HispanicPundit + henderson   212

What wage mystery? - Econlib
There’s no wage mystery.  When NGDP growth slows, wage growth will usually (not always) slow as well.  If you want faster nominal wage growth, then adopt a more expansionary monetary policy.  If you want faster real wage growth, then deregulate the economy and do tax reforms that encourage saving.  Printing money won’t boost real wages.
wages  Henderson  Sumner 
october 2018 by HispanicPundit
A Partial Appreciation of Ayn Rand – Econlib
The related characteristic of Ayn Rand—and I can’t remember where I read this, but I’m positive I did—is that when she was talking to someone, that someone was the only person in the room. That shows a lot of respect and integrity about the conversation. I’ve been at cocktail parties where the person I’m talking to—even if it’s a friend—is constantly looking around the room as if looking for a better conversational offer. Rand wasn’t that way, at least if I remember the story correctly.
Rand  Henderson 
august 2018 by HispanicPundit
Hurray for the Imminent End of Polio, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Cleanliness meant fewer mothers were able to pass on immunity to their babies. And those children did not develop a lifelong resistance themselves.

"In the 16th and 17th century, pretty much everybody would have been exposed to polio very early in life and would have developed immunity to it and would have been fine," McGeer says.
vaccines  Henderson  world 
february 2018 by HispanicPundit
Male Uber Drivers Earn More and It's Not Due to Discrimination, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
The growth of the "gig" economy generates worker flexibility that, some have speculated, will favor women. We explore one facet of the gig economy by examining labor supply choices and earnings among more than a million rideshare drivers on Uber in the U.S. Perhaps most surprisingly, we find that there is a roughly 7% gender earnings gap amongst drivers. The uniqueness of our data--knowing exactly the production and compensation functions--permits us to completely unpack the underlying determinants of the gender earnings gap. We find that the entire gender gap is caused by three factors: experience on the platform (learning-by-doing), preferences over where/when to work, and preferences for driving speed. This suggests that, as the gig economy grows and brings more flexibility in employment, women's relatively high opportunity cost of non-paid-work time and gender-based preference differences can perpetuate a gender earnings gap even in the absence of discrimination.
wages  genderissues  uber  Henderson 
february 2018 by HispanicPundit
Could Driverless Trucks Create More Trucking Jobs?, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
It's important to note, though, that even if there are fewer trucking jobs, there's an unlimited amount of work to be done. So if driverless trucks come along, I confidently predict that two years after the big shift, whenever that is, there will be more jobs (assuming no recession and assuming no big crackdown on immigration), not fewer.
Jobs  technology  timTaylor  Henderson 
february 2018 by HispanicPundit
Coulter on Immigration, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
What if I weren't convinced by Alex's evidence? It wouldn't cause me to be against immigration. There are such huge gains from trade between immigrants and us that we shouldn't cut ourselves or them off from those gains. The solution is not to restrict immigration but to focus on the problem at hand. If you worry that immigrants will vote for bigger government, then address that problem, not immigration per se. My solution, to the extent this is a problem, is to have a longer residency requirement before one can become a citizen. Let people have a better understanding of the system before they vote. I got my green card in 1977 and didn't become a citizen until 1986. That was 9 years without voting, and it wasn't a big deal. What about making it 20 years?

Or how about insisting that immigrants pay at least $100,000 in taxes cumulatively before they can vote? (I think Bryan Caplan suggested this but I can't find the reference.)
Immigration  voting  Henderson  nowrasteh 
december 2017 by HispanicPundit
Hassett on Tax Cuts and Growth, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Perhaps the reason I hold these beliefs is that I started graduate school back in 1984, and was taking Alan Auerbach's public finance class when the 1986 Tax Act was enacted. At the time, I began working on how the 1986 reforms would affect business capital spending. The literature surprisingly found little effects of tax policy on the economy, often suggesting that tax and interest rate variables did not drive capital spending. But Alan and I noticed something funny in the data. Politicians tended to pass Investment Tax Credits in recessions, then let them expire when the recession was over. Thus it appeared that the economy partly drove tax policy, even if to [sic] tax policy also affects the economy. However, because recessions induced tax-cuts, any analysis of how tax cuts affected the economy would need to separate this out to not wrongly conclude that tax cuts caused recessions. When Alan and I discovered a way to overcome this problem, we found very large effects of tax policy on investment behavior. Since then, there has been a veritable scientific revolution of papers that use different methods to identify tax effects, and like our first study, they have found again, and again and again, that tax policy is a major driver of economic growth, if one does the science correctly.
