Thursday, August 16, 2012

Infrastructure Inspiration

While walking, a gal named Maria
Soon stumbled upon an idea:
"To patch up, quite simply,
The pothole that tripped me
Is pro-growth, if no panacea."

The preceding verse is brought to you by the latest round of economic statistics, from which I deduce that a greater level of public spending would produce much-needed counter-cyclical effects (or stimulus, if you like). As the Wall Street Journal notes, consumer prices remain flat, unchanged in July for the fourth consecutive month. This is in line with wages, which also remained flat. As noted elsewhere in this blog, housing activity is still mixed, with recent rises noted in commencement of foreclosure activity. Manufacturing, meanwhile, is up strongly, rising 0.5% in July and 5.0% year over year, but this has not ameliorated the unemployment rate, which remains stuck at 8.3%. The missing link in all this data is the shrinkage in the public sector, which works both directly and indirectly against a struggling recovery. Not only are public sector workers laid off, but construction companies are less engaged than they could be... and those potholes won't fix themselves.

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