Author Archive

Seattle’s Minimum Wage Has Been a Disaster, as the City’s Own Study Confirms | Alex Tabarrok   Leave a comment

Image result for image of seattleThe Seattle Minimum Wage Study, a study supported and funded in part by the Seattle city government, is out with a new NBER paper evaluating Seattle’s minimum wage increase to $13 an hour and it finds significant disemployment effects that on net reduce the incomes of minimum wage workers. I farm this one out toJonathan Meer on FB.

 

Source: Seattle’s Minimum Wage Has Been a Disaster, as the City’s Own Study Confirms | Alex Tabarrok

 

This is the official study that was commissioned several years ago by the city of Seattle to study the impacts of raising the minimum wage, in a move that I applauded at the time as an honest and transparent attempt towards self-examination of a bold policy. It is the first study of a very high city-level minimum wage, with administrative data that has much more detail than is usually available. The first wave (examining the increase to $11/hr) last year was a mixed bag, with fairly imprecise estimates.

These findings, examining another year of data and including the increase to $13/hr, are unequivocal: the policy is an unmitigated disaster. The main findings:

– The numbers of hours worked by low-wage workers fell by *3.5 million hours per quarter*. This was reflected both in thousands of job losses and reductions in hours worked by those who retained their jobs.

– The losses were so dramatic that this increase “reduced income paid to low-wage employees of single-location Seattle businesses by roughly $120 million on an annual basis.” On average, low-wage workers *lost* $125 per month. The minimum wage has always been a lousy income transfer program, but at this level you’d come out ahead just setting a hundred million dollars a year on fire. And that’s before we get into who kept vs lost their jobs.

– Estimates of the response of labor demand are substantially higher than much of the previous research, which may have been expected given how much higher (and how localized) this minimum wage is relative to previously-studied ones.

– The impacts took some time to be reflected in the level of employment, as predicted by Meer and West (2016).

– The authors are able to replicate the results of other papers that find no impact on the restaurant industry with their own data by imposing the same limitations that other researchers have faced. This shows that those papers’ findings were likely driven by their data limitations. This is an important thing to remember as you see knee-jerk responses coming from the usual corners.

– You may also hear that the construction of the comparison group was flawed somehow, and that’s driving the results. I believe that the research team did as good of a job as possible, trying several approaches and presenting all of their findings extensively. There is no cherry-picking here. But more importantly, without getting too deep into the econometric weeds, my sense is that, given the evolution of the Seattle economy over the past two years, these results – if anything – *understate* the extent of the job losses.

This paper not only makes numerous valuable contributions to the economics literature, but should give serious pause to minimum wage advocates. Of course, that’s not what’s happening, to the extent that the mayor of Seattle commissioned *another* study, by an advocacy group at Berkeley whose previous work on the minimum wage is so consistently one-sided that you can set your watch by it, that unsurprisingly finds no effect. They deliberately timed its release for several days before this paper came out, and I find that whole affair abhorrent. Seattle politicians are so unwilling to accept reality that they’ll undermine their own researchers and waste taxpayer dollars on what is barely a cut above propaganda.

I don’t envy the backlash this team is going to face for daring to present results that will be seen as heresy. I know that so many people just desperately want to believe that the minimum wage is a free lunch. It’s not. These job losses will only get worse as the minimum wage climbs higher, and this team is working on linking to demographic data to examine who the losers from this policy are. I fully expect that these losses are borne most heavily by low-income and minority households.


Reprinted from Marginal Revolution

Posted July 21, 2017 by aurorawatcherak in Uncategorized

Tagged with , ,

Mises on Economic Calculation   Leave a comment

I’m concluding my series on Ludwig von Mises’ 1920 essay “Economic Calculation in the Socialist Commonwealth”, appropriately enough, with his conclusion of the essay. I highly recommend you read it for yourself to get a fuller understanding of why socialism was a bad idea in 1920 and a bad idea nearly a century later.. Lela

 

He called for socialists to consider their position on a rational basis and realize that socialism does not  match reality. Their system has no way of determining the natural value of anything. Prices must be arbitrarily derived by bureaucrats in a socialist system, while in a capitalist system, supply and demand operate automatically to provide a “market value” price derived through exchange relations. The purchasers of a product determine the price depending on their personal choices.