tax-cuts  Laffer  TrumpAdministration  Henderson 
october 2017 by HispanicPundit
Forcibly Paid Parental Leave, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Think of how employers would react to such a mandate. They would realize that the main people who would take advantage of paid parental leave would be women of child-bearing age. This makes those women less valuable to them as employees. So their demand--the amount they are willing to pay--for women in that category would fall. Women in that category, on the other hand, would be willing to work for less because the benefit is valuable. In economists' jargon, in short, both the demand curve and the supply curve would fall. The wages of those women, therefore, would fall.
maternity-leave  henderson 
june 2017 by HispanicPundit
Bryan Caplan's Best Line and My Thoughts, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Here's a point that Bryan didn't make but is important. In the UBI version that Ed Dolan supports, Dolan makes it spending-neutral by ending Social Security and Medicare as well as all the welfare programs. Consider what the Dolan $4.5K per person would mean to a 70-year-old couple who, in 2016, were getting the maximum monthly Social Security benefit: $2,639 for the high-earning spouse and half of that, $1319, for the other spouse. That's $3,958 per month, or $47,496 per year. Their income from the government would fall from $47,496 per year to $10,000 per year, a drop of $37,496.
BasicIncome  debates  wilkinson  caplan  henderson 
march 2017 by HispanicPundit
The Humanity of McDonald's, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
McDonald's. And according to my landlady "McDonald's saved him." Why? Oh, they're unbelievable, she said. They are very used to dealing with people like my son. They have all kinds of systems for helping people who lack good work habits become productive. For instance, they start calling you hours before your morning shift to ensure that you are awake and getting ready for work. My son really needed that, she said. In McDonalds he learned that work guidelines have a purpose and he acquired confidence. He is no longer passive now. He has a much better job, a fiancee, and a future.
mcdonalds  minimum-wage  henderson 
january 2017 by HispanicPundit
Trump on Obamacare, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
As I've written on Econlog before, there are two key provisions of health-insurance regulation that destroy health insurance as health insurance: the combination of guarantee issue and community rating. Either one of them on its own does not destroy insurance. Together they do, by taking the insurance out of insurance. With guaranteed issue alone, the part of Obamacare that Trump says he wants to keep, health insurance could still function as insurance. Insurers could say, "Sure, we'll insure you even though you have cancer. That will be $50,000 a year." That is what would happen if he didn't keep community rating. With community rating--that is, people being charged the same regardless of risk--insurance could still be insurance. Insurers could charge everyone the same but simply deny coverage to those who are too high-risk.
obamacare  TrumpAdministration  henderson 
january 2017 by HispanicPundit
The CEA's Mixed Thinking on Labor Market Monopsony, Part IV, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
The CEA does not point out that there is a big difference between the typical woman who works full time and the typical man who works full time: years out of the labor force for women due mainly to child rearing. When economists look at women and men who have never been out of the labor force, and correct for occupation, etc., they find almost total equality of wages.
CEA  wages  genderissues  henderson 
november 2016 by HispanicPundit
How the Free Market Breaks Down Discrimination, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
This story of how the free market broke down discrimination may sound trivial. If it just had to do with my hot dog, it would be. But the story illustrates a much wider and crucial point: Markets are especially good at breaking down discrimination when what is exchanged is goods rather than labor. Think about how little you know about the politics, race, gender, or even nationality of the person who makes the bread you buy. You don't know because you don't care. What you care about is getting the best deal on bread, and even if this means buying it from someone whom you would hate, you'll still buy the bread. That's why, for example, even book stores whose owners and employees detest Rush Limbaugh still displayed his books prominently. By trying to hide the books, which apparently some stores did for a short time, they would pass up precious sales.
discrimination  capitalism  henderson 
october 2016 by HispanicPundit
The Economics of Paid Parental Leave, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
She claimed, in her acceptance speech for the Democratic presidential nomination, that this would benefit women with children. The good news is that she's right. The bad news, according to widely-accepted economic analysis and past evidence, is that the main people who would pay for this benefit would be women of child-bearing age.
