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Employment

This weekend, after boozy Super Bowl parties, people will have more options to get home safely because of rideshare companies such as Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar. A new report issued by Uber and Mothers Against Drunk Driving shows that booming ridesharing services are not just convenient and affordable—they are lifesavers. Opponents of ridesharing will now have a more difficult time claiming that it puts the public at risk. 

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Another (Over-) Dramatic Portrayal of the Rise in Income Inequality

Berkeley economist Emmanuel Saez has published his latest estimates on income concentration in the United States, extending a series he has produced with Thomas Piketty. He concludes that the top 1 percent captured 91 percent of the income gains from 2009 to 2012. These types of results are some of the most popular depictions of inequality trends, but it is not clear that they are saying what people think they are.

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Minimum Wage Advocates Should Support School Choice

During National School Choice Week groups from all over the country are showcasing the many benefits of school choice.  But the vast coalition of politicians and organized labor who are pushing for an increase in the federal hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 or $15.00 are silent.  

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Why Uber is Booming

A recent report released by Uber sheds some much-needed light on those who drive for the technology company, and why they choose to do so. Its findings add some empirical evidence to the bitter debate over ridesharing’s effect on the economy, and put opponents of the new technology on the defensive.

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Limiting Uber’s Surge During Juno Makes Bad Situation Worse

As Storm Juno bears down on the Northeast, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is taking a strong stand against price gouging. One company that the Attorney General will not have to worry about is Uber. The AG’s office came to an agreement to cap the company’s “surge pricing” during emergencies and natural disasters. Though the agreement may help Uber in terms of public relations, it will harm New Yorkers when they need the ridesharing service the most. 

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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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