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Discussion: (68 comments)

  1. PeakTrader

    I guess, some people miss pre-20th century brutal and inefficient labor economics or want a Chinese labor market.

    And, I stated before:

    Raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour will have a very small positive or negative economic effect (which I’ve shown before and supported empirically), and have a huge positive political effect for politicians like Obama.

    1. But what about that upward sloping demand curve for labor?

      1. Scarcity and time preference are such quaint concepts, but really, can’t we be a little more sophisticated?

        I can’t wait until they abolish gravity and entropy!

        1. Banning gravity would certainly get rid of the obesity problem. We would all weigh equal amounts. That’s every bit of fair.

    2. PeakTrader

      We’ve seen how a country abundant in labor can outcompete any country in the world (e.g. in low-end manufacturing), make the managers rich, and the owners billionaires, by paying its workforce almost nothing.

      1. morganovich

        peak-

        this tactic of claiming that you have shown that water flows uphill is getting stale. you have never shown anyhting of the kind, only that you do not know how to separate out variables.

      2. yeah, and there are those at my company that go smoke joints on lunch and come back and surf the internet for a couple hours. They really work hard to earn what they make…….. they start at $8/hr. They fully deserve what they are paid, and no more. All they do is ship brown boxes all day. There’s a reason they are not paid 15-20hr. Regardless all they do is bitch about not getting paid enough. They have been there for 3 years or more.

        The one said he had a job that paid 11/hr. He quit because they did drug tests and he would rather smoke weed. This 25 year old punk is the person that is being helped when minimum wage goes up.

        Seriously, get real with this idea that people are “forced” or “stuck” working at low wage jobs.

        1. re: they get what they deserve

          in general – agree – with this caveat…

          our tax and entitlement policies basically say.. if they don’t earn a “living wage”, we’ll make up the difference with entitlements and “free” things like public education and health care for their kids…

          right?

          so if you assume that the entitlement picture won’t change – or is not likely to anytime soon…

          what is better:

          1. – minimum wage laws

          2. – no minimum wage but we make up the difference with entitlements?

          ???

          also – check this list out:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_minimum_wages_by_country

          are all these countries wrong?

          1. “what is better:
            1. – minimum wage laws
            2. – no minimum wage but we make up the difference with entitlements?”

            Assuming that this would be the choice then 2) would be more honest as it does not force one category (companies) to provide “living wages”. You still miss the point though, which is that there are not less entitlements to pay with minimum wages as unemployment will be higher.

            Your list includes both countries with and without minimum wages. Ergo if your question is whether a country should have minimum wages or not then that list does not help to answer the question.

            It also does not answer the question of how high minimum wages should be.

          2. re: ” You still miss the point though, which is that there are not less entitlements to pay with minimum wages as unemployment will be higher.”

            can that be shown empirically by comparing countries with and without or some other way?

            re: countries with or without minimum wage laws

            how about this list:

            http://micpohling.wordpress.com/2007/04/14/countries-without-minimum-wage-law/

            this seems like a basic economic theory argument that assumes there are no other things that would affect the theory in practice but in reality – there are a variety of things (like entitlements) that do affect it.

            Are there any countries that do not have minimum wage laws that have historically better unemployment rates or is it just not that simple?

      3. We’ve seen how a country abundant in labor can outcompete any country in the world

        This is an absurd statement. Ever heard of comparative advantage? Comparative advantage, as well as the competition for labor, proves your comment completely wrong.

        If your comment were even slightly true, then billions of people would not have been raised out of poverty over the last two decades. But billions of people have been lifted out of poverty, by their own hand, precisely because of comparative advantage and the competition for labor.

        There is this other thing called capital. You may have heard of it.

    3. Raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour will have a very small positive or negative economic effect (which I’ve shown before and supported empirically)“…

      What a laughable comment and no your previous coments on this have proven nothing of a sort…

      So pt have you opened a business and hired people to prove your supposed but questionable point?

