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Obama cancels construction program that creates jobs 18 times better than his own lousy stimulus package

From Treehugger:

We have noted before that the greenest brick is the one already in the wall, and that renovation and restoration are labor-intensive, giving twice as much stimulus bang for the buck than new construction. They are green jobs, creating more efficient buildings and saving energy at a lot less cost than covering the roofs with solar panels.

But that didn't stop President Obama from cancelling two programs, Save America's Treasures and Preserve America, that cost $220 million over ten years. The White House says "Both programs lack rigorous performance metrics and evaluation efforts so the benefits are unclear."

As if the stress tests for the banksters earlier this year were "rigorous." Not.

Except that isn't true, there are performance metrics, that prove that the programs created jobs at 1/18th the cost of last year's stimulus programs.


Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics does the math:, using metrics provided by the National Parks Service, who administered the program:

Between 1999 and 2009, the Save America's Treasures program allocated around $220 million dollars for the restoration of nearly 900 historic structures, many of them National Historic Landmarks. This investment by the SAT program generated in excess of $330 million from other sources. This work meant 16,012 jobs (a job being one full time equivalent job for one year...the same way they are counting jobs for the Stimulus Program). The cost per job created? $13,780.

This compares with the White House announcement that the Stimulus Package is creating one job for every $248,000. Whose program is helping the economy?

If there is one kind of construction we really need, it is fixing the buildings we have. We don't need new office buildings and new houses with 18 million of them empty across the nation, but we do need what we have fixed. Why kill programs that did this so cost and job effectively? Because it's easy, restoration and renovation is done by small companies, using locally trained labour using simple equipment and caulking guns. Building highways is much more fun, and much better for Caterpillar and other big companies.

Plus, you can't reinflate a housing bubble with old buildings. Think, wouldja?

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quixote's picture
Submitted by quixote on

No big campaign donors. Move along, please.

(Compare and contrast to the over-$2,000,000 per job of the recent loan guarantees so that taxpayers can fund the risk of building two -- count 'em, two -- nukes. Now that's BIG.)