AEIdeas

The public policy blog of the American Enterprise Institute

Subscribe to the blog

Discussion: (129 comments)

  1. Robert puharic

    I agree there are different costs of living across the country. That is not a license to let the poor continue to be poor

    And someday economics will be a science. Today is not that day. 1400 studies have shown NO effect from raising the MW to the level suggested by the Pres. But Perry makes a blatantly false claim.

    So Perry and the right wing are turning economics into the oldest profession, it seems.

    1. Jon Murphy

      Wow…blatantly false information and bad at math. You got the two-fer! Want to attempt the triple-double?

      1. Robert puharic

        So the right doesn’t even have the facts to make a conclusion but they have a conclusion? Yeah, sounds right wing.

        http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/02/21/1400-Real-World-Minimum-Wage-Increases-Show-No-Impact-Employment

        1. Jon Murphy

          Sorry, that’s not the triple-double. You can try again, if you’d like. You got all day.

          1. morganovich

            lol.

            so, AFTER being shown multiple times that that study is a farce and that the article inaccurately describes it, you still cite it.

            i have a theory that robert is actually a bot.

            someone filled a hopper with propaganda and attached a simple search and cut/paste AI.

            robert, would you be willing to take a turing test?

    2. morganovich

      nom nom nom.

      troll feeding time!

      that “study” you cite was already debunked for you.

      further, the “1400 studies” you claims was NEVER true. you are calling each data point a study. hell, i showed you the original study YOU cited and showed you that as well as showing you that it did not have proper controls and that it STILL showed negative effects.

      this is what a real min wage meta study looks like:

      http://www.nber.org/papers/w12663.pdf

      but, at least you have cleared up one issue.

      i have been trying to decide whether you are just ignorant on these issues of if you are a liar with an agenda.

      it’s clear now that you are the latter.

      as such, there is little point in trying to educate you, as becoming educated and engaging in actual discussion is not somehting you are interested in and/or capable of.

      do you even see how stupid your comment is?

      economics is not a science but here are economics studies i claim make my point? you refute yourself right there.

      were you kicked in the head by a mule as a child or something?

      wow. this guy makes larry look alan turing.

      1. Jon Murphy

        Seeing as we got the bullshit out of the way, let’s talk about this:

        economics is not a science

        It actually is. A science is “a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.” We do have organized knowledge and we do have testable explanations and predictions about the universe (for example, minimum wage raises unemployment among low-skilled workers). It is not as precise as, say, biology or chemistry, but it is still a science nonetheless.

      2. Harold Saxon

        you are a liar with an agenda.

        You know what they say, Morg: if you can’t be right, make sh*t up and hope no one notices.

        1. Harold

          You know what they say, Morg: if you can’t be right, make sh*t up and hope no one notices.

          But every one DOES notice, and still it continues. Amazing.

      3. Robert puharic

        Hmmm…so you failed to note that the CBO analysis found a systematic bias in FAVOR of published papers showing an effect.

        http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/02/19/CBO-Finds-Minimum-Wage-Research-Biased

        QUOTE:

        “According to some analyses of the minimum-wage literature, an unexpectedly large number of studies report a negative effect on employment with a degree of precision just above conventional thresholds for publication,” CBO analysts write. “That would suggest that journals’ failure to publish studies finding weak effects of minimum-wage changes on employment may have led to a published literature skewed toward stronger effects. CBO therefore located its range of plausible elasticities slightly closer to zero—that is, indicating a weaker effect on employment—than it would have otherwise.” – See more at: http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2014/02/19/CBO-Finds-Minimum-Wage-Research-Biased#sthash.yUjbDQEN.dpuf

        Yeah. Another right wing failure.

        1. Jon Murphy

          There ya go! Now you’ve hit the triple-double:

          1) Reporting blatantly false information
          2) Showing an incredible inability to not understand basic mathematics
          3) Deliberately misunderstanding reporting

          Lessee if you can go for the record (5 false things in one comment, set by Larry earlier this year)

        2. Jon Murphy

          Also, this kinda contradicts what you said earlier, specifically:

          “The data says [sic] it does not.”

          First you say there is no data, then you say there is and that, in fact, the literature is skewed away from you.

          You claim there is no data, and then you claim the data that is there disproves your claim, and then you claim victory? Funny stuff. Funny stuff

    3. That is not a license to let the poor continue to be poor

      The minimum wage is a policy that forces the less well off to stay less well off.

      1400 studies have shown NO effect from raising the MW to the level suggested by the Pres.

      Only a lefty would think that this is an argument for reduced liberty: it’s okay to reduce liberty using this policy, this policy has NO effect.

      1. Robert puharic

        Wrong. It exacerbates inequality. Where’s your data? And what does ‘liberty’ have to do with the minimum wage? Only a right winger would think poverty means freedom.

        1. Harold Saxon

          Wrong. It exacerbates inequality.

          Hey, you’re right! Minimum wage legislation does exacerbate inequality. So why support it?

        2. It exacerbates inequality.

          Your contention is that the minimum wage law exacerbates inequality? Don’t you self profess to be super concerned about inequality? If so, why do you what a law that “exacerbates” it?

          And what does ‘liberty’ have to do with the minimum wage?

          Seriously? The entire point of the minimum wage law is to remove the choice of a voluntarily negotiated wage. If you have a law that says “you can’t do X”, then by definition you have REDUCED liberty. You’re minimum wage law tells workers “If you can’t convince someone to pay you more than $X/hour, then you can’t have a job.”

          Only a right winger would think poverty means freedom.

          Only a left winger would think government subjugation means freedom or that government subjugation reduces poverty.

          1. morganovich

            further, the explicit purpose of the US minimum wage law when it was imposed was to keep newly freed slaves from taking white jobs.

            it was a racially motivated piece of legislation akin to jim crow.

            odd how back then they knew it would prevent people from getting jobs and yet today, the same party claims it does not have such an effect.

          2. cgregory

            As a true conservative I recommend that everyone see that scene in the movie, “The Molly Maguires,” to understand the equality inherent between the employer and the boss. The company detective, posing as a miner to ferret out the discontented workers, gets his first week’s pay: Some $9.84 or so, from which is deducted expenses, including the blasting powder and fuse cord he used, equipment that broke under his use, etc. And he gets the balance: 97 cents. If he protests, he stands to be shot by the guard facing him. Behind him are real miners, just as dirty and ragged as he is, but not the impostor he is. He voluntarily negotiates by taking the money and leaving.

            It is important that we maintain the fiction of “voluntarily negotiated wage” to keep those people in their place. Raising the minimum wage would just destroy the America we mean to keep.

          3. The entire purpose of the Davis-Bacon Act and the idea of the “living wage” was to prevent black construction workers, migrating from the south to the north, from competing with white northern construction workers who didn’t want to compete with blacks; and the first minimum wage was introduced to prevent women from entering the workforce. The entire history of the poorly termed “labor movement” is one of racism and sexism.

          4. morganovich

            cgregory-

            as a sane human, i recommend that you get your information on reality from sources other than fictitious works of cinema portraying 140 year old subject matter.

            just a thought.

          5. cTroll,

            As a true conservative

            Ha!!

        3. And what does ‘liberty’ have to do with the minimum wage?

          Wrap your mind around how clueless one would have to be to make a statement like that.

    4. Harold Saxon

      1400 studies have shown NO effect from raising the MW to the level suggested by the Pres.

      Well, that brings up another question. If these studies actually exist, then isn’t that an argument against minimum wage? Ideally we’d want policy that does actually have an effect, right?

      How does minimum wage help people if it “has no effect?”

      1. Robert puharic

        Well no. You left out half the argument…does a MW increase have an effect on UNEMPLOYMENT? Does it INCREASE it?

        The data says it does not.

        1. Harold Saxon

          Let’s pretend you’re right, that the data does not show an increase in unemployment (it does, but let’s just pretend that it doesn’t):

          That is still an argument against minimum wage. You’re wasting time and resources on something that, according to you, doesn’t even do what you want it to do (reduce income inequality, alleviate poverty, increase employment).

          I mean, while we’re at it, why not require all workers to wear sombreros? It won’t have an effect on employment, either.

          Oh! We could also require everyone to change their names to Amanda. That won’t have an effect, either.

        2. morganovich

          “The data says it does not.”

          uh, no.

          that data says it does.

          you simply refuse to read it.

        3. mesa econoguy

          The data says [sic.] it does not.

          Flatly incorrect.

