Thursday, September 09, 2010

"It's all about jobs"

I could not pass this up. Here is the punchline:

Report: Investing in Transit Could Create 180,000 Jobs, for Free

by Noah Kazis on September 3, 2010

Between calls for renewed stimulus on the one hand and for deficit reduction on the other, Washington, D.C. is stuck. A new report by the Transportation Equity Network, however, shows one easy way out of that political stalemate: shifting our transportation spending to transit.

According to the report, written by University of Missouri-St. Louis researchers Todd Swanstrom, Will Winter, and Laura Wiedlocher, every dollar spent on funding transit creates more jobs than spending on roads. Specifically, each billion dollars spent on transit creates 36,108 jobs while the same figure can only buy 30,319 jobs. That means that by reassigning some federal spending from roads to transit, Congress could boost employment without adding a cent to the deficit.

On the positive side, these stories are gifts to teachers of economics. But on the other side, this thinking is taken seriously by large numbers of serious (and, alas, powerful) people. How many times have we heard that it's "all about jobs"?

H/T Planetizen