Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Poor odds

Ken Orski's latest Innovation News Brief (Sep 8, 2010) discusses the recent Obama $50 billion "Plan to Renew and Expand America's Roads, Railways and Runways".

Ken takes the proposal seriously and addresses the politics of getting it passed. I took a pessimistic view of the whole idea in my September 7 post. There are four possibile outcomes via two binary variables: will any multiplier be positive? will most projects' NPV be positive? Pretty good if both are true. But what are the odds?

In today's LA Times, there is this:
How to keep jobs in L.A. (and in the U.S.)... Los Angeles is behind the curve in adopting a local preference ordinance, which would give local businesses an edge in landing city contracts. Washington should also act to keep jobs onshore.
Read the whole thing.