Ethanol’s Human Costs

Ethanol subsidies, which have contributed to hunger, riots and environmental destruction across the globe, are now contributing to slave labor on sugar plantations in Brazil and elsewhere.  In the U.S., ethanol mandates are getting even more costly to the consumer, since Congress now requires that inflated union wages be paid to people working on the construction of ethanol plants

These costs are mandated by the Davis-Bacon Act, which also requires above-market pay for work on federally-subsidized projects.  “In Nassau-Suffolk in New York, for example, Davis-Bacon requires a minimum wage for brickmasons of $49.67 an hour, though the more common area wage for that work is $25.50.”