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Some Links

Writing in today’s New York Post, my former student Alex Nowrasteh expertly and wisely analyzes New York governor Andrew Cuomo’s knee-jerk response to the recent New York Times‘s report on work conditions in many New York nail salons.

Radley Balko on the scary consequences of police unions.  A slice:

Republicans have long been loathe to criticize police and police unions because they see themselves as the law-and-order party, despite the fact that deference to police ought to run afoul of their alleged dedication to limited government, and that Pasco’s group ought to animate the GOP’s distrust of public service unions.

Democrats have been playing defense on law-and-order issues since Michael Dukakis got creamed in the 1988 election. Any instinct to defend the disadvantaged groups disproportionately affected by police abuse gets drowned out by that and by the enormous influence wielded by police unions.

Ross Kaminsky ponders the politics and the economics of TPP, TPA, and the new split on this issue separating Pres. Obama from Sen. Elizabeth Warren and other Democrats.  And Ramesh Ponnuru joins in.

But what do rank-and-file Democrats think about trade?  (HT Roman Hardgrave)

Although he has yet to do any formal work toward earning a doctorate in economics, Jon Murphy is one of the best young economists I know.

In the link immediately above, Jon Murphy explains that prices set on markets are not arbitrary; they are both the products of, and reflections of, realities that are not optional; for example, even the state, with all of its mighty (if crude) power, cannot by enforcing a minimum-wage requirement of $7.25 per hour make a worker that produces at most only $7.00 per hour for his or her employer worth more than $7.00 per hour to his or her employer.  Mark Perry here uses an appropriate reductio ad absurdum to expose one of the (many) ways that supporters and sympathizers of minimum-wage legislation are mistaken.

Arnold Kling ponders how best to teach economics.  And although he’s not completely happy with it, he very much likes Dave Prychitko’s and my colleague Pete Boettke’s The Economic Way of Thinking textbook (the great intro-to-econ text started by the late Paul Heyne).  A slice from Arnold’s post:

I have been thinking about the problem of teaching emergent economics. A commenter suggested The Economic Way of Thinking, so I got the eleventh edition. Paul Heyne started the franchise, and this edition, from 2006, adds as co-authors Peter Boettke and David Prychitko. It is quite good. It is certainly an improvement over the Samuelson tradition in which the market is a machine, technocrats are its repairmen, and economists write the repair manual.