13 Feb 2009, 8:59pm
Politics and politicians
by admin

What Does A Job Cost?

Let’s do the math. The latest off the news wire:

U.S. Senate on brink of passing stimulus bill

By Richard Cowan and Jeremy Pelofsky, 02.13.09, 09:03 PM EST [here]

WASHINGTON, Feb 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Friday was on the brink of passing a $787 billion package of spending and tax cuts aimed at rescuing the struggling economy, hours after the House of Representatives approved the measure. …

The president has urged the Democratic-controlled Congress to pass the stimulus before the end of the coming holiday weekend so he can sign it into law. His goal is to create or save 3.5 million jobs in an economy that has seen massive job losses since the recession began in December 2007.

Okay. Using scientific notation: $787 x 10^9 funding / 3.5 x 10^6 jobs = $225 x 10^3 / job.

That’s $225,000 per job.

Can I have one of those?

Maybe it’s supposed to be over two years. That’s $112,500/year/job.

I’d take that, too. I can operate a backhoe, or a shovel, for one of those “shovel ready” jobs, especially if it pays $225 G’s, or even if it pays “only” $112 G’s per year for two years.

Would anybody else like to do the math? Care to check me to see if I made some mistake?

Can Congress do the math?

Note: the foregoing estimate of 3.5 million jobs to be created by the Stimulus Bill is based on a statement made today by Christina Romer, who leads Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers.

But she may have overstated. According to the Washington Post [here]

[S]everal prominent economists [are] now saying the package will save or create fewer than 2.5 million jobs by the end of next year.

Using the above figure of 2.5 million jobs, the cost is $315,000 per job. I’ll take one of those instead. And one for my lovely wife too, please. She’s quite capable and worth every penny of it.

Or if the pay has to be spread over two years, that would be $157,400 per year each. We’d be less happy with that pay, but would not complain about it.

Especially considering that our kids and grandkids and great grandkids will be paying for it, and they wouldn’t even be here but for the struggles of my wife and I (more her than me I’ll admit, but it takes two to tango), so why shouldn’t they treat us to a one time joint income of $630 G’s for the next year or two?

Where do we sign up for these jobs? I’ll be writing to my Congressional Delegation and expect an answer PDQ. I can hardly wait for the windfall.

14 Feb 2009, 1:32pm
by Forrest Grump

Congress is a box of rocks, okay? Time to make gravel.

14 Feb 2009, 4:23pm
by bear bait

In my younger days working as a side-rod for an outfit in Yew-Gene, I was driving down the road, and I heard on the radio that NYC had 26,000 cops. That was a pile of jobs. The assumption that 26,000 cops was the result of peace keeping needs in a city of 10 million.

But my mind wandered, and I thought about all those cops living in one town, like Yew-Gene. And then I wondered how many people lived in a cop’s household. Kids, wives, extended family, aging parents. And, if you had 26,000 cops, you also had maybe 10,000 retired cops. And they were a part of the equation, too.

So then I keep on going, finding doctors and lawyers, pharmacists and dentists, accountants and clergy, all for a cop town. Someone has to birth their kids, nurses, orderlies, all that, and someone has to educate the kids, the schools had to be staffed, and they will die, and we will need undertakers. And in between there is the need for shopkeepers of all types, for clothes and food, wedding rings, and mobility chairs.

It used to take me about two hours to get from the Oakridge side to the one on the coast up the North Fork of the Siuslaw, and all the time I was thinking about how many people it would take to service a one-employer town like Yew-Gene, Oreygawn. How many people would live in a one-employer town, where the cop shop for a big city was the source of the major jobs? And when I did all the math in my head, and totaled up all the people that I assumed would be living there, I came up with 350,000, my rounded number. And believe me, I ain’t no economist. I was just thinking out loud in my head. I had taken a grad course in demographics. I had an economics series in my liberal arts education. That is all I had to go on.

So, when we start talking about stimulus packages and jobs, it seems to me that the job the stimulus pays for directly must have some way of developing the Samuelson multiplier through the economy of five or so. And that multiplier of five is taking into account taxes. If those jobs don’t pay taxes, I have to wonder if there is really any difference in that dollar expansion to money being like manure, in that it really does good when it is spread around a lot.

And now I have shared a lengthy mind fart of long ago. And I hope that the stimulus really will fertilize the economy, and grow other jobs…

14 Feb 2009, 5:12pm
by Mike

That’s my point. $787 billion should produce about 80 million jobs. But it won’t, because the funds are going to be high-graded and sidetracked into the pockets of a mighty few.

And the money has to come from somewhere, either the future economy or runaway inflation, or both. And all that will reduce employment, then and now.

Every dollar taken from taxpayers and sent to the government is lost in the ozone. Government spending shrinks and stifles the economy. People who are put to work in government jobs produce no wealth. They just drain wealth. Wealth creation happens in the private sector, not the public sector.

Farms, forests, and factories create wealth. The government doesn’t. The government consumes wealth. And the Stimulus Bill will consume more wealth than ever before. It’s a ticket to complete economic collapse.

The idea that the Stimulus Bill will stimulate anything is ludicrous. It’s a Stifle the Economy Bill. The same thing will happen to Stimulus funds that happened to the TARP (Bank Bailout) trillions: they will disappear into thin air.

15 Feb 2009, 8:18pm
by Mike


… Graham’s own Governor, Mark Sanford, is suggesting he may not take the roughly $8 billion in stimulus funding for South Carolina.

“For every job the bill creates, American taxpayers will spend $223,000. If we add the cost of this bill to the previous efforts of the federal government to deal with the financial crisis, the American taxpayer is on the hook for $9.7 trillion… If the stimulus bill were a country, it would be the 15th-largest country in the world,” Sanford wrote in The State this morning.

Graham, however, said Sanford should take the funding: “I think it would be smart for South Carolina to take the money because South Carolina’s going to have to pay the money back. The average taxpayer’s gets to get $8 of tax relief, but their children get $1-trillion of debt.”

15 Feb 2009, 8:20pm
by Mike


Projects in Oregon

The “shovel-ready” projects for which the mayors of this state have requested federal stimulus funding. You can click on a project to read (and add to) its description. You can also discuss the project and vote on whether you believe it is critical or not. For a more local view, you can drill down to projects in a particular city.

The total of cost of all the projects submitted by Oregon is $909,352,610



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