Does government safety net subsidize businesses?

An old argument has popped up again, mainly due to publicity from Bernie Sanders. The argument goes like this. Anti-poverty assistance given by government to low-wage employees is actually a subsidy to the employer, not the employee. That’s because government assistance allows businesses to pay lower wages. Is the argument true? Let’s take a look. … Continue reading Does government safety net subsidize businesses?

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Has minimum wage kept up with inflation?

Some people worry that minimum wage in the US has not kept up with inflation. They usually say that minimum wage should be $10 to $15 per hour instead of the $7.25 it actually is. For example, the Economic Policy Institute dolefully says, “[m]inimum wage increases have been too infrequent to keep up with inflation, … Continue reading Has minimum wage kept up with inflation?

Has unemployment dropped enough since the Great Recession?

US unemployment shot up sharply during the Great Recession of 2008-2009. Since then, it has dropped back to more normal levels. Is unemployment now low enough? Let’s look at some facts. Multiple unemployment metrics The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of the overall labor force that is jobless. Simple enough, right? Not really. … Continue reading Has unemployment dropped enough since the Great Recession?