Think of how employers would react to such a mandate. They would realize that the main people who would take advantage of paid parental leave would be women of child-bearing age. This makes those women less valuable to them as employees. So their demand--the amount they are willing to pay--for women in that category would fall. Women in that category, on the other hand, would be willing to work for less because the benefit is valuable. In economists' jargon, in short, both the demand curve and the supply curve would fall. The wages of those women, therefore, would fall.
Hillary  labor  regulations  maternity-leave  henderson  summers 
september 2016 by HispanicPundit
The Perverse Death/Estate Tax, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Answer: the unseen. That is, the tax causes people to make other adjustments, typically well before death, that reduce the government's tax revenues from other taxes. One standard way is to put assets in your children's name. But then your children are typically in a lower income tax bracket than you are. So the income from the assets is taxed at a lower rate than if you didn't transfer the assets and the feds raise less revenue from the income tax.
estate-tax  henderson 
august 2016 by HispanicPundit
The Case for Low-Income Housing, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Any discussion of trailer parks should start with the fact that most forms of low-income housing have been criminalized in nearly every major US city. Beginning in the 1920s, urban policymakers and planners started banning what they deemed as low-quality housing, including boarding houses, residential hotels, and low-quality apartments.
real-estate  regulations  henderson 
august 2016 by HispanicPundit
The Decline in Labor's Share of U.S. Income, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
I think that, although Tim mentions it, he goes too quickly past one of the main reasons for the decline, namely a change in measurement....How important is this? Armenter shows a graph in which he keeps the BLS's pre-2001 methodology. With no change in methodology, labor's share falls, but only from about 62 or 63 percent to about 59 percent. This is still a substantial fall, but had I known this when I was teaching last fall, I would still have pointed it out, but would not have expressed nearly the concern I did.
labor  wages  henderson 
september 2015 by HispanicPundit
Mankiw on Parental Advantages, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
The bottom line: Even a highly successful policy intervention that neutralized the effects of differing parental incomes would reduce the gap between rich and poor by only about 2 percent. [Bold in original]
inequality  mobility  mankiw  henderson 
january 2014 by HispanicPundit
Minimum Wage Increase Will Reduce Poverty Even Less than I Thought, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
The minimum wage takes from the (mostly) relatively poor people who buy a lot of fast food and gives to the (mostly) relatively poor people who serve it. When I go into McDonald's in the morning, most of the customers strike me as less well off than the nice lady who serves me my Egg McMuffin.
minimum-wage  henderson 
january 2014 by HispanicPundit
Goodman on Henderson on Krugman | John Goodman's Health Policy Blog | NCPA.org
Michael Stroup has shown that the Bush tax cuts actually made the tax system more progressive than it was and so did other Republican tax cuts, including the capital gains tax cut pushed on President Clinton by a Republican Congress. If high incomes are growing faster than other incomes, the tax system will naturally look more progressive. But the main reason almost half the country pays no income tax is because Republican tax legislation explicitly took them off the tax rolls. Then let’s not forget that (Nixon’s) Earned Income Tax Credit is Milton Friedman’s negative income tax.
CATO  goodman  progressive  krugman  henderson  republicans  sidebar  tax-cuts 
july 2013 by HispanicPundit
Scott Winship on Inequality, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
As to the claim that the incomes of most Americans have stagnated during the period in which those of the wealthiest Americans have soared, [Richard] Burkhauser's figures suggest otherwise. His research shows that the middle fifth of the income distribution was actually more than one-third richer in 2007 than it was in 1979. The Congressional Budget Office corroborates this estimate, and research by the University of Chicago's Bruce Meyer and Notre Dame's James Sullivan suggests that the increase may have been 50% or more. Such growth could be called "stagnation" only in relation to the golden age of the post-war boom, when the incomes of the middle fifth of Americans doubled over 20 years. Income growth has certainly slowed for poor and middle-class families since then, and not only in the United States: In a range of European and English-speaking countries, demographics and other factors have combined to yield lower rates of economic growth.
