Monday, December 12, 2011
Job market advice for academics from UW (Econbrowser).
Moneyball (Grantland). Maybe they shouldn't of published all their secrets.
Higher speed limits? Probably not (MR). The first comment is amusing, albeit not very aware of forensic economics.
The video game business (Economist). I suspect gaming has been profitable through the recession because it is an inferior good.
A couple of more serious links on political unrest, recessions and inequality (Economist), and the impacts of offshoring on inequality and education (VoxEU).
Thursday, December 8, 2011
...while standard economic models assume that pay reflects productivity, ...top earners might be able to partly set their own pay by bargaining harder or influencing compensation committees. Naturally, the incentives for such ‘rent-seeking’ are much stronger when top tax rates are low.... increases in top 1% incomes now come at the expense of the remaining 99%.Of course, raising income taxes on the rich might lead to more income being diverted into stock options and capital gains, but would that be a bad thing? Wouldn't that increase total investment and strengthen incentives for managers?
...there is no correlation between cuts in top tax rates and average annual real GDP-per-capita growth since the 1970s.
Tuesday, November 1, 2011
did not succeed by changing people’s expectations of inflation. It succeeded by crushing demand. As unemployment moved up the Phillips Curve, inflation plummeted. Only then did inflation expectations stabilize at a lower level.... The lesson of the Volcker disinflation is that changing expectations depends crucially on delivering on the target. Naming an inflation or money supply target is helpful, but insufficient unless the central bank demonstrates it is willing and able to achieve it.That statement reminded me of this post from Worthwhile Canadian Initiative:
Thesis. We teach the monetary policy transmission mechanism like this: the central bank pulls a lever, and that lever pulls other levers, which eventually move the target variable in the direction the central bank wants to move.Basically, in order for Chuck Norris to impact behavior, people have to think he'll kick their ass. The central bank (Fed) has to convince people that it's going to do what it says it intends to do when circumstances dictate. In other words, every now and then, Ben has to kick some ass. If you want higher NGDP, you can't make it happen by standing in the room looking tough. You have to actually break a few skulls.
Antithesis. That's wrong. A credible central bank is exactly like Chuck Norris. It looks at the thing it wants to move, and the thing moves, and all the other levers fall into place where they should be. Causation runs backwards from the target variable. Credible central banks don't actually do anything. They just threaten to do things. But a credible central bank never needs to carry out its threats.
Synthesis. That's not quite right either.
1. Even Chuck Norris can't make the impossible happen. A credible central bank can move the economy just by saying that it wants the economy to move. But it must be a new equilibrium that it moves to. And maybe that new equilibrium won't be an equilibrium unless the central bank moves its lever. Chuck Norris can't clear the room if he is standing in the only doorway. He has to step aside to let people exit, even if he doesn't need to throw anyone out.
2. Chuck Norris wasn't always Chuck Norris. He had to earn his reputation. In the early days, or in unfamiliar territory, he actually had to carry out his threats. Till people learned the new regime.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Do Workers' Remittances Promote Economic Growth? (Barajas, et al., 2009)
Eight Questions about Brian Drain (Gibson & McKenzie, 2011)
A Gravity Model of Workers' Remittances (Lueth and Ruiz-Arranz, 2006)
Business Cycles and Workers' Remittances (Sayan, 2006)
Seminar on Remittance Statistics (International Monetary Fund, 2007)
Determinants and Consequences of Workers' Remittances (Vargas-Silva, 2006)
Friday, October 14, 2011
Early efforts to reform the financial system were limited to the First and Second Banks of the UnitedSo, you might say, we should just put central banking under direct control of the government. How wonderful and democratic that would be! Do that, and I can almost guarantee higher rates of inflation as Congress has the incentive to use the money supply to "monetize" its deficits and debt.
States (1791-1811 and 1816-36, respectively). Both institutions were short-lived because of public misgivings
about concentrated economic power. A period of laissez-faire (or free-market) banking followed, rife with
flawed banking practices and instability. In 1863 and 1865, Congress enacted the National Banking Acts
to stabilize the financial system. Without a central bank, however, problems remained—financial crises and
banks failures continued to be frequent and severe. Two characteristics of the National Banking System (NBS),
created by the 1863 Act, exacerbated this volatility: (i) immobile bank reserves in a system lacking a lender
of last resort and (ii) an inflexible supply of currency. [Emphasis added.]
