by Charles S. Garabedian
The only real national emergency we have in this country right now—apart from Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism—is Trump himself. He is a one man, no holds barred, free-ranging, and highly unpredictable Destructo Pup. The current government shutdown he announced in the Oval Office and later implemented is a master stroke of destruction. I am ready to designate him as “National Parental Failure Poster Child of the 20th Century.”
Now, I am going to tell you why this government shutdown is so destructive, and why you will be seeing scads of bad things happening in our economy if it goes on for another few weeks. Each federal dollar that goes into the paycheck of our 800,000 furloughed and unpaid federal workers goes into our economy when it is spent. In turn, that same dollar is passed around from one person to several other people or companies in payment for good and services. A value multiplication factor is at work. That one dollar that went into a federal worker’s paycheck gets passed around to a net valuation of $70, 80$, $100, $150, or more, depending on the local economy in cities and towns all across the United States. I know about that because I occasionally work with socioeconomic data, and I used to work for two firms that did economic modeling.
Let us do a very simple and quick example. A federal worker normally gets a paycheck of $2,000 per week. Each dollar of that amount feeds into the economy through purchases of goods and services. In turn, that dollar goes into other peoples paychecks—and it gets circulated from one person to another numerous times such that each initially circulated dollar soon translates into $150 in economic activity. Ultimately and rather quickly, each dollar in that $2,000 per week federal paycheck turns into $300,000 of economic value. Now, let us say that each of the furloughed and unpaid 800,000 federal government workers make $2,000 per week. Their paycheck dollars normally go into the economy, get circulated from one person to another, and increase in value as they get circulated. What happens in the economy?
Those 800,000 paychecks per week translate into an increased economic value of $240,000,000,000 every few weeks. Now—Now—Now. What if those paychecks are no longer being sent to federal workers, and all that added value per paycheck dollar through circulation from one person to another is no longer flowing into and through our economy each week—and the government shutdown goes on for many weeks. Yes, people will suffer, and that human suffering is very important. We need to show much Christian heart and concern for that initial suffering.
However, American private businesses will begin suffering too because they need those circulated dollars to pay their workers—and in turn—their commercial customers need that money to pay their workers, but they do not have that money because old Orange Pate stopped the dollar flow with a government shutdown—and on and on it goes down the line as one dollar is no longer being circulated from one hand to another—until a big pile of accumulated economic poop hits the fan and you no longer have school lunch money to give your kid.
What I have presented above is a vast oversimplification of what actually happens inside the complex guts of a computer-based economic model—but it does give you a very basic idea of what happens. Trump is clearly playing with fire on this government shutdown, and guess who gets burned to one degree or another? The American people do! You do!
You just watch! If this government shutdown goes on for another three weeks, all Hell will begin breaking loose as many ordinary people like you and your family are also—just like the federal workers—increasingly unable to pay your bills. Why? George the federal worker can no longer buy groceries because he has no paycheck, and in turn, the grocery store where George shops becomes increasingly unable to pay their meat cutter because George’s money and the money of other federal employees is no longer flowing into that grocery store—and on down the economic line it goes with other American businesses.
No one else in the news media is telling you about this little-known but true monetary value multiplication factor right now. Regular journalists like Anderson Cooper at CNN do not live inside the guts of computer-based economic models, and they can be clueless about this sort of thing up to a certain point—but old economics reporters such as Erin Burnett and Christine Romans will soon sit up and say “HOWDY!!!” as things get worse. Then everyone will know.
Prepare for a bit of Hell on Earth as The Donald Trump Show burns your country, life savings, and the American economy down to get Trump’s stupid Wall—all in a desperate effort to ensure his old, white, Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical base that he and The Wall will keep America racially white for a while longer.