The latest TIME discusses BigBellys, the “smart” trash cans designed to boost efficiency by using a solar-powered compactor to hold more garbage and by alerting sanitation workers when they’re full.
TIME does not explore the paradox Michael Sanera recently noted: This labor-saving device has moved forward, in at least some instances, because of federal stimulus dollars designed to create jobs.
Let’s review: In 2009, the president and congressmen got rave press reviews for passing nearly $1 trillion in stimulus money to create jobs and bring the nation out of the most severe recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s. More than 200 economists predicted at the time in this ad in the New York Times that it would not work.
Now in 2012 the nation still has an 8.2 percent unemployment rate, many states are still facing high home foreclosure rates, and gross domestic product growth is anemic. But local [Raleigh] city council members get rave press reviews for using the same jobs stimulus money to install labor-saving solar trash cans.
In other words, the N&O praises Raleigh City Council for a labor-saving program that should reduce the number of jobs. I agree that if these trash cans work as advertised, they will reduce labor costs and save taxpayers money, but that is not the issue. That’s economics, not politics.
The political issue is that federal politicians claim to create jobs, while local politicians claim to eliminate jobs with the same money. They use this trickery in an attempt to fool their constituents, and it would not be possible without the complicity of the gullible press.