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Policy Paper

 

Policy Paper

 

To promote public interest, state government should break up teacher union monopolies; An idea as old as the Boston Tea Party

BOSTON – The education of children, long considered vital to democracy and self-rule, is subject to a union monopoly for which there is no justification. This is the major thesis of a new paper released today by the Beacon Hill Institute and the Tuerck Foundation entitled, A Monopoly Against Our Children: Teachers Unions vs. American Ideals.

Drawing upon the antipathy the original Boston Tea Partiers held toward monopolies that curbed competition and surveying the history of public schooling in Massachusetts, author Cornelius Chapman forcefully argues that no justification exists for the purchase of educational services from one private group. Since the nation’s founding, state and local governments, as single-buyers, carefully established monopolies for public goods such as toll roads or liquor cartels. Such efforts to curb competition could be justified on efficiency grounds, expediting road traffic or curbing externalities from alcohol consumption. A monopoly over public education, on the other hand cannot be justified on such grounds because other entities – such a private and charter schools -- can provide services. Read more.

Press Release (PDF)
Complete Study (PDF)


Regulatory Studies

Real estate licensing rules do little to improve quality while restricting market competition to benefit full-time realtors

BOSTON - (February 1, 2012). The introduction of a continuing education requirement for a real estate agent in Massachusetts more than a decade ago did not improve the quality of service but rather limited the number of realtors according to a recent study by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University. Like most occupational licensing rules, the continuing education mandate limited the number of professionals and, in turn, hurt the consumer while enriching full-time realtors.

The study found that the requirement decreased the number of real estate agents by 58%. The requirement pushed part-time real estate agents out of the market, leaving more business for the remaining full-time agents. Those agents who remained in the market saw their incomes increase by 17%.

In 1999, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors urged the legislature to require all real estate agents to complete 12 hours of continuing education classes every two years as a condition for license renewal. Agents who failed to take the classes were placed on in-active lists and allowed only to make referrals to licensed agents. More.

Press Release (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
Complete Study (PDF)


 

State Competitiveness Project

Back on top, Massachusetts ranks first in BHI measure of economic growth and income

BOSTON - (March 6, 2012) Massachusetts regained the top spot on the 11th Annual Beacon Hill Institute’s State Competitiveness Report. Last year the Bay State ranked third behind Colorado and North Dakota, which finished first last year. Longstanding strengths in human resources, technology and openness buoyed Massachusetts.

The BHI competitiveness index is based on a set of 44 indicators divided into eight
sub-indexes – government and fiscal policy, security, infrastructure, human resources, technology, business incubation, openness, and environmental policy. The breadth of the BHI index distinguishes it from more narrowly-focused measures of competitiveness that target only taxes, high tech, or economic freedom.

Massachusetts continues to show real strengths in its human resources (particularly with its top-scoring student achievement), technology (with its large base of scientists and engineers and high-tech employment) and business incubation, where Massachusetts draws the top ranking in terms of venture capital per capita. The state ranked first with the fewest number of residents going without health insurance. It is a favorite destination of National Institutes of Health grant money. Read More

Complete Report

Press release with 50-state rankings


 

Tax Policy

BHI on the Federal Enterprise Value Tax on Investments

(BOSTON, MA) A proposed federal Enterprise Value Tax will double taxes on business partnerships in Massachusetts, adding $611 million to the state’s federal tax burden. As a result of the tax, the state will lose 5,400 jobs, $9.5 million in investment and $673 million in disposable income.

This is the finding of a new study, The Enterprise Value Tax: What it Means for the Massachusetts Economy, published today by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University and sponsored by the Massachusetts Chamber of Commerce.

