Is the Stimulus Finally Working?

Personally, I don’t think so.  The joblessness rate is still over 9%, and those “shovel-ready” jobs weren’t as finally recognized by Mr. Obummer.  And then I ran across this over at

Still, more than 7 million jobs have disappeared from the economy since Barack Obama took office. He will be only the second president since Herbert Hoover to face re-election with fewer people working than when he started. (George W. Bush was the other.) So it seems fair to ask whether stimulus projects have increased the net number of jobs in the United States—or whether they simply have moved a diminishing number of jobs around.

Analogy time. Consider a robber who steals a purse containing $500, who then uses the money to buy himself a new TV. It is categorically undeniable that the theft has created a sale for the TV store. Conservatives who pretend the stimulus has not created any jobs whatsoever stand in the position of an observer trying to deny the TV has been sold.

Yet the liberal analysis lacks any recognition that the purse owner now has $500 less to spend on the laptop computer she was going to buy. The theft has generated one sale only by destroying another.

The first effect is easily seen. The second is not. But only the economically illiterate would conclude that just the first effect occurred, and that therefore the way to increase consumption is to encourage more purse-stealing. So in addition to looking at the number of jobs created or saved by the stimulus, shouldn’t we also consider the number of jobs destroyed or forestalled?

Who’s the thief in the night stealing our purses?  I’ll give you one guess…

So Sorry…

As some of my 3 1/2 faithful readers noticed, Tom’s Place went offline for a couple of days due to a coding error that conflicted with a new policy instituted by my site provider.  This new policy also mandates that my spam catcher is now offline permanently, so now all of your comments get routed to an approval queue.  Nuts….  But at least I can read & edit code, otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this.

So now I’m debating whether to change hosts or not.  I can’t really complain – I’m not paying anything for a free, independent WordPress site, so the restriction policies make a certain amount of sense.  But it’s still annoying that no warning is given before stuff happens, and I find out after the fact, i.e., the blog dies for no apparent reason.  The decision is tempered with the fact that I’m not posting as much as I used to.

Do I change providers (again), or stay put?  As if this is the biggest decision that I have right now…

Work is still busy with more and more projects headed my way with fewer people available to cover what is needed.  And this past week, I found out that I’m about to be tagged with a big project with a short timeline that I have had no advance warning on.  Just another log on the blazing fire that is my work life.  Sigh…  I wonder if I can refuse the project…  We’ll see.

Hope everyone else is doing well.

Wisdom for the Ages

Saw this and just had to share.


(a guide for Global Leadership)

All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom was not at the top of the graduate school mountain, but there in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I learned:

  • Share everything.
  • Play fair.
  • Don’t hit people.
  • Put things back where you found them.
  • Clean up your own mess.
  • Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
  • Say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody.
  • Wash your hands before you eat.
  • Flush.
  • Warm cookies and cold milk are good for you.
  • Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.
  • Take a nap every afternoon.
  • When you go out in the world, watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together.
  • Be aware of wonder. Remember the little seed in the Styrofoam cup: the roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why, but we are all like that.
  • Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the Styrofoam cup – they all die. So do we.
  • And then remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned – the biggest word of all – LOOK.

Everything you need to know is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into sophisticated adult terms and apply it to your family life or your work or government or your world and it holds true and clear and firm. Think what a better world it would be if we all – the whole world – had cookies and milk at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon and then lay down with our blankies for a nap. Or if all governments had as a basic policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how old you are, when you go out in the world, it is best to hold hands and stick together.

[Source: "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum.  See his web site at ]