How many residents of Boulder, Colorado, does it take to screw in a light bulb? 100,000: Taxpayers foot the bill for teams of techies to go door-to-door and caulk windows, swap old light bulbs for compact fluorescent ones, and install programmable thermostats, all in the name of energy efficiency. Should saving energy—and money—be …
Cash for Caulkers
The most obvious upside to being a consumer this year was that you felt wanted, and you felt appreciated. In a bad year for business, retailers were very, very happy to have yours. You felt the love—though sure, they only “love” you for your money. It wouldn’t be the first time somebody was happy to be in a relationship with a gold digger.
Perhaps they’re not quite as odd as the Hot Waitress Index (a theory in which waitresses get increasingly more attractive as the economy gets worse), but these trends are still rather unusual—yet revealing—indicators of how the economy is faring.
President Obama just announced he wants to use some $200 billion in unused TARP money to give the economy another kick in the pants toward prosperity. Included in the plan is a provision for the much-rumored “Cash for Caulkers” program, in which homeowners would receive rebates for certain home improvement projects.