Links for November 21, 2011: Story of Broke; MoJo mangles the market (again); Unpaid interns want money (Who doesn’t?); others….

  1. For all of its flaws, this is actually not an awful video, considering the source. Annie mostly correctly identifies government boondoggles and waste as reducing the quality of our economy. She unfortunately does not identify the correct solution. He clings to the myth of good government. If only we vote the bums out, we’ll get good government, she seems to believe. I don’t think that’s ever happened, and I don’t think it ever will. As I’ve been saying ever since the Occupy movement has been making some of its demands known: Handouts to the politically connected are not a bug, they are a feature, of government. The free market will solve these problems better than the ballot box will.

  2. Lee Doren critiques “The Story of Broke” more fully.

  3. What Sexton should worry about is the very institution the Freakonomics crew worships: the market.

    First fallacy: Misrepresent the market. The market is where people go to exchange goods and services peacefully and voluntarily. People should worry not about peaceful, voluntary exchange, but rather about forceful interference into peaceful, voluntary exchange. Also, I don’t really get this whole “market worship” insult. Markets are as necessary for human progress as the air. If Tom Philpott had called us “air worshippers”, I’d have about the same reaction: beguiled bewilderment. Either he doesn’t understand too well what he is saying, or he doesn’t hold humanity in very high regard.

    We need to worry about .... wuuuut?

    Philpott celebrates his confusion about markets:

    This explosion in local-food sales took place with minuscule government support, in a period when billions of dollars of annual federal subsidies propped up industrial farming and antitrust regulators looked the other way while agribusiness firms consolidated into vast, market-dominating entities. In other words, an increasing number of people want to support farmers in their own regions, and are bucking larger economic trends to do so.

    In other words, the free market is propelling the local food movement, which Philpott supports, while forceful government intervention in the agriculture market, i.e. vast, tax-funded subsidies, continue to prop up agribusiness domination.

    Yet it is hard to avoid the article’s huge offset blockquote telling us “market worshippers” that we should “worry” about the market that has heralded a new era of locavorism.  Excuse me?  And then, MoJo facebookers loved the quote so much that they chose it to represent the article on its facebook page. What in the Sam Hill is going on here?! Help me, somebody!

  4. Here is the article above criticized. Not being a scientist, I don’t have much to say about the science of it. All I have to say is that all government subsidies should end and the market should be allowed to work so that we may discover which methods of farming are the most efficient.

  5. Natt contends companies just can’t afford to pay interns the minimum wage. “I’m sure if they can, they would. People don’t understand, when you’re hiring people it takes a lot of time away,” she says.

    Minimum wage laws continue to cause economic problems. People ought to be permitted to work for little or no pay if they want to. Those who agree to work for no pay should understand that they will not be paid.

  6. “Cookie Monster” correctly writes:

    It not about rich people having more money. It about how they got money.

    He then fumbles when trying to explain how they got that money. He explains, in part:

    It about how they take opportunity away from rest of us, for sake of having more money.

    He should explain the process of “taking opportunity away” more precisely. The government takes opportunity away when it criminalizes voluntary business arrangements through wage restrictions (see above), onerous licensing requirements, and other red tape.

  7. The book review says a whole lot of nothing. Without getting into too many specifics, it suggests some ways that government may have caused the problem, but then concludes that less government is not the answer to every problem. Okay. Whatever.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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