Obama's Stimulus Expands Discriminatory Pro-Union Legislation

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The Washington Independent reports more bad news from the Obama stimulus:

Though stymied on the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier for workers to form unions, organized labor is about to claim a big consolation prize: the massive application of a law guaranteeing "prevailing wages" for hundreds of thousands of construction workers hired under President Obama's economic stimulus program.

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is now preparing guidelines that will expand the scope of the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act, according to a department spokesperson….

The legislation, approved by Congress and signed by President Obama last month, mandates that all "laborers and mechanics" on projects "funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part" by the stimulus program have to be paid at least as much workers on similar projects in the same area, as determined by the Department of Labor.

With $49.3 billion for transportation construction, $5 billion for home weatherization projects, and billions for other building projects, the application of Davis-Bacon standards will have rare historical impact.

Davis-Bacon certainly had "rare historical impact" when Herbert Hoover signed it into law in 1931. The act's origins lie in the ugly racism that defined American organized labor for the better part of five decades. In 1927, an Alabama contractor brought a crew of black construction workers up to Long Island, New York to work on a new Veteran Bureau's hospital. In response, Republican Rep. Robert Bacon introduced legislation to ban such "cheap" labor by requiring that all contractors working on federal projects worth over $5,000 pay their workers the "prevailing wage"—which effectively meant the local (white) union wage.

During Senate hearings on the bill, American Federation of Labor President William Green argued that, "colored labor is being brought in to demoralize wage rates." Emil Preiss, business manager of the New York branch of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (a whites-only union), told the House of Representatives that the black Alabama crew were "an undesirable element of people."

The result of this race baiting was that President Hoover signed Davis-Bacon into law just as the federal government began a massive public works spending spree. For black workers (who were banned from most unions), their main competitive advantage came from working for sub-union wages. Davis-Bacon destroyed that advantage when they needed it most.

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  1. Yo, fuck Davis-Bacon, fuck Ray LaHood, and fuck Barack Obama.

  2. Fuck racist yankees.

    1. fuck nigger obama loving socialist liberal pigs.

  3. Fine by me. As long as the money goes to workers and not the union’s coffers.

  4. Congrats. You’ve brought the quality of commentary here to a new low.

  5. SkinFlute,

    Union dues are usually a percentage of wages, so they will get more money. You can’t fatten the dog without plumping the tick in turn.

  6. Raivo Pommer-eesti-www.google.ee
    raimo1@hot.ee

    MILLIARDEN

    Der M?nchner Medienunternehmer Leo Kirch hat im milliardenschweren Schadenersatzstreit mit der Deutschen Bank eine Niederlage erlitten. Das Landgericht M?nchen I wies am Dienstag eine Klage von 17 ehemaligen Firmen des Kirch-Konzerns (KGL Pool) ab. Sie hatten ?ber zwei Milliarden Euro gefordert.

    Grundlage der Klage war eine ?u?erung des damaligen Deutsche-Bank-Chefs Rolf Breuer im Februar 2002. Er hatte darin die Kreditw?rdigkeit des Medienimperiums von Kirch bezweifelt. Am 8. April 2002 musste mit der KirchMedia das wichtigste Unternehmen der Kirch-Gruppe Insolvenz beantragen.

  7. Yep, nothin’ says stimulus like overpaying for wages while a huge labor pool stands around willing to work for less. Thank goodness the government is free from market forces.

  8. Obama’s efficiency rhetoric = load of crap.

    It’s taxpayer money being wasted, Jackoff.

  9. You’ve brought the quality of commentary here to a new low.

    “You” who?

    Are you blaming Root for pointing out this sleazy payback to Big Labor?

    Or are your dainty little eyeballs burning from being exposed to a set of letters arranged in a certain way?

  10. So much for Obama’s claim to be going throught the budget line by line to eliminate wastefull spending.

    I guess what he really meant to say was he planned to INITIATE not ELIMINATE wastefull spending.

  11. It is frightening how much the Bush/Obama reaction to a sharp recession has resembled the Hoover/Roosevelt reaction. The “bail outs” are simply a magnified version of Hoover’s Reconstruction Finance Corporation which was continued by Roosevelt. Now Obama is reviving Davis-Bacon, one of numerous attempts by Hoover/Roosevelt to prop up wages above the market rate. Propping up failing businesses and wage rates were, of course, two major factors that turned the 1929 recession into the Great Depression.

  12. ‘New York Times’ Spiked Obama Donor Story

    Congressional Testimony: ‘Game-Changer’ Article Would Have Connected Campaign With ACORN

    Ms. Moncrief had been providing Ms. Strom with information about ACORN’s election activities. Ms. Strom had written several stories based on information Ms. Moncrief had given her.

    During her testimony, Ms. Heidelbaugh said Ms. Moncrief had told her The New York Times articles stopped when she revealed that the Obama presidential campaign had sent its maxed-out donor list to ACORN’s Washington, D.C. office.

    Ms. Moncrief told Ms. Heidelbaugh the campaign had asked her and her boss to “reach out to the maxed-out donors and solicit donations from them for Get Out the Vote efforts to be run by ACORN.”

    Ms. Heidelbaugh then told the congressional panel:

    “Upon learning this information and receiving the list of donors from the Obama campaign, Ms. Strom reported to Ms. Moncrief that her editors at The New York Times wanted her to kill the story because, and I quote, “it was a game changer.”‘

    http://www.thebulletin.us/articles/2009/03/30/top_stories/doc49d0a73c7f98e547489394.txt

  13. Waste, fraud, and abuse are all behind us, now, my fellow Americans.

  14. If only that Herbert Hoover weren’t so damned free market…

  15. If only that Herbert Hoover weren’t so damned free market…

    I know, right? Just like that bastard George W. Bush.

