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Will Simpson 
Member since Oct 24, 2014


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Re: “Increasing the minimum wage is good for the economy

Sound, thank you.

Between conservative pejoratives and unrelated issues, you covered a lot of ground. I don't care to respond to much, except you first paragraph. I'll respect opinions from any thoughtful writers. Instead of reading into my statement, just note how Brantley tries to use a particularly unimpressive source as a mic drop against French Hill. It would be like me disputing a Pryor campaign issue by linking to, I don't know, maybe a National Review blog.

The last idea I'll reference is your zero-sum economic pie. "The national economic pie is only so big," implicitly assuming French Hill's larger slice leaves me with a smaller portion. Trade, by nature, is not a zero sum game. That's tangential to the question of wage controls, though.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Will Simpson on 10/24/2014 at 7:07 PM

Re: “Increasing the minimum wage is good for the economy

First, Conason is a leftwing blogger at Salon, not an economist. His thesis — “The notion that increases in the minimum wage slow down economic growth and employment is an old Economics 101 myth” is objectively nonsense. Empirical data, while conflicting, generally shows higher minimum wages slow growth and dampen employment (http://mitpress.mit.edu/books/minimum-wages). The caveat, which he expresses strongly, is that it’s hard to see the effects. The minimum wage is a really minor factor in the economy, and almost entirely swallowed up by larger macroeconomic conditions. So if we study California after it increases the minimum wage and Kansas after it does not, we might well say “wow, look at all the growth in liberal California and stagnation in conservative Kansas. Guess the minimum wage is good after all!” Of course, the real story is that Google, Apple, and Facebook don’t spend billions in capital investment in Kansas.

We have no tool at our disposal — no law, program, or policy — that can make unskilled labor more valuable. I wish everyone could make $50 an hour, but I cannot magically make labor worth that much. We can’t mandate everyone into wealth anymore than we can redistribute everyone into prosperity. In short, minimum wage increases are feel-good ploys that are counterproductive. But the effects are small.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Will Simpson on 10/24/2014 at 3:49 PM

 

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