Friday, October 15, 2004

Creating Jobs in PA

The Ivory Madonna has just returned from a multi-state driving trip in the U.S. Northeast, and she noticed something interesting.

There's an awful lot of road construction going on in Pennsylvania.

The Ivory Madonna drove on many Interstates: 83, 81, 84, 90, 495, 95, and probably a few she's forgotten. In Pennsylvania in particular, she was on 83, 81, and 84 twice, about a week apart.

No road construction in New Hampshire. None in Massachusetts. A smattering in Connecticut. A tiny bit in New York. None in Maryland. But Pennsylvania...goodness!

Come down the long hill on I-84 from New York into Pennsylvania. On the approach to Port Jervis, the road is terrible...but there's no construction. But cross the Delaware, and as soon as you're in Pennsylvania, bam! Road construction.

Road construction on the way into Scranton. Road construction on I-81 south of Wilkes-Barre. LOTS of road construction north of Harrisburg. Road construction on I-83 around York. Scattered road construction across the whole eastern half of the state.

Why Pennsylvania? Why Interstate Highway road construction?

Hmmm. A swing state with a depressed economy.

A very close swing state that has lost a lot of jobs.

Road construction paid for by the Federal government.

An election coming up.


Lots of Federal money flowing into a close swing state, creating temporary jobs. Very little Federal money flowing into neighboring non-swing states.

Now, Liberal fiscal theory says that if people are out of work, the government should create jobs for them in order to stimulate the economy. Conservative fiscal theory says that if people are out of work, the government should cut taxes to stimulate the economy. Unless, apparently, it's a close swing which case the government should create jobs for people.

Temporary jobs, which will cease to exist after the election.

Contracting jobs, which don't pay benefits.

Hey, one must stick to one's principles. Unless, of course, one is in danger of losing the election. Then, of course, anything goes.


The Ivory Madonna's story is told in Dance for the Ivory Madonna by Don Sakers.