The Boudreaux Plan to Save the NYT
In the same spirit of demanding that government improve people’s
economic well-being simply by ordering that people be paid more, allow
me to make a similar plea on your behalf.
The newspaper business today is in difficult straits. So I hereby
call upon the legislature in Albany to force you and other newspapers in
New York to raise your subscription and advertising rates by 17.2
percent (the same percentage raise that you want to force low-skilled
workers to demand from their employers). Voila! If your economic
theory is correct, your profits will rise. And the magnitude of these
higher profits, we can assume (just as you assume in the case of
low-skilled workers), will be greater than any negative consequences
that might be unleashed by such legislative interference in your ability
to determine the terms on which you sell your services.
A general rule: The more you actually know about an industry, the easier it is to foresee the perverse behavioral effects of feel-good legislation.