  2. The fact that Friedman uses the word “Negro” to describe blacks – back during the time when the use of such a word was not considered friendly language from whites is interesting to me.

    but then for some reason, Friedman seemed to only classify blacks in America as uniquely disadvantaged when the very same policies he cites as harmful to them – exist in a hundred more other countries including those with similar classes of disadvantaged people of “color”.

    http://0055d26.netsolhost.com/friedman/pdfs/newsweek/NW.12.11.1967.pdf

    If Friedman had approached this from more of a world view – opposition to ALL programs – around the world – designed to help the disadvantaged (including women) and he could demonstrate – around the world – the harm these policies do – then it would be, in fact, a powerful argument.

    But since he limits it to only policies that help the “Negro” in America, it has a different tint to it … at least to me.

    It’s hard to find completely credible an economic argument that is only specific to one country and one minority in that country. If the premise is to gain respect and credibility, wouldn’t it need to apply everywhere?

    1. “The fact that Friedman uses the word “Negro” to describe blacks …”

      I thought they were called ‘African-Americans’, now.

      Racist.

    2. morganovich

      larry-

      pretty much everyhting you just said is completely ridiculous, even for you.

      1. you are wrong about the word negro.

      “The word “Negro” fell out of favor by the early 1970s in the United States after the Civil Rights movement. However, older African Americans from the earlier period of American life (when “Negro” was widely considered to be acceptable) initially found the term “Black” more offensive than “Negro.” Evidence for the acceptability of “Negro” is in the continued use the word by historical African-American organizations and institutions such as the United Negro College Fund. In current English language usage, “Negro” is generally considered to be acceptable in a historical context, such as baseball’s Negro Leagues of the early and mid-20th century, or in the name of older organizations, as in Negro spirituals, the United Negro College Fund or the Journal of Negro Education. The U.S. Census now uses the grouping “Black, African-American or Negro.” The term “Negro” is used in efforts to include older African Americans who more closely associate with the term”

      lots of older people use older words. vocabulary tends to be sticky that way. your point is just foolish and meaningless.

      2. if i look at a general principle, like gravity, and then use a specific example, say, dropping a stone, to demonstrate it, that does not make it in any way invalid. no one has the time to cover every signle possible example so you choose one or a few and use them to illustrate a general principle.

      friedman HAS opposed dozens of other programs around price fixing, affirmative action/discrimination, and subsidy/protectionism. further, a program to help a group, like say, a female scholarship, is not the same thing as a minimum wage. your thinking here is so muddled it’s hard to even make sense of.

      the reason he chose to look at black/negro/african american/whatever i am supposed to say has a very specific historical context:

      the minimum wage was originally instituted specifically to prevent freed black slaves from taking white jobs. it was a deliberate and effective policy to prevent blacks from getting jobs.

      yet somehow, it has turned into a program described as helping them. there’s some irony for you. poison is being sold as medicine.

      all you have done here is demonstrate your complete lack of an understanding of historical context and some weird inability to understand how price fixing works or to tell that apart from other aid programs.

      1. @Morg – did you grow up in the South Morg?

        Did you live there just prior to and during the Civil Rights Era?

        do you acknowledge the connection between the word Nego and the slang version of it?

        What Friedman was doing was personalizing the issue to ONE RACE when we DID have other races in the US but he also ignored the rest of the world with regard to minimum wage and those who would be harmed by it.

        focusing JUST ON the US… JUST ON black folks was pretty weird.. IMHO.

        An economist would make the point – for all people everywhere.

        1. morganovich

          larry-

          did milton friedman?

          negro was, at one point, the accepted word to describe the melanin enhanced. hell, the census still uses it.

          http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2010/01/when_did_the_word_negro_become_taboo.html

          there was no more racist intent in what milton friedman said that there was in your use of black. (as opposed to african american or whatever is currently vogue)

          hell larry, negro and black mean the exact same thing. negro is a word for black. it means black. you are just much-racking for no valid purpose other than oversensitivity and a desire to appear erudite that is accomplishing the opposite.

          just because words share a common etymology does not mean they carry the same semantic freight. you are just playing silly games and chasing your tail.

          lots of words vary in meaning depending on how you use them. try “cracker” for example.

          the word negro was in common usage to describe a race or people in neutral terms during milton freindman’s life. he had to call them somehting. let’s face it, the correct PC term du jour can get confusing. i do not think you have a shred of evidence about racism here and are just trying to manufacture a nonsense issue for whatever reason.

          there is nothing weird about choosing a specific example to illustrate a point, particularly when the people pushing minimum wage hikes are claiming it is to benefit blacks/AA/negros whatever which is made doubly odd as a result of the fact the the whole initial point of min wage laws was to harm black people and protect white jobs.

          there is nothing weird about this example, it was precisely what a great deal of this debate was about. you are just ignoring all the historical context and completely missing the issue.

        2. RonRonDoRon

          All but one short paragraph in the quotation is about minimum wage in general – not specific to any one location or group of people.

          In that one paragraph, he says “The people who have been hurt most…” – that makes it clear he’s offering an example and that he chose that example to illustrate the worst effects. If he were talking only about blacks, he would likely have said “The people who have been hurt…” – “most” makes it clear he is offering one example of many.

          1. re: ” In that one paragraph, he says “The people who have been hurt most…” – that makes it clear he’s offering an example and that he chose that example to illustrate the worst effects. If he were talking only about blacks, he would likely have said “The people who have been hurt…” – “most” makes it clear he is offering one example of many.”

            if he had made that statement in a wider context and given other people and other countries as companion examples, it would have been a much more powerful (and convincing) statement.

            The fact that he limited it to one race in one country made it weird … and questionable.

        3. In a 1957 Senate hearing, minimum-wage advocate Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts, who just four years later would be President of the United States, stated,
          “Of course, having on the market a rather large source of cheap labor depresses wages outside of that group, too – the wages of the white worker who has to compete. And when an employer can substitute a colored worker at a lower wage – and there are, as you pointed out, these hundreds of thousands looking for decent work – it affects the whole wage structure of an area, doesn’t it?”
          The witness he was addressing, Mr. Clarence Mitchell, then director of the Washington Bureau of the NAACP replied,
          “I certainly think that is why the Southern picture is as it is today on the wage matters, that there is a constant threat that if the white people don’t accept the low wages that are being paid to them, some Negroes will come in [to] work for a lower wage. Of course, you feel it then up in Connecticut and Massachusetts, because various enterprising people decide to take their plants out of your states and take them down to the areas of cheap labor.”

          Kennedy’s colleague Jacob Javits, then a U.S. Senator from New York, was similarly blunt.

          He said, “I point out to Senators from industrial states like my own that a minimum wage increase would also give industry in our states some measure of protection, as we have too long suffered from the unfair competition based on substandard wages and other labor conditions in effect in certain areas of the country – primarily in the South.”

          Although probably no northern senator today would dare admit it, many who vote for increases in the minimum wage understand that one consequence will be to destroy jobs for the least skilled workers, a disproportionate number of whom are black.

          (The quotations from Kennedy, Mitchell, and Javits are from U.S. Senate, Labor and Public Welfare Committee Proposals to Extend Coverage of Minimum Wage Protection, Hearings before the Subcommittee on Labor, 85th Congress, 1st session, March 20, 1957, p. 856; and from Congressional Record, Feb. 23, 1966, p. 2692.)

        4. Citizen B.

          Larry, Martin Luther King used the term Negro a dozen times in his most famous speech: “I Have A Dream”.

          1. re: Martin Luther King and the term “negro”.

            yes.. and blacks also use the “n” word among themselves but neither term is considered acceptable for whites to use with respect to blacks, in part, because racists of that era would use Negro as if they were using the “n” word – and blacks knew it.

            Those who respected black people – also respected their concerns even if they did not totally understand – it was good enough to be told it was not considered a friendly term and you, as a white, did act accordingly if you cared.

            otherwise, whites, in using terms they did not care for, you were, in fact, making a statement about your own sensitivity towards them.

            Most white people in the civil rights era that supported equal rights and the plight of the black mn- did not use terms that black people did not like – once they knew.

            you cannot have lived in that era and not have known that.

            but this is getting off track to some degree.

            The black man in America is not the only race that ostensibly suffered from minimum wage laws so why was it not made a more general economic argument that applied to many people in many countries?

            why personalize it?

          2. “but this is getting off track to some degree.”

            You intentionally took it off-track.

          3. re: ” You intentionally took it off-track.”

            nope. Ask yourself WHY after ALL THIS TIME -someone dredges up this same tired ideological race-focused dialogue about something that is ostensibly not race-based and applies to all people in all countries.

            why continue to bring this up in this context?

