Washington DC is a company town. As LA is dominated by the entertainment industry, the DC area is dominated by the federal government. When the government shuts down, furloughing hundreds of thousands of workers, there is going to be a big impact in the region. Some area restaurants and bars are responding by offering free food and drinks to federal employees during the shutdown.
Kangaroo Boxing Club in DC is offering federal employees a free screwdriver. D.C. Reynolds is offering a buy one, get one free drink special during the shutdown. Pork Barrel BBQ is offering free pulled-pork sandwiches to furloughed government workers.
The list goes on. A number of local museums have waived their admission fees. There are free knitting and pole-dancing classes if you are part of the privileged, but furloughed, government class.
I don’t really begrudge this, but I find it slightly annoying. Years ago, I was laid off from an organization as the financial crisis hit and I don’t remember anyone offering me a free pulled-pork sandwich. Millions of Americans face a similar situation daily and no one is offering them free “screwdrivers” or pole-dancing classes.
Washington simply thinks it is different.
Once the government shutdown is resolved, it is very likely that the furloughed government workers will be awarded back-pay, for the time they didn’t work. Will they settle up with the establishments offering them free stuff today?
Sadly, I actually had planned to order food from Pork Barrel BBQ tonight. I will pass. I want to make sure they have enough pulled-pork sandwiches to hand out to “non-essential” workers. I already pay taxes once. No reason to pay them again.