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nakdthoughts
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0 posted 07-16-2010 12:03 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts


So what does one think about the spending   millions on signs to let the public know where our stimulus money is being spent?

Some signs along the highways costing anywhere from $2000 - $10,000 each.
http://articles.chicagotribune.com/201 0-07-15/news/ct-stimulus-sign-controversy0716-20100715_1_billion-stimulus-signs-transparency-board
http://www.thebostonchannel.com/money/19842632/detail.html
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/15/millions-spent-on-road-si_n_647148.html
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/14/us/14sign.html?_r=1

just a few articles...


M
Sunshine
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1 posted 07-16-2010 12:55 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Just show me the people returning to work ...

and that will be my sign.  

That being said, if this putting up signage created new jobs...well, okay...but I'd rather have the signs say something about the area - historical signs, as opposed to the underlying see what the government did for us? message.

Especially when the job hasn't seen completion. And especially when the nation's average unemployment rate is still hovering around 10%.

quote:
This time, however, the rise of 6% in the jobless rate during the recent recession was the largest since the Great Depression and double the next-worst increase, in the early 1980s. The headline jobless number of 9.5% is misleadingly low, since more than 16% of the population is either unemployed, working fewer hours than they want, or are too discouraged to keep looking.

http://www.jsonline.com/business/98187654.html

End of rant. For the moment.  

Balladeer
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2 posted 07-16-2010 05:16 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That's where the money is being spent, Maureen....on signs.
nakdthoughts
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3 posted 07-16-2010 06:25 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

Yes, I know Michael and that is why I posted. I am so irritated at the waste of money. The millions could have been put to better use. Actually if you ask me I would have rather seen every American tax payer and/or citizen receive 50,000- 100,000 dollars  instead of the bailouts of the big corporations and wallstreet bonuses.

If everyone had  that money they would have been paying their bills, mortgages and spending ... people would not have been laid off and lost jobs, those companies would still be in existence and banks etc would have received their loan payments and people would not have been foreclosed upon.


What good did the clunkers idea do...car companies still went out of business around here, small banks are gone and many many homes are being foreclosed...and banks still are holding onto money, making loans near impossible for the average person.

Anyway...my ranting is done. Many of those signs along the highways are where there is no work being done at all...

I can see the infrastructure like bridges needing repairs, but they are putting up these  (although beautiful) unnecessary sound barrier walls along the highways and fancy  entrance bridge overpasses with town names on them.

So much for the governments' using money wisely as they try to tell us how we should live.

M

[This message has been edited by nakdthoughts (07-17-2010 01:02 PM).]

Balladeer
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4 posted 07-16-2010 07:16 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Yep, the clunker program lived up to it's name...a real clunker! So what's new???

I understand your frustration, girl
Ron
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5 posted 07-16-2010 08:19 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

If you think the stimulus money was intended solely to stimulate the economy, Maureen, then you certainly have a valid complaint. Personally, I've always thought MOST road signs were entirely superfluous. Do we really need a sign at every single mile on every interstate freeway in the country just to tell us where we're at? And just how many times do I need to be told that Chicago is still XXX miles away? Am I the only person with an odometer in their car? Give me break, guys!

On the other hand.

If you believe the stimulus money was far too little way too late to actually have much impact on our economy, the only logical conclusion is that the program's primary purpose was to help instill confidence and avoid a panic that would almost certainly destroy this country. Then, perhaps, it might make a little more sense?

Spending money isn't enough. It only works if you let people know you're spending money. And, yea, it sucks when that costs money, too.

p.s. The Cash for Clunkers program was a tremendous success in Michigan. Many dealers in my area actually ran out of inventory and, no doubt, made a lot of money. Since many of them got dumped on pretty badly by the manufacturers, I suspect it made a difference. More importantly, though, it moved a lot of iron very quickly and that meant it moved a lot of money around the board, too. Which is exactly what it was supposed to do. (The first-time buyer incentives have been having a similar impact in the Michigan real estate market. There's a lot more people selling and buying than would have been possible without Federal incentives.)


Balladeer
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6 posted 07-16-2010 08:39 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

That may be good for Michigan, Ron, but not very representative of other states. After the initial euphoria, car dealers here suffered quite a lot. Also,  the rule requiring clunkers to be destroyed made little sense at all. Literally millions of part, representing many millions of dollars were destroyed for no reason. It was a "do something now to keep people quiet for a minute" move, little more.
Balladeer
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7 posted 07-16-2010 08:41 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Spending money isn't enough. It only works if you let people know you're spending money.