          4. Make up your mind, Larry.

            Is this “getting off track to some degree”, or not?

    3. Thanks, Larry!! You’ve put on display, even better than most what a complete tool you are!

      1. thanks Ken in joining the other name-calling infantiles.. I knew you’d step forward to be counted!

        it just seems to be who some of you guys really are…

        ;-)

    4. I found it a little odd he used that word as well, but he is an older guy and I don’t doubt it was accepted back then. Once you look passed that point and realize it was probably not done in an offensive manner, and look at what he was really talking about its a little easier to understand. It’s no secret that the black community in America has suffered more than others and African Americans have predominantly voted Democrat for the past few decades now.

      1. let’s assume everything you say is true (not, but let’s assume)….

        how do you engage the black community on the issue to make changes to improve their circumstance?

        do you do it by using language that blacks consider offensive and racist?

        more to the point – what’s the purpose of using language like that in the first place if your stated intent is to identify problems and work for reform?

        what is your real motivation – when you use purposely engage in speech that you know is going to insult people?

  3. Interesting, the unions were just complaining Obamacare was going to force their wage rates for low wage members up a dollar or so making union shops uncompetitive against non-union employers with less than 50 employees.

    1. I think that’s pretty standard for them. They want the same rules and conditions that apply to their workers to apply to everyone otherwise they lose their attractiveness. It’s the same logic with the minimum wage. They would not need it to be law as they could negotiate higher minimum wages for their members but if it’s not imposed on also the non-union members then the unions lose their competitiveness in the US

  4. givemefreedom

    Well Larry,

    Typical leftist approach to an issue, label the commentor racist when he is saying something that you disagree with, rather than actually doing some thinking or looking into his comments in depth to see if those comments have any merit or if you interpreted them correctly. Just like most of your dumb comments here.

    Listen to the clip, Milton says: “The fact is, the programs labeled as being “for the poor,” or “for the needy,” almost always have effects exactly the opposite of those which their well-intentioned sponsors intend them to have.”

    Then the interviewer ask him for a specific example, to which Milton says that minimum wage laws hurt unskilled workers and tend the hurt the black community the most.

    There is absolutely nothing wrong with his statement. No even a hint of racism.

    Tell us that you think the min. wage laws do not hurt blacks. Tell us that they help blacks as the proponents of these laws tend to use as justification for enacting them. Prove your points with facts and logic and common sense.

    But stop using this stupid racism accusation to discredit his statements. It is a pathetic arguement.

    1. “Well Larry,

      Typical leftist approach to an issue, label the commentor racist when he is saying something that you disagree with, rather than actually doing some thinking or looking into his comments in depth to see if those comments have any merit or if you interpreted them correctly. Just like most of your dumb comments here.”

      more name calling on things you disagree with. what a bunch of infants there are here….

      I responded to the comments he made – as written.

      “Listen to the clip, Milton says: “The fact is, the programs labeled as being “for the poor,” or “for the needy,” almost always have effects exactly the opposite of those which their well-intentioned sponsors intend them to have.” ”

      yup.. that part was fine

      “Then the interviewer ask him for a specific example, to which Milton says that minimum wage laws hurt unskilled workers and tend the hurt the black community the most.”

      then he goes sideways because instead of picking any unskilled in any country he picks a particular minority that is in the throes of civil rights issues. You do not have to be black to be poor.

      “There is absolutely nothing wrong with his statement. No even a hint of racism.”

      I never said it was racist. I said that it used words and terms that racist used .. and it did and it was a poor choice of an example in that regard.

      “Tell us that you think the min. wage laws do not hurt blacks. Tell us that they help blacks as the proponents of these laws tend to use as justification for enacting them. Prove your points with facts and logic and common sense.”

      I think when you TARGET one particular race in one particular country – you essentially re-focus the discussion AWAY from the primary point.

