Saturday , August 18 2018

Potpourri

Summary:
==> In the latest Contra Krugman, I finally tell Tom he is officially an economist. ==> I don’t think I did anything with it at the time, but Scott Horton refers me to a leftist who blew up Paul Krugman’s whitewashing of U.S. empire. ==> The world of Trump is so upside down, that the NYT publishes Walter Block–and I mean a piece by him, not a hit piece on him. ==> Steve Patterson, fresh from overturning mathematics, turns his attention to the (alleged) abuse of a priorism in economics. I think a lot of his post at best just nitpicks some economists who might be sloppy in their presentation, but eventually he got to (what I think) is a pretty solid point when he argues: Imagine that the following were true: “When the minimum wage increases, it changes the

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==> In the latest Contra Krugman, I finally tell Tom he is officially an economist.

==> I don’t think I did anything with it at the time, but Scott Horton refers me to a leftist who blew up Paul Krugman’s whitewashing of U.S. empire.

==> The world of Trump is so upside down, that the NYT publishes Walter Block–and I mean a piece by him, not a hit piece on him.

==> Steve Patterson, fresh from overturning mathematics, turns his attention to the (alleged) abuse of a priorism in economics. I think a lot of his post at best just nitpicks some economists who might be sloppy in their presentation, but eventually he got to (what I think) is a pretty solid point when he argues:

Imagine that the following were true:

“When the minimum wage increases, it changes the self-image of employees. They view themselves as being higher-quality workers and raise their productivity levels accordingly.”

If that were true, then an increase in the minimum wage could, in fact, increase employment. The increased productivity of workers could make their employers more money, which means the employers could afford to hire more people.

Notice that this is not a ceteris paribus scenario. The minimum wage would change, causing another variable to change: the ideas of employees.

So the question is this: do we live in a world where increasing the minimum wage changes the ideas of workers so that they are more productive?

It’s an empirical question.

Now, I personally don’t think we live in such a world. (Or if we do, the gains in productivity are not sufficient enough to offset the additional costs of employment.) However, I didn’t arrive at those conclusions through a series of logical deductions. I’ve observed the world, and I don’t think that’s the one we live in.

Robert Murphy
Christian, Austrian economist, and libertarian theorist. Research Prof at Texas Tech and author of *Choice*. Paul Krugman's worst nightmare.

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