Breaking the Law: Pay Higher for Government Contractors Than Other Workers

Employees, whether unionized or not, who work for companies that have government contracts make far more per hour than employees who do similar jobs in the same area, a new study finds. This fact shows that government is essentially breaking its compensation own law.

The Service Contract Act of 1965 maintains that employees working for companies with government contracts must make the prevailing wage for their job in the area in which they work.

That means that if a carpet-layer in Peoria, Illinois makes $10.27 per hour, then any company that lays carpet for the government must pay their carpet-layers $10.27 per hour. Seems fair enough, right?

But the study shows that this isn’t happening. These government contractors aren’t making the prevailing wage. In fact, they are making far more than the prevailing wage! And all at the expense to the taxpayers, naturally.

For instance, The Washington Examiner found that, painters in Troy, Michigan make $13.05 per hour, but government contracted painters make a whopping $26.60 per hour.

This is nothing but a giant rip off to the taxpayers.

Now, there isn’t anything wrong with the concept of making sure that government contractors pay a prevailing wage for their region. After all, we don’t want people working for government to be paid less than what everyone else makes. That wouldn’t really be very fair and it may even be a good way to help stop shoddy work.

Still, one could argue that a free market would naturally have some employees making less than a “prevailing wage,” whatever that may be, because of the effects of the free market.

Regardless, the original 1965 law had good intentions. But even if all the law meant to do was to make sure that the government wasn’t getting shoddy work done by unskilled and low paid labor, the fact that taxpayers are getting ripped off worse by having these employees paid so much higher is just as bad.

But, this whole mess is really little else but a payback to Democrat-supporting unions as most of these contractors are unionized labor.

The Examiner has a great chart showing the great disparity in per hour costs taxpayers are expected to absorb compared to similar jobs in the same areas.

Another major problem with this sort of thing is that it skews the true job market in any given area by creating a false job market that is not sustained by real economic forces but created by the redistribution of tax dollars.

Again, this is nothing but Democrats greasing the palms of unions with out tax money.

Just another reason why unions need to be eliminated.

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  • jim_m

    Remember that the only reason to raise the minimum wage is because union wages are nearly always tied to the minimum wage. Any increase in the minimum wage means union wages increase, which means union dues increase, which means that union donations to the dems increase.

    This is nothing less than an obama edict demanding a transfer of millions of taxpayer dollars to his political party,

    • Commander_Chico

      A 1965 law is an “Obama edict?” What next, blame him for the Vietnam War, too?

      • jim_m

        The edict is raising the minimum wage for government contract, which he did by Presidential order. Or have you not been watching the news, you ignorant dumbass?

        No the opposite is not true.

        1) The US Chamber of Commerce is a separate organization and membership is not mandatory as union membership is in most states.

        2) there is no thought about decreasing wages. So a failure to increase wages according to obama’s Presidential Order is not equivalent to decreasing those same wages. Or are you really such a complete moron that you think that not adding to something is equal to subtracting? I’ll bet you didn’t pass your high school math class. Idiot.

  • Commander_Chico

    High wages are not the problem in the USA. Low wages are. It’s slowly strangling the economy by choking off demand.

    The money the Fed is giving to the banks is not trickling down to the worker.

    • jim_m

      Seriously? Cheap wages are killing off the demand for labor? What kind of moron are you? You really suppose to claim that over a century of economic thinking proven by observation of human behavior is totally wrong?

      • Commander_Chico

        Demand for goods and services.

        • jim_m

          Failure to increase wages is not reducing demand for other goods and services as much as massive unemployment and underemployment. Put people back to work and most of the problems are solved. What you and obama are proposing is to further prevent expansion of the job market by increasing the incremental cost of employing someone. (funny how once again we find you in complete agreement with the President you constantly claim to disagree with)

          Your so-called solution is nothing less than an effort to make the problem more intractable and more permanent.

          • Commander_Chico

            I am surprised you are disputing this. It’s been an obvious trend for years which is now independent of economic cycles.


            You can see in the graph that labor’s share of GDP was declining sharply even in the years before 2008.

          • jim_m

            There is absolutely no context to explain what that graph is showing.

