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    What is the opinion about the US government shutdown?  Are we the laughing stock of the globe or are we just idiots?

    October 8, 2013
    The Re­pub­li­can-in­duced gov­ern­ment shut­down and the par­ty’s threats to cre­ate an­other cri­sis next week over the debt ceil­ing are caus­ing harm in­ter­na­tion­al­ly as well as at home. They are un­der­min­ing Amer­i­can lead­er­ship in Asia, im­ped­ing the func­tion­ing of the na­tion­al se­cu­rity ma­chin­ery, up­set­ting glob­al mar­kets and rais­ing ques­tions about the po­lit­i­cal dys­func­tion of a coun­try that has long been the world’s de­mo­c­ra­t­ic stand­ard-bear­er.
    The biggest for­eign pol­i­cy ca­su­al­ty, so far, may be the can­cel­la­tion last week of Pres­i­dent Oba­ma’s trip to Asia, which the pres­i­dent’s press sec­re­tary said was nec­es­sary so he could deal with the shut­down and the po­lit­i­cal stale­mate in Con­gress. Even though he sent Sec­re­tary of State John Ker­ry in his place, this was the third time that Mr. Oba­ma had can­celed or post­poned a trip to Asia, fur­ther ham­per­ing his ef­forts to make the re­gion a cen­ter­piece of his for­eign pol­i­cy.
    In Mr. Oba­ma’s ab­sence, Chi­na was able to grab the spot­light. Chi­na’s leader, Xi Jin­ping, who be­came the first for­eign­er to ad­dress the In­done­sian Par­lia­ment, of­fered bil­lions of dol­lars in trade to that coun­try. Mr. Xi then vis­ited Malaysia (an­other stop Pres­i­dent Oba­ma had planned) and an­nounced a “com­pre­hen­sive stra­tegic part­ner­ship,” in­clud­ing an up­grade in mil­i­tary ties. Mr. Oba­ma should re­sched­ule his trip as soon as he com­fort­ably can.
    The fis­cal chaos has al­so given Chi­na, Amer­ica’s larg­est cred­i­tor, an op­por­tu­nity to scold the Unit­ed States. On Mon­day, in the Chi­nese gov­ern­ment’s first pub­lic re­sponse to the stale­mate in Wash­ing­ton, Vice Fi­nance Min­is­ter Zhu Guangyao urged the Unit­ed States to “earnest­ly take steps” to avoid a debt de­fault to en­sure the safe­ty of Chi­nese in­vest­ments and the glob­al eco­nom­ic re­cov­ery.
    Oth­er fi­nan­cial lead­ers al­so felt com­pelled to speak out, in­clud­ing South Af­rica’s fi­nance min­is­ter, Pravin Gord­han, who warned that the glob­al com­mu­nity has much to fear. “This is clear­ly an is­sue that might go to the brink,” he told Reuters. On Mon­day, most glob­al mar­kets were low­er, and the price of oil
    dropped as traders be­came in­creas­ing­ly anx­ious about the stand­off in Wash­ing­ton, par­tic­u­lar­ly over the debt ceil­ing.
    The shut­down of the Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment is be­ing felt in oth­er ways as well. A round of ne­go­ti­a­tions be­tween the Unit­ed States and Eu­rope on the world’s larg­est free-trade deal, set for next week in Brus­sels, was can­celed be­cause the Unit­ed States trade rep­re­sent­a­tive, Mi­chael Fro­man, said he lacked the staffing and the fi­nances to make the trip.
    And while Re­pub­li­cans ac­cused the Oba­ma ad­min­is­tra­tion of be­ing ill pre­pared for the 2012 at­tack in Libya that killed four Amer­i­cans, in­clud­ing the am­bas­sa­dor, the shut­down they have im­posed has halt­ed vi­tal train­ing for State De­part­ment se­cu­rity of­fi­cers and im­prove­ments to Amer­i­can em­bas­sies.
    The di­rec­tor of na­tion­al in­tel­li­gence, James Clap­per Jr., told a Sen­ate com­mit­tee that fur­lough­ing 70 per­cent of the in­tel­li­gence agen­cies’ ci­vil­ian em­ploy­ees was “ex­treme­ly dam­ag­ing” to in­tel­li­gence-gath­er­ing ef­forts. And, at a time when the Unit­ed States is about to be­gin a crit­i­cal round of ne­go­ti­a­tions with Iran on the nu­clear pro­gram, Wendy Sher­man, an un­der­sec­re­tary of state, has said that the shut­down has “to­tally de­pleted” the gov­ern­ment’s abil­i­ty to en­force sanc­tions against Iran.
    The shut­down is tak­ing a toll that looks even more self-de­feat­ing when the con­se­quences be­yond Amer­ica’s shores are taken in­to ac­count.
    Meet The New York Times’s Editorial Board »


    What is the opinion about the US government shutdown?  Are we the laughing stock of the globe or are we just idiots?

    Sad to inform you, noone (or at least few) seems to show any interest in what is happening over there in the moment … We kind of got used to hear mostly dumb stuff from the New World. We only pay atention to things that will affect us aswell – usually we get only more screwed.


    What is the opinion about the US government shutdown?  Are we the laughing stock of the globe or are we just idiots?

    No one cares.I blame the "hype" journalism prevalent on the internet (and elsewhere).



    We shall see after the 17th.  Might not be able to pay short term loans ontime.  Will it start a chain reaction across all markets?  Remember that many EU member states had banks that were leveraged in the US real estate market.  That bubble popped and no one has been well since.  Seems like all of our economies and markets are tied together now.  As a social studies teacher, this wonky policy stuff intrigues me. 

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