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California’s fast-food minimum wage hike is already claiming numerous casualties.”

Wall Street Journal columnist Andy Kessler finds wisdom in Bastiat. A slice:

The negative space is the unseen, the consequences that need to be thought through, surmised, predicted, foreseen. It isn’t easy. The lazy simply look at the seen and don’t think consequences through. Bastiat pushed back at those who claimed that “public spending keeps the working class alive.” He rightly noted that “public spending is always a substitute for private spending, and that consequently it may well support one worker in place of another but adds nothing to the lot of the working class taken as a whole.” It’s the seen (public spending) and the unseen (private spending being crowded out). Why are we still relearning this lesson from 1850?

Seen is California raising its minimum wage to $20 an hour for fast-food workers in April, a so-called living wage. Unseen are layoffs and those not hired, especially teenagers, because restaurants can’t afford them. Also unseen at first: inevitable 10% price hikes on everything from In-N-Out Double-Doubles to Chick-fil-A waffle fries, making living costs even higher.

Vance Ginn finds wisdom in Hayek. A slice:

While protectionist measures like tariffs may appeal to certain political bases, they come at the expense of economic efficiency and growth. They ultimately cost us more for purchases and inhibit our choices as competition is artificially manipulated where it would otherwise organically select the best providers of resources. A Hayekian approach to trade involves understanding that dynamic economies thrive on diversity and exchanging goods and services across borders.

Here’s Arnold Kling on Rob Henderson, and on Lorenzo Warby – and on Arnold Kling – on elite beliefs.

Josh Hendrickson asks: “Why does the state have a monopoly on money?” A slice:

Unlike revenue generated from other hypothetical monopolies, the monopoly on money provides the unique ability to the state of generating a lot of revenue quickly. A one-time (or short-term) increase in the money supply provides significant revenue. When the state is operating on a pure commodity standard, this can be done through debasement, or turning 100 gold or silver coins into say 150 gold or silver coins. Under a fiat system, this can be done by expanding the money supply. As George Selgin and Larry White highlight, estimates from the Medieval Europe suggest rulers generated as much as 92% of their revenue from debasement during times of war. This certainly seems to lend credence to the idea that the state’s monopoly is motivated by emergency financing.

GMU Econ alum Dominic Pino writes about Biden and shrinkflation. A slice:

Biden was complaining about shrinkflation, a practice that some companies use to raise prices. A price is a ratio, with the number of dollars in the numerator and the amount of the good in the denominator. For example, $1 for one gallon of water. One way to raise the price is to increase the numerator, let’s say to $2 for one gallon. But it can be mathematically equivalent to keep the numerator the same and decrease the denominator instead. That would mean $1 for a half gallon of water. Either way, if you want a gallon of water, you have to pay $2.

Companies are rarely that flagrant with shrinkflation, instead shaving a tiny amount off and keeping the price the same. It’s one way companies keep up with the market. It’s perfectly legal, so long as they update their packaging and honestly report the contents. Nowhere does Biden allege that any companies are breaking the law.

Yet the president of the United States has decided it would be a good use of his time to harass food companies about their prices despite also claiming that he has inflation under control.

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby understandably wants nothing to do with either the Democratic or the Republican party. A slice:

Nevertheless, [Pat] Buchanan won the primaries in New Hampshire and three other states. His campaigns didn’t succeed, but his message was winning adherents. A rough beast was slouching toward Bethlehem to be born. It was unnamed then, but today we know it as MAGA.

Sonch tweets: (HT Jay Bhattacharya)

Lockdowning was nothing more than a spreadsheet/’model’ idea. It’s distressing how quickly it passed from (essentially) a computer-game directly to worldwide policy without any real critical/scientific analysis or critique of its pitfalls, costs, or counterarguments.


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