THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
It is possible to be a good public servant
Of selfishness

Lessons from the government shutdown in America

You can't look because the rangers aren't being paid
We won't learn much from the current events in America. 'Paine's Law' applies; any fact may confirm any political view. This post may well be an example of that so put on spectacles tinted with your favoured shade and interpret accordingly.

Mark Steyn relates the story of a park ranger ordering American pensioners back onto a bus in Yellowstone National Park, telling them they 'couldn't recreate' because the park is closed. He reports that the rangers have barricaded 'Old Faithful' and are keeping an armed guard on the nearby hotel so that no-one can approach while they are not being paid.

You would think that, if park rangers were unpaid, they would stay home and - to the precise extent that they usually perform a useful function - problems would ensue. Perhaps there might be a higher rate of accidents. More people might get lost or hurt by dangerous animals. There might be an increase in vandalism or theft. There might be damaging fires because no-one would enforce park rules about camping. People would see these bad consequences and insist their legislators taxed them more or - more likely - borrowed more against their unborn grandchildrens' future earnings so the rangers could be paid.

In fact, what has happened is that self-interested state dependents have turned up to work, unpaid, in order to prevent any member of the American public enjoying land that statists laughably claim they own. In truth, these 'public servants' are harassing their supposed 'masters' in pursuit of a political campaign. They are demanding with menaces increased public borrowing to pay their wages, benefits and future pensions.

If the money stolen by government was spent as usefully as statists insist, the US would be in crisis right now. Frustratingly for them, life is going on. So those who - in statist fantasy world - serve 'the people' are showing up to work unpaid to ensure the people can't enjoy 'their property'.