Your Friendly Neighborhood Economist

I’m sure the people lining up for the grift are too honorable to do other than ignore the incentive they have to inflate the potential for tax revenue from their particular project in the bidding process. Good men, all.

a quick look at some of the stakes in this particular grift.

"Some federal and state officials agree. They assert that more companies are violating wage laws than ever before, pointing to the record number of enforcement actions they have pursued. They complain that more employers — perhaps motivated by fierce competition or a desire for higher profits — are flouting wage laws."
Hmmm…. Perhaps they are motivated by the decades-long trend of the government looking the other way when businesses trampled workers’ rights. Just sayin’.

via Your Friendly Neighborhood Economist

via Your Friendly Neighborhood Economist

"Here’s a scenario to chew on: An investment firm makes a campaign contribution to a city mayor. Later, the mayor appoints members to the city’s pension board. The pension board decides to hire the aforementioned investment firm to handle the pension fund’s investments.

Does something seem fishy about that situation?”

Boy howdy. But of course someone is arguing that because money is free speech, there’s nothing to see here. Smith adds to Lambert’s point that this fits well with the long-term strategy of getting the government out of the retirement security business. The alleged argument for that is government bad, market good. Of course, it would also mean that private firms could make profits off of that huge pile of cash in the Social Security Trust Fund and all the state and local public employee pension funds. But, I’m sure they just have the people’s best interests at heart. Amirite?

Trying to reduce health care costs by introducing incentives (allegedly the reason for the long march towards a market-based approach to health care in the US), is based on the assumption that: “most people consume too much care, and furthermore most people are fully rational consumers of everything.” The former is certainly debatable. But the latter is laughable. Rational in this case is the mainstream economic definition of rational: maximizing your own self-interest, given perfect information and subject to a budget constraint. To translate, this means that people always choose what’s best for them and they always know both what’s best for them and what that and all the alternatives cost. But, there’s plenty of research to demonstrate that even if people had all the information, they wouldn’t be able to make the right call for their own good. Also, people do not have all the information. Also, people are frequently attempting to make these decisions in stressful situations.

While unemployment rates in Greene and Columbia County continue to be lower than last year, the number of people employed still hasn’t changed much at all in either county. So, again, the drop is due to fewer people in the labor force, rather than to a broader economic recovery in the area.

ACTION ALERT – please sign the HVSEC’s online petition so that we can send a message to the Governor during an election year.

Cost savings = more death, more bankruptcy! Woo-hoo!