Author Topic: Government workers can't pay bills!  (Read 7959 times)

anon1234

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Government workers can't pay bills!
« on: January 15, 2019, 08:55:01 AM »
Edit
I tried to start a discussion on "this is why we have emergency funds", but because unlike the majority of the wall of shame and comedy board, there is a statistical certainty at least one person is in a pinch due to circumstances beyond their control, rather than their own doing, I was instead a dick

Sorry
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 09:43:27 AM by anon1234 »

Orvell

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2019, 09:01:11 AM »
I think we can afford to be more generous in our thoughts towards others, as our wealth ought to be more than just in money.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #2 on: January 15, 2019, 09:05:57 AM »
My thoughts? This shutdown is unprecedented in length. The vast majority of Americans live paycheck to paycheck and have little savings, even if they don't have consumer debt.  Many government workers are not highly paid.

The situation is a mess. I don't think this is a wall of shame issue at all. Many people are working, without pay. That's not how our economy works.

It's interesting you grant an "excuse" to one guy, since you know him, but not to thousands of others whose situations you don't know.   Getting a part time job isn't easy; especially when the people hiring know you will be leaving very soon. It's highly unlikely that is a sustainable solution for most furloughed workers (plus many are still having to go to work!)

merryt

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2019, 09:11:40 AM »
I think we can afford to be more generous in our thoughts towards others, as our wealth ought to be more than just in money.

I love this phrasing!

DadJokes

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2019, 09:12:25 AM »
I have to be honest, I forgot the shutdown was happening at all until I came to these forums. It's nice to not pay attention to the 24 hour news cycle.

While you may be right that their lack of savings is largely their own doing, spending time to rub their faces in it or proclaim your superiority doesn't really do anything helpful.

OtherJen

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2019, 09:13:25 AM »
I think we can afford to be more generous in our thoughts towards others, as our wealth ought to be more than just in money.

This.

mountain mustache

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2019, 09:16:28 AM »
I'm guessing you have never been in a situation where suddenly your job/income are taken away from you and you are unsure of how you will pay bills, and you also are unsure of if/when you will have a job again. Lucky you! That is very fortunate. You don't know the individual situations of these many workers, and the only thing that should be expressed towards them in this unfortunate situation is empathy, not judgement.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2019, 09:18:38 AM »
I'm personally inclined towards generosity towards the hundreds of thousands of people being held hostage by their own government. Each person involved in this fiasco has their own story to tell. Certainly some of the stories of insolvency fall under the heading of financial shame and comedy. Certainly some of the stories of insolvency categorically do not fall under shame and comedy. I'm not going to parse them.

ETA: As background, all government works paid semiannual are indeed 'missing' their first paycheck today, 15-Jan. Government workers paid on a biweekly basis have already missed one complete paycheck, which should have been distributed on 10-Jan. Worse, we are perilously close to payroll submission for the second check. If the govt doesn't reopen by Friday 18-Jan, then submission can't occur, which means the biweeklies are virtually guaranteed to miss a second check.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 09:26:03 AM by Sailor Sam »

anon1234

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #8 on: January 15, 2019, 09:28:14 AM »
I'm personally inclined towards generosity towards the hundreds of thousands of people being held hostage by their own government. Each person involved in this fiasco has their own story to tell. Certainly some of the stories of insolvency fall under the heading of financial shame and comedy. Certainly some of the stories of insolvency categorically do not fall under shame and comedy. I'm not going to parse them.

Sigh, i guess i pounded that out quickly, attempting to start a discussion on the unmustachianness of not having an emergency fund, and put my foot in my mouth and came across as a dick

I think you said it perfectly, sailor sam

Hopefully these incompetent kindergarten politics end soon

anon1234

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #9 on: January 15, 2019, 09:32:49 AM »
While you may be right that their lack of savings is largely their own doing, spending time to rub their faces in it or proclaim your superiority doesn't really do anything helpful.

