Critics of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act using some funny math

The Associated Press reports some critics of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the so-called stimulus law, are oversimplifying their arguments that the law is ineffective to the point of being misleading.

The crux of the misleading information relates to how critics calculate the cost and benefits of jobs created, the news organization reports.

Here’s a highlight: "First, the naysayers’ calculations ignore the value of the work produced.

Any cost-per-job figure pays not just for the worker, but for material, supplies and that worker’s output — a portion of a road paved, patients treated in a health clinic, goods shipped from a factory floor, railroad tracks laid.

Second, critics are counting the total cost of contracts that will fuel work for months or years and dividing that by the number of jobs produced only to date.

A construction project, for one, may only require a few engineers to get going, with the work force to swell as ground is broken and building accelerates."

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