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Thread: Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages

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    Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages

    Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages - NYTimes.com

    The Obama administration is planning to use the government’s enormous buying power to prod private companies to improve wages and benefits for millions of workers, according to White House officials and several interest groups briefed on the plan.

    By altering how it awards $500 billion in contracts each year, the government would disqualify more companies with labor, environmental or other violations and give an edge to companies that offer better levels of pay, health coverage, pensions and other benefits, the officials said.

    Because nearly one in four workers is employed by companies that have contracts with the federal government, administration officials see the plan as a way to shape social policy and lift more families into the middle class. It would affect contracts like those awarded to make Army uniforms, clean federal buildings and mow lawns at military bases.

    Although the details are still being worked out, the outline of the plan is drawing fierce opposition from business groups and Republican lawmakers. They see it as a gift to organized labor and say it would drive up costs for the government in the face of a $1.3 trillion budget deficit.
    Really? Rather than simply focusing on things like "capability" and "cost," now the government is going to be considering how generous a contractor's benefits are in determining how to award contracts? Cause lord knows that when the government is picking someone to scrub its toilets, it should always be hiring the company that pays its workers $15/hr instead of the one that pays its workers $10/hr. And if the focus on "health coverage, pensions and other benefits" just so happens to substantially favor companies that employ union workers, why, I'm sure that's just an unintended side effect of this multi-billion dollar handout.
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    Re: Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages

    Another fell good phony solution that fails to address the real problem which is lack of jobs not wages.

    Obama wants to spend more of what he doesn't have to fix things he doesn't understand.

    This will require more taxes to pay for higher priced contracts.

    Raising wages will also help to fuel inflation which we cannot afford.

    Obama and no one in his Administration has a clue about the real world works and he proves it every time he opens his mouth he has no knowledge of anything related to business or the economy.

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    Re: Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post
    Raising wages will also help to fuel inflation which we cannot afford.
    We are hoping for some inflation! Why else are short term rates so damn low?
    It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.
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    Re: Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages

    Quote Originally Posted by Councilman View Post

    Raising wages will also help to fuel inflation which we cannot afford.

    Obama and no one in his Administration has a clue about the real world works and he proves it every time he opens his mouth he has no knowledge of anything related to business or the economy.
    Inflation has been outpacing wages for several years.
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    Re: Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages

    Terrible idea coming from a terrible politician(note no mention of him being a messiah or a saviour). Now if we think government is bloated just wait when the janitor is making the same as a chemical engineer.

    The whole idea of saving the government is to reduce it's intake of private wealth. When the people realize that and wake up only then will we have a government for the people.

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    Re: Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages

    I see both sides of the coin here...

    First off, do you really want to continue awarding gov't contracts to companies who continuously violate labor and environmental laws? And since it seems we're mostly talking about low skilled, blue collar jobs anyway, isn't it more likely that those companies who have violated such laws will simply hire "cheap labor" anyway, i.e., illegals, to perform such tasks as providing lawcare services or sanitation/janitorial services?

    Second, I know with cheap labor you want to keep the salaries...well, cheap. But as we all know the only way to make such blue collar jobs attractive to most people is to increase the salary that comes with it. And the more pay you make the more you're likely to spend. And spending fosters economic growth.

    Third, the assumption that such contracts will be awarded to union companies and not go to those who win low-bid contracts...I guess we'll just have to see how that unfolds.

    Regardless, I can see the positives in doing this as well as the negatives. The only real downside is it appears that the days of cheap, low-cost gov't labor won't be so cheap anymore. Then again, when has it been really? I mean, $500 for a hammer...really?
    Last edited by Objective Voice; 02-26-10 at 01:05 PM.

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    Re: Obama Aims to Use Federal Contracts as a Way to Lift Wages

    Actual inflation and acknowledged inflation are two entirely separate things.

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