          The data most definitely do say that min wage increases unemployment to varying degrees. It also has other effects. Contrary to leftist neosocialist doctrine, businesses do respond to cost increases and incentives.

          This explains much of our current malaise, and the more idiotic regulation which gets enacted, the worse the economy will get.

          Bobby pathetic, we have a winner, and it’s you.

          You are now officially the dumbest organism in the universe of all time. Your pig ignorance and dogmatic lockstep leftist vapidity, combined with your total disregard for actual facts while spouting demonstrable lies, have earned you this distinction – and don’t take that lightly!

          Your effort to achieve your current nirvana of complete and total asininity took years, and you have some pretty stiff competition – PeakTrader, Benji, Turd Manson, cgregory, and of course Larry G.

          I think I can speak for most of us here and congratulate you on this new and very, very well deserved honor.

        4. What Libertarians are trying to say is that when a study shows a minimum wage increase didn’t lead to a jump in unemployment numbers is that much of the West can afford a small jump but others can’t. By the same token a spike in food prices would not cause famine in the West because food prices are relatively low whereas in poor countries there would be famine as people there live on the edge and can’t afford the slightest increase.

          1. Jon Murphy

            Those on the margin get hurt, not helped, which makes a policy like minimum wage NOT a good thing to do.

          2. morganovich

            gil-

            that is not at all what we are trying to say.

            what we are saying is that a hike in minimum wages is a difficult thing to isolate when studying it. when you do a physics experiment, you hold all variables constant but the one you wish to study.

            this is not possible in a real economy.

            thus, there is always going to be some variation in results.

            but, the preponderance of evidence shows that a higher minimum wages causes job losses, makes it harder for low skill workers to find work, reduces real income overall, and results in less investment and growth.

            these are all consistent with the basic economic theory on this topic both from a macro (top down) and a micro) bottom up approach.

            the money for these additional wages does not simply appear.

            it has to come from somewhere.

            a higher min wage therefore MUST result in someone losing out. it either results in job losses, higher prices, or the reduction of profit and therefore investment in future growth that would have been experienced otherwise.

            no other outcomes are possible.

            such effects may be swamped by other factors just as pressing the brakes in your car can be swamped by the force of gravity if you are going down a hill, but the folks claiming min wage hikes do not affect jobs and growth and are good for an economy are literally tryign to claim that pressing the brakes makes you go forward because they mistake the pull from gravity for the effects of the brake pedal.

            a min wage is also an extremely blunt instrument. its effects apply to all, but all situations are not the same. one size fits all price fixing is, by its nature, inherently inefficient.

            further, they also argue that a minimum wage law is counter to basic rights and liberty.

            from what source does a just government derive the right to tell you that, despite your own desires, you are not allowed to sell your labor at a price you find attractive?

            how can one square that with notions of self determination, free contract, and inalienable rights?

            min wage is the peddling of restriction as though it is freedom.

    5. And someday economics will be a science“…

      And someday you just might be a scientist but I doubt it…

      1400 studies have shown NO effect from raising the MW“…

      Is that your attempt to quote from this insipid drivel spilling forth from Rob Garver at the Fiscal Times?

      1,400 Real World Minimum Wage Increases Show No Impact on Employment

      It was the number “1400” that caught my attention…

      What I find really entertaining was how Garver continued to use that thoroughly debunked progressive song & dance “The first evidence that this might be the case arose in 1994, when economists David Card and Alan Krueger published a paper studying employment at fast food restaurants in neighboring parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey…” as if repeating it often enough would somehow make itself morph into a fact…

      1. morganovich

        citing card/kruger as a source is a nearly sure sign that you are dealing with either a liar or an economic illiterate.

        the study is such a gold standard for fraud and bad data handling in economics circles that the phrase “playing the kruger card” has entered fairly common economic parlance to describe the citing of fraud.

        the study was thoroughly and utterly debunked by going to exactly the same fast food stores CK used and examining their actual payroll records. turns out, CK literally made up their data and described a 4.6% decrease in employment as a 17% increase.

        once more, the trollish appeal to “data” fails when actual data emerges.

        http://www.nber.org/papers/w5224

        “We re-evaluate the evidence from Card and Krueger’s (1994) New Jersey-Pennsylvania minimum wage experiment, using new data based on actual payroll records from 230 Burger King, KFC, Wendy’s, and Roy Rogers restaurants in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We compare results using these payroll data to those using CK’s data, which were collected by telephone surveys. We have two findings to report. First, the data collected by CK appear to indicate greater employment variation over the eight-month period between their surveys than do the payroll data. For example, in the full sample the standard deviation of employment change in CK’s data is three times as large as that in the payroll data. Second, estimates of the employment effect of the New Jersey minimum wage increase from the payroll data lead to the opposite conclusion from that reached by CK. For comparable sets of restaurants, differences-in-differences estimates using CK’s data imply that the New Jersey minimum wage increase (of 18.8 percent) resulted in an employment increase of 17.6 percent relative to the Pennsylvania control group, an elasticity of 0.93. In contrast, estimates based on the payroll data suggest that the New Jersey minimum wage increase led to a 4.6 percent decrease in employment in New Jersey relative to the Pennsylvania control group. This decrease is statistically significant at the five-percent level and implies an elasticity of employment with respect to the minimum wage of -0.24. ”

        that is what actual data looks like robbie.

        you should try getting some.

      2. Robert puharic

        What’s funny is the right SAYS the study has been debunked…but offers no debunkage. Apparently if Rush (PBUH) says it, then it’s been debunked.

        Card and Krueger have repeated their study and replicated results.

        However, INDEPENDENT analysis by the CBO finds a systemic bias in favor of publishing results showing a negative effect on unemployment when the MW is raised.

        That’s no surprise. Similar results are found in medical studies as well….it’s just the right wing doesn’t know enough about science to recognize what ‘data’ looks like, preferring hard core ideology to facts.

        1. Harold Saxon

          Card and Krueger have repeated their study and replicated results.

          They have, but others have not.

          However, INDEPENDENT analysis by the CBO finds a systemic bias in favor of publishing results showing a negative effect on unemployment when the MW is raised.

          There is also systemic bias in favor of publishing results showing gravity causes objects to fall. I guess gravity must be fake, too!

        2. Citizen Buddy

          “However, INDEPENDENT analysis by the CBO finds a systemic bias in favor of publishing results showing a negative effect on unemployment when the MW is raised.”

          And yet, in that report, the CBO acknowledges significant increasing job losses as the minimum wage is raised.

          1. Citizen Buddy

            Does the CBO state regional differences are important in minimum wage increase discussions?

            “CBO put the most weight on the studies of state-by-state differences, judging those studies to have estimated more accurately the effects of minimum wages on employment.”

        3. morganovich

          “What’s funny is the right SAYS the study has been debunked…but offers no debunkage. Apparently if Rush (PBUH) says it, then it’s been debunked.”

          i just showed you the study that debunked it.

          seriously, can you not read?

          they “repeated” their study, got VERY different results, and it was still not valid.

          they used unemployment claims numbers to try the second time.

          that is not an accurate proxy as not everyone who loses a job goes on unemplyment.

          neuberger used the ACTUAL PAYROLL RECORDS FROM THE ACTUAL STORES.

          data does not get better than that.

          trying to refute the actual, primary source data by using a third part proxy that does not cover all the workers is a total farce.

          for a guy who claims to like and cite data robbie, you sure seem to have no idea what actual data is.

          you’re a joke dude.

        4. What’s funny is the right SAYS the study has been debunked…but offers no debunkage. Apparently if Rush (PBUH) says it, then it’s been debunked“…

          Well apparently puharic you couldn’t be bothered to look around on the Heritage site for that info because its so much easier to attempt to BS people than do some work…

          Here, try these out:

          The Crippling Flaws in the New Jersey Fast Food Study

          From a name you might recognize: Obama’s Chief Econ. Adviser Once Made An Amazing Discovery: Demand Curves Slope Upward

    6. That is not a license to let the poor continue to be poor“…

      Ahhh, the poor deserve to be poor otherwise they wouldn’t be poor…

      [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdLq_oVJa-c?rel=0&w=420&h=315

      1. Oops!

      2. juandos

        That’s great. Thanks.

        AND he doesn’t need a license or permit to do business. Imagine that. What strange economic principle limits the number of paperboys to exactly the right number, unlike taxis, which would flood our city streets from curb to curb if not regulated and limited by the city government?

        And Walmart. If not fought ferociously by consumer groups and brave city officials, there would be a Walmart on every block.

