Archive for October, 2009

No Stimulus for Napa Valley College

From the Sacramento Bee:

The $787 billion stimulus bill approved by Congress earlier this year has saved or created more than 640,000 jobs, including more than 100,000 in California, the White House said today.

Standing at Biden’s side, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said his state has saved or created more jobs than any other state in the nation. He said teachers and other educators account for more than 62,000 of California’s jobs, including those who might have been laid off if not for the federal stimulus money.

I can tell you for a fact that it did not save any jobs at Napa Valley College.


Cash for Clunkers cost me WHAT ?!?!

From CNN Money:

The Cash for Clunkers program gave car buyers rebates of up to $4,500 if they traded in less fuel-efficient vehicles for new vehicles that met certain fuel economy requirements. A total of $3 billion was allotted for those rebates.

The average rebate was $4,000. But the overwhelming majority of sales would have taken place anyway at some time in the last half of 2009, according to That means the government ended up spending about $24,000 each for those 125,000 additional vehicle sales.

Sports or Academics

Some profs want Cal to stop subsidizing sports

More Hiring on the Way

From the USA Today:

For the first time since the recession began, the portion of companies planning to add employees in the next six months outnumbered those expecting to cut jobs, according to this month’s quarterly survey of economists at 78 firms by the National Association for Business Economics.

Twenty-four percent plan to grow their workforce, 20% say they’ll trim staff and 57% expect no change. In July, 18% expected to add workers, while 28% said they would scale back. “It’s a little ahead of what I was expecting,” says Ken Simonson, chief economist at the Associated General Contractors of America, who helped conduct the survey.

4-Day Workweek Benefits

From the AP:

SALT LAKE CITY – Closing Utah state offices on Fridays has delivered an unexpected bonus: a big saving on overtime pay.

New calculations show Utah saved $4.1 million in the first year of a government experiment with a four-day workweek.

State employees were eager to leave after the longer workday, and weren’t inclined to work an extra hour or two.

“They’re getting what they need to get done in 10 hours and going home,” said Angie Welling, spokeswoman for Gov. Gary Herbert.

“The state envisioned some energy savings, but that overtime number was not anticipated,” she said Wednesday.

Upward Mobility from the WSJ

Upward Mobility:  At the National Journal, Ronald Brownstein looks at a new book by Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill on upward mobility. “More than 60 percent of Americans whose parents scaled the top fifth of the income ladder have reached the top two-fifths themselves, Haskins and Sawhill found. By contrast, 65 percent of Americans with parents from the lowest fifth of earners remain stuck in the bottom two-fifths. Though we venerate the American Dream, studies show that children born to low-income parents in the United States are more likely to remain trapped near the bottom than their counterparts in Europe, the authors report. Many factors constrain upward mobility in America, including the decline of the two-parent family and bad personal decisions such as teen parenthood. But another reason the escalator is slowing for many on the bottom is that income is now so dependent on education. Today, four-year college graduates earn about 80 percent more than workers with high school degrees. That’s more than double the gap in the 1960s.”

California’s Unemployment Rate Declines

California’s unemployment rate dropped to 12.2 percent in September. It was 12.3 percent in August (they did revise the August number to 12.2 percent). There is some stability in this rate now, hopefully, it will start to go down soon.