The Maryland Free Enterprise Foundation
Dedicated To Our Mission Of:
Creating & Sustaining Jobs Through Free Enterprise
Founded in 1983 as Maryland Business for Responsive Government (MBRG) and renamed in 2019, Maryland Free is a nonpartisan, nonprofit political research and education organization. We are supported by corporations, trade associations, small businesses, chambers of commerce, and individuals. We inform Maryland’s business & political communities—and the public at large—on matters relating to creating a positive business climate that drives job growth.
Free Markets = Prosperity for All
- Over and over throughout world history, free-market societies thrive while state-controlled economies wither.
- It is a simple fact: both employers and employees prosper when employment barriers are torn down and the state allows free markets to prevail.
Employers Know Best
- Employers are best suited to make employment decisions in the best interest of their businesses.
- When left to their own volition, employers will nearly always make the best decisions for their employees, because they want those employees to be happy, long-term, productive contributors to their cause.
- One-size-fits-all, least-common-denominator mandates and bans enacted by governments prevent employers from making those critical decisions.
What’s Measured Improves
- Maryland legislators must be held accountable for their votes on the critical matters of employment, taxes, liability, and economic freedom, which are the main drivers of a state’s economic outlook.
- Maryland Free does not lobby our state legislators in Annapolis. Therefore, we do not have to “pull our punches” and give anyone a free pass because we are concerned about them cutting off our access to them during the legislative session. Simply, we tell it like it is and report—in the most objective, transparent process possible—the actual votes of our state legislators on economic and job creation matters. We clearly articulate why bills are good or bad for employers and business owners so the reader can evaluate each legislators’ votes for themselves.
There is Great Dignity in Work
- As we move toward greater automation of our economy, where fewer and fewer human workers are required to achieve greater and greater economic output, we face the risk of large numbers of able-bodied men and women subsisting on government payments or other means, rather than earning a paycheck. As this phenomenon continues, it will have devastating effects on our society. Therefore, it is incumbent upon all of us—most notably, our legislators—to do everything in our power to sustain jobs by encouraging free-market principles, rather than eliminate jobs via government mandates and bans that make it harder, more expensive, and more risky for employers to hire.
- To a large extent, our professions define us, and the ability to achieve a hard-earned hourly wage or monthly salary is paramount to a healthy society. Maryland’s legislators need to think very carefully every time they enact a new law that employers clearly (and loudly) identify as a job killer. The lawmakers need to take these enactments very seriously and withstand the short-term, feel-good benefits of being seen as “standing up for workers”, when the longer-term consequences of the bill will result in lower benefits, fewer hours, or complete elimination of an employee’s job because the economics don’t sustain the politicians’ mandates. The recent passages of a $15 minimum wage and paid sick leave are perfect examples of bills that sound and feel good at first, but testimony and non-partisan empirical studies all showed that these measures will, indeed, hurt the very people they are purported to help because jobs will necessarily be diminished or cut.
One Person, One Vote
- Gerrymandering, or the practice of politicians choosing their voters rather than the other way around, disenfranchises voters and is antithetical to the bedrock principles of our democratic republic.
- We call on all Marylanders to demand an equitable redistricting process with district lines drawn upon rational, reasonable criteria, rather than political motivations.
Party-Line Voting Hurts Maryland’s Workers
- Extremism is almost never a good thing, and that fact is on display in the Maryland General Assembly when the two political parties vote consistently as opposing blocs with little to no independence exhibited by individual legislators. A common assertion among new legislators is: “I’m a moderate – I tend to be socially liberal, but fiscally conservative, so I will bring a fresh outlook to Annapolis.” But their votes rarely reflect that sentiment as they quickly fall in line and vote with the party.
- This phenomenon results in the death of a middle ground with little compromise and—combined with the fact that the majority party in Annapolis has a veto-proof majority—bills pass each year that individual legislators privately lament as too extreme. But they toe the party line, and politics prevail over common sense.
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