My brother is in charge of North American sales for the world’s largest concrete and cement manufacturer. If anyone would have a good perspective about the stimulus plan from the Obama administration, it would be my brother. You see, the idea of the stimulus plan was to infuse money into the economy right away and create jobs. The first way they planned on doing that was providing states money so they could put people to work with road projects this past summer. The company my brother works for would clearly be the beneficiary of such a plan since road work usually means concrete. So I called my brother to find out how he and his company may be benefiting from the plan.
My brother said that they weren’t benefiting from the plan at all. In fact, he could not think of any orders that have come this past summer directly related to the stimulus plan. I asked him what happened. He said he has been talking to states for the last several months and as far as he can tell from his sources, the states have mostly used their stimulus money to pay off budget deficits. That means they didn’t buy concrete, they didn’t do road projects, and they didn’t create jobs. He said that most states have only done some maintenance projects which where scheduled to be done anyway like asphalt paving, but as far as buying concrete for new projects, it hasn’t happened.
Of course, this is just one story in a business that’s totally unrelated to real estate, but does pertain to the health of the overall economy. I am usually so focused on real estate that I forget to ask about what’s going on in other business sectors around the US.
The purpose of today’s column is simple. I just want to hear from readers on your take regarding the effectiveness of the stimulus plan. Are there more stories like my brother’s, or do you have some success stories where the stimulus plan has really made a difference? I want hear them all; good and bad, right or wrong, and they don’t have to be related to real estate. You can reach me at the email address below and I’ll publish some of the better stories.
Dan Polimino is a Realtor with Fuller Sotheby’s International Realty. He can be reached at DPolimino@fullerproperties.com and www.CoDreamHouse.com