Ninety-seven years after Mises wrote this essay, he’s still right and the Soviet Union and China have both proven his critiques. The Soviet Union is no more and Russia and the former Soviet bloc countries are largely market-based economies. Many of them are much more capitalistic than the United Kingdom or the United States. Meanwhile, China has taken a halfway position in state capitalism. Lenin thought of state capitalism as an intermediary step toward the paradise of socialism, but having tried social for several decades, China decided to introduce some capitalism.

Image result for image of american socialismName a socialist society that is doing well. There are a few capitalist societies that have a great admix of socialism — the United States, for example. Alaska too. The United States has suffered under a slowing economy for more than a decade now and is currently $21 trillion in debt. Alaska almost didn’t pass a budget this year. Socialism sounds good from the perspective where it hasn’t been tried yet, but inevitably it can’t operate without some market-economy features and so …. The United States has spent many decades slowly becoming more socialistic and our economy is teetering on the brink of collapse. Some observe that we appear to have been coasting on the dynamism of our past capitalism and that is now running out. Just look at the pace of inventions in the US between the end of the Civil War and now. You can see that we had a huge burst of activity and then we slowly fell away in an inverse ratio to the amount of government interference in the economy. So, what does that mean for us now? Is the solution perhaps reintroducing capitalism to the system?

Yet Another Unjustifiable Police Shooting   Leave a comment

Justine Damond was in her pajamas when she approached the police car. She had earlier called in a report of a possible rape and probably just wanted to know if everything was okay with the woman she had heard screaming. Instead, Officer Mohamed Noor shot the Australian woman dead in the upscale Minneapolis neighborhood.

Justine DamondFred Bruno, the lawyer for Noor’s partner, Matthew Harrity, said: “It is reasonable to assume an officer in that situation would be concerned about a possible ambush.”

Justine Damond’s family’s lawyer, Fred Bennett told CBS News: “I think that’s ludicrous. It’s disinformation. It doesn’t have any basis in fact. She obviously wasn’t armed, was not a threat to anyone, and nor could she have reasonably been perceived to be.”

Officer Mohamed Noor has refused to be interviewed by investigators, as is his legal right. Body cameras, which are worn by all Minneapolis police, had not been turned on at the time of the shooting and the squad car dashboard camera also failed to capture the incident. Does that seem suspicious to anyone else?

Officers Harrity and Noor, who between them have spent three years on the police force, have been placed on paid administrative leave. So they got a paid vacation for tampering with evidence (turning off the body cameras) and killing a woman.

Officer Noor should be immediately charged with 1st degree murder and placed in jail without possibility of bail like anyone else who shot someone in similar circumstances. It is well past time that we stopped treating cops like they are somehow immune for the rules that the rest of us live under.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-40673189

Great Book   Leave a comment

Stephany Tullis Loves Legacy Banner

GENRE (S)

 Literature & Fiction – Religious & Inspirational Fiction – Inspirational

Contemporary Fiction – Religious – Christian

PUBLISHER

Kindle Worlds

 

eBook Price: $2.99

Available – 7/19/17 –  Purchase here

Announcing “Love’s Legacy   Leave a comment

When stunning Deidre Torres, the new HR Director, introduces herself to Kevin O’Connor at an Executive staff meeting, Kevin’s heart forewarns danger.

 

Stephany Tullis Love's LegacyWhen he invites her to have coffee with him the next day, she hesitates but accepts. The following week, she flatly refuses his dinner invitation citing company policies that prohibit co-worker dating.

 

After six months of Kevin’s non-stop persistence, Deidre risks her job and agrees to have dinner.

 

Deidre and Kevin follow their hearts despite the objections and advice of well-meaning family and friends who advise of the complexities of interracial dating. In a fairy tale-like wedding, they vow to each other and before the many doubting wedding guests that nothing will ever separate them.

 

Six years later, they not only violate their vows but for the first time question the depth of their love for each other.

