Sunday, February 22, 2009

Stimulus, Sweet Stimulus

It looks like President Obama's stimulus package might have direct benefits for yours truly. Here's the official poop from our company:

Great news for [the Idaho Cleanup Project]. We’re hearing we will receive about $400 million from the President’s stimulus package. The dollars, coming to us over the next three years, will create or save several hundred jobs. Those who were previously laid off are some of the first folks we’ll be talking to.

This is a good thing, not only for the local and regional economy but for the State of Idaho since we’re actually accelerating cleanup of the site.

This news has had immediate effect. The company was planning layoffs at the end of March; those have now been postponed. (Postponing them isn't as good news as calling them off completely would be, but it's still better news than we were expecting.) Writer/editors weren't targeted as part of the layoff this time around, and we've lost a few to retirement since the last layoff, so we weren't anticipating any surprises. But we've been surprised before -- in fact, a year ago at this time the only thing that saved my skin is that I was not the lowest guy on the totem pole. I'm in that same position this year, but you never know how things will work out.

Still, it's interesting to see how this stimulus is stimulating government jobs, not necessarily those in the private sector. Of course they talk about the ripple effect -- one saved government job might save others, et cetera, et cetera, but I do understand why there's a lot of animosity out there when it appears that the government is helping their own, rather than the ordinary citizen. I recognize that, longside all the folks on the desert who decry "encroaching socialism" that we're already on the government payroll. Pot calling the kettle black and all that. That's us.

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