SOCIAL VOX

My thoughts on the world around me

Earmark Ban Doesn’t Really Ban Anything

Interest groups, lawmakers and lobbyists will have to be a little more creative to get funding for their pet projects. With President Barack Obama imposing an earmark ban on the $825 billion-dollar stimulus bill, lobbyists and others will have to seek money through “ready to go” jobs eligible for the stimulus plan.

This brand of politics disgusts me. It’s the very reason why people become so disillusioned by their government and the K Street, fork-tongued crowd that compete for its power and wealth. Some will argue that lobbying is a necessary evil in politics, or perhaps not an evil at all. For every lobbyist seeking to help the “mom and pop” shops, though, there are a million Jack Abramoffs who suck the life and idealism right out of public service.

From his years in law school, Obama should know that if the four corners of a document are not absolutely airtight, clever people will have their way with the fine print. Mr. President, if you truly did not want any earmarks whatsoever, you and your staff should have chosen the stimulus bill’s words more carefully.

January 26, 2009 Posted by | Barack Obama, Economics, Law, Obama's First 100 Days, Politics | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Major Cities to be Hit Hardest by Recession

According to Associated Press, New York City leads all U.S. cities in expected job losses for 2009.

These are the statistics of the top 4 cities:

New York City – 181,000 jobs

Los Angeles – 164,000 jobs

Miami – 85,000 jobs

Chicago – 80,000 jobs

Studying the numbers, I think the AP’s column overlooks an important fact: The Miami metropolitan area is much, much smaller than the other three metropolises. According to a city population website, here are the populations of the New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami metropolitan areas as of 2007:

New York City – 18,815,988

Los Angeles – 12,875,587

Chicago – 9,524,673

Miami – 5,413,212

While Miami has less than one-third of New York City’s population, it will incur roughly one-half the job losses (181,000 to 85,000). So, while New York City may lose the most jobs in total, Miami will lose the most jobs (at least from the list above) per person.

If Miami had New York City’s population, it would lose 295,000 jobs in 2009.

January 19, 2009 Posted by | Economics, Politics | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment