Say you learned your stockbroker got caught stealing and was fined. Would you complain about the future costs of stocks due to the fines your broker must pay?
Or if a gas station got caught selling gasoline at more than the posted price, would we fear their fines would lead to higher gas prices?
That's the sort of logic used in the Daily Mail's June 13 editorial, "West Virginia socks it to a contractor: A museum design firm must pay the prevailing wage for carpenters."
The editorial bemoaned that a contractor got caught cheating workers of their wages and had to pay.
When an out-of-state contractor underbids local companies simply by paying low wages, then our local economy suffers.
Construction wages on tax-funded projects are set by law according to what workers already get paid in our area. The law is called "prevailing wage" and is meant to stop the unfair advantage of importing low-wage workers.
The law is important for local workers, local contractors and our local economy because keeping our tax dollars in our local economy creates wealth for all.
The West Virginia Division of Labor did its job, at the encouragement of a local contractor, and made one of the contractors who built the museum at the Capitol complex pay what the law required. End of story.
Prevailing wage laws are proven over time to have no extra cost to taxpayers because the difference is made up through high productivity. Numerous academic studies have proven this simple fact.
Yet the Daily Mail calls foul?
Next will the Daily Mail cry about how much it costs to put bank robbers in jail and admonish law enforcement for arresting them?
White is director of Affiliated Construction Trades, a division of the W.Va. State Building Trades Council.