        Something strange is going on here, and I can’t figure out what it is.

    7. Drunkenson

      Robert,

      If we think that the poor should be elevated should we not be paying to do so?

      Why are you seeking to slough off your responsibilities onto others?

      Perhaps you want to bask in the warm and fuzzy feeling of being a benefactor of the poor, without actually doing any bene or factoring.

      B and C deciding what A should do for D.

      Before you even get to argue about which of the competing studies settles the matter you need to solve this conundrum.

      Round and round we go, my study is better than your study, with no resolution.

      1. cgregory

        Drunkenson, it is not simply a matter of “the poor being elevated.” We conservatives want to live in a society where other people’s children have the same chances our children do– to have the latitude to be curious, to be excited by the prospect of learning and to surpass us in knowledge and happiness.

        If that does not happen, society is the worse for it in numerous ways.

        That cannot be done without a certain minimum level of material well-being. Having government programs to supply that is one way; having sufficient income is another. There are others.

        What would you propose for America’s children?

        1. Drunkenson

          Cgregory,

          I would rather not be confused with conservatives, true or otherwise.

          I cannot tell whether you have missed the point or are simply avoiding it.

          Suppose that you and I and all the others who live in our apartment building chip in to pay the rent for the widow in 2a who has fallen on hard times.

          I submit that the above is somewhat different to the residents deciding that I, ywho happen to own the penthouse, should support the widow in 2a, who has fallen on hard times.

          I have no particular qualms about us, using our resources however we wish.

          That, however, is not the same as saying that you should use your resources as I wish.

          1. Drunkenson,

            You should know that cgregory is most definitely NOT a conservative. After being discredited numerous times trying to make his case, he adopted his current persona: that of a troll pretending to be a conservative.

          2. morganovich

            “What would you propose for America’s children?”

            our children deserve the best.

            as such, i propose using the most tried and true method for the alleviation of poverty and the promotion of knowledge and progress known to man: capitalism.

            i propose we stop trying to steer the economy and outcomes through the use of restrictive and coercive government force, a proven destroyer of wealth and prosperity.

            why should out children be subjected to the whims of the experimentation of mad social scientists when we already KNOW what works?

            why should they be subject to coercive force when we know that it’s absence works better?

            protect natural rights, enforce contracts, and stay out of the way.

        2. cg

          This is much better! Please keep up the good work.

          Drunkenson, it is not simply a matter of “the poor being elevated.” We conservatives want to live in a society where other people’s children have the same chances our children do– to have the latitude to be curious, to be excited by the prospect of learning and to surpass us in knowledge and happiness.

          Children have those natural capacities at birth. There is nothing you or anyone else can do to enhance them. At best you can try to remove obstacles that exist in their path, and refrain from creating new obstacles in the name of “equality”.

          One of the best things *you* could do in that regard, is to remove yourself from any position of influence over how other people’s children are allowed to live their lives, and try hard to avoid the pretense that you and others know better than parents, what is good for their children, because you do not.

          One important obstacle is limited parental choice. You and others have limited the available educational choices for children as to how and where they can go to school, and what they can learn. If you understood that you DON’T know what’s best for other people’s children, you would quickly remove those limits to choice that only apply to lower income people, and not the wealthy. Limiting choices does NOT produce equal opportunity, but just the opposite

          Another serious obstacle to children’s success is the one placed on low income parents’ ability to make a living, called the “minimum wage”. You and other like-minded busybodies have decided that a person may not work unless they can command at least some arbitrary minimum wage. The direct effect of this mandated minimum is to protect those already in the workforce, who have some level of skills, from competition from those not yet in the workforce. Removing that barrier would go a long way toward allowing children to realize their potentials.

          In addition, you and other busybodies have denied children opportunities to learn useful skills, through the use of child labor laws, by forbidding them to work at menial tasks that are within their abilities.

          Other serious barriers to success for the poor are requirements for occupational licensing and permitting, as if people need approval from the state to make a living. Many low income people are stopped cold from entering the marketplace as entrepreneurs, while existing businesses are protected from competition. As a person who cares deeply about the plight of the poor, I would expect that you are working hard to remove those barriers, so low income people, and their children, have opportunities to succeed and realize their potentials.

          If that does not happen, society is the worse for it in numerous ways.

          What ways, exactly? As a non-true conservative I may need additional explanation.

          That cannot be done without a certain minimum level of material well-being.

          And of course as all value is subjective, we have no idea what that minimum level is.

          Having government programs to supply that is one way;

          But government doesn’t produce anything, so it can’t add anything positive. It can only redistribute income by force, and eventually reduce everyone to an equal level of poverty.

          …having sufficient income is another.

          Yes, that’s what I propose. Allow people to earn sufficient income by removing barriers.

          There are others.

          Like what?

          What would you propose for America’s children?

          Morganovich has said it best. Please reread his comment and pretend I wrote it here.

        3. cgregory

          morganovich, you’re not very old, are you? The ideal childhood you wish for is already in full operation– in places like Somalia.

          1. We’re going to have to add “Somalia” to the running Cliche Shit The Left Loves To Spew.

            Islamist, low avg IQ, and a primitive tribal culture, but other than that it’s a perfect example of a libertarian paradise.

          2. cg

            I believe I recommended at one time that you read a book about the effect of alcoholism on family members.

            Yes, I’m familiar with the effect of alcoholism on family members.

            To believe that in America the greatest threat to child development is an oppressive government is an almost fatal defect, because while there might not be much that we can do to enhance them, there is a lot that needs to be done to keep those intelligences from being depressed by environmental causes.”

            I explained that what was needed was freedom to choose. Choices in education and freedom to work and make a living.

            Government limits those choices, supposedly for the benefit of those on whom the limits are imposed. It’s truly Orwellian.

            “Environment” refers to their entire surroundings…”

            Yes, I understand what is meant by environment.

            I consider it my duty to report a parent who is abusing a child;

            Of course. Most of us feel a moral duty to prevent abuse of one person by another.

            I consider it a moral obligation to join with those whose children are affected by smog and industrial pollutants.

            That is very noble. You do, in fact, have that choice. You may apply your resources and efforts to any cause you find worthwhile. Just don’t you dare suggest that your thug agent, the state, should take *my* resources to use for purposes to which I haven’t agreed.

            I am extremely concerned by the levels of violence and stultification-inducing manipulation low-income parents inflict on their children, and I have seen the improvement in family function when parents have secured good-paying jobs.

            And yet you don’t seem to understand that those good-paying jobs can *only* be created by those who have the ability to create great value for others. Government, which creates nothing, can’t just redistribute income and wealth to achieve prosperity.

            I wish you had broader knowledge of what families need.

            I know what MY family needs. I wish you understand that you can’t know better than families themselves, what they need. Let them choose for themselves. Remove obstacles that keep them poor, protect their rights, enforce contracts, and get out of their way. Your incessant meddling is why they are still low income parents.

            Let me post something here from “The Darker Shore,” about child labor in the Georgian age:

            Yes, that was a terrible time for rich and poor alike. Slavery was legal, children were property, and it was necessary for every family member to work to support themselves. Life was no better on the farm. dawn to dusk mind-numbing drudgery in all kinds of weather, with no hope of a brighter future. Life really sucked for most people in those days.

            Now, in the developed world, we are no longer that poor or desperate, and we have the luxury of keeping our children at home and in school for years longer than in Georgian times. Slavery is no longer legal, and children aren’t property. We are now rich enough to consider such luxuries as clean air and water, our natural environment, and thousands of other things no one has time for when they must spend every waking moment surviving.

            This is what employers are capable of even today, even in America, especially if the child is of an undocumented worker, or black.

            Luckily for them, they have you – ever vigilant and on the lookout for some form of abuse.

            My point about child labor laws was that young people are now prevented from performing many simple low skilled tasks that they are perfectly capable of doing, and which they did in earlier times, thereby gaining a head start on life by learnin valuable work skills.

            Spending an hour or two after school at such jobs as sweeping up, restocking shelves, doing yard-work for neighbors, running simple errands, and dozens of others
            for very low pay are no longer allowed.

            There are cases reported in the papers of adults in America being treated like slaves.

            Why do you suppose they are reported? Could it be because they are so rare and shocking? Get a grip. People have always been capable of mistreating others, and probably always will be. The good news is that capitalism, free markets, and technology have improved everyone’s lives so much that legalized mistreatment of others is no longer advantageous.

