Scott Shackford on the Government Shutdown and America's Permission-Based Society


Eric in DUB / Foter / CC BY

If the purpose of government is to do the things citizens can't do themselves, then why should the government shutdown affect our ability to engage in basic commerce like fishing for crabs, crafting beer or even simply hiring people? As Reason's Scott Shackford explains, the government's regulatory involvement in all areas of business has created a permission-based culture. If government officials are blocked from doing their jobs, then so are many private citizens, not because they physically cannot do so, but simply because there's nobody to tell them they can.