US Government Shutdown — Question

Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2019

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Can someone from the US tell me if people affected by the US Government shutdown get paid retrospectively when a budget is finally agreed, or do they lose that income completely?   What about things like health insurance?  Does that remain valid throughout the shutdown?  I'm not asking about who is to blame.  I'm just wondering how those workers are going to manage if it is as drawn out as they are saying today.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2019

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

I'm just wondering how those workers are going to manage if it is as drawn out as they are saying today.

Hi Trevor,

In the past, the people who work for the federal government have been paid in full and their health insurance remains in place. It is always uncertain, and they are always worried. They are more worried this round with an unstable POTUS at the helm.

Here’s the answer to the question you didn’t ask.

There are many people who lose income and will never be paid. That includes the people who work in restaurants because the feds aren’t going to work and aren’t eating out. It includes parking lot attendants. It includes a host of agencies who work with the federal government as contrators. There are more of these than you can imagine. It includes those of us who train in the D.C. area when the federal workers can’t take classes they have signed up and paid for. There are a lot of others in supportive jobs who will take a hit and many are living hand to mouth. All of the food trucks around The Mall where the Smithsonian is shuttered will lose business because the tourists aren’t there. The child care workers aren’t needed and don’t get paid. Taxi, Uber, and Lyft drivers will have fewer customers. And it goes on.

They are saying this one will go on for months because POTUS has said he won’t back down. How many people have enough savings to last a couple of months with zero salary? From what I read, not many.

~ Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2019

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Well that's at least partially reassuring, but not completely without casualties.

Speaking of casualties, the Washington Post carried a story yesterday about there being three deaths in NPs since the shutdown, which seemed just a bit flawed to me.  Sure enough, in the comments one reader looked up statistics that showed that about 300 people die in NPs in an average year (this is from memory — the article has 1500 comments now, and I am not about to trawl through them all) so the rate of deaths in the Parks is actually down.   It also sounds like the circumstances of the three fatalities last week, would not have lead to different outcomes if the Rangers had been at work.   Now if someone was unlucky enough to be attacked by a bear, because there were no Rangers to close that particular trail, that might be different.

I've visited several NPs, and loved them all [1].  The Grand Canyon probably had the greatest impact, because pictures just can't prepare you for the reality of your first steps to the rim.  I'll try and remember the others, but it was a long time ago.  Yellowstone, Arches, Yosemite, Badlands, Bryce, Zion, Death Valley, Everglades [2], Grand Teton [3]  Joshua Tree, and Mesa Verde.  Goodness, that's more than I realised, but nothing eastern.

[1]  A wee proviso for Monument Valley.  We arrived a bit too late to get a tour, and had to carry on driving so would have missed it, so we took off around it in the hire car.  To be honest, I did kind of now why several Navajo were shaking fists at us, but we pleaded ignorance, did our tour, and carried on driving.  The locals did not look the hapiest of people.

[2]  I'm thinking of Noel who has just moved from Florida to Minnesota to work at the Adobe Arden Hills location.  I hope his family are still speaking to him!   So at the Everglades it very pleasant, and the tourists all had shorts and a T-shirt, but the locals had long trousers and sweatshirts.  I guess it comes down to what you are used to.

[3] Being into fast bikes and a bit of a speed demon, I thought I could get down the Jackson Hole Alpine Slide without using the brakes.  I went over the side at goodness knows what speed and got a god-awful gravel rash that hurt like blazes for the rest of the holiday. 

My disaster was thirty to forty years ago, before they'd invented tiny video cameras, so this is not me.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 05, 2019

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I'm way too old to risk my body on something like that... but when I go on the Symphony of the Seas later this year I may go on the 10 story slide tube

Royal Caribbean Symphony of the Seas The Ultimate Abyss Photos - 29 Pictures

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2019

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John, have you ever seen that thing where sheep and cattle farmers select animals by moving a gate?  I have it on good authority that SotS crew have a similar control on the slides that deposit troublesome customers into the ocean. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

Well that's at least partially reassuring, but not completely without casualties.

