Bad government: Spending $250,000 to create or save one job

From the Wall Street Journal Online, Oct 30 2009: White House Data Shows 650,000 Jobs From Stimulus:

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration said Friday that the government’s fiscal stimulus program has helped create or save almost 650,000 jobs…

The new jobs figure — 640,329 specifically — represents direct stimulus spending through Sept. 30 on projects or activities…

[T]he reports cover only $160 billion of the $339 billion in stimulus spending that has occurred through Sept. 30.

I’m not an economist or a mathematician or a politician, but I can do basic math:

$160 billion divided by 640,329 equals $249,871.55 per job created or saved.

As a comparison: the median full-time salary for a U.S. worker was $27,756 in 2005 (source).

Why does it cost $250,000 to create or save a job in a market where the average worker makes under $30,000? Can someone explain to me how spending a quarter of a million dollars to save one job is a smart way to spend money?

Seriously, can someone explain?!?!

How a cup of coffee per week equals 210,000 jobs over ten years

Posted today on Emphasis added:

The White House will unveil reforms to the nation’s international tax code on Monday intended to close loopholes for overseas tax havens and end incentives for creating jobs overseas.

The administration expects these initiatives to raise at least $210 billion over the next 10 years “to cut taxes for American families, increase incentives for businesses to create jobs in America and reduce the deficit.”

What does $210 billion in new taxes mean to Americans? Let’s review.

  • The median U.S. household income is about $50,000 per year.
  • Let’s assume that the typical cost (insurance, office space, pens, etc.) of an employee to an employer is double an employee’s salary. (It varies quite a bit by industry, but this is a fair back-of-the-envelope number.)
  • The “cost” of one $50,000 per year job over ten years is therefore roughly $1 million.
  • $210 billion in new taxes over ten years can result in up to 210,000 less jobs being created, if you assume how that money could otherwise be spent providing a job to 210,000 people for ten years.
  • To compare, only 16 American companies have more than 210,000 employees.

The flip side:

  • The population of the United States is about 304 million.
  • $210 billion in new taxes over ten years equals about $690 per person over ten years, or $69 per year, or 19 cents per day.

Feel free to thank the White House for eliminating the potential of 210,000 well-paying jobs over ten years so you can enjoy an extra $69 per year – about enough to buy one cup of coffee per week.

Depressing, isn’t it?

Looking for a good ASP.Net front-end developer in New York City

A client I’ve been working with is looking for a front-end ASP.Net developer to work on-site for them in their New York City (midtown) office.

The right candidate should be able to:

  • develop a complex ASP.Net solution using WebForms;
  • create web markup (HTML/CSS) from Photoshop mockups;
  • use ASP.Net Ajax, jQuery, or other client-side solutions, and know when to use what;
  • write efficient front-end code that is tested and works well across a wide range of browsers;
  • come up with user interface solutions (i.e. help define the client side of the business requirements);
  • be able to write code-behind and be able to read, understand, and enhance existing business logic code.

If you or someone you know has the right stuff, send me an email with your resume and I’ll pass it along.

Looking for a good developer — are you the one?

For the past month I’ve tried to find a few people to work with me on some projects — between 10 and 25 hours a week, maybe more, for up to three months, maybe much longer. It’s very flexible work — you tell me how much time you can dedicate and I’ll work with you. I don’t care where you work or where you live, so long as you are willing to communicate with me effectively.

So far, two people have been absolute failures, one is still a work in progress, and one has worked out perfectly. Amazingly, the guy who worked out lives in Spain, and we never spoke a word to each other — all our dialogue is via IM and e-mail.

The right candidate should:

  • Be thoroughly familiar with ASP.Net, C#, and the .Net Framework
  • Know the right way to develop web sites (XHTML, CSS, etc.)
  • Understand what usability and accessibility mean, and be able to design user interfaces that are simple, effective, and user-friendly
  • Be able to take business requirements and make them into a useful product
  • Enjoy using or want to use technologies outside the Microsoft mainstream (MonoRail, O/R mappers, JS libraries, Subversion, etc.)
  • Have a passion for technology
  • Be available 10-25 hours (or more) a week
  • Enjoy a flexible work schedule and casual work environment

If you can fit part of that bill, please let me know. All work would be paid as contract labor (either to your company or to you as an individual; the latter would require you to receive a US 1099 income form at the end of the year), and there may be good room to grow.

Please email your desired compensation (hourly rate unless you prefer project rate) and resume/credentials to