Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Uh-oh, bad news for stimulus optimists

Yestreday's WSJ included "Only the Employed Need Apply ... With unemployment at 9.4% and rising, it's a buyer's market for employers that are hiring. But many employers are bypassing the jobless to target those who are still working, reasoning that these survivors are the top performers."

Near the top of the disingenuous sweepstakes have been the stimulus advocates who live in a world where only the unemployed are hired when new government programs and projects swing into action. In other words, opportunity costs are zero -- as are any wage inflation effects.

Just as it costs government more than a dollar to spend a dollar, many of those dollars have less than a dollar's worth of impact on the demand side.