Friday, February 4, 2011

The cold hard truth about the stimulus...

IT'S WORKING! That's right, the Recovery Act that President Obama put into place in 2009 is showing signs that it's actually working (Link). Employment figures for the month of January came out today and 50,000 new jobs were added in the private sector last month, marking the 11th straight month of private sector growth. While it may be small compared to the last two months, we have to take into account seasonal employment around the holidays has most likely ended. What is even more impressive is that for the second straight month, the unemployment number has dropped to 9.0%. While that still a far cry compared to the 5.8% back in 2008, it shows that we're finally getting back on the right track. It's a very impressive drop in just the span of two months, and if it comtinues to drop, then maybe we'll finally be able to get out economic ditch. Around here, it was reported that General Electric will recall 280 workers to the locomotive plant in my town to work on a huge order that came in from China. Imagine what would happen if the President's high speed railroad plan went through, GE would be clamoring for more workers. Unfortunately it also comes at a time when the school district in my town is facing a budget shortfall and will likely have to cut teachers and close a school to make up that difference. Some government assistance would be very helpful since the President wants to reform our educational system in the way that No Child Left Behind was supposed to, but failed to acheive. But as usual, I digress. The important thing to note is that demon spawn of the Democrats, the Recovery Act, is actually starting to show signs that it's working. Also note that while Republicans in Congress will try to take credit for this, they haven't been in power long enough to make a notable difference because the House is still working on H.R. 3. They might have helped, but they didn't do it all.


  1. Excuse me, I would enjoy to discuss some Economics...

    I'm not even sure where to start.

    Austrian economists are critical of our modern Keynesian economic system for steering markets during economic downturns. Artificially low interest rates that come with the forced expansion of credit indicate real capital is available when, in fact, no true wealth has been saved or added; the currency has simply been inflated (devalued). This confusion in price signals leads to mal-investments, such as we experienced in housing. Without real savings on hand to back up the investments, and the sharp increased consumption due to the forced credit expansion, the market force correction is ultimately inevitable (though it can be 'papered-over' such as we have seen with continued use of stimulus and further credit expansion... we are literally fighting debt and inflation with more debt and inflation) and the result is severe asset depreciation, again as we see in housing. The boom and bust business cycle has been occurring since the inception of the Federal Reserve system (a completely unnecessary and corrupt system that the American people were told would bring financial stability), with most of us oblivious to the fact that the artificial boom periods are what actually bring about the subsequent busts (this can be attributed to the fact that politicians and large corporations benefit immensely from the expanded capital). It is puzzling that John Maynard Keynes came to endorse such government intervention when, in his earlier years, Keynes described currency inflation (printing money) as the most subtle and surest means a government can use to confiscate wealth from its people. The Inflation Tax, a method of stealth he said "not one man in a million can diagnose"... but today we all notice the way the rich are getting richer, the poor are getting poorer, and the middle class is shrinking. It makes me wonder just what exactly Keynes' motives were.

    As for the unemployment rate specifically, Yahoo Finance says we added only 36,000 jobs when we expected to add 149,000. Now, keep in mind we allegedly need to create 128,000 jobs to keep up with population growth. The drop in the unemployment rate is likely a reflection of it's devious calculation. The unemployment rate, the Consumer Price Index, and the GDP are all altered to appear rosier than what they are.

  2. I would like to enter into the record that government spending may create some jobs, but in doing so only puts taxpayers on the hook for the costs, so gov't-funded jobs are not good news. In addition, kindly note that government spending exclusively stimulates portions of the economy that are failing, which ultimately makes little sense.

    However, the reason for my comment is this: speaking of General Electric, I'd like to get your opinion on this, RM:

    GE lobbies for the carbon tax.... because they'll be exempt from it, whereas their competitors will not be. Not unlike McDonald's were given a waiver from the health care regulations, but their competitors will still be required to comply. Isn't a basic purpose of gov't to ensure that everyone is treated equally under the law? Yet many so-called liberals support the enactment of laws which blatantly discriminate, working to favor certain large businesses, and laws that benefit certain groups of people? Should the government be in the business of choosing winners and losers? Isn't there a major difference between treating everyone equally and trying to make everyone equal? I'm curious to hear your take...

  3. Stimulating areas of the economy that are failing is the whole point though because if those sectors, like General Motors for instance, were to fail the entire economy would collapse around it.

    How is GE exempt from the carbon tax (this isn't a smartass question, I honestly didn't know this)? And to be honest, I'm for the fair treatment of all businesses and corporations, it's supposed to be a fundamental part of the law, except of course we don't see that with the whole thing of no-bid contracts going to favored companies, Haliburton comes to mind.

    As for the equality issue, there is a major difference between treating everyone equal and trying to make everyone equal. If you're trying to make everyone equal, in some way it creates inequality because you show favor by helping one group. If you give every group the same opportunity, that makes it fairer because everyone has the chance to take part.

  4. See, RM, I did you guys a favor and took any pressure off of anyone from having to respond to my first comment (and if fairness to you, that is a task I would not want to be burdened with myself).

    I misspoke. The first carbon tax exemption was granted to one factory, but that is obviously because GE's Jeff Immelt is very close to Obama. I assume that my point on regulations and then granted exemptions remains well taken.

    We should keep in mind that any attempt to curb emissions on our part will be made utterly obsolete and steamrolled over by China anyway. While we're crying a river and curled up in the fetal position about "global warming", China is busy working hard and getting it done, rendering us and our EPA regulations passe.

    I find the whole "Bailouts or Doomsday" rhetoric to be slightly disingenuous. In a market driven economy, we know that we have really screwed up if we start talking about companies that are "too big to fail".

    I've stated that Clinton was die-hard on pushing thru NAFTA as well as increased trade with China, but it just recently hit me, it just so happens that the Clintons and Wal-Mart are both from Arkansas. Hmmmm.

    I hate it when MTV tells their sub-moronic viewers to rock the vote. Fans of the Black Eyed Peas, or just pop culture in general, are likely far too ignorant to be making proper voting decisions. Also, I find it hilarious when gangsta rappaz crossover into pop. Nothing says "hardass" like the star of a movie or television commercial. That Marshall Mathers is just such a wildcard! Oh, my! He's just SO DANGEROUS!!

    If you're interested in really starting to understand what's happening economically, take a lesson from a cute lil buddy of mine: