Notes on Fletcher’s pro-prevailing wage article

Duane Dichiara Duane Dichiara 33 Comments


Three notes on Nathan Fletcher’s pro-prevailing wage article:

1) There is a reason Fletcher stood by Bob Filner in his sexual harassment scandal — Fletcher knows big labor needs Filner in office to pass garbage like this and also knows big labor is his future money bag.

2) Isn’t it great that Fletcher can take hours and hours to write (believe me I’ve seen him write, it’s not pretty), or more likely ask the unions to write this op-ed for him, but doesn’t have the time to ask the unions publicly why they haven’t asked Mayor Filner to resign? I guess special deals for unions come before the rights of women in the Fletcher and union playbooks.

3) This last one has really nothing to do with anything, but on his own website Nathan literally calls himself, in the header, an “innovator.” Nathan Fletcher … Innovator. Give me a break. It’s laughable. The ego. The hubris. They are bottomless.


Comments 33

  1. Also hearing that Fletcher (and Lorena Gonzalez) are openly claiming labor support if he runs but that the new labor leader Richard Barrera isn’t just going to rubber stamp whatever Lorena wants. It’s unclear at this point whether Barrera really is a rubber stamp for Lorena, but I guess that he has the job now and wants to be his own man. Who knows.

  2. Nathan was against prevailing wage before he was for it.

    His bread is now buttered by the unions since his Republican and Independent financial sources are gone.

  3. Let me guess who your ghost writer was on your article Nathan….could it be…the union bosses?

  4. When we are talking about Mayoral elections, I am betting on the campaign run by Tom Shepard and against the one run by Duane Dichiara.

  5. The Davis-Bacon Act was passed to institutionalize racism. It’s no surprise then that the intended consequences of that bad legislation are felt today.

    The construction industry offers the best opportunity for young people to enter the economic ladder. By raising wages to an artificial “minimum”, it excludes many entry-level workers from gaining access to the labor market. Is it any wonder that African-American unemployment is over 25% today?

    Economic freedom means that anybody, regardless of their skin color, should be afforded the opportunity to compete for jobs. Price fixing almost guarantees that those who need that opportunity won’t receive access to it.

    Mr. Fletcher knows this and should answer why he supports policy which inflicts economic pain on minority communities.

  6. So let me get this straight .. this column in response to Nathan’s column is written by the guy — Duane Dichiara — who helped the republicans lose the San Diego office of the Mayor for the first time in 20 years? To a candidate who was quite possibly the worst candidate the Democrats could have found to put forward. Dichiara’s strategy was to HELP the Dems beat Nathan so that his guy could (supposedly) beat the Dem.

    Hmmmm, so this brilliant strategist who lost the seat that had been held by his party for 20 years is now spouting off as some sort of expert? Also, all you are really saying above, Duane, is that you don’t like Nathan. He can’t write? He’s not an innovator? If that’s your strategy for beating him this time, you will lose … badly. Why don’t you try coming up with your own ideas instead of this nonsense.

  7. This really isn’t surprising. I mean Nathan’s article. Or the article Nathan put his name on as author. Whatever.

    The reason it is not surprising is because the first time I met Nathan at a coffee meeting at a private home with a couple dozen voters in North County, he was talking about how much he liked the book Freakonomics he had just finished. Which was a huge red flag to me at the time. Why? In short, Freakonomics is to economics what astrology is to astronomy.

    This prevailing wage mythology that Nathan is pushing now fits right in considering what he said that night about the important role of government when it comes to meddling with the economy, all while quoting Freakonomics chapter and verse.

    Side story…I was equally unimpressed that night when Nathan told me he forgot to contact the NRA to let them know he didn’t get their questionnaire even though he was a huge supporter. He…”forgot”. A man running for the assembly in North County San Diego who is a big supporter “forgot” about the National Rifle Association. The questionnaire he did not receive, the NRA later confirmed to me was sent. Maybe his dog ate his homework.

    Speaking of his dog, I was even less impressed when Nathan later told me a story about grabbing his pistol one night because he “was gonna go shoot someone” when he heard knocks on his door. It turned out that his dog just needed to come inside so he was banging on a screen door or something. I forget all the exact details. I think he was trying to impress me or something and thought a story about answering the door with a loaded pistol was the way to go. Being a responsible gun owner and not a lunatic, it wasn’t the way to go.

    Nathan is a really, really weird guy. I know he has a following and I know they are going to vote for him no matter what he runs for, but I can’t imagine his following is enough to win an election. I didn’t like Nathan then. I don’t like him now. His actions and words aren’t that of someone with true convictions, values, principles, or intellectual understanding.

  8. Ask the average San Diego voter how Nathan Fletcher is registered to vote, and I bet most (those who have any idea at all) will say “nonpartisan” or “independent.” Relatively few know that he quietly reregistered AGAIN — this time as a Democrat.

    Clearly that second voter switch was done to “legalize” labor union support for his future political races. With this pro-prevailing wage commentary (doubtless written for him by labor union officials), Nathan Fletcher’s feudal fealty commitment to labor (at the expense of taxpayers) is consummated.

  9. “I have more respect for a man who lets me know where he stands, even if he’s wrong. Than the one who comes up like an angel and is nothing but a devil.” – Malcom X (even if you’re not a Malcom X fan, the reasoning is sound)

  10. I assumed so. My comment was a bit tongue in cheek; sort of addressing Hypocrisy’s comment as well.

  11. Brian,

    Are you saying that African Americans are not capable of earning the same wages as Caucasians?

  12. Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher is listed as the author of this well written propaganda piece advocating prevailing wage laws. It’s right out of the labor union’s play book, with the usual half-truths and distortions, cleverly interspersed with outright falsehoods.

    The problem is, it’s TOO well written. I’d bet dollars to doughnuts that Nathan didn’t pen it. Doubtless it was written by labor union professionals (or their PR contractors), with Nathan dutifully signing it as the author.

    But what the article DOES establish is that Nathan Fletcher has now pledged his feudal fealty to the labor unions — in exchange for labor union support in politics. Any discussion of him being an “independent” politician ends with this screed.

  13. HQ, reading Brian’s statement, he said nothing of the sort. Stop acting like a troll.

  14. T.A.,

    The troll comment was completely uncalled for. The argument that raising the minimum wage would hurt minorities is a staple of the right and although I certainly do not think Brian is in any way a racist, I do find that way of thinking to be racist.

    This is what Brian wrote. You tell me if it doesn’t imply that African Americans would be disproportionately unable to earn the higher wage:

    “By raising wages to an artificial “minimum”, it excludes many entry-level workers from gaining access to the labor market. Is it any wonder that African-American unemployment is over 25% today?”

  15. HQ: If someone were to state that African-Americans on the average are among the lowest wage earners and have a higher rate of unemployment than the population as a whole, do you believe that person would be making a statement of fact? Seriously asking.

  16. “Are you saying that African Americans are not capable of earning the same wages as Caucasians?”

    Hardly. I’m saying that The Davis-Bacon Act was designed to prevent African-Americans from competing with Caucasians because, at that time, African-Americans were, in fact, much more capable than Caucasians to do the job more efficiently. But don’t rely on my opinion, consider the words of the representatives at the time:

    Rep. John Cochran (D-MO): “I have received numerous complaints in recent months about southern contractors employing low-paid colored mechanics getting work and bringing the employees from the South.”

    Rep. Miles “Clayton” Algood (D-AL): “That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country.”

    Davis-Bacon was drafted and passed into law with overt racist targets. That is fact. But let’s look at the implications of Davis-Bacon on the construction industry:

    Prior to Davis-Bacon,construction industry unemployment was relatively balanced in both African-American and Caucasian communities. Today, the disparity is staggering. African-American construction workers suffer over twice the unemployment rate than do their Caucasian counterparts.

    Minority contractors are for times less likely to be win these Davis-Bacon controlled jobs than non-minority-owned firms because minority-owned firms are generally smaller and newer. They are excluded from offering entry-level jobs to the people who need them most–entry level workers.

    Forget that “prevailing wage” legislation bloats costs to the taxpayers and is anti-competition, the simple fact is that “prevaling wage requirements” were, by design, racist and are today, by consequence, excluding minorities from the very prosperity which comes with ascending the economic ladder.

    “Prevailing wage” laws are the 21st Century Jim Crow laws and Nathan Fletcher knows better. If he doesn’t he shouldn’t be writing for a periodical like the SDDT and he certainly shouldn’t be running for any office.

    To answer your question HQ: No. I’m not saying that African-Americans are not capable of earning the same wages. But I am saying that anyone who imposes artificial restrictions upon them, to exclude them the opportunity of proving that, does think that.

  17. I don’t doubt that 80+ years ago, some or even many who voted for the first prevailing wage law were racists. I assume some who voted against it were to. I am not sure what that has to do with my contention that it is racist to claim that African Americans would be disproportionately hurt by the requirement to pay higher wages.

    And by the way, if you Google prevailing wage and look up what the wages really are, you will find that there are multiple classifications and some of the wages allowed are probably below the poverty level.

  18. @Michael Schwartz— “Race & Economics”, by Walter Williams, is an excellent read for the very geeky so I loved it.

    My statements here reflect what I learned from Dr. Williams in that book

  19. T.A,

    The answer is that you would be making a statement of fact, but again that has nothing to do with the issue of prevailing wage so I will ask you a serious question.

    Do you believe that African-Americans on the average are among the lowest wage earners and have a higher rate of unemployment than the population as a whole ONLY in the construction industry (and more specifically only when prevailing wages are required)?

