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Employment

The Little-Discussed Policy That's a Major Problem for International Trade

The United States is in the midst of negotiating two groundbreaking free trade agreements. However, one major impediment to international trade is surprisingly absent from the conversation. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, requires all goods transported by water between U.S. ports to be carried on ships built in America, owned by citizens, and crewed by U.S. residents. While this Act may sound harmless, it has devastating effects on American consumers and domestic business investment.

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The next two years are sure to feature myriad claims that rising income inequality has hurt the middle class, necessitating liberal policies to pull down the top. Invariably, these claims convey overly negative impressions of how the middle class is doing, omit important contextual details, exaggerate the extent to which inequality has risen, or otherwise present an inaccurate case that inequality is the source of all our troubles. 

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How The Fed Can Bring About Higher Wages

Last Friday’s employment report provides further evidence of an accelerating economic recovery. More than 250,000 new jobs were created during December. Combined with upward revisions to previous months’ figures, that headline number brought total job gains for 2014 to almost 3 million. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate, which stood at 6.7 percent in December 2013, is now down to 5.6 percent—a sizeable and very welcome decline. 

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Nice Non-Work If You Can Get It

The Great Recession amplified the economic anxieties that Americans experience in good and bad times. It also focused policy and media attention on economic problems that predate the downturn by decades.

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To Make Welfare Work, Hand It To the States

Nearly $20 trillion has been spent since the War on Poverty began 50 years ago, and the poverty rate has barely declined. In a new paper published by the Manhattan Institute today, I suggest that giving states flexibility to design their own welfare programs would catalyze state-based reforms designed to shift people out of poverty and into the workforce. 

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Keystone XL and two other things that won’t happen in 2015

Columnists and bloggers are spewing lists of what will happen in 2015, what should happen in 2015 and what Congress’ priorities should be for 2015. It’s far easier to say what won’t happen in 2015.

We won’t spend hours watching the World Cup or the Olympics because they aren’t happening in 2015. Most of us won’t spend Tuesday, Nov. 3, waiting for election returns, although citizens of Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana will elect governors and state representatives, and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel will find out if he has won reelection

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Exemption from Minimum Wages Would Help Younger Workers

On New Year’s Day, some twenty-one states across America increased their minimum wages. While proponents of government wage-setting celebrated the increases, young people have reason to worry.

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NLRB Turns Government Into Kafka's Nightmare

In The Trial, written a century ago in 1914, Franz Kafka paints a portrait of an unimaginably oppressive government with secret laws and trials in which the individual is crushed. Today, in 2014, Kafka would not have to invent these circumstances. 

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Ohio Legislature Leads Charge in Battle Against Overcriminalization

In recent  years, states across the nation have seen an upsurge in the size and scope of their criminal codes, paired with an ever-growing labyrinth of rules and regulations that increasingly criminilize ordinary conduct. On Wednesday, Ohio lawmakers battled back against this alarming trend—dubbed “overcriminalization”—by unanimously passing an original piece of legislation to protect its innocent residents and small businesses from unknowing and accidental violations of criminal offenses.

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Federal Agency: Union Conducted Unfair Labor Practices Against Its Own Members

An independent federal agency has found that the National Treasury Employees Union conducted “unfair labor practices” against its own union members. The unfair treatment at NTEU is a symptom of the larger problem of union leaders working for their own benefits, rather than their members’. As union membership continues to decline, desperate union leaders will have to reevaluate the way they treat their members if they wish to stay relevant. 

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