The chocolate ration is being increased to 25 grammes per week.

Category Archives: economics

Koch wages war against the minimum wage

Charles Koch has spent $200,000 media campaign to… well, let’s see it in his own words:

The point of it, Koch said, is that he believes prosperity grows where economic freedom is greatest, where government intervention in business affairs is kept to a minimum.  He hopes his ideas will help the country grow, he said. In his interview he emphasized several times that he believes his ideas on economics will help disadvantaged people. Government regulations – including the minimum wage law – tend to hold everyone back, he said.

Show of hands: does anyone believe that the minimum wage, as low as it is, is a rightful burden on businesses?  We already know that Wal-Mart came out publicly for an increase n the minimum page, not out of the goodness of their hearts, but because they already paid workers more than the minimum wage and an official raising of it would hurt competitors that had lower wages.  Of course, recently in the news Wal-Mart is opposing a real living wage in D.C., so it’s clear the previous support was truly about self interest, not about helping workers.

Look, the minimum wage is just that.  Look at these statistics:

  • The federal minimum wage would be $10.71 instead of $7.25 if it had kept up with inflation, over the last 40 years.
  • $15,080: 1 year of minimum wage.
  • $2.13: the federal minimum wage for tipped employees (e.g., waiters, parking attendants, etc).

In fact, the minimum wage is so low that 19 states have a state minimum higher than the federal one.

What blows me away is the position of Koch.  In the 80’s he was for trickle-down economics.  How’d that work out for us?  Not so well.  I’m sure Koch knows that tickle-down economics is a load of BS and all I’m left with is that he is one of the greediest people on earth, since his net worth is an estimate $43 billion.

We should care because there are a lot of people in this country that are easily swayed by disingenuous political maneuvering.  The entire Fox News network is a giant scam on the American people.  There’s an entire website dedicated to their lies.

A very good article on the Twinkie situation

For me, this is the money quote (emphasis added by me):

In a piece for Salon, Jake Blumgart interviewed a bakery worker who had been at the company for 14 years. “In 2005, before concessions I made $48,000, last year I made $34,000…. I would make $25,000 in five years if I took their offer. It will be hard to replace the job I had, but it will be easy to replace the job they were trying to give me.”

Go read it for yourself.

This is why I love reddit.com, and the internet in general

Paul Krugman, nobel prize winning economist, decided to do an IAmA (“I am a…”) today.  The way this works: questions are submitted as comments and the comments are rated.  The person doing the IAmA then replies to the comments.  The current top rated question (it might change over time) got this response:

So, hi — I’m here and on.

Let’s start with the inflation issue. What we want is “appropriately” low rates — which in this case means negative in real terms. Excessively low rates can cause problems, but we’re nowhere near there right now. And for what it’s worth, I don’t buy that story about the bubble at all; what went wrong in 2000-2007 was runaway unregulated banks, not too-low rates.

About the deficit: the thing you need to realize is that a weaker economy means lower tax receipts. Slashing spending now hurts the economy in the short run, offsetting a large part of the initial saving. It also hurts the economy in the long run. So when you do the full arithmetic, you probably make the debt problem worse, not better.

About partisanship: I don’t think I’m being partisan, I think I’m being honest. The way many people try to seem nonpartisan is by pretending that bad ideas aren’t really bad, which I won’t do. It’s not partisan to say, for example, that Paul Ryan’s budget is a fraud. It’s just the uncomfortable truth.

This answer illustrates why I love Krugman, too.  Honest, direct and very simply written (he’s much better in print, IMO).  The comment about partisanship is dead on.  Wrongly throwing that label around is a desperate play by actual partisan hacks.

Here’s a summary of all questions and answers.