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A bad deal

December 23, 2013

I am writing in response to your December 12, 2013 Op-Ed piece, "Ultimate verdict on road bill years away....

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(20)

Scott36

Dec-24-13 9:02 AM

In the construction industry like all professions and other skilled occupations, “you get what you pay for”-CarlHiller

Well put. There are apprenticeships used by union construction trades that yield exceptional results. Not only do they focus on the trade itself, but safety rules put forth by OSHA, & in some instances MSHA also. Not only does this make the job safer, but also can lead to savings in insurance rates for contractors.

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CarlHiller

Dec-24-13 8:36 AM

Claims by opponents of prevailing wage laws that these laws raise costs by 20-30% ignore all the research based on real-world experience in states that have repealed prevailing wage laws. Opponents have relied on hypothetical calculations that assume, that when wages and benefits drop, everything else, like skill levels and productivity, remain unchanged. In the construction industry like all professions and other skilled occupations, “you get what you pay for”.

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CarlHiller

Dec-24-13 8:34 AM

Hi Cap - I'll touch the prevailing wage issue. While wages consume about 25% of construction costs, prevailing wages only account for 2 - 3% of the total wage costs. There has been no substantial cost savings in any state that does not have prevailing wage laws in place. In fact in a number of states not having prevailing wage laws, similar or higher comparable costs to prevailing wage states. In 1997 Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry weakened prevailing wage laws by changing its method of determining rates. This reg is convoluted and the space taken would be a few posts, but it changed and now they have the ability to use lower rates. After this change which was to lower wage costs construction costs rose and kept rising. Real savings in public construction costs are more likely to come from investments in worker training making workers more productive, lowering costs without cutting wages.

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CarlHiller

Dec-24-13 8:09 AM

This was a bad law from the get go. There was and is more than enough money available to fund roads and bridges. This law was mainly about helping Phil. and Pitt. mass transit and the turnpike, spread the costs out over Pa entire driving population rather than increasing fees on those who utilize public transportation and the turnpike. 5 years from now we will still be in the same boat and looking at increasing these taxes once again.

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Capricorn1

Dec-23-13 5:40 PM

I noticed no one chose to bring up prevailing wage and how that impacts the transportation budget.

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catmantwo

Dec-23-13 3:04 PM

Back to horse and buggies. Although, we'll have to employ people to clean up after the horses....unless you are Amish, then you can just let it lay all over the roads and birms.

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DavidBross

Dec-23-13 2:53 PM

"It is those liberals who are anti-car (for the common folk) while they get their state-subsidized SUV." Perhaps "those liberals" are more pro-mass transit because their constituents (who also might have a claim to being common folk) live in cities where public transportation is the best way to get around.

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DavidBross

Dec-23-13 11:13 AM

Interesting, Erik. I would have thought you would be very upset with the provisions that raise taxes and fees, and sends large amounts of money to Harrisburg. Given the "energy" with which you cite examples of liberal hypocrisy, I would have thought you would be all over the Governor for breaking campaign promises and violating traditional conservative values.

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eriklatranyi

Dec-23-13 10:51 AM

David:

Partly, the transportation bill required additional funding to mass transit to attract liberal votes.

It is those liberals who are anti-car (for the common folk) while they get their state-subsidized SUV.

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DavidBross

Dec-23-13 9:42 AM

Erik, are you saying that the new transportation bill is part of the "liberal, anti-car agenda"?

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SteelerFan

Dec-23-13 9:03 AM

Funding for anything in Philadelphia and Pittsburgh will supercede funding for a rural area.

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farmer

Dec-23-13 9:02 AM

"If mass transit riders decide to commute to work in cars, then they can contribute their fair share for bridges and roads at the gas pump"

It almost sounds like they might be more American if they all drove to work. I hope they don't start that car-poll crap, that would be cheating.

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farmer

Dec-23-13 8:45 AM

"We automobile drivers already pay a gasoline tax to repair bridges and roads. Where has the already collected gas tax money gone?"

Well I think maybe if you looked out your car window you might see what we call a road. Don't get me wrong, there is a lot of waste, but it was such a simple question I thought you might just want a simple answer

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JohnZook

Dec-23-13 8:35 AM

But, doesn't the gov't WANT us all to live in the cities? Population Control- that's what it's called. And there is a gov't plan for that too.

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hopeforfuture

Dec-23-13 8:17 AM

But, that is the liberal, anti-car agenda.-eriklatranyi

Yeah then we could all get horses to get back and forth to work BUT the the libs would say the horses caused to much methane. No getting to work---no job--we can all sit back and collect welfare. Free health care, free food, free rent and free phones all from the government.

Clearly they have no concept of living in a rural area where the car is a necessity for most people. Mass transit does not go where people live.

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CMReeder

Dec-23-13 7:24 AM

Apparently people do not know the meaning of transportation let alone state.

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eriklatranyi

Dec-23-13 6:44 AM

Just as former Gov. Rendell wanted to transform I-80 into a toll road, the subsidization of mass transit always falls on the rural and suburban area drivers.

But, that is the liberal, anti-car agenda.

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CaveFelem

Dec-23-13 6:35 AM

Except one thing, Garben78 - those factories are most likely located overseas, not here.

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Garben78

Dec-23-13 5:55 AM

It comes out to a lot more then a couple road workers standing around. What about the people at the factory building the shovels standing around what about the ones building the flags standing around etc etc etc the list can go till it counts everyone. They could do a segment to show us where all the welfare dollars are going pretty sure you'll see some drug use. This will all be nothing more then a waste of time

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USABorn

Dec-23-13 2:42 AM

Absolutely agree that our gas tax money should NOT go to mass transit!!!!

Also think we should have an audit of the gas tax, license fees, toll road income, etc., collected/expended for the last 10 years.

I think beginning in the spring when road construction starts, that people keep their cell phones handy for taking photos of all the road workers standing around doing nothing! One of the WB TV stations should start a regular segment at the end of each 6:00 pm newscast..... "Where are your gas tax dollars going?" and use the photos!!!!!

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