Category Archives: How not to do political economy

Inequality, CEO Compensation and Thomas Piketty

What do the three phrases in the title of this blog have in common?  This is not a trick question, although some may be tricked by the rhetoric that has come from these.  OK, you have had enough time to think about it.  The answer is:  Inequality is the “new” social justice term, median CEO compensation has reached $10 million per year, far above the lowest paid worker in a given firm, and Thomas Piketty has captivated liberals with his… Continue Reading ››

Don’t Forget History

Amity Shlaes has written a fine piece in National Review Online on one particular aspect of the Great Depression having to do with minimum wages (NRO, May 7, 2014).  As she points out, recent research has changed the way we evaluate that event in economic history.  In case you don’t remember, the dominant narrative had been that the stock market crashed and Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal programs rode to the rescue.  These programs began to bear fruit around 1938 or so, with… Continue Reading ››

Minimum Wage Ad Hominem courtesy of the NYT

The minimum wage continues to be pushed by those on the left as a way to confront income inequality.  On the right, there are vigorous rebuttals, focusing mainly on both the theoretical and empirical case against price controls.  The New York Times has come up with their spin on this, questioning the motives of those who argue against minimum wage legislation–their headline says it all, “Fight Over Minimum Wage Illustrates Web of Industry Ties.” Just four blocks from the White… Continue Reading ››