The Unconventional Way to Deal with the Shutdown

Jim Woods

Jim Woods has over 20 years of experience in the markets from working as a stockbroker, financial journalist, and money manager.

The Unconventional Way to Deal with the Shutdown

By Jim Woods

The headlines on Wall Street, Washington and throughout the country have been focused understandably on the government shutdown and the pending debt-ceiling deadline. After 10 days of political intransigence on the part of both Democrat and Republican leaders, Thursday brought a glimmer of hope about a deal to at least extend the debt-ceiling time limit. The markets certainly liked the conciliatory tone, as the Dow spiked 323 points, or more than 2%, on the news Thursday, and jumped 111 points, or .73%, on Friday.

So, what about the government shutdown? There’s still no deal that would allow the federal government to open for business. In fact, there’s not even a proposal to do so in the latest debt-ceiling negotiations. To be sure, that’s causing a lot of inconvenience for a many people around the country. The question now for Americans is how do we deal with this shutdown?

One way to do so is to find a need and pitch in to take care of the neglect. That’s what Chris Cox did. The sole member of what he calls the Memorial Militia, Cox took it upon himself to go to Washington and mow the lawn on the National Mall.

Cox noticed that the federal Park Service employees were unable to do the standard maintenance because of the shutdown, so he just decided to take matters into his own hands. While I admire Cox’s initiative, I think there’s a better way to deal with the shutdown than pitching in to clean up monuments.

I say we should just ignore it.

That’s precisely what the intrepid “big-wall” climbers have done. These adventurous souls make a sport of scaling mountains, and one of their favorite walls to climb is the 2,900-foot face of El Capitan in the federally operated Yosemite National Park. Because of the shutdown, officials closed Yosemite to the public. But rather than accept the closure, climbers just laughed and kept right on scaling El Capitan.

Another group of Americans, a group whose ancestors were on the continent long before any of ours, have decided to ignore the shutdown in what I think is the best way possible.

They just walked right through it.

Two American bison recently encountered a set of roadblock barriers put up by officials intended to close the Grand Teton National Park. Being the proud and majestic beasts they are, the bison didn’t let the feds tell them where they can go. So, they just decided to walk up and knock the barriers down.

Alas, leave it to one of America’s original occupants to act in a manner that sets an example for us all. They stopped, looked at the barriers that government workers erected to keep them from reaching their goals, and then promptly knocked those barriers down and just kept right on going.

When it comes to government barriers in our own lives, I say we become the bison.

Jim Woods is Editor-at-Large of You can follow him on Twitter: @Woodsish.

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