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  • Backgrounder posted July 28, 2014 by Edmund F. Haislmaier, Drew Gonshorowski New Obamacare Enrollment Data: Employer-Based Coverage Declines

    The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a series of monthly reports on exchange performance during the initial open enrollment period (October 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014) for the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly known as Obamacare. However, the data HHS provided are insufficient for determining either the number of…

  • Commentary posted July 17, 2014 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D. New Brookings Report on Government Failures Ignores Failed Social Programs

    A new Brookings Institution report, “A Cascade of Failures,” by Paul C. Light concludes that the failures of the federal government are accelerating. As the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of the federal government continually expand the power and responsibilities of the federal government beyond its core constitutional functions, none of the failures…

  • Testimony posted July 15, 2014 by James Sherk What Do Workers Want? Union Spending Does Not Reflect Member Priorities

    Testimony before State Government Committee Pennsylvania House of Representatives Chairman Metcalfe and Members of the State Government Committee, thank you for inviting me to testify this afternoon. My name is James Sherk. I am a Senior Policy Analyst in Labor Economics at The Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own, and should not be…

  • Testimony posted June 27, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Reducing the Challenges Women Face in Retirement Through Economic Growth and Savings Reforms

    Testimony Before the Joint Economic Committee United States Congress I am Rachel Greszler, Senior Policy Analyst in Economics and Entitlements in the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Vice-Chair Klobuchar,…

  • Backgrounder posted June 18, 2014 by John L. Ligon, Norbert Michel Why Is Federal Housing Policy Fixated on 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgages?

    Robust mortgage financing exists in virtually every developed nation in the world without the degree of government involvement found in the U.S. While the U.S. homeownership rate is about average among developed nations, U.S. citizens typically pay among the highest interest rates in the industrialized world. Still, many groups argue that eliminating the…

  • Testimony posted June 18, 2014 by Rachel Greszler Empowerment in the Workplace

    Testimony Before the Joint Economic Committee United States Congress I am Rachel Greszler, Senior Policy Analyst in Economics and Entitlements in the Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation. The views I express in this testimony are my own and should not be construed as representing any official position of The Heritage Foundation. Vice-Chair Klobuchar,…

  • Issue Brief posted June 13, 2014 by David B. Muhlhausen, Ph.D., James Sherk Job-Training Reform: Finding Out What Works

    Last month, congressional negotiators reached a bipartisan deal to reauthorize Department of Labor (DOL) job-training programs. Overall, the compromised legislation, the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), continues the funding of federal job-training programs that have a long history of failure based upon the results of large-scale experimental…

  • Backgrounder posted June 12, 2014 by Filip Jolevski, James Sherk Shrinking Workweeks: A Sign of Unequal Recovery from the Great Recession

    Five years after the end of the Great Recession, the labor market remains weak. In May 2014, the unemployment rate stood at 6.3 percent, matching the highest rate following the 2001 recession. Labor force participation has fallen to levels not seen since the Carter Administration, when far fewer women worked outside the home than do today. Policymakers and the media have…

  • Commentary posted June 12, 2014 by James Sherk Shorter Work Weeks: the New Normal?

    Marsadeise Barginere, a food service worker in Cleveland, has had her hours cut from full-time to part-time. She's not alone. Luke Perfect "barely scrape(s) by" at his job in a Subway in Maine. Nonetheless his employer will also put him on part-time status once Obamacare takes effect. Workers all across America have seen their hours cut. Just search for "work hours cut"…

  • Backgrounder posted June 9, 2014 by Salim Furth, Ph.D. Stimulus or Austerity? Fiscal Policy in the Great Recession and European Debt Crisis

    The Great Recession of 2008–2009 and the European debt crisis of 2010–2012 were the greatest interruption in economic growth since the Second World War. A debate has raged since the recession began between economists who believe that government spending is the problem and those who believe it is the solution. Available data show neither a uniform European “age of…

  • Special Report posted June 6, 2014 by Alberto Alesina, Ph.D., Romina Boccia, Ryan Bourne, Salim Furth, Ph.D., David Howden, Ph.D., Filip Jolevski, Miguel Marin, Matthew Melchiorre, Derrick Morgan, Dalibor Rohac, Veronique de Rugy Europe’s Fiscal Crisis Revealed: An In-Depth Analysis of Spending, Austerity, and Growth

    About the Authors Alberto Alesina, PhD, is Nathaniel Ropes Professor of Political Economy at Harvard University. He is also a member of the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Economic Policy Research, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the Econometric Society. Romina Boccia is Grover M. Hermann Fellow in Federal Budgetary Affairs in the…

  • Issue Brief posted May 22, 2014 by Rachel Greszler, James Sherk Equal Pay for Equal Work: Examining the Gender Gap

    The White House and many in Congress argue that employers pay women less than men for the same work. They point to figures showing that women earn 77 cents for each dollar men earn.[1] Such statistics ignore other factors that influence pay. Education, choice of industry and occupation, hours worked, experience, and career interruptions all affect the productivity—and…

  • Issue Brief posted May 12, 2014 by James Sherk Citizen Approval of Government Pay: Require Public Ratification of Union Contracts

    Many state and local governments face severe financial problems, driven in part by rising compensation costs of state and local government workers. Union political influence enables them to co-opt the collective bargaining process. When they negotiate with politicians elected with their help, unions can control both sides of the bargaining table to the detriment of the…

  • Commentary posted May 2, 2014 by James Sherk Want to help workers? Reinvent the union

    United Food and Commercial Workers Local 23 members probably didn't expect their union to fight in court to cut their pay. But in 2011, the local did exactly that to some employees at the Giant Eagle grocery store in Edinboro, Pa. Giant Eagle’s management wanted to reward the hard work of two dozen employees. So it gave them raises above and beyond their union rates. The…

  • Commentary posted April 30, 2014 by Kevin Dayaratna, David W. Kreutzer, Ph.D. Test-Driving the EPA's Carbon Models

    When you switch on the kitchen light tonight, how will it affect Captain James T. Kirk and the intrepid crew of the Starship Enterprise? Captain Kirk is a fictional character, of course, but the question -- thanks to the EPA -- is all too real. The agency calls it the "Social Cost of Carbon." In the SCC they claim to have an estimate, measured in dollars per ton of CO2,…