Government Taking Private Sector Jobs in one of Worst Economies since Great Depression
By Mark E. Dotson
March 5th 2011 – Dunbar, WV - In one of the worst economies since the Great Depression, the USDA – Wildlife Services has been actively taking jobs away from private Nuisance Wildlife Control companies across America - jobs that these companies depend on to take care of their families and run their small business, the lifeblood of the US economy.
In fact, the USDA - Wildlife Services has been providing government subsidized wildlife control for private individuals and commercial companies since 1972. The American Taxpayer has been footing the bill for this agency to do what many private companies are licensed, insured and completely able to do.
In very difficult economic times and unemployment at near all time highs, how could it be possible that you would have to compete with the government as a private company? The challenges of high fuel prices, foreclosures and layoffs have already made business more difficult for any service company, but then the government can come in, under bid you on a project and take it!
This recently happened to our company in my state of West Virginia which has a 10.3% unemployment rate. We were asked to provide a bat remediation proposal to the Fayette County Courthouse. We provided a proposal of $21,000 to reclaim the attic and seal the building. After following up on the bid, we were shocked to find out that the USDA – Wildlife Services was awarded the project for $4000! And the unbelievable part is that the USDA – Wildlife Services is not allowed to compete with or bid against private companies.
The government agency doesn't have to concern itself with whether they made or lost money on this project as they already are paid a salary.
So, how did they get awarded this project? They simply skirted around the bid proposal process. The county posted the project for two days in two very small newspapers with a circulation of approximately 3500. When no "bids" came in (even though they already had two, one from our company and as well as another company), they hired USDA – Wildlife Services.
In a very bad economy, how does hiring a government agency grow jobs? It doesn't. It only grows the government. The money from the $4000 project goes back into the government's accounts and not to the local economy when local companies are not hired. The local company will buy their vehicles, supplies, rent equipment, have meals at local restaurants and require lodging if the project requires travel. This all benefits other local businesses. The private Wildlife Control Company will pay taxes on their equipment, supplies and labor back to the state they live in. The USDA – Wildlife services pays no taxes back to the state they do their work in. They only consume tax dollars.
West Virginia is not the only state plagued by this competition. Every state in the nation has a Wildlife Services division and they all compete for and take work away from each states citizens. States often match funds with Wildlife Services and now the state and federal government are spending money on problems main street business owners could readily solve. This means the U.S. taxpayer is paying for a service that is not necessary and could reduce our government debt if private companies were handling this type of work.
In fact, the budget of the USDA – Wildlife Services has skyrocketed 186% from 1996 – 2009.
This egregious act by the USDA – Wildlife Services is another form of unfair government competition with the private sector. It should be against the law for federal or local governments to compete with any private sector business. If there is a local provider, then they should be sought out. If there is not, then the government could provide technical or advisory assistance. In the end, defunding this agency and allowing licensed, trained and insured local Wildlife Control professionals is in the best interest of the American public.