To be fair there is an awful lot of that on the wall of shame and comedy... It's most of the board I believe

I'm a red panda

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2019, 09:45:09 AM »
I have to be honest, I forgot the shutdown was happening at all until I came to these forums. It's nice to not pay attention to the 24 hour news cycle.

While you may be right that their lack of savings is largely their own doing, spending time to rub their faces in it or proclaim your superiority doesn't really do anything helpful.

The effect on non-government workers is much more subtle. We'll notice it when the lack of food inspections fails the safety of our system, for instance. (I think some food inspectors have been placed on critical duty and are working without pay, but for awhile they were all on leave; and the longer this goes on the more "calling in sick" I think will happen.)

I suspect those not getting paid are having a tough time forgetting it is happening.

DadJokes

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2019, 09:52:57 AM »

I suspect those not getting paid are having a tough time forgetting it is happening.

If the vast majority of those affected are those who work for the government, then what is the point of the government? I'm not trying to argue that we should abolish the government and live in anarchy, but a significant portion of what the federal government does is fairly useless and sucks up tax dollars (or increases national debt).

The FDA (as you mentioned) is a good example of a useful federal program. So are homeland security and a few other areas. For the most part, however, these are items that should operate at the state level or even lower. America is so large and diverse that a "one-size-fits-all" approach to policy does not work.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 10:02:04 AM by DadJokes »

Sailor Sam

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2019, 09:54:43 AM »
I'm personally inclined towards generosity towards the hundreds of thousands of people being held hostage by their own government. Each person involved in this fiasco has their own story to tell. Certainly some of the stories of insolvency fall under the heading of financial shame and comedy. Certainly some of the stories of insolvency categorically do not fall under shame and comedy. I'm not going to parse them.

Sigh, i guess i pounded that out quickly, attempting to start a discussion on the unmustachianness of not having an emergency fund, and put my foot in my mouth and came across as a dick

I think you said it perfectly, sailor sam

Hopefully these incompetent kindergarten politics end soon

It takes a fair amount of integrity to apologize, and even more to apologize on the internet. So good on ya.

GuitarStv

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2019, 10:11:48 AM »

I suspect those not getting paid are having a tough time forgetting it is happening.

If the vast majority of those affected are those who work for the government, then what is the point of the government? I'm not trying to argue that we should abolish the government and live in anarchy, but a significant portion of what the federal government does is fairly useless and sucks up tax dollars (or increases national debt).

The FDA (as you mentioned) is a good example of a useful federal program. So is homeland security and a few other areas. For the most part, however, these are items that should operate at the state level or even lower. America is so large and diverse that a "one-size-fits-all" approach to policy does not work.

If 100% of the FDA shut down tomorrow, few people would notice it.  Many of the things that they do are important, but not immediately evident.  After a year of nobody working, there would likely be multiple cases of food and drug related deaths though.

There's also the fact that many in the government are still forced to work even though they're not being paid.  This kinda minimizes the impact of the government shut down.  If it was illegal for involuntary servitude in the US, I suspect that the impact of the government shutdown would be much more strongly felt.  Every air traffic controller in the country would stop working, so no flights would take place.  There would be no border agents preventing illegal immigration.  The CDC, EPA, FDA, FCC, SEC, etc. would all shut down.  If you honestly believe that most of what the Federal government does is useless, you should be rallying to stop the legalized slavery that is going on and truly allow the government to shut down.

anon1234

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2019, 10:16:32 AM »

I suspect those not getting paid are having a tough time forgetting it is happening.

If the vast majority of those affected are those who work for the government, then what is the point of the government? I'm not trying to argue that we should abolish the government and live in anarchy, but a significant portion of what the federal government does is fairly useless and sucks up tax dollars (or increases national debt).

The FDA (as you mentioned) is a good example of a useful federal program. So are homeland security and a few other areas. For the most part, however, these are items that should operate at the state level or even lower. America is so large and diverse that a "one-size-fits-all" approach to policy does not work.

There are a lot of federal government agencies that were designed to be state controlled, and if you look at how many government agencies have shrunk over time... Not many, if any

Almost all organizations, governments included, grow organically and resist shrinking.  And the natural scope creep of power is that it moves uphill over time.  Perfect example is, if you don't let the feds regulate your drinking age, you don't get federal funding for roads. 

