Don’t get me wrong. I know they have to spend it on something. Roads are easy. Might as well add a lane or two everywhere. It means jobs, which means people can eat. And, I love the hardworking people we have invited from other countries to do the work. It’s just, well, I really don’t like the inconvenience of the construction delays.
I think it might have been much better for all of us if the stimulus bill was just spent on government buildings. For instance, why not rebuild the Capitol, the White House and the Treasury Building? Do the same at the Stock Exchange. Yeah, they’d have to tear the buildings down first. Then it would take years to rebuild. Couldn’t that be wonderful? They’d be soooo inconvenienced. It would be years before they screw us further. We need a local stimulus, too, so we could do the same in each of the states and our cities. That could be even better.
This morning (Saturday), the workers appeared on the scaffolding outside my window promptly at 9:05 AM. They won’t leave until about 6:00, unless it rains. They have been at it for almost three months and will be here at least another two. They are wonderfully hardworking, respectful and well-mannered young men. No, none of the 120 workers on the crew are female. A handful do speak English, but mostly it is a Spanish lesson for us.
They are repairing the building I live in because the owner needs to sell it (Post Properties; current stock quote). Something about a bad economy, a depressed stock price and needing to raise cash. They tried hard last year to dump it, but the windows weren’t flashed correctly and there was some wood damage under the stucco in a few places. The section of the building I live in was perfectly fine, but they replaced the doors, ripped off the stucco, re-flashed, re-insulated, etc. anyway. Made a real mess. Loud. Dirty. Stressful. No privacy. No views. Makes me angry to walk down the hall and feel the crunch of construction debris under my feet. To see the security doors wide open. To hear the saws and the hammering. I truly hate them for it. Good for the economy, I guess. Just not convenient.
I talked with some of the workers about it. I asked what it is like to tear down a perfectly good building and build it back? The younger workers looked to the older ones for signs of how to answer this Anglo. They smiled and nodded politely. Laughed. Waited patiently to see if I were going to continue asking them questions in a language they didn’t understand. I knew I was talking to myself, but they were the only ones who would listen.
The stimulus spending will start most everywhere soon. You’ll learn what it is like. Inconvenient, but good for the economy.