            We can’t rely on laissez-faire practices to produce healthy, happy and high-functioning children.

            Nonsense. How do you suppose humans have survived this long without you to guide them?

            What we can’t rely on is you and other meddling busybodies telling us how we are to raise our children, and using the force of the state to achieve your ends.

            You DON’T know what is best for others, or their children. Butt out. Get out of their way, you are hurting them.

            Is it your recommendation that all children be taken from their parents at an early age and raised by a benevolent state organization that knows what is best for them? Perhaps with you at the helm?

          3. Paul

            We’re going to have to add “Somalia” to the running Cliche Shit The Left Loves To Spew.

            No kidding! People through that name out into the mix as if they have any clue what it means.

          4. Paul

            Of course we are all Somalia experts now that we’ve seen the movie.

        4. cgregory

          Ron H– always good to hear from you.

          You are correct in children being innately curious; as a father you are probably aware of just how hard you used to have to work to keep their curiosity from injuring or killing them!

          I believe I recommended at one time that you read a book about the effect of alcoholism on family members. There are any number out there, although I would suggest Wegscheider’s “The Family Trap” or Black’s “It Can Never Happen to Me.” They are just the barest introduction to the whole wide world of child stultification. To believe that in America the greatest threat to child development is an oppressive government is an almost fatal defect, because while there might not be much that we can do to enhance them, there is a lot that needs to be done to keep those intelligences from being depressed by environmental causes.

          “Environment” refers to their entire surroundings, not only family, but extended family, neighbors, home, neighborhood, security, food availability and quality, access to utilities, public services (police protection, education, fire protection, health care, libraries), exposure to commercialism, air quality, daylight, epidemiological risks, etc.

          I consider it my duty to report a parent who is abusing a child; I consider it a moral obligation to join with those whose children are affected by smog and industrial pollutants.

          I am extremely concerned by the levels of violence and stultification-inducing manipulation low-income parents inflict on their children, and I have seen the improvement in family function when parents have secured good-paying jobs.

          I wish you had broader knowledge of what families need. Let me post something here from “The Darker Shore,” about child labor in the Georgian age:

          “Children went to work after their sixth birthday. The Industrial Revolution did not invent child labor, but it did expand and systematize the exploitation of the very young. The reign of George III saw a rising trade in orphans and pauper children, collected from the parish workhouses of London and Birmingham, who were shipped off in thousands to the new industrial centers of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lancashire. One London child-slave, Robert Bincoe, who was placed in the St. Pancras Workhouse in 1794 and sent off with eighty other children to the Lambert cotton mill outside Nottingham, gave testimony to a Parliamentary committee on child labor some forty years later:

          Q: Do you send [your children to work in the] factories –No, I would rather have them transported [on prison ships to Australia]. . . I have seen the time when two hand-vices of a pound-weight each, more or less, have been screwed to my ears, at Lytton mill in Darbyshire. These are the scars still remaining behind my ears. Then three or four of us have been hung at once on a cross-beam above the machinery, hanging by our hands, without shirt or stockings. Then we used to stand up, in a skip, without our shirts, and be beaten with straps or sticks; the skip was to prevent us from running away from the straps. . .They used to tie up a 28-pounds weight, one or two at once, according to our size, to hang down our backs, with no shirt on.

          Doctors tended to side with their class allies, the factory-owners [and to deny there were ill effects from working conditions] .. . .

          [Testimony of children’s overseer Joseph Badder, of the Leicester Mill]:
          I used to beat them. . .I was forced to do it. . . I have seen them fall asleep, and they have been performing their work with the hands until they were asleep, and the billy had stopped, when their work was over. I have stopped and looked at them for two minutes, going through the motions of piecening fast asleep, when there was really no work to do, and when they were really doing nothing.”

          This is what employers are capable of even today, even in America, especially if the child is of an undocumented worker, or black. There are cases reported in the papers of adults in America being treated like slaves.

          We can’t rely on laissez-faire practices to produce healthy, happy and high-functioning children.

          1. morganovich

            “We can’t rely on laissez-faire practices to produce healthy, happy and high-functioning children.”

            yes, we can.

            in fact, we must.

            it is not “laissez faire” that sends children to work.

            it’s poverty.

            rich people do not send children to factories, they send them to school.

            thus, to give our children the best shot a a future, we need a wealth society.

            the best way to create wealth is free market capitalism.

            you have your causality all muddled up here.

            to cite somalia is completely absurd.

            somailia is not poor and lawless.

            one needs a certain amount of government for capitalism and wealth creation to function.

            natural rights must be defended and conrtacts must be enforced.

            somalia is the opposite of a free market. it’s barbarism.

            if you are unable to distinguish between barbarism and free market capitalism, then it is small wonder that you have such a lamentably poor grasp on what makes a society function and allows it to become wealthy to the benefit of its citizens.

            even the terribly poor in the us are dazzlingly wealthy by somali standards.

  2. morganovich

    this would seem to lead to another significant issue as well.

    in a low cost community, wages are likely also lower across the board, not just at the minimum wage level.

    so, if we hike the min wage, this hikes costs to businesses that employ such workers. if they are going to absorb those costs and maintain profitability without firing workers, then they have to raise prices.

    but what does this do to the rest of the community?

    it decreases THEIR wages.

    at the margin, people who were just getting by before are put into poverty. across the board, people lose real income.

    thus, this plan to alleviate poverty actually pushes new people into poverty at the community level and still likely harms business at the micro level as well.

    after all, a business spends a great deal of time and effort tryign to find the level of quantity sold X price that maximizes revenue and profit.

    if they have to raise their prices due to new costs, then they are going to sell fewer goods and likely be at a less optimal level of business.

    to pretend otherwise is to assume that, by blind luck and all over the country and in 100’s of thousands of businesses, an induced price hike in their goods will yield better financial performance than the carefully arrived at pricing each company determined worked best for it.

    this is so implausible that it does not even merit serious consideration.

    so, we get new poor people, less profitable businesses, and higher costs of living.

    in the absolute best possible case scenario, this whole notion if min wage being good for an economy cannot be true. at best, it is zero sum.

    in reality, it’s quite significantly negative sum.

    1. Robert puharic

      The right is big on theory. Small on data. Where’s the proof? There is none. No data. Nothing. Funny how all conservative arguments end with ‘we need to make the rich richer’.

      1. Just because you keep repeating a lie doesn’t actually make it not a lie.

      2. morganovich

        “The right is big on theory. Small on data. Where’s the proof?’

        says the guy who never provides any valid data, just repetitive blathering.

        gee, what’s this?

        http://www.nber.org/papers/w12663.pdf

        sure looks like data and proof to me.

        i am not sure i have ever seen anyone as dogmatically stupid and dishonest as you are robert.

        this is not “theory”. it is a basic financial fact.

        if you run a business and i force you to increase your wage costs, what can you do that is not, at best, zero sum in the short run and negative sum in the long run?

        you can raise prices or you can lose profits.

        either is zero sum (at best).

        but only in the short run. investment in driven by the pursuit of profit. lower profit means less future investment and fewer future jobs.

        higher prices mean lower real income for everyone who patronizes your business and new people pushed into financial insecurity at the margin.

        your inability to grasp even basic business concepts would seem ti indicate that you have no business at all even having an opinion on these matters, much less sharing it.

      3. morganovich

        “Funny how all conservative arguments end with ‘we need to make the rich richer’.”

        ahh, the clownish misframing of the desperate and avaricious left.

        just who is making that argument?

        the argument is that free markets and capitalism make us ALL richer, and the data on that working is legion.

        name a rich country that is not capitalist.

        the US poor are no poorer than those in the EU depite far less wealth redistribution. it is only that our rich are richer.

        only someone driven by the basest instincts of avarice and entitlement could possibly prefer a system where the poor get 5 and the rich get 7 to one where the poor get 5 and the rich get 8.

        to seek to take liberty and to destroy societal wealth so that you feel less inadequate is a disgusting impulse.

        1. Robert puharic

          Free markets don’t exist. Period. In fact, if they DID exist, as Adam Smith said, they’d NEED to be regulated for the good of society since ‘business men would conspire against the public interest’.

          The right, fundamentalist in religion, science and economics, has simplistic views of the way things work, including markets.

          Our poor aren’t poorer? Gee. Our poverty rates are higher, while our rich ARE richer than in Europe. Funny how that works. And our middle class hasn’t had a real income increase in 30 years while the 1% tripled theirs?

