The shut down of the state of Minnesota on the Fourth of July is a communications and a leadership failure. While I agree that disputes over raising taxes is serious and is worthy of critical discussions, shutting down national and local parks, libraries, and rest stops, and furloughing 22,000 people sends the wrong message. The government’s job is to provide an infrastructure for growth. Tourism helps states grow economically. Tourism brings in revenue for the state, as well as local businesses. Shutting down the parks associated with the 10,000 lakes is bad for tourism. How many families cancelled their weekend plans in Minnesota because of this shutdown? How many vacations were ruined? How many of those people will return? Exactly. Local business owners seem to understand the long-term negative consequences better than their elected officials. This shut down, during one of the busiest tourist weekends of the summer, hurts. The message this sends is that Minnesota isn’t really concerned with their image or their people. The people of Minnesota and their guests deserve better.