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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Comments Which Conservatives Block From Their Blogs For January 12, 2016

Jan 8

To Joe Carter and his blogpost opposing the legalization of prostitution. This appeared in the Gospel Coalition website

This is an article with which I am in full agreement. And yet, how we implement the criminalization of prostitution targets the women more than the men who support it as customers and the men who provide the women. If we legalize any part of prostitution, we should make it legal for the actual prostitutes and criminalize the men who use the prostitutes and those who manage them.

But in addition, we need to increase the job market for jobs that pay liveable wages so that there are fewer women who find themselves in such desparate situations that they see prostitution as a way to support themselves.

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To Joe Carter and his blogpost criticizing Powerball and other state-run gambling games. This appeared on the Acton blog.

As right as this article is on powerball and state-run gambling, it misses a point. That point is the question of why there is state-run gambling. My guess is that it is to keep the people at bay because the state will not tax those who are wealthy in order fund certain programs. And thus, people who are desparate to win the big prizes to make in life are depended on to foot the bill of some necessary government programs. But I guess that is the price of ensuring economic "freedom" for those to whom that "freedom" applies.


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To Bruce Edward Walker and his blogpost criticizing those who work to reduce our reliance on fossile fuels. This appeared in the Acton blog.

First, let's take a look at what the poverty level is. It is $1.25 per day. And the only reason why we know that that removes people from poverty is that we are told so. But suppose it is true, what else is true? We know that most of the improvement in world poverty came from nations like China and India. But China is also experiencing severe enviornmental problems and a significant number of workers there work in sweatshop factories. And while there has been some statistica progress reported in India, hundreds of thousands of farmers from India have committed suicide because of financial debt stemming from the "free market" that exists there. 

In addition, we need to remember that some gains in jobs in both India and China have come through the loss of jobs here. This is because the minimum wage requirements and other regulatory enforcements that exist here do not exist in many of the Asian nations cited above. So employment gains in Asia have come at the expense of jobs here. This increases the labor pool which, according to the law of supply and demand, keeps wages down here.

But besides all of that, this article is telling us that to do something about damage to the environment by reducing our use of fossile fuels, we are told that we mush sacrifice gains made elsewhere. Basically, this article tells us that we must pick our poison. And yet this article never once does such a choice inspire supporters of the global economy to question the system.

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Jan 11

To  Joe Carter and his blogpost claiming that raising minimum wage does not target poverty. This appeared in the Acton blog.

One of the problems with the article above is that the research is cherry-pioked. For example, Arindrajit Dubeú's work on raising the minimum wage and poverty show different results (see https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/15038936/Dube_MinimumWagesFamilyIncomes.pdf ). And, in fact, in reviewing other research, Dubeú references Neumark's work, Neumark is the author of the first work cited, and and states that some of his work is unconventional as well as having flaws in its methodology. We should note here that Dubeú disagrees with Neumark's assessment of the data.  It wouldn't hurt Carter to cite evidence from different perspectives than the one he favors.

Second, that raising the minimum wage has no effect on the unemployed is a rather trivial statement. What he misses is that the number of low wage workers who would benefit from a raise in the minimum wage includes more than just minimum wage workers, it includes at least those who are paid one to several steps above minimum wage since this is how employers who want to be fair to their many of their employees who are paid more than minimum wage would react to a raise in the minimum wage. In addition, we should note that the reduction in poverty must include a number of tools, not just one. That is because the poor are not a monolith.

Third, my sources who work with sheltering the homeless tell me that a number of homeless people are actually employed. Thus, raising the wages of all low-income workers could reduce the number of working homeless people.

Fourth, the last statistics I've seen from Seattle's raising the minimum wage in the food industry business is that after an initial drop in employment has come an increase in employment. The increase in employment can come from more people having expendible income, However, suppose there is a decrease in employment with an increase in the minimum wage. How is it that the choice between having low paying jobs or higher employment rates does not cause us to question the current economic system we employ. Yes, some business leaders can tell us how to work the current system. But they can't always step outside our current system to tell us whether the system itself is flawed. 




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