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I have never envied my dear and brilliant friend George Selgin for specializing in research into money and banking: not only is that field the most difficult in all of economics, it’s the field of economics that attracts the greatest amount of dangerous misunderstanding – misunderstanding from the political left, right, and center.  George here responds to poorly informed critics of his work.

Arnold Kling reviews Peter Wallison’s Hidden In Plain Sight.  Arnold is favorably impressed by Wallison’s explanation of the origins of the 2008 financial crisis.

Diana Furchtgott-Roth identifies six ways that government criminalizes consensual capitalist acts.  A slice:

Imagine being forbidden to work. That is the case for people with skills under $8.25 an hour. The federal hourly minimum wage is $7.25, and additional costs, such as Social Security, unemployment insurance, and workers compensation bring the cost of employment closer to $8.25. The minimum wage is one reason why the teen unemployment rate is 18%, the youth (20 to 24) unemployment rate is 11%, and the African-American teen unemployment rate is 28%. Those groups have markedly lower skills than average.

University of California (Irvine) economist David Neumark, and University of California (San Diego) economists Jeffrey Clemens and Michael Wither have shown in separate studies that young workers with low skills are harmed the most by the minimum wage. That is not surprising, given that half of minimum-wage earners are between the ages of 16 and 24. When the minimum wage is set above someone’s skill level, that person is left on the sidelines. If people cannot get their first job, how can they get their second or third? People who take minimum-wage jobs gain entry to the professional world. Once they are in, they can keep rising.

Tim Carney has more on how Cromnibus is a monument to the explanatory power of public-choice economics.

Jim DeLong explains the folly of politicizing decisions regarding the electricity grid.

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby warns against journalistic bias.

David Muhlhausen and James Sherk argue against so-called “trade adjustment assistance.”

Sandy Ikeda explains that we need the rule of law, not ‘law and order.’


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