Plus: Bloomberg roundup
I find the roundups informative. If you can't find fun memes to throw in, add bunnies.
I enjoy the short posts greatly: but there's no reason IMHO to combine several into one bigger post in this blog. Why not simply post them separately?
As for Tyler Cowan, a wholly owned subsidiary of Koch Industries, the best response is Adam Smith:
"People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices."
"We rarely hear, it has been said, of the combinations of masters, though frequently of those of workmen. But whoever imagines, upon this account, that masters rarely combine, is as ignorant of the world as of the subject. Masters are always and everywhere in a sort of tacit, but constant and uniform combination, not to raise the wages of labour above their actual rate. To violate this combination is everywhere a most unpopular action, and a sort of reproach to a master among his neighbours and equals. We seldom, indeed, hear of this combination, because it is the usual, and one may say, the natural state of things, which nobody ever hears of." --Bk 1, Ch 8, WoN (Adam Smith)
Why couldn’t you tie the minimum wage to something like the GSA per diem tables?
Make it a percentage of the lodging + M&I rate.
They get updated every year. Maybe every 6-months.
I would like an update on the quokka situation. More Australian marsupial content!
> There are three big dangers. Fortunately, there’s a fix for each of these.
I lean more MW skeptic, but these safeguards seem totally reasonable and would move me to lean pro.
Caplan calls these sorts of policy concessions/mitigations "keyhole solutions." They're great, we should do more! (Same for policies that auto-adjust to economic conditions!)
Hope the internet appreciates that careful reasoning and a little steelmanning can still change minds.
PS - I was the one begging for technocratic patches in the last thread. I'm sure there were lots of reasons for the followup, but I'm going to read this as delightful fan service, so thanks! :D
Ah: here's the Smith quote I really wanted:
"Whenever the legislature attempts to regulate the differences between masters and their workmen, its counsellors are always the masters. When the regulation, therefore, is in favour of the workmen, it is always just and equitable; but it is sometimes otherwise when in favour of the masters. "
1) You mention the CDC now reporting data over the weekend, but I do believe that the lack of testing over the weekend was (partly) an artifact of slow data reporting and a big Monday bump. A closer look at something like NYC's data does show a weekend slowdown, though nothing like in the first few weeks.
2) You say that the reduction in cases is people staying indoors in anticipation of the vaccine. Does that show up in mobility data? I don't think it does. https://citymapper.com/cmi
I also know people like Youyang-Gu showed that there was going to be a reduction in cases in January/February [https://covid19-projections.com/path-to-herd-immunity/] so likely this is just a wave playing out in an SEIR model rather than a change in behavior or choices.
In general, I've disliked the trend of people clapping for places when cases drop from a peak and booing when cases rise. It's not all (or even mostly) about changes in behavior or policy.
I enjoy the short posts, thank you Noah! On Twitter there has been a bit of attention to deportations continuing under the Biden administration despite a supposed moratorium, I couldn't find much quality information on what the actual situation is though. Do you have any thoughts?
In China, the most fiscally decentralized economy on earth (more than Switzerland!), the minimum wage is set provincially. But that hasn't stopped real wages growing 100% every decade nationwide for a forty years–and it will repeat that performance under Xi.
Your "short thoughts" are like full on essays to me. Not quite - I do like and appreciate long form content, but I'm just really impressed at your constant outpouring of quality content. Really good to see the drop in Covid cases. Are you sure it's real and not just reporting cycle noise?
One major reason why America will never let Taiwan fall to China is that the world's largest semiconductor foundry (Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company) is located there. China has been spending years trying to get their homegrown semiconductor tech up to par with the West, and there are strict export controls on photolithography machines (the critical step) among other inputs.
Letting China take these resources in Taiwan would be an historic strategic failure for the entire West. We'd still have at least a decade or two for them to reverse-engineer and catch up - the underlying science and engineering is *hard AF* - but the sheer production capacity would be a major step up for them.
A couple quick things...
Yes I do like these roundup posts. Keep them up!
And a topic suggestion in case you'd be interested an it even ties into one of your topics above. One of the things I've been wanting to read more about is if sanctions are effective in achieving their goals or if they end up being mostly for symbolic or rhetorical value. I tend to be skeptical that bad actors respond to economic sanctions but I haven't done the reading so I may be off on that. I did recently see that Dan Drezner wrote a book about it so I might pick that up.
Is there any data to support the assertion that more people are staying home because they are waiting for the vaccine? Or is that just wishful thinking.
Is there actual data to support the assertion that the CDC posting on weekends is a sign of "institutional repair"? Dude's been president for like three days.
Noah, why do you not seem to identify as a “leftist” or whatever? Can you write a blog post about your political ideologies/ how you have formed them?
Minimum wage is such a frustrating subject for me - as someone who prefers to deal with empirics. Quite simply, employment is not the only margin which employers can adjust upon (intensity, hours and perks being the main other ones) - but it’s the only one we can accurately measure. Further, hiring and firing are activities with high fixed costs, so indeed, we’d expect that employers will choose to adjust upon intensity, perks and hours - as the literature does show, hours are reduced in response to a minimum wage hike - and then for the other two, there’s just no good way to measure it. We can see though, that companies such as Amazon, which pays 15 an hour, are notorious for the intensity of work.
So, all told, I must be opposed to a minimum wage as doing what an EITC does, but worse. I understand that the minimum wage is popular, and has an emotional cachet - but merely that a bad idea be popular does not make it less bad.
- "The tacit belief that criticism of China is inherently racist — born of the COVID-19 pandemic, when some people took out their fear of the virus on Asian people — must also be excised." To "excise" something like this from the discourse would be a mistake. Not acknowledging racism as a motiving factor - not only, but an important one - will make inexact justice more probable. This has and will have further negative impacts: https://twitter.com/zhigangsuo/status/1352584589445902336/photo/1