The IUSB Vision Weblog

The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

San Francisco Fed – Jobs created by stimulus is statistically zero

Posted by iusbvision on December 6, 2010

Via Reason Magazine

The folks at e21 point out a new study by Daniel J. Wilson of the San Francisco Fed on the effects of the stimulus :

Wilson’s study makes an important contribution to this debate by focusing on state-by-state comparisons. A large portion of stimulus funding at the state level was based on criteria that were entirely independent of the economic situation that states faced. For example, the number of existing highway miles was used to calculate additional transportation spending.

The study uses this resulting variation in state-level stimulus funding to determine what impact ARRA funding had on employment — including both the direct impact of workers hired to complete planned projects, as well as any broader spillover effects resulting from greater government spending. Administration economists have repeatedly emphasized the importance of this indirect employment growth in driving economic recovery.

The results suggest that though the program did result in 2 million jobs “created or saved” by March 2010, net job creation was statistically indistinguishable from zero by August of this year. Taken at face value, this would suggest that the stimulus program (with an overall cost of $814 billion) worked only to generate temporary jobs at a cost of over $400,000 per worker. Even if the stimulus had in fact generated this level of employment as a durable outcome, it would still have been an extremely expensive way to generate employment.

Next time that Democrats tell you that ObamaCare will make the cost of health care cheaper, in spite of adding millions of people to government programs, because of “inherent efficiencies” in the government bureaucratic system, remember this.

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