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News Releases on Labor

November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009 | News Releases on Labor

Chao, Heritage Panel to Talk Up Free Market in Texas

WASHINGTON, NOV. 12, 2009--Former Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao will decry the government's harmful intrusion into the free enterprise system in a visit to Dallas on Friday, Nov. 20, for a keynote address to business and community leaders.

Chao's luncheon speech, titled "The Europeanization of America's Economy and Workforce," will follow a panel of other experts on the economy, labor and government regulation from The Heritage Foundation, the leading Washington think tank.

The panel discussion, "Rescuing Enterprise and Free Markets in America," is set for 10 a.m. at the Dallas/Plano Marriott Legacy Town Center, 7120 Dallas Pkwy. A reception at 11:30 will precede the noon luncheon featuring Chao.

"The Democratic Party's governing elite has long believed there is no problem that European-style policies cannot cure," Chao, now a Heritage distinguished fellow specializing in labor and workforce issues, wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal.

"This is why President Obama's agenda centers on vastly expanding entitlement programs," she added, while also "strengthening unions and increasing government control over the private sector."

The event's sponsor is the Dallas/Fort Worth Committee for Heritage, a group of civic leaders who support the think tank's conservative public policy solutions. Venture capitalist Danny Wettreich is chairman of the committee.

Panelists will include William Beach; director of Heritage's Center for Data Analysis; James Gattuso, senior research fellow in regulatory policy; and James Sherk, Bradley fellow in labor policy.

As President George W. Bush's secretary of labor, Chao revitalized worker protection records and presided over the first major regulatory update of the Family and Medical Leave Act in more than a decade.

Chao, who was born in Taiwan and came to America at age 8, is the first Asian-American woman in U.S. history ever appointed to a presidential Cabinet. She also is the longest-serving secretary of labor since World War II and the only member of the Bush Cabinet to serve through both terms. The former president lauded her "strong executive talent, compassion and commitment to helping people build better lives."

Tickets are $60 for non-members, $30 for members, $20 for students. Register online at For details, call Roger Whyte at 202-608-1524 or e-mail

The Heritage Foundation is the nation's most broadly supported public policy research institute, with more than 545,000 individual, foundation and corporate donors. Heritage, founded in February 1973, has a staff of 244 and an annual expense budget of more than $60 million.

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