The Least, First

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Stimulus brings optimism to road building industry

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Money to states for road-building lifts an entire industry’s hopes, from quarries to equipment manufactures to the pavers themselves.

clipped from www.nytimes.com

For Sellers of Pavers and Cones, Stimulus Lifts Hopes After a Troubled Year

A road equipment display last week at the World of Asphalt show in Orlando, Fla. States are set to receive $27.5 billion in federal stimulus money for roadwork.

[A]t World of Asphalt, the industry’s annual trade show […]

With $27.5 billion in federal stimulus money heading to state transportation departments, the people who make their living by building highways … hope the money will begin to revive an industry that hit a rough patch last year […]

Lehman-Roberts Company in Tennessee … is becoming an illustration of the goals of the stimulus program  …

[Rick Moore, the company’s president] ordered five new pieces of equipment this month and has begun to bolster his staff. “We put an ad in the paper and had 200 folks apply for jobs,” he said.

The show provided a vivid window into what economists call the multiplier effect: how allocating money to let states hire road contractors will eventually benefit an entire industry, from the quarries that crush the rock and the manufacturers that sell them mining equipment to the companies that sell 2,000-watt halogen bulbs for night work or, in one company’s case, little mirrors that road workers can attach to their hard hats so they can see if cars are coming from behind.[…]

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Written by Monte

March 16, 2009 at 2:44 pm

Stimulus bill includes hi-speed rail! But where?

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Not to Iowa, unfortunately (reasonably, though, since Iowa has no multi-million-person population centers). But just imagine the tens of millions of people who could be served! Compared to auto or air, it’s a huge environmental savings.

And on weekends, think of, say, the football traffic on the Chicago Hub Network.

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

High-speed rail corridors

High-speed rail corridors

After much clamoring by energy hawks, who knows what it was that finally brought high-speed rail to the stimulus — perhaps a little nudge from ol’ Amtrak Joe? — but it got in, to the tune of $8 billion.
And now the question is, where will the expansion be?
the areas that will get a leg up should be the Federal Railroad Administration’s officially designated high-speed rail corridors
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What possibilities do you see?


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Ads target GOP senators who might block stimulus bill

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After the bill passed the House without Republican support, a series of ads and publicity campaigns will ask voters to contact GOP senators, enlisting their support.  This one’s directed toward Iowa‘s Chuck Grassley:

Tax cuts and smaller government won’t put people back to work, won’t create demand for manufactured or retail goods, won’t rebuild our nation’s infrastructure, won’t forestall home foreclosures, won’t return money to retirement portfolios, won’t help people get the education they need to care for their families.

Every economist that I’ve read sees stimulus as the best hope for stopping our economic free-fall.  Is this the time for ideological mantras —and partisan politics—or for taking our best shot, together?


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Written by Monte

January 29, 2009 at 2:40 pm

What? People who care might impact budget?

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Nate Silver, the bright statistical analyst over at FiveThirtyEight, points out that left-leaning Democrats in the House may have more influence on the debt ceiling/budget cutting wars than it seems: Mr. Boehner may not be able to pass a bill without their help.

Any what might that look like?

The payroll tax cut could be a winner all-around. It’s something most liberal Democrats would like, particularly if it comes on the employee side rather than the employer side or if it is specifically tied to job creation. It is one of the few vehicles available to Mr. Obama to provide for economic stimulus. And, given that the accounting in any deal is likely to be fuzzy, it might give Republicans some cover to say they had voted for tax reform rather than a net tax increase.

Maybe it’s a way to bring a tiny grain of “the least, first” priority to negotiations that appear to bode ill for America’s poor and middle class.

It’s worth reading, here.

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Written by Monte

July 7, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Posted in economy, Politics

G8 balks at fulfilling aid pledges; 10 million to die?

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May result in 11 million preventable deaths; only 2% of G20 stimulus package needed to keep promises. From an article by World Vision:
clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com
Today’s communiqué from the G8 leaders contains neither an acknowledgement they are off track on fulfilling their aid pledges, nor any concrete plans to get them back on track. In fact, there is now no way they can meet their 2005 promise to double aid for Africa by 2010.
This year’s failure is particularly significant as the current economic crisis means up to 2.8 million more children could die by 2015. That’s beyond the 9.2 million who die each year of preventable causes
Any excuse from G8 leaders that aid is unaffordable in an economic downturn is unacceptable. The 2005 G8 pledge of an extra $50 billion by 2010 is just 2% of the G20 stimulus package
Over the 48 hours of this summit 50,000 children will die from preventable causes. At least 50% of these will be in Sub-Saharan Africa. In the absence of urgent action by the international community this means over 9 million child deaths between now and the next G8 in Canada.
when the G8 chooses […]
it can make a real impact on child deaths.
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