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Friday, February 26, 2010

"The High Road Procurement Policy"

We hear about Wall Street and Main Street, but not as much about the streets where people live, at least not much beyond all the foreclosed houses. And with unemployment as high as it is, and Congress doing little more than than tossing a few bones at the problem now and again, it's no wonder those streets are feeling overlooked and neglected. Maybe that's part of the problem Tim Geithner describes:

The president says somehow we've managed to create a situation where there's a large portion of Americans that think we are running a pro-business, pro-Wall Street policy. But the business community and Wall Street think we are like a bunch of socialists.

Well, we have been socializing Wall Street's losses, but I don't think that's what they're complaining about. In any case, Wall street and the business community aren't going to like this:

Plan to Seek Use of U.S. Contracts as a Wage Lever, by Steven Greenhouse, NY Times: 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... Even as business groups press the administration for more details, they are denouncing the plan, tentatively named the High Road Procurement Policy. ...
One federal official said the proposed policy would encourage procurement officers to favor companies with better compensation packages only if choosing them did not add substantially to contract costs. As an example, he said, if two companies each bid $10 million for a contract, and one had considerably better wages and pensions than the other, that company would be favored. ...

    Posted by on Friday, February 26, 2010 at 12:27 AM in Economics, Unemployment | Permalink  Comments (21)


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