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Aug 4, 2022Liked by Misha David Chellam

Very clear-eyed analysis!! (disclosure: I work for the Nor Cal Carpenters Union)

A word about the "prevailing wage" standards in the two policy initiatives backed the Carpenters (in S.F. and in the state legislature): Prevailing wage linkage to streamlining shouldn't be seen by Abundance Movement protagonists as a transactional cost of coalition formation. The elevation of labor standards for residential construction workers should be seen as a *necessary* element of a housing abundance agenda.

Why? Because 100,000 - 200,000 new/additional construction workers to build homes won't just materialize if/when entitlement barriers are removed. Evidence I've compiled shows that residential construction wages & benefits are bad and they don't improve on their own relative to other occupational options, even during times of high demand.

Why don't contractors raise wages & benefits enough to attract the workers in necessary numbers? It's a collective goods problem. The benefits of individual contractor investments in workers aren't immediate enough, and rival contractors can poach the people whom you've invested in training.

Anyone who wants the long version of the evidence & the argument should download my report from early 2019 (it includes an Executive Summary!) or read the accompanying op-ed.


Op-ed: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/04/14/opinion-california-cant-build-housing-without-investment-in-workforce/

Full report: https://www.smartcitiesprevail.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/SCP_HousingReport.0118_2.pdf

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