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Thursday, July 23, 2015 02:38 pm

Making 2 plus 2 equal 3

 In “The razor blade in the apple” I ventured to dismiss Mr. Rauner’s proposal to exempt local governments from the Prevailing Wage Act, which sets a locally controlled floor for construction pay on taxpayer-funded projects as a way to lower local government costs. I noted that construction is only a fraction of the cost of public works, the cost of labor is only a fraction of the total cost of public works construction and the difference between paying top local wages and paying less than top is a fraction of labor costs of public works.

 I am delighted to learn that some smart people agree with me, thanks to this blog post by Curtis is a blogger for The Chicago Reporter. Black cites recent comments by Frank Manzo of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, who makes the same point I did, and adds that because union contractors typically bring more skilled workers and better equipment to the job, they complete projects faster and thus actually save money compared to non-union labor.

 Links to Black’s article and to associated papers on the topic are available here thanks to Rich Miller at Capitol Fax. 

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