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The Scuttling of the U.S.S. Small Business Act: High-Road Contracting Policy. (Part Eight of Nine)

Posted By Guy Timberlake, The American Small Business Coalition, LLC, Sunday, October 09, 2011

Wait for it...

Did you hear that? That was the sound of seawater flooding another compartment of the great vessel responsible for job creation, ongoing innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit long since forgotten by many companies not on this ship's passenger list.

The cause is not an accident. Critical hatchway's are being opened by opponents and opportunists who through political and corporate posturing (and nefarious activities), are working hard to sink the collection of government programs providing assistance to legions of small and microbusinesses often referred to as the 'backbone' of the U.S. economy by pundits and practitioners.

Beyond the typical opposition to anything creating benefit for the underdog, there is an ever-increasing chorus of activity calling for the demise of set-aside programs related to government contracting. This includes a combination of:

  • detractors who believe all contractors are unnecessary;
  • those who prefer the perceived safety and security of working with an organization with the cash reserves to buy small countries, and;
  • inaction of those elected to positions to effect meaningful change.

All of this contributes to the methodical chipping away of the foundation of these programs.

Not sure what I'm talking about?

High-Road Contracting Policy. Ha! My employee wage and benefits program is better than your employee wage and benefits program. I win!

What is the High-Road Contracting Policy? A plan reportedly under consideration by the Obama administration that would give a leg up in the bidding process to contractors who pay their employees higher wages and benefits, suggesting that the proposal would make the procurement system more costly and inefficient."

The result of the plan, if implemented, would be "...positive weight in the source selection process would be given to bidders based on the labor standards for their workforce. The criteria would include whether the bidder pays a livable wage, provides "quality, affordable health insurance," an employer-funded retirement plan and paid sick leave."

Can you sense the agenda here? Those companies who have not been severely hurt by the current economic downturn and can afford the skyrocketing cost of employee medical coverages will enjoy life under this plan.

It all comes down to who can spend the most money, again.

It's sort of like when a bigger company can outspend another company in the area of marketing or lobbying activities.

You see, this is the "best value" for which the American Worker Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund is pushing so hard as described in their August 20, 2010 article "High-Road Government: A Contracting Policy that Helps Workers, Taxpayers and Businesses."

NOTE: The current White House and OFCCP say this policy is not going anywhere at this time. Again, small businesses check your six!


The Chief Visionary

"The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person doing it."

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