Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Davis-Bacon Act

Clearing my desk (which has been needed for a long time), I came across a letter to the editor I had saved from the Albuquerque Journal some time ago. It provides an historical tidbit in a response to an earlier letter.

Roxanne Rivera-Wiest tiptoes around the racist oritins of the Davis-Bacon law.

She writes, "The initial reason for these depression-era prevailing wage laws was to prevent government contractors from undermining local wage rates by importing workers from low-wage areas."

More succinctly, the northern all-white labor unions wanted to prevent southern blacks — "workers from low-wage areas" — from competing in the construction labor market.

Davis-Bacon is one of the last remnants of Jim Crow and ought to be abolished.

Isn't it ironic that the party of Jim Crow, the Democrats, still supports this remnant of segregation?

Dave Thomson
Los Alamos

The paper headlined the letter Davis-Bacon has racist origin. And it's right.

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