[Prince George, Maryland’s County] Executive Rushern L. Baker III…claims that “the expansion of gaming into Prince George’s County is about the thousands of new jobs, millions of dollars in revenue to the state and county, and growing the travel and tourism industry in Prince George’s County.”
Matt Patterson is much too kind. This statement, like so many issued by politicians, is just half a truth. And as Alfred Lord Tennyson said, “Half a truth is ever the blackest of lies.”
PLAs stipulate that contracts for public construction are offered exclusively to unionized firms.
Since just 11 percent of workers in Maryland belong to a union, this PLA neatly excludes 89 percent from being able to bid for the work. How sweet that is!
And the end result? Lack of incentive to do a good job:
By artificially limiting the effective labor pool available for construction projects, PLAs dampen the market competition that selects for efficiency and quality: If unions are guaranteed plum construction jobs, what incentive do they have to bring the job in at a reasonable cost and at high quality? The frequent result of PLAs, sadly, is inflated prices and shoddy work.
According to Wikipedia:
The Big Dig was the most expensive highway project in the U.S. and was plagued by escalating costs, scheduling overruns, leaks, design flaws, charges of poor execution and use of substandard materials, criminal arrests and even four deaths.
The project was scheduled to be completed in 1998 at an estimated cost of $2.8 billion…The project was not completed, however, until December 2007, at a cost of over $14.6 billion…
The Boston Globe estimated that the project will ultimately cost $22 billion, including interest, and that it will not be paid off until 2038.
But the unions made out just fine, thank you.