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Podcast: “Right-to-Work” Regulations and Unions

Episode 3 of For A Living focuses on “right-to-work” laws. The podcast is available on iTunes and on SoundCloud.

What are so-called “right-to-work” laws? What is the historical background of these laws? What are their policy implications for the working class? Where are current political and legal battles occurring?

Professor Robert BrunoProfessor Emily E. LB Twarog, and I are joined by Dale Pierson, a Chicago-area labor lawyer who has served as General Counsel of the International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE) Local 150 since 2002, to answer these questions.

Thanks for listening!

Continue reading “Podcast: “Right-to-Work” Regulations and Unions”

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Nuclear Energy is the Foundation for a Clean Energy Future in Illinois

A thriving economy is dependent upon affordable, low-carbon energy.  As nuclear energy currently serves as a pillar of electricity production in Illinois and is emission-free, it should be looked upon to serve as the foundation of future clean energy.  A Policy Brief [PDF] by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute explores nuclear energy’s role in Illinois’ energy future.  State policymakers should carefully consider the path to reaching future emissions standards and the ramifications of nuclear plant retirements.  Continue reading “Nuclear Energy is the Foundation for a Clean Energy Future in Illinois”

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More Economists and Policy Experts in Illinois Support the Safe Roads Amendment than Oppose It

The first item that Illinois voters will see on the ballot on Tuesday is the Safe Roads Amendment. The Amendment would protect– or “lockbox”– all revenue contributed by drivers through motor fuel taxes, tollways, licenses, and vehicle registration fees and require that the money is used solely for transportation purposes.

I surveyed 110 of 578 economics and public policy academics at accredited universities and colleges in Illinois with publicly-available email addresses in August 2016. Among the many topics addressed, I presented the professors and instructors with the following question on the Safe Roads Amendment:  Continue reading “More Economists and Policy Experts in Illinois Support the Safe Roads Amendment than Oppose It”

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Survey Says: The Views of Top Economics & Policy Professors in Illinois

A new poll finds that Illinois’ top economics and policy professors strongly support infrastructure investment, public education, immigration, and international free trade agreements. The state’s economic and policy experts also marginally support labor unions and minimum wage laws, with most in favor of raising Illinois’ minimum wage. Finally, a significant majority do not think that politicians have a strong understanding of economic principles.  Continue reading “Survey Says: The Views of Top Economics & Policy Professors in Illinois”

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Prevailing Wage Is the Local Market Rate in Illinois

A new report from the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) finds no evidence for the assertion that prevailing wage “inflates” construction worker wages in Illinois. In fact, after analyzing counties along Illinois’ border, the report finds that a higher prevailing wage for operating engineers has no statistical impact on employment or turnover for men working in road construction. Instead, local market conditions are by far the primary drivers of public construction outcomes.  Continue reading “Prevailing Wage Is the Local Market Rate in Illinois”