An upbeat Gov. Rick Snyder said Wednesday that there might be "shovels in the ground" for the New International Trade Crossing bridge project within two to six months.
But Ken Silfven, Snyder's deputy press secretary, later clarified, saying the governor was using "two to six months" as a metaphor for receiving the U.S. Presidential Permit needed for the project to proceed. Actual construction might begin in two to three years.
OK, by force of government, you got your bully pulpit way, Snyder. Congratulations. Thus, provides a perfect time for some much needed levity.
An American economist traveled to China to observe a canal project. The Chinese delegation showed him the plans and the model of everything that would be built along this new masterpiece. When they traveled out to the worksite, the economist was aghast at what he saw. The men were all using hand tools such as shovels, pick axes, and wheelbarrows.
The American economist asked the leader of the Chinese delegation, "Why on Earth are your people using hand tools? Why are there no bulldozers or other modern equipment?"
The leader of the delegation stood up straight and replied, "If we used that type of equipment, all of these men would lose their jobs in a couple of months."
The economist rubbed his chin in thought and then smiled, "Oh, it's a jobs program. Why don't you take away their shovels and give them spoons?"