What If The US Government (Suddenly) No Longer Existed?

What If The US Government (Suddenly) No Longer Existed?

Government is the body that runs the country. One or more political parties make up the
government, and a huge team of civil servants supports them. Politicians often attend debates and meetings
in government buildings, where they decide on what policies will or will not work, and
how the national budget should be spent. A good government protects and provides for
the people. It keeps the country moving forward. Today, we’ll look into just how important
the government is, in this episode of The Infographics Show, What If The Government
Suddenly Disappeared? It’s not hard to find examples of countries
functioning without government. Belgium sets the record for the longest period
without an elected government in a democracy, when between 2010 and 2011, there was a 589
day break, after wrangling between Flemish and Walloon figures. And Spain spent the first 10 months of 2016
in a similar position, with a stalemate between socialists and conservatives. Beyond Europe, it’s not difficult to find
more examples…Iraq went without a government for much of 2010, towards the end of the war. What happens when there is no government depends
a lot on the back up plan the country has, as well as the cultural response. So what would happen in the US? The first few days… Let’s just assume that in this case study,
you simply woke up one day and the government had disappeared overnight. Vanished into thin air, leaving us all to
fend for ourselves. One of the first things most of us do after
waking up, is brush our teeth. But when you go to turn on the tap, knowing
there is no public services authority, you’d be wondering; “Is the water supply safe
to drink? Who’s decontaminating it from dangerous
bacteria?” Feeling a little gritty with your unbrushed
teeth, you might head back to the bedroom to get dressed for work. But if you use public transport for the commute,
you’ll soon realize you can’t get there. We’re only 20 minutes into the day and it’s
already looking bleak! You decide to check up on the latest news
to see how much impact the lack of government is having on the country. There would be chaos in the financial markets. The U.S. federal debt exceeded $21 trillion
in March 2018, and it is the largest single investment instrument in the market. If the federal government disappeared, there
would be no guarantee of the debt being honored. The value of the US dollar would also become
completely questionable. Each note is backed by what’s known as “full
faith and credit of the U.S. government”. But with no US government, what would it be
worth? The federal government is also responsible
for a whole host of corporate functions such as taxes, regulations, and trade operations. There’s no back up plan to keep any of this
going if the whole government disappeared overnight. One thing that may shoot up in value would
be gold and silver, as precious metals would always be worth something in trade, so quick
thinking investors would jump on that…It’s a pretty dreary first morning as you sit watching
the financial chaos, wishing you could brush your teeth. The first few weeks… After the crazy start, life would need to
carry on in one way or another. Where governments have fallen apart or been
overthrown, the capability of the military often plays a big part in what happens next. Using Thailand as an example, in May 2014,
the Royal Thai Armed Forces launched a military coup against the government of Thailand, following
six months of political crisis. The military established what was called the
National Council for Peace and Order (or NCPO) to govern the nation. With the military stepping in, they took on
the responsibilities of the government, which limited the disruption. However, Thailand has been through this process
a number of times, and there would likely be a lot more chaos if the US government disappeared. Assuming most businesses carried on as normal,
with the lack of federal government, there would be no reason to deduct taxes from wages,
so workers would receive bigger paychecks. That’s good news right? Maybe not…as systems such as the federal
social security program would also stall, and retired people would struggle to find
the cash for day-to-day living. And Medicare would disappear, causing havoc
in the health sector. There would quickly need to be state level
authority before further community functions fell apart. Who would pay USDA inspectors, FAA flight
controllers, and other key personnel? And how would federal prisons continue to
run, or would they simply open their doors and set everyone free? It’s not easy to answer these questions,
as it would come down to many factors…the most important question being, who would step
up and take responsibility in these first few vital months. It’s quite possible that the banking sector
might take some control, as the major banks hold a lot of the country’s wealth. Something similar happened in New York in
1975, when the city found itself in a debt crisis and was forced to hand some of the
authority to its lenders. The banks formed a committee called the Municipal
Assistance Corporation, and set out to control the city’s finances. This resulted in thousands of teachers, police
officers, and firefighters being sacked. So it’s not unimaginable that the likes
of Citigroup and Bank of America could band together in an attempt to create a replacement
system and even form a new currency. A few months in… More issues would crop up as time passes. Assuming that a local authority did not take
responsibility for the federal food inspection system, there would eventually be contaminated
food on supermarket shelves and in restaurants, potentially leading to mass disease. There would certainly have been a major economic
collapse, and with thousands more people out of work, and all major government activities
ceased, it’s highly likely this would lead to civil unrest as people start to lose patience. It’s hard to say what would happen with
Interstate commerce. Would companies be hampered by the absence
of a federal court system and a means of resolving state boundary legalities? You would hope that corporate responsibility
and the importance of reputation would see most disputes resolved. The tax system would be well and truly broken
by this stage, with the non-existence of income taxes, capital gains taxes, and excise taxes. So even if there were some states ruling,
they would need to find a way to raise revenue to pay for the services previously handled
by the federal government. One year on… A year in, and America would likely be considered
a 3rd world country, with society looking more like it did in the 18th century, with
a great deal more responsibility back in the hands of citizens. There might be town council meetings to decide
whether to allow business projects to go forward, and what was left of the corporate sector
would probably play a major role in societal governance. Instead of a Food & Drug Administration, perhaps
business or community would demand an independent organization to develop standards, conduct
tests, and certify which drugs were safe and effective. By now, the prisons would likely all be privately
run, and you would hope that other functions previously managed by the government would
fall into the hands of people or small businesses. Somalia went with no functioning national
government for two decades, until 2012, when an internationally backed government was installed. There was much chaos and fighting during that
time, but people still got by, and the country sets a good example of how people respond
to collective problems without government. In many parts of the country, communities
organized themselves to solve collective problems and provide public goods. And residents managed to maintain daily routines
much like those in more developed countries. Private-sector firms offered basic utilities
and services, such as garbage removal and clean water access, and small local council
units took responsibility for jobs normally left to the state. Removing the government certainly sounds like
a bad idea, but does society see it that way? We looked at debate.org, an online community
debating website, where we found a debate titled, is life without government possible? That vote came in with 58% of people saying
it would be possible. One subscriber argued: “It would be utopia. Worldwide anarchy is something to strive for. It would not be utter chaos.” So, what do you think? Would life be good or bad if there was no government
in place? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. Also be sure to check out our other video
called, Most Powerful Corporations in the World. Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t
forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!