          Guess your view of capitalism doesn’t ‘raise all boats’. Another right wing failure.

          1. morganovich

            oh my god.

            the stupid, it BURNS!

            just how do businessmen conspire against the public interest?

            by competing to offer you products you find attractive?

            by competing for the best workers?

            our poor are NOT poorer and you know it, or you would if you ever read any of the data people showed you instead of retreating into your dogma and lies.

            http://www.coyoteblog.com/coyote_blog/tag/income-inequality

            oops. data.

            once more, you are proven wrong.

            your incessant lies and claims of “data” which you then fail to provide are tiresome.

          2. morganovich

            ” And our middle class hasn’t had a real income increase in 30 years while the 1% tripled theirs?”

            more lies.

            http://reason.com/archives/2014/03/17/obama-wrong-about-income-inequ

            “In December 2013, a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) study looked at historical tax burdens borne by Americans at all income levels. Among other things, the CBO examined after-tax income trends for each quintile of American households since 1979, including not just wages but benefits and transfer payments. Using the CBO data, the Brookings Institution economist Gary Burtless has shown that from 1979 to 2010, the last year for which data are available, the bottom fifth’s after-tax income in constant dollars rose by 49 percent. The incomes of households in the second lowest, middle, and fourth quintiles increased by 37 percent, 36 percent, and 45 percent, respectively. The poor and the middle class got richer.”

            middle class up 37%. the poor up even more at 49%.

            and this does not even take into account the fact that household dropped in size from 2.8 to 2.6, or 7% which increases per member income (and standard of lving) even further.

            you literally just make this stuff up.

            so, now will you once more try to foist that laughable productivity chart on us and mistake hourly production workers for the whole economy and try to claim that productivity gains are evenly distributed and that workers are entitled to the full gain in productivity they get from using someone else’s capital?

            why would anyone spend money on capital investment, forgo other income, and take risks only to surrender all the gains to someone else?

            do you have even the slightest grasp on how incentives work?

            i would dearly love to watch you try to run a business some time.

            you seem to lack sufficient grasp of the needed material to run a lemonade stand.

          3. morganovich

            oh, and btw, when businessmen DO conspire against the public interest, do you know how they do it?

            government.

            they seek to ban exports of natural gas so they can buy it cheaply.

            they seek to ban uber and lyft so they can make outsized profits through mandated monopoly.

            they demand regulators to licensee hair braiders and interior designers to suppress competition.

            they lobby for and get mandates and massive subsidies.

            government is the tool by which business conspires against consumers.

            absent its regulations, business does not have this ability.

          4. Harold Saxon

            I looooooooooooooooooooove how he tries to quote Smith, and then quotes nothing that he ever said.

            Seriously, Bobby here is like a walking joke

          5. puharic,

            as Adam Smith said, they’d NEED to be regulated for the good of society since ‘business men would conspire against the public interest’.

            It’s weird how you quote Adam Smith exactly, but still somehow many to claim he said something he most certainly did NOT say.

            Also, there is regulation in ALL markets, including free markets. The question is simply who regulates. In free markets, consumers regulate, as consumers can simply choose to spend their time and money elsehwere or not at all. The only alternative is to replace consumer regulation with politically controlled regulation. Who thinks that politicians don’t conspire agains the public interest? The difference between politicians and businessmen? Business do not have the power of the police state coercing people to give up there own interests.

            Our poverty rates are higher

            Because the definition of poverty changes over time. If we applied today’s definition of “poverty” to 1970, the poverty rate of 1970 would be well over 50%. You really should learn about politics and the way politicians change the meaning of words to mean someting other than their traditional meaning. In fact, there is a word for it based on an English author: Orwellian.

            our middle class hasn’t had a real income increase in 30 years

            This has been pointed out to you many times to be false. Now you are just arguing in mala fide, purposefully lying trying to make a point based on that lie. This doesn’t make your case stronger. It simply outs you as a liar.

          6. puharic,

            Also, your “quote” of Adam Smith isn’t a quote at all. It’s a paraphrase, and a bad paraphrase at that. Additionally, the FULL quote clearly demonstrates that Smith did NOT favor political regulation of markets:

            “People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. …It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty and justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary. A regulation which obliges all those of the same trade in a particular town to enter their names and places of abode in a public register, facilitates such assemblies. . . . A regulation which enables those of the same trade to tax themselves in order to provide for their poor, their sick, their widows, and orphans, by giving them a common interest to manage, renders such assemblies necessary. An incorporation not only renders them necessary, but makes the act of the majority binding upon the whole.” (emphasis mine)

            In other words, Adam Smith wholly recognized the dangers of regulatory capture. Smith’s entire point is that political regulation forces businessmen (because of unjust and illiberal laws) to conspire and often with politicians against the public interest.

          7. People wouldn’t make pins and sell them ataerket prices without government control? Seems far fetched to me. Seems like the cost of a pin has gone from several dollars per pin to several hundred pins per dollar without any need for government to interfere.

      4. The right is big on theory. Small on data.

        There must be some kind of seminar you have to attend before becoming a liberal. They always trot out the same moronic game plan over and over and over.

        “We are about data, not ideology!”

        “Fox News! Sarah Palin! Rush Limbaugh! The Koch Brotherssss!!!!!”

        “Raaaaaaacists!”

        1. morganovich

          paul-

          might it be that there is some sort of heretofore un-clinically diagnoses syndrome that causes the brains of those affected to mistake emotion for data?

          some sort of snyesthesia for logic?

          that would certainly explain a great deal.

          1. Robert puharic

            Kind of like the neurological studies showing conservatives’ brains are afraid of change?

            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201104/conservatives-big-fear-brain-study-finds

          2. Morg,

            That must be it. Robert Pukeaholic would make an excellent case study for this syndrome.

          3. morganovich

            which is funny, because it is liberals who fear competition, free markets (the greatest agent of change around) and seek to regulate to prevent, not push change.

            liberals are the ones terrified of uncertainty.

            which is more uncertain, a free market or socialism?

            and btw, those are crap studies. my girlfriend is an actual neuroscientist with a phd in the topic, so you are not going to be able to slide that pop science.

            you do know that “big” and “more effective” are not synonymous in brains, right?

            einstein had a smaller than average brain.

            it’s about connections, not size.

            greater size can actually indicate less efficient connections and function.

            for a “scientist” you sure fall on your face every time you try to say somehting scientific.

            only a complete fool would use such data as “proof”.

            it’s also internally contradictory anyhow.

            if we are going to use size as a proxy for functionality, then having a larger amygdala would indicate better emotional control which implies a mind more driven by logic and less by uncontrollable emotion.

            thus, conservatives would be logical and able to process facts more dispassionately then their liberal counterparts who are less able to control their emotions.

            gee, maybe there is something to this after all…

            of course, you are still making the foolish mistake of calling libertarians conservatives (which they are most definitely not) but hey, what can one expect from someone with low emotional control who seems to argue entirely by falsehood and straw man?

        2. Robert puharic

          And yet Paul Ryan apologized for his ‘racial’ insensitivity. John Derbyshire gets fired from National Review for racism so blatant even they couldn’t ignore it. The theater critic for “American Spectator” doesn’t like “12 years a slave” because it shows slave owners as mean.

          Go figure.

          1. LOL. You’re just another cookie-cutter liberal. Paul Ryan had absolutely nothing to apologize for, but was intimidated by creeps like you into saying he was “inarticulate.” I don’t know about the American Spectator, but then I don’t keep up with the grievance industry like you and all liberals do. I see you already mentioned Rush earlier in the thread.

            You really stick to the script, don’t you, Science Boy?

          2. morganovich

            was that even intended as an argument?

            so, because you can point to a racist on the other team, it proves yours does not play the race card?

            seriously, there is a considerable part of your brain missing.

            you seem incapable of very basic logic.

            you literally just argued:

            they have a quarterback on their team, therefore mine does not.

            you lack any defense for the issue raised, so instead, you try to attack and shift the debate.

            you are a sad, deluded, little dolt robbie.

            if these comments are indicative of your intelligence and capability, no wonder you want a handout.

            i would not want to try to compete in a free market using your brain either.

          3. cgregory

            “You can’t make a man understand when his paycheck depends upon not understanding.”

            –Upton Sinclair

            We true conservatives understand that simply by continuing to repeat claims rather than displaying–and then explaining– our data and its significance we can wear down the opposition, especially if we operate in gangs against one lone voice of reason. It’s a tactic that doesn’t take much effort at all, leaving us a lot of energy to repeat it.

