Today, the NYT paired two headlines, “New Consensus Sees Stimulus Package as Worthy Step” and “Michigan Again Has Highest Jobless Rate”. Let’s look for a moment at the stories themselves to see if there is any conflict.
In the former, the writers admit the stimulus has been relatively useless at adding jobs, and admits that conservatives claim that the package was a waste of governmental funds, but still claims that a consensus of economists who have viewed the data insist that it is working (interesting definition of consensus). Apparently, the best way for the economy to quickly produce jobs is to throw even more pork at states, hope some jobs get produced, then let the results ‘trickle down’ to the rest of us.
But wait. In the second article, not only does Michigan lead the pack with a 15.6% unemployment rate, but 14 other states plus DC have double digit unemployment right now and unemployment has risen in 29 states in the last month. So, we see the numbers are not merely increasing of people out of work, we also see that the unemployment is spreading throughout the nation, rather than being concentrated in a few states.
So, when we combine the information from the two articles, we find that:
• A consensus of economists (other than conservatives) claim that the stimulus package, which was intended to provide jobs, is working,
• The jobless rate is increasing throughout the nation, with more than 20% of the states suffering an unemployment rate that was unimaginable only two years ago,
• Finally, my analysis is that the stimulus package was not really expected to provide jobs; instead, it was just a pig with lipstick.