The Minimum Wage Helps the Poor

063The Minimum Wage Helps the Poor

Political Animal – The minimum wage, part 2: Casey Mulligan fail edition; or, the $100 minimum wage gambit

The vague suggestion that perhaps that minimum wage really does not “confer benefits on the poor” teeters dangerously close to the “opinions on the shape of the earth differ” school of journalism. Let’s talk specifics here. The impact of the minimum wage, and particularly the impact of the minimum wage on employment, is, as economist John Schmitt has noted, one of the most studied topics in all of economics. The results are most definitely in, and contrary to the clear impression Mulligan is trying to give, there is little reason to believe that the outcome from the years 2007 through 2009 would be any different than the results we have from any other year before that. And contrary to the neoclassical dogma so beloved by University of Chicago types, the overwhelming body of the most rigorous empirical evidence shows little or no relationship between employment and the minimum wage. When there does seem to be a negative relationship, it tends to be extremely small.

A review of the literature, and a summary of various theories as to why Econ 101 minimum wage models don’t turn out to hold up in the real world, can be found in Schmitt’s excellent recent report for the Center for Economic and Policy Research. The reasons are complicated, and there are competing hypotheses, but basically what it comes down to is that the many of the assumptions required for perfect competition in the labor market don’t hold. I know, I know — try to recover from the shock.

Political Animal – The minimum wage, part 2: Casey Mulligan fail edition; or, the $100 minimum wage gambit


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Occupy Wall Street Poster!!

My understanding is that this poster is free to use and I recommend you post it as well and visit OCCUPYWALLST.ORG. The struggle is just beginning.

James Pilant

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Fault Lines: The Top 1% (via THE INTERNET POST)

Exactly. The distribution of income is this country is a great moral and ethical problem. If the money were allocated according to ability and work ethic, that might make some sense but walk around in this country and look at the hard working men and women reduced to penury by law that favor financial “innovation” over hard work and productivity.

James Pilant

The richest 1% of US Americans earn nearly a quarter of the country's income and control an astonishing 40% of its wealth. Inequality in the US is more extreme than it's been in almost a century — and the gap between the super rich and the poor and middle class people has widened drastically over the last 30 years. Meanwhile, in Washington, a bitter partisan debate over how to cut deficit spending and reduce the US' 14.3 trillion dollar debt is u … Read More


Are Things As Bad As They Seem? (via Info Ink)

Yes, they are every bit that bad.

James Pilant

The partisanship…..the extremism……lack of respect…….the out right lies…….the misinformation (and yes, it is different from lies)…….and it all comes down to the American voter….YOU voted for morons and now you are paying the price for that vote…..I know, what could be so bad we might get lower taxes and balanced budget and spending controls….what could be so bad? Glad you asked!  While you were bobbing and weaving through t … Read More

via Info Ink

Japan Passes Law To Cleanse Internet Of ‘Bad’ Fukushima Radiation News (via THE INTERNET POST)

Predictable, I wonder why it took so long. As radiation is detected in larger and large amounts further and further away from the damaged nuclear plants, I guess things just started to get annoying. So, we’re just going to give all those nasty news agencies a good talking to!

James Pilant

Japan Passes Law To Cleanse Internet Of 'Bad' Fukushima Radiation News 'The supposedly free democratic nation of Japan, which supposedly values and promotes freedom of speech, has officially issued orders to telecommunication companies and webmasters to remove content from websites that counter the official government position that the disaster is over and there is no more threat from the radiation. The government charges that the damage caused by earthquakes and by the nuclear accident are being magnified by irresp … Read More


The Non-Rich (via Cassandra’s Tears)

I get depressed about it as well.

