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Evidence suggests that moving away from seniority pay improves teacher quality

Public policy must deal with the world as it is, not as we would wish it to be. As in any profession, some teachers are better than others. We might wish that more effective teachers paid the same as less effective teachers would work just as hard, but theory, and new evidence from Wisconsin, suggest that this is not the case. If we want to get the best out of our teachers, we need a labor market structured to encourage that. ...

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Marriage, Military Service, Black Churches, and More Mundane Founts

In late June, the American Enterprise Institute released a study by three scholars which found “more than one-in-two black men (57%) have made it into the middle class or higher as adults, up from 38% in 1960, according to a new analysis of Census data.”  The researchers, W. Bradford Wilcox of the University of Virginia, Wendy R. Wang of the Institute for Family Studies, and Ronald B. Mincy of Columbia University, also found that the “share of black men who are poor has fallen from 41% in 1960 to 18 percent in 2016.” Surprisingly, this good news generated only one comment...

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Advocates of minimum wage hikes are living in a fantasy world

Advocates of minimum wage hikes all too often live in a fantasy world where employers are vast corporations whose owners and managers are swimming in piles of cash while paying their workers a pittance. The truth is very different and, as the example of Saint Paul shows, the people who would be hit hard would be smaller businesses. This is the reality. ...

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Prevailing wage laws freeze less skilled workers out of labor markets, just like minimum wage laws

The employment-participation rate for 16- to 19-year-olds in Minnesota fell from 69.8 percent in 2000 to 52.3 percent in 2016, a decline of 17.5 percentage points. Unemployment rates for black and Hispanic workers in Minnesota continue to be above those for whites. To a large extent, these are the results of policy decisions, such as prevailing and minimum wage laws. Politicians should stop scratching their heads wondering where these problems come from, and act to solve them. ...

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