          4. mesa econoguy

            We true conservatives leftists understand that simply by continuing to repeat claims which are demonstrably falserather than displaying–and then explaining– our lack of data and its insignificance we can wear down the opposition, especially if we operate in gangs against one lone voice of reason anyone and everyone who disagrees with us on the internet. It’s a tactic that doesn’t take much effort at all, leaving us a lot of energy to repeat it, and cry foul when others challenge us to produce actual information, which we don’t have.

            There, fixed it for you, chief.

          5. Harold Saxon

            Ah, thank you cgregory. I always suspected that was the case, that you guys just railed over and over and over hoping to wear down the competition. Glad to know that it is your stated strategy rather than just my imagination.

          6. morganovich

            ““You can’t make a man understand when his paycheck depends upon not understanding.”

            –Upton Sinclair

            i collect welfare, and i approve this message.

    2. Jon Murphy

      Absolutely right, Morganovich. We see this all over the world, actually, especially in Socialist countries like Venezuela and the USSR.

  3. Jon Murphy

    As you say, this would disproportionately affect the low-cost states. This, of course, means that the low-income workers in those states will more likely be burdened by the minimum wage.

    This is why these massive, so-called “progressive” polices are doomed to fail: they are one-size-fits-all. They ignore the fact that things vary from region to region and person to person. They treat everyone as machines, unthinking, unblinking, moved by nothing other than what their owners command.

    Aside from the fact that minimum wage makes no logical sense and has only the weakest anecdotes and pretty questionable studies to back it up, the simple fact remains that each region is different and it would make far more sense to have towns determine minimum wage than states or feds.

  4. chuck martel

    The school yard taunting over the economic pluses and minuses of a minimum wage aren’t relevant to its basic defect, government intrusion into yet another voluntary exchange. Goodwill Industries, a non-profit with paid employees and management, also has volunteers that work in its stores. Take note of the word, “volunteer”. Shouldn’t they be compensated at some minimum as well? How about government interns? Or will exceptions be made for these positions?

    1. Harold Saxon

      The school yard taunting over the economic pluses and minuses of a minimum wage aren’t relevant to its basic defect, government intrusion into yet another voluntary exchange.

      While you are absolutely right, I am just joining in the taunting because I am really really really bored.

  5. Seattle Sam

    I would like to recap Robert’s running arguments here (just in case there’s ever a Hall of Fame for this sort of thing):

    a) Demand curves for labor are not downward sloping
    b) Being legally prevented from offering your labor at a price that will attract bidders has nothing to do with liberty.
    c) Income just happens somehow and then is “vacuumed up” by The Rich.
    d) Government has rigged things so that The Rich can exploit The Rest Of Us. AND the solution for this is to give government even more power over economic decisions.
    e) The optimal price of labor is the same in every locale in the United States.
    f) A compelling argument for enacting a Minimum Wage is that it will have no effect on employment.

    1. Harold Saxon

      You forgot one:

      g) Most of the data says there is a negative effect on minimum wage.

      1. And, as I pointed out above:

        h)Data!

        I)Rush Limbaugh. QED

        J)Raaacists!

    2. morganovich

      ss-

      i think you left out the absolute capper:

      “economics is not a science” followed by “1400 studies have shown…”

      so, are these not scientific studies? and if not, why should we pay attention to them?

      i mean, they guy literally cannot maintain consistency in 2 adjacent sentences.

      he’s almost as funny as that guy who claimed his family had invented every single thing ever in all of history.

      1. Jon Murphy

        I miss that guy. I gotta find his website again

          1. morganovich

            paul-

            thanks for posting that.

            you are absolutely right.

            that may have been the funniest thread ever.

            our current crop of jesters pales in comparison.

            we really do need a better class of troll.

            perhaps we could have auditions?

          2. Jon Murphy

            Thanks, Paul!

            Ah…good times, good times.

          3. The very first question in the very first comment: Other than heavily subsidized, regulated and protected food, and lately oil, what is made in the USA?

            Ben Cole is truly a moron.

          4. Oops. Second question in first comment:-)

          5. Thanks Paul. I remember that as one of the funniest threads ever. I suspect Mr. Thomas is enjoying himself immensely as a comedian who enjoys yanking people’s chains.

          6. Ron,

            I loved his hilarious formula of : absurd claim + very specific time in history and place. I wondered if he was just a jokester or quite deranged.

          7. Paul

            I loved his hilarious formula of : absurd claim + very specific time in history and place.

            Yeah, it was great stuff.

            I wondered if he was just a jokester or quite deranged.

            Maybe a happy combination of both. I think mostly the former.

          8. Morg

            my suspicion is that if we drew a venn diagram of the set of people capable of being fooled by him and of the set of people who have any money, they would likely not intersect.

            Heh. Absolutely. Anyone over the age of 12 who is that gullible, probably has no money left by now.

        1. givemefreedom

          The sad thing is that his site is set up as a scam to snare ill informed people to contact them for patent help/financing. While anyone with some experience or understanding would laugh at his claims as the joke that they are, I am sure that he gets some unsuspecting and inexperienced people to contact him.

          He should be outed for the fraud that he is.

          1. morganovich

            gmf-

            given his demonstrated inability to write in coherent sentences, spell, and his rambling, disjointed prose (read the thread in which he participated for examples) as well as his wonderfully absurd claims such as (and i paraphrase) “prior to 1807 people lives in hand dug holes in the ground and drank water from the bottom with their snouts as there was no glassware because i had not invented it yet” i suspect the folks are likely quite safe.

            i suspect this is more a sign of some sort of “beautiful mind” type of mental break than an effective scam.

            my suspicion is that if we drew a venn diagram of the set of people capable of being fooled by him and of the set of people who have any money, they would likely not intersect.

          2. givemefreedom

            Morg,

            Perhaps you are right. I never did read his posts, just went to the site.

            He has contact info listed though, email and phone number. Maybe he is a bottomfeeder who asks people for a few hundred dollars to help them get a patent/financing that never materializes.

            Or as you said, he is batshit crazy and this site contains the vomit of his warped mind.

          3. Jon Murphy

            I vote option two

          4. morganovich

            gmf-

            ” I never did read his posts”

            oh, you should. seriously. they are some of the funniest stuff ever to appear on cd.

          5. Jon Murphy

            Like, serious “delusions of grandeur” stuff.

            The website reads like an old man on his death bed talking into a recorder.

          6. Morg

            “my suspicion is that if we drew a venn diagram of the set of people capable of being fooled by him and of the set of people who have any money, they would likely not intersect.”

            Heh. Absolutely. Anyone over the age of 12 who is that gullible, probably has no money left by now.

    3. I’ve always enjoyed hearing d). It’s a quick way to note to yourself that you can tune that person completely out for having demonstrated having zero critical thinking skills.

      How do you even mock such people?

      1. morganovich

        “How do you even mock such people?”

        encourage them to keep speaking?

        seems to be working here.

  6. Benjamin Cole

    Based on this chart, we could make reductions in VA and SSDI disability payments in rural areas.

    1. I keep forgetting which of your Democrat buddies are in line to vote for reducing the Va budget or disability payments?

      1. Benjamin Cole

        Rick-

        Actually I am a libertarian…and my last post on this topic was how Vt. Socialist Bernie Sanders was teaming up with Big D Nancy Pelosi to keep VA benefits higher…an the GOP’ers were stomping on it…Pelosi actually once told Def. Secy Bob Gates, “We defer to VSO on veterans bills.”

        Egads…but for the 2016 I predict both parties will vie to see how they can buy the most vets votes..meaning more boatloads of taxpayer moneys to vets….

        but this is never a topic of discussion…

        btw, a uniformed employee of the Defense Dept who retires after 20 years gets a pension with a present value of $3 million….

        That is veterans service organizations….

        1. morganovich

          “Actually I am a libertarian”

          LOL.

          suuuuuuure, and the pope is a mormon.

          to quote the great inigo montoya:

          “you keep saying that word. i do not think it means what you think it means.”

  7. cgregory

    I used to be a hippie Commie liberal, but now I am a true conservative.

    On the other hand, no one has to believe that.

    What everyone does have to believe, however, is that the statements I make about conservative principles are, in fact, true.

    If they know them to be false, it is their duty to point out to me the error of my beliefs.

    1. What everyone does have to believe is that I will say whatever I can to derail honest discussion on this blog, since being discredited numerous times and no one believes me…L

      There. Fixed it for you.

