Some Links

by Don Boudreaux on January 9, 2016

in Books, Competition, Creative destruction, Inequality, Other People's Money, Seen and Unseen, War, Work

Kerry Jackson, writing at Investor’s Business Daily, explains that Bernie Sanders (and not many of those who Bernie Sanders famously demonizes) is greedy.  A slice:

Like most on his side of the political spectrum, Sanders doesn’t know how to use the word. Greed is not a company or a person working hard to make more money, and then working just as hard to keep what they have earned, what is rightfully theirs. Greed exists when a person or persons want to take money from those who have earned it and use it for their own purposes.

Without apology, we’ll say that the greediest people on Earth can be found in the U.S. Capitol and in state houses, and within the ranks of the beneficiaries of forced wealth redistribution who are always grasping for more. All of these people so achingly lust after other people’s money that they have no reservations about taking it by force and using it for themselves. What could be more greedy than that? Simply put, greed is the act of desiring something unearned. That’s not Webster. That’s common sense.

Writing at the Fraser Forum, David Henderson proposes the full Uberization of Canada’s economy.  (Jon Murphy agrees.)

Inspired by Jeffrey Clemens’s research (some of it done with Michael Wither), Preston Cooper describes the job-destroying effects of minimum-wage legislation.  (HT W.E. Heasley)  A slice:

Clemens’ study is unique in that it separates out workers by both age and skill level, to isolate where the worst effects of the minimum wage occur. The finding that young people without a high school degree are hurt the most does not bode well for minority communities: high school graduation rates are lower for black (68 percent) and Hispanic (76 percent) students than for white (85 percent) and Asian (93 percent) students. This may be one of the reasons that the white teen unemployment rate, at 14 percent, is so much lower than the black teen unemployment rate of 24 percent.

(I disagree with an implicit presumption of another part of Cooper’s essay – the part where he writes “policymakers should look for ways to ensure that vulnerable individuals are spared.”  Much of the impetus behind minimum-wage legislation is precisely to reduce the competition that vulnerable individuals pose to politically more influential individuals in the workplace.  So it is folly to presume that the same policymakers who are behind this disgraceful scheme can or should be trusted to protect the vulnerable individuals whom these policymakers have victimized.  “Policymakers” should be forced by public opinion to get completely out of the business of restricting the terms on which adults are allowed to bargain for in their labor contracts.)

Quoting Chelsea German:

Your odds of “making it to the top” might be better than you think, although it’s tough to stay on top once you get there.

According to research from Cornell University, over 50 percent of Americans find themselves among the top 10 percent of income-earners for at least one year during their working lives. Over 11 percent of Americans will be counted among the top 1 percent of income-earners (i.e.: people making at minimum $332,000 per annum) for at least one year.

The Tax Foundation’s Joe Henchman has a reality-check for those Americans – mostly conservatives – who naively believe that U.S. government bureaucrats who work in, or directly for, the military are somehow exempt from the same forces that cause non-military bureaucrats to be untrustworthy stewards of the public interest.

Arnold Kling rightly defends Matt Ridley from a straw-man slayer.


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