gov site today to get the latest news on the stimulus package and how much has been rolled out in an attempt to save the woefully unemployed from forming a long winding line outside every homeless shelter in the country.
I had ambitious goals of giving a well organized description of how much money has been dolled and to whom those dollars have been so graciously distributed.
The bottom line was that I didn't really get a full scoop about what was going on by the information that was displayed on the site.
I'll be the first to admit that I'm no Marilyn Vos Savant when it comes to interpreting tabulated information, but even to the most sharp witted web surfer, I think it may be difficult to drill down exactly what was going on.
However, I can tell you that according to recovery.
gov, 640,329 jobs have been created/saved as a result of the recovery act.
I still can't decide if that is good or bad, or how they can even come up with that number.
I was also able to brilliantly ascertain that about $160 billion of the $275 billion set aside for contracts, grants, and loans have been awarded, however only about $64 billion of that money has been paid out.
This is all fantastic about what is going on with the stimulus and everything, but my question is this: why is unemployment still at 10% for the country and a whopping 20% for the construction industry, which is as high (for both) as they have been since this whole mess began way back in 2008.
This is especially concerning when about $150 billion of this is being pumped directly into the construction industry and the unemployment has remained the same.
I think Ben Bernanke would have to explain the reason for the refusal of the US unemployment rate to decline, but I think I have an idea as to why the construction industry may still be stagnant.
Well, actually two reasons.
Commercial banks continue to hoard their money like misers.
Construction projects that have been shelved for years are slower than molasses when trying to resurrect.
We need to realize that there is no such thing as a shovel ready project.
I really think the politicians missed this whole concept when they started pouring money into it.
Not that it's bad, but it just doesn't happen over night.
Trying to get public construction projects to move is like trying to push a refrigerator up a hill.
There's just a lot of paper work and red tape, not to mention the verification required of the plans, specs, and existing conditions.
I won't even go into the commercial banks now, but I think they should be forced to lend money very soon.
They were given bailout funds for a problem that they caused in an effort to stimulate lending, and now they refuse to lend it and continue to give themselves huge bonuses.
It's honestly the biggest crock I think I've ever seen.