Very few leaders will say "I want this power forever moved downhill out of my hands" and even fewer that can convince everyone around them that is a good idea


After 200 years we as a country definitely need a calm, orderly, well planned house cleaning to shake off the cobwebs and help the system run more smoothly, as evidenced by the fact that government shutdowns are now a borderline common part of the political systems


That unpointed ramble said, I can't think of anything the federal government does that should be 100% done away with, and I don't understand your logic of "the federal government workers are the ones most impacted by the government shutdown, therefore government isn't necessary"

That's like saying "airplane making employees are most hurt by airplane companies shutting down, therefore airplane companies are unnecessary"
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 10:22:47 AM by anon1234 »

Just Joe

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2019, 10:17:33 AM »
Close the airports and open the borders. See how long it takes for the shutdown supporters to notice...

DadJokes

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2019, 10:20:02 AM »
Close the airports and open the borders. See how long it takes for the shutdown supporters to notice...

Why are air traffic controllers often used as the example? If the federal government didn't regulate it, couldn't airlines/airports pay their own air traffic controllers?

I'm a red panda

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #17 on: January 15, 2019, 10:23:54 AM »

I suspect those not getting paid are having a tough time forgetting it is happening.

If the vast majority of those affected are those who work for the government, then what is the point of the government? I'm not trying to argue that we should abolish the government and live in anarchy, but a significant portion of what the federal government does is fairly useless and sucks up tax dollars (or increases national debt).

The FDA (as you mentioned) is a good example of a useful federal program. So are homeland security and a few other areas. For the most part, however, these are items that should operate at the state level or even lower. America is so large and diverse that a "one-size-fits-all" approach to policy does not work.

Most of what the government does is not immediately apparent.  30 days isn't enough to notice.  But eventually bridges fall, closed airports, no military, air unsafe to breathe, lack of clean water, no tax refunds, no social security payments, gas pumps that drastically short you on fills;  these things would be noticed.    As someone else said- the reason we aren't noticing vital services disappearing is people are being forced to work without pay. How long do you think that should continue? Say the government shut down for years- those people would stop working.  I'm not going to keep arguing with a libertarian who thinks we don't need government at all, but I think the government has a purpose. The work gets done because people get paid to do it.

The state level design was created when the US was vastly smaller. I don't know that the founding fathers could have envisioned the population we have now.  If there was no federal infastructure program, there would be states where it was dangerous to drive on their bridges (already there kind of are...)  We wouldn't be able to have interstate commerce the way we do now.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #18 on: January 15, 2019, 10:24:39 AM »
Close the airports and open the borders. See how long it takes for the shutdown supporters to notice...

Why are air traffic controllers often used as the example? If the federal government didn't regulate it, couldn't airlines/airports pay their own air traffic controllers?

Maybe. But would they communicate interline well enough to prevent crashes?
Could some random start up just start flying and would they interfer with air traffic controlled by a different tower?


My cousin (a United pilot) says licenses are also federally regulated. The longer this goes on, the more pilots who can't fly. Eventually airlines won't be able to staff flights.
« Last Edit: January 15, 2019, 02:32:10 PM by I'm a red panda »

Linea_Norway

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #19 on: January 15, 2019, 10:29:02 AM »
Why are air traffic controllers often used as the example? If the federal government didn't regulate it, couldn't airlines/airports pay their own air traffic controllers?

Airlines are just the customers. The controllers organize all traffic by the different airlines for passengers and transport of goods, military flights, flying doctors and other air traffic. Airports are sometimes privatedly owned with their own controller, but they only control take off and landing on that airport. General air transport between airports is managed by controllers who are not connected to an airport, but to a whole geographic area. They also control the approach to the different airports in their area.

Linea_Norway

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #20 on: January 15, 2019, 10:30:25 AM »
Close the airports and open the borders. See how long it takes for the shutdown supporters to notice...

