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  • Backgrounder posted July 2, 2015 by James Sherk Salaried Overtime Requirements: Employers Will Offset Them with Lower Pay

    The Obama Administration has announced plans to require overtime pay for salaried employees who earn less than $50,440 a year. Economic research shows that employers will offset new overtime costs by lowering base salaries. As a result, these regulations will have little effect on total weekly earnings or hours worked. They will require employers to rigidly monitor…

  • 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,…

  • Testimony posted June 25, 2015 by Kevin D. Dayaratna, Ph.D. The Economic Impact of the Clean Power Plan

    Testimony before the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology June 24, 2015 Kevin D. Dayaratna, PhD Senior Statistician and Research Programmer The Heritage Foundation Chairman Smith and Members of the Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify. My name is Kevin Dayaratna. I am the Senior Statistician and Research Programmer at The Heritage Foundation. The views…

  • Commentary posted June 18, 2015 by James Sherk How The Left Uses Deceptive Minimum-Wage Data

    Does the U.S.-Canadian speed gap bother you? Americans can drive no faster than 65 on Massachusetts highways. Meanwhile Canadian motorists zip along at speeds of up to 100. Congress should close this inequitable speed gap! This argument sounds ridiculous, because it is. Canadians measure speed in kilometers per hour, not miles per hour. Moreover, many states have higher…

  • Commentary posted June 16, 2015 by James Sherk Union work on taxpayers' dime

    In 1976, Jerry Jordan began his career teaching Spanish in Philadelphia public schools. A decade later, Jordan left the classroom to work full time for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. He is now the union's president, negotiating with public officials for union members' wages and benefits - but there's one big problem. Nearly 30 years after Jordan graded his last…

  • Commentary posted June 8, 2015 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. 4 Ways Bad Economics Journalism Happens

    Science journalism recently took two huge hits, resulting in two major retractions. One article, which made national headlines upon initial publication, was revealed as an apparent fraud perpetrated by graduate student Mike LaCour. The other, a hoax and media experiment cooked up by John Bohannon, confirmed that even a sketchy result by a fictional professor in a…

  • 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…