Monday, October 19, 2009

Counting What?

"Businesses that received federal contracts from stimulus spending reported creating or saving about 30,000 jobs...particularly beneficial for the Washington region."

Alec MacGillis, "30,000 Stimulus Jobs, Many in D.C. Area, Reported," The Washington Post, October16, 2009

The thing about incremental reporting on a small set of contracts is that you get only an incremental understanding of what's really going on. A much larger set of contracts will be reported on later this month. Moreover, the reports submitted are not all complete, consistent and correct.

And then the D.C. focus. Is this lining the pockets of the bureaucrats? Or is it building the capacity of federal agencies to disburse and monitor the money in a timely fashion?

Of course, there are different perspectives on what this all means.

The Cato Institute says that the "weighing of benefits toward the Washington area showed the downside of trying to create jobs by government fiat."

Green for All is more optimistic, "With just this first small glimpse, and less than 50% of the Recovery money distributed, we are already seeing amazing victories for green jobs from across the country."

Green For All, "Growing the Green Jobs Boom," October 15, 2009

1 comment:

homework said...

too bad they're not measuring indirect job creation... or more qualitative information about the 30,000 jobs that were created/saved. for instance, some of us are curious what the average pay is on these jobs, what the content of the work is, who those jobs are going to and what neighborhoods these people live in, if there's training programs and career paths involved, etc. unfortunately, the reporting system is set up to simply facilitate scrutiny of how big government spends taxpayer money.