The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Microeconomics, by Rod Hill and Tony Myatt

It was the perfect “natural experiment:” in April 1992, New Jersey’s minimum-wage was scheduled to rise from $4.25 an hour to $5.05, while neighboring Pennsylvania’s minimum wage remained unchanged. Princeton economists David Card and Alan Krueger surveyed over 400 fast food outlets in both states, before and after the increase, in order to test the conventional economic wisdom that minimum wages cause unemployment. What did they find? No apparent effect on employment. None. Zip. Economic hell broke loose… . . . → Read More: The Economics Anti-Textbook: A Critical Thinker’s Guide to Microeconomics, by Rod Hill and Tony Myatt

Why Georgists Corrected Predicted the Crisis, and Why Conventional Economists Couldn’t

Land bubbles of varying severity and universality recur roughly every eighteen to twenty years. Like Henry George, modern Georgists attribute recessions and depressions to these bubbles. A huge real estate bubble of the 1920’s preceded the Depression of the 1930’s. That bubble actually began to burst in 1926, three years before the stock market crash . . . → Read More: Why Georgists Corrected Predicted the Crisis, and Why Conventional Economists Couldn’t

Elasticity! Why cutting gas taxes won’t lower prices, but will fatten oil companies

When Clinton and McCain proposed cutting gas taxes, I asked my environmental economics students, “So how much do you think drivers will save?” The students diligently Googled the numbers. “Well,” said one, “the federal gas tax is 18.4 cents and the average state tax is 28.6 cents, so that’s 47 cents a gallon drivers will . . . → Read More: Elasticity! Why cutting gas taxes won’t lower prices, but will fatten oil companies