US Shutdown: An International Perspecitve

Today’s post comes to us from Jialing Huang, a second-year graducate in communications studies at the University of China. This is her second year studying in the United States, traveling here from her home in China. For those unfamiliar, the U.S. government is presently partially shutdown due to major policy disagreements between Republicans and Democrats.

When I heard that the United States is going to shut down their government, I did not give it too many thoughts. In fact, my first thought is, “Really, again?” I still remember that it’s was in 2011 that I first heard the US government was going to shut down. At that time my reaction was “Now what?” Because when I was back in China, the United States politics seemed to me a little chaotic-There were political scandals, protests, debates between two parties, and criticism and mockery of the presidents happening almost everyday. That’s why although I doubted how the shut down could work, I was not surprised by the news. After all, it’s about the United States politics and anything crazy could happen.

A sign of things to come? (AP Photo/Dennis Cook, File)

But this time I did some research on it. I began to really understand why they had to shut the government down-it is because the congress cannot make an agreement on the billing plans. Even though taking so long for the congress to make an agreement is frustrating, I admired the fact that they allowed different voices to rise, and will not make any decision until they reach an agreement, which can avoid unwise fiscal decisions that waste people’s money. I also tried to compare the way they make decisions with that of Chinese government. As we all know, the communist party is dominating the government, and that allows it to always make decision quickly. However, we did not have the chance to know or question how people’s money has spent just until recently. In fact, according to Xinhua News agency, not until 2009 did the Chinese government started to make the fiscal plan public. But still, how the local government spent the money remain unknown.

However, one of my friends, Kai Zang, who is studying legal education in United States, was disagree with me. He believed that the different voice of the congress was still the voice of each party and thus was for the interest of their own. He also thought that low efficiency was becoming a large problem of the U.S government. As he said, “When they are trying to spend money wisely, they are paying a lot for its low efficiency. “

But as an international student, Kai admitted that the shutting down would not have much influence on him. In fact, many of my friends show an indifferent attitude towards the news. As my friend Yiwei said, “The only consequence that may influence me, an international student, is that I cannot go to the Everglades in the near future (A national park in Florida). I think I am fine with that.”

 

6 comments

  1. Interesting, your view of why the government shut down. What the real situation is that there are members who initially decided that if there was controversy to be had they were going to create it. The real reason for the shutdown is present administration refused to make concessions on the new medical bill which would postpone it for another year. The problem being individuals want medical coverage now. The process has been stonewalled for two years already. Opposition is of the thought that if they can put it off for a year they would keep up this process until it dies. What you are seeing my friend is democracy in action. Officials are operating and some will continue to do so until the public says enough and cleans house. Of course for this to happen we have to negate quite a bit of lobbying and private funding.
    Jeff

  2. . . .low efficiency was becoming a large problem of the U.S government. As he said, “When they are trying to spend money wisely, they are paying a lot for its low efficiency.”

    Yep. Your friend nailed it.

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