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Leftists and economic literacy

An Interesting topic for discussion submitted by Leon Bertrand

Zogby International asked questions about economics of nearly 5,000 people. George Mason University economist Dan Klein co-authored a report on the responses given to eight basic economic questions. (Correct answers and “not sure” responses were ignored — only flatly incorrect responses were counted.)

Do housing restrictions increase the price of housing? The answer is yes. Whether the restrictions are good or bad is a separate issue. But restrictions on any good increase the price of that good — whether houses or horseshoes. Do minimum wages increase unemployment? The answer is yes.

Whether one accepts this as a worthy trade-off is a separate question. Is our standard of living higher than it was 30 years ago? It is. Whether we are “addicted” to oil or facing cataclysmic “global warming” is a separate issue. The other questions involved licensing, rent control, the definition of a monopoly, the definition of exploitation, and whether free trade leads to unemployment.

Respondents self-identified as progressive/very liberal, liberal, moderate, conservative, very conservative, or libertarian. Who did better?

“On every question,” wrote Klein, “the left did much worse. On the monopoly question, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (31 percent) was more than twice that of conservatives (13 percent) and more than four times that of libertarians (7 percent). On the question about living standards, the portion of progressive/very liberals answering incorrectly (61 percent) was more than four times that of conservatives (13 percent) and almost three times that of libertarians (21 percent).”


46 Comments

  1. Ray Dixon says:

    Great post, Leon. You’ve copied and pasted word-for-word from Larry Elder’s right-wing opinion piece, added no commentary of your own and then stuck your name to the bottom of it. Plagiarism? Well, at least you put in a link.

    How about putting the full 8 questions up so we can see whether or not they were ambiguous? I notice Elder doesn’t do that either. For example, if they were worded exactly as you’ve copied & pasted then:

    “Do housing restrictions increase the price of housing?”: It depends on the type of restrictions the question is referring to. For instance, there are already restrictions on housing and they’re called planning laws. A law that prevents developers building, say, 10 houses on a small 600 sq metre block does not increase prices above existing levels because the standard is pre-set. Of course if you removed that restriction it would result in lower house prices but, likewise, a restriction on the size a house can be built would also reduce prices. The question is incomplete, vague & ambiguous. The only correct answer is “not sure”.

    “Do minimum wages increase unemployment?”: The answer is not automatically “YES”, and it is entirely reasonable to answer “NO” or “UNSURE”. Let me explain: If a State or Country has an existing legal minimum wage, and if it were then removed, you might see many people opting out of very low paid jobs and taking the dole instead, thereby increasing unemployment. So in that case the minimum wage is actually helping to keep unemployment down.

    Maybe this survey is more a measure of the right’s lack of comprehension of english and inability to think outside the square. Well, let’s face it, those on the right tend to have lower IQs.

  2. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Leon sent me this copy by email with the suggestion that it may be interesting as a topic here and thinking that it was something that he had written I put it up as a post so I hope that addresses your plagiarism suggestion. The mistake is mine not Leon’s
    As for the rest or your comment I’ll defer to Leon to respond when he has the time.

  3. Ray Dixon says:

    *Groan*
    Iain, mistake or not, Leon’s name has been stuck to someone else’s piece as though it’s his own and if he doesn’t request that it be corrected then he’s claiming it.

    As for a response by Leon, he might need a few lessons in comprehension & clear thinking first.

  4. Len says:

    Without reading fifty pages of educational, bureaucratic “double-speak”, I agree with Ray here, to a certain degree.

    “Do housing restrictions increase the price of housing?”
    With Ray, possibly. BUT there are many mitigating factors involved with this hypothesis. Location, quality of housing, targeted market, surrounding suburbs and their building codes, and so on, are other important factors that have to be considered.