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
[In response to the Lucas Critique] Sargent’s (1973, 1976) early work showed how models incorporating rational expectations could be tested empirically. In many of these early models, Sargent showed that including rational expectations in a model could lead to invariance results, nominal shocks caused by changes in the money supply, for example, wouldn’t matter.I was never comfortable with the simple RE approach (and hated being forced to study it in grad school), which is why I'm glad AT mentions some of Sargents more recent work:
What will people do when they don’t know the true model of the economy? How will they update their model of the economy based on observations? In these learning models the goal is to look for a self-confirming equilibrium. The interesting thing about a self-confirming equilibrium is that people’s expectations and learning can converge on a false model of the economy!On Sims:
In response [to the Lucas Critique], he developed vector auto regressions. In its simplest form a VAR is just a regression of a variable on its past values and the past values of other related variables. It’s easy to run a VAR on unemployment, inflation and output, for example.... Sims, however, took the models a step further by showing that you could identify fundamental shocks in these models by making assumptions about the dynamics or ordering of the shocks. ... With identification in hand one can then use these models to plot impulse response functions. How does a shock to oil prices work its way through the economy? When does GDP begin to fall and by how much? How long does it take the economy to recover? What about a shock to monetary policy? Sims (1992), for example, looks at monetary shocks in five modern economies.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
A counter-cyclical asset?(WSJ)
...recent data show diaper sales are slowing and sales of diaper-rash ointment are rising.Does Republican tax profligacy in the short run signal support for higher taxes in the long run (or worse - that they care more about their own electability than about the public)? The conservative Tyler Cowen says yes.
candidates are more worried about having to publicly endorse tax increases than they are about the tax increases themselves. If that’s true, it is all the more reason to watch out for our pocketbooks; it means that the candidates are protecting themselves rather than the taxpayersCowen dislikes the Keynesian IS-LM model; DeLong does. Big surprise. My two cents: It's easy to toss peanuts and point out flaws in economic models because every model has flaws - flaws that are well-known even to the people who come up with them. They have flaws precisely because they are models: they are abstractions from the real world. Like George E. P. Box said, "All models are false, but some are useful."
Does regime type affect development or does development affect regime type? I'm more in the latter camp. Democratizations that preceded the development of economic institutions and economic development in Eastern Europe since 1990 have been fragile.
I feel similarly about campaign finance reform.
Today, it costs just $16,000; in a few years, it will cost less than $1,000–a 100,000-factor decrease in costs in less than two decades!The FDA and Personalized Medicine
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Sometimes more choice makes people freak out and thus less choice is sometimes better. What is the Right Amount of Choice? (Gruber)
Understanding institutions and culture will be increasingly important. (Acemoglu and Alesina; more here by Barro and McCleary)
Sometimes people and institutions make bad choices even when they're fully informed and are trying to make good choices. Why? (Cutler)
An interesting book on conflict, I'm thinking of adding to my wish list. (Garfinkel and Skaperdas)
Relatedly, an interesting piece on conflict and class. (Economix)
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
From Modeled Behavior:
In some cases people suspect that the Central Bank will vacuum up
every single dollar it dropped. In those cases, the dropping doesn’t
make anyone happier because they are just going to get hurt again by the
exact same amount.
This is a liquidity trap.
Hence, monetary policy won't work much, but fiscal policy has been limited by politics (in fact there has been no net fiscal policy - see here), so what can Ben do but try crazy things like the twist?
Monday, September 26, 2011
Setup: everyone draws (randomly) a number (10 or 65 with equal probability) from an envelope.
Objective: see how people sometimes make "irrational" adjustments to their assessment based on useless information.
Instructions: Write down your number on a blank piece of paper that you can turn in (scraps are fine, and names are not necessary). Then, answer the following questions:
you think that the percentage
of countries, among all of those in the United Nations, that are in Africa is higher or lower than the
number you drew?
your best guess
countries, among all of those in the United Nations, that are in Africa.
Invariably, those with the number 65 guess, on average, higher than those with the number 10. The idea is that their guess is "anchored" by the seemingly useless information that should otherwise be disregarded. The correct answer is about 2
Taxing the rich. Even if it doesn't raise substantially more income, and may have unintended consequences, redistributing from savers to spenders is probably helpful in the short run (and design matters).
Are pensions Ponzis? They need not be, but they do have Ponzi-like attributes, and it is tempting for managers to raid them (including - especially? - when they're run by "public servants").
