Thursday, January 08, 2009

Government Hell-Bent On Guaranteeing A Long, Drawn-Out Depression

What could be better than the further squandering of productive resources?

As seen at this link:

Obama has been working with his advisers so that the proposed $750-billion-and-counting package of tax breaks and spending on infrastructure, education, health care and unemployment insurance is ready to go on Day One.

There are currently about 10 million unemployed workers in the U.S. (The Bureau of Labor Statistics defines as unemployed those persons who didn’t work in the week of the monthly employment survey, were available for work and made an effort to find work in the previous month.)

“If we write a check for $75,000 to each of the unemployed, we won’t have anyone ‘unemployed,’” said former Treasury Secretary Paul O’Neill.

O’Neill did the math so you don’t have to. Each job “will cost $250,000, which doesn’t suggest much labor intensity for the dollars spent,” he said. “It makes me wonder if any of the planners or commentators are good at arithmetic.”

They’re not good at arithmetic. And one wonders about their facility with economics.

If putting people to work is the goal, we could get rid of all the heavy earth-moving equipment and go back to digging ditches with shovels.

Why stop there? If it takes one man two days to dig a trench three feet deep and 30 feet long with a shovel, how long would it take 100 men using spoons?

Good Keynesians, such as Princeton University economist Paul Krugman, are worried about finding enough viable, shovel-ready projects. The size of the required stimulus is “so big that it’s actually going to be hard to find enough things” to spend it on, Krugman said in an interview with Japan’s Asahi Shimbun.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Obama-worship aside, does he really believe that the multitude of out-of-work Broadway/off-Bway/off-off-bway court-jesters are going to pick up a shovel and dig dirt for a few dollars a day? I know the court-jesters campaigned for Obama but did they know they were campaigning themselves out of a job?

The theater is dark yet artists think they will still shine bright.

Man oh man, are they in for a real whopper of Change.