Thursday :: Sep 8, 2005

Lives versus Profits

by Marie

For several days we’re been hearing about the bureaucratic snafus that held up relief efforts to save lives. That the paperwork was wrong or moved at a snail’s pace. That Brownie had to request DHS employees in a memo while people were dying instead of picking up the phone and getting immediate authorization. The sea was engulfing New Orleans and Bu$hCo was drowning in paperwork. Dot the “i’s,” cross the “t’s” and send it all up the chain of command in quadruplicate when poor, old or Black people are dying.

But look at how fast Bu$hCo can move when suddenly profits for his contractor patrons are at stake:

President Bush issued an executive order Thursday allowing federal contractors rebuilding in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina to pay below the prevailing wage. - Money-CNN

The 1931 Davis-Bacon Act sets wages for construction workers on federal projects. It is an essential element in the whole solicitation, bidding and awarding of contracts to the lowest responsible bid. It insures that no contractor is the lowest bidder because they have a labor cost advantage by paying their workers lower wages. Workers know all about prevailing wages and form a part of the enforcement of them because they can individually blow the whistle on a contractor that violates the law.

This system has worked for a long time. It’s not perfect but it works well enough. It guarantees that construction workers receive a fair wage. But our “cheap labor capitalist in chief” has other ideas. Let the market set the price of labor. Let this component of a federal contract become a private issue for contractors. Let contractors make beaucoup bucks off taxpayers and on the backs of workers.

Just another day in Bu$hCoLand.

Marie :: 10:34 PM :: Comments (11) :: TrackBack (0) :: Digg It!