Much ado has been made of recent upward revisions to Ireland's growth for last quarter, because they implemented austerity instead of stimulus. Problem: They're much farther behind their 2007 peak than the other developed countries that got hit.
The spending side: Biggest contributor to our deficit increase in the last 10 years; the biggest revenue contributor: the recession itself, followed by the 2001 & 2003 tax cuts.
So basically, better institutions yield more FDI, unless you happen to have natural resources. I'm skeptical that there should be an interaction between BAD institutions, high resources and more FDI. In other words, I'm not sure that given the choice between two oil-rich countries, an investor would choose the one with lower institutional quality. If they would, then I would want to know what the incentive model is. I'm also going to guess that it depends on the dimension of institutions we're talking about here. A big oil company might like to invest in a less democratic country because in the medium term they may perceive it as a more stable haven for investment than a democracy whose policies may fluctuate with the whims of the so-called "median voter." That company may even like a little corruption in the government, since bribery may be a more efficient means for getting certain things done than following the letter of the law. Here I am more skeptical than in the case of democracy, since corruption tends to favor local interest groups over foreign investors, ceteris paribus. But I seriously doubt that a country with poor credibility, defined by the absence of expropriation risk, legal protection of property rights, and policy stability, would attract more FDI than a country with stronger credibility. Security (the absence of civil war and ethnic tensions for example) is likely to also help FDI, but probably in a secondary (or indirect) role vis a vis credibility.
- Investing in better institutions These are the investors from the South that choose countries with the best possible institutional environment and, in this case, appear not to be deterred by an “institutional distance”. Such large institutional difference is a driving force for the “asset-seeking” nature of FDI, as emerging investors acquire new technologies, brands, and intellectual property. Despite unfamiliarity, such an institutional environment is the most transparent for potential entrants due to the low corruption, sound property rights, and political stability.
- Investing in similar institutions.These are the investors from the South that choose countries with a similar institutional environment, which helps explain the phenomenon of South-South FDI. When investing in the South, these investors have a comparative advantage due to their experience of working with poor institutions at home.
- Investing in worse institutions. Although investors from developing countries often invest in countries with similarly poor institutions, they are usually deterred by institutions that are much worse than at home. Yet there is an important exception to this rule. The negative effect of very poor institutions is systematically outweighed by the appeal of natural resources, which appears to be a very important force behind FDI from the emerging economies. Specifically, we find that countries possessing natural resources that are worth more than $4,675 per capita (in the top 10% of our sample) will attract FDI from investors from the South despite a large institutional distance and having worse institutions. To name a few, this concerns countries such countries as Algeria, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Russia, and Venezuela.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
A couple of links on the Fed defying the Republicans' silly plea (Economix and Free Exchange)
Whole foods is messing with you (Fast Company)
Attracting students at full price (Inside Higher Ed) Bad for standards?
Public safety versus political rent-seeking (Marginal Revolution)
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Cognition and the McGurk Effect (Marginal Revolution)
Cognition and belief in God (Marginal Revolution)
Belief in God and faith in the free market (Free Exchange) (Not Related to teaching or learning, but on a free association from the previous link.)
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Growth and Jobs, a.k.a. Okun's "Law" (Free Exchange)
The "R" word on the rise (The Economist)
Technology and jobs: Short run vs. Long run (Free Exchange)
Housing prices versus rental prices. Somethings gotta give (read: Sell my effing house!) (Economix)
Debt and growth according to the IMF (BBC News) My view is that it's not so much debt as political risk. In the short run, the fundamentals of our (and Europe's) economy can withstand the current levels, burdens, and rates of growth in the levels and burdens, in the debt. I also don't see specific policy "A" or specific policy "B" as being the most important thing, so much as greater agreement, consensus and confidence that policies will be stable of the the forseeable time horizon. In the long run debt does matter, but anyone who claims to be serious about controlling it must admit that three things have to be on the table: (1) taxes; (2) defense; and (3) programs for seniors.
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Free Exchange on Cowen's Austrian predictions in 2005. Apparently he predicted a crisis, but not the one we got. (Noriel Roubini predicted the same crisis using more Keynesian principles!)
GDP and GDI: Which is the better measure? They should be roughly the same, with the difference being "statistical discrepancy". Basically, it's a difference that comes from differences in sample collection: firms versus households. For some reason, GDI seems to pick up turning points in the business cycle better. (links here, here, and here) Bottom line: things are still bad, but not as bad as we thought, maybe.
Some thoughts on the CPI: How important is health care? (Econbrowser)
How much does growth trickle down? (Economix)
The ethics of unemployment. (Freakonomics)
Saturday, August 27, 2011
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Monday, August 22, 2011
This always bears repeating. We live in one of the most peaceful times of the modern era.
Get up or pay!
The revenue-neutral carbon tax.
Diaspora bonds? Color me skeptical. Previous attempts to use active policy to sop up more of emigrants' surplus have not been so successful.
Biggest parenting mistakes ever? Mine, I'm sure, are still to come.
News flash: cash transfers dominate in-kind gifts.
Some things that puzzle me about the issue:
1. Payroll taxes are regressive (they affect lower-income workers more). Why would they want to raise payroll taxes during economic recession?
2. Payroll taxes are a direct impediment to private sector hiring. Why would they want to raise payroll taxes during economic recession?
3. One could argue that they aren't technically raising taxes; they're allowing existing cuts to expire, but the Republicans have argued that allowing tax cuts for the rich to expire would themselves be tantamount to tax increases. Why would they want to raise payroll taxes during economic recession?
4. Republicans have argued against cap and trade (not technically a tax) as well as against carbon taxes, both of which have been supported by economists of both parties as good ways to deal with emissions (subsidies for clean technologies that Republicans support are not as good) on the grounds that any tax on energy would disproportionately hurt low-income working Americans. So.... why would they want to raise payroll taxes during economic recession?
Lining up for payroll tax increases also seems to be a political no-win for Republicans politically. It only seems to cement the narrative that they don't really care about the economy itself, but rather that they represent the rich (sometimes at the expense of the poor).
I would apply similar logic to political contributions, but I'm sure some lawyer would argue that this would be taxing (and therefore restricting) speech.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
The solution is growth (Daron Acemoglu - HBR Blog)? Will growth curb the debt problem or will debt reduction stimulate growth?
A neat randomization technique to facilitate truth-telling (Freakonomics).
As Greenspan says - we'll never be "forced" to default. Greece didn't have this option. Whither Euro? (Financial Times)
The downside of self-regulating occupational licensing boards (Jay Parkinson)
More policy options that would be dominated by a carbon tax. (Freakonomics)
Another way of looking at the value-added problem in trade statistics. Not all of the "Made in China" product's value should be counted as China's exports? But where do the profits really end up? (NYTimes)
I'm guessing the blockquote here is toungue-in-cheek. (Caplan) I worry about students who only learn a particular algorithm for applying knowledge to specific situations. Those students will be easily replaced by computers. Learn to think.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
A shamelessly self-interested link - somebody buy our house!
Is there a great divergence? (Rodrik)
Summary of an interview by Felix Simon with Larry Summers. Sentences to ponder:
The Treasury bond rate, Treasury note rate for ten years is 2.85 percent. Nobody is failing to invest because 2.85 percent is too much. They are failing to invest because there are no customers in their store. They are failing to invest because their factories are sitting empty. They are failing to innovate because they’re not sure how large the market for the product will be.
We don't need a C.E.O. A country is not a business. We need a policy expert. (Economix)
Saturday, June 25, 2011
A working paper by Bang and Mitra shows that, once we control for certain other factors, the impact of education on growth is even ambiguous. What other factors, you ask? Gender equity/bias. One explanation here is that in countries that have high rates of education among men (but not among women) education is doing precisely what the Economist suggests - fortifying the established position of the traditional elites.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
1. Students will benefit from being confronted with (and even struggling through) a multitude of diverse teaching styles. This might sometimes include "boring" lectures. They will face different leadership styles in their jobs and will should be prepared for the fact that the world doesn't revolve around them.
2. GIGO (garbage-in-garbage-out). Regardless of teaching style, students will ultimately get out of a class only what they put in.
3. Experiential learning is good for reinforcing theories and principles if used in a complementary fashion, but can't substitute for learning the theories and principles themselves.
4. Disfluency. In some ways making the material more quickly understood does not make the material better understood. Sure, it will be fun, and likely boost a professor's course evaluations, but there is research that shows a little bit of struggle (on the students' part) can go a long way.
