How The Stimulus is Turning Businesses Into Welfare Cases


The Washington Times' Amanda Carpenter talks to Eric Gillespie (no relation to your truly) of Onvia, the private company that is kicking the feds' ass when it comes to tracking stimulus spending. Here's a chilling insight about the way in government money is corrupting market incentives:

"We've seen businesses go from viewing the government as the last client standing, and now we are hearing government spending is a key part of their business strategies. There is almost a philosophical shift in the industry where more and more businesses, large, medium and small as a result of the stimulus and their realizing there is a large, untapped revenue stream where they haven't been focused before."

More here. interviewed Onvia's CEO, Mike Pickett, about why his company's was giving more info on the stimulus than the government's own

Go here for downloadable versions, etc.

NEXT: Reason Morning Links: Afghan Troop Surge Numbers Already Increasing, Stimulus Waste, Corporate Gender Quotas in France

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  1. The ONVIA salesman who sold me for a year of bid viewing made the claim that they wrote the first forty pages of the stimulus. So, of course they are the best trackers of it.

  2. The Washington Times, huh? So all of a sudden conservatives are reticent about government money. Isn't that (politically) convenient?

    In reality, the nation's largest industries rely almost entirely on government money. They always have. It's called the defense industry.

    1. In reality, the nation's largest industries rely almost entirely on government money. They always have. It's called the defense industry.

      So you're fine with completely privatized defense and Letters of Marque? Or are you one of our liberals?

      1. Thanks for staying on topic. Not.

        You should look up the word "reason" sometime and apply it.

        Be careful what you assume. You're usually wrong.

        1. Drink?

        2. How can you assume with an open question? Defensive much?

          And yes, drink.

    2. Get off my ARPANET.

      1. As soon as you get your hand out of my wallet.

      2. We are. ARPANET has been a different network for some time now. And even ARPANET runs on a private telecom backbone.

  3. We've seen businesses go from viewing the government as the last client standing, and now we are hearing government spending is a key part of their business strategies.

    Exhibit A: Jeffrey Immelt.

    I hate that fucker. And I own GE stock.

  4. P Brooks,

    I feel your pain. I'm a GE shareholder, too.


  6. Hey, I gave my Washington Mutual stock back to the aether from which it sprang.

  7. The welfare state eventually turns even the proudest, most independent men into beggars. Which of them, in his old age, does not take advantage of Medicare? Which of them sends back his Social Security check? And why should he? That money was stolen from him. But the reclaiming of what is morally right for him to claim makes him a participant, an unwitting accomplice. And proponents of ever-larger government can point to him and say, "Hypocrite! Don't you receive Medicare? Why should you get health insurance while the inner-city poor are going without?"

    It's the same principle with "stimulus" booty. The productive are taxed to provide handouts to parasites. Why not get in line to reclaim a bit of your stolen loot?

  8. How The Stimulus is Turning Businesses Into Welfare Cases

    When was the stimulus NOT welfare?

  9. Some years ago, about 1900, an old trapper from North Dakota hitched up some horses to his Studebaker wagon, packed a few possessions -- especially his traps -- and drove south. Several weeks later he stopped in a small town just north of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia. It was a Saturday morning -- a lazy day -- when he walked into the general store. Sitting around the pot-bellied stove were seven or eight of the town's local citizens.

    The traveler spoke. "Gentlemen, could you direct me to the Okefenokee Swamp?" Some of the oldtimers looked at him like he was crazy. "You must be a stranger in these parts," they said. "I am. I'm from North Dakota," said the stranger. "In the Okefenokee Swamp are thousands of wild hogs." one old man explained. "A man who goes into the swamp by himself asks to die!" He lifted up his leg. "I lost half my leg here, to the pigs of the swamp." Another old fellow said, "Look at the cuts on me; look at my arm bit off! Those pigs have been free since the Revolution, eating snakes and rooting out roots and fending for themselves for over a hundred years. They're wild and they're dangerous. You can't trap them. No man dare go into the swamp by himself." Every man nodded his head in agreement.

    The old trapper said, "Thank you so much for the warning. Now could you direct me to the swamp?" They said, "Well, yeah, it's due south -- straight down the road." But they begged the stranger not to go, because they knew he'd meet a terrible fate. He said, "Sell me ten sacks of corn, and help me load it in the wagon." And they did. Then the old trapper bid them farewell and drove on down the road. The townsfolk thought they'd never see him again. Two weeks later the man came back. He pulled up to the general store, got down off the wagon, walked in and bought ten more sacks of corn. After loading it up he went back down the road toward the swamp.

    Two weeks later he returned and again bought ten sacks of corn. This went on for a month. And then two months, and three. Every week or two the old trapper would come into town on a Saturday morning, load up ten sacks of corn, and drive off south into the swamp. The stranger soon became a legend in the little village and the subject of much speculation. People wondered what kind of devil had possessed this man, that he could go into the Okefenokee by himself and not be consumed by the wild and free hogs.

