Turns out there’s no such thing as shovel ready. Before the stimulus money can get to the Average Joe Hard Hat, it has to go through the lawyers and bureaucrats and urban planners. And if we can go out on a limb, the office-class will try to suck as many dollars out of the process as they can before it hits the streets.
WSJ notes that many projects that the administration was told would start immediately won’t be ready for several months. That’s not the end of the world of course. A legitimately needed infrastructure project is worth doing, even if it starts in June as opposed to right now.
But it raises the notion that perhaps the government should’ve focused more on long-term building — like a new smart grid that would pay dividends down the road in terms of growth, rather than on short-term projects that are just about fast employment.
And this explains why everytime we hear about stimulus money already flowing into the economy, it’s some police force somewhere hiring a new class of rookie cops — the kind of jobs that don’t take much time or planning.