  1. If the US gov't disappeared, then it gives China and Russia more incentive to invade the US as a domino effect takes place, other countries that depend on the US will also have problems with a Russia/China invasion and WW III will likely ensue. Without USA in the world, the world will eventually collapse and it would be a return of the Dark Ages in a Modern society, the ones that will have a high chance of survival will most likely be military personnel and farmers who can be self sufficient, cities will crumble one after the other, possible nuclear war could potentially happen, US nuclear material and weapons would be a free for all if the military doesn't maintain control. The dollar will collapse like the German Mark back after WW I, riots will happen on top of foreign entities invading, though America is one the most gun driven nation, it might as well be a battle royale where military will be top dog. Though in theory the US military/National Guards/Coast Guards could take over US gov't role, it would not last long as corruption will likely happen under a monarchist rule or authortorian rule as past gov'ts have shown frequent changes of gov't. Israel would be wiped out, Japan and Korea being annex like Crimea, Oil prices rising, dissolving NATO as US forces will be concentrated in the US territories, closing down of military bases and returning US military equipment, current gov'ts under the protection of the US military will be overthrown by terrorist organizations like Taliban and Al Qaeda, alliances will form more quickly as the black hole left by a non-existent US gov't will need to be filled. Europe will be preyed by Russia and China, Australia will be isolated, Africa will be colonized by foreigners, United Nations might break up or become irrelevant as the only world's superpower and world policeman is gone. It will be just like the board game RISK where the nation with the biggest and strongest military will takeover to rule the world.

  2. Yeah Northern Ireland is now the longest country with out its own government but we have the option of being ruled by Westminster so we didn't even get into the Guinness world records…… WE CANT EVEN BE SHIT RIGHT !!

  3. My theory is that if the U.S. government suddenly vanished the states would take charge and either form their own unions or remain independent.

  4. With no more government in the United States, life will become bad! The Americans would lash out and riot on the streets.

  5. Well, I think you just answer your own question there, Infographics Show, and that is: No! We DON'T want any governments at all! So all you're doing right now is supporting anarchy. Whoops.

  6. Militas and gangs would start fighting for territory and power. Mexicans would flood the boarder. Riots would spread. And looting would happen almost imedatly.

  7. Assuming you are talking about the federal government, not much. The states would simply run themselves in very much the same manner. Overtime a new Constitution would be ratified and within a couple of years, we would be back to where we are now.

  8. This is vital I believe that without a functing federal government there will be anarchy and chaos from a political and economic view.

  9. I am legitimately disconcerted by the thought that very little about the United States would actually change without a functioning federal government. What the heck does that say about the government we have?

  10. If there was NO USA GOVERNMENT, I’d be taking advantage of a new revolution to form a new country also give Puerto Rico Independence.

  11. Well it would be a blessing in disguise because all leftists liberals would be gone people can survive without government, government can't survive without people but, socialist liberals can't survive without government= win? NO MORE NPC's

  12. Hey can you please answer my question if life was a game how many frames per second would it run please answer cause I really want to know

  13. no more child like rules then in fact the people will take there own lives on an positive note like no lies no cheating each other

  14. The hell was that ending all about? Somalia didn't recover and get better. They starve and murder their own rape victims for speaking out. Also, anarchy is opposite to Utopia. If the show continues on like this I may not consider sticking around

  15. We all complain about the government sometimes. But can a country really be successful without one? Or is chaos inevitable?

