Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Call me a cynic

We are experiencing an extraordinary amount of road work in the mid-Michigan area.

We usually don't see this much publicly funded construction.  The exception is eighteen months before a presidential election.  Incumbents like road construction because the dollars fall right out of those construction worker's pockets and it quickly juices up the economy.  In the jargon of the economists, dollars poured into construction have better "velocity" than dollars funneled to people with off-shore savings accounts.

If you run with the theory that the "where" and "how much" of road construction is motivated more by politics than by traffic and physics, then you have to scratch your head and ask, "Who is being rewarded for what?"

Figure that funds were allocated two years ahead of the construction.  Contracts must be written and put out for bid.  Companies have to purchase and hire.  So one must base their analysis on what Congress was assuming twenty-four months ago.

My guess is that they figured Clinton would win the POTUS race and that she would benefit from a juiced-up economy to validate her policies.  I also speculate that everybody thought Clinton was going to win Michigan.

The supreme irony is that Trump won and is getting the benefits of the "present" that was put under the Christmas tree for Hillary.


  1. At least the roads are getting fixed...

    1. Good point.

      It would be smarter to simply fix 3% of the roads every year rather than go nuts one year and then have most of the equipment sitting, depreciating, for three.

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