 

Previously unknown racial stereotypes, beliefs and differences threaten to destroy their marriage when their three-year-old son is killed by a stray bullet at a local peace rally.

 

Will Kevin’s hatred of his son’s killer unmask feelings he never knew he had? Can their marriage tolerate the escalating inter-family turmoil? Can their marriage survive the loss of one of God’s greatest gifts?

 

Available – 7/19/17 –  Purchase here

 

 

 

 

Announcing “Love’s Legacy”   Leave a comment

My friend Stephany Tullis from the Open Book Blog Hop is publishing a new book tomorrow.

Love’s Legacy

About the Book

GENRE (S)

 Literature & Fiction – Religious & Inspirational Fiction – Inspirational

Contemporary Fiction – Religious – Christian

PUBLISHER

Kindle Worlds

eBook Price: $2.99

Available – 7/19/17 –  Purchase here

Stephany Tullis Love's Legacy

 

Can their marriage survive the loss of one of God’s greatest gifts?

 

 

Can, A list couple, Kevin and Deidre O’Connor’s marriage survive the escalating inter-family turmoil that follows the murder of their three-year-old son? In the midst of their raging storm, car trouble leads them to Sweet Grove, Texas and an opportunity to find the peace that surpasses all understanding.

Interview with Stephany Tullis   1 comment

Today’s interview is with STEPHANY TULLIS. Welcome to the blog. Tell us something about yourself. 

 

Stephany Tullis Author PicHello, I refer to myself as a ‘A Native New Yorker’. Typically, when most people think of New York, they think of New York City—one of the biggest cities in the world. I’m from upstate New York about two hours north of NYC. However, I love The City—as it is also called and have visited it many times but would not like to live there-. New York, however, is a city known for its style, flare, theatre, shopping and so much more. It is a progressive city where its residents and often first-time visitors learn the importance of coping with their environment and circumstances with an attitude and perspective of succeeding with the hand life has dealt them. It is that seeming ability to cope and handle it all that I bring to my personality. My father and some family members continue to live in New York State. Other family members live in Georgia where I also reside about 30 minutes north of Atlanta.

I currently have small business management consulting company but write full time for the most part.

 

 

At what point did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I wrote my first book entitled The Master’s Plan, A Novel at the dare of my oldest son. I had unexpectedly left my management job in New York because of family reasons and relocated to the Atlanta area sooner than I expected. Upon relocation, I was extremely disappointed when I was not able to find a job. When I relocated, finding another job was the least of my worries. It was this New Yorker attitude that eventually led me to conclude that my sometimes brash, bold, fast talking, confident persona did not mesh well with the genteel southern sometimes-not-so-hospitable south.

 

Stephany Tullis Masters PlanAs I commiserated over my unemployment status, my son said quite cavalierly, ‘why don’t you do what you do best? Write! Write a book!’ I had never thought about writing fiction. Loved to read—always have and he was correct. I wrote but my expertise was in the areas of technical writing—contracts, proposals, speech-writing.

Needless to say, I took the dare and wrote my first book in 2013—a novel about a woman’s search for purpose.

 

What are you passionate about?

As I write in my bio, “In my world, there is no life without writing, traveling, family, music and my love of politics. My loves and interests are central to my writing.”

My world (my back-story) is guided by my faith and the inspiration I receive from God.

With this backdrop, regardless of the date or time of your visit, you will find family. Without exaggeration, family and relationships are the core of every book I write.

I love to travel and like me, my characters are always off and running and in so doing require me to research (and often visit) so many fascinating places.

I also love music—all kinds and I’m never surprised by what track finds its way to my personal playlists and a character’s ring tone, door chime, or car radio station.

People frown sometimes and don’t understand my love of politics, but I have a political administration background and thrived on it and in my past government career. For me, it’s the people, the process and what democracy offers. As with life, my fictional towns and cities include mayors, governors, school board members, etc.

If you haven’t guessed, I love my world that allows me the joy of living a life I love but most importantly, one where I can share it with others via my writing.

 

 

Are you a plot driven or character driven writer? Why?