  20. Hypocrisy, Brian Brady and Thor’s Asst. have been far more respectful with their dealings with you than the armature-hour claims of racism you are trying to derail the conversation with here today. For you to degrade this conversation down to such a ridiculous level is…I would have thought…even beneath you.
    However, seeing as the tack you have chosen lately is to excuse Filner’s molestation of women in exchange for supporting unions that butter your bread, I am not surprised that you claim people who do not support the prevailing wage mythology as “racists”. Probably because you really have no other argument. The population doesn’t connect with the “we want more money, even if we aren’t worth it” argument.

    Facts are facts even when they prove you wrong or go against what you want.

  21. ” I am not sure what that has to do with my contention that it is racist to claim that African Americans would be disproportionately hurt by the requirement to pay higher wages.”

    That’s a reasonable question. It starts with a basic understanding of the prosperity ladder:

    1- Entry level positions are generally not permanent but are all important, especially to those who have less formal education. Entry-level jobs provide valuable experience to people who desperately need to gain credibility (and those with less formal education need this badly).

    2- Price fixing (in general) is an artificial measure designed to limit competition. When price-fixing is instituted, like it is with Davis-Bacon, it shrinks opportunity for the better educated or more experienced, eliminating those entry-level opportunities.

    3- Another consequence of price-fixing in labor markets is less entrepreneurship and thereby less competition. That ultimately hurts taxpayers but lets focus on the prosperity ladder..

    4- There is no dispute that minorities suffer from higher unemployment and less formal education than their Caucasian counterparts. I don’t think I need to source that fact for you.

    5- Legislation which encourages systemic price fixing will have consequences, in this case with the less experienced and educated. While I”m sure that modern day advocates of Davis-Bacon would eschew the original intent of the law, the effect has been institutionalized racism because it perpetuates a cycle of denied economic opportunity (which begets denied educational opportunities)

    You could cry “But that isn’t the modern intent of Davis-Bacon!” and I wouldn’t doubt your “intent”. But to ignore the results of bad policy is ignorant. Prior to Davis-Bacon, minorities had a fair shot at the economic opportunity the federal government offered. Today, they don’t.

    I think Republicans passed a few constitutional amendments against that sort of preference, circa 1868

  22. T.A.,

    Comment is up. Thank you.


    Facts are indeed facts, so here are two for you:

    1. I never excused Mayor Filner’s actions.
    2. I never accused anyone of racism.

    What I said was that it is racist to claim that increasing wages would result in a disproportionate amount of unemployment among African Americans. I don’t see how you can look at that line of thinking as anything different than saying that construction companies would hire more African Americans as long as they didn’t have to pay them as much as they would pay a Caucasian worker.

    I still haven’t read an answer to my question as to why higher unemployment and lower wages also exists among African Americans outside of the construction industry.

    Nor have i seen a response to my pointing out that prevailing wage isn’t one wage; there are many in each area of construction, some paying very low wages. How does that discourage entry-level workers?

  23. So Hypocrisy, just to be clear, you do think Filner should step down for sexually harassing women? Or his victims are liars?

    I’m unclear as to which you believe, but find it an amazing coincidence that your main issue, unions, is an issue Filner is extremely supportive. I’m positive that is not weighing on your decision to continue to support Filner despite the actions he all but admits to and you claim not to excuse.

  24. Michael,

    You really need to read what I write, not what you think I write. I can’t find the quote anymore since that posting is no longer on the site, but I believe my exact words were “Filner should resign, apologize and get help, in that order.”

    Now do you want to take a try at answering the questions I posed on the topic at hand?

  25. No, Hypocrisy.

    Because no matter what I say, no matter how much science I use, no matter how much sense I make, no matter how much historical data I use, no matter that my reasoning stands up to logic…reality doesn’t line your pockets the way passing this prevailing wage idea does. So there is no way you are going to change your mind. You’re better served just calling out “racist” when people point to the reality of an issue.

    In the case of economics, the theories typically embraced by the right are a description of observations of how and why things happen and happened. And the left embraces economics based on how they want economics to work and what results they wish were real or the way things “should” be. Not reality.

    A “prevailing wages” is good for some, but not all. A free market approach is good for all, but not as good for some. A free market is the very definition of fair and rewards ambition, hard-work, and quality. A prevailing wage rewards the hard work of lobbyists who represent unions. And few others.

    Brian Brady is an intelligent gentlemen. Maybe he’s more willing to discuss with you your specific loads of cr-…I mean your specific questions.

    Thanks for your answer about your buddy Filner though. Amazing what it took for you to come to this conclusion.

  26. You will never win a state wide election based on tax reform based on tax reform. Only 49% of this state pays taxes and only 13% pay significant taxes.

    You need to show union rank and file than environmental and governmental regulations are not just strangling business. But the union movement is in serious danger 20 years down the road. Diminished union membership will be enough to convince leaders that deregulation is necessary for the growing of union jobs.

    Wouldn’t it be nice to not have union walkers ruining every republican campaign everywhere in the state? Just asking?

    P.S. All these restrictions and regulations really add up to hidden taxes that affect all of us. Ownership, management, labor, and consumers. Just saying….

  27. Michael,

    I will take that as a very long-winded way of saying that you have no idea how to answer my questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *