Math is Hard

It’s not clear how a 20-ounce cup can hold only 16 ounces of beer [sic] (or perhaps a 16-ounce cup can hold 20). But 16 ounces for $4 amounts to 25 cents an ounce, while 24 ounces for $7 comes to more than 29 cents an ounce, and 20 ounces for $7 is a whopping 35 cents an ounce. … It’s hard to see how that could add up to $10,000 in actual damages, but math doesn’t seem to be the plaintiffs’ strong suit. Continue Reading →

Detroit Bankruptcy Brought Out Humor and Snark

The idea here is that Mitt Romney said he would have let GM and Chrysler go bankrupt during the presidential campaign. The Obama campaign promptly took credit for not letting “Detroit go bankrupt.” On the internet stuff lasts forever. Continue Reading →

Taxes Helped Create the Baby Boom

One impact of this tax not explored by Mr. Felten is that fewer couples went out to dance. They stayed home instead. And since they were young and newly-married, they entertained themselves as best they could. The result: the postwar baby boom. Continue Reading →

The Justice Department Supports the US Postal Service Monopoly

Yet, somehow, Jon Corzine is still roaming the streets looking for his next financial fraud scheme. I have almost lost my ability to be surprised by anything Mr. Holder and his partners in crime dream up. Continue Reading →

More Data on the Minimum Wage

The damage from a minimum wage hike depends on the overall labor market. If the job market is buoyant, as it is in the fracking boomtown of Williston, N.D., fast-food workers may already make more than $9 an hour. But when the jobless rate is high, as it still is in California and New York, the increase punishes minority youth in particular.

That is what happened during the last series of wage hikes to $7.25 from $5.15 that started in July 2007 as the economy was headed toward recession. The last increase hit in July 2009 just after the recession ended, and as the nearby chart shows, the jobless rate jumped for teens and black teens especially. For black teens, the rate has remained close to 40% and was still 37.8% in January.

A study by economists William Even of Miami University and David Macpherson of Trinity University concludes that in the 21 states where the full 40% wage increase took effect, “the consequences of the minimum wage for black young adults without a diploma were actually worse than the consequences of the Great Recession.”
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Feds Will Sue Standard and Poors

Second, many of us are skeptical of the government’s motives in this case. You may recall that S&P was the first agency to downgrade the rating on U.S. government debt (from AAA to AA+). The announcement of the downgrade was August 5, 2011. It only makes sense to wait until after the election to file this lawsuit. Continue Reading →

Regulatory Overreach, SEC Edition

Talk about overreach, this is a moon shot. Sadly, with the current administration in Washington, D.C., I don’t see relief from this kind of stupidity any time soon. Continue Reading →