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The $287k job
Old 07-14-2010, 11:43 AM   #1
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The $287k job

we're from the government and we're here to help you !

Government math in a nutshell.

$962 Billion spent, 3 million jobs (or so) saved (claimed by White House).

Doing the arithmetic ==> means $287k per job.

Note: doesn't include jobs lost to take resources to pay for it all.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:05 PM   #2
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Fuzzy math at its best. "Yeah you know that money we used to give you states to build roads? Well, we're changing it to a new budget line item call ARRA aka stimulus money. We are still building the same roads, just now we are "creating" new jobs while we do the same ole thing we have always done."

They did create a BUNCH of accounting, oversight, and management jobs to make sure they tally up the number of jobs created. At a professional event last December I sat and listened to a good man from the government explain the multitude of flowcharts and reporting structures and hierarchies they have created to make sure BO gets proper credit for all the jobs he is "creating". I saw a few fairly well compensated "temporary" jobs come up lately in my state and the sole purpose was to track stimulus spending and report job creation stats and audit to make sure we weren't under counting.

In the meantime, I'm seeing the local benefits of the stimulus spending. A local (privately owned) shopping center gets a mostly unneeded traffic signal installed (well, they feds are giving us use it or lose it money, so hey!). Another municipality just gave us a $30,000 contract to study something very low on their priority list, but hey "it's free government money (well 80% of it is), so who cares if it is for a low priority expenditure that isn't really needed". I guess the stimulus money just "created" my job.

And let me just say that I don't quite make $287,000 a year. They could have just paid me half that to sit at home and do nothing and graciously give my job to someone else. They would still be up $143,500 for the year.
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Old 07-14-2010, 01:31 PM   #3
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I believe this thread fits better in "Political".
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:00 PM   #4
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I believe this thread fits better in "Political".
You say political, I say analytical...
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:12 PM   #5
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Is the stimulus really boosting the economy? Were millions of jobs really created?

Maybe those are political questions. But there is certainly a strong overlap with economic considerations and the impacts on markets.
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Old 07-14-2010, 02:53 PM   #6
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well...i quite enjoy the stimuli bestowed upon me and my fellow comrades constituents. who can't appreciate someone ripping up both (I-610 & I-10) of the major interstates next to one's house, just to repave it 5 or so years early? I mean those poor blokes need to work somehow and the traffic is almost worth it. good thing my trips to africa really open my eyes to what real traffic is, otherwise i would be ungrateful and complain that these projects are not only a waste of money but also a huge inconvenience.

and since I am all into cycling now, i'll really enjoy a couple of extra miles of bike path @ almost $2m/mile. i might actually get on this bike path...hopefully it is better constructed than the one next to my house which I don't use because they put a stop sign every block.

it's not just jobs...these bike paths will last for years!
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:13 PM   #7
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it's not just jobs...these bike paths will last for years!
Just think about the long term job creation those bike paths have brought about. They will have to be repaved in another 15-20 years. And there will need to be a full time grounds crew to keep the area around the bike path clean, landscaped, grass mowed etc.

And let's not forget the new administrative position in charge of supervising the maintenance of the bike path areas.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:16 PM   #8
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LOL that is 3 mil people making 60k per year (180 billion) and 7400 bank executives each getting about 100 million.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:20 PM   #9
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You say political, I say analytical...

So where's the analysis?
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:50 PM   #10
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Just think about the long term job creation those bike paths have brought about. They will have to be repaved in another 15-20 years. And there will need to be a full time grounds crew to keep the area around the bike path clean, landscaped, grass mowed etc.

And let's not forget the new administrative position in charge of supervising the maintenance of the bike path areas.
You left out several layers of essential bike path management- the bike path safety supervisor, the safety supervisor's administrative assistant, and their receptionist; a risk-management department with a claims specialist to process claims and and an attorney to litigate accidents caused by the inherently unsafe bike path design; an environmental impact specialist to monitor the effects of the sudden influx of bicycles on the environment, with a fast-response team to mitigate kool-aid spills and pet accidents; litter control technicians; a mounted police force to monitor bicycle traffic and issue citations for those caught cycling outside the lines; an HR department; a meteorologist to predict cycling conditions and issue weather advisories; and last but not least the community organizers to take credit for all of it at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

