Saturday, October 19, 2013

Doing the Math in the Aftermath: What 16 Days of Shutdown Cost the National Park System

GTG over here is not a political forum, per se (other than the "go take care of your planet, & stop using evil Styrofoam for goodness sake" mission). However, with the 16-day government shutdown, and it ending in the literal 11th hour before the US loans were destined to default, a lot of life is political these days. (How can it not when tactics are used that are akin to negotiating with two-year-olds and terrorists...but I digress.)

The infographic below is telling. It tells the tale of what 16 days did for the National Park Service. I had heard radio stories about people who had weddings long-scheduled at some of these National Parks, only to be hijacked by the Congressional powers-that-be. Park Rangers, who are far removed from the Metropolitan DC area, were furloughed because they are "governmental employees." Hard hit too were local businesses that rely on their nearby parks to bring in their profits.

Striking and startling stats: 20,000 Park Service employees were out of work as the 401 U.S. National Parks closed down. Ouch! Check out more facts below, or see the full-sized version over at Huffington Post. At school, I just wrapped up a Place Value unit with my 3rd graders, and because of that I am especially struck: I know just how strongly these harsh numbers would have hit my 8 & 9 year olds!! So many comments are bubbling up with me, but I'm going to leave the rant behind, and let these numbers speak for themselves. They speak loudly--yes, they do; especially, when you do the math.

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