Us South Dakotans Worry?
And now, as if the collective loss of "conscious, rational control" within the Republican party hasn't done enough damage to our state's ag economy, we're confronted with another bit of headstrong nonsense aimed at South Dakota's tourism sector. President Trump announced over the past weekend that if he can't get the funding he wants for his border wall by September that he'll do what he can to shut down the government altogether. I have no doubt that I'm speaking for many of my counterparts in the tourism biz (which is how I make a buck), when I say that this crazy and surrealistic nonsense has to stop. Why? Because the last time we had a fiasco like this, during October of 2013, the government shutdown instigated by the GOP-dominated U.S. House of Representatives led to the closing of our national parks, monuments and caves--just in time to wipe out the lucrative Autumn tourism season that is so important to our local economy. Talk about unintended consequences. The Rapid City Journal headlined in its story on the subject that South Dakota's economy was "reeling" from the effects of the shutdown. My peers and I shared stories about constricted bottom lines and staffers whose paychecks were severely cut just as the holiday shopping season was getting into gear. That shutdown lasted for the first two weeks of October, but the aftereffects lingered throughout the month as news about the national park and monument closures drastically cut down business for the rest of the season. October 2013 sales tax receipts in Keystone, the town adjacent to Mt. Rushmore, were down 32 percent from the previous year. If there's an "art" to this, it won't get much appreciation from those who have to deal with the replay of a government shutdown.