It also helps if people believe you. Signs only work for so long. Eventually, people need to see results. When they don't, they get mad about the signs.
Balladeer
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8 posted 07-16-2010 09:20 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The White House isn't just issuing propaganda about the oil spill, but about jobs, as well. The administration claimed this week that the so-called "stimulus" has "created or saved" between 2.5 million and 3.6 million jobs, approaching, if not surpassing, the promised 3.5 million jobs by the end of this year. But even if they took the "million" out, they'd miss the mark by a mile. Since February 2009, the economy has lost a net 2.35 million jobs. Unemployment remains just below 10 percent -- 2 percent higher than promised in the rush to pass the stimulus. "Yes, but it's not 12 or 13 -- or 15," argued Barack Obama recently.

The Wall Street Journal sums it up: "This is called a counterfactual: a what would have happened scenario that can't be refuted. What we do know is what White House economists at the time said would happen if the stimulus didn't pass. They said the unemployment rate would peak at 9% without the stimulus (there's your counterfactual) and that with the stimulus the rate would stay at 8% or below. In other words, today there are 700,000 fewer jobs than [the administration] predicted we would have if we had done nothing at all. If this is a job creation success, what does failure look like?"

On the other hand, it could be that the jobs the administration is bragging about having created are those placing millions of dollars worth of road signs touting the stimulus.

http://patriotpost.us/edition/2010/07/16/digest/
Ron
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9 posted 07-17-2010 12:28 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
After the initial euphoria, car dealers here suffered quite a lot.

Because of Cash for Clunkers, Mike? How would that work? Or do you mean they suffered in spite of the program? In which case they're no worse off than if Clash for Clunkers had not been instituted?

quote:
Signs only work for so long. Eventually, people need to see results.

I see results all around me, Mike. From the new battery plant that broke ground in Holland this week to a mega-million dollar film being shot in Grand Rapids. Unemployment is even starting to drift in the other direction for a change. Very few states have been hit harder than Michigan, and it's certainly not all rosy or cheerful yet, but positive results are there for anyone to see if they want to look.

quote:
The Wall Street Journal sums it up: "This is called a counterfactual: a what would have happened scenario that can't be refuted."

Sort of like "There's been no repeat of 911 so going to war must have been the right thing to do?" Yea, those kinds of arguments should rarely be given any serious credence.

I think one might consider, however, that the role of government isn't necessarily to provide accurate predictions. Not when doing so can so obviously be to the detriment of the country. Predictions of double-digit unemployment, for example, would likely have been a self-fulfilling prophecy, with such news leading only to panic and a tightening of the belt for everyone. I'm not at all surprised the economy got worse than "the experts" told us it might. I'd be surprised if it didn't.

On the other hand, I don't believe it got as bad as it could have. Not nearly. Personally, I think we were (and still are, if perhaps to a less imminent extent) on the very edge of destruction.  People think they've got it bad right now? Historically, this isn't much more than a bump in the road.
Balladeer
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10 posted 07-17-2010 06:41 AM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

The Holland plant? That's where you see the stimulus plan has worked, Ron? The plant that hasn't even been built yet, where groundbreaking was only two days ago, a year after the stimulus plan went into effect, a plant that, when built, will employ only 400 people??? I'm sure that's a boon to Holland and I'm happy for them but I would hardly consider that evidence that the multi-billion dollar stimulus project was a success.

Hollywood coming to make a movie in Grand Rapids? That's proof of the stimulus plan? You've lost me there. You mean, without the stimulus plan, Hollywood would have stopped making movies?  Or perhaps you mean they wouldn't have gone to Grand Rapids? Every time a movie is made it opens jobs for locals. Happens in south Florida all the time. They are only temporary, though, until it's finished. I see no connection with Obama's stimulus plan here.

I think one might consider, however, that the role of government isn't necessarily to provide accurate predictions Is it their role to provide inaccurate ones? Say yes and I'll concede that Obama is doing well in that category.

Predictions of double-digit unemployment, for example, would likely have been a self-fulfilling prophecy, Well, his prediction of not surpassing 8% unemployment due to his stimulus plan certainly was not self-fulfilling, since the double-digits came, anyway.

