No doubt many people think of the US FDA as a generally good institution that keeps us safe from harmful food and drugs. There is some truth to that. But it’s not all sunshine and lollipops. High-priced drugs You may recall the uproar a year or two ago when Mylan, the maker of the EpiPen, … Continue reading The dark side of the FDA
In the past couple months, people have been promoting the idea that government should provide guaranteed jobs. Let’s explore why this is a bad idea. What is happening The general idea is that government would provide a guaranteed job to anyone “who wants or needs one.” The number of jobs would probably be in the … Continue reading Why government-guaranteed jobs are a bad idea
Some occupations require people to obtain a license before they can work in that profession. Is this good for society? Let’s take a look. What is occupational licensing? An occupational license represents government permission to work in a certain profession. In some cases, permission is granted by a separate, government-approved body. Licensing laws vary, but … Continue reading A license to… shampoo?
Here’s a quote from a January 27th Wall Street Journal article : “Are low prices putting your family at risk? Believe it or not, some regulators seem to think so. Twenty-six U.S. states still have a “minimum markup” law, a relic of Depression-era economics that prevents businesses from charging less.” We have laws against low prices? … Continue reading Laws against low prices?!
Over the past few months, we’ve seen some good news about employee wages. There are lessons to learn from this. The good news First, let’s take a look at the good news: (1) The average hourly wage increased in January at a 2.9% rate. Although that’s not great, it’s the highest since mid-2009. (2) The … Continue reading Lessons learned on wages
My last post discussed how much profit is ‘normal.’ Sticking with the profit theme, this time I’ll try to explain why profit should not be a dirty word. I will make the case that profit is nothing to be ashamed of. Profit serves useful purposes and is needed to achieve broad prosperity. Dislike of profits … Continue reading Why profit is not a dirty word
Halo Top is a brand of ice cream. It’s been around four or five years, but sales really skyrocketed over the past year or two. Apparently, Halo Top is now the best-selling ice cream pint in America. Halo Top illustrates a certain pattern of capitalism that is worth recognizing. Step 1: New product The first … Continue reading Halo Top capitalism
I’m writing about ‘net neutrality’ this week because someone asked me to, and because it’s a hot topic. However, I admit up-front that I am no tech expert. With that caveat, let’s look at what’s going on. Background The internet started to become a big thing in the mid-1990s. The internet market was quite free … Continue reading Is net neutrality good or bad?
Are electric vehicles (EV’s) inevitable? Some people think so. The most ambitious forecast I’ve seen predicts that 95% of automobile miles driven in the US will come from EV’s by 2030. That’s a steep climb from today, when EV’s account for roughly 1% of new vehicle sales. Early days EV’s are not new. The early … Continue reading Are electric cars inevitable?
Big Government advocates often claim that we have government to thank for our modern 40-hour work week. In the bad old days, businesses forced employees to work super long hours, but then benevolent government stepped in and forced all businesses to limit the work week to 40 hours. How much of that is true? Let’s … Continue reading How did we get the 40-hour work week?