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.
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.
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.