Dan Hamermesh: Let's Regulate Labor Markets Even More
By David Henderson
Daniel Hamermesh has presented data showing that, all else equal, ugly people do worse economically and are less happy than the non-ugly. The Daily Show sent one of its crack interviewers to interview him. The result–this 5-minute video–is highly entertaining. More than that, though, it’s informative: it shows the–dare I say–ugly underside of some of those who advocate special privileges for various groups in the labor market.
It’s clearly a hatchet job on Hamermesh, and one way the Daily Show does hatchet jobs, as Sam Kazman of the Competitive Enterprise Institute claims happened with him, is to edit things out to make things appear as they aren’t. So it’s entirely conceivable that that’s what happened with Hamermesh.
Still, unless the Daily Show literally dubs in words in Hamermesh’s voice, he does advocate a huge amount new regulation of labor markets.
1:30: The interviewer on Google.
1:57: The serious part. While Hamermesh uses a lot of “mights” and “coulds,” he seems to favor laws against discriminating against ugly people in the labor market. Those laws, of course, often become not just regulations against discrimination but regulations making discrimination in favor of a particular group a safe harbor for an employer.
2:30: Also serious. It’s interesting to see the various interest groups that get special privileges in the labor market argue against special privileges for the ugly. The Daily Show is performing a huge service here by showing these various people’s raw support of privilege. My discriminated-against group matters; your’s doesn’t.
3:57: Watch Hamermesh’s harshness in judging beauty on his campus.