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Just scroll down to the last graph. How long can the "big government" narrative be sold? Government isn't that big; transfers are just high because of the recession and taxes are horrendously low for the same reason, as well as the 2001 & 2003 tax cuts. (Menzie Chinn)
Some "odd"ities from InTrade. (Freakonomics)
"[H]ow many students struggle with elasticity formulas because they struggle to manipulate and understand fractions?" (Worthwhile Canadian Initiative)
Do law-abiding gun owners generate positive externalities? (Economix) I do not read this piece as an argument against most proposed restrictions, such as registration per se or waiting periods, or even bans on certain types of weapons.
Taxing pollution: The tax a sensible conservative should favor (Economist)
Tyler Cowen on Academic Publishing (Kosmos)
Monday, May 30, 2011
Banking in the US is finally catching up with resources already available to Africa.
Finance and trade: A historical perspective. (Vox)
Gambling: chance or skill? (Freakonomics)
Some interesting polling data on perceptions about homosexuality. (Economist/Democracy in America) Makes me think the "gay marriage trick" won't work in 2012 like it did in 2004.
Semi-random link on self-publishing a book. (Freakonomics)
Monday, May 23, 2011
US trade policy and Doha: Multilateralism is less important to US trade policy these days and bilateral agreements are starting to take precedence. Is this good? (Fred Bergsten, Vox)
US trade policy in the 21st century: strategic trade mistakes of the past redux? (Richard Baldwin, Vox, part I; here is part II)
Migration restrictions and the flow of immigrants. It seems plausible that one conclusion from this article is that immigration restrictions do almost nothing to curtail the quantity of immigrants, might even increase the number of immigrants in the US (by lengthening stays of would-be short term or seasonal migrants who now incur higher border crossing costs), and mainly serves to transfer rents to criminals. (Drew Keeling, Vox)
The curious case of the CIS. (Dilip Ratha, People Move)
Friday, May 20, 2011
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Rule #1: Buy low sell high. Rule #2: You can't make up a per-unit loss with quantity. Don't forget rule #1.
Optimal punishment for bribery: giving a bribe is legal, soliciting is illegal. (Economist)
Optimal bribery for kids. (Boston Globe)
Rent vs. Buy (Economix)
Selling Government Land (MR)
Saturday, May 7, 2011
Candles are one industry in which U.S. producers dominate their home market. The National Candle Association estimates the U.S. market is about $2 billion, with imports accounting for 20% or less of that. Imports have been low since 2004, when “the anti-dumping duties came into play,” said the association’s president, Frederic Contino. That’s when duties for Chinese-made candles entering the U.S. more than doubled to the current 108.3%.
TC on Stolper-Samuelson. I'd like to point out that S-S doesn't directly imply Factor Price Equalization. S-S just identifies the winners and losers; FPE is a stronger result that requires additional assumptions.
Closed borders, by one of my dissertation mentors.
Very few countries default because they can’t afford to pay their debts, either to their own citizens or to foreigners. Defaults occur when the political process in a country determines that, for whatever reason, the government cannot raise sufficient revenue.
Interesting. It mentions the debt-to-revenue ratio as a critical factor in determining the sustainability (read: servicability) of our debt. Even with the tax-cut crazy republicans dictating the agenda, we're not at a critical level on that statistic.
Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Friday, April 8, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
Monday, March 14, 2011
An interesting take on the trade deficit with China, which, by the way fits with a simple inter-temporal comparative advantage story. (Economist)
Female Migration and Development. (PeopleMove; also here)
Economists behaving badly. (Ezra Klein)
"Page Numbers are for Wussies." (Cheep Talk)
Friday, March 11, 2011
But, as conservative Heather MacDonald points out:
I fail to see the relevance of an NPR employee’s off-air criticism ofI have no doubt that there is a significant over-representation of
the Tea Party to the question of NPR’s federal funding or its liberal
bias. Conservatives can easily prove liberal bias by analyzing the
content of the programming.
democrats and "liberals" among the employees who work and report for
NPR, but that in and of itself does not imply that they are anything other than
professional and fair in their coverage of the news. In fact, on average, although there is liberal bias in the media overall, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting seems to be among the most scrupulously centrist news organizations out there, according to a study by Tim Groseclose and Jeffrey Milyo (2005, Quarterly Journal of Economics):
Our results show a strong liberal bias: all of the news outlets weFurthermore,
examine, except Fox News’ Special Report and the Washington Times,
received scores to the left of the average member of Congress.
