Monday, January 16, 2012

Expanding Davis-Bacon Afffected the Cost of the PRM And All Other Recent Public Projects

Possibly 70% of the voters are not aware of the Davis-Bacon Act that requires any construction project receiving federal subsidies to pay "prevailing" wages-meaning union wages-to its workers. Economists have shown repeatedly that the artificial floor of the Davis-Bacon Act freezes low income laborers-primarily black and Hispanic-out of competition with their union counterparts. Small business contractors are especially hurt by compliance costs.

Davis-Bacon also dramatically increases the cost of government projects, amounting to a mandate for more spending-and all for the sole justification of the Unions. Since approximately 20% of construction workers are unionized, it is easily seen how the cost of government projects are drastically more costly.

Locally, in 2010, an unsuspecting group of Republican Peoria County Board members voted for a carefully conceived action by the Democrats, led by Board Chair Tom O'Neill, that in effect caused all the non-unionized pavers doing business in Peoria County to be unionized. The board minority Republicans were unsuccessful in getting the action repealed. I understand at least one of the larger pavers caved in and unionized while at least on of the local pavers went out of business.

Not too long ago, when the Peoria Riverfront Museum's weak board was approached by the local unions offering to donate approximately $500,000.00 to the museum in return for the museum to be built with all union labor, the museum board gladly agreed. Almost immediately, the cost of the museum building jumped around $10 million, this jump explained by the Caterpillar liaison as supposedly higher material costs, especially steel.

Whether the union has made good on this pledge, the JS, strongly in favor of this downtown project, has never been reported. As if the JS cares or has enough experienced investigative reporters.

The new Bel-Wood Nurisng Home rose dramatically in cost as this building is built by all union labor as sub-contractors must pay prevailing union wages.

If Obama, the Democrats and the Senate, control this country for the next 5 years, the cost of federal as well as all public projects will steadily rise, driving more businesses overseas at the same time there is a "patriotic" appeal to bring the jobs back from overseas. As if hundreds of thousands of Americans here in the U.S. are employed by foreign owned companies was not a fact.

The union push to buy American made goods will largely fail; it is a bad idea in the first place as other countries will retaliate. In Peoria, the effect of all the public building taking place, will continue to cause fees (the garbage tax, golf fees, Peoria Counties recent $350,000.00 rise in local fees, etc.) will eventually see this county as among one of the most highly taxed counties with not much "free" being offered by the taxing bodies.

Not to be overlooked are the rapidly rising public unfunded pension costs and the large amount of empty buildings in Peoria, a deteriorating infrastructure with flat population growth and more property tax appeals such as the money losing Peoria Chiefs Baseball investors.

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