construction workers

How unions, real estate developers, and Democrats stifle the inner city to ensure their own income

According to Honest Graft a compendium of evidence of special-interest corruption decaying our democracy, author and Wall Street Journal reporter Brooks Jackson aptly synthesizes a complex entanglement that many do-good liberals don’t realize they are funding, when they support their local union PAC or Democratic campaign committee:

“[The need to raise money] does affect legislation.  You don’t have the people feeling they can be creative…because they’ve got to raise this fifty thousand, and they don’t want to turn people off.” [(according to Rep. Anthony Coelho, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee)]

Too often, moneyed interest prevail by blocking legislation they don’t want.  Consider housing, as Coelho suggested.  Homeless people and unskilled, jobless youths crowd our cities.  Yet the AFL-CIO, financial backbone of the Democratic party, insists on applying Depression-era regulations to federally subsidized housing, pushing up labor costs and reducing the number of apartments that can be built for the poor.  Real-estate developers, a rich source of money for both parties, look for subsidies and tax write-offs as the price for building any such housing at all.  The obvious becomes unthinkable: Congress dare not consider training jobless ghetto youths in the construction trades and employing them directly at low but decent wages to build no-frills apartments for low-income renters and buyers.  Such a direct program would produce more and cheaper housing units than at present and in the bargain create productive citizens from among the tax-eating welfare class.  But it would infuriate moneyed interests.

From page 108-109