Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Will the stimulus package be equitable?

3 million jobs. 850 billion dollars. It sounds great.

Let's ignore the consequences to future generations when we spend all of this money. It's a great thing. Perhaps it will get our economy going again.

Shovel ready projects. Step back a few paces. Who gets hired for these shovel ready projects? Are they going to be government employees with all of the rights and benefits that other federal employees make, or are we going to give the contract to the lowest bidder. Will there be any stipulations about criteria for a reasonable multiple for the the total compensation for the lowest paid worker and the highest paid worker. Are there going to be any stipulations that these contract firms must have a workforce that matches the diversity of the community it is working in, and that the pay to under-served populations is equitable with the white men on the payroll?

Or are we going to continue the graft policies of the past and watch millions of dollars line the pockets of the rich and connected while women and minorities continue to lose ground in this "new" economy?

However much I would like to think that we will use the opportunity of government sponsored infrastructure project to make inroads on attracting women and minorities to well-paying skilled construction and management jobs, I'm not going to hold my breath.

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