Last week our family was driving along this lightly traveled road in Wayne County, NY (a rural area East of Rochester).
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This road does not see much truck traffic, nor does it get much commuter traffic. By all accounts, it appears to be in very good condition, particularly as compared to many of the similar styled roads here in Monroe County. Well, they are resurfacing that road as we speak. And when our family drove through, guess how large the road-crew was that was “working” on the resurfacing project? 5? Nope. 10? Nope. 15? Nope. Try seventeen “workers.” It appeared that all were from the Wayne County Highway Department. There were at most 4 pieces of equipment there which required operation, and granting that one extra person would attend each piece of machinery and giving 2 people the task of managaing traffic, at most you might be able to justify 10 people being there. Of the 17 we saw when we passed, at least 9 was standing around doing nothing. And no, this is not unique – I rarely see roadwork done in these parts without heavy doses of folks just sitting around.
Remember, for the “stimulus” to be stimulating, it needs to be putting people to work who otherwise would not be working … it must not be pulling people and capital from other more productive activities, including other stimulus-type projects. What we witnessed was a close to ditch digging as it gets. Nice to know that I at least had the chance to use the thing that I was paying for.