When the government shuts down, government jobs are sorted into ‘essential’ and ‘non-essential’ jobs. Non-essential jobs are suspended until the government reconvenes.
The problem with this is that what the government constitutes as not essential very well could be essential to the people affected by it.
According to http://www.npr.org/blogs/the two way/2013/10/09/231086726/county-in-utah-threatens-takeover-of-national-parkareas?utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=20131013&utm_source=mostemailed, San Juan county feels that national parks are essential. 70% of the county’s business comes from national parks, monuments, recreation areas and other federally owned land.
The town decided to retake their park and reopen it.
I think their decision was spot on. They were fully prepared to fund what was necessary to start the park.
San Juan’s economy is dependent on these national parks. Shutting them down for an extended period of time would be highly detrimental to the community
The government shutdown was caused by stubbornness and unwillingness to resolve a disagreement. It would be irresponsible to hurt Utah’s economy because of that.
How the government is allowed to shut down in the first place is beyond me.
Fall break is usually a very busy time for the national parks in San Juan.
Governor Herbert said, “This is just…common sense. And frankly we ought to be finding solutions to keep them open rather than saying why they have to be closed.”
Herbert makes an excellent point. It doesn’t make sense to be closing parks, reducing revenues.
And as a journalist, I feel like other journalists have not been questioning the government enough. Not to say that journalists are not covering the situation, because they are.
But this kind of story, one where they are really looking into communities that cannot sustain a long-term shut down, are not in abundance.
Just where, and who were hit hardest by the decisions of politicians far removed?
Looking at the economy as a whole doesn’t hit home as much as when a journalist delves into the affects at home.
A Google search will show articles detailing how much the US will lose, but how much will San Juan lose? How much will other small communities lose?
I think it is important as journalists to remember that the little person’s perspective is just as important as the governments.