Why the Prevailing Wage Law Proves Problematic

Published April 28, 2015

The MacIver Institute published an interesting video explaining how prevailing wage policies inflate the cost of government projects.


Writing for Watchdog.org, the MacIver Institute’s Matt Crumb writes about how prevailing wage is a nightmare of bureaucracy for small business owners:

“Bob Ford’s Waukesha-based construction company was multiple weeks into a local airport project to erect a metal building when he was told by the state that he had been paying his workers the wrong wages the whole time.

“Apparently, there was a mix-up in assigning the ‘prevailing wage’ for Ford’s project.

Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law requires contractors working on public projects to pay their workers arbitrarily calculated ‘prevailing’ wages and benefits. State bureaucrats are charged with setting these wage and benefit levels based on a survey sent out to contractors around the state. Instead of paying workers what they are normally paid for private projects, contractors must pay their workers whatever the state says is ‘prevailing.'”