Will the national stimulus package - assuming it clears Congress in a form somewhere similar to originally intended - actually do the job? Economists seem torn every which direction about exactly what the nation's sagging economy really needs. Something, yes. But what exactly?
The prompt passage of localized stimulus efforts may give us some answers before long. Today's legislative passage of the Oregon stimulus - small by comparison with the national, but $176 million still ain't tiny - may offer some ideas.
The idea is that it would create 3,000 jobs, all of them private-sector. The projects involved are supposed to be ready to go, and should be underway by April 1. That should provide for an early laboratory.
A lot of what's happening economically is psychological - a downer feeling that keeps money in pockets and slows the economy. The idea is that an infusion of this amount of money and jobs might change the way people think.
Will it work? We may know soon.