Saturday, September 10, 2005

The lonely libertarian's never ending war with the New York Times Editorial Page (Economic Idiocy Part III)

From today's New York Times Editorial Page, on Bush's "shameful proclamation." (registration required)

Ignoring the facts of corruption, inefficiency, and the influence of organized crime in the construction industry, there is very good reason to temporarily suspend federal law demanding that construction workers on federally financed projects receive "prevailing local wages." And that's the fact that we want to rebuild the hurricane devastated areas sooner rather than later. And the more employees that construction crews can hire, the better. The more people that can actually find a construction job the better. Yet according to the Times:

By any standard of human decency, condemning many already poor and now bereft people to subpar wages - thus perpetuating their poverty - is unacceptable. It is also bad for the economy. Without the law, called the Davis-Bacon Act, contractors will be able to pay less, but they'll also get less, as lower wages invariably mean lower productivity.

I guess I always tend to forget that subjecting wages to market forces means those wages are going to be "sub par." I think I also tend to forget that subjecting wages to market forces also invariably means lower productivity.

In all seriousness though, the Times needs to think about these editorials before they print them. Even if everything the editorial said somehow made economic sense (which it doesn't), it still doesn't explain how having more workers rebuilding their own homes, towns and cities is a bad idea in any sort of emotional sense.


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