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Dumbstruck

Thursday, October 20, 2016 13:57
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(Before It's News)

(Don Boudreaux)

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An on-line friend who I know only by the name “Rafael” sent to me a link to a comment, on this thread, by “Economist 7e26”.  (I’ve no idea who this Economist 7e26 person is.)  Rafael asks that I respond.  I normally don’t respond to people such as Economist 7e26, but because Rafael has been for several months now a treasured correspondent, I did as he asked.

Here’s the remark by Economist 7e26 that Rafael asked me to address:

go back to reddit. don is a complete moron. have you ever seen his dumb posts on the minimum wage? he’s a worse russ roberts.

And here (very slightly edited) is my response to Economist 7e26 (links added):

I’ve a sincere request that you help me out here by alerting me to the part(s) of my posts on minimum wage that are (as you describe them) “dumb.” Is it my pointing out that raising the cost of taking some action reduces the attractiveness of taking that action – and that this truth holds even if the action is employing low-skilled workers? Or maybe it’s my pointing to – and insisting on the relevance of – recent academic empirical researches by economists such as David Neumark, William Wascher, Jonathan Meer & Jeremy West, Jeffrey Clemens & Michael Wither, and Richard Burkhauser that find that raising minimum wages does indeed seem to reduce low-skilled workers’ employment options? Perhaps instead (or in addition) it’s my acknowledgment of the well-known economist’s argument higher minimum wages tend to favor less-risky workers (such as white teens from leafy suburbs who own their own cars) over more-risky workers (such as single moms from the inner city without their own cars). Or maybe it’s my argument that some workers who remain employed at the minimum wage are likely to find that their jobs are made more difficult as employers adjust to the higher costs of employing those workers?

I understand that I’m “a complete moron,” so you must be patient with my imbecility. If not for my benefit – I’m a lost cause – specify in detail my dumbness for the sake of readers who seek enlightenment. – Don Boudreaux

I might also have asked Economist 7e26 if he believes my emeritus Nobelist colleague Vernon Smith to be “dumb,” for Vernon, too, publicly makes at least some of the arguments against minimum wages that I and other opponents of this legislation make.

(By the way, being “worse than Russ Roberts” is hardly, without more, a condemnation.  I admit right readily, with complete sincerity, and without qualification to being a worse economist – much worse – than Russ.  Russ is so very good, knowledgeable, smart, talented, and accomplished that one can be a far worse economist than Russ and still be quite passable as an economist.)

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