Watchdog: Wisconsin’s Prevailing Wage Nightmare

MacIver Institute | April 17, 2015

Multiple state legislators are supporting a bill that would do away with Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law. Prevailing wage is a distorted policy that inflates the price of public projects in Wisconsin, thereby costing taxpayers more of their hard-earned money.

MacIver Institute’s own Matt Crumb exposes the harmful effects of prevailing wage to taxpayers and small businesses in an article featured at

“Bob Ford’s Waukesha-based construction company was multiple weeks into a local airport project to erect a metal building when he was told by the state that he had been paying his workers the wrong wages the whole time.

Apparently, there was a mix-up in assigning the ‘prevailing wage’ for Ford’s project.

Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law requires contractors working on public projects to pay their workers arbitrarily calculated ‘prevailing’ wages and benefits. State bureaucrats are charged with setting these wage and benefit levels based on a survey sent out to contractors around the state. Instead of paying workers what they are normally paid for private projects, contractors must pay their workers whatever the state says is ‘prevailing.'”