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  • Kansas Legislators Take on the Teachers Unions

    Union contracts often pick winners and losers in the workplace. However, teachers unions may soon lose the power to pick losers—at least in Kansas. Legislators there are considering giving unionized teachers the option of negotiating for themselves. The pain of union control is illustrated by Bria Klotz, a former sixth-grade … More

    The Jobless Recovery Continues with High Unemployment

    At the height of the recession, one in 10 Americans who wanted to work could not find employment. Since then, the unemployment rate has gradually fallen. Typically, when the unemployment rate goes down, it’s because more people find jobs. In this recession, however, employment rates have been flat. In February, … More

    SKILLS Act Would Cut Duplication and Waste in Job Training Programs

    The federal government spends billions each year on job training programs. However, these programs are ineffective and waste billions on duplicative administrative expenses. A 2011 Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigation found: For fiscal year 2009, we identified 47 employment and training programs administered across nine agencies. Together, these programs spent … More

    Minimum Wage Benefits Suburban Teenagers, Not Single Parents

    President Obama argued in his State of the Union address that “no one who works full-time should have to live in poverty.” That is a noble goal, but it has little to do with the minimum wage rate. Only 2.9 percent of U.S. employees work for the federal minimum wage … More

    Hard to Justify Across-the-Board Federal Pay Raises

    The House just voted on a proposal to extend President Obama’s (misnamed) “federal pay freeze” for another year. While Congress has better ways of reducing excessive federal compensation, this approach beats handing out an across-the-board raise. Americans should not have to take a vow of poverty to work in government, … More

    A Simple and Wrong Answer to Poverty: Increasing the Minimum Wage

    During last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama proposed fighting poverty by raising the minimum wage. It sounds appealing but it will not work. Labor economists have repeatedly studied the effects of minimum wage increases. They find no correlation between higher minimum wages and lower poverty. Raising the … More

    Union Head Convicted, Showing Need for Union Transparency

    Last week, the government convicted Tyrone Freeman, president of SEIU Local 6434 in Los Angeles, of 14 counts of illegally diverting union dues into his own pockets. His conviction illustrates the need for union financial transparency. However, the Obama Administration has steadily rolled back union transparency requirements. Freeman’s former local … More

    Labor Department Incorrectly Calculates Davis–Bacon Wage Requirements

    Should government agencies use the best information possible? For more than 80 years, the Labor Department has answered that question in the negative. The Davis–Bacon Act (DBA) of 1931 requires federal construction contractors to pay their workers at least the “prevailing wage” in their locality. The Act charges the Labor … More

    Time for More Accountability for Unions—and the Department of Labor

    Labor Secretary Hilda Solis resigned on January 22. It would be beneficial if President Obama’s next Labor Secretary would do more to protect workers from union corruption. An Office of Inspector General (OIG) audit released last year finds that the Office of Labor Management Standards (OLMS) is missing most violations … More

    Right-to-Work Gives Michigan Workers a Choice

    Conservatives won an enormous victory in Michigan last week. The state just passed a right-to-work law that makes union dues voluntary. Starting next year, union contracts cannot require employers to fire employees who do not pay union dues. The state that gave birth to the United Auto Workers union has … More