But guess who will ignore California’s restaurant-closing measure? That’s right: Governor Gavin Newsom. On October 9, 2020, its own public health department banned gatherings of more than three families. But on November 6, less than four weeks later, Newsom was seen at an expensive restaurant, attended by at least twelve people, celebrating a lobbyist’s birthday.
Newsom did what politicians often do when caught: He lied. He claimed that the dinner was outside. But the picture shows that his claim is false. Then Newsom did what politicians often do when caught in a lie: He apologized. Although I miss it, I don’t recall his expressions of sympathy for others who wanted to celebrate birthday parties at home with people from multiple families.
Newsom and his staff set the rules for all of us and expected us to follow them. But Newsom exonerated himself and his friends and apologized when caught. That is the nobility of pulling.
This is David R. Henderson, “The Aristocracy of Poole” Defined conceptsSeptember 8, 2022.
I can now get a higher minimum wage for fast-food workers in California:
Economists know what happens when governments raise the minimum wage. In the simple model we teach our students, employers lay off workers whose productivity does not match the higher minimum wage, and employers adjust production to become more capital intensive. We often point out that minimum wage laws do not guarantee jobs; All this guarantees is that if you get a job, it will pay the minimum wage. But that’s a big “if” for relatively unskilled workers. It is the requirement to pay them minimum wage that makes them less likely to get or keep a job.
But some economists teach more complex models that fit perfectly with the realities of the labor market. They point out that wages are only a part of the compensation package. Other elements are employer contributions to health insurance and retirement plans, and general working conditions: free meals for employees, flexibility so employees can deal with sick children, etc. When the government sets a higher minimum wage, employers can reduce those benefits. Critics of this view may argue that employers of unskilled workers do not offer many benefits. But it actually helps economists: the higher the minimum wage, then, all other things being equal, the higher the benefit.
And a chance to recount one of my favorite skits:
In 1930, a play on Broadway called 1932 Ballyhoo, actors Willie and Eugene Howard performed a famous skit. In the skit, one of the speakers, trying to convince his audience how great communism would be, shouted, “Come revolution, everybody will eat strawberries and cream.” A member of the audience yelled back, “But I don’t choice Strawberries and cream!” The speaker replied, “Come revolution, you’ll eat strawberries and cream – and like it!”
This is what I think of when I think of the Fast-Food Council. This council will make decisions for thousands of employers and tens of thousands of employees. It is true that many employees may prefer decisions. But it’s also true that many employees may resent the council narrowing their options. In a world of different tastes, many employees may not like “strawberries and cream.”
Read the whole thing.