A $10.10 Minimum Wage is Historically Unprecedented
You would hardly know it from the news coverage, but America has a historically high minimum wage. At the Heritage Foundation we just put out a report looking at how the minimum wage has changed over time. It currently stands ...
Infrastructure Spending Will Employ Few Unemployed Workers
President Obama has an answer to our sluggish economy: more infrastructure spending. He proposes creating jobs by spending billions more on infrastructure. Sadly this idea only illustrates H. L. Mencken’s point that “for every complex problem there is an ...
Why No Protections for Union Whistleblowers?
The Senate will soon vote on the nomination of Richard Griffin as General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NRLB). If confirmed, Griffin would become the first active defendant in a RICO suit to serve as General Counsel. Credible ...
Government Should Do a Few Things and Do Them Well
Matthew Yglesias should know better.
Yglesias is an intelligent liberal whose writings on occupational licensing and regulatory capture are hard to top. However, as Reihan Salam noted, Yglesias badly misunderstood conservative thinking when he recently opined that the Right would ...
Raising the Minimum Wage: Bad Ideas Have Consequences
Liberals argue that raising the minimum wage boosts the economy without costing jobs. To which conservatives often respond: then why not really hike it and see what happens?
Venture capitalist Nick Hanauer appears to have taken this rhetorical point literally. ...
Contra Ezra Klein, Unions Spend Plenty on Politics
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein recently lamented that America has “a deeply unbalanced political system.” He highlighted a chart showing that business owners and employees donate billions to politicians, while unions give only a few tens of millions. True ...
Unions vs. Self-Employed Day-Care Providers
As union membership has fallen, union organizers have become increasingly aggressive. They have now turned to organizing recipients of government benefits — an unwelcome shock for many needy families.
In Michigan, for example, Medicaid reimburses people who care for their disabled ...
Union Membership Falls — Again
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday that unions lost 400,000 members in 2012. Union membership fell from 11.8 to 11.3 percent of all workers — a new post-war low. A smaller proportion of Americans belong to unions today than when President Roosevelt signed the ...
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 ...
The Case of the Missing Jobs
Sherlock Holmes once famously remarked that “once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.” The Washington Post’s WonkBlog appears to have read this as “if you eliminate a few possible reasons for ...
Things Are Seldom What They Seem
On the surface, today’s employment report appears modestly encouraging: Unemployment fell 0.1 percentage point to 7.3 percent. However, appearances can be deceiving. Unemployment fell only because people who are not looking for work don’t count as unemployed.
In August, the ...
Unions and Government Should Not Mix: A California Case Study
If you had a bad rush hour this week, it could be worse: You could be commuting in San Francisco, where the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) strike has shut down public transit.
Epic gridlock has ensued as 400,000 mass transit ...
The Labor Market Isn’t Going Anywhere
Running in place. That is the best description of today’s employment report. The payroll survey reported employers’ adding a net 175,000 new jobs. Over the past year, employment growth has averaged 172,000 jobs a month. Job growth has barely improved. The ...
Unions Object to Preventing 'Free-loaders' in Michigan
Unions have become quite inconsistent in their opposition to Michigan’s new right-to-work law. The legislation, which took effect last week, prevents unions from making their dues a condition of employment. Unions loudly objected that this forces them to ...
Krugman and Inequality of Free Time
Are things really getting better all the time? Many liberals (and some conservatives) believe the economy has stagnated over the past generation. They contend middle-class living standards have improved little since the early 1970s. Last week Matthew Yglesias made a ...
Why Unionized Manufacturing Jobs Haven't Returned
The Washington Post published an article yesterday analyzing a little-noticed fact about the manufacturing recovery: It is occurring almost entirely in non-union firms. (Full disclosure: I helped the Post with analyzing some of the BLS data that informed the report.)