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Econ 101

There's a piece up at today about a seriously impoverished Montana town that's lobbying to bring Gitmo prisoners to its now-vacant prison facility. 

Some locals express understandable security concerns. Others dismiss the idea that bringing prisoners in would help the town's economy, since unemployed residents wouldn't be qualified for  many jobs at the facility. As one woman noted, "I haven't met anyone in Hardin that speaks Arabic."

This quote caught my eye because I think it's useful to be reminded how many people don't grasp the idea of economic interconnectedness. Just a couple of months ago, I was talking with an unhappy car-service driver who thought the infrastructure-development aspects of Obama's stimulus plan were bogus because such projects would help primarily those in the construction trades. The concept that employing masses of people in certain segments of the economy results in more money floating around for them to spend in other sectors of the economy was totally foreign to him.

Clearly, the administration would do well to continue (and maybe even ramp up) its public outreach/education on such fundamentals.

--Michelle Cottle