Archive for the ‘stimulus’ tag
In her editorial “Amateur Hour,” Peggy Noonan quotes an unnamed Obama adviser in 2009 who says of the stimulus:
We should have spent more time thinking about where the money was being spent, rather than simply that there was this hole of a certain size in the economy that needed to be filled, so fill it.
Meanwhile, The Onion asks, Should The Government Stop Dumping Money Into A Giant Hole?
Paul Krugman would like to see space aliens attack Earth so that we’ll have to initiate a massive, economy-stimulating military build-up:
But wait– the Guardian doesn’t want that at all. And you’ll never guess what contentious environmental issue may be attracting the ire of superior intelligent life:
It may not rank as the most compelling reason to curb greenhouse gases, but reducing our emissions might just save humanity from a pre-emptive alien attack, scientists claim.
Watching from afar, extraterrestrial beings might view changes in Earth’s atmosphere as symptomatic of a civilisation growing out of control â€“ and take drastic action to keep us from becoming a more serious threat, the researchers explain.
UPDATE: Allahpundit is funny.
Nick Schulz of Forbes cites a new study which analyzes the stimulus’ subsidization of broadband access for rural areas and reveals some staggering figures:
Eisenach and Caves looked at three areas that received stimulus funds, in the form of loans and direct grants, to expand broadband access in Southwestern Montana, Northwestern Kansas, and Northeastern Minnesota. The median household income in these areas is between $40,100 and $50,900. The median home prices are between $94,400 and $189,000.
So how much did it cost per unserved household to get them broadband access? A whopping $349,234, or many multiples of household income, and significantly more than the cost of a home itself.
Sadly, itâ€™s actually worse than that. Take the Montana project. The area is not in any meaningful sense unserved or even underserved. As many as seven broadband providers, including wireless, operate in the area. Only 1.5% of all households in the region had no wireline access. And if you include 3G wireless, there were only seven households in the Montana region that could be considered without access. So the cost of extending access in the Montana case comes to about $7 million for each additional household served.
Now, I don’t work in government and never have, so maybe my mind isn’t wired correctly– but I couldn’t help immediately wondering whether there exist cheaper options. Set aside the issue of whether the federal government should undertake to provide Internet access to people who have quite voluntarily chosen to live in remote rural areas– are thereÂ cheaper options?
20 seconds later, I had an answer: Yes.
HughesNet serves Kansas, Minnesota and Montana and offers high-speed satellite Internet service starting at $39.99 per month.
So I guess delivering Internet access to rural Kansas, Minnesota and Montana costs $39.99 per month. Or $7 million. Depending on who you ask.
From a New York Times article on Wednesday. Wednesday, June 3, 1892. (Not a joke.)
A HUNDRED MILES AN HOUR; PROMISED RATE OF TRAVEL FROM ST. LOUIS TO CHICAGO. DR. WELLINGTON ADAMS TELLS ELECTRIC CLUB MEMBERS OF A WONDERFUL ELECTRIC RAILROAD — THE SECRET OF HIS MOTORS RETAINED.
The Empire State Express, which flies from New-York to Buffalo, is soon to be entirely eclipsed by an electric express traveling at thunderbolt speed over a road as straight as an arrow’s course, if the story be not a dream which Dr. Wellington Adams unfolded last night to the members of the Electric Club…
Are you fucking kidding me?
Missouri has won a $1.2 million grant funded by the federal stimulus package for research on â€œgreenâ€ occupations and the skills needed for these jobs.
The planned research includes statewide and regional green growth reports with localized analyses of green industries and job trends; a green competency model, which will spell out the skills and competencies needed for green occupations; and a green pathways career guide, which will present a step-by-step guide to securing green careers with assessments, skill lists and training information.
Examples of specific occupations with â€œgreenâ€ potential include farmers, engineers, environmental compliance inspectors, biologists and construction managers.
I’m not even going to touch that second paragraph because it’s indecipherable consultant-speak. I’m kind of surprised the Business Journal published that sentence.
So let’s look at that last passage about prospective “green jobs.” If we’re talking about potential career paths, this is a no-brainer– you’ve got to go with “environmental compliance inspector.”
Essentially, the federal government is paying Missouri to research how people can receive more money from the federal government for enforcing federal government regulations that destroy actual jobs. What kind of schmuck would pick “farmer” or “engineer” when you’ve got a shot at a triple-reinforced federal bureaucratic green job like that?
I am reminded of this satirical chart. It seems less absurd every day.
Moe Lane points out that the success of Tom Carnahan’s Wind Capital Group project depends to a great extent on both stimulus money and the passage of cap-and-trade legislation, and wonders:
Iâ€™d ask why Russ Carnahan felt comfortable voting for legislation that would directly benefit his brother, except that I already know that Democratic legacy politicians typically donâ€™t believe that they have to obey the rules that they expect the rest of us to follow. Given the incredible amounts of deference that the rest of their party gives them, they may unfortunately have a bit of a point.
Don’t forget that sis might be in the Senate soon, too.
UPDATE: From the comments, Mitch writes:
OK, let’s see if I can connect the dots. Tom Carnahan gets enough money to finance a windmill farm (whered he get the financing?) Then uses his family connections to legislate that the electric company buy his electricity at above market rates. Sounds like a good business plan!