Bob Herbert Debates Reason's Matt Welch on The Impact of the Government Shutdown

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On Jansing and Co., Demos Distinguished Senior Fellow Bob Herbert joined host Chris Jansing and Reason's Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch to discuss the continuing government shutdown.

Welch, ever ready with the sort of libertarian arguments for which our Gordon Gamm Initiative was created to dispel, was quick to call for deregulation as a solution to problems created by the shutdown.

Herbert responded with a reminder that, despite the shutdown, we continue to live in a democratic republic:

The involvement of the federal government in the lives of the American people is a choice to be made by the American people via their elected representatives, not in this kind of situation in Washington where there is a government shutdown.


  • The Gordon Gamm Initiative
  • Gordon Gamm, "Responding to Reason"
    Our disagreement with [...] libertarians lies in their reflexive attack on government. They assume that unfettered free markets can better serve the general welfare without government oversight, except for the police to protect private property and the military. However, there is no country on earth that has prospered without government regulation of commerce. Our country has always been a mixed economy with elements of capitalism and social welfare. The preamble to our constitution sets forth the purpose of our union as a government by its citizens striving for a more perfect nation by serving the general welfare.
  • David Callahan, "I Miss My Government! How Libertarians Lose from the Shutdown"