Consistent with claims made by conservative critics, CBS Evening News
and the New York Times received scores far to the left of center. The
most centrist media outlets were PBS NewsHour, CNN’s Newsnight, and
ABC’s Good Morning America; among print outlets, USA Today was closest
to the center. [Emphasis added.]
Conservatives frequently list NPR as an egregious example of a liberal news outlet. However, by our estimate the outlet hardly differs from the average mainstream news outlet.PBS NewsHour is a CPB production. So, (1) according to Ms. MacDonald personal political views of the executives shouldn't matter; (2) also according to Ms. MacDonald bias should be proven through an analysis of the content; (3) statistical analysis of the content shows little or no bias by several major public broadcasting programs. What does this mean of Mr. O'Keefe's video? One conclusion might be that it only weakens the case against NPR and CPB as "left-wing liberal media." In fact, given the widespread (and probably correct) notion that public broadcasting mostly employs bleeding-heart liberal hippies, the fact that NPR's and PBS's content is demonstrably unbiased relative to other media (not to mention lack of influence by corporate advertisers) only strengthens the case for its continued public support.
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Really? Do we have to block everything? How bout you pass the pro-market stuff, Republicans? (NYTimes)
More people latching onto Uwe Reinhardt's flawed characterization of international economists (World Trade Law)
JLR for now, Tata for later? (Economist)
Second-generation immigrants - problem? (Economist)
Finally, some music. A few seconds from every chart-topper since 1956 (ECC)
Monday, March 7, 2011
15 oz can tomato sauce
15 oz can pineapple, crushed
3 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 Tbsp dried minced onion
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
4-5 pound boneless Boston Butt pork shoulder, halved
15 oz can mandarin oranges
Combine 1st 8 ingredients. Add meat. Cook 10 hours on low. Add oranges in last hour. Pull apart with fork.
The liquid makes a nice carolina-esque vinegar-based barbecue sauce (if it weren't for the tomato sauce). The meat falls apart. This is a variation on a recipe intended for chicken, but the combination of flavors seemed perfect for pork shoulder. Plus, cooking chicken breasts all day in a crock pot usually means dried out chicken, so I went with a bigger hunk of meat.
Wage gaps and education. Some of this seems contrary to the recent evidence of stagnating education wage premia. (Krugman and Cowen - separately, of course!)
Given these structural changes, structural change is not welfare-neutral, even in the long run. (Rodrik)
Even (especially?) informed voters just really don't have beliefs about politics and policy that are consistent with reality. (Caplan)
Is controlled immigration better for welfare programs? This seems to assume a lot about the effectiveness of the controls. (VOX)
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Direct transfers are often better than paternalistic in-kind ones (Jason Kottke)
Sunday, February 27, 2011
The right to collective bargaining is one of the so-called "core labor rights" that the U.S. uses for GSP conditionality, and the 2002 TPA required labor rights to be a negotiating objective in U.S. PTAs. ... Article 6 of the US-Jordan FTA, for example, ... requires that each party "strive" to ensure that its laws incorporate freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.Will this make us hypocrites? I guess not if you consider the fact that we probably already are, but it won't help.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
The other stuff. Can't resist a few links on the union stuff.
Matt Yglesias on Swedish labor unions:
Swedish labor unions could use their dominant labor market position to increase workers’ compensation by making Swedish firms less profitable than non-Swedish ones, but that would be bad for everyone. What you get instead is a kind of Mirror Universe version of the Chamber of Commerce, a politically powerful institution interested in maximizing the income growth of the median Swede rather than the median Swedish CEO.
This only works because a really high percentage of workers in Nordic countries is unionized.
Menzie Chinn on the fiscal non-problems in Wisconsin.
Finally, Chinn on, well, let's say buyers' remorse:
"I am going to make an effort to speak for myself, and every member of the Wisconsin State Patrol when I say this ... I specifically regret the endorsement of the Wisconsin Trooper's Association for Gov. Scott Walker. I regret the governor's decision to 'endorse' the troopers and inspectors of the Wisconsin State Patrol."
That's Chinn quoting Tracy Fuller, president of the Wisconsin Law Enforcement Association. To this I say, "Really?" I mean they guy campaigned against public sector unions when you supported him. Then again, I can understand a little surprise at a politician who does what he says he'll do.
In other news, it seems as if the governor is testing the water for having the National Guard take over for the bastard union prison guards (at what cost I wonder?).