Latest Posts

Understanding the President’s Cabinet: OMB Director

Note: This is the post #22 in a weekly series of explanatory posts on the officials and agencies included in the President’s Cabinet. See the series introduction here.   Cabinet position: Director of the Office of Management and Budget Department:  Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Current Director: Mick Mulvaney Department Mission: “The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) serves the President of the United States in overseeing the implementation of his vision across the Executive Branch. Continue Reading...

Why Seattle’s minimum wage law is now destroying wages

“The city of Seattle has the highest minimum wage in the United States,” notes Dylan Pahman in this week’s Acton Commentary. “While economists and policy-makers continue to debate the issue, a recent working paper from researchers at the University of Washington (UW) raises serious questions about the effectiveness of minimum wage hikes.” In short, the study concludes that the “increase to $13 reduced hours worked in low-wage jobs by around 9 percent, while hourly wages in such jobs increased by around 3 percent.” The researchers explain, “The reduction in hours would cost the average employee $179 per month, while the wage increase would recoup only $54 of this loss, leaving a net loss of $125 per month (6.6%), which is sizable for a low-wage worker.” If this study holds up to scrutiny, it will show that, contrary to their intention, those who hoped to help workers at the bottom have actually made things worse. Continue Reading...

PowerLinks 06.28.17

People Differences vs. Place Differences: What Causes Social Mobility? Robert VerBruggen, Family Studies Can you improve a poor child’s life by moving his family to a better place? Low-skill workers aren’t actually the ones most threatened by robots Dan Kopf, Quartz There are a lot of jobs that can only be completed with significant training, but don’t involve much critical thinking once the skill is learned—machine operators and office clerks, for examples. Continue Reading...
PowerLinks

Neamtu: Choose the ‘Soros infantry’ or Tocqueville’s vision

George Soros is synonymous with a well-funded, highly partisan brand of “philanthropy,” which begs the question: Why are U.S. taxpayers underwriting it? During the Obama administration, USAID granted Soros’ Foundation Open Society-Macedonia (FOSM) and its counterparts $4.8 million, earmarking an additional $9.5 million through 2021. Continue Reading...

Bees, Pollination, and the Coase Theorem

Note: This is post #39 in a weekly video series on basic microeconomics. In this video by Marginal Revolution University, economist Alex Tabarrok shows how bees and pollination demonstrate the Coase Theorem in action: when transaction costs are low and property rights are clearly defined, private arrangements ensure that the market works even when there are externalities. Continue Reading...