If increasing cost of carbon decreases its use, does increasing cost of labor decrease employment? (#minimumWage)

Via Don Boudreaux at Cafe HayekCoyote Blog’s Warren Meyer offers this useful Venn diagram:

See also:

Mark Perry:

Does thinking realistically about the proposed minimum wage increase to $10.10 per hour alternatively as a $5,700 annual “unskilled labor tax” make minimum wage proponents less enthusiastic about that increase and its inevitable adverse effects on unskilled workers?

More: Instead of $10.10 per hour, think of the proposed minimum wage as a $5,700 annual tax per full-time unskilled worker.

Also, from Mark Perry:

Mark Perry, professor at the University of Michigan and scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, explains that minimum wage hikes ultimately affect the number of hours worked, not the number of workers employed by a firm. (more)

And the chapter on minimum wage laws in Henry Hazlitt’s Economics in One Lesson. And finally, this video from the Center for Freedom and Prosperity:



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Aggressive police take hundreds of millions of dollars from motorists not charged with crimes

Part of an e-mail I received from the Institute for Justice (IJ):

There’s been tremendous activity over the past few weeks in our campaign to end civil forfeiture, so I want to give you a report.

Imagine getting pulled over for a broken taillight or a forgotten turn signal only to have your car and the cash you were traveling with confiscated by the police.  As The Washington Post documents this week in an explosive three-part series, that nightmare is an underreported reality for thousands of American motorists each year.  IJ contributed heavily to the Post series, which has been months in the making, and we are featured in the opening video and quoted in the series finale.

So what’s behind the epidemic of forfeiture abuse?  A groundbreaking IJ strategic research report released this week exposes the profit incentive at the heart of civil forfeiture laws.  The report, Bad Apples or Bad Laws?  Testing the Incentives of Civil Forfeiture, details a cutting-edge experiment that shows that civil forfeiture isn’t a problem of just a few “bad apple” police officers or rogue prosecutors, but rather that bad laws encourage bad behavior.  Civil forfeiture creates a real and perverse incentive for law enforcement to pursue profits instead of justice.

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Paul #Krugman: Stop Calling People Names

“Simply saying “You’re wrong, I’m right, and, furthermore, you’re stupid for not agreeing with me.” is something you’d expect from a child, not a grown up and certainly not from a columnist for the New York Times who sports a Nobel Prize.” — economist Laurence Kotlikoff re. Paul Krugman

Full post “Paul Krugman: Stop Calling People Names” via Trevor Burris in Forbes.

More on Krugman in “Civilizing the Marketplace of Ideas,” by Niall Ferguson and my Paul Krugman links.



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Jay Austin’s Beautiful, Affordable, but Illegal Tiny House: The harms of #zoning restrictions.

Matchbox could help to ease the shortage of affordable housing in the capital city. Heating and cooling costs are negligible. Rainwater catchment systems help to make the homes self-sustaining. They’re an attractive option to the very sort of residents who the city attracts in abundance: single, young professionals without a lot of stuff, who aren’t ready to take on a large mortgage.

But tiny houses come with one enormous catch: they’re illegal, in violation of several codes in Washington DC’s Zoning Ordinance.

More: Jay Austin’s Beautiful, Illegal Tiny House – Reason.com.

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D. G. Myers on Cancer, Dying, and Living @ EconTalk

I highly recommend this recent EconTalk interview with literary critic D.G. Myers. Here’s the summary:

D.G. Myers, literary critic and cancer patient, talks with EconTalk host Russ Roberts about the lessons he has learned from receiving a cancer diagnosis six years ago. Myers emphasizes the importance of dealing with cancer honestly and using it as a way to focus attention on what matters in life. The conversation illuminates the essence of opportunity cost and the importance of allocating our time, perhaps our scarcest resource, wisely. The last part of the conversation discusses a number of literary issues including the role of English literature and creative writing in American universities.

More: D. G. Myers on Cancer, Dying, and Living | EconTalk | Library of Economics and Liberty.

Thank you Russ Roberts and D.G. for engaging in and sharing this wonderful conversation.

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Filed under economics, gratitude, psychology

The two-million-Dollar teacher: TeachersPayTeachers.com empowers educators, lets them earn big $$$

From Reason.tv:

In 2006, a New York City public school teacher named Paul Edelman launched Teachers Pay Teachers, an online marektplace that lets educators sell digital copies of their classroom materials for small amounts of money.  …

The site is so popular because its addressing a major problem in public education. Schools often fail to provide teachers with basic lesson plans, leaving them to create their own materials from scratch, even when there are tens of thousands of other educators around the country teaching the exact same subject matter.

More: The Two-Million-Dollar Teacher: An Online Marketplace Empowers Educators and Lets Them Earn Big $$$ – Reason.com.

Related: Cato Institute on education policy reform.

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July 4, 2014 · 10:34 pm

Independence in 1776; Dependence in 2014: Individuals, businesses, nonprofits become hooked on subsidies and tools of the state.

The above is a condensed version of an excellent observation by Chris Edwards. More:

the number of federal subsidy programs has almost doubled since 1990 …

The growth in subsidies may be good for the politicians, but it is terribly corrosive for American society. Each subsidy program costs money and creates economic distortions. Each program generates a bureaucracy, spawns lobby groups, and encourages more people to demand further benefits from the government.

Individuals, businesses, and nonprofit groups that become hooked on subsidies essentially become tools of the state. They have less incentive to innovate, and they shy away from criticizing the hand that feeds them. Government subsidies are like an addictive drug, undermining American traditions of individual reliance, voluntary charity, and entrepreneurialism.

The rise in the size and scope of federal subsidies means that Americans are steadily losing their independence. That is something sobering to think about on July 4.

Chris Edwards, Independence in 1776; Dependence in 2014 | Cato @ Liberty.

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July 3, 2014 · 9:45 pm