Frank Manzo of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) spoke with America’s Work Force Radio Podcast on July 30 about prevailing wage standards leading to more Americans living the “American Dream.”
Manzo said prevailing wage laws promote the growth of the middle class and allow for easier access into it. For decades prevailing wage laws have allowed many to live middle class lifestyles and provide quality lives for their families.
Manzo provided three ways that prevailing wage standards help construction workers and their families:
- Prevailing wage laws boosts construction wages by five percent, annually.
- Prevailing wage laws increase health insurance averages.
- Prevailing wage laws improve pension plan access.
Manzo explained how prevailing wage laws affect homeownership.
When people are making more money, as many do when they are being paid a prevailing wage, their ability to purchase a home increases. Manzo added that prevailing wage laws positively impact African Americans and Latinos the most, reducing income inequality.
Manzo then talked about the overall economical benefits of prevailing wage laws, not just on an individual basis, but on the economy as a whole.
He dispelled myths that prevailing wage is a waste of taxpayer money, adding that people who typically have an interest in cutting wages. Prevailing wage laws typically lead to a more prosperous local economy, allowing more people to afford houses and to be able to spend money in the local economy, Manzo added.
Later in the show, Andy Shen of Green Peace called for United Nations intervention on a suspected murder case linked to FCF, the parent company of Bumble Bee Foods.
Shen lamented the absence of legitimate investigations for the 14 fishery observer deaths aboard fishing vessels that have occurred in the last decade.
Shen said those who work on fishing vessels often complain about long work hours, little or no pay and dangerous work conditions, making the death of any fishery observer suspicious.
Shen said that the lack of investigations into fishery observer deaths, especially in this case is troubling. Fishery observers are often targeted as it is their job to protect vulnerable communities and defend the human right to a health environment.