The government shutdown continues, longer than any in history. I’m told, this is a crisis! Government shutdown crisis. Another Trump-generated crisis. This crisis. Crisis! Crisis! It’s causing chaos, confusion, pain. It’s “just too much”, say the Washington Post and New York Times. But wait a second, looking around America, I have to ask, where’s that crisis? Most everything seems pretty normal. How is everything today? Life goes on. Pundits speak as if government’s the most important part of America. But it isn’t. We need some government, but most of life, the best of life, goes on without government, much of it in spite of government. Of course, if you are one of the 800,000 federal workers who aren’t being paid, the shutdown is a big deal. Are you freaking kidding me? Again? Seriously? The furloughed workers get a lot of attention. They’re not getting paid. But they will get paid. They’re always do after shutdown. Don’t get me wrong, the shutdown is a real problem. Columnist Paul Krugman giggles about it being “Trump’s Big Libertarian Experiment.” But it’s not libertarian. Government’s endless rules are still in effect, and soon workers will be paid for not working. This is a most un-libertarian experiment. But there are lessons to be learned. Under President Obama’s shutdown, government officials wouldn’t allow people to enter public parks. The National Park Service is blocking access to parks and monuments. This shutdown, the administration is allowing people in parks, so PBS finds a new “crisis.” Too much garbage. National Park Services can’t clean up the mess until Congress and the President reach a spending deal. But now volunteers sometimes pick up the trash. Private citizens will step in to do some things government workers used to do. The Washington Post finds another problem. Farmers aren’t receiving government support checks. But why do farmers even get support checks? The purpose of the subsidy was to protect the food supply, but most fruit and vegetable farmers don’t get subsidies, and they do fine. There’s no shortage of tangerines, pears, or broccoli. Grain, cotton, and corn farmers could suck it up and do fine, too. Much of government we could just get rid of. The New York Times says, “Shutdown Curtails F.D.A. Food Inspections.” Oh no! We’ll be poisoned! But if you read the smaller print, you’d learn that 80% of food inspection is done by the Agriculture Department, and they’re still inspecting. But more important, the main reason food is safe is not government, it’s competition. Fear of getting a bad reputation inspires most food producers to employ more safety inspectors than government requires. Beef carcasses undergo hot steam rinses and microbiological testing that go well beyond what government demands. Yet politicians want us to think it’s all about government. Where government work is needed, privatize much of it. Even security work, like what the TSA does, is done better by the private sector. Go to San Francisco’s airport, you’ll notice the lines are shorter, and they move more quickly, and passengers say the screeners are nicer. People here are friendly, and willing to help. Not only are they nicer, the TSA acknowledged they were better at finding contraband. That’s because they’re private contractors. They have to be better or they might get fired. Government never fires itself. We shouldn’t shut down the government over a dispute and you want to shut it down. You keep talking about it. The last time Chuck, you shut it down. No, no, no. Finally, it’s absurd that this shutdown is supposedly about appropriating $5.7 billion dollars for part of a border wall. That’s less than what Washington spends every day. $54 billion dollar increase in the defense budget. Well the Senate has passed the Farm Bill, a multi-billion dollar legislative package. Our debt will soon reach $22 trillion dollars, government squanders money on useless things. They $300,000 studying whether Japanese quail are more sexually promiscuous on cocaine. So when government workers protest and say, we are all essential. We all are essential! I say, give us a break!