Jeff Jacoby is correct: life for many low-skilled workers is hard, and that life is made even harder by minimum-wage diktats. (I’m often asked: “How is someone supposed to live on [say] $5.00 per hour?” My response is: “Yes, that’s difficult to do if you’re the head of a household. Yet it’s far more difficult to live on $0.00 per hour, which is the alternative created for many low-skilled workers by minimum wages.”)
Arnold Kling, like Joel Mokyr and Deirdre McCloskey (and also me), believes that impressive economic growth and solid, sustainable economic performance are not engineering feats caused by happy material circumstances. Instead, they are ultimately caused by pro-growth ideas….
…. and ideas are the result of what Julian Simon called “the ultimate resource,” the human mind. Human minds not only give rise to the institutional settings in which human beings interact, they also create resources, such as the fossil fuels that helped to power the industrial revolution, which Marian Tupy rightly celebrates.