The President’s Plan for Economic Growth and Deficit Reduction to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction contains a provision that would tax, as ordinary income rather than capital gains, the net proceeds fromthe sale of what is deemed an “investment services partnership interest”(ISPI). An ISPI is any interest in an investment partnership that is acquired by a person as a result of activities involving the purchase and sale of certain “specified assets,” defined to include partnership interests, securities and real estate holdings. More

Press Release (PDF)
Complete Study (PDF)


Health Care Reform and the Economy

BHI Study (IV): Massachusetts health care law fails to promote consumer choice, tax equity and portability; Other states offer lessons for Bay State on Medicaid

BOSTON – Having failed to curb insurance costs in the Commonwealth, Chapter 58, the Massachusetts universal health care law, should turn to more market-oriented policies such as Health Savings Accounts and tax credits according to a new paper by the Beacon Hill Institute. The Institute also recommends that the state not voluntarily expand Medicaid under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

BHI reviewed several consumer driven policies from others states. These include establishing Health Savings Accounts (Indiana and Georgia), eliminating the tax bias in favor of employer sponsored health plans (Missouri) and reforming guaranteed issue and community rating (Maine). The paper entitled Lessons for Massachusetts from State Health Care Reforms in Other States: What Chapter 58 Missed also suggested that following Medicaid Reform in Florida and tort reform along the lines of Mississippi and Texas. More

Complete Study (PDF)
Press Release (PDF)

BHI Study (III): Massachusetts health care reform mandates invited gaming, costing taxpayers and ratepayers millions

(BOSTON, MA) Approximately 2,600 individuals in Massachusetts “gamed” the individual mandate at an estimated cost to insurance carriers of between $29.3 million and $37.3 million. This is one of the findings of a new report from the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University, entitled, “The Massachusetts Health Care Reform Mandates: The Gaming Gamble.”

The study also found that the private insurance market only grew modestly and not enough to enroll all the newly-insured residents, suggesting that businesses may be dropping or declining coverage to offer insurance to their workers. More

Complete Study (PDF)

Press Release (PDF)

BHI Study (II):Massachusetts Health Care Reform stunts job growth and investment

(BOSTON, MA -September 15, 2011) The landmark Massachusetts Health Care Reform (HCR) Law cost the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at least 18,000 jobs since its passage and put a damper on investment and disposable income. These are the findings of a model generated by the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University. Read more.

Complete Study (PDF)

Press Release (PDF)

BHI Study (I): Massachusetts Health Care Reform drives up insurance costs both public and private

(BOSTON- June 2011) The landmark Massachusetts Health Care Reform law is responsible for a dramatic increase in health care spending over the period since it was enacted. The law did not bring about a promised reduction in health care expenditures. Rather, it permitted the state legislature and governor to expand health insurance coverage to almost all residents, while imposing more than $8 billion in new health care costs to the federal government and on state residents and businesses.

Other studies have attempted to document the rise in health care costs attributable to Massachusetts Health Care Reform. The BHI study is the first to attempt a comprehensive examination of HCR’s impact on cost, taking into account the underlying trends in health care spending, as well as the effects of the law on federal Medicare spending. More

Complete Study (PDF)
Press Release (PDF)

 

Related: Presentation
Romney Care: Good for Massachusetts?
The Cost of Romney Care in Massachusetts and Its Implications for Obama Care
A Presentation to the Northborough Tea Party, November 15, 2011

 

 


 

 

 

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Policy Study
The Cost and Economic Impact of New Jersey’s Offshore Wind Initiative

BHI testifies before Congress on Project Labor Agreements

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BHI Economist Ben Powell explains "Why Washington Only Cut $38 Billion: A Public Choice Perspective"

 

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Going Green with Energy in Massachusetts: Costly Mandates Will Hit Consumers, Business
10/26/2010
Full Study



Crowded at the top: Massachusetts ranks third in latest BHI Competitiveness Index, dropping two places.

10th Annual Report

Current Estimate
BHI Forecast: State tax revenues to increase by 4.4% in FY 2012 and by 4.1% in FY 2013

Press Release (PDF)
Revenue Estimate FY 12- FY 13(PDF)

A look at BHI's record of forecasting state tax revenues

 

 
 

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