News of an interesting new project kicking off on Slate today: staff writer Chadwick Matlin is taking off on a month-long road trip to find out how the $787 billion stimulus bill is affecting the country. According to this introductory post, Matlin and a companion plan to get up close and personal with as many different aspects of the stimulus as they can, and intend to visit "nearly a dozen different sites as diverse as the stimulus itself—a stimulus czar in Michigan; a youth worker program in Alabama; a plutonium cleanup initiative in Washington state. Some of the sites will be case studies for different sectors of the stimulus; some will be isolated stories that have little to say about the national scene but plenty to offer on the local one."
Given that the stimulus bill has the potential to be one of the biggest economic—and therefore employment—drivers of our generation, the opportunity to get a look at how it's working (or not) in practice is great. And who knows—it may even throw up the occasional job lead. For those reasons, we're paying Slate the highest tribute we can in this day in age. That’s right: we've signed up to track the "Recessionary Road" series on Twitter!
Along the course of his journey, Matlin also promises to "wrestle with some of the big philosophical questions the stimulus presents," a list that includes key issues such as: "Is a job saved the same as a job created?" and "Are some jobs more deserving of stimulus money than others?" While it seems that the series is likely to raise more questions about the bill and its workings than it can ever answer, it's just good to know that someone is out there attempting to pin down the effects, and provide a front-line look at the employment opportunities it offers.
--Posted by Phil Stott, Vault Staff Writer
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