Rafe’s Roundup 22 November

World News. World’s problems solved by wise people at Thoughtbrokers. Lots of drinks and the canapes were good too! Summary of the conclusions (well, mine anyway): Deregulate, innovate, federalise and economise (stop wasting money). And the classical liberal agenda.

Posts of the week. Stephen Hicks on minimum wages in the EU.

There are nine countries with a minimum wage (Belgium, Netherlands, Britain, Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Luxembourg). Their unemployment rates range from 5.9% in Luxembourg to 27.6% in Greece. The median country is France with 11.1% unemployment.

There are nine countries with no minimum wage (Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland.) Five of the nine have a lower unemployment rate than Luxembourg, the best of the other group. The median country is Iceland, with a 5.5% unemployment rate. The biggest country in Europe is Germany. No minimum wage and 5.2% unemployment.

German’s “dangerous” current account surplus. Compare with France. Great stuff from John Roskam at the IPA. Our voluntarily donated dollars at work!

Too many good posts on current affairs to even think about listing them.

Education. Introducing a new student loan system.

Today the Liberals introduced legislation for Labor’s conversion of the Student Start-up Scholarship into a new income-contingent loan, the Student Start-up Loan.

Overall, its design is closely linked to the Higher Education Loan Program (HELP). However, people who take out SSLs will not have to start repaying until after they have repaid their HELP debt. Potentially, that is not for a very long time.

Experience with the former Student Financial Supplement Scheme, under which students could trade in $1 of income support for a $2 loan, suggest that there is significant adverse selection with income support loans.

From figures given during discussion of closing the SFSS down in 2003, I estimate that about $2.7 billion was lent between 1993 and 2003. The Department’s annual report for 2012-13 says that $1.8 billion is still owed, of which they class 63% as doubtful debt. Doubtful debt for HELP is estimated at 23%.

Around the town: The Little Red Blog, IPA HEY. The Sydney Institute. Australian Taxpayers Alliance, Liberty on the Rocks, the notice board for the ATA: Quadrant on line, Mannkal Foundation, Centre for Independent Studies.

Gerard Henderson’s Media Watchdog. Renewed on Friday afternoon.

How we lived. The southern land. In Melbourne. In Sydney. In Hobart. In New Guinea.

For nerds.

Reforming the teaching of economics?

The Guardian reports now on a movement in the UK to address “the crisis in economics teaching, which critics say has remained largely unchanged since the 2008 financial crash despite the failure of many in the profession to spot the looming credit crunch and worst recession for 100 years.” If you think this refers to a movement to discredit orthodox Keynesianism, which dominates monetary theory and practice in all countries, and its view that discretionary fiscal and (especially) monetary policy are needed to steer the economy on a smooth course, with particular attention to asset markets where prices must be rising at all times, you’d be wrong. No, the reformers are calling for “economics courses to embrace the teachings of Marx and Keynes to undermine the dominance of neoclassical free-market theories.”

The top business management thinkers in the world. Where does Bill Gates stand in this ranking?

For really serious nerds, a new journal for studies on emergent order and organizations.

Rafe’s ebooks.

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14 Responses to Rafe’s Roundup 22 November

  1. Ant

    The Left is too stupid to get why the minimum is unproductive. Normal people can figure it out quite easily, but for Lefties it’s like trying to club yourself with a steel crowbar.

    One of the best and simplest explanations of the issue that I’ve heard is by Ashton Kutcher. Yes, the actor! It really is quite brilliant, when you consider his audience.

    But, for the Left, because you argue that there should be no ‘minimum wage’ they think you want to enslave people on a couple of bucks an hour for the rest of their lives – as though that benefits society! Yes, they are that moronic and thick.

    But as AK explains, his early experiences in the workforce were merely stepping stones to something better while absorbing experience along the way and learning not to be a sponge on other people.

    Such a simple concept. Yet, it seems a bridge too far for the perennially stupid.

  2. Mr Rusty

    “the reformers are calling for “economics courses to embrace the teachings of Marx and Keynes to undermine the dominance of neoclassical free-market theories.”

    Brilliant. Marxist Keynesian practice screws everything up then invoke Marx and Keynes as remedies.
    Lucky they weren’t Doctors –
    “Lung cancer is it?”
    “Yes, Dr Keynes.”
    “Here, smoke 20 of these a day and you’ll be fine. If you don’t see any improvement up the dosage to 40 a day.”

  3. jupes

    Thanks for the New Guinea link Rafe.

    The good old days before multiculturalism when we knew that our ways were better than theirs and weren’t afraid to say so.

  4. minimum wages in the EU Europe.

    The article features wages in western Europe (including Greece but excluding Malta GC), not just the western members of the EU; Switzerland and Norway are not members of the European Union.

  5. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Those links to “How We Lived” are fascinating historical documents Rabz. Watched 3 of them.
    Once a time is past it is long gone. All slipped into history now along with the days of Elizabeth 1 and Napoleon. What a very small piece of time it is that each individual life inhabits.

  6. Jim Rose

    Are any of the great business thinkers rich?

    Fama is on the back of his theories.

  7. Rabz

    Those links to “How We Lived” are fascinating historical documents Rabz.

    Lizzie, I don’t think the poor ol’ One is going to be happy about that faux-pas above!

  8. Jim Rose

    What bull on the minimum wage
    The countries with no minimum wage have generous welfare states
    That means high reservation wages. Employment protections and dual labour markets further complicate the story. Youth are hired as temporary workers

  9. Jim Rose

    Every macro textbook has a new chapter on the gfc so there is no crisis with no change in economic teaching since 2008 as falsely claimed

  10. Jim Rose

    Tim kehoe teaches a course on financial crisis as do others. There is a vast pre 2008 literature on financial crisis and sudden stops.

  11. manalive

    A picture is worth a thousand words; probably hundreds of thousands of words have been written about the long-term effect of the Whitlam Government but nothing illustrates it better than the graph in IPA HEY.

  12. Jim Rose

    great news: the US senate has cut back on filibusting. Just in time for the republicans to take back the senate and then the white house. as John lott pointed out, views on this move vary:

    NYT 2004: “[The filibuster] is all part of the Senate’s time-honored deliberative role and of its protection of minority rights, which Republican leaders would now desecrate in overreaching from their majority perch.”

    NYT 2013 (today): “a majority did the only logical thing and stripped away their power to block the president’s nominees… That means a return to the democratic process of giving nominees an up-or-down vote.”

  13. sdfc

    Every macro textbook has a new chapter on the gfc so there is no crisis with no change in economic teaching since 2008 as falsely claimed

    English please Jim.

  14. Jim Rose

    Whatever happened at the warsaw climate conference. Is it still on?

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