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Wages, Capitalism, And Morality: Part II

Leoxiii(Note: Part I documented that the minimum wage harms the very people it is designed to help and the popular alternative—letting capitalism work, unencumbered by regulations—encourages practices that cry out for reform. It concluded by suggesting that a new approach is needed, one based on a discipline that economists seldom consult—ethics.)

The division of knowledge into particular fields of study and the tendency to narrow specialization within each field have led many scholars to assume that nothing outside their disciplines is relevant to those disciplines.… Read More

 

Wages, Capitalism, And Morality: Part I

Economist Milton FriedmanIt is commonly believed that fairness demands a certain level of wage be guaranteed to all workers. That is the idea behind the minimum wage that has long existed in the U.S. and other countries. But does that wage benefit workers? Some economists say it does, but others argue that it actually hurts those it is designed to help. People on latter side of the argument include Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams (who calls the minimum wage “maximum folly”), and Nobel Prize winner Milton Friedman.… Read More

 

Saving The Charitable Deduction And More

deductionsFor some time now politicians of both parties have been talking about ways to get America’s fiscal house in order. The Democratic chant is “We’ve got to raise taxes on the wealthy.” The Republican chant is “We’ve got to curtail spending.” To no one’s surprise, the two sides have been at impasse, largely because neither side is genuinely committed to its own chant, let alone accepting of the other side’s.… Read More

 

The Key To Cutting Government Spending

United_States_CapitolIf a rowboat springs a leak and is fast filling with water, the first step is to stop the leak. Then the water can be baled out. A similar approach is necessary with America’s economy. For a very long time, excessive spending (the leak) has caused mounting national debt (the rising water that threatens to sink us). The first step in recovery is therefore to curtail government spending.… Read More

 

The Missing Ingredient in Management

workers“Workers must leave their minds at the factory gate.” That requirement originated in the Industrial Revolution and became firmly established in the early 20th century, when a group of zealous pessimists advanced the notion that intelligence is inherited, most people have very little of it, and nothing can be done to increase their allotment.

Leaders in every field were influenced by that notion. For example, educators concluded that thought and judgment cannot be taught and, accordingly, dumbed down curriculums, materials, and teaching methods.… Read More

 

Unintended Consequences

cheap rentMurphy’s law states that if anything can possibly go wrong, it probably will. A cynical view, to be sure, but one supported by considerable evidence. On the other hand, things can also go unexpectedly right. Both situations underscore the same fact—intentions do not govern outcomes.

For example, the 18th amendment to the U.S. Constitution was intended to rescue Americans from the evil effects of alcohol consumption.… Read More