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Newly minted GMU Econ PhD Jason Briggeman finds that much support from economists for some FDA policies is poorly grounded.  Here’s a slice from the abstract:

Here I analyze the results of a recent survey that asked economists who support pre-market approval [by the FDA before new pharmaceuticals are permitted to be sold] to justify, with reference to the economic concept of market failure, their support of the policy. I find that, while almost all the economists surveyed could point to a market failure or failures that may plausibly exist and affect the market for pharmaceuticals, none were able to make a well reasoned connection between those market failures and the particular remedy of pre-market approval. None of the economists surveyed cited in support of their position any literature specific to pre-market approval.

In my most-recent column in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, I repeat the offer of my friend Mike Long – a successful businessman – to extend, free of charge, business advice to those professors and pundits who, believing that low-skilled workers are so generally underpaid that minimum-wage legislation is justified, wish to personally profit from their knowledge of this alleged market reality.  Note that, if these minimum-wage advocates are correct, those who go into business to exploit their superior understanding of market realities will not only personally profit; in the process they will also put upward pressure on the wages of the workers who they wish to help.   A slice:

My good friend Mike Long is a successful and experienced businessman in California. He is offering, free of charge, his time and counsel to any minimum-wage advocate who believes that low-skilled workers in America are generally underpaid. Mike will advise this person on how to start and operate a firm, how to find good day-to-day executives, and even how to find additional financing. All the minimum-wage advocate must do is to supply at least $25,000 in seed money for the firm.

Any minimum-wage proponents who are interested in making money while simultaneously helping low-skilled workers should contact me. I’ll put you in touch with Mike Long. But if you continue to refuse to stake anything of your own, please shut up about raising the minimum wage.

Speaking of the minimum wage, how’s that minimum-wage hike working out for you, Seattle?

Here’s P.J. O’Rourke on the reality of politics.  A slice:

All politicians hate people. Politics is a way to gain power over people without justification for having that power. Nothing in the 11,000-year history of politics—going back to the governing elites of Mesopotamia—indicates that politicians are wiser, smarter, kinder, more moral, or better skilled at any craft (aside from politics) than we are.

But political rulers need the acquiescence of the ruled to slake the craving for power. Politicians hate you the way a junkie hates junk.


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