    Location ?
    Market forces for the last forty years, have decided that houses, or new suburbs created, shall be designed to cater for a similar socio economic group. Suburbs such as Melton etc in Melbourne, are great examples. Housing estates containing house/land packages of roughly the same value abound. Why ? To attract people to an area that are seeking, and can only afford to buy in these price groups.
    Block sizes are not based on need, nor restrictions. They are based on profit margins. How many blocks can they make out of “x” acreage. Local development laws, decide these sizes. The services that need to be provided to that “x”. Power, sewerage et al. Again, using Melton as an example, thirty years ago, out there was nothing by the way of services. House and land packages, were cheap, $50k. Then due to the demand, along came residents demands for services. Roads, rail, shopping centres, industry for jobs et al, and all of a sudden, that $50k house and land package, suddenly doubled in value. As Ray says, these proportions are decided on years previous, by town planners and designers. In that design process, a major factor is rate income projection. All services must be provided and paid for, out of these projected rate income plans. The smaller the blocks, the larger the income base for the councils, to provide their roads, sewerage etc.

    Block Size ?
    By limiting the block size, it has not been proven that this limits the purchaser’s intentions for that block. The smaller the block size, the more inventive the design of house put on that block has to be. Hence, the increase in multi storey developments, units etc. Location from work, recreational and business facilities are also mitigating factors here. In large newer residential estates, especially those located closer to city centres, the blocks are always smaller in size to those on the fringes. It is part of the balance people weigh up, upon selecting these blocks. They can live closer to the city, but on a smaller block, but the same price, further out from the city, purchases maybe a bigger more spacious block. That is the decision or trade off people have to make ?

    “Do minimum wages increase unemployment?”
    This is a tricky one to answer. The shift in corporate ownership, in the last fifty years, has been from family ownership, or limited ownership, of our corporations and businesses, to that of public ownership or share offerings. This has meant that ownership of our businesses, is no longer in the hands of small groups of people. As such, there are massive share offerings, and the people that purchase these shares want dividends, and share growth. As such, companies nowadays are more profit driven. Anything that reduces these profit driven requirements is frowned upon. Prices need not increase, nor value for money either, but it is happening because these profit margins, to remain in the market, have to be lower. Corporate Australia are loathe to do this, as it makes their company less attractive to investors, as the profit to investment ratios shrink ?

    I don’t think it is simply a right v left scenario here Ray. Both sides just do things differently . The left is more inclined to share the wealth around, whereas the right, more selfishly wants to create that wealth for itself. What is required here is a balance. Not easy under the circumstances, as the old adage goes, 99% of a county’s wealth is held by 1% of it’s population ?

    As for these “studies”, hell, have said this before. Raw data can be twisted to say nearly anything, and all conclusions, unless seen to be balanced, should be ignored. We should analyse the raw data ourselves, and come to our own conclusions ?

  5. Len says:

    I didn’t see the responses from you both above until I finished mine. Sorry guys, I misunderstood the topic. I thought it was about the questions raised rather than the authorship of the piece.

  6. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    Leon has a day job and I am sure that when he gets the time to he may add something to the discussion but if you refresh your browser you will see that I have edited the page to correct my mistake.

  7. Ray Dixon says:

    Len it’s about whether the survey’s findings – that those on the left are economically illiterate – are valid. And based on the ambiguity of the questions and the author’s interpretation of the results, I’d say the survey is seriously flawed.

    The ownership of the article is a side issue, which has now been clarified.

  8. Iain Hall says:

    Len
    I have referred to this Survey myself in an earlier post and while I am very cynical about such things because I know that the nature of the questions is so important (because they can skew the results) I thought that the results were broadly consistent with what I have seen coming from some members of the latte sipping fraternity. But then when you consider that more people on the right are involved with business It should come as no surprise that they are more educated in the nuances of economics.
    I would dispute the idea that 1% of the population own 99% of the wealth though, the houses and cars of the burbs tends to contradict that in this country at least.

  9. Len says:

    Maybe maybe not Iain. Past studies have indicated that the allocation of wealth in this country, has been skewed for ever ! Perhaps my 1/99% is over the top, but the point can be taken that the majority of the wealth in this country, is held by the few.