    2. What everyone does have to believe,…

      Says who? There’s no ring of truth to your satire, rendering it unfunny, to say the least.

      If they know them to be false, it is their duty to point out to me the error of my beliefs.

      Here’s some advice that a true conservative wouldn’t need: nobody owes you, a lame internet troll, anything.

      You’re quite the wannabe authoritarian, proving you are the exact opposite of a true conservative.

      1. morganovich

        cg-

        wow, what a twisted and dishonest framing in an attempt to skew debate.

        so, you put forth authoritarian and lampoonish straw men, call them conservative, and try to use that as a synonym for libertarian, and then demand that other “have to believe” they are true?

        what is this, the Goebbels debate society?

        that is one of the worst constructions of an argument i have ever seen.

  8. Shout out to my home city of Idaho Falls!!!

  9. cgregory

    Hi, Ron H–
    Always good to hear from you. Let me address a few of your comments to me:
    “Your thug agent, the state. . .“Government, which creates nothing,”

    Somalia has one of the least effective governments in the world, and if you truly believed in government as a “thug agent,” you’d prize it more highly than you appear to. Capitalism operates under various levels of government, from the libertarian mode of Somalia to the oligarchic mode in Russia, to the evil socialist mode in Denmark. Just a thought; no need to change your opinion of government.

    Government creates processes which encourage or discourage various forms of economic activity. Until it stepped in and set rules, the development of the electrical grid in the US was characterized by overlapping and very inefficient utilities. Just a thought; no need to change your opinion of government.

    “Remove obstacles that keep them poor, protect their rights, enforce contracts, and get out of their way.”
    I have no argument with that; however, as government creates processes that enhance or impede families’ progress, let’s take a tour of how families around the world do.
    You and I agree that families want to do well by and for their children. The United Nations has quantified family progress in a Human Development Index, which ranks countries by life expectancy at birth (for example, a newborn in DC is less likely to survive than an infant born in Moldau), Mean years of schooling (for the over-25 population), expected years of schooling (what their children are likely to get for schooling), gross national income per capita (which adjusts for the size of the population relative the country’s GNI), the GNI per capita rank minus the HDI rank, which compares the two (the implication being that an HDI rank lower than the GNI rank indicates a problem with “remove obstacles that keep them poor,” of which I will say more later), and the nonincome HDI, which is computed from the life expectancy and education indicators only.
    As to this last, I think we can agree that someone who lives long and has been intelligent enough to make good choices, even if born in poverty, has achieved a good life– for them, the obstacles have been removed, their rights have been protected, they have been able to enforce their contracts and people have gotten out of their way, even if they have not become particularly rich in the process. Here’s the link. You will see that in the 2011 Human Development Index, the US ranks 4th, but in the nonincome HDI (below it), it ranks 23d, surpassed by such countries we consider hostile to capitalism (high taxes, don’t you know) as the United Kingdom, France, Finland, the Czech Republic, even Denmark.
    http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/human_development.htm

    The easy (and accurate) conclusion is that having a huge economy makes a difference. There is an equally accurate but more subtle conclusion that the nonincome HDI makes: Capitalism as most of the commenters here see it does not “remove obstacles that keep them poor, protect their rights, enforce contracts, and get out of their way.”
    As proof, let’s take a look at a red state and a blue state: Texas, as red as you can hope for, and Washington, so blue that it controls both chambers and the governor’s office.
    Texas has the world’s twelfth largest economy. On that basis alone, we would expect it to rank quite high in the HDI. Its per capita GDP is $47,601; its average wage is $49,302; its GDP is $1 trillion. As such, we should find it standing head and shoulders above a lot of the other states as well.
    Vermont has a GDP greater than 95 countries, $25.4 billion, but it’s only 2% of Texas’. However, its population is only 2.3%, so its per capita GDP is not too bad, $40,534, and its average wage is $42,298, about 14% lower than Texas’ . It seems that according to the tenets of pure capitalism– and the purer, the better– we should expect Vermonters to be leading somewhat grubbier lives than Texans and not be as high on the HDI as Texas would be.
    Now, here are US quality of life rankings for Texas and Vermont back in the days before the Great Recession– 2007. Rankings are: 1 is top, 50th is bottom.

    US Ranking Texas Vermont
    Fair market rent as
    percentage of minimum wage 14th 43d
    Infant mortality 15th 10th
    Low birth weight babies 21st 10th
    Child support enforcement 33d 1st
    Per pupil public school expenditures 34th 13th
    Educational attainment 33d 6th
    Children not living in poverty 46th 14th
    Children covered by health insurance 48th 1st

    Mothers receiving early prenatal care 45th 7th
    Children fully immunized 48th 1st
    Every Every
    Child commits suicide 64d, 8 hrs 65 days
    Child abuse reported 7 hrs, 50 mins 8 hours
    Child born to unwed mother 2 hrs, 42 mins 5 hours
    Pediatric death before a year old 5d, 9 hrs 6d, 18 hrs
    Baby born into poverty 2 hrs, 42 mins 7 hours
    Baby born to teenager 5 hrs, 22 mins 16 hours
    Late or no prenatal care birth 16 hrs, 10 mins 3 days
    Low birthweight baby 9 hrs, 45 mins 21 hours
    Child dies by accident 10 d, 18 hrs 14 days
    Child dies in auto accident 16 d, 3 hrs 24 days
    Child is murdered 32 d, 6 hrs 304 days
    Child killed by firearm 26 d, 22 hrs 61 days
    Incarceration rate 1,014/100,000 260/100,000

    So, if Texas has all that money and all that freedom, and Vermont is a state so close to being socialist that it elected one to the US Senate, what’s going on here?

    In all but rent expenses, Vermont never goes below 14th and Texas never goes above it. Pediatric deaths and abuse reports are about equal ; Texas has triple the teen maternity rate and 2.5 times the neonatal poverty rate, 1.3 times the accidental death rate, ten times the pediatric murder rate and 4.5 times the incarceration rate (all rates adjusted for population differential).

    Which is why the non income HDI is significant. What is the difference that money makes, or should make? Why isn’t it the relationship between Texas and Vermont the other way around?

    Consider income inequality. There is a internationally accepted measure of income inequality known as the Gini coefficient. It ranks from 0, where everybody has an equal number of marbles, to 1, where one person has all of them. The Gini coefficient for Texas is 0.469. It ranks 43d in the US in terms of income inequality. For Vermont it is 0.444 (it ranks 24 ahead of Texas) at #19). Is that gap between those numbers significant? What’s going on, income-wise, in Texas that isn’t affecting Vermont?

    Let’s look at the average wage versus the median wage: The average wage for Texas as was noted is $49,302 and for Vermont, $42,298, as we noted, a difference of about one-seventh.

    The median wages– the number at which half the households earn less and half earn more– tell a different story. Texas’ is $32,400, which is $17,000 lower than the average wage, while Vermont’s is $34,548, only $7,000 less. So, while the average wage makes Texas look better, the median wage shows that fully half the state is doing worse than Vermont.

    In other words, Vermont is economically more of a democracy than is Texas. Even though there are some 1,200 millionaires living there, the wage spread is favorably downward, and Vermont’s tax system (Vermont has a nominal 3% tax on incomes under $180,000 and a 9% rate on marginal income (above that $180k); Texas has no income tax) provides families at the lower end with protection– from bad contracts and bad education, etc.– which Texas cannot. (And Texas has 5.5 times the number of millionaires per household than Vermont does. Clearly, while red states may give more to charity, the truly wealthy in Texas apparently don’t, or the state would have far better statistics.)

    Money makes a difference to those at the bottom of the ladder, and the HDI shows how poorly the US is– as the domestic figures show Texas– when money is left out of the formula. And since this thread is about raising the minimum wage, as a true conservative I believe it is the role of government– and you are in agreement– to enhance and protect its citizens. Higher wages is a form of enhancement (by the way, the Vermont minimum wage is already $8.25). Protection of the American worker against the likes of Donald Trump is indeed another valuable service.

    As for your comments on education, I don’t put my faith in for-profit charter schools (I had nieces and nephews who attended and graduated an average non-profit), nor in a public system which excludes parental involvement. I don’t automatically blame government for the condition of public schools, but I’ve seen what cowboy capitalism is capable of doing to Texas families, and I’d hate to see the same happen in education.

    smyd

    1. cgregory

      damn! I spent an hour kerning all the TX/VT data, and it didn’t work. Sorry, but you’ll have to puzzle through it.

