JanFeb 2009: From the Publisher – The devil is in the details

Words: Bronzella Cleveland

JanuaryFebruary 2009


Masonry Design Magazine

John Llewellyn,
publisher

In 2007, Lionheart Publishing celebrated its 20th anniversary as a custom and contract publisher. Currently, Lionheart publishes six national magazines, including two titles for the construction industry. To learn more about the company, visit  www.lionhrtpub.com.

Masonry Design Magazine

John Llewellyn,
publisher

In 2007, Lionheart Publishing celebrated its 20th anniversary as a custom and contract publisher. Currently, Lionheart publishes six national magazines, including two titles for the construction industry. To learn more about the company, visit  www.lionhrtpub.com.

Masonry Design Magazine

John Llewellyn,
publisher

In 2007, Lionheart Publishing celebrated its 20th anniversary as a custom and contract publisher. Currently, Lionheart publishes six national magazines, including two titles for the construction industry. To learn more about the company, visit  www.lionhrtpub.com.

As I discussed in my last column (Nov/Dec ’08), the Obama administration’s new economic stimulus plan – currently standing at $825 billion – has real potential to create new jobs, to get people spending again and to pull the country out of recession. Of course, the president stresses a multi-pronged strategy that includes regulation reforms and market stability, which he says are as important as the influx of cash.

By the time you read this, a plan could already be in place, but unlike the previous stimulus package from late last year, this one is undergoing more scrutiny by lawmakers. For example, some Republicans are pushing for a plan that requires less federal spending and offers more tax cuts. This, they say, is a sure way to have a real and lasting impact on the U.S. economy. Other lawmakers argue that the cost of the stimulus plan is less important than the quality of the recovery it creates.

Regardless, it is my hope that the new plan continues to aim for substantial job creation (an estimated 3 to 4 million new jobs), particularly in the construction industry where they are sorely needed; the latest industry figures put construction job losses in the United States at about 900,000. As I’ve said before, stimulating the construction industry through federal infrastructure spending creates lasting employment where projects are started. And isn’t this the point of the administration’s plan – to get people back to work? After all, what good is a tax cut to the millions of Americans who have lost their jobs as a direct result of our failing economy?

The Obama administration’s stimulus plan estimates that by the end of 2010, there should be about 377,000 new jobs in infrastructure. This at least is a good start. Surely we will benefit as federal, state, municipal and private entities will be able complete projects – and have the financing to start more projects. This means you will be designing and building new projects, and suppliers and manufacturers will be put back to work to aid in those projects. And in time, spending will trickle into the publishing business where it also is sorely needed.

I’m optimistic that the stimulus plan will be beneficial and jumpstart the economy. However, as the old saying goes, the devil is in the details. As of now, we are still in a wait-and-see mode regarding those details. Fortunately, the Obama administration tells us that every penny of their recovery plan will be accounted for publicly.

 – John Llewellyn

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