road construction2

Everyone wants to know why more hasn’t been done in the last 10 months than actually has occurred.  There are a lot of reasons.

1)      The President is a CEO, and few CEOs can come in and change the direction of their company immediately.  There is just too much resistant bureaucracy there.

2)      The Obstructionist Party has done absolutely nothing to help him and everything to deter him from making progress.  Their actions are not ideological, but pathological in nature.

3)      Contrary to our mythology of the government and it’s powers, much of the economy lies outside of the real influence of the government, and corporations have the right to do things as they want, including hiring, firing, and offshoring.  Many of these companies can chose to take some risks and act responsibly, but aren’t doing so.

4)      A number of Pundits of Negativity have rallied the small legions of the unthinking and have brought them out to intimidate the elected officials who have the duty to try to vote clearly and honestly.


Everyone looks back and says, “Well, FDR got all this done in his first 100 days”.  Yes, but he didn’t get everything he wanted and not everything worked, not to mention that even 8 years later he was still battling the economy.  But a lot of things did get started, and provided jobs and a slow movement towards a positive place.

Much of FDR’s stimulus came in the form of public works.  And much of that in the form of Federal public works.  The CCC (Civilian Conservation Corps, the NRA (National Recovery Act), and many other programs pushed people into earning money and learning skills and discipline.

But these programs didn’t have to deal with as many local politicians trying to grandstand as we see today.  Don’t kid yourself though, many did, looking to make a buck and help their friends with influence back home, ahead of their less fortunate constituents.  And there were more things which had been in the thought works for years.  National Parks that needed new facilities, local dams and lakes, roads for the expanding nation.

What these programs didn’t have to deal with was our modern awareness of the influence of our actions upon the world around us.  Together with the laws and regulations which we have in place to prevent and control manmade foolhardiness.  Many development and environmental laws are there for the good of us all, but impede things getting done rapidly, for good reason.

We look at the stimulus programs and we see today things that needed to be done but were just held back before by need of funds, but they were “shovel ready”.  That meant today that all the background work was already in place, the environmental impact studies, the hearings, the pre-contract letting processes needed in a modern world.  Had we not had those, we wouldn’t have anything to start.  But there lies the rub, so many other good projects would take up to a year to get to the massive hiring stage simply because they were new, and the preparatory work hadn’t been done yet.

These things, and the GOP and Blue Dogs restrictions on the types of programs which would be allowed, tremendously cut into the scope of what a stimulus program could “instantaneously” provide.  To have strictly ruled out facilities for public enjoyment was ridiculous!  When you look around at the public parks, whether National, State, or county, many of them have their roots in the Depression programs.  And what money they cost then has been returned a thousand times over in the enjoyment of them by the American people and our visitors for over 70 years.  That is a good investment!  But oh, no, we can’t’ do that was the cry of the so-called fiscally responsible set.

To have handed over so much of the Stimulus to local governing bodies was  a mistake, pure and simple.  Too much posturing by the right wing in many places, and not all of them red states.  Future potential presidential candidates trying to make points with their “constituencies”.  All of this created an environment where real progress was and is being stifled.

But to have hope, look at what all is being done.  Whether you look on the government Recovery website, or elsewhere, there is much happening.  Examine the site, learn what your local projects are and how many jobs have been created.  We all need to just be aware that it isn’t as fast as it used to be.  And why.  And then go out and try to help others understand the reasons, too, and overcome the ignorance which others are trying to spread.

And when someone tells you that it cost $250,000 per job, ask them what else was gotten for that money, was there concrete, steel, wood, other manufactured goods procured, hence other jobs, and what long term benefits were purchased.  A faster, more clear running freeway, for example, increases the flow of commerce and results in less fuel consumption and pollution.  We must all think in terms of the overall effects, in order to counter the negativity.

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PatsyTKevenSevenescribacatKQµårk 死神kesmarn Recent comment authors
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KQµårk 死神

Excellent article FM. Everyone also forgets the GD lasted until WWII in reality. No matter what FDR did he could not get unemployment below the 10-15% range and 15-30% employment lasted for over 4 years. Can you imagine the media if employment was that high for so long? But then again even the opposition party did not want the president to fail back then.


A really timely contribution, Monk. Thanks!

