Government Shutdown and Laws of Unintended Consequences

Many unintended consequences.

The shutdown, though it emanates from Washington, D.C., has far-reaching impact throughout the country.

Federal employees live in communities across the nation; they pay mortgages, buy groceries, shop at local stores, fill their tanks with gas and all the other day-to-day purchases that constitute modern life. When they’re furloughed, they don’t get paid. No pay, no purchase – and that trickle effect kicks in again.

I have a friend who was laid off from his job a year ago after more than 20 years, with no retirement, and he hasn’t found another job; his wife is a federal employee who is now furloughed, uncertain for how long. They live from paycheck to paycheck. They are panicking.

Unintended consequences.

State or local parks and rec professionals may not be directly impacted by the shutdown–yet. But if it goes on long enough, who knows? If anybody has any experience in this, if you’ve experienced anything similar to it, or if you have thoughts on it, chime in here, add a comment. Or if you are being impacted, let people know.

The bottom line is that the shutdown affects us all because it is adversely impacting hundreds of thousands of fellow Americans. I won’t even get into the reasons for the shutdown or how or if it could have been prevented; I’ll leave that for the political pundits. Fact is, it’s here and misery does love company, so if you have a tale to tell, this is the place to do it.

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine who also served for 15 years in municipal parks and recreation, is now a full-time photojournalist who lives in Beaufort, S.C.; he can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email

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One comment on “Government Shutdown and Laws of Unintended Consequences

  1. billy moore on said:

    I stay out of politics. As a 34 year Parks and Recreation employee I learned a long time ago that that was the best course of action for me. So I will not comment on how stupid and ridiculous our government is being. As you point out so many people are being affected by their pompous stand. No, I will keep quiet and just keep from talking about the ignorance and selfish attitudes of our esteemed politicians. I won’t even mention that our lack of trust for the folks in Washington has just escalated 10 fold. Glad Parks and Recreation departments don’t operate that way.

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