BUSINESS COLUMN | Wolf: Stimulus check: spend or save?

On Tuesday, President Barack Obama signed into law a $787 billion stimulus package to address the stalling U.S. economy. As the News reported in Cross Campus that day, Yale students who earn $2,500 annually will receive checks of $155; more broadly, Americans will get back 6.2 percent of their earned income, up to $400.

In an effort to predict the effectiveness of this bailout, I asked Yalies what they planned to spend their checks on when they start rolling in around May. The answers themselves speak volumes:

• “Buy those wheely sneakers so I can glide to my science hill classes faster!” —Hilary Cohen ’10 of Calhoun College

• “I’d say right now is a great time to buy real estate.” —Julian Rajeshwar ’10 of JE

• “Shoes or Britney Spears concert tickets!” —Isabella More ’10 of Berkeley

• “My car payments for the new car I am buying! And some beer, but only American micro brews. Have to support the small guys.” —Severin Knudsen ’09 of Berkeley

• “I don’t deal with taxes. My parents take care of that for me.” —Anonymous junior in Ezra Stiles

• “I’m donating to the U.S. Treasury, because Joe Biden said that paying taxes is patriotic and I am nothing if not patriotic.” —Noah Pollak GRD ’10

• “I am either going to spend it on new parts for my new bike or Myrtle!” —Christine Levy ’10 of Trumbull

• “My school loans.” —Sipoura Barzideh LAW ’09

• “I’m gonna eat it, literally, on a lot of overpriced New Haven food.” —Carrie Lynn ’09 of Berkeley

• “Put it in the bank and forget about it. Or buy Carrie some Claire’s cake!” —Laura Bellaire ’09 of Berkeley

• “Crack rocks and call girls. But that’s what the first $2500 is going on too, so it won’t really make a difference.” —Riley O’Neill ’12 of Pierson

• “Myrtle Beach!” —Brian Goldsmith ’09 of TD

• “A life-size Obama mannequin that has a Pez-like money dispenser in his neck.” —Stan Seiden ’10 of Berkeley

• “All my money goes to the G-Heav man.” —Kimberly Ton ’10 of Ezra Stiles

• “I plan on spending the monies to purchase physics demonstration materials for the course I’m teaching this summer.” —Doug Endrizzi ’10 of Ezra Stiles

• “I’d use it to take my girlfriend out to dinner.” —Adam Hirst ’10 of Branford

• “Rainbow Sherbet and fruit snacks!” –Haywood Wright ’10 of Berkeley

• “A suit for interviewing. Never been a better time to be a poor college kid trying to get a job.” —Ming Min Hui ’10 of Davenport

• “I’m gonna spend all that money at Foot Locker.” —Jason Gilliland ’10 of Saybrook

• “Sorry, but my 2008 income was negative.” —Rachel Meserole ’10 of Trumbull

Alex Wolf is a junior economics in Berkeley College.

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