          • Commander_Chico

            It is showing the percentage of income in the nonfarm sector which is going to wages. The rest goes to capital.



          • Guest
          • jim_m

            Well that certainly does explain it. Thank you for citing a rabidly ideological screed about income inequality that attempts to claim (without any justification) that the percentage of GDP going to wages is the driver for income inequality.

            I will also note that the presumption in the article is that any income inequality is necessarily bad, which is patently false and is an idea that runs counter to several thousand years of human history (Well, let’s be honest, it runs counter to all of recorded human history, but that has never stopped the left from demanding that their ideas must be correct).

            Yes, the percentage of GDP spent on wages has changed. I will wager that there is a better explanation for that change other that greed, but then you can’t use such an explanation to beat up your ideological opponents.

          • Commander_Chico

            Yes, I concede the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is rabidly Marxist. Everyone knows that.

            Why would anyone think that a declining percentage of GDP going to wages causes income inequality? After all, doesn’t everyone own stock portfolios and bonds and collect dividends, interest and capital gains?

            As for income inequality being bad, ask Louis XVI and Nicholas II. Why not have a few super rich at the top and the rest of us live like Bangladeshi bathroom attendants or Filipino call center workers?


          • jim_m

            Talk about income inequality is a markedly far left issue. It is rooted in the concept that there should be an equality of outcome.

            Income inequality is not bad. It is what has fueled human invention and innovation for all of human history. Yes, certain extremes of inequality are bad but I will postulate that income inequality in imperial France and Russia was not necessarily as big an issue as despotism. The people would have been ok with even an extreme degee of inequality if they had not been stuck in crushing poverty with a despotic government that prevented them from getting out.

            I have posted several times before that income inequality is not bad, but rather it is the system that generates that inequality. When inequality is caused by someone making something useful and good then all people benefit and even though few are elevated to great wealth this sort of inequality is actually beneficial.

            What is not beneficial is the income inequality gnerated by artifical picing of winners and losers like obama does. When your success is not dependent on producing something beneficial but is dependent upon who you know and who you can bribe, then t is bad.

            I would suggest that your ideas of income inequality, exemplified by the examples you have given, demonstrates that you are incapable of conceiving of a society where people make things that benefit everyone and deserve to profit from producing that benefit. The only society that you understand is a corrupt kleptocracy where connected elites leach off of society, producing no benefits to anyone but themselves.

            The US has not been like that as much as it has in the last 5 years. Income inequality has grow dramatically under obama and that is because he has striven to pick winners and losers based on political affiliation and he has done his utmost to suppress invention and improvement of people’s lives, instead demanding that all improvements in people’s lives be controlled and dictated by a corrupt federal government which in turn will only give those benefits to the politically connected.

          • Commander_Chico

            It’s not a “far left” issue. For one thing, to return to my original point, economists know that excessive income concentration is a drag on the economy.

            Why? Because a lot of middle class people will buy a lot more than a lot of poor people OR a few rich people. The poor people have only enough for basic needs, the few rich are (1) few, and (2) are usually not going to buy ten cars. Demand for goods and services drives growth. That is one reason why excessive income inequality has been associated with economic crashes, as in the graph I just posted.

            Sheesh, like trying to school a five year old child.

          • jim_m

            Again, it is NOT a drag on the economy IF wealth is created by production of goods and services that improve the standard of living for society in general. Bill Gates and Steve Jobs became fabulously wealth because they produced goods and services that benefited millions, if not billions, of people.

            Demand does not drive growth. Ability to procure those goods and services drives growth. There can be pent up demand that drives nothing because it is unable to be realized and that is the case now, where demand cannot be realized on account of government intervention suppressing the marketplace and preventing hiring and growth.

            Government intervention has suppressed growth and has abetted income inequality in the most negative way. What you advocate is to exacerbate the problem by providing MORE government intervention which will only make things worse.

            Funny how you want a larger middle class yet obama’s policies, which you support, do nothing but destroy that middle class.

            Yeah, you are very much like a 5 YO. Your ideas on how the world works are very similar.

          • Commander_Chico

            Demand does not drive growth. Ability to procure those goods and services drives growth.

            That is nonsense.

            Or, WTF does that “ability” mean but income? Gates and Jobs? How can people buy a PC or IPhones if they have no money?

