As expected and right on cue, most US newspapers (including The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times) are bombarding us with horror tales and struggles about the unthinkable US government shutdown. Bullshit!!
As I had to explain to my 8 years old daughter, it is all a farce. A gigantic farce. If only the US would shut-down for ever! That would be real news. As it stands, it’s all a mind boggling display of political fireworks with no substance whatsoever.
Worse of it? We are not US citizens, we have never been US citizens, we don’t live in US and we actually couldn’t care less for US even if they would pay us (which they don’t, by the way).
But OK, here we are so it is only fair that we share with you our thinking. In any case, there actually is a lesson here, but it is not what you may think. Keep reading….
The shutdown was caused by a disagreement about funding for what’s euphemistically called “Obamacare” or formally, the “Affordable Care Act”. What’s the number? What’s the difference? We don’t know. But what we know is that the US currently owes about 17 Tera-dollars. If we add all the “off-balance-sheet liabilities” (which is bureaucratese for creative accounting) it is about 70 Tera-dollars.
What’s the estimate budget disagreement for Obamacare? A few Giga-dollars, or about 0.015% of the total US debt. Does it really matter? Not at all. When politicians make a big fuzz about something, always go to the numbers for guidance and perspective, they don’t lie as politicians do.
So, all this US shutdown business is a hurricane in a tea pot. Nothing. Yet, we are bombarded with useless information which we will now share with you along with our thoughts:
- There are 800.000 furloughed (i.e. “in limbo”) workers – and this is bad because???
- The shutdown will be very expensive – not as expensive as keeping the US government running!!
- The politicians who made a career opposing deficit increases are now actually increasing it – and such an about-face is really sooooooo unusual in politicians that we are shocked! Shocked! We are telling you!! (yes, this was an utterly cynical remark)
- Employees must be paid to prepare for the shutdown – this is rich!
- Work backlog will make employees less efficient – and this is bad news because???
- While the government is shut down it cannot collect taxes, fees and fines – HURRAY!!! Why US citizens are against the shutdown we will never understand.
- Loss of government employee productivity – what the hell??? What is that government employes “produce”??? Last time we checked they did not actually produce anything. All they do is consume, consume and then consume some more of our hard earned money!!!
- Loss of income of some government employees will mean lower retail sales – This truly is shocking!!! Government jobs (i.e. funny jobs paid with fiat money) are now so prevalent that they impact vast economies!! This is really tragic.
There are many, many more nonsensical and idiotic statements than those, but much that we enjoy making fun of stupid, stupid politicians and idiotic “journalists”, we need to move on. We still have a lesson to deliver as promised.
So, without further introductions, allow us to introduce to you the Uselessness Indicator for USA. This is an indicator entirely inspired by the US shutdown and the numbers.
You see, each US department or division determines by itself which of their employees provide “critical services”. This is, which of them are actually doing something that they consider useful. Let’s see those numbers according to ABC News:
- Department of Commerce: 87% Useless
- Department of Defense: 50% Useless (considering only civilian employees)
- Department of Education: 94% Useless
- Department of Energy: 69% Useless
- Environmental Protection Agency: 96% Useless
- Federal Judiciary: no data
- Department of Health and Human Services: 52% Useless
- Department of Homeland Security: 13.5 % Useless
- Department of Housing and Urban Development: 98% Useless
- Department of the Interior: 81% Useless
- Department of Justice: 84.5% Useless
- Department of Labor: 82% Useless
- NASA: no data
- National Science Foundation: 98.5% Useless
- Peace Corps: no data
- Smithsonian: 84% Useless
- State Department: no data
- Department of Transportation: 67% Useless
- Department of the Treasury: 50% Useless
- Department of Veteran Affairs: 5% Useless
If we average all of them we get 70%!!!
So, according to the US government, about 70% of their employees are pretty much useless!!!
Considering that this number was reached by the very same bureaucrats that need to be seen as “critical” to advance in their jobs, how biased can they be? A lot. We are sure of it.
So a very biased estimate of the uselessness of the US government is 70%. That’s quite a number.
This means, that if the size of the US government would be reduced by 70% overnight, the US country will continue to work more-or-less unaffected.
You wanted numbers. You wanted justification for the incredible degree of uselessness and waste of governments. There you have it. In their own numbers.
It is clear that all governments are not only useless but a gigantic waste of resources at a monumental scale. Now you are sure. Now you have a clearer point of view. What you do from now on with this information is up to you. Your choice, as usual.
Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.