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?
You may soon read or hear media reports about a “CEO pay ratio.” Let’s look at the facts and flaws of this ratio. What is it? Each publicly traded US company is required to publicly disclose the CEO pay ratio. This requirement was included in the massive 2010 Dodd-Frank financial legislation, although it was delayed … Continue reading Facts and flaws of the CEO pay ratio
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
Some readers probably think I exaggerate the risk of government power when I warn against Big Government. Maybe I do. But it’s probably also true that many people don’t realize the extent of government control in their lives. To illustrate what government can do, let’s zoom in and examine a brief history of one thing: … Continue reading Beer: an illustration of government control
The CAFE fuel economy standards leave much to be desired. Let’s see why. What is CAFE? Corporate Average Fuel Economy, or CAFE, was enacted in 1975. CAFE regulates the fuel economy of new consumer vehicles sold in the US. In a nutshell, each automaker is required to meet or exceed certain MPG (miles per gallon) … Continue reading Why CAFE fuel standards are foolish
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
I’m used to the fact that some people have misperceptions about various economic issues. For example: The rich don’t pay their fair share of taxes (here). Price-gouging in a crisis is wrong (here). The middle-class standard of living has stagnated since the 1970s (here). I’m also aware that some people have misperceptions about business profits, … Continue reading How much profit is normal?
This is the second of two posts comparing the US and Europe, in response to Big Government advocates wishing that America was more like Europe. In the first post, I discussed why the desire for a European-style welfare state is misguided. In this post, I will discuss the Nordic countries (defined here as Denmark, Finland, … Continue reading US versus Europe: Nordic countries
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?