05 February 2009

Stoner Sport to be Funded Under Stimulus Package

Not to disparage the great game of Disc Golf or the great city of Austin, but does $880K of funds for a new course really need to be part of a federal stimulus package designed to jump-start the economy? The real porker part of the package is going to come when the states get dished out a bunch of cash to do "shovel ready" projects. From WSJ, a highlight of the more ridiculous examples:

These are among 18,750 projects listed in "Ready to Go," the U.S. Conference of Mayors' wish list for funding from the stimulus bill moving through Congress. The group asked cities and towns to suggest "shovel ready" projects for the report, which it gave to Congress and the Obama administration.

Although the bulk of proposals are roads, sewers and similar projects, some wouldn't require a shovel at all. The mayors group sees a potential 1.6 million new jobs from the projects, though a few of them wouldn't create any.

Some localities are using a kitchen-sink strategy. "Our approach has been to list everything, because we don't know what the final guidelines will be or what the final dollar amount will be," says Greg MacLean, public-works director in Lincoln, Neb.

Among entries on Lincoln's list is a $3 million environmentally friendly clubhouse for a municipal golf course. "From a public-perception standpoint, I see how it could be an issue," Mr. MacLean says. But, he says, construction would create 54 jobs.
Reason has a great article about how we are in an era of complete irresponsibility with the federal government vastly stepping outside its constitutional role to meddle in the economy. Saving money is now tantamount to sin, and wasting money like a frat-boy in Vegas is the new patriotism. At least we'll all be able to toke a doober and throw some frisbees around in the park Uncle Sam buys us.


Mikael said...

Well, keynesianism is pretty much the only thing that can get the economy going at this point. So in that regard, a stimulus package is necessary, but note that the _content_ of said stimulus package is another matter... Keynesianism basically says to push money into building infrastructure, and the effect will spread from there as more people have jobs and money to spend, thus creating more jobs, etc.

So while yes, the building of a eco-friendly golf club country house is frivolous and silly, and the money should've gone to something more serious, the 54 jobs created means 54 people in work who will have money to spend, and that will mean a few more jobs are created(or at least maintained) from their spending, so mission successful.

Personally I'd have gone for more efficient and publically useful choices for infrastructure though... like say improved roads(and maintainance for roads), public bath houses(employs people both during building and after), emergency/safety/law enforcement services, etc.