brookings  middleclass  henderson  sidebar  mobility  ScottWinship  wages  inequality 
march 2013 by HispanicPundit
End Military Aid to Israel and Egypt and ..., David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Corinne and Robert Sauer, founders of the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies, have taken up a proposal put forth in 2003 by Erez Raphaeli, an independent researcher. He contended that ending the nearly $5 billion in annual U.S. military aid to Israel and Egypt, as well as to Jordan, Lebanon, and the Palestinians, would actually improve the military position of Israel, the U.S.'s strongest ally in the region, and limit an arms race that the Sauers, both free-market economists, argue is essentially spiraling out of control. If the military aid, part of $7.1 billion in grants that the U.S. awards each year in the Middle East, were to be withdrawn, the Arab countries would have difficulty replacing it, and Israel thus could downsize its military, argues Robert Sauer, who is also an economics professor at Royal Holloway, a college of the University of London.
henderson  sidebar  israel  MiddleEast  foreignaid 
march 2013 by HispanicPundit
The Air Travel Revolution, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Frank Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" was the best-selling album in the United States for five weeks in 1958, but the irony of its popularity (or, perhaps, the source of its aspirational appeal) is that practically none of us could take up the offer to "glide, starry-eyed" on an aircraft with anybody in those days. More than 80 percent of the country had never once been on an airplane. There was a simple reason. Flying was absurdly expensive. And there was simple reason why flying was absurdly expensive. That was the law. There are many sad stories to tell about the U.S. economy in the last 30 years, but here's a happy story for everybody (except the airlines), from radical capitalists to the most liberal consumer advocates. Getting government out of the business of regulating the skies has led to a remarkable collapse in airline prices.
airlines  regulations  henderson  sidebar 
march 2013 by HispanicPundit
Krugman and a Critic on the Minimum Wage, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
So how did Krugman handle the economics of the minimum wage? By talking about the politics of the minimum wage. Krugman tries to establish that the Republicans are shedding crocodile tears because they don't really care about the workers who might lose their jobs if the minimum wage were increased. I wondered if any of his commenters on his web page would catch Krugman changing the subject. So I started reading through the comments, something I don't generally recommend because most of the commenters are sycophants. But one commenter, Capt. J Parker, nailed it, writing...
minimum-wage  krugman  henderson  sidebar 
march 2013 by HispanicPundit
The Perks of Being Illegal, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
But "true in every case" is an awfully demanding standard. How about "true for a significant number of illegal workers in the U.S. workers over the course of a year"? If David can point to any sizable group of illegal workers who have spurned free green cards because it hurts their prospects in the labor market, I'll happily change my mind.
labor  caplan  immigration  henderson  sidebar  wages 
march 2013 by HispanicPundit
The Coming Tax Increases, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
We calculate increases in contributions required to achieve full funding of state and local pension systems in the U.S. over 30 years. Without policy changes, contributions would have to increase by 2.5 times, reaching 14.1% of the total own-revenue generated by state and local governments. This represents a tax increase of $1,385 per household per year, around half of which goes to pay down legacy liabilities while half funds the cost of new promises. We examine sensitivity to asset return assumptions, wage correlations, the treatment of workers not currently in Social Security, and endogenous geographical shifts in the tax base.
sidebar  henderson  california  taxes  pensions 
december 2012 by HispanicPundit
Welcome Back, McArdle, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Ultimately, it doesn't matter whether much whether Sweden changes its economy in ways that reduce the return to innovation, because Sweden is never going to be doing most of the innovation that drives its economic results. This is no slam on Sweden, mind you; it's just that, numerically, the overwhelming majority of new ideas are going to come from somewhere else. Germany is in the middle, but it's still a fraction of the size of the United States. Small countries are like little islands floating on an ocean of trade and capital, while the US is more like the jet stream, moving all the water around...so what happens to US growth matters a lot, to us and to others; we're almost a quarter of the world's GDP. If we slow down innovation, we will feel it; so will other countries, as the global economy slows. This will perhaps not always be the case; India and China are huge, and if they get rich, their economies (and presumably, their rate of innovation) will dwarf ours.
sidebar  henderson  mcardle  entrepreneurs  innovation  economic-growth  usa  sweden 
october 2012 by HispanicPundit
Landsburg on Median Income, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Conard points out that between 1980 and 2005, median incomes for non-white women, white women, non-white men, and white men all rose substantially, by 62%, 75%, 16%, and 15% respectively (all in real terms.) That's every adult, right? So how did the median income rise by only 3%? Answer: the composition changed. So white women and non-white women, who started out low, went up a lot, but there was a big of influx of them into the labor market during that time.
statistics  sidebar  henderson  landsburg  books  middleclass  wages 
august 2012 by HispanicPundit
Would Conscription Reduce Support for War?, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Successfully avoiding war for a nation is a public good and is, therefore, subject to the classic free-rider problem. The under-provision of anti-war agitation from those seeking to avoid the draft is exacerbated by the fact that seeking a deferment provides an alternative with a superior private payoff. Resources that an affluent or politically powerful person devotes to preventing or stopping a war will not likely have a noticeable effect on the overall outcome. In contrast, resources spent to secure a deferment or non-combat assignment for a loved one have a tangible effect on a private good. Empirical findings from the Vietnam War era and more recent history are consistent with our thesis.
foreignpolicy  sidebar  henderson  draft  polls  wars 
july 2012 by HispanicPundit
Matt Zwolinski on Sweatshops, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
I don't get what he means by the word "exploiting." The corporations come along and give workers a better deal than anyone else was offering them, and not just a better deal, but a substantially better deal. If Professor Long means that offering people a better deal is exploiting them, I think that's a strange use of the word. It's true that the corporations are taking advantage of them. But they're taking advantage of the corporations too. The term for that in economics is "mutual gains from exchange."
sweatshops  henderson  sidebar 
june 2012 by HispanicPundit
Curley Effect in California, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
I think something similar is happening in California. California has become a heavily Democratic state. The majority Democrats in the legislature and the Democratic governor are pursuing highly wasteful projects: a "high-speed" rail that probably won't be high-speed but will surely be high-cost, and higher marginal income tax rates (already among the highest in the United States) on the highest-income people, to name two. They don't seem to be restrained by the worry that many of the most-productive people will leave and are leaving the state. You can attribute this simply to ideology, and I'm sure that's an element. But I also think one of the Democrats' goals is to reduce the population of potential anti-Democrat voters so that their majority is assured.
california  glaeser  politics  henderson  sidebar 
may 2012 by HispanicPundit
Nordhaus's Global Warming Graph
But a little reflection shows that that can't be the case. (I'm not assuming that Nordhaus thinks it is the case. I'm simply clarifying for people who initially have my problem with understanding the graph.) Here's why. Look at the changes from about 1950 to 2011. They average at least 0.4 degrees C. So that would mean that the world has warmed by 60 times 0.4 degrees C or 24 degrees C! Clearly that hasn't happened. QED.

So what does all this mean? It must mean that Nordhaus is not graphing changes in temperature from the year before, but, rather, changes from some baseline temperature. It's not clear what baseline he has in mind. One might think 1880, but it's not clear. Read this way, what his graph says is that in 2011, the global mean temperature was higher by 0.8 degree C than it was in 1880 or some year earlier than 1880. Notice that that interpretation is consistent with two other well-agreed-on claims: (1) global temperatures are about 0.8 degrees C higher than they were 80 ye
sidebar  graphs  henderson  globalwarming 
march 2012 by HispanicPundit
Robert Frank's Narrow View on Schools, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Frank states that "school quality is an inherently relative concept." In other words, what matters to parents, according to Frank, is not the absolute quality of the school, but how good it is relative to other schools. But if that's so, then one obvious way to save resources, so that people can have more non-positional goods, is for the government to spend less on schools. Just as a progressive consumption tax would, in Frank's view, make no rich people worse off, a 50 percent cut in school funding should make no students worse off. Yet Frank never considers cutting government spending on schools.
vouchers  taxes  education  frank  henderson  sidebar 
march 2012 by HispanicPundit
How to Cut the Cost of Contraceptives by Regulating Less, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Cochrane himself, though, tends to confuse them. I'm guessing it's because he had limited space in his Wall Street Journal article. He writes, "I have 'access' to toothpaste because I have two bucks in my pocket and a competitive supplier. Anyone who can afford a cell phone can afford pills or condoms." So Cochrane has access to toothpaste and the cost is low. Had he tried to make a crystal-clear distinction between access and cost, he would have taken an example where one has access but the price is high.

Nevertheless, there is a way that the federal government now cuts access to contraceptives in a way that substantially raises the cost. Were the government to get rid of the regulation that does this, women's access to contraceptives would rise and the cost would fall. What is the regulation? It's the one that requires contraceptive pills to be prescription drugs. If, instead, drug companies were allowed to sell contraceptives over the counter, access would rise and cost would fall.
contraceptions  cochrane  henderson  sidebar 
february 2012 by HispanicPundit
The Optimal Capital Gains Tax Rate is Below Ten Percent, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Most of the discussion by economists of the appropriate capital gains tax rate is about a very narrow criterion: the effect of capital gains tax rates on capital gains tax revenues. But in a 2009 study done for the Institute for Research on the Economics of Taxation (IRET), Ohio State University economist Paul D. Evans considers a broader criterion: the effect of capital gains tax rates on overall federal tax revenues.

