In Africa, we have a saying that goes, “when two bulls fight, it is only the grass that gets hurt.” Government workers in the US are the ‘grass’ in this case while the two bulls are the Republicans spearheaded by President Trump on one side and the Democrats led by House Speaker Pelosi on the other hand.
It is close to a month now since the partial U.S. government shutdown began, and that means about 800,000 government workers and other countless contractors are not getting paid. Without a paycheck, some are already turning to other means to make ends meet.
Craigslist to the rescue
Craigslist has over the past week or two seen an increase in the number of people listing things they want to sell citing the shutdown the reason behind it. You can actually put the word shutdown on Craigslist and it will turn up a result with government employees and contractors looking to make ends meet.
One seller in D.C explains, “Our government shutdown pain is your gain!”
Another one listing an 18-month old Microsoft Surface Pro goes like, “Need some money ASAP due to Govt. Shutdown.
Then another one, “Due to the government shutdown, stocks dropping and bills starting to become tight, I’m selling this laptop and downgrading to make life a little easier.”
US government workers are selling just about anything. There is a federal contractor out in Denver who is selling his restored van saying “I just need to pay bills an[d] rent asap.”
Recreational things like musical instruments are the first casualty, I guess when a family looks at what to let go to make ends meet. One guitar seller who has listed his guitar for $340 says,
“Didn’t want to part with this but the shutdown has really made things difficult so my loss is your gain.”