At Curd Enterprises, figuring out the jobs number stumped sales executive Cheri Moody, who used her best judgment to estimate the buoy order's economic impact. In the end, she wrote down that two jobs were saved, a number that doesn't account for the order's transportation, processing and handling of raw materials. "That order came on a slow week, so we were able to keep two more people working in our facility," Moody said.That math doesn't sound very precise, but you can't blame Moody. Sure, $7,654 may not sound like enough to save two jobs. But obviously the contract had some impact. In most cases, direct government spending isn't going to be enough to keep many plastics processors operating. Better to cut taxes, encourage investment and make sure companies have access to reasonable financing. What do readers think about the effort to date? Economists seem convinced that the recession is over. Did Obama's stimulus plan help the plastics industry?
Did stimulus money help the plastics industry?
Our story yesterday about a Michigan molder's visit to the White House raises a question: What sort of report card would the plastics industry give Obama administration's first year -- especially the effort to end the recession? Deborah Herbert, president of thermoformer Curd Enterprises Inc. in Mount Pleasant, S.C., recently emailed a link to a story that helps to frame the issue. The Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., took a look at what federal stimulus funds had meant to companies in South Carolina. It concluded that the influx of tax dollars had helped some companies -- it gave Curd as an example -- but noted that calculating the actual number of jobs created or saved is difficult. The stimulus-related work at Curd involved an order for 67 buoys, which the Army Corps of Engineers bought to help boaters navigate Carr Creek and Buckhorn Lake in Tennessee. Curd won the $7,654 federal contract, so it packagaed and shipped the buoys, which were already in stock. The government came back later and asked, how many jobs did the stimulus-related project create?
Do you have an opinion about this story? Do you have some thoughts you'd like to share with our readers? Plastics News would love to hear from you. Email your letter to Editor at [email protected]