Assorted links

1. Don’t forget to be reading Carola Binder.

2. Long vs. short-run effects for the minimum wage.

3. De Gustibus (I don’t like either!).

4. The culture that is Norway, or as Alex wrote “Isn’t it good, Norwegian Wood?”

5. David Henderson on Armen Alchian.

6. Bulgaria fires economist Simeon Djankov.

7. UK inflation rates on the essentials, yikes and also related to AD/AS debates.

Comments

re: #4. fireplaces

http://youtu.be/eyU3bRy2x44

Also, here is a fireplace DVD I gave to several people who all loved it and used it over the holidays:
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00006RJCM/?tag=marginalrevol-20

So, does that youtu.be link provide viruses?

No, just the new 15 second unskippable YouTube ads. On second thought....

just go to YouTube and search for The Best Fireplace Video.

Youtu.be is a legit domain managed by the same people in charge of youtube.com

It's good to be paranoid about it if you don't know, though.

....and bit.ly sneaks in trojans?

Link 6 is broken--links to previous MR post.
Here is a replacement(?) link. http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/02/18/3240624/bulgarias-prime-minister-sacks.html

Re #5 - you can get 'Essays in honor of Alchian' at the usual pirate sources, and from the link article Coase thinks Alchian would not get the Nobel since he did not 'write in math'--and consistent with this, in this month's Harvard Business Review Coase (who is 102 years old, older than Alchian's 98 yrs) says today's econ students are regrettably math-heavy and history-light.

#7 assumes that 7% of total income is spent on tobacco. The culture that is England?

When a standard 20 cigs pack is priced at GBP7 or GBP8, I wouldn't be entirely surprised with that number...

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/research/cig-consumption-uk.pdf

Consumption is declining but tax receipts remain high & consumption does follow class lines i.e. the poor smoke relatively more...

#2. I would have thought it obvious to expect most effects of minimum wage hikes to occur in the long term. The owner of, say, a fast-food franchise isn't going know how things will work with the new wage for months or even a couple of years. Can he raise prices without losing business? Can he add more automation or self-serve stations? Can he hire better, more productive workers at the new wage and get by with lower staffing levels? Then, too, his profitability might fall to a point that the initial investment in the business would not have made sense -- but at this point, that's a sunk cost, so it makes sense to keep operating (but not to open additional locations). And so on.

Why is it considered a bad thing that higher minimum wages leads to a higher capital to labor ratio?

Essentially, raising the capital to labor ratio is the way new technology enters the system and the driving
force behind rising standards of living.

It seem to just reflect the libertarian apparent belief that the solution to every problem is cheap labor and lower standards of living.

I for one see raising the capital / labor ratio as a highly desirable outcome.

"Why is it considered a bad thing that higher minimum wages leads to a higher capital to labor ratio?"

Because it generally results in higher unemployment.

And you don't necessarily end up with higher capital to labor ratios. You may just end up with more imports from low wage countries. Or more illegal aliens working below the government mandated minimum wage.

"It seem to just reflect the libertarian apparent belief that the solution to every problem is cheap labor and lower standards of living."

That's a straw man argument.

Do you have any data supporting your claim that it leads to lower employment?

Yes

Are you aware that since 1980 the growth in the net capital stock per employee has slowed sharply and is apparently one of the factors behind the great stagnation?

I'm pretty sure that's not the intention of minimum wage backers.

I get round the effect of inflation on my standard of living by continuously improving my skill at tax avoidance.

#4. Can this be linked to excessive preschooling ?

#3 I had a friend years ago who got so used to drinking Busch beer warm because the local gas station had it on special that he wouldn't drink it until it warmed up. We like what we are used to, I would rather drink hand sanitizer than mescal

#4. Wait till you have chopped that much wood and you will have a strong opinion, then consider the legendary stiff neck of the average Norwegian.

#5: Vermonter here! Never thought my childhood firewood stacking would come in handy on MR. Bark up/bark down is sort of a moot point--you stack the bark whichever way fits best on the pile. Most wood split from a standard splitter has an angle of 45-90 degrees, where the bark is the hypoteneuse, so the bark will usually be sideways. Where it matters is on the end-- you alternate with three logs parallel to the pile, then three logs perpendicular, to give the stack internal strength and prevent the whole pile from collapsing out the side. The bark is usually on the outside so that the pile leans slightly in on itself.

PS: I am getting a message saying "You are posting comments too quickly. Slow down." I wanted to believe this was a MR gimmick designed to encourage thoughtful replies, but apparently it's a slightly buggy Wordpress anti-spam feature. Anyone else see this?

All the time.

#4. “National Firewood Night”, special guest: Varg Vickernes

I read the Mytting book in December 2011 while staying at my Norwegian in-laws. It was a pretty interesting read and got me inspired to split all the wood in their woodpile, reportedly earning big son-in-law points.

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