Good idea. That might work.

Candace

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #21 on: January 15, 2019, 10:44:20 AM »
Edit
I tried to start a discussion on "this is why we have emergency funds", but because unlike the majority of the wall of shame and comedy board, there is a statistical certainty at least one person is in a pinch due to circumstances beyond their control, rather than their own doing, I was instead a dick

Sorry

Thank you for editing and clarifying once you realized this discussion doesn't belong here.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #22 on: January 15, 2019, 10:47:59 AM »
Edit
I tried to start a discussion on "this is why we have emergency funds", but because unlike the majority of the wall of shame and comedy board, there is a statistical certainty at least one person is in a pinch due to circumstances beyond their control, rather than their own doing, I was instead a dick

Sorry

Good karma points for you.
Now if you point to individuals who went and bought new SUVs while also bitching about not getting their paycheck and having no savings; I can get behind mocking that.

Just Joe

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #23 on: January 15, 2019, 11:54:01 AM »
Maybe on the bright side Americans will see the future with a little less confidence and decide an emergency fund is a good thing. So is FU money.

DadJokes

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #24 on: January 15, 2019, 12:38:28 PM »
Maybe on the bright side Americans will see the future with a little less confidence and decide an emergency fund is a good thing. So is FU money.

Nah, they'll just blame <insert scapegoat here> and go back to living the same way they did before.

It would be nice though.

fattest_foot

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #25 on: January 15, 2019, 01:13:22 PM »
Close the airports and open the borders. See how long it takes for the shutdown supporters to notice...

Seems like we would close the borders, not open them, if we shut down border patrol completely?

They wouldn't enforce the border, but we'd physically close the roadways at the very least.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #26 on: January 15, 2019, 01:31:41 PM »
The average person is not feeling the pinch of the shutdown because most workers are still working albeit without pay.  95% of federal law enforcement is in work without pay status.  The Coast Guard is part of the Dept. of Homeland Security.  If all of the shutdown workers that missed their paycheck on Friday refused to come to work, the American people would see the chaos quickly.

To OP: I very much appreciate you editing your post.  Some very responsible people that I know are hurting right now.  One has a wife on unpaid maternity leave with their older child still in daycare.  They have to pay for the daycare either way so that the spot is saved.  She's on unpaid leave because there was a wait list to get into any daycare.  They pay for daycare through a dependent care account that they cannot access because of the shutdown.  No one is there to process it.  Husband didn't get his paycheck Friday.  They are using their savings to supplement mom's unexpected longer than planned leave. 

Another friend had a huge emergency fund.  Spent a chunk on unsuccessful infertility treatments last year.  Is spending another chunk on adoption.  Literally, the weekend before the first missed paycheck, had his furnace and water heater go out.  Luckily his wife is still working but that emergency fund ended up depleted. 

GuitarStv

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #27 on: January 15, 2019, 01:39:08 PM »
Close the airports and open the borders. See how long it takes for the shutdown supporters to notice...

Seems like we would close the borders, not open them, if we shut down border patrol completely?

They wouldn't enforce the border, but we'd physically close the roadways at the very least.

That should totally stop people from moving across the borders then.  Build that roadblock!  Build that roadblock!

Cassie

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #28 on: January 15, 2019, 02:20:16 PM »
I feel so bad for everyone affected. I really hate Trump.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #29 on: January 15, 2019, 02:25:37 PM »
Does anyone know if Trump signed the bill that the house and senate passed to retroactively pay the shutdown and furloughed workers?  He said he would but there was no press blurb saying he actually did.  I don't trust him!

haflander

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2019, 02:41:58 PM »
I agree with others here advocating empathy and compassion (but I'm gonna play devil's advocate).

OTOH, how is this any different than when someone in this same shame and comedy section shames those who have no $ immediately after a layoff? We say everyone should be prepared for being fired tomorrow for any reason. How is this any different, especially in an industry where shutdowns (albeit they are never this long, so it's exceptional) happen once every few years?

