Watch That Stimulus
Stimulus Watch looks like a website that probably should have been around long before the stimulus package: a thumbnail glance at all of the "...
Stimulus Watch looks like a website that probably should have been around long before the stimulus package: a thumbnail glance at all of the "shovel-ready" projects eligible for federal dollars, as well as a "vote" on whether the project is critical or not. I should note, as the site notes, that these are simply eligible projects and that none has been selected for the stimulus package.
Obviously, Stimulus Watch is prone to the same vote stuffing that usually affects online balloting. And the comments aren't really of the "high-minded discussion" variety. At first review, it appears to be exactly what you'd expect: less a reasoned analysis of the merits and drawbacks of specific spending plans and more a referendum on typologies of public investment. Yea on veterans nursing homes; nay on more dog parks (at least federally funded dog parks).
I'm not sure how to read the fact that most of the projects on the site get lots negative votes, while a very few get a slim number of positive votes. Are there not many good projects out there? Is this a second-order rejection of the government infrastructure stimulus in general? Or is it simply an artifact of self-selecting "vocal minority" voters and the handful of projects that have been listed on the site so far?
I lean toward the last answer -- just a small, unrepresentative sample -- but I'd also be curious about the reaction if Americans could see a complete list of the projects that will eventually receive stimulus dollars. I wonder if we'd let out a collective "Is that the best we can do?" The Economist suggests that some states are better than others -- and that 19 states make all their requests public. Would people say, "I want more of what Massachusetts is having?"
Still, an open online forum on all the public works projects up for federal funding is long overdue. Perhaps fewer dog-park-to-nowhere proposals would get serious consideration if such a site existed all the time.
Join the Discussion
After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.
Judge Blocks Election Day Voter Registration at Illinois Polls3 hours ago
Across U.S., Police Abuse Confidential Databases3 hours ago
U.S. House Strikes Deal on Flint Aid3 hours ago
Testimony Claims Christie Learned of Bridge Closures at 9/11 Event -- and Laughed2 hours ago
Investment Managers Worth Trillions Call on North Carolina to Repeal Transgender Bathroom Law2 hours ago
For Social Workers in Kentucky, Talking to Reporters Could Get Them Fired2 hours ago