Weekend Grab Bag
By Amy Willis
July 1st is a big day for the US, though it seems to be passing quietly by so far… Fourteen cities, states, and counties, and the District of Columbia all introduce higher minimum wages. Predictions? Read more on minimum wages from Robert Murphy here and here, from Linda Gorman in the CEE, and from Don Boudreax and Learn Liberty at Cafe Hayek.
The rise of right-wing populists…Are Brexit and Trump to be credited with ending the laissez-faire era of Reagan and Thatcher? So says Eduardo Porter in the New York Times. A call for Keynesianism such as this reminds me of this exploration of the evolution of Keynes’s beliefs.
An accidental economist? Here’s an interesting piece on information asymmetries in the publishing business, going all the way back to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Goethe, evidently “disdainful of the profit motive,” nonetheless devised a clever auction for one of his works in order to “get his fair share of the fruits of his labor.”
Ben Bernanke suggests that Americans aren’t as pessimistic about the economy as we usually hear. Maybe he’s right…Yet again, record numbers of “upbeat consumers” will be hitting the road this holiday weekend.
Finally, if you’re still looking for good reading and haven’t checked out Econ Journal Watch lately, I’ve really enjoyed the latest edition, a symposium on “My Understanding of Adam Smith’s Impartial Spectator.” Of related interest is this EconTalk episode on Adam Smith with Jim Otteson and Vernon Smith, filmed before alive audience at Ball State University. Vernon Smith was also solo for this 2016 (audio) episode on Adam Smith’s human enterprise. You can also read The Life of Adam Smith by John Rae for free at Econlib.