On the other hand, I don't believe it got as bad as it could have.  Yes, Jon Stewart had a nice clip on his show about Obama claiming that the unemployment COULD have been 12%, or 15% or higher, in which he said "We get it, Mr. President! There are a lot of numbers higher than 9!"
A little telling that Stewart would say that and more telling that This Week with George S. would highlight it.

You think it's going to get worse? On that point we can agree, Ron.
nakdthoughts
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11 posted 07-17-2010 07:46 AM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

Well, Ron I am certainly happy for Michigan and other parts of the country that have seen some growth and stimulus money helping them to recover.

Due to my unforeseen circumstances in the last ten years or about the time I began writing poetry online, I may be one of the luckier (or smarter) persons in that I paid off all credit cards and haven't used one in at least 8 years and with great difficulty, paid off the house almost 2 years ago.

I was already living in a depression and in March my husband lost his job working in managing a landscaping crew ... the only American citizen among them.(trying to put it nicely)To make it even harder the company tried to say he voluntarily quit so they wouldn't have to have their unemployment rates changed...and it took a month to get that taken care of.

I use dial up for the internet and don't have cable tv or dish networks because I feel by the time they add all the user fees and taxes, the costs aren't worth what you get around here living on a border of a state. It's living day to day and not getting any easier as one ages. But I am probably better off than a lot.

We have very little competition here and they have taken off the controls and come January who knows what the utilities will then cost.

I just feel those signs do not make me feel better to know where the money goes...you can read in the papers or hear it on the news and don't need to have them every so many miles just as you don't need the electronic ones telling you how long a ride from here to there may take you in the mornings.

M

Ron
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12 posted 07-17-2010 09:35 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
The plant that hasn't even been built yet, where groundbreaking was only two days ago, a year after the stimulus plan went into effect, a plant that, when built, will employ only 400 people???

The jobs were lost 400 at a time, Mike. That's the way they'll come back, too. Those 400, the hundreds more jobs that will be filled during the long construction, and the thousands that will benefit from supporting those 400.

quote:
I'm sure that's a boon to Holland and I'm happy for them ...

It is, especially considering the size of the relatively small community.

quote:
... but I would hardly consider that evidence that the multi-billion dollar stimulus project was a success.

Of course you wouldn't, Mike. Everyone here already knew that. It's not your goal to find positive things happening in this country because that wouldn't support the opinions you've already formed. We know that. We get it. President Obama could probably win the Nobel Peace Prize and you'd still find reason to kvetch. Oh, wait. He did. You did.  Right.

You don't like the man and nothing is going to change that. You won't let it. We understand.

I think this country has a whole lot of problems, Mike, most going back a lot farther than the 2008 elections. I think our politicians, both today and yesterday, the ones you liked and the ones you hate, are a reflection of those problems, not the cause. I don't look at our country through rose-colored glasses. But I don't look at it with my eyes shut tight either. Sure, there's bad stuff happening. Short-sighted stuff. Really stupid stuff. But there's good stuff out there, too, positive signs that America isn't down for the count quite yet. You may not want to see it, you may not want to give any Democrat any credit for making a good decision, but that doesn't mean it's not happening.

quote:
It's living day to day and not getting any easier as one ages.

Isn't that a pretty accurate description of the human condition, Maureen? For everyone ever born?

quote:
I just feel those signs do not make me feel better to know where the money goes...

I agree, Mo. All that means, though, is that they weren't put there for us. The signs probably did, however, make some people feel better about our economy. As always, it's costs versus benefits, and whether the cost to everyone balances the benefits to some is WAY beyond my ability to determine. There are a lot of other issues I feel more comfortable arguing.


nakdthoughts
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13 posted 07-17-2010 12:59 PM       View Profile for nakdthoughts   Email nakdthoughts   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for nakdthoughts

Ron, I am not going to argue with anyone I have to do enough of that here at times.

I just wish there were some feelings of security.  I don't put the blame on one party or another since I have voted both sides before.
I am not happy though, when in these small towns and boroughs with local governments and taxes, the people running for office say one thing to be elected with the knowledge of future benefits that come along with it, as they move up into higher positions...but end up doing the same as their predecessors, not improving a thing.