    I think your observation re the burbs is valid, BUT you are confusing seemingly obvious viewable wealth, with much hidden debt levels. I have said this also before. People are no longer willing to wait to purchase their “needs” with cash or savings anymore, simply, they just add it to the “never never”. This of course shows apparent wealth, but when debt levels are balanced against asset worth, the ratio is skewed, and probably people are not only not better off, but worse off due to that asset/debt ratio, and falling net worth final total ? Add to that rising interest rates, and pretty quick, these people are in strife.

    I could agree with you re the flawed survey Ray. All surveys are flawed. They are filled with “leading” questions, designed specifically to gain a certain result, favourable to those formulating the survey, and those interested in the result ?

    Whether or not, they are from the ‘left’ or ‘right’ is irrelevant I feel, as both sides are equally guilty of incongruous survey results ? Also, those of both persuasions, are equally able, of being able to show their ignorance of economic principles. I have seen both left and right, portray arguments that are so far out there, that I can’t find any great degree of knowledge gap difference here between either side.

  10. Ray Dixon says:

    There’s also the question of whether a survey conducted on US citizens ir relevant to Australians. It seems neither side scored too well, so it could also be said that it proves that Yanks are stupid, which is something we already knew.

  11. Leon Bertrand says:

    Ray,

    The answers to the economic questions are straightforward yes and nos, in spite of your attempts to muddy the waters. Any economist worth his salt accepts this.

    For example, whilst it may be true that SOME people might be encouraged onto welfare if the minimum wage was abolished, this would result in other unemployed people replacing them, with no net loss of employment.

    Furthermore, the social security safety net would ensure in many cases that employees are paid well. If employers are stuggling to find people to employ, their own interests would dictate that they offer a competitive wage which makes it worthwhile for people to work for them instead of claiming unemployment welfare benefits.

    Also, I am confident that the results would be repeated in Australia, given that I have personally observed the low levels of economic literacy that most Australian leftists have.

    Finally, I have not attempted to pass on anyone else’s work as my own, as Iain has correctly explained.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    The mere fact you found it necessary to qualify your own responses to those questions, Leon, confirms my opinion that they are not straight yes/no propositions. You have self-pwned.

  13. Leon Bertrand says:

    Ray,

    I did not qualify the answers to those questions. Rather, I refuted your qualifications to them.

    Do housing restrictions increase the price of housing? The answer is yes.

    Do minimum wages increase unemployment? The answer is yes.

    etc

  14. lynot says:

    “Also, I am confident that the results would be repeated in Australia, given that I have personally observed the low levels of economic literacy that most Australian leftists have. ”

    You just can’t make this shit up can ya? Leon Bertrand the economic guru of blogdom.If it all wasn’t so funny, one could just for a nano second take the thoughts of chairman Leon seriously.

    Still Leon I could be a little hasty in my estimation of you, I mean Wall street the capitalist/conservative “Wet dream” of corruption, would probably know more than economics than yer average lefty, it’s full of experts I guess, after all they have been expertly fleecing us to the tune of billions for years.I see Goldman Sachs is the first cab off the rank to be investigated, they know all about mortgages and stuff te he.I will wager any amount they will be only the first of many to be in the end prosecuted.Ah and Madoff he’s be a dead cert to know more than yer average lefty.he he.He’s in the big house.

    The minimum wage increases unemployment.Of course it does Leon and my penis swells in direct relation to a stimulus (package) he he.Iain you must get Leon to do a piece in the financial times he’s sooooooooooo good.Let go of it Leon you’ll faint.

  15. Leon Bertrand says:

    “Iain you must get Leon to do a piece in the financial times he’s sooooooooooo good.Let go of it Leon you’ll faint.”

    Just your luck Lynot. As It happens, I have written about the GFC:

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=8242

  16. Ray Dixon says:

    Leon, you have not refuted my answers you have merely expressed a different opinion, which just goes to prove (a) there are no right or wrong answers to those vague questions (b) the survey is a dud.

  17. lynot says:

    “Just your luck Lynot. As It happens, I have written about the GFC: ”

    Leon give me a break mate.That piece of yours has got more puff than my good mums country paste’s.Where pray tell did you lift that lot of twaddle?Let me guess, you lifted most of it from the “Heritage foundation”, or some other nutty right wing think tank, then added a bit of your own right wing talking points to give it a sniff of authenticity.Leon really!

