US Shutdown Costs and other Pointless Statistics

I have no idea what a government shutdown is. The whole concept baffles me, as does American politics in general. From what I can gather, the people are publicly represented by two different political parties that each work for the same small shadowy group of billionaires that controls the country. The job of the political representatives is to distract the people from the fact that this is happening by constantly arguing with each other and pitting the people against each other, thereby offering the population the illusion of freedom and choice.

Anyway, as several people are by now aware, the United States government was shut down for a couple of weeks recently. Again I have no idea what this means, but I imagine the two political parties accidentally got themselves into some kind of irreversible self-perpetuating argument loop. Devoid of logic, the debate spiraled out of control so the politicians went outside to the fuse box, turned the country off and told everyone to go home (for an even deeper analysis of American politics, please visit a different website).

Ratings agency Standard and Poors estimates that the cost to America was $1,500,000,000 per day during the 16 day shutdown, which ended on October 16. I think 1.5 billion dollars a day (a bit over a million dollars a minute) is kind of a lot of money but luckily I’m wrong about that because eventually the politicians decided to end the shutdown and avoided a debt crisis. For reasons I don’t understand a lot of the politicians were very unhappy about this.

A debt crisis is apparently not a very serious kind of crisis in the world’s richest country, which somehow owes $17,000,000,000,000 to other, less wealthy countries. Again, seventeen trillion dollars may seem like a lot of money (after all, that’s 1,015,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in 2008 Zimbabwe dollars), but it isn’t really, when you consider that all of the world’s major economies are also trillions of dollars in debt. I’m not an economist so I’m not sure how every country can be simultaneously buried in debt, or why it doesn’t really seem to matter. I would have thought that someone somewhere must have some money, but it turns out that I’m just naive, and most of the world’s money doesn’t actually exist. This is quite fortunate for the countries of the world – if the money is an imaginary construct, then so is the debt.

This money doesn't actually exist. It's not even worth the paper it isn't printed on.
This money doesn’t actually exist. It’s not even worth the paper it isn’t printed on.

All of this explains then why the latest US government shutdown (which apparently had something to do with the fierce nationwide debate over Obamacare vs The Affordable Care Act which, as it turns out, are the same thing) is no big deal, nor was the resulting loss of 24 billion more dollars that weren’t there to begin with. After all, 1.5 billion dollars per day isn’t much money – it’s less than the US daily military expenditure, which has been going on for somewhat longer than 16 days. The fact that I myself would have to continue working as a teacher for another 33,840 years to earn one day’s worth of American military spending is just a gentle reminder that I chose the wrong profession.


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