What's the difference? Because capital gains taxes discourage capital formation, they also cause other tax revenues to be lower. If there's less capital formation, workers have less capital to work with and, therefore, are less productive. If they're less productive, the government collects less tax revenue from them.

Professor Evans looks at data from the overall economy from 1976 to 2004, a period in which there was a lot of variation in the marginal tax rate on capital gains. He concludes that in 2004, the tax rate on capital gains that would have maximized overall
capital  taxes  romney  fundamentals  government  henderson  sidebar 
january 2012 by HispanicPundit
Four myths about how World War Two (and Keynes) saved the U.S. economy « The Enterprise Blog
In blogger and economist David Henderson’s fascinating review of A Great Leap Forward: 1930s Depression and U.S. Economic Growth by Alexander J. Field, he highlights some interesting findings by the author about the impact of World War II on the U.S economy, particularly as it relates to innovation and productivity. Oh, and whether the orgy of government deficit spending ended the Great Depression
wwii  keynes  history  aei  henderson  sidebar 
november 2011 by HispanicPundit
Krugman on How Blogs Have Changed Economic Debate, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
What the blogs have done, in a way, is open up that process. Twenty years ago it was possible and even normal to get research into circulation and have everyone talking about it without having gone through the refereeing process - but you had to be part of a certain circle, and basically had to have graduated from a prestigious department, to be part of that game. Now you can break in from anywhere; although there's still at any given time a sort of magic circle that's hard to get into, it's less formal and less defined by where you sit or where you went to school.

Since there's some kind of conservation principle here, the fact that it's easier for people with less formal credentials to get heard means that people who have those credentials are less guaranteed of respectful treatment. So yes, we've seen some famous names run into firestorms of criticism -- *justified* criticism - even as some "nobodies" become players. That's a good thing! Famous economists have been saying foolish t
blogs  krugman  henderson  sidebar 
october 2011 by HispanicPundit
The Top 1 Percent Includes You
Carl Haub, senior demographer at the Population Reference Bureau in Washington, D.C., has estimated that 106 billion humans have been born since Homo sapiens appeared about 50,000 years ago. That means that the richest one percent in history includes 1.06 billion people. There are currently 6.2 billion humans alive, leaving approximately 100 billion who have died. Who among the dead was rich by today's standards? Not many. Royalty, popes, presidents, dictators, large landholders, and the occasional wealthy industrialist, such as Andrew Carnegie and Leland Stanford, were certainly rich. All told, it is difficult to imagine more than 20 million of these people since ancient Egyptian times. This leaves 1.04 billion wealthy alive today, or 17% of the world's population.
poverty  world  inequality  standardofliving  henderson  sidebar 
october 2011 by HispanicPundit
Andrew Biggs on Means Testing, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Biggs's article is the BEST piece I have read on means testing Medicare and Social Security. He takes no cheap shots but lays everything out so that you can see the pros and cons. One of the points he makes is that if the government means tests based on wealth and not just income (he doesn't say this but wealth and income, though highly correlated, are, I believe, least correlated for retirees), we will have a much more intrusive IRS. He also points out that one way to do means testing that does not penalize savers is to do so based on lifetime income and the lifetime income data are easily available to the Social Security administration. Earlier this year, Scott Sumner had proposed means testing based on lifetime income to avoid penalizing savers.
medicare  social-security  meanstesting  biggs  henderson  NationalAffairs  sidebar 
september 2011 by HispanicPundit
Are Taxes on Corporations Taxes on People?, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
No, I'm making the simple point that a tax on corporations is a tax on people. I remember that in addressing the issue in the 1980s, the late Herb Stein said that it's as if people think that if the government imposed a tax on cows, the tax would be paid by the cows.
