Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Is "lame" the right word to describe the minimum wage?

Link here

Republican presidential candidate Scott Walker called the minimum wage "lame".  But is that the right word?  It's a good start to attack terrible policies like the minimum wage - but simply calling it "lame" makes it seem like it causes no harm.

A better term is needed.  That said, what is the right word for a policy that:

* Keeps teens from gaining important life skills that would have helped them not only earn money now, but gain valuable work experience which will help them get better jobs later?

* Causes firms to switch from hiring people to hiring machines?

* Prompts people who would have worked for $5/hour but can't get a job at $7.25/hour or higher to seek other options for income?  Some will choose to work in illegal markets (selling drugs, etc.).

* And has other bad consequences?

No, lame is not the right word for the minimum wage.  But it's better than what most politicians are saying.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Learning Economics Through Pictures - Washing Cloths

Thanks to Dirk Mateer for taking and posting this great picture on his facebook feed!  (And for his permission to use it!)

As Dirk writes:
Check out the photo at the self laundry facility! See the old black and white photo of the women washing and drying by hand above the new stainless machine? Those labor intensive jobs are long gone but society is better off because it takes less time to wash and dry than before.

He's absolutely correct here.  This is a great example of an innovation that displaced labor.  Throughout history, there have been thousands of innovations that have caused tasks to be completed less expensively and with less labor.  At the time, however, those tasks could cause some pain to those who are displaced.

Even today we hear about machines replacing people at tasks (and some previous pictures I've posted have covered that).  In the long run, however, when more is produced using less labor - society is better off!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The 2015-2016 Liberty and Economic Freedom Speaker Series

Exciting news from the economics department at Susquehanna University!  In 2015-2016 we will be bringing three speakers to campus!  This is a continuation of the Liberty and Economic Freedom Speaker Series started last year.  We had a great lineup last year, and the 2015-2016 academic year should be just as fun and educational.

We have three speakers now confirmed for the 2015-2016 Liberty and Economic Freedom Speaker Series!  They are ...

David Kendall 

Morality and Capitalism: A Dialogue on Freedom. 
Tuesday, September 29, 2015

David Kendall is a Professor of Economics and Finance and Chair of the Department of Business and Economics at the University of Virginia's College at Wise. Previously he was the Dean of the School of Business at St. Edward's University in Austin, TX and Chief Economist for Empire Funding Corporation, also in Austin. While a senior economist with RTI International in Research Triangle Park, NC, Dr. Kendall led numerous applied economics research projects conducted for FDA, EPA, and USDA. 

Dr. Kendall is the author of the book Morality and Capitalism: A Dialogue on Freedom. He earned his Ph.D. from NC State University.  Matthew Rousu, professor of economics and Warehime Chair, will interview Dr. Kendall on stage in a conversational style and there will be opportunities for audience members to ask questions.  

Carrie Kerekes 

Free-Market Environmentalism
Thursday, November 5, 2015

Dr. Carrie B. Kerekes is an Associate Professor of Economics at Florida Gulf Coast University.  Her research interests are in the areas of applied microeconomics; public economics; and economic development, with an emphasis on institutions and private property rights.  Dr. Kerekes has published several articles in refereed journals including the Journal of Law and Economics, the American Law and Economics Review, The American Journal of Economics and Sociology, the Cato Journal and the Review of Law and Economics.  Dr. Kerekes conducted field research on land titling in rural Peru in 2007.  She regularly attends the meetings of the Association of Private Enterprise Education (APEE) and the Southern Economic Association (SEA).  Dr. Kerekes serves on the Executive Board of APEE and also serves on the Board of the Freedom and Virtue Institute (FVI).  She has participated in seminars sponsored by the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), the Institute for Humane Studies (IHS), and the Charles Koch Foundation.  She received her Ph.D. in Economics from West Virginia University in 2008.  

Dirk Mateer 

Economics in the Movies
Thursday, February 25, 2016

Dr. Dirk Mateer is the Gerald J. Swanson Chair in Economic Education at the University of Arizona. Dr. Mateer’s research has appeared in the Journal of Economic Education as well as other journals and focuses on media-enriched learning. He is the author of Economics in the Movies (2005) and Principles of Economics (2013, with Lee Coppock). 

Dr. Mateer is also an award-winning instructor. He has been featured in the "Great Teachers in Economics" series put out by the Gus A. Stavros Economic Education Center at Florida State University. He was also the inaugural winner of the Economic Communicator Contest sponsored by the Association of Private Enterprise Education. While he was at Penn State, he received the George W. Atherton Award, the university’s highest teaching award, and was voted the best overall teacher in the Smeal College of Business by the readers of Critique Magazine. Now at Arizona, Dirk received the Large Class Faculty Member of the Year award from the Eller College of Management in 2015.