I love small town living and have been in the same home for over 32 years.  If I had to sell and move I would never find another home as well-built, as this 1901 home, for the money I would clear.

I think if they want to make us feel better they(the media and white house/gov't) should offer us more examples of how people are surviving and some positive news instead of all the negativity day in and day out.

And yes, I could always turn off the tv,
radio and internet and pretend all is fine with the world.

I find I worry the least during the school year when  working with the young children who have not learned to be so cynical yet and send me home smiling at the events of the day.

Well,  that was all I have to contibute. I just wanted to know if anyone else was aware of this spending.

M
Mysteria
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14 posted 07-17-2010 03:29 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

quote:
I just wish there were some feelings of security.  I don't put the blame on one party or another since I have voted both sides before.
I am not happy though, when in these small towns and boroughs with local governments and taxes, the people running for office say one thing to be elected with the knowledge of future benefits that come along with it, as they move up into higher positions...but end up doing the same as their predecessors, not improving a thing.


We saw some signs and wondered about them when we were on I-5, and wondered why they did that.  It was a fleeting moment, and then gone.  Both my son, and his wife bought brand new cars this year in the US, and brought them back here.  The reason was money saved.  So many here are doing it, as a lot of our dealerships also were affected and closed down.  Canadians go across the line lots, and leave our money behind, and it is almost at par now, so not too many bargains anymore.  

Maureen, I go down with my family across the line a lot for specific groceries, and other things for seasonal spending as it were, during the school year.  I can feel, and also see the tension in people's faces, and hear it in people who are suffering down there, and that is only about three hours from my home.  I can not imagine what small town folks are feeling.  Well yes I can in a way, as I have a lot of rural American friends feeling the pinch.

You have just stated the absolute truth in that comment of yours.  You can't blame one party or another, the fact is when you have BIG troubles like you have in the States right now, there is never going to be enough money to make everyone happy.  People always want or need to blame "someone."  Voting out Obama won't help, as the next person is going to fall into mud up to his knees too, and try to plow through it with the same hip waders full of promises. Whatever President you have can only hope to be as good as his supporters will let him be, and a good PR man trying to settle everyone down in his own country, while looking good to everyone in other countries.  They will just do what they can with what they have, no more or less, like the rest of us do. Humans tend to make so many mistakes, and a body that runs a country are no different, as they are humans.

It scares me up here as I sympathize for all of you that are not of the filthy rich. I envy you your small town living, and wish I could afford to do that myself, I would actually be living in Cape Cod   Maureen.  

It makes good sense to put your energy into what you do best, and that is teaching our youth, as that is just the most worthwhile job, however non-rewarding at times.  I commend you for that, as teachers are my heroes.

If I had one wish for the USA, it would be you all stand united as one, like you did before all this mess started.  I have faith you will get there again too.

I am not a Rhodes Scholar, so this is a pretty simple submission, but trust me it is from my heart to you all.  

Mysteria
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15 posted 07-17-2010 03:50 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

P.S.  Someone close to me just got back from La Jolla, CA where they met a very rich young man wanting to buy a "tracking" system to keep track of his personal treasures, a yacht called the Plan B, being one of them.  If you research it, you will surely wonder what Plan A must have been for this 46 year old billionaire.  They spared no expense at making their stay incredible there, but when home they said, "It sure doesn't seem fair when the capitalists have it all does it?  What I saw them throw out while I was there, could feed a family of 4 for a week somewhere."

I was glad to hear that they saw the injustice, but that is never going to change either.  The rich will always get richer with the help of the poor.  It's been that way since the beginning of time.  Sadly I think greed for "stuff," and "money," is the axle that turns the wheel of this world's chaos, and always will be.

Balladeer
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16 posted 07-17-2010 04:51 PM       View Profile for Balladeer   Email Balladeer   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Balladeer's Home Page   View IP for Balladeer

Ron, you are only partially right. Am I against Obama? Yes, I am. He's a man with no experience, never having had a real job in his life, never hiring anyone , never writing a paycheck, never running anything....now running our country. I'm against the lies he has hit us with and how he has thrown us into more debt than could be thought possible. I'm against his redistribution of wealth and the way he is throttling small businesses and I am against his health care plan, which I think will come to be regretted by all. Having said that, I would not turn my back to positivities, if I saw them. I don't see them.

