Most everyone knows about the government shutdown right now. But not everyone is aware of how the shutdown will affect them directly, now and in the future.
Here’s what you need to know:
While the nation’s welfare system has not been completely dropped during the government shutdown, glitches in the system have already caused chaos in grocery stores. This last weekend, a mob-like stampede of customers picked clean the shelves of a Walmart store that continued to accept EBT cards on good faith. And while the media reports that the glitches were not connected to the government shutdown, it gives us a small taste of what will happen when people lose confidence in the buying power of their money. And as the prospect of a deep depression looms over the country, more and more people will be pushed to take extreme measures to feed their families.
Right now, the rest of the world purchases the US government’s debts and believes it is a safe investment because it is believed that the United States is dependable when it comes to paying its bills. If the government defaults on its loans, the US Treasury will no longer be considered a reliable creditor. The world would then turn to other countries for investments and interest rates would increase. In addition to the panic this could create around the world, the low interest rates we currently enjoy on credit cards, home, and business loans would rise very quickly.
Because the USDA is refraining from putting out reports and projections of the consumer markets, farmers don’t know what to plant in anticipation of what foods will be in demand this coming year. As a result, the foods we actually buy may be in low supply, meaning that the price of these foods will skyrocket.
Even if these farmers were able to make good planting predictions based on insufficient data, their loans are not being processed. This means that they will not have the funds to buy the seeds in order to plant their crops, yielding the same supply-and-demand issues as planting the wrong crops in the first place.
More and more chaos will spring up as the fear of food contamination goes up and consumer confidence goes down because of the shutdown of federal food inspection services. 90% of imported seafood is not being inspected, and people are concerned…and rightly so.
Jobs are also at risk, pending a decision from Congress. If the debt ceiling isn’t raised, the government will either have to significantly cut spending or raise taxes. Both of these options would mean that employers would have to cut jobs.
And to top it all off, families of fallen soldiers (including those families of the 5 American soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan this last weekend) are not receiving the normal death gratuity, a sum of money typically used to help cover funeral costs of the fallen soldiers.
Obviously, there’s still more foolishness going on, but just please be aware of what’s happening and how it applies to you and your families.