We are now in week four of this partial government shutdown and the United States isn’t turning into a Mad Max scenario. There are, however, many inconveniences literally piling up across the country with trash and snow being the two main culprits at various national parks. But, proving that society doesn’t need the state to step in and do everything for them, groups of private volunteers have moved in to fill the void.
While the mainstream media continues to encourage the nation to argue over a border wall, decent, hard working individuals have come together to do the job of the currently shutdown government, and they’re doing it well. Below are just three of the amazing examples of private citizens showing the obsolescence of the state.
The first of these groups hails from Philadelphia, PA. Since the government shutdown, the bureaucrats who normally collect paychecks to empty the trash cans at national parks aren’t showing up so trash cans started overflowing. But fret not, the good folks over at Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association stepped in to do their job—for free.
“We found out about parks overflowing with trash on Wednesday,” Salaam Bhatti, a spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Youth Association, said. “Our organization’s president asked regional presidents of our group to see what parks were in their area that they could help clean up.”
Five local chapters organized more than 70 volunteers and cleaned up national parks across the country. Clean-up sites, according to the group’s Facebook page, have included the Everglades National Park in Florida, Joshua Tree National Park in California, the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio.
— AMYA Cleveland (@MKA_Cleveland) January 6, 2019
Next up on the list of hard-charging individuals doing the government’s job better than them and for free, is a group out at Yellowstone National Park. Because the bureaucrats who get paid to collect the $35 fee to enter the park have abandoned their positions due to the shut down, people are simply free to come and go as they please.
Because there are no federal employees on duty, bathrooms and trash bins are getting overloaded and the snow on the road had become too much for visitors to handle. But fret not.
Jerry Johnson is a local business owner who rents snowmobiles and leads guided tours into Yellowstone. Because he has an incentive to keep the park clean in order to turn a profit by continuously renting snowmobiles and leading guided tours, Johnson’s company has moved in to do the job of the bureaucrats.
Johnson said he started getting calls from people who had reserved trips to Yellowstone and they were worried they might not be able to visit due to the shut down.
“I mean it’s not cheap,” Johnson said, “They had to plan and budget for this, and to all of a sudden get the carpet ripped out from underneath them, I think is not fair.”
So, Johnson kept them happy and began clearing the snow from the roads, emptying trash bins, and cleaning bathrooms. But that’s not all. Johnson’s company is also grooming the trails on which the snowmobiles drive to keep them safe.
“If you don’t groom,” explained Johnson, “the trails will get very rough, and you get bumps, moguls, in them, and it’ll be — it’s just miserable.”
The hotels located inside the park have also picked up the tab for maintenance. Xanterra Parks and Resorts, which runs the only hotels inside Yellowstone, has picked up the tab for most of the maintenance.
What this case in Yellowstone illustrates is the free market at work. When asking people why government is necessary, all too often the question of “Who will build the roads?” is typically presented as a problem that only government can solve. But as Domino’s Pizza showed us last June, these problems can be solved by private enterprise because they need people to be able to travel to buy their goods and services.
Just like Johnson needs people to have clean trash cans and trails in Yellowstone to rent his snowmobiles and the hotels need clear roads, all private enterprise benefits from caring for and creating a safer and cleaner community for their customers.
Sadly, as is the case across the entire nation, government moves in and claims responsibility for many of these services that can be provided by private companies—at no cost to the citizens—and does a less efficient and more expensive job at it.
This shutdown is proving the power of free enterprise and voluntaryism, and it’s doing it well.
Muslim youth groups and private businesses aren’t the only ones stepping up to the plate to do the job of shutdown government either. A group of Libertarians also moved in to fill the void in Washington D.C.
“Libertarians pitched in today to pick up trash on the National Mall, practicing what we preach about stepping up in absence of government,” said Joe Bishop-Henchman, chair of the Libertarian Party of the District of Columbia. “President Trump and Congress have decided a clean National Mall is not important, so I’m grateful so many people stepped up to help make it a little better for our residents and visitors. NBC4 was on hand to interview the volunteers, and local NPR radio covered it. Many people who passed us said ‘thank you,’ helping change stereotypes about Libertarians.”
Right now: During the government shutdown, the National Mall has had issues with trash buildup amidst certain government workers not on duty.
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) January 6, 2019
There you have it. Business owners and individuals from all walks of life have seen the void created by this shutdown and they are proving that private citizens can do these jobs just as good or better. More importantly, they don’t need the promise of a taxpayer-funded and paycheck, guaranteed promotions, and a golden retirement to do it.