            You really have no idea what you’re talking about. Did you even take econ 101?

            Is it just that you’ll say the sky is red if Bruce or I say it is blue, or are you so much of a ballsucker for your masters that you’ll dispute the plain proven facts?


            Let’s see some graphs and data from you. Instead of trite cant.

          • jim_m

            So you are going to claim that computers have done NOTHING to improve life in general for everyone? Gates and Jobs became rich producing products that made life better even for those who did not use them. THAT is the point.

            It’s not that I disagree with you it’s that you are ideologically blinkered. You are claiming that ALL income inequality is evil and I am telling you that people desire income inequality, that income inequality is a motivator for most people (not societal parasites like you) that drives them to produce and succeed. Take away the possibility of income inequality and you get a stagnant society like the USSR where officially you could not get ahead so it bread rampant corruption.

            My guess is that you see corruption and cronyism as a feature not a bug. My guess is that you want people to be rewarded not by their ability or by how much they produce, but instead by who they are connected to and of what political benefit they can be.

            That is the bottom line between us, Chico. You want the corrupt, cronyism government that we have today and the only possible way you disagree with it is that you are not sufficiently connected to capitalize upon it the way you would like.

          • jim_m

            I will just point out that what your graph demonstrates is that there is zero relationship between economic growth and income inequality.

            Income inequality remains pretty stagnant and economic growth goes up and down. Income inequality increased and growth continues to fluctuate within the same range.

            I am not offering anything but facts. I just pointed out the obvious facts in the graphic you just posted, but which you are far too ignorant and ideologically bound to see or understand.

          • Commander_Chico

            You can’t read a graph, I guess. Let’s see your graphs, instead of blah blah Ayn Rand crap.

          • jim_m

            I read it correctly. It is painfully obvious that there is no relationship. I cannot help you if you are irredeemably stupid

          • Retired military

            And Chico goes with Option A. The Oligarchy.
            Speaking of concentration Chico why not concentrate on answering these simple questions.
            “As I said before, try answering what people say, and not try to put words in others’ mouths, debate goes better” – Chico, Famed Wizbangblog poster

            How about practising what you preach Chico.

            1 Oprah,the Lamestream media, Reid, Pelosi, and other major dems have called people racist simply because they oppose Obama’s
            policies. Yet when they oppose those same policies when espoused by Bill, Hillary. Reid, Pelos, Gore, Kerry, etc etc they weren’t considered racist then by Oprah, etc etc (I don’t know isn’t good enough)
            Do you feel that it is because the left is just playing the race card?

            2. People were called racist anarchist terrorists when they tried to delay Obamacare yet Al Franken who did the same thing wasn’t called Racist. Do you feel that it is because he is a democrat and the people doing the call just playing the race card because that is all they have?

            3. People were called racist anarchist terrorist when they called for the delay of all or part of Obamacare and Obama who is unconstitutionally doing the same thing is not called a racist anarchist terrorist. Do you feel that it is because he is a democrat and the people doing the calling are just playing the race card because that is all they have?

            4. Chico stated ” They (duck dynasty guys) were clean shaven before they pitched the TV show.” yet you provided zero proof of this statement. Please do so now.

            Examples of statements 1, 2, and 3 (since you reject the premise)

            Salon writer Joan Wals
            It’s simply stunning: Longtime Republican imagemaker Ailes figured out how to make sure that our twice-elected Democratic president, backed by a coalition that represents an emerging, multiracial America, must periodically be checked and hopefully shamed by a representative of the angry right-wing white male minority that barely considers him a legitimate leader…

            O’Reilly and Ailes and their viewers see this president as unqualified and ungrateful, an affirmative action baby who won’t thank us for all we’ve done for him and his cohort. The question was, of course, deeply condescending and borderline racist. Obama has been afforded “so much opportunity”? What about O’Reilly, who pretends he’s a working-class son of Levittown, Long Island, when he’s actually the kid of an accountant who grew up in Westbury and went to private high school and university

            Wall Street Journal’s Steve Moore: “This is still a pretty conservative country and people are upset about the policies in Washington and they don’t think the politicians are listening.”
            Host Chris Matthews: “Okay, I think, I think some of the people are upset because we have a black President.”
            Talking about the town hall protests against ObamaCare on MSNBC’s Hardball, August 11, 2009.

