Stimulus Spending

ABC Recently presented a special on Appalachia.  The telecast ignored a lot of good work being done by hard working people.  Work that is carried out by volunteers, churches and non-profit organizations.  ABC believes stimulus spending by the government will help solve the problem.  The problem is that small business owners cannot compete with government welfare checks and subsidies.  People who can work decide to keep their government handouts rather than work for the small wages offered by a small business.  So businesses move and the problem grows.  Here a few of my thoughts.

With idleness comes other problems.  Health care professionals have shared with me that alcohol and drug related issues increase where there is no work.  You know who has job security then?  Prison employees and law enforcement officials have job security.  That is not how you build a community.

You are not helping when you want to deny the advances with clean coal technology.  Energy is neccessary to a healthy and productively functioning society.  It is an illusion to think that you can have a clean community, a safe community and a prosperous community without energy.  If you can’t drain the sewage, filter the water, pump the water and heat a home you are sentencing people to hardship and deprivation. 

In communities like those pictured in Appalachia government spending could be a hand up not a hand out.  Government could partner with churches, local businesses and corporations to develop a five to ten year business plan during these tough times.  Put the inspirational folk out there that help people to understand why the plan will work.  Put the people out there who know their communities and love people more than poll numbers.  The number crunchers are scaring those with resources to help.  The sky is falling and with the fear and doubt the Dow follows.

I appreciate greatly President Obama’s desire to work with the faith community as President Bush did.  Rightly placed faith in God can move mountains according to Jesus Christ.

Our faith in God calls us to look forward to our future with the assurance that God is dwelling among those who love him and are called according to his purposes.  We are not controlled by our past.  We are being led into the future by the same Holy Spirit that has always led the people of God.  A calling that is firm and secure.  We must keep that faith or the fear mongers will scare people out of their confidence to live independently and responsibly.

So let’s help but lets help wisely.  Let’s empower and not enable.  Let’s believe and stop doubting and whining.  I agree with stimulus spending to repair infrastructure like roads, bridges, and water works.  I also think that investing research dollars in alternative energy sources (wind, solar, and nuclear) is wise, healthy and will contribute to our national security.  How about investing money into subsidizing the small businesses through these economically challenging times to employ people who want to work?  The same programs that have successfully employed teachers and doctors in rural communities could work by partnerships with companies that can provide educational opportunities and health care.  Let’s help educate families with today’s knowledge skill sets and provide jobs that are needed by the community today.

4 thoughts on “Stimulus Spending

  1. Having been the victim of downsizing I all too well know about what you are talking about. At this point it makes more sense for me to stay home and collect unemployment rather than go out and get a job at Mickey D’s for minimum wage. At this point many Americans are in the same boat. The problem continues to escalate as the minimum wage continues to increase. This causes teens flipping burgers to get paid double what they probably should make and increases the cost of those burgers for the rest of us to a point of extreme. I understand the idea of a stimulus bill, but I don’t feel that it is the right solution. This plan reminds me of the campaign that FDR put in motion in the 1930’s. The problem is that those people back then could work circles around today’s manual labor force. This type of spending is not going to help the millions of white collar workers that are out of work. A better plan would be to divide those billions of dollars up to families across this country so they can get back on their feet and start buying stuff again.

  2. Jason great to hear from you. You are one of those hard working people that strengthened your company. You also are showing a wise and disciplined approach to educating yourself for new professional skills. High fives!

  3. I live and work in the arguably poorest county in MI; the median household income as of the last census is $15,500 (compared to $41,100 statewide). In this environment I see the impact of grinding poverty and government assistance up close.

    While I can conceive of the wise use of government assistance I cannot shake an enduring pessimism; the problem with government assistance is government involvement.

    To give an anecdotal illustration; there is a woman I work with who has adopted her three grandchildren. Her daughter called and said that if she didn’t take them they would be given to the state. So this single grandma does the right thing by taking in and legally adopting her grandkids. As a result she does not qualify for government adoption assistance.

    If she had allowed her grandkids to go through the system; foster care, state placement, etc., THEN she would qualify. But since she was willing to do the right thing she now has to work two jobs to provide the basics for the children that need her time more than anything. I have spoken with workers from four agencies who have said there is nothing to be done. They recognize the injustice of it, but there is no way around it.

    I think the government is great at the macro-items; moon launch, bridges, dams, etc. But government assistance ultimately is allocated by politicians looking for reelection, administered by bureaucrats filling out paperwork and dispensed by workers desirous of job security that goes away if they actually help people to the point of self-sufficiency.

    This inescapable nature of government means that any assistance comes with so many strings as to repel those with the passion of urgency or dilute the effort of those with the patience to comply.

    I think that no-string block grants would be the way to go, but that won’t happen; government can’t give money to people outside their own byzantine, rube-Goldberg system.

    I say that without malice, there must be controls and accountability and regulation/bureaucracy is the only way to handle it. But government being what it is, I think the best way to recover is to limit the scope and resources the government consumes and allow people, communities and the market to work as freely and quickly as possible.

    I think that wise, effective government stimulus is like the condemnation of king Tantalus, close enough to distract us but eternally out of reach.

  4. Well said, Casey. I agree that the resources the government can dole out is compromised by the necessary but easily corrupted regulations and controls. If the resources were given to locally elected officials, local constituency would have a greater influence and knowledge of single grandmothers like the one you know.

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