No one bats an eye or says boo when someone on the relatives or heard at work or neighbors thread shames a consumer sucka for not being prepared for losing their job...what's the difference??

Hypothesis 1: the widespread reach of govt shutdowns. Many (most?) people, myself included, know someone affected.
Hypothesis 2: shutdowns are obvi political and this is arguably all thanks to The Great Orange One.

Blonde Lawyer

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #31 on: January 15, 2019, 02:44:29 PM »
I agree with others here advocating empathy and compassion (but I'm gonna play devil's advocate).

OTOH, how is this any different than when someone in this same shame and comedy section shames those who have no $ immediately after a layoff? We say everyone should be prepared for being fired tomorrow for any reason. How is this any different, especially in an industry where shutdowns (albeit they are never this long, so it's exceptional) happen once every few years?

No one bats an eye or says boo when someone on the relatives or heard at work or neighbors thread shames a consumer sucka for not being prepared for losing their job...what's the difference??

Hypothesis 1: the widespread reach of govt shutdowns. Many (most?) people, myself included, know someone affected.
Hypothesis 2: shutdowns are obvi political and this is arguably all thanks to The Great Orange One.

I personally wouldn't shame someone for not having money in a layoff either, unless I knew they had been really really irresponsible.  I'm not much of a face puncher to the average Joe.

Sailor Sam

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #32 on: January 15, 2019, 02:56:16 PM »
I agree with others here advocating empathy and compassion (but I'm gonna play devil's advocate).

OTOH, how is this any different than when someone in this same shame and comedy section shames those who have no $ immediately after a layoff? We say everyone should be prepared for being fired tomorrow for any reason. How is this any different, especially in an industry where shutdowns (albeit they are never this long, so it's exceptional) happen once every few years?

No one bats an eye or says boo when someone on the relatives or heard at work or neighbors thread shames a consumer sucka for not being prepared for losing their job...what's the difference??

Hypothesis 1: the widespread reach of govt shutdowns. Many (most?) people, myself included, know someone affected.
Hypothesis 2: shutdowns are obvi political and this is arguably all thanks to The Great Orange One.

Well, my general hypothesis is we shouldn't shame anyone, let alone have a board specifically dedicated to the dubious practice. It's an unpopular opinion, so mostly it's must me shouting in a field and spurring Rocinante towards those goddamn indestructible windmills. ;)

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #33 on: January 15, 2019, 04:33:07 PM »
I'm guessing you have never been in a situation where suddenly your job/income are taken away from you and you are unsure of how you will pay bills, and you also are unsure of if/when you will have a job again. Lucky you! That is very fortunate. You don't know the individual situations of these many workers, and the only thing that should be expressed towards them in this unfortunate situation is empathy, not judgement.

Replacement jobs aren't as easy to come by now as they were 20-25 years ago. These days, even call center employees and cart pushers have to jump through several rounds of interviews, drug testing, background checks, credit checks, personality tests, and other forms of modern astrology to determine whether they will "fit". The local Wal-Mart, for example, has an online application process with a "quiz" that re-re-re-reasks the same set of questions in a variety of different orders. It takes over an hour to get through. A desperate but highly literate person (someone who's over a barrel financially) can get through it but most people from the left side of the bell curve can't, despite the fact that they would perform competently in the job if they had it. It doesn't take a celestial IQ to bag groceries, mop floors, or stock shelves.

TrMama

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2019, 04:44:11 PM »
I agree with others here advocating empathy and compassion (but I'm gonna play devil's advocate).

OTOH, how is this any different than when someone in this same shame and comedy section shames those who have no $ immediately after a layoff? We say everyone should be prepared for being fired tomorrow for any reason. How is this any different, especially in an industry where shutdowns (albeit they are never this long, so it's exceptional) happen once every few years?

No one bats an eye or says boo when someone on the relatives or heard at work or neighbors thread shames a consumer sucka for not being prepared for losing their job...what's the difference??

Hypothesis 1: the widespread reach of govt shutdowns. Many (most?) people, myself included, know someone affected.
Hypothesis 2: shutdowns are obvi political and this is arguably all thanks to The Great Orange One.

