From an early point in our lives, we are taught that our actions, and even inactions, have consequences. This lesson is repeatedly reinforced through life experiences, and becomes central to how we approach many important decisions regarding education, employment, marriage and parenting.
But, as important as this lesson is, people often forget it when it comes to voting.
Given congressional gridlock and the unpleasantness of the political process, it’s understandable that many Americans have become dissatisfied with politics. Cynicism and rancor have replaced congeniality and optimism, leaving many voters longing for the days when political leaders were respected as elder statesmen and regarded as role models for the next generation.
While some voters may opt to sit on the sidelines this November, we want to remind you, that as an AGC member and leader in the construction industry, you cannot afford to do so. The cost of inaction is simply too great.
Elections have consequences. The past seven years serve no better example to the construction industry and the at-large business community of this point. In May, the Competitive Enterprise Institute issued its annual report on federal regulations. It found that in 2015, “114 laws were enacted by Congress …while 3,410 rules were issued by agencies” bringing the annual federal regulatory cost to $1.885 trillion, approximately $15,000 per household.
To make matters worse, “Nearly 4,000 regulations are squirming their way through the federal bureaucracy in the last year of the Obama presidency — many costing industry more than $100 million…,” according to Politico.
This presidential election has defied conventional wisdom, so much so, that political pollsters and pundits cannot predict how down-ballot races will be affected.
With 34 US Senate and all US House of Representatives seats up for election, it is essential that AGC efforts are focused on growing the number of construction-friendly members of Congress. To do this, the association needs you to vote.
AGC also needs its member companies to talk to their employees about the candidates and issues at stake in this election. Some employers may be skeptical of talking about such matters, but research confirms employees want to hear it. According to survey research from the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, “Employees want to hear from their employer or a representative of their employer about political and public policy issues that would affect their job, company and industry.” In fact, employers were found to be the most trusted source for such information beating out the internet, media/news, labor unions and political parties.
To help facilitate this valuable dialogue, AGC maintains ConstructionVotes.com. It is a one-stop-shop website for voters and employers. Voters can register to vote, view state and federal candidates, find a polling place and learn about early and absentee voting as well as key issues. In addition to these resources, employers can download a legally-approved “Do’s & Don’ts” guide to help get out the vote, host jobsite tours or company meet & greets with candidates or Members of Congress.
At a time when the industry is rebounding from the longest and deepest slump of any sector, it is especially important to elect leaders willing to work for commonsense solutions to the challenges facing the construction industry and its workforce.
With a pro-construction Congress and president, AGC can advance legislative priorities such as preserving stable tax rates and policies; stabilizing federal capital investment programs like highways, water treatment, Army Corps construction, military construction, and building construction; and blocking unreasonable and burdensome regulations.
Be a construction voter this fall and vote on November 8.