corporate  taxes  fundamentals  henderson  sidebar 
august 2011 by HispanicPundit
Summers Way Off on FDR and 1941, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Larry is assuming that there was a big military build-up in 1940. 1941 doesn't count because the election that, by his hypothesis, would have driven FDR from office was in November 1940. But there was no big military build-up in 1940. Alexander Field, in his book, A Great Leap Forward, points out that even with a broad measure of military spending that includes Lend-Lease and the government's Defense Plan Corporation, a subsidiary of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, spending in 1940 and 1941 was only 5 percent of the cumulative defense spending that occurred between 1940 and 1945. And certainly 1941 spending wasn't below 1940 spending. Which means that military spending in 1940 was less than 2.5 percent of overall military spending between 1940 and 1945.
fdr  wwii  history  summers  henderson  sidebar 
august 2011 by HispanicPundit
James Bovard on the Peace Corps, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Every Peace Corps veteran I've ever run into talks about what a great experience it was, what a growth opportunity it was. My Congessman, Sam Farr, whom I've seen speak a few times, always fits in his Peace Corps experience in Colombia. It was clearly very important to him. Talk to each one a little more and you find out it was about their growth. When you ask what was accomplished for the people they worked with, the answer is typically that they don't know.
government  peace-corps  henderson  sidebar 
august 2011 by HispanicPundit
The Republican Candidates on Manufacturing, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Manufacturing employment declined from the mid-1990s to 2002 in a number of countries whose economies are rapidly developing, including China, Brazil, and South Korea. In fact, China, Brazil, South Korea, and Japan had steeper percentage declines in manufacturing employment over that period than the United States.
manufacturing  henderson  sidebar 
june 2011 by HispanicPundit
Do Labor Unions Promote the Middle Class?, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
But what if unions did have the effect that Hacker and Pierson claim? This "threat effect" would undercut my claim above. But to see how, let's take an extreme. Let's say that every non-union employer, seeing the threat of unionization, raises pay and benefits a little. They, just like union employers when faced with a higher wage, will employ fewer people. Then those people put out of work by unions will have more trouble finding work. The wages of those who are working will be higher--and there will be fewer of them. The wages of those who are not working will be zero. Will you have a bigger middle class? Possibly. Will you have a larger lower class with people, especially younger people, having much more trouble finding work? Definitely.
unions  middleclass  henderson  sidebar 
may 2011 by HispanicPundit
The Uneasy Case for Progressive Taxation, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
I assume by "upon" in the quote above, Mr. Johnston means "up on." I also assume that what he is getting at is the principle of "equal sacrifice," the idea that the tax system should impose equal sacrifices across people. With diminishing utility of income, this principle does imply higher taxes for the high-income person, but it does not imply a higher tax rate for the high-income person. Indeed, it is consistent with a lower marginal tax rate on the high-income person because even a lower marginal tax rate above some income level will take more money from the high-income person than from the low-income person. [I'm assuming away another problem, which is that we can't do interpersonal utility comparisons.] You need a much stronger assumption, specifically, a very steep decline in the marginal utility of income, to get Johnston's conclusion.
taxes  progressive  henderson  sidebar 
may 2011 by HispanicPundit
Garett Jones on IQ and Economic Growth, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
One implication for countries that want more growth, he said, is to get higher-IQ immigrants. In Q&A, I asked him if he was suggesting something like Canada's immigration rules that seem to put a higher weight on IQ indirectly or whether he would be happy with a Bryan Caplan solution that would allow pretty much anyone in who wanted to come. In the latter case, I noted, maybe self-selection takes care of the problem: maybe the people who come here, even without a government selection device, self-select and so maybe we end up with higher IQ people anyway. Garett seemed to lean to the former and said that one thing the government could so is, when an immigrant got a Ph.D., "staple a green card to it." That sure would have saved me a huge amount of hassle and uncertainty with the INS in the 1970s.
