C4SS.org | If “essential” services were shut down, perhaps more people would re-evaluate just how essential those services are — or at least whether or not political government is the best institution to trust with their operation and maintenance.

So what, pray tell, is the distinction between “essential” and “non-essential?” Here’s an easy way to tell:

If the shutdown of a service irritates and inconveniences ordinary people, but doesn’t really reduce the power of politicians, that service is “non-essential.”

If shutting down a service would actually reduce government’s control over your life, it’s “essential.”

During a shutdown you can’t get a passport from the government. Your ability to travel is “non-essential.” If you show up at the border, though, there will still be a customs official waiting there, demanding to see said passport. The government’s ability to control your travel is “essential.”

The dividing line between “essential” and “non-essential” is fuzzy and only begins to resolve as the length of the shutdown increases.

Early in a shutdown, Social Security and tax refund checks continue to be issued. If the shutdown drags on a bit, the politicians begin to make noises to the effect that these two activities may grind to a halt unless they get their way — and that it will be the other side’s fault, of course. At no point in a shutdown, however, will Social Security or federal income taxes cease to be collected.

Your needs are at least potentially “non-essential.” Their revenues are not just “essential,” but sacrosanct.

It’s all just bad dinner theater …Read Entire Article

By Thomas L. Knapp