Russ Nelson's blog

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Wed, 31 Dec 2014


Yay! The minimum wage is going up in many states! Now employers won't have to pay a premium to get desirable workers, and they can dismiss the undesirable workers at no cost to themselves!

You see, every worker is desirable to one extent to another. Some workers are more productive, some are simply more fun to work with, some are attractive, some are tall, some are male, some are white, etc. (I happen to be all six of these, natch.) Other workers not so much. When you put a floor on the lowest wage, the less desirable workers have no way to compete with the more desirable workers. So if the minimum wage is set low enough, hey, no problem, the less desirable workers can just charge less, and they'll still have a job. But when you raise it high enough that you have all these workers competing for the same wage, which ones are you going to choose? You're not stupid, you're going to choose the more desirable workers.

Being one of the more desirable workers, of course, I don't care if you raise the minimum wage. Go ahead! I don't care! Because I'm selfish!

But if you care about the less desirable workers, then you will be upset about having ANY minimum wage law. Justice demands that it be abolished.

posted at: 21:56 | path: /economics | permanent link to this entry

Mon, 25 Apr 2011

Health Care Consumers

People are bringing up the point that people simply don't shop for health care. That we're not consumers. Usually that people are non-economists, like some ER doc who thinks that he had to study for 8 years to become a doc, but that economists are just people with opinions. Or like Paul Krugman, who gave up any claim to be an economist years ago.

To these people, I say: just *try* to be a consumer. Presume that somebody actually could act as a consumer, and go buy their health care. An honest seeker after the truth will quickly realize that so few people pay for their own health care that prices aren't available. Go into a doctor's office and say "I'd like a 20 minute visit with the doc -- how much will that cost?" and the staff will be flabbergasted. Chances are very good that they won't know what to tell you. This could make the point that people who consume health care aren't consumers (although it's hard to state that relationship without using the "C" word). I think, instead, that it makes the point that people are consumers, but they're not purchasers.

posted at: 14:57 | path: /economics | permanent link to this entry

Thu, 24 Mar 2011


War?? Again?? By a Nobel Prize Winner?? I'm simply aghast. Yes, there are problems in the world, but they're not our responsibility to fix. Not when we're broke, going broker, and have a slim chance of not being broke for the next twenty years. What ARE these idiots thinking???

posted at: 12:23 | path: /economics | permanent link to this entry

Sat, 05 Mar 2011


Damn immigrants! They should go back to Bakersfield, where they came from!

posted at: 21:03 | path: /economics | permanent link to this entry

Sun, 05 Dec 2010

Legal vs illegal prostitution

Okay, this kinda of crap makes me angry, just angry. Go read the article. Do you see what's wrong with it? I see no distinction between legal prostitution and illegal prostitution. Now let's look at the difference between legal and illegal drugs. The first you can buy in any store (everybody sells aspirin), in controlled doses with brand names and labels. The police aren't involved, violence isn't involved, it's all up front and everybody knows what they're getting into when they start selling legal drugs.

So by the principles expressed in this article, because illegal drugs are risky, then, too, are legal drugs. Defending legal drugs clearly says nothing about illegal drugs, and yet the article does not distinguish between legal and illegal prostitution. The two situations are very similar in that the illegality is the CAUSE of the problems that make people want it to be illegal! Circular cause and effect! The solution causes the problem. You see this kind of reasoning everywhere. "Oh, oh, poor people don't earn enough money, so we will help them by forcing a minimum wage." and yet that destroys the employment of anyone whose productivity does not justify paying them the minimum wage.

This is NOT to justify any of the horrible activities described in the article. They ARE horrible, and they ARE horrors. But I suggest that all of them are caused by the illegality of prositution, and I encourage anyone worried by the article to examine the operation of legal prostitution.

posted at: 05:00 | path: /economics | permanent link to this entry

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