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  • 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:…

  • Commentary posted December 5, 2014 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. How Many Social Programs Show Gold-Standard Evidence of Success? Almost None

    In a recent blog post, Brookings scholar Ron Haskins identifies five social programs as being highly effective and highlights the Obama administration’s “evidence based” policy efforts to fund effective federal social programs. Unfortunately, these five social programs — Career Academies, Nurse-Family Partnership, Carrera Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention Program, Success…

  • 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 December 3, 2014 by Rachel Greszler As the Pension Agency Falters, Who Gets Stuck With Bill?

    The latest annual report from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation makes for some very uncomfortable reading. The deficit in PBGC’s multi-employer program quintupled in 2014, soaring to $42.4 billion from “only” $8.3 billion in 2013. That massive deficit is problematic for millions of workers who now stand to receive mere pennies on the dollar in promised pension…

  • Testimony posted November 17, 2014 by David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Impacts of Carbon Taxes on the US Economy

    LEGISLATIVE TESTIMONY The Impacts of Carbon Taxes on the U.S. Economy Testimony before Committee on Finance United States Senate September 16, 2014 David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Research Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change The Heritage Foundation My name is David Kreutzer. I am Research Fellow in Energy Economics and Climate Change at The Heritage Foundation.…

  • Backgrounder posted November 13, 2014 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D., Nicolas Loris, David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. The Obama Administration’s Climate Agenda: Underestimated Costs and Exaggerated Benefits

    W‌hen his climate cap-and-trade bill was defeated in the Democrat-controlled Senate, President Barack Obama noted there were other ways of “skinning the cat.”[1] Now we know that his chosen way is an onslaught of mandates, regulations, and possibly taxes directed primarily by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The indicator…

  • 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.…

  • Backgrounder posted October 22, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Drew Gonshorowski Obamacare’s Enrollment Increase: Mainly Due to Medicaid Expansion

    W‌ith enrollment data now available for the second quarter ‌of 2014, it is possible to construct a complete picture of the changes in health insurance coverage that occurred during the initial implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as Obamacare. The data show that in the first half of 2014, private health insurance…

  • Commentary posted October 21, 2014 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. Studies Confirm: Death Penalties Deter Many Murders at Far Less Cost

    On September 17, Texas executed Lisa Coleman for murdering a 9-year-old child. Death penalty opponents argue that, even in the most heinous cases, executions are just too costly, and that society would do better to substitute life-without-parole sentences for lethal injections. Before examining the death penalty’s costs and benefits, though, let’s consider why Coleman…

  • Commentary posted October 8, 2014 by Rachel Greszler For the Economy’s Sake, it’s Time to Deep-Six the Death Tax

    Death and taxes are two of life’s certainties, but the tax on death itself should certainly be eliminated. A recent analysis by The Heritage Foundation’s Center for Data Analysis found that doing away with the federal death tax would provide a much-needed, long-lasting boost to the nation’s economy. Indeed, it would increase economic growth by $46 billion over the next 10…