Economist Morgan O. Reynolds (former chief economist at the U.S. Department of Labor and a professor emeritus of economics at Texas A&M University) on labor unions in the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics: Although labor unions have been celebrated in folk songs and stories as fearless champions of the downtrodden working man, this is not how economists … Continue reading Sunday Morning Quotation – May Day Edition
At The Monkey Cage, Andrew Gelman takes issue with my post on union density and tax collections by state. I argued that states with higher percentages of workers covered by collective-bargaining contracts have higher tax collections as a percentage of personal income, and that the relationship is probably causal. Gelman argues that it is inappropriate … Continue reading Unionization and Taxes, Part Two
One of the purposes of "right to work" legislation, currently being debated in Indiana, New Hampshire, and other states, is to reduce the percentage of the workforce covered by collective bargaining agreements. Leaving aside the ethics of collective bargaining as practiced in the U.S. today, what are the political and economic consequences? Since unions donate … Continue reading More Unionized States Have Higher Taxes
David French writes of what he calls "Entitlement Derangement Syndrome," which he thinks is motivating what we're seeing in Wisconsin---namely, aggressive protesting over benefits and pensions, as if we had some kind of natural right to them. He likens the Wisconsin protesting to what went on in France last October when they wanted to raise the retirement … Continue reading “Entitlement Derangement Syndrome”
The only way to reduce market inequalities through public policy is to adopt reforms that increase the productivity of the least well off, not by mandating changes in private business' wage schedules. The sooner progressives face this fact, the better off we'll all be.
In an era when many Republicans are trying to gain political traction by complaining that Democrats want to cut Medicare, it warms my soul to see a blue-state Republican, Gov. Chris Christie, actually making inroads into fixing the financial chaos of one of our great states. Like California, New York and other problematic states, New … Continue reading An Oversized Hero
So, I've often wondered what is the biggest problem with public education today. Is it something philosophical --like they are teaching kids to love the welfare state? Or perhaps it is financial--maybe insufficient resources, or poor allocation of resources? Or maybe institutional--a number of problems related to bloated educational bureaucracies, to excess regulation, to heavy-handed … Continue reading Ya’ Think?