About 800,000 government workers aren’t being paid, and are, at least temporarily, working without pay. Much ink has been spilled over Trump’s lack of empathy for them.
Likewise, much ink has been spilled over Trump’s threat to prolong the shutdown indefinitely.
Many of the folks spilling all this ink are people with some money in the bank and some money in the stock market. By and large, if they had to work for six months without getting paid, they could survive, financially.
But it seems really hard for them to wrap their minds around the fact that, unlike them, most of the 800,000 workers live paycheck to paycheck. Maybe they can fend off the bank and the landlord for a month, but carrying on for another month after that is not an option.
As Lenin said of the Russian soldiers in World War I, they will vote with their feet.
If you don’t pay them, they will stop working, and the government will well and truly shut down, with all manner of first-order consequences, and second-order consequences, and third-order consequences.
This will create big problems for the 800,000 workers. It will create big problems for ordinary citizens, many of them Trump supporters.
But we live in a plutocracy, so the most consequential problems will be ones created for the financial elite—as, for example, how the SEC has ground to a halt, forestalling any new Initial Public Offerings of stock.
Ladies and germs, when you squeeze the plutocrats by the nuts, you don’t have a problem, you have a crisis. It is something up with which our overlords will not put.
They will speak to their minions in the Senate and declare, in stentorian tones, that SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
But, of course, the senators won’t be able to do anything without seeming to betray Dear Leader.
And that is the fault line on which the Republican coalition will fracture.