While the news focuses on how federal workers, like the TSA, are being hurt (and they are), there’s less news about the less obvious trickle effect of the shutdown. The cafes that no longer get business from the workers who have no money for food on their lunch breaks. The landlords, who if they are compassionate and don’t evict people who can’t pay their rent, have to take income hits themselves. The slow down of businesses who can’t hire. Trickle, trickle, trickle down*.
This isn’t the first time I’ve been trickled down on (which I always picture as a giant, cosmic penis shaking the urine off onto things, which isn’t all that far from the truth). During the recession that started in 2007, I owned my own business. I’m a licensed massage therapist, and I specialized in clinical massage helping people with cancer, Parkinson’s, injuries, and other medical conditions. I was able to hold on to my clinic, which at one time had six other therapists, because I was working on the medical end of massage, not the spa end; and so, when people tightened their belts because of the recession, they didn’t drop me because they viewed me as a necessity and not a luxury. I was amazed by how many patients stayed, even after they were laid off. Finally, though, a local Ford transmission plant closed due to the recession. That plant employed a large portion of my patients. I held on for a while, but you don’t go into massage to make tons of money, and I could no longer keep the doors open. I think I held on until about 2009-2010. trickle trickle
Now the tantrum induced government shutdown is affecting me. I’m not a government worker. I’m unemployed. That’s part of the problem. Job offerings are being delayed, even in the private sector.
But I am both looking for work and applying for Social Security disability. There is a huge time clock ticking for me, because my unemployment benefits will run out, and I will be utterly without money. Zero. None. Applying for disability is a slow process, at best. And now the shutdown may be making it slower. I googled my situation and learned it isn’t good (source is https://www.louisianadisabilitylaw.com/faqs/what-happens-to-social-security-disability-in-a-government-shutdown-.cfm):
WHAT HAPPENS TO MY SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY APPLICATION IN A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN?
During the Clinton-era shutdown, new Social Security claims were not being processed because the agency furloughed 61,415 employees. As the shutdown wore on, the agency adjusted its plan and recalled workers to start processing new claims. Whether new claims are processed at all or with a delay due to fewer workers will depend on how many employees the SSA decides to maintain and how many they decide to furlough.
The SSA’s 2013 government shutdown contingency plan stated that new and pending Social Security applications would continue to be processed as well as requests for appeals. However, because these functions are carried out by the state Disability Determination Offices, each state will decide whether to continue these operations or stop them. The most likely scenario is that applications will be processed but with some delay. The delay will be dependent on how many employees are retained and how long the shutdown lasts.
I have no reason to doubt this information; and I have no idea what is happening in my state.
I will write more about my decision to apply for disability, and what a Hail Mary! it is, even though I am disabled. tick tick tick. trickle trickle trickle. Right now, I’ll just write my take and my experience on this stupid, immoral, ridiculous, tantrum of a shutdown by our senile, malignant narcissist POTUS. God help us all. (Can you tell I’m not a fan?) And ffs, will someone buy the Democrats a wider podium for Chuck and Nancy to stand behind in their rebuttals? Can someone, like, I dunno, jump-start them or something so they don’t appear to be extras from The Walking Dead? They hit some points on Saturday’s rebuttal, but good lord. Also, Dems? Don’t say the wall is immoral as your big point. It is, but, you know… how about It. Won’t. Work? How about: $5 billion is a stupid number and is unrealistically low? Etc. Ugh.
*Yes, yes. “Trickle down” often refers to supply-side economics, which this isn’t.