      “But stop using this stupid racism accusation to discredit his statements. It is a pathetic arguement.”

      no. what’s pathetic is those who continue to bring up specific things like this – in an era where there is continued polarization about the races.

      that’s provocative and unproductive – as it was when Friedman was doing it. It was like he was tone deaf to the related issues OR he knew and did not care.

      either way – all it accomplishes is to DIVERT the discussion to RACE rather than economics.

      give it up guy. Friedman screwed up and people who repeat it today – either are similarly tone deaf OR they actually have an agenda that is not very nice.

      Make the argument with respect to all people in all countries and get away from this smelly part.

  5. givemefreedom

    Here are 2 of your statements Larry:

    “The fact that Friedman uses the word “Negro” to describe blacks – back during the time when the use of such a word was not considered friendly language from whites is interesting to me.”

    “yes.. and blacks also use the “n” word among themselves but neither term is considered acceptable for whites to use with respect to blacks, in part, because racists of that era would use Negro as if they were using the “n” word – and blacks knew it.”

    You basically said that Milton’s use of Negro was for that era, the equivalent of using the “N” word.

    So you called him a racist.

    And still you miss the point.

    If people from Outer Mongolia comprised the largest racial group of the unskilled labour force in the US and minimum wage laws caused their unemployment rates to be significantly higher than the rest of the country, then I would be correct in stating that minimum wage laws have hurt the very people that sponsors of those laws are attempting to help. Nothing wrong with that statement, it is the truth.

    Prove it wrong.

    1. You basically said that Milton’s use of Negro was for that era, the equivalent of using the “N” word.

      So you called him a racist.

      nope. I said he did what racists did. He could have done so unknowingly… but my point was in doing that – he changed the focus away from his own point.

      “And still you miss the point.”

      Nope. If Friedman REALLY wanted to make the point from a purely economics view – he should have not picked a race and a country where race was and still is a separate and pointed issue apart from economics.

      1. Your sensibilities are admirable but the fact is, “Negro” is still an official category for race.

        To wit, the 2010 US Census forms lists

        “Black, African Am., or Negro”
        in (Question 9, “What is Person 1′s Race”)

        You can hardly fault an economist using official race categories some 40 years ago.

        I hear they are giving some thought to dropping the word from the form.

        1. re: ” “Black, African Am., or Negro”
          in (Question 9, “What is Person 1′s Race”)”

          can you give a link to your cite?

          it’s OKAY for a person to refer to themselves as a particular race – to self-identify. It may NOT be okay for others to categorize that person – especially in a way they would not and if you intended to be sensitive to that issue- then you would act accordingly..

          otherwise, you are either blundering unknowingly or you are making a statement of your own.

          I give Friedman the benefit of the doubt but I find it curious than a man of his intellect was so obtuse to the sensitivities of an entire race of people. It really does undermine some of his message – in my view.

          and now that we know this and have known it for quite some time since Friedman’s original words – what is the motivation of those who CONTINUE to bring this particular example up – as an example of economics in an era where we know the use of that word is not well received … ?????

          1. it’s OKAY for a person to refer to themselves as a particular race – to self-identify. It may NOT be okay for others to categorize that person – especially in a way they would not and if you intended to be sensitive to that issue- then you would act accordingly..

            Sounds rather Orwellian.

            How can it be OK and not OK?

          2. Umm….Larry doesn’t give a rat’s ass about Negros. He just wants an outlet for his idiocy and he has never learned a damn thing ever in his life. Any attempt to bring logic into any situation with that twit is fruitless.

          3. more name-calling from the “intelligent” infantiles here…

            Methinks you don’t know your head from your hind-end gal because you mouth works harder than both.

          4. I take it you can’t google “US Census 2010 form”?

            http://www.census.gov/2010census/pdf/2010_Questionnaire_Info.pdf

          5. @JKB – okay thanks.. but remember – we’re talking about people self-identifying here – as opposed to how others refer to them.

            re: forget google.. yes did.. doh!

          6. You don’t have to prove my point, Larry. You did that a long time ago. Run along and find something else to twist yourself into knots about.

          7. ” You don’t have to prove my point, Larry. You did that a long time ago. Run along and find something else to twist yourself into knots about.”

            actually Methinks -you prove your own personality every time you do your thing here… you’re just not a serious person gal.. you got a tongue sure enough but what else?

            ;-)

          8. Understanably, it’s a bit difficult to take seriously your moronic white trash obsession with the word “Negro”. I love that word. “Negro” is a great word.