            If racism is not the whole of the Tea Party, it is in its heart, along with blind hatred, a total disinterest in the welfare of others, and a full-flowered, self-rationalizing refusal to accept the outcomes of elections, or the reality of democracy, or the narrowness of their minds and the equal narrowness of their public support.”
            — MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann on Countdown, March 22, 2010.

            “The Republican Party in this country has been running on hate and division for the last 50 years….What black person, gay guy or girl, immigrant or Muslim American in their right mind would vote for the Republican Party? They might as well hang a sign around their neck saying, ‘I hate myself.’”
            — Fill-in host Cenk Uygur on MSNBC’s The Ed Show, August 26, 2010

            Clip from RNC ad: “Stop Obama and his union bosses today. The Republican National Committee is responsible for the content of this advertising.”
            Host Lawrence O’Donnell: “The Republican Party is saying that the President of the United States has bosses, that the union bosses this President around, the unions boss him around. Does that sound to you like they are trying to consciously or subconsciously deliver the racist message that, of course, of course a black man can’t be the real boss?”
            Ex-Governor Jennifer Granholm (D-MI): “Wow, I hadn’t thought about the racial overtones….”
            — MSNBC’s The Last Word, February 25, 2011.

            “The interesting question is: what is it about this President that has stripped away the veneer of respect that normally accompanies the office of the President? Why do Republicans think this President is unpresidential — unpresidential, and shouldn’t dare to request this kind of thing? It strikes me that it could be the economic times, it could be that he won so big in 2008, or it could be, let’s face it, the color of his skin.”
            — MSNBC political analyst and ex-Newsweek reporter Richard Wolffe talking about the brief contretemps over scheduling Obama’s speech to Congress, The Last Word, August 31, 2011.

            “I get out of all of these things that many of these [Republican] candidates would rather take legislation to build a time machine and go back in time to where we had, you know, no women voting, slavery was cool. I mean, it’s just kind of ridiculous.”
            — Daytime anchor Thomas Roberts on MSNBC Live, September 23, 2011, talking about the previous night’s GOP debate.

            “Plus, what Mitt Romney has in common with the KKK. Details on a rare Romney campaign blunder ahead….So you might not hear Mitt Romney say ‘keep America American’ anymore. That’s because it was a central theme of the KKK in the 1920s. It was a rallying cry for the group’s campaign of violence and intimidation against blacks, gays and Jews.”
            — Anchor Thomas Roberts on MSNBC Live, December 14, 2011.

            Host Chris Matthews: “How does this guy [Mitt Romney] go from hard right, severely conservative, to this new regular mainstream character he’s portraying himself as?…He ran as a full mooner, Michael. You know, he was saying ‘There’s no such thing as science.’… How can he go from Flat Earth, ‘I don’t believe in evolution,’ to all of a sudden, ‘I’m teaching biology’?… It certainly was in the Grand Wizard crowd over there, okay?”
            Former RNC Chairman Michael Steele: “Wait, I resent that! No. Come on, what is this ‘Grand Wizard’ nonsense? Are you saying that we’re Ku Klux Klan?”
            Matthews: “Okay, I’m just saying, the far-right party.”
            Steele: “Give me a break! Don’t go there with me on that.”
            — MSNBC’s Hardball, April 23, 2012.

            You notice he [Romney] says ‘anger’ twice. He’s really trying to use racial coding and access some really deep stereotypes about the angry black man. This is part of the playbook against Obama. The other-ization, he’s not like us. I know it’s a heavy thing to say. I don’t say it lightly. But this is niggerization, ‘You are not one of us,’ and that ‘you are like the scary black man who we’ve been trained to fear.’”
            — Co-host Touré on MSNBC’s The Cycle, August 16, 2012.

            Host Martin Bashir: “Of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s forthcoming oration, can I quote something [to] you? ‘For four years, Barack Obama has been running from the nation’s problems. He hasn’t been working to earn re-election. He’s been working to earn a spot on the PGA tour.’ How about that?”
            MSNBC’s Lawrence O’Donnell: “Well, we know exactly what he’s trying to do there….These people reach for every single possible racial double-entendre they can possibly find in every one of these speeches.”
            — MSNBC’s Martin Bashir, August 29, 2012, talking about McConnell’s speech at the Republican National Convention.

