Monday, March 18, 2013

How many economists does it take……..?

How many economists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?  I don’t know.  The answers I have found to this question are not funny – I may have to write one!
How many economists does it take to successfully influence passage of a transportation funding package?  That’s easy –  57!  Or at least that will be the right answer if Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s funding package for transportation (and education) is passed by the legislature.
A total of 57 economists from a wide variety of Massachusetts colleges (including MIT, Harvard, Tufts, Brandeis, etc.) signed on to a statement (here) saying that “maintaining and expanding an efficient, sustainable transportation system is critical for Massachusetts businesses and the state's workforce” and that the Governor’s revenue and investment plan is “critical to improving the long-term economic strength of our state.”
Now, most of the content of the economists’ statement is pretty straightforward and even obvious – or it would have been considered obvious a few years ago.  But it’s good to see this clear confirmation by professional economists of the critical importance of the transportation system (and a parallel education plan).  Will it help?  We’ll see.  Meanwhile I’m going to keep working on the lightbulb problem.

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