            Negro Negro Negro Negro Negro Negro Negro Negro.

            What’s your next obsession? “Caucasian”? Anything to deflect from the fact that you can’t wrap whatever passes for a “mind” in your largely empty head around what Friedman was saying.

          9. re: negro

            to make an economic argument to a black POTUS you choose some dunderhead who uses the word Negro in his economics examples?

            ha ha ha

            I think this just goes to show how cockeyed some folks are.

            How do you think a black POTUS would receive such “advice”? Would you be surprised if it went badly?

            so why would you make such an argument in that way in the first place?

            ahhhh… NOW.. we are getting somewhere…

            it’s not about the “advice” at all now, is it?

          10. Larry, as hard as it is to believe, you watched to a 3:39 video that included thousands of words joined together so as to communicate some truly important concepts and the only word you remember is *negro*. Truly amazing.

          11. re: 3:39 video

            do a google search on Milton Friedman and Negro and it becomes painfully apparent that he was not a one-time user of such analogies himself NOR do some of the Friedman supporter sites ignore it or steer away from it and focus on the other stuff. It’s there.. it’s referenced.

            so the record is undeniable.

            Then we have modern day folks who come right out and say that Friedman should “counsel” the current POTUS – who is black by using his example of “Negros” being harmed by minimum wage policies.

            Now I ask you Ron – if you REALLY wanted to make a strong case about the supposed harm of such policies IN GENERAL – in a nation where there are large numbers of blacks who do not self-identify as “negros” – not even on Census forms – and in fact, consider it a racist pejorative when used by whites – why would you use such an approach in economics blogs – if your goal was to convince people – blacks as well as whites?

            and WHY would you take such an economics argument framed in that way to a black POTUS who clearly believes that blacks have suffered for generations at the hands of racists and have spent the more recent generations trying to climb out?

            How does this make a convincing argument to blacks and a black POTUS?

            My view is it not only does not .. it is, in fact, on purpose for borderline racist motivations… or at the very least it begs the question as to why you’d use this particular argument to convince non-white people of the merits of the argument?

            this is the kind of thing that I look at and I wonder what they heck those who do it are thinking – and then I realize that maybe the whole thing is not really about economics at all but rather a different message and it’s not a pretty one.

            the best I can charitably offer is that it’s a really, really dumb strategy…. coming from people who claim to have superior intellect and knowledge – on economics..

          12. Larry, let me take this issue one small piece at a time:

            First, let me say that in my opinion, your extreme sensitivity to the use of the word “negro” is unwarranted, especially in the context of an interview with Milton Friedman, who by all indications was one of the least racist people in the world at that time, although obviously, you are entitled to whatever views and opinions you wish to hold.

            do a google search on Milton Friedman and Negro and it becomes painfully apparent that he was not a one-time user of such analogies himself NOR do some of the Friedman supporter sites ignore it or steer away from it and focus on the other stuff. It’s there.. it’s referenced.

            So what? Surely you couldn’t wish to rewrite historical speech and events to avoid any non-politically correct content, could you?

            It is almost certain that Friedman’s use of the word “negro” was NOT intended as a racial slur, nor was he being insensitive, as despite your protestations, the word “negro” was commonly – although not universally – used and accepted by both blacks and whites as a descriptive term for people with dark skin in the 1960s.

            Despite your own disapproval of the use of the word, you really can’t presume to speak for an entire group of people.

            so the record is undeniable.

            What are you talking about? No one is trying to deny “the record” or anything else. It is what it is.

            Then we have modern day folks who come right out and say that Friedman should “counsel” the current POTUS – who is black by using his example of “Negros” being harmed by minimum wage policies.

            To keep things in proper perspective, the current POTUS is black in the sense that he has inherited his fathers dark skin color instead of his mother’s light skin color, and as he says in his own words, he has chosen to be black. He is the son of a privileged middle class American mother and a privileged upper class Kenyan father. He has never been poor or discriminated against in any meaningful way due to his skin color, and he has no claim to an ancestral past of slavery or segregation or extreme racism or any other form of discrimination because of his skin color, unlike many blacks/African Americans/negros in the US.

