The State of Michigan’s new fiscal year starts Monday, October 1st, but the government may be shutting down due to a budget crisis. Thus we are informed that there will be fewer state police to rob us of our civil liberties, and, god forbid, horse manure will not get cleaned up from the streets of scenic Mackinac Island. It’s a good thing Ron Paul left Mackinac Island last week, just in time to avoid the slippery pool of waste that will now litter the island. In fact, the shutdown will occur just in time for Ron Paul to come to Michigan for the Republican debate in Dearborn a week from this Tuesday. With any luck we can sustain a shutdown state of affairs and make Dr. Paul proud.
Not surprisingly, folks are in a state of panic over the coming blackout. For instance, I experienced it somewhat because my gym is in a strip mall with a Secretary of State office (Michigan’s elitist name for the Bureau of Motor Vehicles). I arrived at the gym at 7:45am on September 29th, and cars were fighting to get in the parking lot over one hour before the office was scheduled to open. When I came out of the gym I had a rough time getting out of the parking lot, people were yelling and fighting over parking spots, single-digit fingers were being hoisted everywhere, the line of patrons was circling all around the strip mall, and the local police were on hand trying to manage the mob and bring order to the parking lot. Of course you can bet that no one really needed to go to the motor vehicle bureau on that particular day. Nevertheless, people flock to the mob scene so that they can partake in the chaos, the misery, and the overall experience of a panic. Unfortunately, the masses seem to be drawn to the collectivist misery the government serves up. Bread lines would probably make them happy because it would give them a reason to grumble.
The media has spent days getting the masses all riled up over the looming shutdown, and the Governor has threatened us all with chaos and misery if her spending sprees and new taxes aren’t approved by the uncooperative legislature.
In addition, horse racing and campgrounds would shut down, road construction would stop, Secretary of State offices and highway rest areas would close and state inspections of food, gas pumps and nursing homes would end, according to a state shutdown plan released for the first time Friday.
Six drawbridges would be locked upright, allowing only water traffic. Farmers wouldn’t be able to export fruit, vegetables and grain overseas.
Of course Governor Granholm could put an emergency continuation budget into place, but the reason she does not do so is because she desires to make people suffer so the mob of fools will be begging lawmakers for a balanced budget, including all of its disputed tax hikes. The occupiers of state power are coaching people to ask decidedly important questions such as:
- I suspect that the food I ate at a restaurant made me sick. How do I report it?
- Will firewood still be inspected at the Mackinac Bridge?
- Will I be able to access the Public Sex Offender Registry?
- I just moved to Michigan and want to make an application for food, Medicaid, and cash assistance. Can I make an application?
- I want to report a hate crime or bias incident to the Civil Rights Crisis Response Hotline. How can I get assistance?
While I think it is splendid to see any government go bust, even for a day or two, the advantage goes to the people in charge because it is they who have control of the media, and accordingly, the story can be spun as they see fit. Governor Granholm and her cronies have contrived a crisis — and that crisis is that hapless legislators are not responsible enough to strike a budget deal, thus leaving the public out in the cold. Crises, of course, always call for more government intervention in order to resolve them. So more government power is needed, and quickly, so the power grab is marketed to the masses as the solution to end the problem. Hence the scope of government’s role increases because of another engineered crisis and a successful marketing plan.
In reality, a few decent guys in the Michigan legislature are standing their ground. At least one publicly admitted that the teachers, with all of their special benefits and premium health care, are bleeding the taxpayers dry. This issue — at least they say this now — will be negotiated or there will be no balanced budget. In fact, many of the Republican legislators are heroically resisting Granholm’s revenue measures — a series of obscene tax hikes and new tax schemes that will dig deep into taxpayers’ pockets. Mostly at stake is the issue of raising the state sales tax (again), and adding, above and beyond that, a new tax on services.
In the real world, when someone goes bankrupt or shuts down, there are alternatives to that business. No chaos, no crowds, no fights, no misery. Some other entrepreneur is there to provide the service with little or no disruption. But then there’s government, with its monopoly on laws, forcing people to obtain an official stamp of approval for every move, every breath, every purchase or sale. The many layers of government planners that control our lives, our family, our wealth, and our occupations allow us to function as long as we have the approved licenses, the appropriate lifestyles, allowable jobs, authorized thoughts, and an acceptable Body Mass Index (BMI).
So when the bureaucrats warn the masses that they are turning the lights out on the bureaucracy, the collective response begs the question, "Like dude, how do we function?" Unfortunately, the state government has monopolized so many functions and services, people will have to do without a lot of life’s essentials for some period of time. In contrast, thank goodness the firewood inspections and hate crime reporting will continue uninterrupted.
Karen De Coster [send her mail] is a Certified Public Accountant who works in finance and accounting in the securities industry. She is also a freelance writer/researcher, and oftentimes writes for clients in the nutrition, food, and fitness industry. This is her LewRockwell.com archive and her Mises.org archive. Check out her website, along with her blog.