June 06, 2010

How's That Stimulus Coming?

About as I predicted.

Stimulus aside, we're not seeing increase in jobs
The economy will kick into gear again when the private sector begins adding jobs. Investors were spooked Friday because it isn't doing that yet. Of the 413,000 jobs added in May, just 41,000 of them were in the private sector, barely a fifth of what economists expected, and many of those jobs were temporary ones. Speaking of which, virtually all the public-sector job increases were the result of temporary workers hired by the U.S. Census Bureau...

...The Keynesians who advocate for bigger stimulus spending to avoid a double-dip recession are beginning to bump up against the limits of their argument that deficit spending can lead the economy back to a growth cycle. The stimulus spending has to show some private-sector results. We can't keep pointing to the census workers, teachers and other public-sector jobs that have been "kept" thanks to stimulus money.

This really isn't rocket science or brain surgery. The "stimulus" bill was, as I repeatedly said, mostly aimed at shoring up government and union (and public-sector union) jobs, NOT at "stimulating" the private economy that actually generates the wealth that pays for all that government. While private-sector employment crumbled, government employment barely budged at state and local levels, and actually grew at the federal level.

Shoring up government at the expense of the private sector is not stimulus. It's an attempt to permanently expand government. And it won't boost the economy. Quite the opposite. It suppresses growth, as we're seeing. When we do begin to see positive recovery in the private sector, it won't be because of government "stimulus," but in spite of it.

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