As a non-American I don't have a dog in this fight, but the big difference between layoff and shutdown is that after you get laid off you usually get severance and UI. Plus, you can go look for a new job the next day so you'll have some hope of getting paid again soonish. Additionally, if you're laid off, you don't have to show up for work, so you can nix your commuting and childcare expenses.

I really feel for all those who are working without pay right now. They don't get severance or UI, they can't realistically look for another job, and they still have all the expenses associated with their non-paying job. Seems like a pretty shit deal to me.

marble_faun

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #35 on: January 15, 2019, 05:07:57 PM »
I confess, I was surprised to hear so many stories of people with middle-class-level government jobs who could not afford to miss one or two paychecks. But it's not the time for recriminations and mockery.  I feel bad for them, especially those continuing to work on behalf of the public good.

zhelud

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2019, 09:10:03 AM »
I'm a fed, but at an agency that already received its appropriation, so I'm working and being paid. I really feel for my colleagues who are sitting at home unpaid while the work piles up at the office, or even worse- working and not being paid. Sure, the paycheck will come eventually, but there are a lot of people who have trouble missing even one paycheck.  And for those who still have to go to work, they still have to pay for things like gas and child care- but without a paycheck. (And even people who are sitting at home but have kids in child care are probably still on the hook for the bill.)

I do cringe a bit at some of the coverage in the media, though. For example, a radio interview of a very emotional woman who says she has worked for the government for 30 years and never had trouble paying a bill until now.... I mean, come on, if you have worked for the government for 30 years, this is your 5th or 6th shutdown!

Chris22

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2019, 10:00:38 AM »
I do cringe a bit at some of the coverage in the media, though. For example, a radio interview of a very emotional woman who says she has worked for the government for 30 years and never had trouble paying a bill until now.... I mean, come on, if you have worked for the government for 30 years, this is your 5th or 6th shutdown!

If you've worked for the gov for 30 years, can't you retire with full benefits at that point?  Not getting paid?  Retire!

FireHiker

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2019, 10:03:25 AM »
I do cringe a bit at some of the coverage in the media, though. For example, a radio interview of a very emotional woman who says she has worked for the government for 30 years and never had trouble paying a bill until now.... I mean, come on, if you have worked for the government for 30 years, this is your 5th or 6th shutdown!

It is the longest shutdown, though, and with what end in sight? If she's been through 5 or 6 shutdowns by now, which she certainly would have in a 30 year government career, then maybe there are extenuating circumstances if she didn't have problems in the past, or maybe she is projecting her concerns forward if this drags on. I think I would have a bigger emergency fund personally, but things happen where you need to dip into it and build it back up again, so although many of the stories we're hearing are people who probably don't have an emergency fund, I'm sure there are others like the one @Blonde Lawyer shared. I'm most upset about the stories where people have just gotten a job or promotion and are looking to get ahead and build up savings (thinking of a specific one I read about a new TSA agent) who aren't there yet.

I work for a contractor and my specific contract is funded and unaffected, but I have colleagues who are not as fortunate. The whole thing makes me ill when I think about people working without pay that aren't allowed to find other employment, and people who are unable to work or obtain back pay. I have a friend whose husband is border patrol, required to work without pay. He would rather have his paycheck, additional manpower, and advanced technology than a fucking wall where there isn't one already...

I'm a red panda

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2019, 10:04:21 AM »
I do cringe a bit at some of the coverage in the media, though. For example, a radio interview of a very emotional woman who says she has worked for the government for 30 years and never had trouble paying a bill until now.... I mean, come on, if you have worked for the government for 30 years, this is your 5th or 6th shutdown!

If you've worked for the gov for 30 years, can't you retire with full benefits at that point?  Not getting paid?  Retire!

Are those checks going out right now?

MountainFlower

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2019, 10:28:57 AM »
I work for an agency that is a government contractor.  We can't get our monthly funds with the shutdown.  If we close our doors and stop working, we can't then bill the government toget our paychecks unlike the federal workers, so we are going to have to work and keep the doors open, but without paychecks if this continues much longer and our cash runs out.  We will ultimately get paid whenever it ends, but the large paycheck will screw up tax withholding rates, etc. 