James Pilant

… what are we to do? It's a very depressing situation.  Guy dumps something like 299 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, was in charge when 11 people in his company died and gets a $400,000 safety bonus. You and me would go to jail for decades.  He gets a bonus.  What's up with that? Bankers foreclose on military families.  They take the house of people are actively in a warzone.  They kick the wife and kids out.  Is anyone going to … Read More

via Cassandra's Tears

More hidden and ugly truth about the Marcoses revealed (via Quierosaber’s Blog)

I share the author’s concerns. After their wanton looting of the Philippines, they should not be welcome in any civilized society.

James Pilant

More hidden and ugly truth about the Marcoses revealed The family of the notorious Filipino strongman, Ferdinand Marcos, has been back in the country for sometime now, accepted and forgiven. As if they were the ones wronged and not the entire nation and its people physically subjugated, oppressed and robbed by them during the despot’s 20-year rule, the short-lived m … Read More

via Quierosaber's Blog

Canada, we have an ethics problem in government (via Nechakogal’s Blog)

I share the concern with ethics in the field of economics and politics. It seems that economics has become, in many or most cases, little more than selling your views for the most benefits in terms of money and influence. The truth does not pay well and after a while and a little self indoctrination, it will all look all right and the conscience will clear.

I would have expected more from the academic field of economics but the politician as an animal generally is a feral creature not subject to domestication. I am not sure ethics reaches the government save as a source of amusement.

Really good post. I recommend it.

James Pilant

My thanks to Nechakogal’s Blog.

Canada, we have an ethics problem in government I have done several posts about economists and the stunning lack of ethics for this profession, but I completely overlooked the profession of the politician despite awareness that the state of ethics among our politicians and in the structures housing our democracies.  I was also persuaded that simply changing the party in power and the nature of how our votes are represented would result in the solution, but I am now convinced that no system wil … Read More

via Nechakogal’s Blog

Terry Jones Needs to be Committed (via Off the Top o’ My Head)

I don’t know if Terry Jones is insane or not. I don’t know if he should be committed for a long period of time. However, I do know that his conduct merits temporary custody and a mental exam by a professional. There certainly seems to me enough evidence of deviate behavior to merit such custody.

Even if he were found sane, the fact that he was examined would convey to the Muslim world how strange we find his behavior.

People in other nations find our willingness to allow virtually anyone to have their own church to be bizarre and a good number believe Christianity is a top-down organization with some kind of control. Churches in the United States cover the spectrum from the sublime to the bizarre. People in nations with more unified religions do not get this.

I’ve never been anywhere but the United States and sometimes, I find it bizarre. “That’s a church!,” I’ll think to myself while watching people handle snakes or preach that the bible is a self help handbook on how to get rich. How much more do the adherents of Islam find behavior here odd?

Let’s do something about Terry Jones.

James Pilant

Please read the post from Off the Top o’ My Head. He is more eloquent than I.

Terry Jones is coming to Dearborn, Michigan to celebrate Adolph Hitler’s Birthday on April 22, 2011, but his mental instability is indicated by the fact that he is two days off. Hitler was born on April 20, 1869. Jones plans to demonstrate against Islam and is hoping for a large turnout of like-minded religious nutcases. Just as Timothy McVeigh hoped to incite racial conflict and blew up the Murrah Federal Building as a means to that end, Jones w … Read More

via Off the Top o My Head

Not All Pirates Are in Somalia (via Off the Top o’ My Head)

This is some great writing. Many people are upset by the enormous salaries that CEO’s are pulling down and have conveyed their rage online. But few have explained the mechanics of the corporate system that make these salaries possible.

I visited “Off the Top o’ My Head.” I was impressed by the writing. This is a thoughtful author and he brings legal elements into his reasoning but not too much. The writing is very approachable. You should give this site a visit.

This is his business page.

James Pilant

General Electric Co. made news last month when it reported U.S. profits of $5.1 billion and worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, but paid no federal corporate income tax. GE even reaped a net tax benefit of $3.2 billion. What the newsies do not mention is that the government additionally subsidized the ridiculous wealth GE and other corporations lavish on their executives. Uncle Sam must miss a lot of sleep staying up nights to figure out how to p … Read More

via Off the Top o My Head