            They hate Obama. They want him out of the White House more than they want to destroy al Qaeda. Their number one enemy in the world right now, on the right, is their hatred — hatred for Obama. We can go into that about the white working class in the South, and looking at these numbers we’re getting in the last couple days about racial hatred in many cases. This isn’t about being a better president. They want to get rid of this president. That’s their number one goal and they’re willing to let Romney go to the hard center, even if it’s to the left on issues, as long as they get rid of this guy.”
            — Chris Matthews during MSNBC’s post-debate coverage, October 22, 2012

            “I look at Obama as a perfect American. I don’t mean politically. We can disagree left and right on him. You can argue about the drones. Argue about the fiscal policy, all that stuff. But as a citizen. The guy went to school, he never broke a law. He did everything right. He raised a wonderful family. He’s a good husband, a good father. My God I don’t think he’s ever gotten a speeding ticket. The guy does everything right and these right-wingers — and he’s really been pretty moderate on guns until the horror of Newtown — and I don’t know what they’re so afraid of, except that he happens to be black.”
            — Host Chris Matthews on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 6, 2013

            What does your study tell you about the nature of the racial piece here of the Tea Party?…Is it sort of a resumption of the Old South, of the way things were before the Civil War, for example? Is it like that old dreamy nostalgia you get in the old movies, Gone With the Wind? Is it that kind of America they want to bring back or what? When there were no gays, where blacks were slaves, Mexicans were in Mexico? I mean, is this what they want?”
            — Chris Matthews to author Christopher Parker on MSNBC’s Hardball, March 20, 2013

            The problem is there are people in this country — maybe 10 percent, I don’t know what the number, maybe 20 percent on a bad day — who want this President to have an asterisk next to his name in the history books, that he really wasn’t President….They can’t stand the idea that he is President, and a piece of it is racism. Not that somebody in one racial group doesn’t like somebody in another racial group. So what? It is the sense that the white race must rule. That’s what racism is. And they can’t stand the idea that a man who is not white is President.”
            — Chris Matthews appearing as a guest on MSNBC’s PoliticsNation, May 15, 2013

            “The IRS is being used in exactly the same way as they tried to use the President’s birth certificate…Despite the complete lack of any evidence linking the President to the targeting of Tea Party groups, Republicans are using it as their latest weapon in the war against the black man in the White House….This afternoon, we welcome the latest phrase in the lexicon of Republican attacks on this President — the IRS. Three letters that sound so innocent, but we know what you mean.”
            — MSNBC host Martin Bashir, June 5, 2013.

            ¦ “At least back in 1939, when Marian Anderson had to sing here, ‘My Country ‘Tis of Thee’ rather than at the Constitution Hall, because — they said the reason was she was black. At least they were honest back then….[Today] you’ve got people talking about nullification of the law of the land [ObamaCare]. You got people talking impeachment like [Senator Tom] Coburn. You got Ted Cruz out there. They never say their problem with Obama is that he’s black, but look at the pattern….At least the Daughters of the American Revolution knew what they were saying and they said it out loud: ‘He’s black, she’s black, she can’t sing here.’ These guys today use all the techniques of nullification and talking about illegitimacy and accusing the President of being a crook, basically, for even being president, because he’s here illegally. And then they talk about impeaching him on grounds they can’t even come up with. At least in the old days they were honest about it. Today, they’re not.”
            — Chris Matthews during MSNBC live coverage of the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, August 28, 2013.

            ¦ “I want to talk today about a controversial word….A word that was originally intended as a derogatory term, meant to shame and divide and demean. The word was conceived of by a group of wealthy white men who needed a way to put themselves above and apart from a black man, to render him inferior and unequal and to diminish his accomplishments…. Y’all know the word that I’m talking about: ‘ObamaCare.’”
            — Host Melissa Harris-Perry on her MSNBC show, December 8, 2013.

