Republicans trying to help the economy have pushed for “trickle down economics.” That is, help businesses, who, in turn, will hire more people, which will increase prosperity for all. Democrats tend to favor what we might term “seep up economics.” (Hey, maybe there is my contribution of a new term. I couldn’t find it on google.) The idea is to help individual workers, who, in turn, will have money to spend that will help businesses.
The cornerstone of Barack Obama’s stimulus plan is massive spending to repair the nation’s roads and bridges. Also money to weatherproof buildings, build new school buildings, etc. In other words, much of the money and the job creation will go to construction companies.
I worked construction putting myself through college, and I honor those workers. That industry requires highly-skilled and specialized experts–not just anyone can work steel or operate a crane or survey gradients–as well as lower-skilled laborers like I was. Those latter jobs, though, are taken up largely today by not-always-legal immigrants. Contractors say that Americans often don’t want those jobs, not finding hauling lumber, digging ditches, and pouring concrete all that fulfulling. (I did all of those jobs, to the great benefit of my character!) Will massive government spending to create these kinds of jobs actually employ 4 million Americans, as planned, or just create an even bigger market for illegal immigrants?
How would a huge infusion of cash into road construction help the typical laid off factory worker or the downsized company executive or the busted Wall Street investor? I suppose the theory is that a construction boom would help the factories that make the equipment and raise the stock of the companies that own the factories, which, in turn, would help other businesses. But
do you think seep up economics like this will really give the economy the help it needs?