IQ  immigration  coase  canada  caplan  henderson  sidebar 
april 2011 by HispanicPundit
Child Labor vs. Child Slavery, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Now you might argue that that hardly is comparable to a child in Bangladesh working to make money for food. Exactly! The stakes are much higher in a dirt-poor country than in Canada. An Oxfam study found that when carpet makers in Bangladesh were pressured to fire their child laborers, the kids went to their next best alternatives: prostitution or starvation.
child  labor  sweatshops  krugman  henderson  sidebar 
april 2011 by HispanicPundit
Are High Food Prices Due to the Fed?, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
On Judge Napolitano's "Freedom Watch" on March 25, Austrian economist Bob Murphy claimed that the unrest in the Middle East was due to rising food prices which in turn are due to the Fed printing money. I'm not sure about the rising food price/political unrest issue--that could well be true. But I'm pretty sure that the Fed printing money/rising food prices link is weak. When the Fed prints money, that raises the dollar prices of goods. But why would it raise the prices to people in the Middle East. All other things equal, the dollar would adjust downward and the prices of food to people in the Middle East would stay the same.
monetary  dollar  food  price  austrian  henderson  sidebar 
march 2011 by HispanicPundit
Your Taxes at Work, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
From Third Way comes this clever exercise in numeracy: seeing how important various parts of the federal budget are by translating it into what you pay in taxes for each part. So you plug in all the taxes you pay, including Social Security, and it tells you what you're paying for "defense," Medicare, Medicaid, etc. What I don't know is whether they attribute the employer's portion of Social Security to you. I did so when I tried out mine. I also don't know how, or whether, they allocate corporate income taxes and federal excise taxes. My guess is that they leave these out. Still, it's an interesting exercise.

Even neater is that you can dig into the details of each budget. So, for example, you can find out how much you pay for the Iraq and Afghan wars.
taxes  social-security  medicare  iraq  afghanistan  henderson  sidebar 
march 2011 by HispanicPundit
Failings of Left-Wing and Market-Oriented Economists, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
But here's one failing, that neither Tyler nor Arnold mentions, of the vast majority of both left-wing and market-oriented economists: their apparently dogged determination not to analyze the role of war and an aggressive foreign policy in leading to the rise of the interventionist state. Robert Higgs has laid this out well in his 1987 book, Crisis and Leviathan, which I reviewed in Fortune. Jeff Hummel is currently completing a book showing, inter alia, how almost any domestic government intervention you can name had its origin in this or that war.
wars  foreignpolicy  government  cowen  kling  henderson  sidebar 
march 2011 by HispanicPundit
Keynesian Politics and the Minimum Wage, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Alex also advocates increasing wage and price flexibility. But he's a little vague about those details and there's one big piece of wage flexibility that the government could have, not by imposing a law, but by repealing a law. I refer, of course, to the minimum wage. The minimum wage sets a lower bound that, even in good times, prevents the least-productive workers from finding work. In recession times, it's even worse
keynes  minimum-wage  samuelson  tabarrok  henderson  sidebar 
march 2011 by HispanicPundit
Unions: Bob Barro's Mistaken Analogy, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
In other words, the key ingredient that Bob Barro misses is the element of coercion. If teachers simply got together and negotiated with school districts, but those who didn't want to join the union were free, not only not to join, which Barro advocates, but also to negotiate their own deals, then the problem with unions as monopolies would pretty much go away. Many of these people would negotiate for lower wages than the union would want, as a way of keeping their jobs and/or their flexibility. One could imagine that new hires especially, given unions' typically seniority rules, would most value their ability to negotiate a separate, and probably lower, wage.
unions  fundamentals  barro  henderson  sidebar 
march 2011 by HispanicPundit
Gibson on Gold, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
San Jose State University economist Warren Gibson has an excellent article, "Gold and Money," in the latest Freeman. He lists a number of claims about gold, both positive and negative, and proceeds to do a "True, False, Uncertain, with explanation" treatment of each. In the process, he lays out a concise history of monetary policy in the United States, pointing out one of the most harmful government interventions that "helped" put the "Great" in Great Depression: the ban on branch banking.

I had known most of what was in there but I've never seen it so nicely done in such a short space. His article would be an excellent reading in a Money and Banking or American Economic History course.
gold  monetary  freeMan  henderson  sidebar 
february 2011 by HispanicPundit
Collective Bargaining "Rights", David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty
Almost everyone on both sides of the debate uses the term "collective bargaining rights" to mean the right of a union to bargain with an employer who must, by law, bargain in good faith. It also includes the right of a union to negotiate even for employees who don't want to be members of the union and don't want to pay dues to the union. So "collective bargaining rights" really mean the power to force others--to pay the dues and/or to join the union and/or to give up their power to negotiate with an employer. So the alleged right is really the "right" to monopolize the supply of labor to an employer. That's a phony right, not a real right. It's really a power.
unions  walker  henderson  sidebar 
february 2011 by HispanicPundit
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