            Host Ed Schultz compared Tea Party activists to Nazi brownshirts and said that the Republican Party stands for racism; and accused Texas Gov. Rick Perry of referring to Obama in racial terms when he described the national debt as a “big black cloud” hanging over the heads of the American people.

            Reporter Lawrence O’Donnell accused Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell of using a “racial double-entendre” when McConnell complained that Obama spends too much time golfing;

            Daytime anchor Thomas Roberts famously claimed that Republicans want to go back to a time when “slavery was cool;”

            Contributing analyst Toure – so self-important that he goes by only one name – accused Romney of participating in the “niggerization” of Obama;

            PRESS: I just think the whole thing is outrageous. I hate this apology, I think it was unnecessary and just, just played right into their hands. And, I mean, they won’t (laughs), they’re not going to let conservatives watch MSNBC, fine! You’re not even going to notice that. How many conservatives, seriously, are watching Ed Schultz or Rachel Maddow, you know, or Al Sharpton every night?

            JEREMY HOLDEN OF MEDIA MATTERS: Yeah, yeah, I don’t know, but, uh, I’m just …

            PRESS: It’s silly.

            HOLDEN: I want to see how this probation looks and when it ends. (Alluding to RNC chair Reince Priebus’s response to Cheerios ad tweet). And what, you know, is there going to be a soft landing from the probation? This is kind of silly at this point.

            PRESS: It is and, you know, first of all, good for Cheerios for bringing that spot back and not bowing into the pressure and as far as this tweet goes, again, “maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everybody else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” that’s the truth. That is the truth! The right winger, the racist right winger will hate it. Everybody else will like it. It’s a beautiful spot.


            Hunter – Daily Kos
            MSNBC bending over themselves to apologize for someone in the network thinking the American right wing was made up of people who pore over the nation’s television commercials to find companies acting Not Bigoted Enough is, and there’s no other word for it, pathetic. As are, of course, the predictable reactions from the right wing themselves. You would think that people who get so very, very, very mad whenever someone suggests that they might be bigoted simpletons would be able to go at least one weekend without proving to be exactly that, but no. Never quite works out that way.

            Ron Fournier – Twitter

            The GOP argument on Obamacare has more than a whiff of Reagan-era racial “welfare queen” politics —>


            Ron Fournier – Twitter
            In light of today’s #Obamacare column, a little background: “How and Why Romney is Playing the Race Card.”

            “There are certain elements of the party who go out of their way to demonize people who don’t look like the way they’d like them to look like or came from some other place,” Powell said. “I think
            the party has to deal with this.”

            Markos MoulitsaS

            …[T]he GOP has a problem. It can’t win national elections without getting some support from immigrant demographics—Asians and Latinos, the fastest growing in the country. Yet conservatives hate brown and different-looking people. They speak foreign languages and eat weird stuff and play strange music and vote Democratic. Those are all unforgivable sins.


            “What we had here with you and President Obama was a culture class… It was the president of most of the white guys of America, that’s you. And, Barack Obama the president of almost everybody else. And the discussion was at that level… To watch it was some ways unsettling to me… What you did was strip him of his majesty…”

            From An examiner story about congressman Cummings

            In fact, the authors of the very report cited by Cummings, Devin Burghart and Leonard Zeskind also “exposed” alleged links between “certain Tea Party factions and acknowledged racist hate groups,” for the NAACP in 2010, as reported by Jack Cashill at the American Thinker, who writes wryly that Zeskind “could find racists in each of the nine choirs of angels and feel comfortable designating at least three of those choirs as hate groups.”

            At the time, Burghart and Zeskind wrote in part that Tea Party members were

            “defending their special pale-skinned privileges and power.”


            HOWARD FINEMAN (on MSNBC): And as if that’s some kind of explanation, some kind of explanation for the weird phenomenon of the fact that the Republicans didn’t win. There was this extraterrestrial force out there of African-Americans and Hispanics.

            CHarlie Crist – ““Sadly I think another part of it was that he was a Democrat, but not just a Democrat, an African-American.””

            MSNBC interview regarding rejection of union.