            I suspect the Black POTUS has enough understanding of history to know that in 1967 Friedman was using a term to describe black people, that hadn’t yet become politically incorrect or offensive to large numbers of folks. I seriously doubt he would get his bowels riled up over the word “negro” used in a historical context.

            Now I ask you Ron – if you REALLY wanted to make a strong case about the supposed harm of such policies IN GENERAL – in a nation where there are large numbers of blacks who do not self-identify as “negros” – not even on Census forms –

            You can’t possibly know how large that number is.

            That “strong case” was made in 1967 and the same exact case can be made today.

            – and in fact, consider it a racist pejorative when used by whites – why would you use such an approach in economics blogs – if your goal was to convince people – blacks as well as whites?

            You are imagining racist speech where it doesn’t exist, and perhaps assuming a higher level of sensitivity to, and disapproval of, the word “negro” than actually exists.

            and WHY would you take such an economics argument framed in that way to a black POTUS who clearly believes that blacks have suffered for generations at the hands of racists and have spent the more recent generations trying to climb out?

            Framed? The argument is framed just fine. You are objecting to ONE WORD that is at worst open to personal interpretation, but it’s almost certain Friedman was not callously insulting black people.

            It’s not clear at all what the black POTUS actually believes. He is a master politician and uses whatever tools, including speech, he has at his disposal to further his ends. Honesty and integrity are not in that tool bag.

            How does this make a convincing argument to blacks and a black POTUS?

            It’s a very convincing argument, Larry. As you hear the word “negro” in the interview just mentally replace it with some other word you like better.

            My view is it not only does not .. it is, in fact, on purpose for borderline racist motivations…

            Sheer nonsense. You are making things into something they’re not.

            or at the very least it begs the question as to why you’d use this particular argument to convince non-white people of the merits of the argument?

            Perhaps you should ask some non-white people what they think. By the way, Wikipedia has the following to say about the use of the word ‘negro” as used to refer to dark skinned people:

            “Negro” superseded “colored” as the most polite terminology, at a time when “black” was more offensive.[3] This usage was accepted as normal, even by people classified as Negroes, until the later Civil Rights movement in the late 1960s. One well-known example is the identification by Martin Luther King, Jr. of his own race as ‘Negro’ in his famous 1963 speech I Have a Dream.

            If that’s inaccurate or problematic in some way anyone can make corrections. I can only assume that no one but you is sufficiently agitated to consider changing it.

            this is the kind of thing that I look at and I wonder what they heck those who do it are thinking – and then I realize that maybe the whole thing is not really about economics at all but rather a different message and it’s not a pretty one.

            Yes you do, Larry, but that’s just you. Do you really believe Mark Perry is a closet racist? If so, surely he could have found a more offensive video than that one.

            the best I can charitably offer is that it’s a really, really dumb strategy…. coming from people who claim to have superior intellect and knowledge – on economics..

            Thank you so much for being generous in your judgment, Larry. You are a truly magnanimous person.

            I, for one, will begin editing every book I own to remove the offensive word “negro”. What term do you feel is most acceptable to dark skinned people living in the US when addressed or referenced by people with lighter skin?

            It’s been my personal experience that white people are more concerned about how they address black people than the black people being addressed are. What do you think?

          13. re: ” It’s been my personal experience that white people are more concerned about how they address black people than the black people being addressed are. What do you think?”

            why don’t you ask the GOP and Romney ?

            Friedman was a dunderhead when it came to not treading on black sensitivities which makes one wonder WHO he was actually directing his message at – because if it was blacks – the man was an idiot.

            but now fast forward to today when we all know more about black sensitivities towards these issues and you have people going back to dredge up Friedman’s “negro” argument. What are their motives?

            Does anyone really think such narratives are going to get blacks to listen to the argument and perhaps be persuaded about it or do you think they might be offended?

            so what about it? would you bring this up in the “negro” context as modern day argument to convince blacks that minimum wage laws harm them as a race?

            what say you?

          14. what say you?

            I say you are repeating yourself. Your last comment contains nothing you haven’t already written, and to which I’ve previously responded.

        2. can you give a link to your cite?

          Christ on a crutch, Larry, google “2010 census form” and you’ll get 4 million hits. can’t you at least do that easy stuff for yourself?

