Wednesday, 28 September 2016
Saturday, 24 September 2016
Thursday, 22 September 2016
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
I will show how value is created in every societal transaction for both agents by the combination of consumer surplus and producer surplus. As this paper will also show, the main regulations one ought to be opposed to are ones that artificially interfere with prices and the information-carrying signals they exhibit.
Tuesday, 20 September 2016
It is still friendly to free trade, but in my view not trenchant enough in its repudiation of bad leftist policies. A good example is this article, which despite being two years old, grabbed my attention this morning when it was shared on The Economist's Facebook page and generated lots of attention in the comments section.
It's not just that the article sits on the fence too much regarding the minimum wage, it's more that by only focusing on how the policy affects statistical employment levels in terms of having only a moderate effect on job losses, it fails to consider the most important statistical group - the people that cannot get a foot on the rung of the employment ladder in the first place (and that's to say nothing of the other negative effects such as unfairly loading the burden onto employers of low-skilled workers and causing price inflations that hit those same people hardest).
An article that makes itself so oblivious to the entirety of the net cost on society is rather like an article on assisted suicide that makes no mention of the pain and suffering of the people that wish to end their life. The minimum wage is basically a tax on people who do the most for low earners - a tax passed on to low-earning consumers, which ought to tell you almost everything you need to know about it (and let's not forget that it has a very dark history with sinister eugenicists who knew exactly what kind of effect it would have on struggling factions of society, as I wrote about in this article for the Adam Smith Institute) .
The minimum wage legislation occurs because the
The desire to ensure low earners have enough to make ends meet is a noble one - but it can, and should be achieved by supplementary benefits, which basically amount to a tax funded by taxpayers as a whole, rather than the minimum wage, which is a tax on people who employ low-skilled workers, where the cost is largely borne by consumers of firms that employ lots of low-skilled workers.
In the past few decades government spending has hovered around the 40% mark of the entire GDP, which constitutes a massive proportion of total spending. Plus if you add on all the hidden taxes in the form of regulations, price controls, tariffs, etc - plus government borrowing, which is basically deferred taxation (which this graph does not factor in), it's probably over 60% of GDP.
* To give you an additional point to consider regarding the absurdity of this price floor; suppose our new chancellor Philip Hammond was injected with a potion that made him believe all old banger cars in circulation have suddenly increased in value.
From now on, irrespective of whether your car is falling to bits, rusty, leaking, worn out or on its last legs, under this new potion’s influence the Chancellor now believes that no car is worth less than £1500. On the basis of this, he creates a minimum car sale law that prohibits anyone from selling a car for under £1500.
Monday, 19 September 2016
Thursday, 15 September 2016
If you went back in a time machine and invited the average citizen from 1916 to look at the equivalent standard of living in 2016 they would be astounded. As times progress we continually see increased standard of living for less human energy expended, which translates into fewer working hours per year.
Thus it is quite possible, as is the case in
Here's another thing you may not have considered. Increase in unemployment could mean that there are lots more people out there unwilling to work, but it more likely means that people looking for work are rational jobseekers.
For example, take every unemployed person in the country. Many of them could increase their chances of work if they lower their standards, but what they are trying to do is strike the balance between the length of search and the type of job.
rational searcher will hold off taking just anything to increase the chances of
finding a more desirable job, up until the point where the costs of the search
are not greater than the gains. The unemployment pool makes up a lot of these
On top of all that, there is always this big question, which doesn't get considered often enough - Is Employment Always Desirable For Everyone?
Tuesday, 13 September 2016
Monday, 12 September 2016
Perhaps the most important thing you can learn about tariffs is that when (y)our government imposes them on foreigners to make us better off it instead makes us worse off, and also the people trying to trade with us.
Moreover, since the workers and families have every incentive to lobby the government to save their jobs, and the rest of the population have little or no incentive to lobby the government to not subsidise Steve's Steel, there is more of an incentive for the government to listen to those connected to Steve's Steel.
Sunday, 11 September 2016
After all, when a politician is quite so gauche and incompetent, you begin to entertain the idea that even conspiracy theories about him could be credible, particularly when even in a party with more third rate politicians in senior positions than ever before in my lifetime, there are evidently less-ridiculous leadership candidates than Owen Smith.
Still, the Owen Smith story will surely be very short-lived - he has almost zero chance of winning the Labour leadership contest, and even less chance of ever seeing his party win an election with him at the helm, so it looks like Britain is going to see a May vs. Corbyn battle in the next General Election (probably 2020).
On that topical note, today I stumbled upon a very interesting paper, in which the author Andreas Murr from the University of Oxford predicts that according to a Bayesian analysis there is a 95 per cent probability that having the larger winning margin in party leadership elections increases the chances of winning the General Election, and that the party leader with the larger winning margin will almost certainly become the next Prime Minister.
Thursday, 8 September 2016
They are, in a sense, benevolent acts where the benevolence confers upon the author the value of interaction. This also has to be played out, though, against the numerous blogs, articles, newsfeeds, videos and memes competing for your attention and time when you're online.
While the intrinsic value of the content of good blogs may be high, the online world means that there are many other interesting things out there vying for your attention, which means there are increased ways that other people can enrich your life, and increasing ways you have to out-enrich them to add value to your readers' lives, and increase your readership.
Wednesday, 7 September 2016
The introduction of more private run services isn't going to impinge on the NHS's free at the point of delivery ethos, so there is no reason to bemoan private health services at all. With an aging population there is ever-increasing pressure on the health service to greatly increase its efficiency and reduce public spending - and that's only going to happen with market forces replacing state involvement.
Sunday, 4 September 2016
The religious charity schools for the poor were also proliferating, as were the more expensive private schools for the emerging middle-classes and the aristocracy (though some of them bore the appearance of grammar schools and began opening their doors to talented children of the poor).