• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Commentary posted January 13, 2015 by James Sherk Five Ways The Washington Post Got Middle Class Woes Wrong

    The Washington Post has recently published a series of articles arguing “America’s middle class is lost,” citing problems that go far beyond the recent recession. Take the accompanying graphic, which shows the year median income peaked in each U.S. county. In most, that happened in 1999 or earlier. The Post argues that over the past 25 years “the typical family’s income…

  • Commentary posted January 8, 2015 by James Sherk Liberal policies suppress wages: Opposing view

    Americans of all income levels would benefit from faster economic growth that raises wages. Unfortunately, wages are being held back by the very policies supported by those criticizing slow wage growth. Liberals across the country supported the misnamed Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). The law's mandates have made health coverage more expensive for both individuals…

  • Commentary posted January 6, 2015 by James Sherk And Then There Were Three: Kentucky Counties May Have Found the Secret to Right-to-Work Success

    A major economics story for conservatives slipped under the radar screen as Americans celebrated the New Year: Two more Kentucky counties passed local right-to-work laws. On December 30, Fulton and Simpson counties approved right-to-work ordinances; several more counties appear set to follow suit in the coming days. Right-to-work laws make union dues voluntary. Absent…

  • Commentary posted January 6, 2015 by James Sherk The argument that most workers are better off without unions

    Does the ability to buy Toyotas hurt middle-class Americans? That is essentially the argument made by those who say falling union membership has harmed the middle class. But it holds little water. The decline of unions has hurt unions — while benefiting most other Americans. Union membership certainly dropped sharply in the 1970s, the period when some argue things went…

  • Commentary posted December 22, 2014 by James Sherk Right-to-work laws: Myth vs. fact

    Many states and local governments are considering right-to-work laws. These laws make union dues voluntary. Without them, union contracts make paying dues a condition of employment. While most Americans support the concept of right-to-work, unions argue strenuously against them. However, most of the arguments against right-to-work have little basis in fact. Myth:…

  • Commentary posted December 22, 2014 by James Sherk The NRLB Gave Unions a Huge Boost Today . . . But It’s Not Likely to Last

    The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) just charged several dozen McDonalds franchises with unfair labor practices. In an unusual move, the NLRB also charged McDonalds Corp. as a co-defendant with its franchisees. As I wrote in August, these charges are part of a larger push by unions to curtail the franchise business model. Small-business owners run most fast-food…

  • Commentary posted December 18, 2014 by James Sherk Right-to-work law would protect Wisconsin workers

    Michael Romanchock recently got let go. But he was not "downsized." His employer had no issues with his performance. Romanchock got fired for not paying dues to the Teamsters. His experience demonstrates how right-to-work would help Wisconsin's workers and unemployed. Romanchock started his job in June last year. This March, the Teamsters sent him a letter demanding…

  • Backgrounder posted December 16, 2014 by James Sherk Creating Opportunity in the Workplace

    Workers face many challenges in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Wages and job opportunities have grown slowly since the recovery began five years ago, while technology continues to change the nature of work. While many workers enjoy opportunities unimaginable a generation ago, many others feel the economy has left them behind. Policies that make employees more…

  • Commentary posted December 15, 2014 by James Sherk The Kentucky County That Builds the Corvette Is About to Become Right-to-Work

    The momentum for right-to-work measures at the local level across the country might be gaining steam: Kentucky’s Warren County, which includes the city of Bowling Green, just passed a local right-to-work ordinance. A 5–1 bipartisan majority of the county legislature voted to make union dues voluntary for private-sector workers. The measure comes up for a second and final…

  • Issue Brief posted December 12, 2014 by James Sherk Right-to-Work Laws: Myth vs. Fact

    Many states and local governments are considering right-to-work laws. These laws make union dues voluntary. Without them, union contracts make paying dues a condition of employment. While most Americans support the concept of right-to-work, unions argue strenuously against them. However, most of the arguments against right-to-work have little basis in fact. Myth:…

  • Issue Brief posted December 4, 2014 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., James Sherk Trade Adjustment Assistance: Let the Ineffective and Wasteful “Job-Training” Program Expire

    Members of Congress should be wary of reauthorizing the ineffective and wasteful Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program. Trade Adjustment Assistance should be considered on its own merits and not linked to legislative proposals, such as Trade Promotion Authority (TPA). Similarly, TPA should be evaluated independently based on its merits and not tied to unrelated…

  • Commentary posted November 10, 2014 by James Sherk Unions Spent Millions in 2014, and Came Up Empty

    Perhaps the biggest story of Tuesday night is the dog that barked but didn’t bite: the unions. Virtually every politician they targeted won. This was not expected. Midwest conservative politicians had passed a raft of recent labor reforms, and union leaders had threatened electoral retribution against them. But on election night, nothing happened. Consider: In 2011…

  • Commentary posted October 31, 2014 by James Sherk Why Right-to-Work Works

    When the Teamsters Union came knocking, Michael Romanchock refused to pony up the dues the union demanded. After all, he had worked nine months at his jobsite—a Pepsi bottling plant in Ebensburg, Pennsylvania—and didn’t even know it was unionized. Why pay for services you cannot notice? This May, union officials threatened to have him fired if he didn’t pay the dues,…

  • Commentary posted October 28, 2014 by James Sherk Why Has Wage Growth Stagnated?

    By many measures the labor market is improving smartly. The unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 percent in September—not far from the level many economists consider typical during normal economic conditions. The number of job vacancies has jumped almost one-fifth since the start of the year, while employers have created 2.6 million net new jobs over the last 12 months.…

  • Commentary posted September 8, 2014 by Andrew Kloster, James Sherk Why Your City or Town Could Be the Next Step for Right-to-Work

    Should workers have to pay union dues to keep their job? Unions think so — their contracts require companies to fire workers who do not pay up. Fortunately, many states have passed “right-to-work” (RTW) laws that prohibit this coercion. Unions, however, have blocked right-to-work in 26 states, but this doesn’t mean that unionized workers in these states must pay up. In…