For want of a shovel

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Sonic Charmer has the real story behind those mythical "shovel ready" jobs that Obama was trying to find:
Shovel Fantasies
I gather (not that I read/heard it directly) that President Obama admitted somewhere that there�s basically no such thing as a �shovel-ready project� for the government to dump �stimulus� money on. Lefty-blogger reaction to this has been entertaining, to say the least. Imagine you�re Matthew Yglesias or Ezra Klein and you lavished who knows how many keystrokes and man-hours in 2009 writing blog post after blog post about how �stimulus� could and should be used on �shovel-ready projects�. And now here�s President Obama, the guy whose torch you thought you were carrying, saying they don�t exist. How do you react? You play defense that�s how! Serious, desperate defense. And so you write articles and blog posts. Many, many of them. Making convincing, substantive arguments such as: There are too �shovel-ready projects�!

Amusing, but it stems from what was always a somewhat ugly side of this whole silly �shovel-ready� meme. Basically, what �shovel-ready� was always about was upper-middle-class lefties openly fantasizing about putting armies of peasants to work doing things that�upper-middle-class lefties wanted done.

Imagine you�re a young, well-off, �stuff-white-people-like� type left-wing blogger, and you like to go to walkable downtown areas to eat in trendy restaurants. You spot � let�s say � some trash on the ground, a chipped sidewalk, a dried-out plant fixture next to the non-functioning fountain on the corner.

�How ugly,� you think. And this makes your otherwise nice, yuppie evening 0.2% less pleasant. But then a light-bulb goes off in your head: �Wait! What about all those unemployed people I keep reading about?�, you think to yourself. �Couldn�t they be, like, put to work fixing this stuff up for me?�
Another small taste:
When all these people talk about �stimulus� being dumped on �shovel-ready� projects (of their choosing, of course), they�re not talking about them spending their money to improve all these things they want improved. They�re talking about spending other peoples� money.
Heh -- spot on... A big tip 'o the hat to The Gormogons

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on October 23, 2010 8:45 PM.

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