...and a Bike-Path Czar to oversee the newly-created NPS (National Pathway System) with a full complement of safety, security and administrative staff.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:51 PM   #11
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Political.
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Old 07-14-2010, 03:54 PM   #12
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So where's the analysis?
Most of it is coming from the Office of Management and Budget; here is a handy link:

Welcome to the Office of Management and Budget
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:22 PM   #13
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What does this have to do with FIRE and Money?
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Old 07-14-2010, 04:35 PM   #14
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What does this have to do with FIRE and Money?
Social Security is broke, you didn't get the memo?
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Old 07-14-2010, 08:13 PM   #15
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Social Security is broke, you didn't get the memo?
Maybe I missed something. Nothing above discusses SS. Maybe it should just be closed down.
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Old 07-14-2010, 09:18 PM   #16
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What does this have to do with FIRE and Money?
i can think of 962,000,000,000 things that have to do with money and can potentially impact my ability to FIRE.
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Old 07-15-2010, 12:22 AM   #17
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Maybe I missed something. Nothing above discusses SS. Maybe it should just be closed down.
Actually, I mentioned it in post 14, since this thread is about the federal government's insatiable, growing appetite for our hard-earned dollars. Nothing political expressed or implied. We can discuss that in the political forum if you would like to start a thread on the subject there. This is about the numbers, pure and simple. I mentioned SS because the projected SS shortfall in 2010 is ~$220,000,000,000-$280,000,000,000, (depending on whose numbers you believe-a serious issue whatever the number- 2010 was a watershed year, the first time in nearly 30 years that we are facing a funding deficit instead of a surplus.) The SS shortfall goes hand-in-hand with the ballooning budget deficit, and the future outlook and structure of SS is probably the single most important issue affecting retirees- now and in the future, IMHO. Funding the shortfall has to come from somewhere, and I'm-a thinkin' it's gonna hurt.

Are you suggesting that SS should just be closed down?
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Old 07-15-2010, 06:23 AM   #18
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Actually, I mentioned it in post 14, since this thread is about the federal government's insatiable, growing appetite for our hard-earned dollars. Nothing political expressed or implied. We can discuss that in the political forum if you would like to start a thread on the subject there. This is about the numbers, pure and simple. I mentioned SS because the projected SS shortfall in 2010 is ~$220,000,000,000-$280,000,000,000, (depending on whose numbers you believe-a serious issue whatever the number- 2010 was a watershed year, the first time in nearly 30 years that we are facing a funding deficit instead of a surplus.) The SS shortfall goes hand-in-hand with the ballooning budget deficit, and the future outlook and structure of SS is probably the single most important issue affecting retirees- now and in the future, IMHO. Funding the shortfall has to come from somewhere, and I'm-a thinkin' it's gonna hurt.

Are you suggesting that SS should just be closed down?
That would be one way to close the budget gap.

People have been crying wolf about the end of SS as long as I can remember. Not going to happen. Probably extend out the retirement age to adjust for longevity. Problem will come when next generation comes along. Obesity problem likely to start reducing lifespans just when retirement age is moving out. Good for SS from pure math standpoint but not good for people (dying younger).

I guess the other solution is just to roll over and tax 50% of all SS since the original contributions (employer) were not taxed. Probably not politically popular but would be consistent with private (IRA) tax structure. Doubt it would pass.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:46 AM   #19
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Great math. The problem is that evaluating the value of the stimulus program as a function of the cost per job created/saved is an artificial measure. If I remember correctly, back in the fall of 2008 virtually everyone from right to left believed that absent the stimulus the entire financial system would have locked up tighter than a drum causing an absolute collapse far worse than what we have experienced. I don't know whether that is true -- but neither do any of you! Whether you agree that we needed a stimulus or agree that it was the first step on the way to socialist madness is essentially just that -- a matter of belief.

Yes, this thread belongs in the political/religious section.
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:59 AM   #20
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Based on what I see on the street, most jobs created must be police officers. With over a million in revenue per officer on the street, I guess the stimulus has been paid for by now in form of tickets and we should soon get the announcement that the budget has been balanced.

PS: Don't take this comment too serious, but there is significantly more police on the streets, than I ever recall seeing before.
The police are on the streets because budget cuts took away their cars



I could not resist, sorry
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