USAToday ran a feature on the impact of the federal government shutdown on Craig, Colorado, the county seat of Moffat County in Northwest Colorado. The big takeaway? The government shutdown might be a net positive in a rural town that has frequently found itself and its industries in the cross-hairs of government regulation. Here’s a great quote from the purveyor of the town’s only medical marijuana dispensary:
“It kind of makes me question what they do on a day-to-day basis. If I don’t miss them, what were they doing?”
In fact, USAToday correctly points out the friction between government regulation and rural communities:
“Decades of frustration with their treatment by the federal government has left Craig’s residents suspicious of regulators trying to tell them what kinds of cars to drive, what to feed their kids and how they should make a living.”
And even worse:
“Like many miners, Jackson, 29, says it’s unfair his industry is targeted for closure by city-dwelling environmentalists who appear tone deaf to the plight of the men and women who helped power the country’s economy for generations. He’s especially annoyed that so many people love to hate coal miners and yet aren’t infuriated that furloughed federal employees eventually will get paid for work they didn’t even do. While tens of thousands of government workers, from soldiers and sailors to TSA agents and air traffic controllers, are working without pay, tens of thousands more have been told to stay home and wait for the government to reopen.”
Perhaps it would be wise for federal employees to take this shutdown showdown as a lesson about regulation. Nobody paid coal miners when the government effectively shut them down and oil and gas workers were in the same boat. Before levying regulations that destroy people’s lives, remember how hard it was when paychecks suddenly disappeared.