I remember a few years ago, going through a McDonalds drive-thru with the kids. There was a sign on the inside of the window in the employee’s line of vision that said: “30 SECOND SERVICE IS A PRIORITY.”

I thought to myself: “When did it become something intolerable to wait more than 30 seconds for a meal?”

That ‘priority’ has spilled over into so many other things, that anything short of immediate gratification often produces red faces, foot stamping and temper tantrums.

Of course, no one wants to see unemployment lines that take hours to get through, or phone help lines where the hold wait is two thirds of eternity, but a little adult patience with the President’s stimulus package would be very helpful. There’s a lot of road construction/repair going on in our area. And thank heavens, there are signs that say “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act” for all those drive-by Repubs to see!


Good afternoon Monk, great post.

I think when you run a small business as my husband and I do, we have a greater understanding of how things get done and how one project can create so many trickle down jobs outside of the ones just the proposed project(s) will create.

Here is a quick summery of how many jobs will be created just from a shipment of Concrete to the job site:

1.) Create raw material = jobs to make product = admin. jobs to run company = admin/mfg jobs for companies who support running of company….

2.) Raw material transported to cement contractor

Driver(s) = admin. jobs for company that employs Driver = jobs for companies that support this company….

Trucks(s) = jobs for people who manufacture/sell/maintain trucks = admin. jobs to run company(s) that manufacture/sell/maintain trucks = jobs for companies that support running of company….

3.) Contractor to transport, mix, and lay concrete

Truck(s) for transportation = see above mfg/sell/maint of trucks etc…

Mixer(s) = jobs to mfg/sell/maint. mixers = job for guy who runs mixer = admin. jobs to run company = admin./mfg jobs that support running of company…

Lay concrete = manual labor

Unfortunately the only jobs that the MSM seem to be counting as created by the project, is the last job in the labor chain, the guy who lays the concrete…


Afternoon BDM!

Great post!
The MSM seems to working in unison with GOP and Murdoch in wanting President Obama to fail, don’t they?

President Obama makes the corporations nervous.
Have you read the latest about big Pharma making threats now because of the house bill?


No, I’ve been busy all day, haven’t gotten to my ‘reading’ today…

Obama is making everyone in the Corporate world very nervous…he doesn’t play by their rules like George and Dick did.


So true, BDM. Then when you extend it outward a little more, there are hard hats, boots, gloves, and work clothes for the laborers. Gas and transportation to get them to and from the work site. And a host of other support services, such as vehicle maintenance and repair, etc.


The list could go on indefinately…people don’t seem to understand this and I know MSM will never show the labor chain…too abstract.

KQµårk 死神

Very good account of how things really work. The biggest problem is the last thing employers do is hire new people. They would rather work harder themselves or work their employees hard and the big reason for that is benefits, especially health benefits for larger companies.


One third of all overhead costs for a company is employee payroll and’s not only healthinsurance. It’s Employer matching FICA, Medicare, FUTA, Workman’s Comp, General Liability Insur., Disability Insur.

Having employees is very costly for the business, yes it’s a tax w/o at the end of the year, but you better have they money up front each month or quarter to pay these.

So wages stay stagnant, employees are not hired and the existing employees have to work harder…it’s an endless cycle until things pick up.


Hello BDM, (I still like calling you MOM). I used to have this same argument with non/anti union workers when they came up with “you guys just cause inflation”. I would ask them “what do you think we do with our wages? we buy homes,(jobs) we buy cars (jobs), we buy furniture (jobs), we buy, we buy, we buy. We don’t horde our our monies like some banker. We spread our little bit of ‘wealth.’ We create jobs, we hire you.”
Oh, I could go on what a middle class used to be. Now we seem to a country of “the working poor.”


Call me Mom, that fine with me…the people who are non/anti union are the ones who I like to call the drones. They usually sit at a desk and push papers, they have no idea how a business is run, how things are manufactured or how the economy works.

They only know their small little world, and have no interest in learning how things work…this is the dumbing down of america, thanks to the repug propaganda machine.


Good afternoon Monk and everyone!

Excellent article, Monk, and very well said.

President Obama is also fighting the corporate media.
If the media in this country spent as much time on Bush Jr. in his first ten months in office, or even his first term in office, as they have on President Obama, we might have avoided some of Bush Jr. and the Republican failures.

Liberal media?
Yeah, that’s the ticket.