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  • Commentary posted April 24, 2015 by James Sherk Labor Reforms Sweep the Midwest

    Labor unions have traditionally been the 800-pound gorilla of special-interest groups. They have secured handouts and subsidies that other organizations’ lobbyists could only dream about. But that may be changing. This year a raft of Midwestern states have scaled back some of organized labor’s special privileges. States are starting to treat unions no differently from…

  • Issue Brief posted April 23, 2015 by Jamie Bryan Hall The Research on Same-Sex Parenting: “No Differences” No More

    In its 2004 endorsement of what is commonly referred to as the “no differences” theory, the American Psychological Association (APA) declared that “there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their…

  • Testimony posted April 22, 2015 by James Sherk How Collective Bargaining Affects Government Compensation and Total Spending

    Testimony before Committee on Government Affairs Nevada Assembly April 7, 2015 James Sherk Research Fellow in Labor Economics The Heritage Foundation Chairman Ellison and Members of the Government Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify. My name is James Sherk. I am a Research Fellow in Labor Economics at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in…

  • Commentary posted April 14, 2015 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Nebraska: The latest proxy battleground for the war on affordable energy

    I had the privilege of serving as mayor in the small, Shenandoah Valley town where my wife and I raised our children. So, I am keenly aware of concerns about powerful out-of-state or out-of-area interests trying to take advantage of a rural population. The Nebraskan battles over the KXL Pipeline and the Terex injection well may be cases of the private-jet set using those…

  • Commentary posted April 14, 2015 by James Sherk The Labor Story the Media Is Missing: Local Right-to-Work Laws Are Spreading

    Last month Wisconsin made national headlines by becoming the 25th right-to-work state. But there’s another equally significant development in workers’ rights that has largely escaped media attention: the rapid flowering of local right-to-work laws in Kentucky. As of December 1, 2014, no local governments anywhere in the U.S. prohibited forced union dues. Now a dozen…

  • Commentary posted March 30, 2015 by James Sherk Choice provided by right-to-work will help Wisconsin's union members

    Many wonder how right-to-work laws will affect Wisconsin. To see how, consider another question: Do monopolies help or hurt customers? Until now, unions have had a monopoly in many Wisconsin workplaces. They didn't have to persuade workers to purchase their services; they could force them to. Anyone who didn't pay dues — averaging about $700 a year — lost his or her…

  • Backgrounder posted March 26, 2015 by Rachel Greszler, Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D. Time to End the Federal Subsidy for High-Tax States

    Under federal tax law, individuals may deduct the income and property taxes that they pay to their state and local governments. In recent years, individuals have been allowed to choose between deducting their income tax or sales taxes.[1] Because federal tax deductions effectively spread the costs of these deductions across all taxpayers in the form of higher federal tax…

  • Commentary posted March 25, 2015 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Congress should know whether programs work; right now, it doesn’t

    Last week, the House Budget Committee proposed spending almost $3.8 trillion in Fiscal Year 2016 — one-fifth of the country’s total economic output. Yet much of that huge amount will be spent with little regard to efficiency and accountability. The sad truth is that, for many federal programs, we have no way of knowing whether they are working well, poorly or not at all.…

  • Issue Brief posted March 20, 2015 by Drew Gonshorowski 2015 ACA-Exchange-Premiums Update: Premiums Still Rising

    Health care premiums are continuing to rise in 2015. While the pace of change has slowed since the dramatic increases of 2014, the savings promised under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have still not materialized. Measuring changes in premiums is an important element in understanding the impact of the ACA. In previous analysis, The Heritage Foundation determined that the…

  • Testimony posted March 17, 2015 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Evidence-Based Policymaking: An Idea Whose Time Has Come

    Testimony before the Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Human Resources United States House of Representatives March 17, 2015 David B. Muhlhausen, PhD Research Fellow in Empirical Policy Analysis The Heritage Foundation My name is David Muhlhausen. I am a Research Fellow in Empirical Policy Analysis in the Center for Data Analysis at The…

  • Commentary posted March 11, 2015 by James Sherk Walker Scores another Win for Wisconsin Workers

    Wisconsin governor Scott Walker made history today: His signature made Wisconsin a right-to-work state. This marks symbolic and substantive milestones. Symbolically, half the country now guarantees voluntary union dues. Substantively, Walker has helped demonstrate that right-to-work is a political asset, not a liability. Until today, unions could force workers to pay…

  • Backgrounder posted March 11, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Stagnant Wages: Fact or Fiction?

    Recent data show that wages have been growing recently at rates comparable to their long-term trends. Measuring average wages accurately is more difficult than it sounds, so this paper looks at six metrics of wage and compensation to present a complete picture. Since the beginning of 2013, wages have grown about 0.9 percent per year. Since 2006 (and thus including the…

  • Issue Brief posted March 9, 2015 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. A Commission on Evidence-Based Policymaking: A Step in the Right Direction

    The effectiveness of federal programs is often unknown. Many programs operate for decades without ever undergoing thorough scientific evaluations. One such example is Head Start, the pre-K education program for disadvantaged children. A large-scale evaluation using random assignment demonstrated that almost all the benefits of the program disappear by kindergarten.[1]…

  • Commentary posted March 3, 2015 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. President Barack Obama's plan to kill jobs

    Any Wisconsinites starting to wonder whether they are living through The Long Winter as described by Laura Ingalls Wilder, will find no comfort in President Barack Obama's plans to cut the use of our most affordable and reliable sources of energy. Though we may not be relegated to heating our homes by burning twisted bundles of straw, the president's plans to restrict use…

  • Commentary posted March 3, 2015 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Australia’s wind-power market deflates

    If you are sailing miles from shore and come upon the rusted prows of sunken ships, you can be sure that water is not that deep and it would be a good idea to change course. Australia is just the latest ship’s prow to warn us away from the treacherous path of green-energy mandates, taxes, and subsidies. Among the others have been Germany, Spain, and Italy. Earlier this…