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  • Commentary posted December 12, 2013 by James Sherk How Autoworkers Became More Equal Than Others

    The Treasury Department has sold the last of its stock in General Motors Co. Even though taxpayers lost $15 billion on the auto bailout (including losses at Chrysler Group LLC and Ally Financial Inc., which offers financing for GM vehicles), the Barack Obama administration put out a statement taking credit for its handling of tax dollars and the Detroit automakers’…

  • Commentary posted December 11, 2013 by Rea S. Hederman, Jr. Paying Tomorrow for Hamburgers Today

    The new budget deal is disappointing to conservatives and believers in a limited government that manages its finances. Earlier during the negotiations, my colleagues and I at the Heritage Foundation warned that sacrificing short-term budget constraint for savings that would occur in the long-term future is a dubious proposition. Budget historians know that previous…

  • Commentary posted December 6, 2013 by James Sherk Obama’s Pay and Productivity Misconception

    In his economic address Wednesday, President Obama lamented, “since 1979, when I graduated from high school, our productivity is up by more than 90 percent, but the income of the typical family has increased by less than 8 percent.” In other words, the link between pay and productivity has been shattered. This would be appalling if it were true — but it is not. This…

  • Commentary posted November 20, 2013 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D., John L. Ligon Why are Fannie and Freddie funding advocacy?

    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have been in federal conservatorship since 2008. Should these government-sponsored housing enterprises — essentially broke — still be required to spend taxpayer money to fund activities of housing advocacy groups? Five years ago, Congress left this question unanswered, but Ed DeMarco, the acting head of the enterprises’ regulator, took the…

  • Commentary posted November 18, 2013 by Daren Bakst FDA’s proposed trans fat ban is a power grab to control lives

    The Food and Drug Administration has taken the first step to ban trans fat. In so doing, it also took the first step to drastically undermine the integrity of the agency. Instead of protecting Americans from unreasonable risks, the agency has effectively decided to change its mission to nutrition activist. In its own announcements regarding the proposed ban, the…

  • Commentary posted September 26, 2013 by Donald Schneider We Know What the U.S. Needs

    International comparisons of economic mobility are tricky. They presume that mobility is a function of opportunity and merit. But “immobility” can arise from a variety of factors. For example, social rigidities more commonly associated with developing economies — where economic success can depend on traits like bloodline or religion — can produce intergenerational…

  • Commentary posted September 15, 2013 by Norbert J. Michel, Ph.D. The real reason for the 2008 financial collapse

    Sept. 15 marks the five-year anniversary of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, the supposed spark that set off the financial crisis of 2008. Conventional wisdom holds that it was the federal government's decision against bailing out this investment bank that froze credit markets and sent the economy into the "great recession." A Wall Street Journal story about the Lehman…

  • Commentary posted September 2, 2013 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. Entrepreneurs: Spark plugs in a free-market economy

    Blockbuster businesses start with an idea and an eagerness to work. Back at work after the Labor Day holiday? Thank an entrepreneur. Capitalism cannot exist without entrepreneurs, the men and women who take the risks and start the businesses that produce the goods and services we all enjoy. Almost every entrepreneurial business begins with one or two individuals,…

  • Commentary posted September 2, 2013 by James Sherk Unions need to reinvent themselves

    Conservatives often criticize unions for being out of touch. Now even the president of the AFL-CIO agrees. In a speech earlier this year Richard Trumka acknowledged unions are "failing to meet the needs of America's workers by every critical measure." Unfortunately his proposed "solutions" appear unlikely to succeed. The AFL-CIO first tried getting rid of secret…

  • Commentary posted August 21, 2013 by Daren Bakst ObamaCare and the Food Police

    Chain restaurants and their customers will soon feel the pinch of an expensive ObamaCare requirement that has been flying under the radar until now.  ObamaCare mandates that "restaurants and similar retail food establishments" print nutritional information on their menus. The restaurant industry is extremely competitive. If consumers demand menu labeling, restaurants…

  • Commentary posted August 5, 2013 by Alison Acosta Fraser Detroit Bailout Would Reward Bad Decisions

    I had just gotten to work one December morning in 1994 when my boss called an urgent, unscheduled meeting to announce we were filing for bankruptcy. Orange County, Calif., had just initiated what was then the largest municipal bankruptcy in the nation. Most of the taxpayers and workers in this large and prosperous county didn’t see it coming. Fast forward almost 20 years…

  • Commentary posted August 2, 2013 by James M. Roberts Brazil’s Economic Woes Show Limits of State Meddling

    Brazilians are angry. President Dilma Rousseff's government is spending billions on beautiful new stadiums — and it’s all about image. And when billions of viewers tune in to the 2014 soccer World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Ms. Rousseff wants them to see what appears to be a First World country. But that’s not what Brazil’s middle class sees when they look out…

  • Commentary posted July 31, 2013 by Edwin J. Feulner, Ph.D. It’s a Bankruptcy, Not a Bailout

    Washington would send the wrong message by rescuing Detroit from Detroit. Picture two gamblers. Both of them head to Atlantic City one weekend, bet irresponsibly and rack up some big losses at the gambling tables. One has his debt wiped off the books by an inexplicably forgiving casino owner. The other has to go into debt to cover his losses. Many months later, though,…

  • Commentary posted July 31, 2013 by Israel Ortega Hispanic Economic Mobility Through Community, Not Government

    If there’s one thing on which America’s conservative and progressive policy wonks can agree, it’s that education is key to an individual’s ability to climb the socioeconomic ladder. This bipartisanship extends to the Hispanic community and has been boosted by promotional or public service campaigns. What’s more, public opinion polls confirm that the majority of the…

  • Commentary posted July 30, 2013 by Diane Katz Damaging Dodd-Frank is Making Things Worse

    It’s been three years since the passage of Dodd-Frank, Washington’s response to the housing market collapse, the failure of major financial firms, and the resulting shock to the economy in 2008. Are Americans better off today because of it? Predictably enough, no. Dozens of rulemakings have been completed, but a backlog of hundreds more is prolonging regulatory…