I agree that there's been much more stabilization than stimulus, but I think you're being a bit less than fair here.My only real quibbles are that TARP was specifically for Wall Street, not Main Street, and it certainly didn't "stabilize the private sector," which proceeded to nosedive into a severe recession after (though not because of) TARP; and only one out of eight dollars went to what might loosely be called construction-related fields.
First off, we did stabilize the private sector -- that's what TARP was. The top priority was the financial system, and then the two auto companies were added. (As it happens, this took the form of temporary "nationalization" in a few cases, but private sector stabilization was the goal.)
Second, public sector stabilization was where the votes were. It's relatively difficult for members of Congress to resist entreaties from officials back home, and public sector spending looks less like a giveaway. (Capuano couldn't get $ for independent as well as public universities.) There wasn't anyone advocating for directing money to the private side instead of the public side.
Third, a good deal of the public sector money went to construction, public projects but private employment.
Fourth, when the bill was passed the economy was in free fall, so stability was progress; of course it doesn't look the same in the recovery phase.
Finally, most liberal economists (and some less liberal) said all along that the stimulus was inadequate. We would have heard a lot more about that from the start had it been obvious that there wouldn't be more to come.
But there’s something more at play here. Did you watch that silly, downright insulting television extravaganza last month when LeBron James sat down with those impoverished kids from the mean streets of Greenwich, Conn., and announced he was signing up with the Miami Heat? A lot of us are asking if we’re ever going to get back that hour that ESPN took away from us, and the answer is, no, we never will.If the Celts can't achieve their Prime Directive (defeat Miami), then Prime Directive II must be employed (inflict maximum hack damage). At the very least, it's going to be fun watching Shaq strut around Boston the next two years. ... BTW, I always liked George Allen's teams.
The best we can hope for is a crash-and-burn by the Miami Heat in the NBA playoffs.
This is actually (and surprisingly) a very, very good team -- injuries apart. But many fans went into the season expecting a "bridge" year, and then the injuries hit -- and fairly early, not in August as in '78 and '06 (the other really good teams derailed by injuries). The only impact of the Celts, apart from a few weeks of distraction, is that the Sox look like more of the same. (And of course the NBA finals, like the World Cup, were so bad as to discredit the sport, so that might yet be a plus for baseball.)
The other problem with the Sox is that they are, after all, a team without stars. I love Pedroia's game, Youkilis is pretty good, Beltre's having a good year, but these are not among the big stars of the game. (Ortiz is still the big name.) Lester's excellent, but Beckett's the star pitcher nominally, and his career is unlikely to be as good as Derek Lowe's. Last year's team was deeply unlikable; this year we've seen a few of our guys, some second-rate free agents, and callups from Pawtucket and Portland (bear in mind that our best minor league position player and our best minor league pitcher went down in April.)
Nobody likes Cameron. Nobody likes Scutaro, steady as he may be. Nobody likes Drew. Nobody likes Lackey. Everyone assumes Beltre and Martinez are gone after this year. It's nice to see Ortiz, Varitek, and Lowell, when healthy, hit some, but basically they're done.
Here's the deal: If you have Manny Ramirez, in his prime, you sell out 500+ straight games. And it helps to have Martinez and Schilling, and to be in contention. This team is the Toronto Blue Jays.
Don't get the Celtics at all as a factor in Red Sox Attention Disorder (RSAD). If anything, success of one local team tends to spur interest in others.RE the Celts, I based my observation purely on my own reaction to Boston sports over the past three years. I haven't paid as much attention to the Sox in the spring due to the suddenly competitive Celts, triggering a RSAD that tends to last long after the Celts are done. I assume others feel the same way, though I don't believe there's that many of us out there (thus only a 3 percent blame assignment).
As so often the case, I think Sox problem is a combination of factors including the two you cite (post-championship, dull team), plus the fact that we have been looking up in the standings without gaining much ground - add that to the intolerable game length and you have a recipe for RSAD.