A Kernel of Truth at the Country Store

We went to the Country Store in our town. The people shopping inside were either men with lists or the wives of the men sitting outside on the bench in the sun. The conversation outside went around to the recession being over and the amount of stimulus money spent. It is strange that the men in the country are treated with disdain, but can provide such insight into the day to day problems. The following are snatches of various conversations:

One old boy said he considered buying new pick up truck when the cash for clunkers program was in full swing. “I didn’t really need a newer truck but looked anyway. The trucks that would do the work to replace the one I drive didn’t get very good gas mileage either. I don’t drive enough to save and pay difference to make a payment and increased insurance. A little regular maintenance goes a long way when you know the history of the truck. I decided to wait to buy a different truck. I figure I could save more by buying a repossessed truck after the novelty wore off and they stopped making payments.”

Supposedly the government spent $339,000,000,000 ($339 Billion) in stimulus funds and created / saved 640,000 jobs. We are betting that most of the jobs “created or saved” were to administer and distribute the stimulus funds. First from the federal, then to the state, then various local governments and administrations. According to my calculation, each job cost more than $500,000 or about what each executive at Citi received as their basic compensation.