Now if someone was unlucky enough to be attacked by a bear, because there were no Rangers to close that particular trail, that might be different.

Hi Trevor,

This shutdown is more disturbing than past shutdowns. We have an unstable POTUS who is digging in his heels. It is already the longest shutdown. There is no guarantee federal workers will be paid, and many have already filed for unemployment. They pay it back if they do get paid, but it helps a bit in the meantime. It won’t be enough to pay their monthly bills for any extended time. POTUS has said this shutdown will last for months or years.

The many contractors who make the government work are not getting paid and will never get paid. They never do. Plus the other support jobs, like taxi drivers and restaurant workers and people who teach classes to government workers (me).

The food stamp program is one service that is in danger, meaning those who need it most will be hungry.

The government provides many services that we depend on, and those jobs are not being done.

It’s almost like POTUS has forgotten the “America First” and “Make America Great Again” slogans he’s been spouting and replaced them with something dire.

Close a trail for bears? Whenever I see a bear on a trail, it’s always running away from me. I’m not worried about bears as much as I am about our POTUS.

~ Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

Speaking of casualties, the Washington Post carried a story yesterday about there being three deaths in NPs since the shutdown, which seemed just a bit flawed to me.  

Now if someone was unlucky enough to be attacked by a bear, because there were no Rangers to close that particular trail, that might be different.

Goodness, that's more than I realised, but nothing eastern.

Being into fast bikes and a bit of a speed demon, I thought I could get down the Jackson Hole Alpine Slide without using the brakes. 

Hi Trevor,

To continue:

I agree that three deaths since the shutdown began isn’t many, although any number is a tragedy. Two were from falling, and while I do not know the details of these two falls, I do know that many falls are from people who stand too close to the edge. The third was from a falling tree. Trees fall fast, as I just saw yesterday when one fell in front of me in a National Park. Rangers could not have stopped any of these accidents, but help and rescues could have come faster if they had been on duty and possibly lives could have been saved. Again, I don’t know the details.

I looked up bear attacks and found a chart of where they are most likely to happen. But first read this to keep it in perspective:

“In the past five years, three people have been killed by bears in nearby Yellowstone National Park. During that time, 20 million tourists have come through the park. I’m seven times more likely to be struck by lightning than to lose my life to a bear here.”

The parks where you're most likely to be killed by a bear - Vox

Wow, you’ve been to a lot of our parks, Trevor! Was that all in one trip? When is your trip to visit the East Coast National Parks planned? And when were you in Jackson Hole? We were there in the early 90s and I don’t remember that slide. I would have been on it! Do you know what your speed was? Other than the tragedy of the rash, it does look like fun.

And I would still rather face a bear on a trail than face our POTUS anywhere, because I know what to expect when I encounter a bear.

Cheers,

Jane

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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Jane, that's a good point about Search & Rescue, although I suspect a lot of the people involved do so on a voluntary basis.  That would not include helicopters I'm thinking.  Your wilderness areas can be huge.  Do hikers routinely carry PRBs?  They are available for hire here, but mainly through organisations like DoC (Department of Conservation) and they would almost certainly be affected by a shut down if such a thing existed in NZ.

You know my wife works in the local hospital.  Forestry and agriculture are their biggest customers in ED.   I can't remember seeing a tree randomly falling in front of me, but I did once witness a huge chunk of glacier fall, but from a good mile away.  This was between the Dart Hut and Cascade Saddle — a very isolated place.

I have had four trips to the US (five including MAX in 2016).  Two were Florida and don't count.  Another was LA, San Diego, Phoenix, Flagstaff, Las Vagas, Yosemite, San Francisco and back to LA.   Il had to think about the other one, despite it being more recent.  Even looking at the map I couldn't stake my life on getting the route right, but it was north up as far as the Badlands, then west to Yellowstone, down to the Grant Tetons.  From there it was Zion, Bryce, Arches, and Mesa Verde, and other stuff that I am  vague on.  I remember taking a minor road that cut out a lot of miles.  This was south  somewhere around the Zion Bryce area.  This road was clearly marked on the map, but it got more and more hairy till we were driving  in ruts that the hire car was only just making.  It was one heck of a way back, so we carried on and were suddenly on sealed road again.    We drove up Mount Evans, and I walked the last bit to the top and thought I was going to die.  By heck, I just couldn't get my wind back after showing off and racing straight up the side instead of taking the zig zag track.   I also remember a cyclist who rode to the top, turned round and went straight back down.  We followed, and were totally unable to keep up!  Crazy bugger!!

One last story involving Yellowstone.  We were a good hour into a trail, and found it  blocked by a large herd of bison, so we took a decent detour.  Meanwhile a mum and dad on bikes with kiddy trailers road right though the middle of them.  We'd just been told about a French tourist who was killed trying to ride a bison, but I don't know if that was true or urban myth.  We saw at least one trail which was closed to due bear activity. 

Well we are totally off topic now.  Even for a Lounge thread!  I've read that Trump's threat to evoke emergency powers to fund his wall would be unlikely to succeed,  which is almost a pity, because the human cost of the shutdown will go right over his head. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2019

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

Jane, that's a good point about Search & Rescue, although I suspect a lot of the people involved do so on a voluntary basis. 

Search and rescue is done by the National Park Service for the most part. I don’t know what a PRB is?

https://www.nps.gov/subjects/aviation/aviation-search-rescue.htm

I have had four trips to the US (five including MAX in 2016). ... We drove up Mount Evans, and I walked the last bit to the top and thought I was going to die.  By heck, I just couldn't get my wind back after showing off and racing straight up the side instead of taking the zig zag track. 

I really loved, loved, loved hearing about your U.S. adventures, Trevor! One question: Colorado was not on your list, but Mount Evans which is in Colorado was? I am going to message you something about Mt. Evans. A second question: when is your East Coast tour planned?

We'd just been told about a French tourist who was killed trying to ride a bison, but I don't know if that was true or urban myth. 

I don’t know about bison, but I just learned from a Bill Bryson book this week that cows attack and it can be quite vicious.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/cows-are-deadlier-than-you-ever-knew-1690950434

I've read that Trump's threat to evoke emergency powers to fund his wall would be unlikely to succeed,

We don’t know what to expect anymore. We are living in The Twilight Zone. It would be awful for so very many reasons.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 21, 2019

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Trevor.Dennis  wrote

Jane, that's a good point about Search & Rescue, although I suspect a lot of the people involved do so on a voluntary basis.  That would not include helicopters I'm thinking.  Your wilderness areas can be huge.  

Trevor, someone involved with the Appalachian Search and Rescue Conference (ASRC) just asked a question on the InDesign forum and posted this link to their website. This might answer your question better than I did.

Appalachian Search & Rescue Conference – a confederation of volunteer search and rescue teams in the...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2019

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Gov't Shutdown ends for now. 

Trump Agrees to Reopen Government for 3 Weeks in Surprise Retreat From Wall - The New York Times .  

Nancy O'Shea, ACP
Alt-Web Design & Publishing

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 25, 2019

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It only ends for three weeks, long enough for the feds to get paid, but the domino effect is still in place. No one will be taking training, so contract trainers won't be paid. No one will be making major purchases. People will be putting money aside for the next shutdown instead of spending it.

There are many, many more people than the 800,000 who are affected by this and these people will never be paid.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Jan 25, 2019

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so does that leave Roger Stone in over the weekend because no body is there to do the paperwork?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 26, 2019

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And now, of course, I had to see the 2017 documentary "Get me Roger Stone". That is, I only saw the first third, then I couldn't take it any more. This is just too depressing. This is a man who started with Watergate and has Richard Nixon tattooed on his back. Among his (and Donald Trump's) closest early associates was Roy Cohn, who was a central figure in the McCarthy communist hunt in the 50's.

Five more minutes of this and I'd lose the will to live permanently.

