Davis-Bacon Act: Repeal Would Reduce Cost of New Infrastructure

Nationally syndicated columnist George Will of The Washington Post pulls no punches in a column about the discriminatory history of the Davis-Bacon Act, which unjustifiably raises the cost of public construction. Will writes:

"Davis-Bacon is just another piece of government that is as indefensible as it is indestructible.It is too secure to require defending because it benefits a muscular faction. Repeal would, however, reduce the cost of new infrastructure by many billions of dollars. And today, when social hygienists are cleansing the public square of names and statues tainted by historical connections with racism, Davis-Bacon’s durability is proof that a measure’s racist pedigree will be forgiven if the measure serves a progressive agenda."

He goes on to say:

"Davis-Bacon was enacted in 1931 to require construction contractors to pay 'prevailing wages' on federal projects. Generally, this means paying union wage scales. It was enacted as domestic protectionism, largely to protect organized labor from competition by African Americans who often were excluded from union membership but who were successfully competing for jobs by being willing to work for lower wages."