Some Non-Covid Links

by Don Boudreaux on March 19, 2021

in Budget Issues, Country Problems, Education, Myths and Fallacies, Seen and Unseen, Stimulus, Taxes, Trade, Truth-seeking & ideology, Work

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, David Neumark – one of the leading researchers on minimum wages – predicts that “raising the minimum wage will definitely cost jobs.” A slice:

To provide an accurate reading of the research, Peter Shirley and I surveyed the authors of nearly all U.S. studies estimating the effects of minimum wages on employment published in the past 30 years. We asked them to report to us their best estimate of the employment effect, measured as the “elasticity,” or the percent change in employment for each 1% change in the minimum wage. Most authors responded, and in the few cases in which they did not, we pulled this estimate from their study.

The results are stark. Across all studies, 79% report that minimum wages reduced employment. In 46% of studies the negative effect was statistically significant. In contrast, only 21% of studies found small positive effects of minimum wages on employment, and in only a minuscule percentage (4%) was the evidence statistically significant. A simplistic but useful calculation shows that the odds of nearly 80% of studies finding negative employment effects if the true effect is zero is less than one in a million.

My intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy understandably finds unsettling the similarities of the policies of Biden with the policies of Trump. A slice:

Biden seems to have also embraced much of the same Trump trade agenda that many on the left used to criticize as protectionist, politically driven and unnecessarily aggressive toward our trading partners. They were also rightfully critical of his abuse of Section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act of 1962, which authorizes the president to impose tariffs in the name of national security. Unfortunately, so far, Trumpian-style abuses continue under this new administration. The Cato Institute’s Scott Lincicome and Inu Manak note that Biden’s first trade action was to reinstate “tariffs on aluminum from the United Arab Emirates under Section 232.”

James Bovard is not impressed by what he calls Joe Biden’s “Burn-Rate Rescue Act.”

George Leef refutes the commonplace but fallacious idea that prosperity is created by government spending. And my intrepid Mercatus Center colleague Veronique de Rugy piles on.

Michael Barone’s latest column is on Joe Biden’s “chameleon-like transformation” over the years – that is, Biden’s reversal of positions on many issues. (Barone ends his column by asking if anyone has a better explanation than the one offered in the column. I [DBx] do: Biden is a creepy, unprincipled human being who’ll do and say anything for power.)

Here’s David Henderson and the late Judge Stephen Williams on tax policy.

Arnold Kling provides links to two initiatives to fight wokeness.

Speaking of wokeness, Robby Soave has more on this social cancer. Here’s his conclusion:

The new enforcers of morality—the pitchfork-wielding employees of progressive media companies and their swarms of social-media allies—have decided that no one may dwell in their midst unless they were born without sin. This poisonous approach will, if anything, make people more reticent to apologize or acknowledge wrongdoing. Instead they’ll shrug and say, “What’s the point?”

Mark Perry issues a wise warning.

Scott Lincicome explains the unhappy consequences of protectionism on the cost to Americans of construction materials.

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