Saturday, August 22, 2009

Mark Steyn explains the stimulus--and why it didn't work

Mark Steyn has figured out Obama's stimulus package:

The other day, wending my way from Woodsville, N.H., 40 miles south to Plymouth, I came across several “stimulus” projects -- every few miles, and heralded by a two-tone sign, a hitherto rare sight on Granite State highways. The orange strip at the top said “PUTTING AMERICA BACK TO WORK” with a silhouette of a man with a shovel, and the green part underneath informed you that what you were about to see was a “PROJECT FUNDED BY THE AMERICAN RECOVERY AND REINVESTMENT ACT.” There then followed a few yards of desolate, abandoned, scarified pavement, followed by an “END OF ROAD WORKS” sign, until the next “stimulus” project a couple of bends down a quiet rural blacktop.

... Evidently, it’s stimulated the sign-making industry, putting America back to work by putting up “PUTTING AMERICA BACK TO WORK” signs every 200 yards across the land. And at 300 bucks a pop, the signage alone should be enough to launch an era of unparalleled prosperity, assuming America’s gilded sign magnates don’t spend their newfound wealth on Bahamian vacations and European imports. Perhaps if the president were to have his All-Seeing O logo lovingly hand-painted onto each sign, it would stimulate the economy even more, if only when they were taken down and auctioned on eBay.

Read more here.

1 comment:

Lee said...

It follows from Marx's definition of value, the so-called "Labor Theory of Value," that the value of an economic good is based on the amount of labor to took to make it.

By this definition, if it takes 100 man-hours to build a car and a 100 man-hours to dig a hole in the dirt and fill back in 50 times, then the freshly-tilled dirt is worth as much as a car.

Liberals never seem to get around to wondering if the output of an economic activity actually produces something other people might value enough to pay for it of their own choosing. As far as they're concerned, paying someone to dig unnecessary holes is a job and building cars is a job. Same thing.