Friday, February 11, 2011

Return of the bride of Porkulus


Alternate blog post title: Another laser-like-focus-on-jobs sighting.

From a opinion piece:

Obama plan won't mean jobs right away

Given the context, perhaps the most ass-covering title we've ever read...

... 'cuz the lede, below, could've been written two years ago as Porkulus was being cobbled together.

President Obama has a noble idea. He argues that if the government is going to spend money to give a boost to the economy, whose growth is slow and anemic, why not use those funds to buy goodies we want anyhow?

The goodies, laid out by the president during the State of the Union address, are funds for infrastructure, a fancy word for bridges, dams, roads, pipelines and such; for research, and for education.

And now, the admission that Keynesian gimmickry doesn't provide the jobs that Keynesian gimmickry proponents claim it does.

The trouble with this idea is that at least two of these "investments" will generate relatively few jobs. Creating jobs is President Obama's No. 1 human, economic and political priority. The real unemployment rate is more than 17%, which includes the unemployed, those who stopped looking and those who work part time but need full-time jobs.

Unfortunately, the last two recoveries, in 1992 and 2003, produced relatively few jobs and the same seems to be the case for the current one. Stocks are doing well. Banks have recovered. Wall Street bonuses are again sky high, but the unemployment rate continues to stay near its high mark.

When you try to generate employment through infrastructure work, you find that that kind of work is what economists call "capital intensive" rather than "labor intensive." In plain English, a good part of the money goes not to hiring workers but to purchasing raw materials.


Author seems unperturbed though because, screw it, doing nothing (as in, the alternative to spending more money we don't have) is better than, you know, the alternative.

All the while, we still (long-time readers, brace for it) want to know whatever became of President Bush's $286 billion Highway Bill that was devoted to transportation infrastructure upgrades and which was signed into law a mere six years ago (remember the Bridge to Nowhere?)?

Oh, that's right: funny how out-of-control porky spending and mid-term ass-kickings have gone hand-in-hand in the last two of those cycles.

"If we want people working in America, we got to make sure our highways and roads are modern,…We've got to bring up this transportation system into the 21st century."
- President ( )

1 comment:

K T Cat said...

A truly modern highway system would have omnipresent wifi so I could surf the web while I drove.