We really ought to think a bit about the future of work and the future of the economy. It’s obvious that in the future manufactured goods will increasingly be produced by machines. It’s also pretty clear that if you compare rich people in developed countries to middle class people in developed countries, the rich people don’t consume vastly larger quantities of manufactured goods than the middle class people do. Instead the rich people consume more and fancier services. The middle class kids go to day care. The rich kids have nannies. The really rich kids have nannies and nanny consultants. There’s a sort of infinitely elaborate hierarchy of personal services one could take advantage of in life were one to have limitless quantities of money.
Like it or not, a huge share of the jobs of the future are going to involve taking care of old people and taking care of kids. The best caretaking jobs are the ones that involve working for the richest, fanciest, fussiest people. Time to get depressed.
Any attempt to correlate minimum wage increases with joblessness falls on its face. When Clinton raised the wage in the mid-90s, low income employment skyrocketed. Some catastrophe. And we can take this as far back as folks want. …The real value of the minimum wage (now at a historical low)…Its peak was 1968. The unemployment rate in 68? A brilliantly low 3.5 percent.
As Brad DeLong would say: Raise the minimum wage. Raise it now.
Hey so you might not feel like your own personal economic conditions have turned the corner quite yet - but don’t worry, someone out there is definitely doing really well right now. Developers can’t even keep up with the booming demand for Manhattan condos. Offerings include three-bedroom apartments from $9.25 million and 564 square foot studios from $750k, so act now while supplies last! (via jakke)
I’m reminded of this recent NYT article, which states that “the higher the price, the higher the concentration is likely to be of owners who spend only a few months, a few weeks or even just a few days each year in their apartments. This very costly form of desolation means that some of the city’s most expensive residential buildings stand mostly dark, lonesome and empty on the inside.”
I don’t claim expertise in economics but residential towers that are largely empty can’t be good for Manhattan neighborhoods.
I have estimated statistically that the prohibition of drugs produces, on the average, ten thousand homicides a year. It’s a moral problem that the government is going around killing ten thousand people. It’s a moral problem that the government is making into criminals people, who may be doing something you and I don’t approve of, but who are doing something that hurts nobody else. Most of the arrests for drugs are for possession by casual users.
Now here’s somebody who wants to smoke a marijuana cigarette. If he’s caught, he goes to jail. Now is that moral? Is that proper? I think it’s absolutely disgraceful that our government, supposed to be our government, should be in the position of converting people who are not harming others into criminals, of destroying their lives, putting them in jail. That’s the issue to me.