The government shutdown has turned Washington DC into a desolate ghost town
Updated: Jan 19, 2019
IF ONLY THIS WERE REALLY TRUE!
I was once at a conference in our nation's capital and one of the speakers, a libertarian of prominence and a brilliant business person, explained how he would know if he had succeed in his new roll at a think tank in Washington DC. He explained that one could judge his progress, and the the progress of the small government coalition generally, by the home values in Washington. The speaker's hope was to see them dramatically fall as the importance of Washington DC also fell as government shrank.
We haven't seen this yet. Indeed we may never see it. But walking around Washington DC without the feds is a pleasure. I experinced this most recently when I drove in for a meeting on the same day as Geroge Bush's funeral. All the federal workers were gone because they had been given the day off to "mourn". The highway was reasonable for once. The Starbucks line was half the length. It was great.
Sooner or later the bureaucrats will be back. Despite all the current drama life will go on, and as far as we're concerned we can't say that there has been any real progress made until DC becomes a net outflow city. We'll see. That's an extremely tall order. There's a lot of taxpayer money to be had in DC. But stranger things have happened. The Berlin Wall did come down. We did put a man on the moon. Maybe we could make The District of Columbia a semi-ghost town.
But we're not holding our breath.
Yohannes Zekele, who operates van and walking tours of the city as the owner of Washington DC Legend Tours, said he has not received calls for tour bookings in days. He often gives tours to lobbyists or professionals who visit the capital for conferences, but those people have few reasons to visit while many federal agencies remain shuttered.
"That's a major impact," Zekele said.
We feel for Mr. Zekele who is just trying to make a living, but the impact in many respects is positive for the country as a whole.