Friday, May 15, 2009

Ready, Fire, Aim Pt. VI (UPDATED)

(UPDATE #1):Vice President, Joe Biden, yes that Joe Biden was set-up, err, selected to give the first assessment of the stimulus package’s progress this week and whaddya know? Everything is going along swimmingly.

Article, here does a good job, though, of separating the wheat from the chaff and the chaff is in plentiful supply.

The next time you hear a claim or read a news release about how much the stimulus packcage is aiding the economy or how, as was just trumpeted this week by Biden, that 150,000 had been created or saved, remember that the very people touting these successes don’t even know where the stimulus money is going.

(here endeth the update)

It’s still early but enough numbers are starting to roll in to where a picture of the effectiveness of the stimulus package is starting to take shape. And, unfortunately, its starting to take shape precisely how you would expect a $787 billion dollar piece of legislation cobbled together in haste by just a handful of people and read by no one and whose intent was really not to stimulate the economy but jumpstart the Great Society Pt. II.

Below are some unemployment figures (H/T: Innocent Bystanders) superimposed over a chart used by the camp of both candidate Obama and President-elect Obama and who made some predictions of their own with respect to unemployment numbers with and without the stimulus package. At this point, with the stimulus package, unemployment was supposed to be tapering off. So, we get this rise in unemployment with the added benefit of massive and rapidly increasing deficits we detailed 3 posts ago.

Why is this happening? In addition to the inherent misallocation of resources in people and money that results from a command and control style of economy, one of the unfortunate and unanticipated phenomenas of porkulus that is, in part, contributing to this unexpected rise in unemployment is that it’s not going to those counties that have been hit hardest by unemployment.

Counties suffering the most from job losses stand to receive the least help from President Barack Obama's plan to spend billions of stimulus dollars on roads and bridges, an Associated Press analysis has found.
Although the intent of the money is to put people back to work, AP's review of more than 5,500 planned transportation projects nationwide reveals that states are planning to spend the stimulus in communities where jobless rates are already lower.

It turns out the boast of “shovel-ready” products contained within the stimulus package is having a negative impact on those economically-depressed counties and areas that did not have the funding and resources as it was to put together "shovel-ready" plans. Drawings, staging sites, environmental impact reports, etc. - all the things one would need to hit the ground running are non-existent in these poorer counties, as such, work in this make-work program is going to places that may not need it or don't nearly need it as badly.

Again, it's all about allocation of resources and in this case, the misallocation, thereof.