            WAGNER: – nails this a little bit. And he talks about the UAW has, or the idea of organized labor and finds, y’know, great welcome in NYU and in bastions of sort of liberal, progressive thought. But then when it comes down to it, here you have workers on an assembly line in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who have turned down the option. And he makes a point that, “As many unions have discovered, generally to their woe, the politics of race and culture often eclipse those of class in the United States.” [1]

            NOAH: Right.

            WAGNER: And these sort of cultural means around unions, um, distracted from the actual economic benefits of them. [2]

            NOAH: The South has always been hostile territory for union organizing. Y’know, as Harold said, the culture war in the South trumps the class war. [1] You already have in a number of Southern states right to work laws, which means that even if they had unionized the plants, those who benefitted from the presence of that union wouldn’t have had to pay union dues if they didn’t feel like it.

            So you’re in an overwhelmingly hostile climate. And the opposition I gather, through, portrayed this as a kind of northern invasion, a refighting of the Civil War. [3] Apparently there are not a lot of, uh, black employees in this particular plant. [4] And so, that kind of, uh, uh, uh, waving of the Confederate flag was an effective strategy. [5]

            WAGNER: That would explain also the sign, “United Obama Workers,” which speaks volumes [6] in terms of the, uh, cultural differences in certain parxts of the country. Author Timothy Noah, thank you as always for your time and thoughts.

            In May 2010, he told guests at a private White House dinner that race was probably a key component in the rising opposition to his presidency from conservatives, especially right-wing activists in the anti-incumbent “Tea Party” movement that was then surging across the country. Many middle-class and working-class whites felt aggrieved and resentful that the federal government was helping other groups, including bankers, automakers, irresponsible people who had defaulted

            Harry reid – ““We’re not going to bow to tea party anarchists who deny
            the mere fact that Obamacare is the law. We will not bow to tea party anarchists who
            refuse to accept that the Supreme Court ruled that Obamacare is constitutional,”

            Former Wash Post Editor Robert Kaiser
            “The base consists principally of white evangelical Christians who, the pollsters tell us, fear that their America is disappearing. Of course they are right; it has probably disappeared already. Their America would not have elected a black president.

            From Wash times regarding Obama appointee

            A furious Mr. Reid hinted that Republicans’ opposition was based on racism, pointing to to several other black nominees that GOP senators had opposed earlier. But in the case of Mr. Adegbile, his defense of Abu-Jamal was too much for even some Democrats


            Andrew O’Hehir

            When you think of the face of white rage in America, it belongs to a red-faced Irish dude on Fox News.

            Paul krugman NY Times

            Indeed, race is the Rosetta Stone that makes sense of many otherwise incomprehensible aspects of U.S. politics.

            We are told, for example, that conservatives are against big government and high spending. Yet even as Republican governors and state legislatures block the expansion of Medicaid, the G.O.P. angrily denounces modest cost-saving measures for Medicare. How can this contradiction be explained? Well, what do many Medicaid recipients look like – and I’m talking about the color of their skin, not the content of their character – and how does that compare with the typical Medicare beneficiary? Mystery solved.

            One odd consequence of our still-racialized politics is that conservatives are still, in effect, mobilizing against the bums on welfare even though both the bums and the welfare are long gone or never existed. Mr. Santelli’s fury was directed against mortgage relief that never actually happened. Right-wingers rage against tales of food stamp abuse that almost always turn out to be false or at least greatly exaggerated. And Mr. Ryan’s black-men-don’t-want-to-work theory of poverty is decades out of date.

  • Par4Course

    The author’s premise (and the idea behind laws like Davis-Bacon) is incorrect: “Now, there isn’t anything wrong with the concept of making sure that government contractors pay a prevailing wage for their region. After all, we don’t want people working for government to be paid less than what everyone else makes. That wouldn’t really be very fair and it may even be a good way to help stop shoddy work.”

    I disagree. Government, like other buyers, should look for the best deal available, whether the workers are paid a “prevailing wage” (i.e., union scale) or not. Paying a higher wage does not guaranty high quality, and frequent and thorough inspections can assure the contractors do the work according to the plans and specifications.

    Economically, the best answer is to simply repeal Davis-Bacon and similar state laws requiring “prevailing wage rates.”

    • jim_m

      Agreed, government should never be the highest wage employer, to be so does little but to encourage corruption.