Unions Improve Public Budgets and Increase Voter Turnout

Two January 2018 working papers find that unions have important social impacts in America. The first finds that union members individually contribute about $1,300 more per year to public budgets than non-union workers. The second finds that so-called “right-to-work” laws reduce voter turnout by 2-3 percentage points because working-class Americans are less likely to be contacted through union get-out-the-vote efforts. These studies have important policy implications. Continue reading “Unions Improve Public Budgets and Increase Voter Turnout”

8 of the 10 Most-Equal, Highest-Paying Occupations in Illinois Are in Construction

The majority of high-wage, low-inequality jobs in Illinois are in construction occupations, law enforcement careers, and firefighting positions. Politically-driven efforts to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law or to weaken public sector unions would decimate a majority of the middle-class occupations that remain for blue-collar workers in the state.

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Reducing Obesity Benefits the Economy

Obesity costs residents and taxpayers billions of dollars every year. Adult obesity alone costs Illinois $4.5 billion a year. To reduce adult obesity, Illinois should adopt policies that promote middle-class jobs, support high levels of education, advocate for a healthy lifestyle, and provide subsidies for healthy foods. These actions would have positive health, well-being, and economic benefits for the state. Continue reading “Reducing Obesity Benefits the Economy”