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Tuesday afternoon links – Publications – AEI

Summary:
AEI Tuesday afternoon links 1. Chart of the Day (above). Using data from the new Census Bureau report on household income, the chart above shows inflation-adjusted median household incomes for two-earner American households annually from 1987 to 2016. Following a decade of stagnant median income of about ,000, the median income for that group of US households increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2016 to an all-time high of nearly ,000. Compared to 1987, two-earner US households last year had almost ,000 more in inflation-adjusted income or roughly ,750 more income per month. 2. Venn Diagram of the Day I (above). Can gender earnings gaps be explained primarily by gender discrimination or are there other important factors at work?

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AEI
Tuesday afternoon links

Tuesday afternoon links - Publications – AEI

1. Chart of the Day (above). Using data from the new Census Bureau report on household income, the chart above shows inflation-adjusted median household incomes for two-earner American households annually from 1987 to 2016. Following a decade of stagnant median income of about $88,000, the median income for that group of US households increased for the fourth consecutive year in 2016 to an all-time high of nearly $95,000. Compared to 1987, two-earner US households last year had almost $21,000 more in inflation-adjusted income or roughly $1,750 more income per month.

Tuesday afternoon links - Publications – AEI

2. Venn Diagram of the Day I (above). Can gender earnings gaps be explained primarily by gender discrimination or are there other important factors at work?

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Tuesday afternoon links - Publications – AEI

3. Venn Diagram of the Day II (above), inspired by Don Boudreaux’s recent post on Cafe Hayek “An Odd Tic.”

It is especially odd for people who allegedly understand and celebrate the virtues of free markets to justify protectionist restrictions on the grounds that these restrictions will allegedly countervail or “adjust for” whatever market distortions are (or are asserted to be) unleashed by the economic interventions of foreign governments. It is odd because these particular protectionists – in the U.S., many conservatives – generally distrust their government to act wisely, prudently, skillfully, knowledgeably, and apolitically when meddling in the economy. And yet as soon as the stated particular reason for intervention is foreign-government misdeeds that allegedly distort the American market, these free-market types – these free-market conservatives – lose all of their skepticism of their own governments’ abilities to intervene wisely, prudently, skillfully, knowledgeably, and apoloticially.

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Tuesday afternoon links - Publications – AEI

4. Venn Diagram of the Day III (above). Is this an inconsistent position or not?

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Tuesday afternoon links - Publications – AEI

5. List of the Day I and II (above), from Vala Afshar, chief digital evangelist for Salesforce.

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6. Video of the Day I (above). Many South American frogs are in trouble, including from illegal poaching. A private, frog-breeding company in Ecuador is using legal means to fight the illegal trade of amphibians by breeding them for sale to the international educational and pet markets. Although controversial to some, captive breeding for commercial use is helping to save some of these frogs from extinction.

7. The Law of Unintended Consequences Strikes Again. From the Washington Beacon article “Seattle Minimum Wage Increase Led to More Restaurant Hygiene Violations“:

The decision to increase the minimum wage in Seattle may be leading to less hygienic restaurants in the city, according to a working paper from a group of economists. The professors theorized that when the minimum wage is increased, restaurant owners are forced to find ways to cut costs. That leads owners to reduce the hours and increase the responsibilities of their employees, leading them to cut corners.

The largest increase was a 15.3% jump in less severe “blue” violations, which will not get a restaurant shut down but do pose a threat. Those violations include improper protection from contamination from rodents and insects, employee cleanliness, toilet cleanliness, and garbage disposal.

“While economic and income distribution benefits are widely discussed, this study shows its potential adverse impact on public health,” the authors concluded.

MP: Another of those unexpected and unintended consequences of minimum wage laws that are never considered by lawmakers and advocates of government price controls.

8. Markets in Everything: Goodbye convenience store. Hello goPuff. Thousands of products at your fingertips in 30 minutes – All Night Long. Now available in 24 US cities.

9. Why American Students Need Chinese Schools is the title of a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, here’s a slice:

Another bracing Chinese belief is that hard work trumps innate talent when it comes to academics. China’s school system breeds a Chinese-style grit, which delivers the daily message that perseverance—not intelligence or ability—is key to success.

Studies show that this attitude gets kids farther in the classroom. Ethnic Asian youth are higher academic achievers in part because they believe in the connection between effort and achievement, while “white Americans tend to view cognitive abilities as…inborn,” according to one study. Chinese kids are used to struggling through difficult content, and they believe that success is within reach of anyone willing to work for it. This attitude gives policy makers in China great latitude when it comes to setting out and enforcing higher standards.

In the U.S., parents have often revolted as policy makers try to push through similar measures. In part, we are afraid that Johnny will feel bad about himself if he can’t make the grade. What if, instead, Johnny’s parents—and his teacher, too—believed that the boy could learn challenging math with enough dedicated effort? Americans aren’t afraid to push their children when it comes to athletics. Here we believe that hard work and practice pay off, so we accept scores and rankings. Eyes glued to scoreboards at a meet, we embrace numbers as a way to measure progress. A ninth-place finish in the 100-meter dash suggests to us that a plodding Johnny needs to train harder. It doesn’t mean that he’s inferior, nor do we worry much about his self-esteem.

10. Video of the Day II (below). Trump spoke at the United Nations today and blasted corrupt, socialist Venezuela for its mismanagement of a once thriving economy, and didn’t spare other failed socialist dictator states:

The problem in Venezuela is not that socialism has been poorly implemented but that socialism has been faithfully implemented. From the Soviet Union to Cuba, Venezuela — wherever through socialism or communism has been adopted, it has delivered anguish, devastation, and failure. Those who preach the tenets of these discredited ideologies only contribute to the continued suffering of the people who live under these cruel systems. America stands with every person living under a brutal regime.

Tuesday afternoon links
Mark Perry

Mark Perry
Mark J. Perry is concurrently a scholar at AEI and a professor of economics and finance at the University of Michigan’s Flint campus. He is best known as the creator and editor of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem. At AEI, Perry writes about economic and financial issues for American.com and the AEIdeas blog.

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