    2. cg

      Sorry, your comment is TL;DR. It’s too much to deal with all at once. Can you break it up into smaller separate points?

      By the way you should know that I don’t have a lot of confidence in simplistic aggregate indices such as the HDI and GINI. Both suffer from a number of problems, the most serious of which is bias toward egalitarian and socialistic measures of human well being. GINI is particularly bad in that regard.

      1. cgregory

        Ron H, I write as though younger America isn’t the post-literate generation (TV, you know), so produce quite wordy pieces. Sorry you can’t connect with it.

        If you judge by a more complex measure than Gini, HDI, etc., good for you.

        If you try to participate in political or economic discourse without taking income inequality into account, it is very much like rock climbing with only one foot. I hope never to find you doing that.

        1. cg

          Ron H, I write as though younger America isn’t the post-literate generation (TV, you know), so produce quite wordy pieces. Sorry you can’t connect with it.

          Actually, you write as if word count alone adds weight to your argument. I can assure you it doesn’t.

          If you judge by a more complex measure than Gini, HDI, etc., good for you.

          I judge by the well understood principle that people can make better choices for themselves, than others can make for them. Apparently you believe someone else can determine what’s best for you.

          If you try to participate in political or economic discourse without taking income inequality into account, it is very much like rock climbing with only one foot. I hope never to find you doing that.

          You, and the indexes you are enamored of, assume that income inequality is a bad thing, but you haven’t yet explained why it’s a problem. Unless you think all people are perfect clones of each other, differences in abilities, interests, and goals – and therefore differences in income and wealth – are inevitable.

          Your comparison of Texas and Vermont suggests that socialist policies make people better off, but you have ignored the differences between the 2 states in terms of natural resourses, and racial and ethinc makeup of the 2 populations.

          Texas has a tremendous amounts of income and wealth generated from oil production, Vermont doesn’t. Texas has a much higher percentage of poor, non English speaking Mexican immigrants, both legal and illegal, than Vermont. Those two factors alone account for more of the differences you found than any preference voters have for red or blue politics.

          All your hard work with HDI for the 2 states has led you to erroneous conclusions.

          1. cgregory

            Ron H–

            I write sentences that comprise a coherent narrative, no more and no less. Length varies for that purpose. And when I write so much that people are discouraged from reading it, everybody loses. (I have yet to finish Recherche de Temps Perdu a work I find truly tedious.) But thanks for going back and trudging through my opus!

            By the way, “post-literate society” is not an insult; it’s just a fact of life. A few years ago I read a Mickey Mouse picture book to a five-year-old who, it was clear, had never been read to in her life. Thanks to the electronic stranger in the home, kids of the poor and the working poor start kindergarten these days expecting the teacher to do something different every five to seven seconds.

            –“I judge by the well understood principle that people can make better choices for themselves, than others can make for them. Apparently you believe someone else can determine what’s best for you.”

            You would not hold so fast to that principle if you knew about media literacy. Let me know if you’d like to really learn about it. There’s an annual conference in New Mexico that would open a whole world to you.

            –“but you haven’t yet explained why [income inequality is] a problem.“

            Now that you’ve looked at the Texas data, you might want to look at who in Texas suffers those problems. For each one, ask yourself, “What does income level have to do with this?”

            –“you have ignored the differences between the 2 states in terms of natural resources, and racial and ethnic makeup of the 2 populations.”

            A simple way to test that is to compare Vermont (pop. 600,000) and Wyoming (pop. 300,000)– all the data for Wyoming is as accessible as they are for Texas and Vermont. And then to test the homogeneity thesis, cross-check, compare Wyoming’s data to Iceland, which is even more homogeneous and of similar population size.

            And for a cross-check on heterogeneity, you can compare New York State with Texas. In fact, I believe New York has an even greater GDP than Texas does.

    3. Givemefreedom

      Apparently quite a few people disagree with you cgregory. They have voted with their feet and Texas is the clear winner over Vermont, it is not even close.

      http://interactive.taxfoundation.org/migration/

      1. cgregory

        Isn’t choice great? It’s absolutely amazing when people choose to give their children a shot at an inferior education and worse prospects in the job market. It makes me wonder why they do so.

      2. givemefreedom

        Maybe you should instead wonder why all these people have uprooted their lives and the lives of their families to move to Texas in large numbers. Theirs was a real vote on the prospects for living in Texas, yours is just keyboard strikes on your computer that end up as the nonsense that you post on this blog.

        Typical socialist mentality, they disagree with me so I wonder why they are so stupid. We need to legislate to make the decisions for them because obviously since they choose to do things that I don’t approve of they obviously are not capable of making those decisions and we need to make them for them.

        GFY and leave people alone.

        1. cgregory

          For one who professes to want to understand politics and economics, we are a little tetchy, aren’t we, givemefreedom? Not exactly the attitude the Founding Fathers had when faced with the question of how to set up a bold new form of government.

          When did I say any commenter was stupid? It would be nice if you personally showed that you understood things I’ve written about– family dynamics, income inequality, alcoholism, post-literate society, etc.– and took the trouble to detail where you think I am wrong– but all you show is irritation. Don’t you think you’re handicapping yourself?

          1. givemefreedom

            “Isn’t choice great? It’s absolutely amazing when people choose to give their children a shot at an inferior education and worse prospects in the job market. It makes me wonder why they do so.”

            Your comment drips with contempt for the choices these thousands of people have made that differ from the one you think they should have made. You are basically calling them stupid.

            The irritation is with your lame attempts at positioning yourself as a conservative on a libertarian blog in a futile attempt at mocking the arguments the posters here make for freedom.

            So you can just GFY and leave people alone to make their own choices.

          2. cgregory

            givemefreedom, by the time you’re my age, you’ll have learned to take yourself less seriously and other people more seriously.

            I find it more worthwhile to explore why people would choose to live in a state where the wealthy exploit them with impunity (research Bob Perry, home builder) and who suffer near the bottom in almost all quality of life indicators (Mississippi is worse; its state motto is, “We Make Texas Look Good”) than to be contemptuous of them.

  10. cgregory

    morganovich, thank you for pointing out — in a rather overly acerbic manner, I might add– that HuffPo article about the Fiinnish teachers’ compensation. I started with knowing the kroner was worth eighteen cents to the dollar, and I computed that the average wage for a female Norwegian teacher is $74,520; for a male, it’s $79,920 according to this website: http://mylittlenorway.com/2011/06/how-much-do-people-earn-in-norway/

    However, I was unaware of the PPP adjustment, which like the Gini coefficient levels the playing field:
    (http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/teachers-salaries_teachsal-table-en)

    Factoring in that, the HuffPo article is correct.

    BUT I would point out to you two things.

    First, the article itself states, “Research shows that the better teachers are paid, the greater student outcomes.”

    The second point is that what you pay for is what you get.

    Since Finnish teachers aren’t spending their money to live in the US, how attractive is their income compared with other Finnish professions? And how does the income of US teachers compare with other US professions?

    In Finland, the average financial manager makes $118,000, or 158% of a female teacher’s pay and 148% of the male teacher’s. ( http://mylittlenorway.com/2011/06/how-much-do-people-earn-in-norway/)

    In the US, how does teachers’ pay compare with other fields?

    In the US, a newly-hired financial manager averages $59,639 (http://money.usnews.com/careers/best-jobs/financial-manager/salary), or 167% of the average starting teacher’s pay of $35,672 (http://www.nea.org/home/2011-2012-average-starting-teacher-salary.html)

    The average US financial manager’s salary of $123,160 is 218% of the average US teacher salary of $56,383 (http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/d13/tables/dt13_211.60.asp)

    and the highest pay in the field is “over $187,199,” which is 332% of the average US teacher salary.

    So, when you look at the data, you see this: From the very start, in the US it is far more rewarding to a person to use his gifts in the field of finance than to be a teacher. Over his lifetime, he will make a pile of money. He starts with a 9-point advantage over a Finnish financial manager and never looks back.

    If teaching in the US had the financial incentives that money managing does, we would– and the HuffPo article says so– have better teachers and thus better schools.

    Now, you might ask, “So, why don’t Finns go into finance rather than teaching, given that there is a financial advantage of 48 to 58 points?” Which would be worthwhile checking into. Can you do that for us?

    1. cgregory

      damn. thought i turned off the bold…. sorry!

Comments are closed.

Sort By:

Refine Content:

Scholar

Additional Keywords:

Refine Results

or to save searches.

Open
Refine Content