Economic Stimulus — Step Up, Act Locally

As some small recompense for the $50 billion in direct and indirect economic stimulus President Obama and Congress claim are coming to California, the Lucas Family is doing its part to economically stimulate other parts of the country.

On April 4, the Katherine Irene Lucas East Coast College World Tour 2009 began. Rather than focus so heavily on the preservation of public sector jobs, as two-thirds of the federal package does, the strategy has been to buttress other flagging sectors of the national economy.

While no purchase of a new domestic automobile is contemplated during the 10-day trip, several struggling segments of the U.S. economy have received a boost.

Airlines, for starters.

Flights for three from Sacramento to New York via Salt Lake City. Then, returning from Washington D.C. through Salt Lake City and back home. Coinage generously sprinkled along the way in airport food joints.

Rail transportation is sound economically and sound environmentally. All aboard, Amtrak from Penn Station to Boston Back Bay. Then Back Bay to Union Station in D.C.

Five hard-working NYC cabbies split a low three-figures block grant.

Retail came perilously close to a significant revenue spike April 5 through a proposed prom dress pilgrimage to Macys on 7th Ave.

Mercifully – the Lucas Family cannot print money — walking back through Central Park to Columbus Circle from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, after donating $50 in support of the arts, broke the resolve to buoy this sector. 

However, subsequently becoming avid collectors of colleges-visited sweatshirts – Columbia, Princeton and NYU to date – has more than compensated for that brief lapse of commitment.

Although not investing at the same percentage as the federal stimulus, the Lucas Family effort recognizes the vital contribution the public sector makes to the national economy.

Therefore, rather than purchase individual $2 Metro tickets, which would have been sufficient to meet daily need, all-day $7.50 tickets were invested in.

New Jersey Transit employees should also be grateful. Rather than simply buy tickets from Penn Station to Princeton Junction, fares all the way to Trenton were purchased.  Indeed, a conductor on the “Dinky” – the one-car shuttle that transports passengers from the junction to the campus — allowed a free ride for three, in both directions.

One cynic suggested this was due to overpayment rather than gratitude for job security.

In the private sector, the biggest impact for the smallest capital infusion clearly is the restaurant industry.

While New York City appears to already price its food and beverages at a level to ensure sufficient profit to maintain current eatery employment levels, investment in a meal ripples through many parts of the economy.

Consider the impact of an April 5 meal at Cookshop in Chelsea at 156 10th Ave. The gratuity, of course, helps struggling actors continue to work their craft on off-off-off Broadway or in Madison Avenue commissioned commercials. Without customers, there would be no chefs or cooks.

A $3 bowl of fried hominy goes directly to the bottom line of America’s hominy makers, Teasdale being the most visible. The $15 glasses of wine encourage winemakers to make more.

The $27 duck breast aids the poultry industry. The dried cherries accenting it, a boon to Sun Maid. A Bibb lettuce salad helps California’s Central Valley farmers and the scallops, the seafood industry.

To say nothing of the indirect benefits to wholesalers, distributors, grocers and delivery services.

It was a proud moment paying the $160.35 tab.

So proud that dinner the following night saw the investment grow to $250. And, as a bonus, the complex ingredients in the Italian antipasti dishes allowed that meal to have an even broader economic impact.

This multi-pronged public/private investment strategy is slated to continue in Boston.

Because of the Lucas Family’s commitment to full transparency in ensuring these stimulus dollars reach the proper beneficiaries, a second status report will be duly filed.





Filed under: Venting


  1. Man, my Dad just bought me a hot dog in Davis after our free campus tour. Attributed, undoubtedly, to a humble faithfulness to Morrill’s Land Grant vision, and a thing for bargain street food.

    Comment by Brian — 4.08.2009 @ 7:26 am

  2. College already?! Blink and they are gone. Enjoy.

    Comment by Casey — 4.08.2009 @ 8:26 am

  3. It is a serious mistakes for parents taking talented gifted children East of the Mississippi for quality higher education to not visit the “college on the Hilltop” overlooking the historic Mohawk Valley (think “Last of the Mohigans” and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”)in upstate New York. Alexander Hamilton thought enough of the fledgling attempts at quality education for Indians in 1792 that he gave his name in 1812 (taking time away from his other duties) to what became a quality institution of higher liberal arts and science education for other than Indians, including women of any background. Forget the Ivy League factory schools and give the kid a quality education.

    Comment by Bernie — 4.08.2009 @ 12:24 pm

  4. While I am grateful for the personal investment in CHANGE (that portion of a dollar left over from a transaction)that the Lucas family has made, I would like to pint out that that the state that provided for your largess has many fine schools. For one so informed about California budget problems, I would have thought that you would have restricted your spending here in the Golden State since the additional one cent tax took effect a tour of the fine colleges locally would have helped your home state in it’s time of need. Just think if young miss Lucas selects a college on the east coast not only will she miss the beach but you will be exporting tons of capitol to eastern markets for at a minimum; four years there by reducing your spending with increased taxes here in California. Some less informed people people might think of this as an anti California more on your families part.

    Comment by Management Slug — 4.08.2009 @ 12:56 pm

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