The View From Your Recession

A reader writes (with perhaps an insight into why Obama's approval ratings keep ticking up):

My brother is a dyed-in-the-wool, fiscal and social conservative, and before the election he had some not-so-nice things to say about our current president.  But we had a funny conversation with his wife/accountant the other day.  See, they are in the Heating/Venting/Air Conditioning business and had to lay off all but 1 of their 5 employees over the past year.  In the last month or two, however, he's seen quite an uptick in demand for energy efficient systems, allowing him to hire 2 guys back.  She said, with appropriate shock and surprise in her voice, that it's all stimulus money they're seeing.
I, like a lot of other rational people, worried about the effectiveness of the stimulus bill, but I'm not schooled enough in economics to have a truly informed opinion on the possible outcome.  What the situation with my brother has told me, in anecdotal form, is that for some people, it is working as expected.  Of course, anecdotes are one thing, systematic numbers are something else entirely, but still, it gives me hope (the enlightenment of my brother/sister-in-law is just icing for me.)