Economics Is Decadent and Depraved, Especially When It Comes To Doling Out Useful Information


Writing over at Big Government, Mercatus Center economist and Reason columnist Veronique de Rugy digs into the compost pile of "jobs created and saved" by the almighty Stimulus:

The most relevant information on is that most of the jobs created or saved are in the public sector. For instance, according to Vice President Biden, out of the 640,329 jobs, 325,000 went to education and 80,000 to construction jobs. The difference we will soon find out is going to other government jobs.

You need more evidence? 13,080 grants went to the private sector, and 116,625 went to feral agencies.

So even if we assume that the government could create jobs by spending our money, we can see that what this money is being spent on is big government. Or bigger government I should say.

So when you think that, on top of everything, the  government can't create jobs (here and here), this data is transparently depressing.

Whole thing, worth reading, here.

Here's's interview with Mike Pickett, the CEO of Onvia, whose private-sector website is delivering better and more info on stimulus spending than the government's own.

NEXT: Reason Writers Around Town: Nick Gillespie on Sarah Palin in The Washington Post

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  1. “feral agencies”
    freudian slip?

    1. a more telling one was never made

  2. Dah, domo beat me to it. Well done, sir.

  3. I can easily picture a frothing, wild Biden rolling around in the leaves shouting about job creation.

    1. Isn’t there some footage on that from the past month? I can’t The Youtube from work 🙁

      1. That’s Mike Gravel you’re thinking of.

  4. Yeah, better get them spayed and neutered before they breed.

  5. Trap, neuter, and do not return.

    1. No, I’m afraid good old-fashioned euthanasia is the only thing that will control the feral agency population.

  6. If only we could tame them as quickly as I’ve been able to tame the local feral cats.

  7. Can someone in in the Washington press core please ask for the White House to specify how many jobs were created. Letting them add “saved” is just lazy reporting. And of course the stimulus was nothing but a state and local government bailout.

  8. Corp darnit.

    1. corps?

      1. “corpse”

        *smiles wistfully*

    2. corps

      You’re welcome.

  9. I was going to make a comment about wild government, but it now seems a bit redundant.

    1. I was just going to make a comment, but it now seems redundant.

  10. There really should be a law against the private sector making the public sector look bad.

  11. Fist, how about a law against the public sector?

    1. Probably a better chance of seeing the private sector get outlawed.

      1. They don’t get a 55% return on stimulus. No rainbow pissing unicorns, neither.

  12. Al Gore Set To Become First “Carbon Billionaire”…..naire.html

    1. The P&T Bullshit! episode about carbon credits and ManBearPig is pretty awesome.

  13. went to feral agencies

    Are they the ones that throw metal boomerangs?

  14. The most relevant information on is that most of the jobs created or saved are in the public sector.

    Nothing personal, but:

    NO SHIT.

  15. So government jobs aren’t real jobs because…?

    Libertoids deserve to be punched in the face by all the federal employees–not to mention local government employees like firefighters–that they constantly disparage.

    1. They aren’t real jobs because they are not created by real market demand for them. They are artificially created by an overpowering government spending more and more of the public’s money to create jobs for ever more expanding government agencies whose jobs it is to regulate and control what’s left of the rest of the real economy – i.e., people who actually produce something useful to meet a real market demand.

      Tough concept to grasp, I know. Ponder it a while and see if you can get your head around it.

      Nobody is disparaging firefighters. But when the federal gubmint spends eighty-eight skatrillion dollars to create a new agency in charge of regulating the labeling package sizing of butter sticks or whatever, and hires another 1,000 people to run the agency, it’s pretty disingenuous when that government then tries to take credit for helping save the economy from recession by claiming it has created new jobs. They are fake jobs for which there was no market demand.

      1. A job is a job, and whether there was market demand for it or not has nothing to do with the fact that the person occupying it gets a paycheck–which can be spent in the private sector, stimulating growth and the creation of more private sector jobs.

        Market demand is not the only legitimate type of demand. If the market demands that unemployment be at 25% I think it’s time we stop being such market purists, don’t you?

        1. Tony, you’re an embarrassment to the sodomite race.

        2. You’re kidding, right Tony?

          I could sure use a maid around my house. And think of the maid! A job with a paycheck that can be spent stimulating the economy!!!

          Except I don’t have the money to hire the maid. So I shouldn’t ‘create’ that job. See how economics works?

          1. Say your career consisted of manufacturing a single maid uniform, and your only potential customer was your maid. Say the uniform cost $10,000 and you paid your maid $35,000 a year. Without giving her a job, you both are on the street. By giving her a job, you create the market for your product, and over a few years you make a profit on your investment in her job, and you both are better off.

            1. What? Shut the fuck up, Tony.

        3. A job is a job, and whether there was market demand for it or not

          Stupid out the butt much?

        4. Do you believe in the money fairy? Why not just have government hire everyone? Oh that’s right, because the money to pay for them has to come from somewhere. The private sector pays for jobs by providing value and generating wealth. The public sector pays for jobs by leeching off of the private sector.

