Thursday, January 29, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Amtrack train stop - $750,000
Block grant reinvestment zone housing - $5 Million
Landfill hydrogen project - $5 Million
Public Safety Headquarters - $272,000
Bus stop rehabilitaion - $1 Million
The current Amtrack station in Beaumont is a slab, because it gets no passengers. It's near my office, and I see the train stop there when it does in the afternoon. They could triple their ridership and still not get passengers on every stop. But it has nothing to do with new riders. The
mayor's justification was, "We want to move it to a nicer area so when the train stops in Beaumont, the passengers get a better view." She has called this her highest priority for stimulus money.
I have no clue whether housing block grants are needed, but it seems that every city asks for them every time Federal money is offered.
The landfill hydrogen project is a cool project. They reform the methane as it comes off the landfill and sell the hydrogen to local refineries. This project is already funded and will go forward without Federal funds. They're just asking for Federal dollars because they might be available.
I don't know anything about the Public Safety Headquarters. From the amount of the funds request, I think they're going to build a house for the Police Chief.
Bus stop rehabilitation is the only project of the bunch that is a good idea and not currently being progressed. Most Beaumont bus stops are just benches, and I often see people waiting for the bus out in the pouring rain. I'm really skeptical about the amount of economic stimulus it will
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
In 2008 Dollars,The entire Space Program through the Apollo Era cost $288 Billion over 18 years.The entire Interstate Highway System Project cost $425 Billion over 35 years.The entire New Deal cost $500 Billion over 18 years.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The final step is to take the effect on GDP and translate it into job creation. Not all of the increasedoutput reflects increased employment: some comes from increases in hours of work among employed workers and some comes from higher productivity. We therefore use the relatively conservative rule of thumb that a 1 percent increase in GDP corresponds to an increase in employment of approximately 1 million jobs, or about three-quarters of a percent. This has been the rough correspondence over history and matches the FRB/US model reasonably well.In other words, Obama's team has no clue how closely GDP growth relates to job growth, so they made up a number. So I just decided to do run a check on their numbers: 1% GDP growth is $138 Billion per year. 1 million average workers in the US would make just over $25 Billion. Obama's numbers have no basis in fact. Denninger found the most egregious example of this, here are his thoughts:
Obama: You Need To Fire Everyoneinvolved in producing your American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.
Why? In "Appendix 1"Please tell me this is a joke. Obama really believes that The Fed can hold interest rates at zero for four years and they can spend without bound, while the bond market will blithely look on at $1-2 trillion deficits annually and the economy will begin to recover?
We considered multipliers for the case where the federal funds rate remains constant, rather than the usual case where the Federal Reserve raises the funds rate in response to fiscal expansion, on the grounds that the funds rate is likely to be at or near its lower bound of zero for the foreseeable future.
You're kidding, right?
To give the Obama team some credit, at least they admit how much they understand. From the Conclusion:
As emphasized at many points in the analysis, there is substantial uncertainty around all of our estimates.Hold onto your shorts, folks. We're in for a rough ride.
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Most of the published outrage has been about taxes, which are significant, but as anyone who has worked in refineries or chemical plants will tell you, the taxes are a small part of the Title V problem. Title V permitting is a long and tedious process that requires submitting a permit proposal to the government, who then sends it back to the company with their suggestions, and the process repeats itself until they can come to an agreement. One facility where I worked had 5 people who worked full time on Title V permitting for several years. This process would bankrupt all but the large corporate ranchers and farmers. If it passes, it will put all of the remaining independent for-profit farmers and ranchers out of business. Only corporate agriculture and really small-scale agriculture by hobbyists will remain.
God save the American Farmer!
Two related side notes:
CNN will air I.O.U.S.A. this weekend. This is the most important documentary in years, and it's well done.
Proving that he is truly insane, Harry Reid is repeating his try to pass a Coburn Omnibus bill. Senator Coburn has a really simple litmus test for bills that he'll obstruct. If a bill spends money on a duplicated program, he will hold obstruct it by any means necessary. Reid is trying to combine a bunch of bills that have been held up by Dr. Coburn to pass. Call your Senators and ask them to stand with the honorable Dr. No and against Dirty Harry.
Monday, January 5, 2009
But this is the one that really caught my eye: from October.
The same thing can be said about societies. No society progresses because it becomes more equal. Societies should have equal rights because it is: (a) the morally correct thing, and (b) the way to ultimate progress so long as opportunities are available for the exceptional. Progressivism has always been less concerned with Progress as equality. And even so, it never realizes equality. It makes those below the favored class more equal, but the gap between the favored class and the rest of the society grows.
In The Conscience of a Conservative, Barry Goldwater makes the assertion that individualism is sacred, and that "the conscience of a Conservative is pricked by anyone who would debase the dignity of the individual human being". In basketball, as in society, exceptionalism, which can only be found by individuality does much more good for society than equality ever could.