I Hope This Is Our Final Shutdown Reader: Map, Airplanes, ChiComs

What 32 committed people, and one timorous speaker, can do to everyone else

Maps: I give you this one, from our friends at Esri, of the cities most affected by the shutdown. Click on the numbers at the left, and the map will show you more info for the respective cities.

Of course this understates the geographic extent of the impact, since it shows only direct Federal payroll numbers and not the ripple effects of cancelled research projects, tourism falloffs at the National Parks, and so on. But it's a start.

Airplanes: I give you this story, from Bloomberg, on why sales in America's leading manufactured-export sector, aerospace, are stalled by the shutdown too.

Hundreds of sales from vendors as varied as Airbus SAS and individuals are stalled as the Federal Aviation Administration’s aircraft-registration office remains shuttered. Titles for $2.5 billion of jetliners, small planes and helicopters may be in limbo if the shutdown runs into next week.

“This is a mess,” said William King, a vice president at Cirrus Aircraft Corp., which installs parachutes on its planes so they float to the ground in an engine failure. “Even if they settle this out quickly in the next 10 days, we could still be in a position of not meeting our delivery numbers by Jan. 1.”

The snags are part of the economic ripple effects from the first government shutdown in 17 years. Five U.S. senators urged FAA Administrator Michael Huerta in a letter this week to reopen the Oklahoma City-based registry because it’s “inflicting unnecessary hardship on aviation industries.”

ChiComs: We hear this from the FT.

This may be nearing its end. When and after it does, let us not forget the 32 people, and the one House speaker too scared of them to stave off this disaster, who have caused such mindless, cumulative damage.

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James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States and once worked as President Carter's chief speechwriter. His latest book is China Airborne. More

James Fallows is based in Washington as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. He has worked for the magazine for nearly 30 years and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He was raised in Redlands, California, received his undergraduate degree in American history and literature from Harvard, and received a graduate degree in economics from Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. In addition to working for The Atlantic, he has spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is an instrument-rated private pilot. He is also now the chair in U.S. media at the U.S. Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia.

Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He was the founding chairman of the New America Foundation. His recent books Blind Into Baghdad (2006) and Postcards From Tomorrow Square (2009) are based on his writings for The Atlantic. His latest book is China Airborne. He is married to Deborah Fallows, author of the recent book Dreaming in Chinese. They have two married sons.

Fallows welcomes and frequently quotes from reader mail sent via the "Email" button below. Unless you specify otherwise, we consider any incoming mail available for possible quotation -- but not with the sender's real name unless you explicitly state that it may be used. If you are wondering why Fallows does not use a "Comments" field below his posts, please see previous explanations here and here.

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