You, on the other hand, seem to be the other way. Obama pushed for immediate passage of the stimulus bill, claiming he had "shovel-ready" jobs, that jobs would be created immediately and the unemployment figures would not rise. You tend to ignore all of that, even when knowing those shovel-ready jobs were fictitious. Instead you will look at a 400 employees plant which hasn't even been built yet a year later and claim the stimulus plan is working. How did that shovel take a year to taste earth? You will look at a Hollywood movie being shot and attribute it to the stimulus plan, don't ask me how.

You can believe me that I'm more positive than any Democrat. I'm positive because I believe in the country, the American people and I think they will succeed despite the government (and I will include Rebublicans in there as being part of the problem). That's the main difference between us. You may believe we will make it due to the government. I believe we will make it in spite of the government. I only hope that Obama, Pelosi and company get shown the gate before they do too much damage.

Obama's stimulus plan to this point is a failure. He will tout computer projections showing 2-3 million jobs being created when the actual figures show huge losses. When confronted with facts, he only responds with "Well, it could be worse." I see nothing positive in the stimulus plan or in the cap and trade he will go after next. You don't see the coincidence of opening battery companies and making speeches about greening right before a big push comes for cap and trade? Just a coincidence, I suppose...

Anyway, end of my afternoon rant

You really knew I didn't like Obama???
Grinch
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17 posted 07-17-2010 07:57 PM       View Profile for Grinch   Email Grinch   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Grinch

From what you’re saying Mike Obama’s plans are all doomed and will run the country and economy into the ground – so what are the Republicans going to do when they win? Will they do a full 180 on all the things Obama has done? How long will it take to get the country back on its feet, for instance, what’s their target and timescale for reducing unemployment and how do they plan to do it?

.
Sunshine
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18 posted 07-17-2010 10:00 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

Your comments are interesting, Sharon. Is the Canadian dollar and economy so strong that it can gladly accept your leaving your dollars in another country? I'm not being facitious, I'm simply curious.

We started leaving our American $$$ in China, Taiwan, and other places decades ago, and I cannot say that it is doing us very well now. Like China or other foreign nations, I say, "welcome, and bring your money"...but how does Canada benefit?

I need to do more studying, for a fact!

Mysteria
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19 posted 07-17-2010 10:54 PM       View Profile for Mysteria   Email Mysteria   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Mysteria

I have to be honest Karilea, I don't see too many signs that the economy here is in the toilet.  We have our own little problems up here, like this damned HST they have invented to pay for goodness knows what.  We pay 14% tax on all but a few things we buy now up here.  Everyone will gripe for a bit, but then just let it slide like everything else.  Money is being made and spent here, and as far as I know except for a very few fishing towns back east, our industry seems okay as far as I know.  Our health care is still good by comparison to most places, but it is getting harder to keep our doctors here in Canada, and therefore waiting lists for operating time is getting longer and longer.  I am lucky as I live in the richest of the provinces, so you don't "see" much poverty here, unless you go looking for it in two areas of the city.  Both areas are drug-related communities, but relatively small by comparison to other cities.  

As for shopping down there, there are many advantages to us, and to you.  The most important is you folks have way different things than we do to spend money on, better quality cottons, and are way ahead in fashion trends in major stores.  Let's see, 2 of us can share one of your meals at a restaurant, and a "family pack" in any grocer in the states will feed a family up here more than twice!  Buying cars down there saves us money, but also makes a sale for a salesman down there.  It is win/win or at least that is the thought about it anyway.  They are making it a little harder for Canadians to spend down across borders, and may make us pay whatever state tax is in place, but don't yet!  

Karilea, everyone sends their money to China, and Japan, by buying more things than we even realize.  It benefits no one but them, and the capitalist manufacturer.  I try to only buy Canadian/USA as that keeps the money here at home.  Another thing that helps is to buy local farmer's produce to help our farmers, but you knew that right?    
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20 posted 07-17-2010 11:09 PM       View Profile for serenity blaze   Email serenity blaze   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for serenity blaze

Mysteria is right again.

Follow the money...

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21 posted 07-18-2010 03:38 PM       View Profile for Sunshine   Email Sunshine   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Sunshine's Home Page   View IP for Sunshine

I knew some of that, yes. But I like that you explained a few more things to me, and I appreciate that very much, Sharon. Thank you!
 
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