NOAA is down the road from us and they are closed.  There are many restaurants and other businesses that depend on those federal workers going there for lunch.  They are just dead right now. 

So, the impact ultimately will be felt by the non-government workers/contractors and businesses that depend on large labs and facilities.  Unfortunately, they won't get back pay. 

wenchsenior

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2019, 11:04:48 AM »
I do cringe a bit at some of the coverage in the media, though. For example, a radio interview of a very emotional woman who says she has worked for the government for 30 years and never had trouble paying a bill until now.... I mean, come on, if you have worked for the government for 30 years, this is your 5th or 6th shutdown!

If you've worked for the gov for 30 years, can't you retire with full benefits at that point?  Not getting paid?  Retire!

Even when the gov't is up and running, processing retirement paperwork and beginning to receive a pension check typically takes several months.  People usually begin the process 3-6 months out from their projected DoR.

Chris22

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2019, 11:21:57 AM »
I do cringe a bit at some of the coverage in the media, though. For example, a radio interview of a very emotional woman who says she has worked for the government for 30 years and never had trouble paying a bill until now.... I mean, come on, if you have worked for the government for 30 years, this is your 5th or 6th shutdown!

If you've worked for the gov for 30 years, can't you retire with full benefits at that point?  Not getting paid?  Retire!

Even when the gov't is up and running, processing retirement paperwork and beginning to receive a pension check typically takes several months.  People usually begin the process 3-6 months out from their projected DoR.

I didn't mean it was an instant solution to a cash flow problem, I meant if I had earned a full pension and benefits and suddenly my job decided to stop paying me, I'd retire from that job right away because fuck them.

I didn't mean it would immediately start the money tap flowing again. 

charis

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2019, 11:41:49 AM »
I'm a fed, but at an agency that already received its appropriation, so I'm working and being paid. I really feel for my colleagues who are sitting at home unpaid while the work piles up at the office, or even worse- working and not being paid. Sure, the paycheck will come eventually, but there are a lot of people who have trouble missing even one paycheck.  And for those who still have to go to work, they still have to pay for things like gas and child care- but without a paycheck. (And even people who are sitting at home but have kids in child care are probably still on the hook for the bill.)

I do cringe a bit at some of the coverage in the media, though. For example, a radio interview of a very emotional woman who says she has worked for the government for 30 years and never had trouble paying a bill until now.... I mean, come on, if you have worked for the government for 30 years, this is your 5th or 6th shutdown!

The bolded - there are many who are working unpaid, or furloughed, that cannot do (/cannot be approved for) other work and still have to pay for daycare.  Even a financially responsible employee with an ER fund probably doesn't really anticipate a layoff that includes full daycare expenses and the inability to work or look for work.

I don't judge people in this situation because, the paycheck-to-paycheck issue aside, most of us have been financially vulnerable at some point in life.  It's very unsettling to watch this play out in people's lives.

DadJokes

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2019, 01:00:37 PM »
I don't know if anyone here listens to Radical Personal Finance (Josh is both religious and conservative, so probably not), but he did an episode loosely tied to the government shutdown recently. It definitely involved some face-punching by pointing out the fact that anyone who has worked a full-time job for more than a year should have an emergency fund and therefore has no excuse.

I wasn't a huge fan of his method, since people tend to shut down when called stupid (even if true). However, it is true that people have a larger overall problem of worrying about things they can't control and blaming others for things that are controllable (such as having an emergency fund in place).

I'm a red panda

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2019, 01:40:23 PM »
I don't know if anyone here listens to Radical Personal Finance (Josh is both religious and conservative, so probably not), but he did an episode loosely tied to the government shutdown recently. It definitely involved some face-punching by pointing out the fact that anyone who has worked a full-time job for more than a year should have an emergency fund and therefore has no excuse.