          1. Yeah, the government is the money fairy in times of recession. It can run up debts to make jobs that can help to quell spiraling job losses in the private sector, thereby saving wealth and jobs in the long term.

    2. Reading your comments is like watching you punch yourself in the face.

      I was a firefighter for 14 years, I was not a government employee. I worked for a privately owned non-unionized company that provided equivalent to superior service at a much lower cost. Assuming the savings were not simply wasted elsewhere they went the taxpayer.

      Looks like you just gave yourself a fat lip and a bloody nose on that one.

      Very impressive considering you probably couldn’t punch your way out of a wet paper sack without the government sending someone in to do it for you.

  16. Tony, you dimwit; government jobs are not real jobs, because they are not (with some extremely limited exceptions) value-creating. They are merely transfer payments, taking money from one group to give to another.

    1. But government employees eat, entertain, live in houses, buy cars, and do all the other things “regular” employees do, i.e., help to stimulate the economy by consuming. So if that’s your goal–and when the private sector is hemorrhaging jobs–who gives a fuck?

      I think lots of things government employees do are much, much more valuable than lots of things private sector people do. After all they tend to have some social purpose, which is more than can be said for the wall street gamblers who were making the real money in recent decades.

      1. The sour-faced women at the clerk’s office serve a social purpose? Really?

        The ones at the DMV, too?

        What social purpose would that be, pray tell?

        1. Yes, even your favorite stereotype of the government employee has a purpose. You know, to help regulate the widespread operation of deadly machines by individuals.

          1. I know what the women at my clerk’s office and DMV are like. It’s not a stereotype if it’s true.

            Taking my money in a “use tax” for the right to continue operating a vehicle I own free and clear serves a social purpose, eh?

            What a funny planet you live on, TonyTroll.

            1. You don’t think there’s a social purpose in making sure that everyone who owns a deadly machine is properly trained to use it before they are allowed to take it out among other people?

              1. That’s not what they’re doing when we go in every year to pay registration fees, Tony. I said, “Use tax”, Tony. Focus.

              2. There is a giant difference between “licensed to use” and “properly trained to use”.

                I guess parasites are God’s creatures, too.

              3. What government agency, praytell, makes sure that everyone who owns a car “is properly trained to use it”?

                I’ve been driving cars for nearly 30 years and have yet to run across (figuratively) such an agency.

                1. That may be so. But Bronwyn in attempting to argue for the uselessness of government workers picked the most stereotypically inefficient, foul-tempered example. If she had decided to choose, say, a marine, nobody could argue with the job’s usefulness.

                  1. Well, Tony, the government isn’t “creating” hole-digging jobs for Marines, now are they?

                    They’re creating bureaucratic jobs to run the ever more inane regulatory structure.

                    Those jobs far more resemble my example than they do yours.

                    Do you even believe yourself, dumbshit?

              4. “You don’t think there’s a social purpose in making sure that everyone who owns a deadly machine is properly trained to use it before they are allowed to take it out among other people?”

                So you oppose this?

                Beginning Sunday, cops will no longer impound cars the first time drivers are pulled over without a license.

                The reason: Many such drivers are in the United States illegally – and thus unable to get a license – and the officials pushing the change think that impounding their cars is an unfair hardship.

                Instead, unlicensed drivers will be given 20 minutes to phone a relative or other acquaintance with a valid license and insurance to pick up the car. If the driver doesn’t have a cell phone, police will help him contact someone.

                If no one shows up, then the cop is to call a supervisor to approve the tow.


              5. You actually think that a “drivers license” performs that function? Jesus, man, what roads are you driving on? The roads are chock full of idiots who haven’t the slightest notion of how to safely operate a motor vehicle. And for those who do know how, how do you figure that the government had anything to do with it? My Dad taught me how to drive, not the government. The driver’s test was a joke.

                I say we quit calling it a “driver’s license” and call it what it is actually used for: ID card.

      2. But government employees eat, entertain, live in houses, buy cars, and do all the other things “regular” employees do, i.e., help to stimulate the economy by consuming.

        Which is all done at the expense of the productive class because those people were taxed (directly or through inflation) to pay for more bureaucrats. Liberals will never be able to wrap their feeble brains around what is not seen.

      3. Tony! You can’t be serious! If that were the case, why doesn’t the government just create 3,000,000 “jobs”, putting unemployed people to work watching TV.

        They’ll earn a paycheck. They’ll spend the money in the community generating economic activity!

        Taking money from productive sectors and giving it to unproductive sectors does not create economic gain, it’s a GDP loss.

        1. Good point. Care to answer that one Tony?

          If all those government jobs are so good, why not declare the US at full employment and have the government give everyone a paycheck to dig holes, fill in those holes, or supervise the digging and filling in?

          Think of how many holes could be created! We can always use more holes…in case we find something we need to bury in them.

          And think about how many holes we could have filled in – don’t want those dangerous holes for someone to fall in, right?

          And those are all good jobs, right? Those government hole diggers and hole fillers-in, and hole supervisors will go an buy houses, and cars and stuff to expand the economy, huh?

