Economics and similar, for the sleep-deprived
A subtle change has been made to the comments links, so they no longer pop up. Does this in any way help with the problem about comments not appearing on permalinked posts, readers?
Update: seemingly not
Update: Oh yeah!
Wednesday, May 03, 2006
Because I always like to take the unpopular side ...
Brad DeLong passes on a thought experiment from John Tierney's column about immigration reform, and the fact that it gives great opportunities to Mexicans, while probably depressing wages for US-born unskilled labourers by about 8%.
Here's another thought experiment, which raised a heck of a kerfuffle when I suggested it at Arnold Kling's site:
Imagine that I have invented a new kind of robot, one that will allow jobs in agriculture, construction and domestic service to be carried out much cheaper. In order to build it I need a special metal which is only mined in developing countries, so they will get rich out of my invention too. But this robot promises so many benefits to rich Americans (cheap domestic servants, bigger profits for real estate firms and farm owners) that this doesn't matter. All I need is a hell of a lot of money for development costs.
Would your reaction to my good news be "Fantastic, Danny! And furthermore, I know exactly what the fairest way would be to finance the development of this new technology; we can levy an 8% income tax on the working class!"
(the point I am trying to make here is not really about immigration at all; it's just to point out that economists of the neoliberal stripe are very good at talking about "the economy as a whole", benefits to "consumers" in the aggregate and even Hicks-Kaldor compensation gains. But not so very good at writing the fucking cheques.)
this item posted by the management 5/03/2006 01:53:00 AM