Stephany Tullis Blue LadyFrom start to finish, my writing is driven by my characters. There are times when I have an idea or a plot and storyline but as I create my characters, the story line and plot usually changes. For example, recently, I had developed a very general outline of my intended story. When I began my search for images for my cover design, the entire theme of my story changed as well as the qualities, quirks and characteristics of my characters. In this respect, my cover is very important to me and has a motivating influence on the development of my characters and the ultimate storyline. Additionally, I use a lot of dialogue in my stories and have been told that I am a cinemagraphic writer…scene and dialogue driven.

 

 

Do you write from an outline or are you a discovery writer?

I am a pantster, i.e. discovery writer primarily as I describe above. My characters drive my story and as ‘they develop (along with the storyline), an initial plot outline will change drastically as my story evolves. I no longer spend time in developing outlines for this reason.

 

 

Was it your intention to write a story with a message or a moral?

Stephany Tullis Love's LegacyI intend to write ‘with purpose’ without moralizing or chastising. I write in several genres but my goal is to not only entertain and write a ‘good’ book but to also provide my readers something to think about. This was an important objective in writing my first novel, The Master’s Plan. My first book is ‘Inspirational’ and I tackle some important moral issues; e.g. fidelity, family, relationships, etc. My goal was to write a book that anyone could read and would want to read regardless of religious backgrounds and come away with a message that they could apply to their respective personal situations.

 

My favourite review of this first book is by a reader who describes himself as a ’63-year-old blond-haired, blue eyed male who rated the book with five stars.

 

 

 

What influenced your decision to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish after hearing the horror stories of so many writers who had signed writing contracts only to find themselves boxed into situations that limited their ability to write and did not provide them the financial advantages they expected.

 

If you have experience with both traditional and indie publishing, compare the two.

For a short period, I was under contract with a small publishing company. There were some distinct advantages such as the availability of editing, proofreading and cover design services. I’ve learned, however, that I prefer my independence and the ability to direct my writing according to my personal preferences. I had anticipated that I would receive much more support in promoting my books with a publishing company. I was extremely disappointed to discover that this was not the case.

 

 

Who designed your book cover/s?

As mentioned previously, my cover design is very important to me and I view the cover as a reflection of me, the overall quality of my book and writing. I have used several designers since publishing my first book. My primary objective in selecting a designer is their willingness to work with me to design a cover that meets my needs and personal taste. I’m proud and very happy to say that I have ongoing relationships with all my designers and that several of my covers have won ‘best cover’ awards in various competitions.

 

 

***Do you write specifically for a Christian audience? Why or why not?

I address this question above but would also like to reiterate that I write cross genre, always with a ‘purpose’ and do not write only for Christian audiences. I want my reading audience to understand that all people, regardless of their religious background, ethnicity or gender have problems, issues, and challenges. It’s the manner in which we handle those issues and challenges that makes the difference in our lives.

 

What are some of the special challenges of being a Christian writer?

The biggest challenge for me is reflected in how I view myself. I am a Christian who writes fiction and not a Christian writer. This may appear to be a minor point, but it isn’t. I’ll use a couple of examples to illustrate my point. As a Christian, I know that we all have issues and problems. We live in a world filled with horrific problems that impact us all and not just Christians. My goal as a writer is to share stories about how people live in view of and despite such problems. To illustrate a point, as a writer, I might have a character who swears. While I know most Christians will find swear words offensive in an inspirational book, I approach this area carefully. Usually by softening the presentation by using language such as, ‘he cursed’ but I have been known to use certain words such as ‘hell’ to illustrate a point.

 

 

Do you feel that Christian writers should focus on writing really great story or on presenting the gospel clearly in everything they write? Or is it possible to do both?

 

I think as a writer who is a Christian, my purpose is to tell a great story. In my first book, The Master’s Plan’, I use a lot of scriptural references (note the book is based around a woman in search of her purpose who happens to be the second wife of a pastor). My goal is not to present the gospel. My goal is to present a life style that reflects a character’s ability to face life challenges in a manner that would be pleasing to Christ.

 

Where can readers find you and your books?

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Pinterest

Amazon Author Page

Book Bub

Readers Group

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