With more and more activists pushing for a $15 minimum wage, and more and more states heading in that direction, research is being done to prove or disprove whether higher minimum wages have negative effects. Of course, research is not supposed to be done to prove either way; its supposed to see what the effects are, not focus on good or bad. In any case, studies have been conflicted for years, which has given both sides ammunition, and new research out of Seattle, which recently began raising its minimum wage to $15 has just added to this. One study shows no ill effects, another shows some workers are losing pay and hours (PDF). The reason for all this uncertainty is there are so many variables involved.
In 1929, our intellectual forefather Ludwig von Mises penned a lengthy tome about how socialism does not work. Not only does it not work in practice, he noted, it does not even work in theory, as some people say. The fundamental premise of his argument is that socialism cannot allocate resources effectively. Only the price system of the market (capitalism) can do that. No one person or committee of persons can appropriate resources for millions of people. In fact, even within a family unit, there is a good bit of friction when making such decisions. Scaling that up any further causes problems. The only thing that really can be done is provide a very basic distribution, but even that quickly becomes a logistical nightmare when scaled up too high.
The infamous physicist, who has been nearly fully paralyzed for decades, suffers from a degenerative disease called amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrigs disease. After diagnosis, life expectancy is a few years. About 10% live past ten years. So, how is it possible that Hawking has survived for decades, especially in a country that has a socialist rationed healthcare system that usually just manages terminally ill patients until they die. There is no point wasting money on them from the bureaucrats point of view. Indeed, Hawking was offered a nursing home in the 1980s, but his wife would not allow it. Unless he is an animatronic robot, or extremely lucky, he would have had to use capitalism to survive this long, which would be ironic, given his socialist predilections and defense of the horrid NHS.
I was reading a City Journal article about how Californias rulers are leaving its younger population an awful state of affairs: low wages, limited jobs, expensive housing and other costs. The reasons for this are complex, mostly boiled down to big government, however, one thing stuck out at me: California has a massive income gap. Ironic given how liberals are always jumping and shouting about income inequality and their favorite state is one of the most egregious. I speculated that liberal states would be more unequal, and more conservative states would be more equal.
As moderates and regular Republicans argue over how soft or hard the Obamacare repeal and replace should be, one of the things almost everyone agrees upon is ensuring that so-called pre-existing conditions should be covered. But what does that even mean? Why do so many people want them covered? What would happen if they werent? And how does it affect the economics of insurance and healthcare?
A recent article in the infamous New York Times claims that Google, Facebook, and other tech companies are monopolies “in classic economic terms”. Such a statement is always funny coming from someone guaranteed to be completely ignorant of classic economics. In fact, none of these are monopolies. A monopoly is usually defined as a exclusive control of a good or service in a market. Just about every dictionary I consulted emphasized exclusivity, and sometimes a government grant. Aha!
Leftists often claim that successful businesses owe society for all the money they have made. Those capitalist bastards took all our money and gave us nothing in return, right? This, of course, makes absolutely no sense. How did they get that money if not by selling us their products which we wanted? If anything, we got the better deal: a physical good or service in exchange for some paper (or an electronic ledger record these days).