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  • Solar Energy Embarrassingly Less Productive than Coal

    A map recently released by the Solar Foundation highlights the industry’s claim that 119,000 Americans are now employed in the solar industry. Its authors exclaim, “The United States solar industry employs more workers than coal mining.” What the map doesn’t touch on is whether solar energy is the most economical … More

    Keystone XL: Parallels to the Alaska Pipeline

    As the U.S. commemorates the 40th anniversary of passage of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline Authorization Act of 1973, it is worth remembering the challenges the project overcame and how they mirror the challenges facing the Keystone XL Pipeline today. An 800-mile engineering marvel, the Alaska Pipeline was completed in two years … 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

    U.S. Beating China in Race for Clean Skies

    A cloud of photochemical smog from China drifted into Japan this week. The story highlights the fact that air pollution in China is getting worse—despite lamentations that the “world is passing us by” in clean energy. That quote came from Steven Chu, President Obama’s then-Secretary of Energy, in 2009. Chu … 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

    Scholars Agree: High Tax Rates Do Harm Growth

    The Congressional Research Service (CRS) stirred controversy last year when it released a study claiming that tax rates do not influence economic growth. Predictably, those who favor higher taxes used the flimsy report to bolster their backward argument that raising tax rates, as Congress and President Obama did with the … More