  16. From a Reason Morning Links: link.

    “For those of you who have been on the ground in Afghanistan, you have seen with your own eyes that a lot of these aid programs don’t work,” she [Hillary Clinton]said. “There are so many problems with them. There are problems of design, there are problems of staffing, there are problems of implementation, there are problems of accountability. You just go down the line.” [italics added]

    Hillary come home! We need you to oversee the stimulus package.

  17. It’s been a while since I’ve checked out H&R, but where’s joe? I came on here expecting to see joe in full combat mode defending BO.

  18. This is insane. I wish I didn’t sound like some McCarthy-ite, but this is strait up Communism.

    This really fucking blows, we went from occasional creeps toward state control to a full fucking steam train to SerfTown under Obama. I really wish I was born in the 1700’s, during our peak…

  19. Dammit people! This “Where’s Joe?” shit is getting old. I know, I know, I too partook(real word?) of the gag line but it’s been three months. We need some sorta recurring thread like Urkobold does with their Deja vu segment.

  20. Damon, the fact that you continually recycle this ancient history about organized labour means that at some level you realize how weak your arguments actually are. For the sake of intellectual honesty, why not discuss the ugly racism (and sexism) that persist in the private sector to this day, like with Lilly Ledbetter? Just a thought.

  21. Hannibal-

    He’s gone back back to Carthage.

  22. I came on here expecting to see joe in full combat mode defending BO.

    joe hightailed it out of here when it became obvious that we would beat him into a quivering jelly on every thread about Obama.

  23. For the sake of intellectual honesty, why not discuss the ugly racism (and sexism) that persist in the private sector to this day, like with Lilly Ledbetter?

    Because the rest of us are not saddled with Goodyear’s bad decisions, only their employees, shareholders and customers. All three of them are free to move on at any time. Just a thought.

  24. Taktix-

    You are no McCarthyite. Too many people just do not want to face the truth: Collective bargaining is communism. Marx advocated the imposition of collective bargaining-it is a stated goal of marxism. This fact unsettles people. It often inspires the tired, intellectually flabby assertion that those of us who correctly identify collective bargaining as the communist choke hold that it is are “devaluing the language” or “not nuanced” and such.

    The income tax, the progressive income tax, collective bargaining, the closed shop, the regulatory body, the federal reserve, these are all creatures of communism.

  25. Damon, the fact that you continually recycle this ancient history about organized labour means that at some level you realize how weak your arguments actually are.

    Apparently some members of team blue believe that unions are still bastions of white privilege.

    Last week, Conyers*, who is black, told a white Teamsters’ union official during a contentious meeting on whether to accept the deal that most of the people who work at Cobo during the annual North American International Auto Show “don’t look like me. They look like you.”

    * That’s Monica Conyers, president of the Detroit city council and wife of Congressman John Conyers, Chairman of the House Judiciary Committeee.

  26. Why should Democrats give a shit about African-American union representation? Union or black yields a vote, not union and black.

  27. Hey classwarrior, if you “recycle” ancient history that happens to be true, at what point does it become tired and untrue? It there a defined time limit on facts?

  28. Collective bargaining is communism.

    So you’re against the right of citizens to peaceably assemble? On the grounds that it was advocated for by Marx?

    Why is it liberty only applies to employers in this place?

  29. Why is it liberty only applies to employers in this place?

    This isn’t difficult. Employees are free to peaceably assemble on their own property or public property. When they’re on the employer’s property, they let the employer run the show or get arrested for trespassing. If the employer wants to allow them to collectively bargain on his property, fine.

  30. That’s the stupidest thing I’ve read all day. And I’ve read some stupid shit today.

    Like some guy complaining that we can’t use the word “gay” to mean “happy and light” anymore.

    Just so we’re on the same page… Workers have no rights as employers are dictators of their mini-governments. And these mini-totalitarian entities are what you guys want running society instead of democratically elected government. Presto: liberty!

  31. Just so we’re on the same page… Workers have no rights as employers are dictators of their mini-governments. And these mini-totalitarian entities are what you guys want running society instead of democratically elected government. Presto: liberty!

    Predictably, we’re not on the same page. Employers can dispose of their property as they see fit, just as you can. If they don’t like the actions of those who they have invited on their property they can kick their ass out, just as you can. Private property rights don’t vanish simply because you create a business.

    However, workers still have rights while on the employer’s property. They have the exact same rights they would have inside your house. So you can kick them out for whatever reason you like, but you can’t punch them in the nose for example.

  32. Tony just does not want to get that collective bargaining requires the application of violence by the state in an effort to secure compliance with its edicts.

    Socialists tend to forget that.

  33. If A owns a company and some of A’s workers want to unionize A’s workforce, A has, in a free and civilized society untethered to hangman’s noose of socialism, an absolute right to fire any of the unionizers. To suggest otherwise, is a confession of one’s creepy communist convictions and an admission of one’s tolerance for the projection of violence in the name of the nation state.

    Hey, in a free and civilized society, the fired unionizers could start their own concern and compete against A. Of course, in a free society, unionizers would only exist in the history books.

  34. Libertymike seems to ignore the fact that large commercial interests have a much tighter grip on the state that do labor unions.

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