The EU

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

The Stimulus Package

I am not sure what to make of this data. The Wall Street Journal has provided a map that shows how the money from the Stimulus Package will be distributed by State.

If one "mouses over" a state the data for that state comes up. If one clicks on one of the rectangles in light blue, on the left, the data on the map changes to that specific information.

In this Stimulus Package we here in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts do not do as well as other states, but better than Maine. On the other hand, our unemployment rate is lower than the national average, and better than Maine, actually.

That said, our rate is not sufficiently different from the national average for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to include us in their 27 January news release.  The BLS preliminary numbers for December have us at 6.9% unemployment and the national average at 7.2%.  A more user friendly set of data, but a month older, can be found at this CNN website.

One thing that makes me wonder is the amount invested in job training. The amount per capita for transportation infrastructure is measured in hundreds of dollars and the amount for schools and colleges in tens of dollars, the amount per capita for job training is down in the dollars. No state gets more than $21 (Michigan is high at $20.17 and Iowa is low, at $5.46). If the skills of our workers is going to be critical for our economy moving fully into the 21st Century, shouldn't this be a larger focus of attention?

I suspect that this is why doing a Stimulus Package is hard. Who knows the right answers and the right proportions? That said, I do think that job training, while a short term item in terms of economic stimulus, is a key to long term economic success. But, then so is infrastructure. More on infrastructure later.

Regards  --  Cliff

1 comment:

Craig H said...

Federal spending received per dollar of taxes paid has always been skewed. FY2005 is the most recent data I've been able to find, and the rundown is available here:

What I have always found remarkable is that "Red" states, who are generally most vociferous in their opposition to "free spending liberalism", are actually themselves the eager and active beneficiaries of a huge socialist income redistribution (i.e. scam) to siphon off the proceeds from our federal income tax system for their own selfish benefit.

That the stimulus package might also bear resemblance in certain areas to this huge inequity isn't surprising to me. What IS suprising is that people aren't more upset about it.