Twittering About Minimum Wage

@yipeedog I guess since higher wages hurt the economy, you wouldn’t mind giving up most of your paycheck.”

This lovely note was on my Twitter feed this morning in reply to this article – A Higher Minimum Wage Harms the Economy http://t.co/If1KpAX5Me. I repost it here because it is absolutely representative of the devolution and conclusion of every recent discussion I have had regarding minimum wage laws (and the prospect of a Federal increase in the same).

Each of these exchanges follow a fairly similar track.

I note that jobs are created when an activity can generate value in excess of the cost of performing the activity. Seems pretty straight forward, an employer will hire if the employee produces net positive revenue after all expenses (wages, benefits, taxes, computer, desk, pens, etc.) are factored in. Thus, if you raise the cost of one of the expense elements you decrease the net revenue (the “marginal value”). It also seems totally reasonable to then conclude that SOME increases will cause the net calculation to turn negative on SOME jobs. Net negative revenue being unsustainable in the real world, employers will have to respond by adjusting their employment structure. Continue reading

Sharp Turns at 34

Tom Woods recently posted a question on his website regarding how you pursue, at a later age, a career in Austrian style economics and more generally the liberty movement.

It got me thinking because I had recently just done this exact thing…

I worked in finance for several years then opened an insurance agency with two friends.  After 8 yrs and a lot of personal study I felt called to do something supporting liberty leaning organizations and the cause of freedom.

So at 34, I sat down for a couple beers and a pizza with my wife and asked her a simple question, “If I wasn’t working at [RADIO EDIT], what would you see me doing?” then I just sat back and listened for 40 minutes as she told me many really interesting things… she said I’m a good speaker and writer, I’m great with clients, I teach well, she actually said she thought I’d be a great stay-at-home-dad 🙂 but curiously not once did she say she saw me selling insurance policies for the next 30 years.

So when I told her what I was thinking, she was definitely behind me, but when I said I wasn’t quite sure what to do she immediately responded that I needed to go back to school.  I mentioned it would take a few months to arrange things at work and she said no, I needed to get into classes right now.  This was August of 2012, so I had already missed the deadlines for our local university but she insisted that if I was going to do this I sign up for SOMETHING at our local community college.  To dip my toes in the water, re-stretch the intellectual muscles, awaken the student skills that had lain dormant for 15 yrs. Continue reading