Economics

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Economics isn't just about theoretical impacts to money, though many get caught up in that. It's about social engineering or understanding. You can't argue a policy change (or any change) intelligently if you don't think about the consequences of your actions -- and not just to the people you care about, but all people and the system as a whole. How will people react, how can the solution be gamed, sure you helped a few -- but what happened to the rest (and does the help outweigh the costs). Micro-economics is looking at one system, Macro-economics is looking at how that system impacts all the others.

💸Econ101 (Economics-101) is just a play on the things that people used to learn in College on the first day. Used to, because they don't really teach the basics any more, and they dupe many students in economics by obstructing history and common sense, and replacing it with Keynesian tripe and Marxist dogma. But this is the basics of what people should know if they really want to talk about economics.

💸Minimum wage is the delusion that bureaucrats and politicos know more about what's fair than the laborer and the employer, and that there's a magic round number that fair for everyone, everywhere, at the same time.


Does minimum wage impact employment?

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This is of course hotly contested, but it breaks down into two camps: (1) "No" (2) Those who have a clue as to what they're talking about.

The problem is (of course) that it doesn't always, and doesn't always immediately impact it. So there's some plausible deniability for the economics deniers out there to find edge cases and say, "see". But as soon as you look deeper than the surface, you find that it does suppress growth, or increase a decline, sometimes ahead of the law and sometimes well behind it but it happens, and it especially hits certain segments and groups of people harder than others (like teens, starting out, part time work, and so on). Let's dive into the evidence. more...


Livable Wage

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Ignoring the stupidity that there's one magic "livable wage" that would be equally fair on both sides of the same city, let alone country, the left tries to sell the gullible that setting a salary minimum will set a salary minimum, but it doesn’t.

Progressives often see the choice as: (a) A livable minimum wage (b) A lower minimum wage.
But that's a fantasy. The real choice is: (a) What the market will bear (b) Unemployment ($0/hour).

The choice isn't pulling people out of poverty or not, it's about what value an opportunity is worth to an employer, before they skip the job, automate, outsource, or just give up. more...


Minimum Wage Laws

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The minimum wage and living wage warriors seem reluctant to accept the economic realities: price and wage controls almost never work. There are extremely rare cases where they can work (or do minimal damage) in one small location for short amounts of time, but there's no magic wage that's right for everywhere and everywhen at once. Thus wage controls start out bad and get worse over time. While a few discredited studies (like Card & Krueger) show that raising minimum wage doesn't have large impacts, in a few situations, for short periods of time. But each study like that has dozens of rebuttals and refutations that show the flaws in their methodology, and counter studies that it does impact employment (and wages), in the wrong way. So if you see a Study or News that claims minimum wage doesn't hurt employment, you know it's Fake. A few socratic questions show the problems: (a) What's a fair wage for both NYC and B.F. Idaho? If $15/hr is good, why not $150/hr? If only 9% of minimum wage workers are below the poverty line (and 91% are not), wouldn't giving money directly to that 9% be better? If minimum wage is a starting salary, why should it have an ending value (be a livable wage)?

more...


Minimum Wage and Automation

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Value (Money) is derived from the product of work (productivity/results), not based on what you paid for it. Thus the less you pay, the better off you are. The more you pay, the worse. This is why despite the doomsayers automation is good, and despite what the Social Justice Warriors (also known as economically illiterates) will tell you, minimum wage is not good. Despite the B.S. they're selling, you can't lose more money on every transaction and make it up in volume. more...


Minimum Wage: Cost basis

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I hear all the time, that McDonald’s can afford to pay a “livable wage” without raising costs, or "it’s just a few cents a burger", by people that don’t understand basic economics, or business.

Here’s some notables taken from the average McDonald's balance sheet:

  • The average McDonald's generate about $2.5 million in gross revenue, but then they have a lot of expenses like rent/mortgage, taxes, utilities, food, taxes, and labor (and their taxes).
  • The average McD's Employs 61 people in operations and restaurant management positions, and spend nearly $507,595 on wages (about $800K or 32% of gross revenue, when you factor in benefits, tax liability, and other costs around employment).
  • A McDonald's ends up with an average net profit after those expenses of 6%. Or about $150K/year in net revenue (for about $2M in initial investment/risk).
  • A jump from $7.25->$15/hour means $264K in increase wage costs, on profits of about $150K…. so they’re now losing $114,000.00 on each store per year. How many new McDonald’s will open with that as their forecast, how many will close because of it?

The store (and chain) must respond, or the average store will go out of business. They must: raise prices, trim staff, automate (or some balance of these), or shut down. more...


Minimum Wage: Poverty

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Poverty (and who makes minimum wage) gets even more complex:

  • 75% of it is due to underemployment (which is more insidious than unemployment)
  • Most poverty is short term (short term unemployment that effects people in one year).
  • Most of the rest is due to under-education, immigration, fatherless families, and finally bad social program programs (which holds more people down than they helps people up).

Explain to me how raising minimum wage helps with any of those things?

I can explain how fewer teenage jobs means more teenagers doing other things, like getting pregnant. Fewer opportunities for the less educated and immigrants doesn't help them out. And so on. So target the right people, instead of offering blanket subsidies to the wrong ones. Instead of raising the minimum wage, Congress should look at other ways to aid the working poor that actually focus on providing help to those who need it.

And that' the first rule of economics: do no harm. If you can't show how you're making something better, and the other side can show how you're not, then you're wrong. Or don't knock down fences without understanding why they're there. more...



💸John Maynard Keynes was a microeconomist that got a few things right in the little picture, and got virtually everything wrong in the big picture. His macroeconomic theories have been long disproven. But since the collectivists prefers comforting lies to uncomfortable truths, they ignore that and believe in unicorns anyways.

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💸Rahm Emanuel re-popularized the saying, "Never let a good crisis go to waste", he was talking about how to deceive people (while in the throws of panic) for your political ends. And that was taken to heart by those deceiving people on what happened in the economic crisis of 2007. This section debunks a lot of what did and didn't happen.

💸 There are stories about economics, with a hidden or obvious meaning. I've noticed the meaning (or reception of the lesson) is dependent on the open-mindedness of the listener, as sometimes the lessons are about what is, not what some wish it was. But alas, the laws of economics are like the laws of nature: they don't care about your feelings.