Towns, Counties Create Own Stimulus Plans

Economists see mixed results, but local boost can be psychological
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2009 1:11 PM CDT
Towns, Counties Create Own Stimulus Plans
Alabama pharmacist Danny Cottrell, center, paid his employees a bonus in $2 bills to help the local economy, asking them to donate and spend it locally.   (AP Photo)

Across the US, cities, states, and counties aren’t waiting for Uncle Sam to jumpstart the economy, the Wall Street Journal reports. Many have devised their own, often creative, methods of stimulating local economies. One Texas town, for example, has used its budget surplus to create 250 temporary, low-paying jobs, while Pennsylvania’s Allegheny County has offered laid-off workers free community-college tuition.

New York City has started a $15 million program to turn unemployed investment bankers into entrepreneurs. “It’s a million flowers blooming,” said the director of a community-development nonprofit. “We’re seeing new economic development strategies for the 21st century.” But nice as they are, these programs won’t save the economy on their own. “How,” lamented Maryland’s governor, “can a community organize the unfreezing of the credit markets?” (More local economy stories.)

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