A thirty-five day government shutdown left 800,000 federal workers temporarily unemployed or forced to work without pay, putting the country in turmoil.
Many of those in the Bay Area who rely on federal salaries suffered from financial insecurity. Additionally, the Bay Area struggled with federally-funded sites closing and decreased tourism, making it harder for small businesses and their suppliers. It’s easy to see prevalent economic hardship, yet another, less-discussed problem stands out: the shameful precedent set by the government.
Current high school students didn’t see a functional government, but rather a bunch of politicians frantically trying to combat the immature behavior of the current presidential administration. The government needs to be run professionally and responsibly, neither of which happened during the shutdown. This concerning situation gave many students the uncomfortable feeling that nobody was home. Growing up with a lack of faith in government officials can be detrimental to students’ perspective on the government as a whole. Young people deserve more, and they need America’s politicians to be better role models. If government standards are not raised, America’s youth will find it difficult to believe in the country’s government.
The issue was personal for Jazmine Meluu, a sophomore at Berkeley High School (BHS) whose mother is a federal immigration judge in San Francisco. Meluu and her mother found themselves having to change elements of their everyday lives “to be sure they could pay basic bills.” Meluu also felt the shutdown was wrong because those who worked in the field of immigration were prevented from doing their jobs, even though the shutdown had occurred because of immigration arguments. “It’s unfair that people who could actually be doing something about the immigration crisis were working without pay or not allowed to work,” said Meluu.
The political leaders in our country must prove to the youth that the government can run properly despite partisan disagreements.
Whether students agree or disagree with the reason for the closure, having a working government is critical to making the students of America feel safe.
It is necessary for students to see how a practical government is run so that they know whether a shutdown is anything but normal. After all, these students are the people who will be taking the place of the current politicians in the future. The political leaders in our country must prove to the youth that the government can run properly despite partisan disagreements.
While the behavior of the government may have caused students to lose faith in the current political leaders, hopefully it will inspire more youth to take over the job in the future, and do a better job at it.