In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so occasionally, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
Question/Comment: Paul, can you explain what "targeted jobs" are? Are these something different from the type of jobs that people are losing now? It seems to me that $30,000 spent on retaining a librarian would have the same economic benefit as spending it on a construction worker. What am I missing or is it just politics?
Paul Solman: The stimulus package needs to be sold to a skeptical public. "Targeted jobs" sounds better than "save librarians," I guess. But there's plenty of money in the stimulus for job retention. It's thought to be a harder sell and so receives less fanfare.