          1. One hopes that stimulus-related jobs would provide some benefit for society beyond stimulus itself: infrastructure, education, etc. But even paying for useless work can have a stimulative effect. More people to buy the products of the so-called productive class, more wealth generated, less time people need to spend doing useless government jobs (or soaking up welfare money).

            1. useful idiot.

      4. *cough* bullshit *cough*

  17. What do they produce that is of value to the rest of the non-governmentally-employed society?

    You’re defending taking taxes from the rest of us, to artificially create jobs that there was no demand for, so that these people can spend that money on living their lives. How about we skip that whole massive step involving an ever-expanding federal government.

    A healthy economy cannot rely on a central national government as its motivating engine. The only way to grow such an economy would be to take ever more taxes from the producers every year and … oh.

    1. “A healthy economy cannot rely on a central national government as its motivating engine.”

      I definitely agree. But when the market fails to sustain itself and instead creates an environment of spiraling job losses that compound recessive effects, it’s good to have a safety net. The whole point is to mitigate future losses of wealth that would far exceed short-term spending.

  18. We’re not talking about basic, essential functions that government legitimately provides. One would hope those have been taken care of for a long time. These “new jobs” are created for the purpose of carrying out newly-created government programs, most of which are part of a social engineering agenda.

  19. Oops. Forgive me, everyone. I should be bucking the Reply To system, shouldn’t I?

  20. If the market demands that unemployment be at 25% I think it’s time we stop being such market purists, don’t you?

    That depends; what percentage of the overall workforce is employed by government agencies?

  21. Riddle me this: How are TARP and ARRA the same?

    Answer: They were both sold as one thing and delivered as another:

    TARP was supposed to relieve banks of troubled assets and allow them to get back in the game of debt. ARRA was supposed to create green jobs through smart targeted investments in our crumbling infrastructure.

    In practice, TARP provides ongoing life support for a broadly defined “financial system.” ARRA provides ongoing life support for bankrupt state and local agencies.

    The idea is that you keep the dole going long enough until the private sector — a phenomenon Sec. Geithner has read about on both a Blackberry and an iPhone — rains wealth on all the biggest spenders.

    So it’s important not to ask of the stimulus “Is it stimulating anything?” If that was ever the purpose of the Stimulus, it no longer is.

    For that, we must deploy Stimulus II, Electric Boondoggle-oo.

  22. The most relevant information on is that most of the jobs created or saved are in the public sector.

    Finally, someone noticed. NPR sure didn’t notice, or if they did, they kept whistling right past it.

    6000 Teching jobs created or saved!

    Thanks Obama.

  23. A job is a job, and whether there was market demand for it or not has nothing to do with the fact that the person occupying it gets a paycheck

    So, if I tell you your car needs a new engine, despite the fact that it obviously does not, will you pay me to do a motor swap, just because I need the money?

    Or are you only willing to spend OTHER PEOPLE’S MONEY on useless shit?

  24. Teaching*

    Guess public school didn’t work out for me, either.

  25. feral agencies

    I think we will hereby retire RC’z Law. I don’t see how that can possibly be bettered.

  26. Feralism? I like it. Very apt. It’s a feral government, and we, the people, are its prey.

    1. The Feral Bureau of Investigation announced today that Feral agents would be raiding another black-market healthcare provider that dared to compete against the public option.

  27. I’m going to post this for Tony in the hopes that he FINALLY figures out how idiotic he sounds whenever he trumps out the “government jobs are great!” line again, because it isn’t any less annoying to read it this time then the other eighty odd times he’s spewed forth this garbage..

    Taken from-Missing Milton: Who Will Speak For Free Markets? – “At one of our dinners, Milton recalled traveling to an Asian country in the 1960s and visiting a worksite where a new canal was being built. He was shocked to see that, instead of modern tractors and earth movers, the workers had shovels. He asked why there were so few machines. The government bureaucrat explained: ‘You don’t understand. This is a jobs program.’ To which Milton replied: ‘Oh, I thought you were trying to build a canal. If it’s jobs you want, then you should give these workers spoons, not shovels.'”

    I would hope this will explain it for you Tony, but I have my doubts that you will be able to see through your liberal veil and understand what it means.

    1. Platitudinous anecdotes aren’t the same thing as wisdom my friend.

      1. You’re just sad because it’s the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

        God knows how many tasty tears you will shed when Fidel finally takes his dirt nap.

      2. Well, I tried. Can’t say I’m surprised you don’t get it but I guess I’ve learned my lesson.

        What I don’t understand is why you troll a blog that you so clearly don’t understand?

        1. I get it, I just think it’s stupid. Sometimes, yeah, you just want to create jobs. If you can pair the need for jobs with the need for public works, all the better.

  28. Nice! “feral agencies”??? A serendipitous typo perhaps? “A feral organism is one that has escaped from domestication and returned, partly or wholly, to a wild state.”(Wikipedia) I guess ‘by definition’ you would be correct.

    1. meh, I’d prefer feral to federal anyday. But, I kind of think Veronique de Rugy is hot so I’ll just agree.

  29. I wonder what share of the grants to the private sector go to government contractors?

  30. Been using recovery dot org, it’s fantastic.

    Hats off to Onvia for providing this very valuable tool.

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