Category: Economic Fallacies

Do no harm?

Mere “harm” cannot be the nebulous standard by which we invoke the necessity of state intervention. If five people apply for a job then the four that did not get the job are arguably harmed, so, should the state step in and penalize the person who got the job by making him or her share it with the others? When two sports teams play each other is not the losing team “harmed”? Upset fans, potential decreased ticket sales, lower potential ad revenue – all these things constitute types of harm, yet no one is (yet) screaming for the state to step in.

Paddling in Circles

[Trump’s view] presumes trade is a zero-sum game where one side always “wins” and the other side “loses” in the exchange. Indeed this mindset would mean every time we buy groceries the store has “won” and we have “lost.” Trade is always a win-win game; both parties have gained more than they gave up, otherwise they would not have made the exchange.

You can lead a horse to a carousel, but you can’t make him eat a free lunch

Like the static animals and chariots of a carousel, the unchanging bureaucracy provides support to our elected officials, who come and go like so many children believing they are driving when in fact they are merely passengers. … [DOL mandates] do not require a new law or public debate. Only a handful of bureaucrats need to simply decide “ok, let’s just change this” and that’s it.

Paddling Upstream

Like a talent sieve there is nothing to retain or attract the more productive employee when it is need, and not effort, that is rewarded. Likewise, like an anti-talent magnet only those with the lowest drive and skillset will be attracted, for where else could they have any hope of earning such a high wage?

August 03 / 2015

Boulders in the Stream

Supposedly this [law] would help the underdogs: small booksellers and new authors. Ironically it does the exact opposite. It is the unknown author that has the greatest incentive to discount heavily in order to entice someone unfamiliar with their work. It is small book sellers that are most likely to haggle or “make a deal” when someone makes a substantial purchase.

Shortages the Spawn of Short-Circuited Prices

High prices are the market’s method of eliciting an economic immune response. As swarms of people respond to the wailing klaxons of above average profit, supply swells until prices begin to fall. It is this natural up/down demand/supply equilibrium that lets a market know where to devote more or fewer resources.

Pool your own resources

So, it’s not that people want access to a pool per se, (clearly there is already “access” locally), it’s that they want someone else to foot the lion share of the bill. Getting the county to provide these things means that when you utilize them a disproportionate burden of the cost is shifted to (a) all those with a higher property value than yours and (b) all those that use it less than you do. Subsidization, pure and simple.

February 04 / 2015
Author Greg Morin
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