    One morning the man came into town as usual. Everyone thought he wanted more corn. He got off the wagon and went into the store where the usual group of men were gathered around the stove. He took off his gloves. "Gentlemen," he said, "I need to hire about ten or fifteen wagons. I need twenty or thirty men. I have six thousand hogs out in the swamp, penned up, and they're all hungry. I've got to get them to market right away." "You've WHAT in the swamp?" asked the storekeeper, incredulously. "I have six thousand hogs penned up. They haven't eaten for two or three days, and they'll starve if I don't get back there to feed and take care of them."

    One of the oldtimers said, "You mean you've captured the wild hogs of the Okefenokee?" "That's right." "How did you do that? What did you do?" the men urged, breathlessly. One of them exclaimed, "But I lost my arm!" "I lost my brother!" cried another. "I lost my leg to those wild boars!" chimed a third. The trapper said, "Well, the first week I went in there they were wild all right. They hid in the undergrowth and wouldn't come out. I dared not get off the wagon. So I spread corn along behind the wagon. Every day I'd spread a sack of corn. The old pigs would have nothing to do with it."

    "But the younger pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn than it was to root out roots and catch snakes. So the very young began to eat the corn first. I did this every day. Pretty soon, even the old pigs decided that it was easier to eat free corn. After all, they were all free; they were not penned up. They could run off in any direction they wanted at any time."

    "The next thing was to get them used to eating in the same place all the time. So I selected a clearing, and I started putting the corn in the clearing. At first they wouldn't come to the clearing. It was too far. It was too open. It was a nuisance to them." "But the very young decided that it was easier to take the corn in the clearing than it was to root out roots and catch their own snakes. And not long thereafter, the older pigs also decided that it was easier to come to the clearing every day."

    "And so the pigs learned to come to the clearing every day to get their free corn. They could still subsidize their diet with roots and snakes and whatever else they wanted. After all, they were all free. They could run in any direction at any time. There were no bounds upon them." "The next step was to get them used to fence posts. So I put fence posts all the way around the clearing. I put them in the underbrush so that they wouldn't get suspicious or upset. After all, they were just sticks sticking up out of the ground, like the trees and the brush. The corn was there every day. It was easy to walk in between the posts, get the corn, and walk back out."

    "This went on for a week or two. Shortly they became very used to walking into the clearing, getting the free corn, and walking back out through the fence posts." "The next step was to put one rail down at the bottom. I also left a few openings, so that the older, fatter pigs could walk through the openings and the younger pigs could easily jump over just one rail. After all, it was no real threat to their freedom or independence. They could always jump over the rail and flee in any direction at any time."

    "Now I decided that I wouldn't feed them every day. I began to feed them every other day. On the days I didn't feed them the pigs still gathered in the clearing. They squealed, and they grunted, and they begged and pleaded with me to feed them. But I only fed them every other day. And I put a second rail around the posts." "Now the pigs became more and more desperate for food. Because now they were no longer used to going out and digging their own roots and finding their own food. They now needed me. They needed my corn every other day. So I trained them that I would feed them every day if they came in through a gate. And I put up a third rail around the fence. But it was still no great threat to their freedom, because there were several gates and they could run in and out at will."

    "Finally I put up the fourth rail. Then I closed all the gates but one, and I fed them very, very well. Yesterday I closed the last gate. And today I need you to help me take these pigs to market." -- end of story -- The price of free corn The allegory of the pigs has a serious moral lesson. This story is about federal money being used to bait, trap and enslave a once free and independent people. Federal welfare, in its myriad forms, has reduced not only individuals to a state of dependency. State and local governments are also on the fast track to elimination, due to their functions being subverted by the command and control structures of federal "revenue sharing" programs.

    Please copy this flyer and send it to all your state and local elected leaders and other concerned citizens. Tell them: "Just say NO to federal corn." The bacon you save may be your own.

    1. Thanks, Grandma.

      Or: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: FW: GREAT parable about the federal government (PLEASE PASS ON)!!!

      1. Tough Year, Mr. President, Tough Year.

        If you think you've had a rough year, think of how our friends on the left must feel. On January 1 of this year, they probably thought...

        A stimulus bill would create jobs and lower the unemployment rate.

        ACORN was a noble and trustworthy organization.

        The data proving climate change was reliable (and could be found!).

        Reaching out to Iran could yield dividends.

        Less than 115,000 U.S. troops would be in Iraq, ten months after Obama took office.

        An executive order requiring the closure of Guantanamo Bay within one year couldn't just be ignored.

        The Republican party was dead in places like Virginia, and was long since irrelevant in places like New Jersey.

        Gay marriage would be voted into law in New York and Maine.

        That while some drop was inevitable, President Obama's approval rating would be consistently above 50 percent at the end of the year.

        More than 60 percent of Democrats would indicate they would vote in the 2010 midterm elections.

        With 60 Democrats in the Senate and 257 Democrats in the House, passing a health care bill with a public option would be smooth sailing.

        What's that saying? "Man plans, God laughs"?

  10. I gave my Washington Mutual stock back to the aether from which it sprang.

    You boxed it up and mailed it to Dick Grasso?

  11. No, it just disappeared into the void of valuelessness. I think it was made of dark paper.

  12. "no relation to your truly"

    My truly what?

  13. The Washington Times' Amanda Carpenter...

    In light of yesterday's announcement, does she still have a job?

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