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The Flawed Congressional Budget Office Report on the Effects of Minimum Wage Increases

The Congressional Budget Office (“the CBO”) published a report on February 18, 2014, with its estimates of the effect of a federal minimum wage increase from $7.25 to $10.10.  The headlines from the Report would appear to support the finding that the increase would cost 500,000 jobs, but would lift 9 million families out of poverty and produce more real income from the country as a whole, because those benefiting...

The “real” scoop on pharmacies, drug companies, and health insurance plans

One of the funniest comedians I ever saw in person was Robert Klein, back in 1973, when I was a law student at Harvard and he performed at the Passim Coffee House in Harvard Square.  One remark he made that night comes back to me whenever I think about the healthcare industry.   Klein’s comic style was to point out something we all see every day and to give us the “real” scoop on it.  I remember him talking...

Why do intelligent politicians support a minimum wage proposal that will kill jobs?

In the Thursday, January 30, 2014, issue of The Wall Street Journal, Michael Saltsman, a Research director at the Employment Policies Institute, wrote a well-argued Op-Ed piece entitled “The Employee of the Month Has a Battery.”  He argues, as I have, that higher minimum wage laws are job killers.   Saltsman makes a very compelling case to support this:   Self service is taking hold fast. According to...

Rapid increases in minimum wages: a bad idea for the people they are trying to help

The widening gap between what many Americans need for an acceptable standard of living and the income they are able to secure is a real problem, and I empathize with those who struggle every day to pay bills. Moreover, the decline in well-paying jobs for people with modest skills and educational attainment is a serious, long term structural crisis. However, the minimum wage or “living wage” proposals being...

Nelson Mandela

The death of Nelson Mandela this past week ends the life of one of the handful of the most remarkable and admirable political figures of the last millennium.  My wife Joyce and I were quite moved by our visit to Robbin Island, just outside Cape Town, South Africa, in 2008, where Mandela had spent most of his 27 years of imprisonment by the Apartheid government.  He survived exceptionally harsh conditions, and he...

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