          And put that race card away. It has no value here and you are seriously beclowning yourself.

  6. Jon Murphy

    I’m going to be “that guy” and change topics here.

    The goal should not be establishing a minimum wage. Best case scenario, it only helps those already employed.

    So, the goal should not be establishing a minimum wage. The goal should be job creation. Now, politicians have very little they can do to actually create jobs, outside of government hiring. What they can do, however, is create an environment conducive to job creation. An environment where competition is strong, innovation can flourish, and the barriers to entry are reduced as much as possible. An environment where businesses and individuals have ready access to the resources they need to build a business and find/keep a job. This will help both those employed and those unemployed.

  7. what if the goal is for people to have a living wage – i.e. a wage that provides for their needs and as a result they do not need entitlements?

    or is it true as someone alluded earlier up thread that raising the minimum wage puts even more people out of work – and even more on entitlements?

    I wonder if anyone has actually done a cost-benefit between the two competing forces?

    1. Oh my! I hadn’t read this comment before having commented on your previous one. You did it again! Thanks for showing what an idiot you are!!

    2. or is it true as someone alluded earlier up thread that raising the minimum wage puts even more people out of work – and even more on entitlements?“…

      Simple solution though its politcally unpalatable, get rid of the entitlements…

      Remember this?

      Goverment Has Become a Gigantic Wealth-Transfer Machine

      1. re: ” Simple solution though its politcally unpalatable, get rid of the entitlements”

        nope. simple solutions are ones that actually work or have a chance of working.

        ideological solutions are oxymorons

        re: your links

        geeze Juandoze.. why don’t you actually stick to credible links …. instead of spamming us with this right wing blather?

        1. geeze Juandoze.. why don’t you actually stick to credible links …. instead of spamming us with this right wing blather?“…

          Windy and stupid, the hallmark of a spamboy comment…

          right wing blather“…

          Yeah I’m sujre Professor Mark is a raging right winger spamboy…

          I always find it laughable that you left wing whiners are long on rhetoric and short on using your money to pay for your stupid ideas…

  8. PeakTrader

    Fortunately, over the past hundred years, economics proved many simple and ignorant assumptions wrong, and revealed more about how economies actually function.

    Of course, many people remain in denial and cling to simple partial equilibrium models, like they believe gravity is the only force when throwing a bucket of water over the side of the ship and into the wind.

    1. Of course, many people remain in denial and cling to simple partial equilibrium models“…

      Like those that think minimum wage mandates aren’t a problem?

      Raising the minimum wage to $9 an hour will have a very small positive or negative economic effect“…

      1. PeakTrader

        Yes, the income effect may be stronger than the employment effect.

        And, here’s one paper (in a top journal):

        Building upon a continuous-time model of search with Nash bargaining in a stationary environment, we analyze the effect of changes in minimum wages on labor market outcomes and welfare. Although minimum wage increases may or may not lead to increases in unemployment in our model, they can be welfare-improving to labor market participants on both the supply and demand sides of the labor market…

        http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-0262.2006.00693.x/abstract

        1. regarding your link: “Building upon a continuous-time model of search with Nash bargaining in a stationary environment, we analyze the effect of changes in minimum wages on labor market outcomes and welfare“…

          Ahhh pt, where is the part .in Nash modeling that deals with government interference in the labor market besides wages?

          Thanks…

    2. I wouldn’t get too happy about a mandated increase in minimum wage if I were you, Peak. You’ll be priced out of the labour market at anything over $8.00/hr.

      1. PeakTrader

        Methinks, then you’d be priced out above $0.25/hr.

        1. Oh, you’d be quite surprised how much demand there is for a person who knows which way demand curves slope.

          1. PeakTrader

            You’d be surprised how many people still think in two-dimensions.

  9. incorrect

    Can you please construct a correct title for the column?! Milton Freedman died in 2006 and this footage was taken long before. Please do not suggest he was responding to current legislation debate. HE WAS NOT RESPONDING TO OBAMA’S PROPOSAL.

  10. If you’re on minimum wage, it should be a signal to you that you:
    1. Need to do something to better your situation and obtain a better paying job.
    2. Can’t possibly live like that forever.
    3. Will put yourself in a better situation.

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