Patterson and Brown – Unions stack the deck against job creation

[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.”

The Boston "Big Dig" construction sites

The Boston “Big Dig” construction sites (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.”

The other half is that, as Patterson points out, get an unfair advantage in the bidding to build the new casino because it will fall under a PLA – a project labor agreement:

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 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 are guaranteed plum construction jobs, what 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.

One of the most outrageous examples of union “featherbedding” is The Big Dig in Boston.

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 Globe estimated that the project will ultimately cost $22 billion, including interest, and that it will not be paid off until 2038.

But the made out just fine, thank you.

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