I wasn't a huge fan of his method, since people tend to shut down when called stupid (even if true). However, it is true that people have a larger overall problem of worrying about things they can't control and blaming others for things that are controllable (such as having an emergency fund in place).

Now obviously it wouldn't cover EVERY person working for more than a year; but what if they just had a major medical expense that used up their emergency fund?

A huge number of Americans are in debt, even if it isn't consumer debt: student loans, medical expenses, etc; and have regular payments to make. Where is the money for this emergency fund coming from if they having to pay their rent/mortgage, their loan payments, maybe a car payment, kids daycare (you don't get a break on that when you stay home, if you take the kid out, you lose the spot when you go back to work), other living expenses.

I'm a saver, but I recognize I've had vast privilege in my life that allowed me to get started that way.  The idea of an emergency fund is laughable to many people, as there is ALWAYS an emergency.  (Heck- I seem to always have an emergency- something that needs money unexpectedly. I just have plenty to cover it. Including a lay-off once.)

Also, as I think someone pointed out, most people who lose their jobs no longer pay childcare expenses, or often qualify for unemployment. Neither of these are true here.  Yes, they could go looking for other jobs, but that isn't instant at all. And they'd lose any seniority towards a pension they've built up.

Many government workers plan for shutdowns, but not of this magnitude. This length isn't normal, and it could go on for a long time.  Trump wanted to bring the US government to a standstill and he has. Even better- he's managed to force thousands to work without pay.

Cellista

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2019, 03:12:52 PM »
(edited)

I am furloughed.  I have savings but not enough for several paychecks.

The thing is that this is a black swan event for me.  It was inconceivable until now.

My division is already lean and if needed we can downsize through attrition. Our work is a priority in this administration.

As long as I continue to perform well it is unlikely I would lose my job.  In the worst case if they did RIFs (reductions in force) I have enough seniority that I would be unaffected.

I've been through shutdowns but never thought it could continue this long, with no end in sight and no sense of urgency. Forcing tens of thousands of workers back to their posts without pay is horrible. I never expected that either.

« Last Edit: January 16, 2019, 03:17:10 PM by Cellista »

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #47 on: January 16, 2019, 06:15:56 PM »
I've mentioned in other threads I'm a essential Fed working for an IOU in the shut down.  In addition to normal living, if I get slated to travel I can't be reimbursed for travel expenses even those that occurred prior to the shut down.  In addition to my paycheck the government owes me about $600 for travel expenses right now.

Roland of Gilead

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2019, 06:55:18 PM »
In the private world when my wife's company ran into hard times and couldn't pay her, she left and found another job.

It is a possibility in the government world, right?

six-car-habit

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Re: Government workers can't pay bills!
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2019, 07:59:06 PM »
I do cringe a bit at some of the coverage in the media, though. For example, a radio interview of a very emotional woman who says she has worked for the government for 30 years and never had trouble paying a bill until now.... I mean, come on, if you have worked for the government for 30 years, this is your 5th or 6th shutdown!

If you've worked for the gov for 30 years, can't you retire with full benefits at that point?  Not getting paid?  Retire!

 Well quite possibly, No you can't retire with full benefits. Assume hired after 1986 - then Probably Federal FERS retirement system.  If they hired in at 20 yrs old and did 30 years they'd be 50 yrs old.  Now actually you can leave/ retire from fed gov't service at 50 yrs age with i believe 30 years of service.

 BUT you don't get an immediate annuity, and will have to wait for your "minimum retirement age -MRA" of approx 57 years old to get your first retirement paycheck. So, how to fill the gap of no income for 7 years ?  Plus no health care help, no old plan portability, or employer health care subsidy if you leave before MRA.
     Oh and no cost of living increase is building up during those 7 years either . So a youngish person would need a Large amount of money in 401K / IRA / etc. to make this scenario of  --not getting paid = disgruntled = quit / retire = live off 30% of normal salary 7 years in the future, until Soc Sec kicks in at 62 yr old to add more $$.

*edited to correct FERS rules statement.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2019, 10:49:36 AM by six-car-habit »