• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2016 by Lindsey Burke, Salim Furth, Ph.D. Research Review: Universal Preschool May Do More Harm than Good

    Evidence continues to mount that government-funded preschool fails to fulfill the promises of its proponents. New studies of large-scale preschool programs in Quebec and Tennessee show that vastly expanding access to free or subsidized preschool may worsen behavioral and emotional outcomes. Even proponents of universal preschool admit that it does nothing to improve…

  • Issue Brief posted April 15, 2016 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Six Hidden Taxes

    Thousands of federal regulations raise the prices of goods and services that Americans buy. Just six of these regulations raise prices enough to cost the average American household $1,005 per year.[1] Consumers pay hidden taxes when they buy a new or used car, fill their gas tank, and pay for their groceries. According to most estimates, income growth for middle-class…

  • Issue Brief posted April 15, 2016 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Local Land-Use Reform Can Save Money and Raise Wages

    Americans who are struggling to pay their bills or to increase their standard of living would get a big lift if local governments around the country reduced the regulation of land use and strengthened individual property rights. Too many local governments have bought into the harmful ideas that cities and suburbs ought to be “planned” by experts and that new construction…

  • Commentary posted April 5, 2016 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Want to Fight Global Warming? Forget Fuel Economy Standards and Focus on Land Use.

    Having led and won the fight in the 1960s and ‘70s to reduce air pollution from automobiles, California's road regulators turned their sights on a more ambitious goal: curbing global warming at the tailpipe through fuel-economy standards. But powerful evidence shows that these standards are costly for consumers and have almost no impact on the environment. The federal…

  • Issue Brief posted April 1, 2016 by Salim Furth, Ph.D., Rachel Greszler Draft House Legislation Falls Short of Priorities for Puerto Rico

    Congress should not lose sight of key conservative priorities as it considers whether (and how) to respond to the economic and fiscal crisis in Puerto Rico. The troubled territory has been a laboratory for progressive politics and crony capitalism for decades. Predictably, the government has smothered the private sector, and workers receive a lower share of income in…

  • Commentary posted March 14, 2016 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Fuel Economy Standards Hurt the Middle Class

    Presidential candidates from both parties have vowed to help the middle class in a variety of ways. Unfortunately, many of their ideas, such as higher tariffs and corporate welfare, would do more harm than good. Here's one idea that would actually help: Stop forcing automakers to resort to ever more extreme and expensive techniques to increase gas mileage. The…

  • Backgrounder posted March 4, 2016 by Salim Furth, Ph.D., David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Fuel Economy Standards Are a Costly Mistake

    The Obama Administration’s regulations intended to force very rapid increases in vehicle fuel economy are adding thousands of dollars to the prices of new cars. Vehicle prices are rising in ways that are consistent with the predictions of studies undertaken several years ago. It is likely that the regulations are adding at least $3,800 (perhaps much more) to the average…

  • Issue Brief posted December 29, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Hired Labor’s Share of Income Is Lowest in Puerto Rico

    A smaller share of total income goes to hired labor in Puerto Rico than in any state in the U.S. In Puerto Rico, hired workers take home 25 cents of every dollar in net private-sector income, the rest going to investors, proprietors, and the self-employed.[1] In the U.S. as a whole, employees earn 56 percent of private income. (There are more precise ways to calculate…

  • Commentary posted December 2, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Benefits to Sticking With the Framework for Puerto Rico’s Debt

    Puerto Rico appears to have avoided defaulting on the bond payments due Tuesday. The Economist argued this week that, “one way or another,” the U.S. government “will end up bailing out Puerto Rico.” But the editorial supports that conclusion with two factual errors. First, the editorial says that Puerto Rico’s “government owes $72 billion in debt.” The majority of…

  • Commentary posted November 30, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Common-sense reforms can save consumers serious cash

    The holiday season is fast upon us -- that time of year when Americans across the country gather 'round the warm glow of their computer screens and try to figure out how on earth they are going to balance their budgets. Political debates can seem a long way away when you're in a room alone with your credit card bill, but commonsense policy reforms at every level of…

  • Backgrounder posted November 23, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Costly Mistakes: How Bad Policies Raise the Cost of Living

    Government policy mistakes raise the prices of the things that Americans buy. An average American household can expect to pay an extra $4,440 each year thanks to just 12 such policy mistakes that have large costs and few benefits. Local, state, and federal governments are all guilty of enforcing costly laws and regulations. At the federal level, the biggest costs come…

  • Commentary posted November 5, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. In San Francisco Ballot Outcomes, Wins for Affordable Housing

    Voters in San Francisco rejected two ballot measures Tuesday that would have raised the cost of living in what is already one of the priciest U.S. cities and approved two ballot measures that offer some hope of expanding the city’s housing supply. The highest-profile defeat was Proposition F–known by some as the “Airbnb Initiative”–that would have made legal…

  • Backgrounder posted October 26, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Stagnant Wages: What the Data Show

    Recent data show that wages have been growing at rates comparable to their long-term trends. Measuring average wages accurately is more difficult than it sounds, so this Backgrounder examines six metrics of wage and compensation to present a complete picture.[1] Since the beginning of 2013, wages have grown between 1.1 percent and 1.9 percent per year. Over longer…

  • Issue Brief posted July 27, 2015 by Rachel Greszler, Salim Furth, Ph.D. An Economic Crisis Is the Heart of Puerto Rico’s Financial Crisis

    Puerto Rico faces a severe fiscal crisis, but this is merely a symptom of Puerto Rico’s primary disease: a lack of economic growth. Over the past decade, as Puerto Rico’s debt has expanded rapidly, the economy has contracted more than 10 percent. If the economy were growing, Puerto Rico would be much better positioned to address its fiscal crisis and might have averted it…

  • Issue Brief posted July 1, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D., James M. Roberts, Mike Gonzalez, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. Puerto Rico Needs Economic Freedom, Not Bailouts

    Puerto Rico is in a debt crisis, and Governor Alejandro García Padilla (D) has announced that “the debt is not payable” given the commonwealth’s large deficits and collapsing economy.[1] Presenting a government-commissioned report, economist Anne Krueger explained that the origin of Puerto Rico’s debt is decades of stimulus spending and economic stagnation: Since 1996,…