We are pleased to learn that Christian Whiton over at Fox News has thought one of our long-standing research agenda items (reforming the Davis Bacon Act and prevailing wages in general) was a good enough of an idea to place in any New Contract with America that the GOP might want to present to the American public up to November. In the context of rebuilding our infrastructure (an issue close to home) and increasing our competitiveness, Whiton writes:
Americans waste an average of 38 hours per year in traffic jams according to researchers at Texas A&M. Most U.S. airports are also in terrible shape. Antiquated laws and regulations that needlessly elevate the cost of new infrastructure are to blame. The worst offender is the Davis-Bacon law. Originally passed in part to suppress black labor, the law today is used by unions to eliminate the cost advantages of their non-union competitors. A study by the Beacon Hill Institute estimated that Davis-Bacon requirements increase the cost of infrastructure-related labor by 22% over the market rate. The law should go.
Read more at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2014/10/02/nine-ideas-for-new-contract-with-america/
Meanwhile, there are those partisans who mistakenly believe that BHI occupies some “conservative ghetto” in the world of Massachusetts public policy. The usual practice at BHI is that we always consider the source and find that zeal gets the best of them.
Yet Massachsuetts Democrats know BHI does a good job too. The Chairman of the state Democratic Party, Senator Thomas McGee is confident enough to cite our work as quickly as any Republican, particularly in the lead up to a big gubernatorial race.
The sentiment carries over to state Democratic Party as a whole when it comes to BHI's State Competitiveness Index which usually finds the Bay State at the top according to a variety of indicators of economic growth that we've assembled since 2001. (We guess our friends at the Democratic Party are using our index since most are not so favorable.)
A friendly reminder to Chairman McGee, MA was also on top when a Republican occupied the corner office on Beacon Hill.