  16. The states would be more and more independent as time went on but it be still be chaotic if I would end up being loose Confederate of states some what like the European Union but more closer ties

  17. If I'm not mistaken, governments should exist to help establish better law, order, and stability to a region. I see it as a form of management. That aspect of life will probably always have to be incorporated within groups of people to establish smoother productivity and more civilized societies. The larger a group, the more complex the society can get, the more laws that may need to be created, and the more people and positions its going to have to create to keep better track of its system and information/resources backing it. So yea, I think some amount of government should exist. There most certainly has to be some kind of constitution in place that helps the citizens keep those in higher positions of authority in check and vice-versa so that things don't get too out of hand at any level of society.

  18. Also, to answer your question towards chaos being inevitable, I believe civil discourse is most certainly inevitable. As far as close to absolute chaos that can be considered, I have more doubts about that than certainty. Most people in this world I'd say appreciate the level of peace and order that they hopefully have in their lives. So the chances of them wanting to blatantly throw it all away just for a fresh start or reset of some kind to try and suit their desires or needs better is unlikely. When people feel like their lives are continuing to get or feel in worse shape though, of course they're going to desire some kind of change to break away from the monotony of the misery that becomes produced through their lives. The less society tries or is able to support its self properly though, of course the reality of ensuing chaos will steadily take over. When there is a lack of efficiency in a society, some one is going to either try and take advantage of said situation and its people or some one will try to step up to try and organize it better. Other-wise, the society is doomed to become something less, if any part of it ends up surviving the situation at all in the future.

  19. Is no one else concerned by this channel? It seems awfully anti-american and anti-government, and it seems to do a lot of fear mongering. Anyone know who finances it?


  21. Having no "U.S. government" would not imply the collapse of States and State governments. The States would then operate (and could operate) like their own country just like before the federal constitution in 1787 if the U.S. Government disappeared. In other words, there would be no more private central banks like the Federal Reserve, or its collection agency (IRS), the States would then go back to lawful money (Gold and Silver) and no more inflationary currency (to create the inevitable collapse of financial freedom), interventionism in wars and countries would also be void. Sounds pretty good.

  22. Your assuming federal is the same as state. In the short term at least there would be little change as state governments could cover for the federal government. In addition most state laws reflect the federal laws. Judges in all states are versed in both federal and state laws, most of which are based on precedent, not governmental review

  23. You used “third world country” wrong. Even if the us went poor it wouldn’t be a third world country, it actually could never be unless we went back in time and didn’t join the allies to fight in war. The only meaning of first world is the allies that joined as one and anyone who didn’t join where considered third world.

  24. Without the Federal, we would still have City and maybe even state government still running the Americans locally.
    While the Federal Government has been shut down, Seattle is currently remodeling their Transportation system and demolishing the viaduct.
    The more days the Federal Government is shut down, the more I question weather we need a White House at all.

  25. Yeah… But we're talking about America. You know, the place that has rampant looting after national disasters and deadly riots for police officers getting acquitted.

  26. As a Belgian, most of us found that the periode without a government was when the country was doing it best. Why?? Because parlement had real power then. No political fights in parlement, laws from the right and left leaning of the political spectrum where implemented, no money wasted…. Best time my contry was governed was when we haddend a government. 😉

  27. More then likely groups of men in each city around America would arm up. And either defend their towns or attack other towns for supply's. We would then probably all go back to farming and what not

  28. State governments would take over all Federal level government responsibilities within their respective borders. There is already a plan for this.

  29. There is a difference between federal, city, and state governments, public transportation for example is mostly provided by city governments.

  30. If our nation had no government then it would fall. People know how to do many things but govern themselves is not one of them. I am an American and I love this country but the government is well needed even though its politics can be shady at best. Though if one day we had no government on capital hill then there would be rioting in the streets and all sorts of mayhem through out the country. People would think on some level " I can do what I want." State officials would try and keep order but wouldn't be able to maintain order. There are to few cops in some areas, and the military would pretty much be disbanded their would be some soldiers that would want to help but there would not be enough to police them. It would be chaos. Think of it no persons at the W. H., Pentagon, FBI, NSA, and CIA. All of this adds to the gov and they are gone. Yeah panic in the streets, looters, shooting, killings, and much more on a level unthought of. Yes, it would be the purge but even they had a gov to let the people know to stop. This would be more like Mad Max the original.

  31. That would be great and horrible at the same time but I think mostly great since the government is horrible anyway

  32. If there was no government there'd still be a cure for a hole lotta diseases and a cure for cancer.

  33. I'd just go back to my Wigwam and Hunt and Fish and Live Free and be well armed to defend that freedom… Not the end of the World… Governments can come and go it's just the way of things.

  34. I just have to point out that even tho there is a government we still go through these problems…

  35. People are the government. Where people are there is government. Everything else remains a sociopathic con.

  36. “Full faith and credit of the US government.” Since when could anyone have faith in the US government?

  37. I believe we will do better with no government people know where they work at. So they can keep going to work as normal. The ones that will be mess up are the lazy ones and the ones that the government support as ebt and the rest. I Don’t worry about that because I have a job and pay my own bills.

  38. This is what will happen if it becomes corrupt, bad and having trump being an amateur on how to run the country correctly.

  39. only people would be mad is the left…but are local is more important then the federal gov imo….cause its where you live..after a few weeks the local govs would be back in like the old days…

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