aren't.) I wanted a shutdown because it would have offered Americans an opening to imagine a way of life out from under the federal behemoth, a government which, uninterested in securing the realm and protecting the nation from foreign invasion, has dedicated itself to what AltRight contributors have called "therapeutic liberalism" and "totalitarian humanism." It's hard for me to come up with a way in which the federal government improves the lives of people living in my adopted hometown of Whitefish, Montana, or in which basic tasks like delivering the mail couldn't be performed by independent entities.
Of course, the America I'm living in is hardly representative of the country.
If you want to understand better why so many states—from New York to Wisconsin to California—are teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, consider this depressing statistic: Today in America there are nearly twice as many people working for the government (22.5 million) than in all of manufacturing (11.5 million). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government.
It gets worse. More Americans work for the government than work in construction, farming, fishing, forestry, manufacturing, mining and utilities combined. We have moved decisively from a nation of makers to a nation of takers. Nearly half of the $2.2 trillion cost of state and local governments is the $1 trillion-a-year tab for pay and benefits of state and local employees. Is it any wonder that so many states and cities cannot pay their bills?