    So let me see if I’ve got this right, the world nearly went into financial meltdown, and depending on who you read, still just may, is because according to you government interference in the markets, and a few poor people who couldn’t pay their mortgage?So the fact that as each day passes more and more CEO’s and the appendages hanging out of their bums, called lawyers, hedge fund market managers, and other assorted thieves that steal oxygen and waste good space,being prosecuted for fraud, and other offenses, had nothing to do with it?

    Leon your a genius it’s all coming clear to me now.And here’s me thinking they were all crooks and shysters.I’m glad there are people out there like you that can inform mis-guided wankers like me onto the path of enlightenment.

    Yep the right are more economic literate than us mere lefty’s.

    As Ray Dixon has said the survey is a dud, still can’t be all bad, you tried to take credit for it.

  18. Leon Bertrand says:

    Ray,

    I did NOT express opinions, but rather facts. The economic questions are not questions of opinion, but fact. If you can’t see that then I’m afraid you are demonstrating your own lack of understanding when it comes to economics.

    and Lynot, I didn’t take credit for anyone else’s work. Please read Iain’s comments above.

  19. Ray Dixon says:

    I did NOT express opinions, but rather facts

    Really Leon? This is what you said:

    ” whilst it may be true that SOME people might be encouraged onto welfare if the minimum wage was abolished, this would result in other unemployed people replacing them, with no net loss of employment. Furthermore, the social security safety net would ensure in many cases that employees are paid well. If employers are stuggling to find people to employ, their own interests would dictate that they offer a competitive wage which makes it worthwhile for people to work for them instead of claiming unemployment welfare benefits. “

    That is merely your opinion on what might happen if there were no minimum wage – what facts? Your opinion is no more correct than mine and to claim that the survey means anything at all is just really stupid.

  20. Len says:

    I find it interesting that you guys are discussing the possibility of minimum wage eradication ? Ain’t never going to happen. It has taken the Liberal Party nigh on twenty years to nullify the power of unionism in this country. It took the introduction of oppressive work contracts to finally do it.

    Can you imagine what would happen if they abolished the minimum wage ? All hell would break loose. It’s not my opinion either, it’s history !

    We would quickly return to the days of the BLF and Gallagher ? Do we really want those days to return ?

  21. Ray Dixon says:

    I agree, Len, but what we’re discussing is Leon’s contention (that those on the left are economically illiterate) based on a dodgy survey.

    To quote Leon he says: “Do housing restrictions increase the price of housing? The answer is yes.”

    But the question doesn’t say what type of restrictions would increase house prices.

    Let’s say there was a restriction on the first home buyers grant and another one on negative gearing (something that Leon & Jeremy have both advocated). Those “restrictions” would most definitely NOT increase the price of housing and, if anything, would have the opposite effect.

    The point I’m making is that the survey question is too broad to give a yes or no answer and the results therefore tell us nothing of the economic literacy of the respondents.

    (However, they do tell us something about the right’s lack of intelligence).

  22. Len says:

    I agree Ray. When young couples first contemplate purchasing their first home, they forget that the market is in fact targeted directly at them. The fhbg is usually embedded, or loaded, into the house price isn’t it ? If that grant was suddenly gone, I feel the market wouldn’t change all that much, other than the prices of those homes aimed at fhb, would simply be ‘cheapened’ to re-establish that market, at a lower level.

    As for negative gearing, that doesn’t affect fhb all that much does it ? It affects those who are settled, usually older, that have excess funds, they wish to invest. There is such a shortage of rental housing these days, that any reduction in that scheme, would spell disaster for not only those seeking rental properties, but the money invested would just shift into other securities, that perhaps don’t benefit our economy ?

