What If They Gave an Economic Stimulus and Nobody Came?

August 10, 2016

On the plus side, the nation's ailing infrastructure is getting more press and more funding. The presidential candidates have finally caught on that fixing the country's broken bridges and waterlines is a double win that creates decent jobs and supports necessary infrastructure for the next decades.

On the not-so-plus side, purse-string holders in government aren't convinced that 'short-term employment' produced by large construction projects have much long-term benefit to the workforce. Add to the mix the fine job we've done of persuading our workforce that careers in technology and traditional white-collar sectors are much more desirable and stable than jobs in construction. Especially when construction jobs seem to be at the mercy of state government. (Thank you, New Jersey.) Not surprisingly, there is a shortage of construction workers to fill the jobs today. What's to say more infrastructure funding will entice more workers to swing hammers and run dozers?

Danny Vinik's article in Politico.com, The Problem with Clinton and Trump's Infrastructure Plans, is an excellent discussion on the topic.