• Heritage Action
  • More
  • Commentary posted May 27, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. The elusive magic of neighborhoods

    What determines where you live? Housing costs, family income, the quality of schools, length of commute all matter in our housing decisions. But there are overarching factors that are even more important: the people who compose your family and where you work. Have your first child? Get a divorce? Find a new job? You’re a strong candidate for a move. Families that move…

  • Commentary posted May 26, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. How L.A.’s Wage Hike Doesn’t Help the Poor

    The Los Angeles City Council has voted to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020, a move that will help some workers at the expense of others and lead to higher prices for consumers as businesses pass along the new expense. Occupational Employment Statistics estimates that there are 837,000 people in Los Angeles County working in professions where at least…

  • Commentary posted May 12, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. When Moving to a Better Neighborhood Is Harmful

    Would moving from a rough public-housing project in Baltimore to a middle-class neighborhood in the suburbs help teenagers? One would think so. After all, the projects are rife with unemployment, violence and drug abuse, and are poorly served by city schools and police. And research generally confirms that growing up in an average neighborhood is much better for poor…

  • Backgrounder posted May 11, 2015 by John L. Ligon, Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The Federal Housing Administration: What Record of Success?

    More than 80 years ago, Congress passed a series of laws that significantly expanded the federal government’s presence in the housing finance system. These federal programs have grown and contributed to an explosion of mortgage debt over the past few decades. Homeownership rates, however, have barely changed since the late 1960s. The long-term increase in mortgage debt…

  • Issue Brief posted May 7, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Can Changing Your Address Change Your Fortune?

    Two economic research papers published this month show that where children live can have an impact on their prospects for success later in life. Parents already know that—and it is why houses in good neighborhoods often cost three or four times as much as houses in bad neighborhoods. The new studies have garnered outsized attention,[1] but the results are neither as…

  • Issue Brief posted May 4, 2015 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Drew Gonshorowski Responding to King v. Burwell: Congress’s First Step Should Be to Remove Costly Mandates Driving Up Premiums

    The Supreme Court is expected to issue its decision in King v. Burwell before the end of June. Should the Court reject the Obama Administration’s regulatory interpretation of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) at issue in the case, the Treasury would be barred from paying health insurance subsidies to individuals who obtained coverage thorough Healthcare.gov,…

  • Issue Brief posted April 28, 2015 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., James Sherk, John Gray Trade Adjustment Assistance Enhancement Act: Budget Gimmicks and Expanding an Ineffective and Wasteful “Job-Training” Program

    On Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the Senate Committee on Finance reported out of committee the Trade Adjustment Assistance Enhancement Act of 2015. The bill was sponsored by Senators Susan Collins (R–ME) and Ron Wyden (D–OR). A day later, a companion bill (H.R. 1892), sponsored by Representatives Dave G. Reichert (R–WA), Tom Reed (R–NY), and Patrick Meehan (R–PA), was…

  • 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 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 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 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.…