As for Trump himself, he must be like a wounded tyrannosaurus at this point. Don't celebrate the temporary lifting of the shutdown yet.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 26, 2019

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From Clay Bennett for January 25, 2019 for the Chattanooga Times Free Press

(the link will go to the current cartoon)

https://www.gocomics.com/claybennett

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 05, 2019

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They have always been paid retroactively, so those who are not considered essential get extra vacation days, while others like law enforcement, continue to work without getting paid until the mess is fixed.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/Peru+Bob  wrote

They have always been paid retroactively, so those who are not considered essential get extra vacation days, while others like law enforcement, continue to work without getting paid until the mess is fixed.

The furloughed employees of the government have always been paid retroactively in the past, but this requires a bill to pass both houses, and the president to sign it. There is no guarantee that this will happen this time around.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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It would be political suicide to vote against a bill like that.  Even if it were vetoed, there would be enough votes to overturn the veto.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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That's true.

But sadly, I would not be surprised if a veto were at least threatened, since the President has been heard to claim (and his supporters heard to echo) that after all, most of the workers affected by it are Democrats*.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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We have never had an unstable president before who says an average of 15 untrue things per day. We can’t know what to expect from him, except to know that it will not be in the best interest of our country.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 07, 2019

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Another thing that I am not entirely clear on the driving forces for, is the timing.  Why has Trump waited till he was banging heads with Democrats before making this stand?  It's amazing that he has compromised to the extent of it being a steel wall that the patrols can see through, rather than a symbolic structure to rival the Great Wall of China to live on with his name to it. 

I fully expect a bill to change the US Mexico border so that the 'wall' has more significance when viewed from space

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2019

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I'm just left with one question buzzing in my ears throughout all this.

Why, exactly, is it a good idea to hand so much power over to a single individual?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2019

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A bill passed the House this term that had passed the Senate last term with enough votes in both houses to override his threatened veto. The thing is, it would have to pass the Senate this term to be sent to his desk, and the Senate majority leader refuses to let it come back to the floor.

The problem is that the President and GOP leaders are treating this like a game with "winners and losers," instead of looking at what is best for the whole country.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2019

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Yes, but I meant in the broader picture. Why should a president - one person - have this power? Is it just that nobody saw this coming?

The constitution here in Norway would never allow such a situation in the first place. If at one point the Democrats got majority in both chambers, would it be possible to sneak in some measures to prevent this from ever happening again?

Or would, say, the Supreme Court nix it? (again, an unthinkable situation here).

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/D+Fosse  wrote

Yes, but I meant in the broader picture. Why should a president - one person - have this power? Is it just that nobody saw this coming?

The constitution here in Norway would never allow such a situation in the first place. If at one point the Democrats got majority in both chambers, would it be possible to sneak in some measures to prevent this from ever happening again?

Or would, say, the Supreme Court nix it? (again, an unthinkable situation here).

President for life has happened in Russia and China.  Putin stays true to his country's Constitution by rotating President and Prime Minister with lackey Dmitry Medvedev, and Xi Jinping can potentially rule China indefinitely after the government he controls abolished term limits.  North Korea has been ruled by the Kim family since 1948.  All three countries have firm control of media, with the latter having total control.   China and Russia control the Internet in their countries.  After skimming the links in the last few sentences, I find that I was not aware just how extensively the internet is censored in those countries.

I am not so sure about China, but we are led to believe by Western media, that Putin and Kim Jong-un are genuinely loved by the people they govern.  That's astonishing if you think about it.  Not much uncensored news comes out of North Korea, but we see lots of stories about poverty in rural Russia.   A recent BBC News article told of drains being blocked in Siberia when folk don't pay their water company bills.  (I can't find the BBC story, but this is the same situation)

The Toilet of Shame — a threat to those  who do not pay their bills.

Could this happen in America?  I don't have a detailed knowledge of the American Constitution to have an opinion about whether it would preclude a  President for life.  By all accounts, Trump is an appalling human being.  Hi is selfish, narcissistic, misogynist, and all of his screws are loose, and yet millions of Americans don't seem to care.  They speak of less unemployment and a buoyant economy, but ignore that the jobs are in mining coal, and that America's National Debt continues to grow.  Nor do they care that their POTUS tells easily disproved lie after lie.

I'd say that it is not unthinkable that America could become a one party/ruler state.  

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