Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 11:50 am
With the double crises of a partial government shutdown and a potential debt default resolved, it's a good time to consider some of the lessons we learned from the dysfunction and drama of recent weeks.
Here are 10 of them:
Shutting Down The Government Is Not A Winning Political Strategy
Originally published on Thu October 17, 2013 2:06 pm
The government shutdown has taken a toll on the nation's economy and despite a deal that sidesteps a debt default and restarts the government (at least for a few months), growth forecasts for the last quarter of the year are being scaled back.
Economist Mark Zandi of Moody's Analytics has shaved his gross domestic product forecast from a 2.6 percent annualized rate to 2.1 percent for the last three months of the calendar year.
Two German women chat in the gardens of a senior care home in Berlin. Germany is grappling with a rapidly aging population: By 2050, almost a third of Germans will be 65 years or older, and a growing "Grandma export" trend has set hands wringing.
Credit Sean Gallup / Getty Images
Sonja Miskulin (center), a former translator who suffers from dementia, celebrates her birthday at a nursing home in Szklarska Poreba, Poland, in August.
Credit Bartek Sadowski / Bloomberg via Getty Images
A handful of German and Polish residents at a nursing home in the Polish mountain town of Szklarska Poreba play a Scrabble-like game using blocks with large letters.
The seniors are tended to by Polish workers who offer a steady supply of smiles, hugs and encouragement.
Leonardo Tegls says such personal attention makes this nursing home, Sun House, special. The 87-year-old Dutch-born immigrant to Germany says he first learned about the Polish nursing home from a TV ad.
OK, with the government funding and debt ceiling deal now reached, passed and signed, government agencies are set to reopen. But don't expect all federal offices to take your calls just yet. NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: University of Alabama geologist Samantha Hansen has been conducting a research project in Antarctica that, in one way, is like most everything else, funded by the federal government. After 16 days down, it's going to take some time to restart.
By wide margins in both the House and the Senate, Congress voted Wednesday night to end a 16-day partial government shutdown. The measure also delays the debt ceiling deadline until early February. House and Senate Budget committees have until Dec. 13 to reconcile competing budgets.
NPR's business news starts with a hit to the U.S. economy.
(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
MONTAGNE: Standard and Poor's estimates that the 16-day-long government shutdown cost the U.S. economy roughly $24 billion. Because of that, the credit rating agency says it is lowering its estimate for U.S. economic growth in the fourth quarter to just over 2 percent. That's down .6 percentage points from its estimate before the shutdown. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.
And news that Washington has finally reached a deal, averting a potentially catastrophic debt default, is drawing a mixed reaction from the rest of the world.
NPR's Philip Reeves, in London, is watching the markets for us.
PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: We all know that, at times, the markets can be panicky and irrational. Yet, during this crisis, they held their nerve. Analysts say traders were always pretty confident there would be a last-minute deal. This time, they were right.
And our last word in business today is: diamonds on your timepiece.
Police in Great Britain are selling the luxury assets of Vincent Graham. He operated a drug ring in England before police arrested him a couple of years ago. Upon his arrest, police also seized some of Graham's personal belongings: jet skis, motorcycles, a Lamborghini and other luxury cars, items that Graham will no longer needs now that he's in prison.
Let's turn now to a House Democrat for reaction on the deal. Democratic Representative Steve Israel of New York is on the line. Good morning, Congressman.
REPRESENTATIVE STEVE ISRAEL: Good morning. How are you?
MONTAGNE: Fine. Thank you very much. Now, let's just move forward in time. Democrats said they would negotiate once the government reopened and the debt ceiling was raised. Both of those done. Are you ready for serious budget negotiations?
Gary Robins sits in the chair of his Supercuts salon in Media, Pa., one of 41 he owns throughout Philadelphia and Delaware.
Credit Will Figg for NPR
Martha Matilda Harper used this photo of herself to advertise her salons.
Credit Via winningthevote.org
Though the Supercuts imprint is everywhere — from the wallpaper to the reception desk — Gary Robins (right) owns the business and is responsible for the bottom line. Robins and employees at his Havertown, Pa., location look over stats and sales for the week.
We have been reporting for several weeks now on small businesses in America. Today, we explore a business system where entrepreneurs and corporations come together: franchising. Franchising is a bit like marriage. It takes a good long-term relationship to succeed.
I have a story on All Things Considered Wednesday (click on the audio link above to hear it) about the campaign to put labels on food containing genetically modified organisms, or GMOs. The idea is gaining ground in the Northeast — Maine and Connecticut passed labeling laws this summer, though they won't take effect unless more states do the same. And GMO labeling is on the ballot this November in Washington state.