    Our economy is so fundamentally based on the home building industry, that anything that curtails that industry, would be an absolute disaster for the economy. That is why respective governments over the last thirty years, have not only not fiddled with the fhbg, but have expanded it, to assist in giving a lagging economy a boost ? It has been proven many times over the last decades, that if the housing industry does well, funnily enough, so does the economy ? If fhb had their grant removed, what would be the result ? Your correct Ray, the prices of housing would fall, and bloody quickly. Why ? Simply, you take fhb out of the market, who is going to buy new dwellings ? The market would collapse. Simple economic theory tells us, that if demand falls, there will be a sudden excess in supply, and what happens ? Discounting occurs, to reduce that excess supply. Can you imagine what would happen to the unemployment figures if that happened though ? That is why it hasn’t been done, it would be a disaster !

    Your comment about the question, is exactly what I was attempting to iterate earlier in the thread. That is why questions in surveys are written as they are. They are “leading” questions, designed specifically to gain a certain, or wanted result. They are a scam, and why we should very carefully look at the question, and just as important, WHO is asking it and why.

    There are economic ratbags on both sides of the political spectrum. Again I say, that both the left or the right, usually attempt to achieve the same outcome, but just go about it differently, by their difference in how wealth in the economy should be shared and distributed.

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    There are economic ratbags on both sides of the political spectrum

    Yes, and anyone who produces (or reproduces) a dodgy survey like Leon did fits that description.

  24. Leon Bertrand says:

    “That is merely your opinion on what might happen if there were no minimum wage – what facts? Your opinion is no more correct than mine and to claim that the survey means anything at all is just really stupid.”

    Do you want to know what is stupid Ray? It’s thinking that you know more about economics than qualified economists. Have you even studied economics at secondary school or read an economics textbook? I imagine not. Your other comments in this thread only parade your economic illiteracy and ignorance.

    You are not qualified to question whether facts that are accepted by nearly every economist are true. Your failure to recognise this shows that you are unaware of your own limitations, as well as your utter lack of humility.

  25. lynot says:

    “You are not qualified to question whether facts that are accepted by nearly every economist are true. Your failure to recognise this shows that you are unaware of your own limitations, as well as your utter lack of humility.”

    What a load of condescending twaddle.Not all economists agree on anything, except perhaps who they would like to get into the pants of, whilst standing around the water cooler on a Monday morning.

    The building industry, and the associated problem of overpriced housing has been around since I bought my first house in 1969, and before that no doubt.Every government since Menzies has had a go at fixing it.But I’m sure Leon, all those thousands of economists, public service wonks, and other assorted academics are in total agreement on how to fix the problem.Brother!

    Sorry only the ones you refer to.

    As for a minimum wage, conservative governments love the minimum wage, yep the more minimum the better.

  26. Ray Dixon says:

    Leon, that’s exactly the sort of whiny, carping, schoolboy response I would expect from someone who has not only been totally pwned but who has self-pwned himself big time. Here’s what you just, in effect, said:

    “You don’t know nothing and I do … so there!”

  27. Leon Bertrand says:

    Ray,

    Your claim that I have “self-pwned” is ridiculous, particularly coming from you when you have just asserted that your opinions concerning economic matters trump facts accepted by almost all economists.

    When you’ve dug a hole for yourself, stop digging!

  28. gigdiary says:

    I have yet to read of any self-made millionaire expressing confidence in the ability of economists to have any idea of what is happening in the real world of commerce. Basing an opinion on the holding of a uni degree is worrisome at the best of times, with economics it’s a disaster.

  29. Ray Dixon says:

    Your (copied) post is about the biggest self-pwning I have ever seen in 5 years of blogging, Leon. You have stated that there are clear yes/no answers to a series of (not fully specified) vague economic questions – and you have used that in an absurd attempt to prove some kind of superiority over those who have different political opinions to your own. There aren’t even clear yes/no answers to precise economic questions, let alone the tripe you put up copied & pasted.

  30. Len says:

    Missed this !

    You are not qualified to question whether facts that are accepted by nearly every economist are true. Your failure to recognise this shows that you are unaware of your own limitations, as well as your utter lack of humility

    I perhaps am, and the argument by your good self Leon is floored on so many levels.

    These so called economists are spouting theories from so far out there, looking for their 30 seconds in the limelight, that anyone with even the most basic of economic theoretical knowledge can tear their arguments apart at their whim.
    C’mon people, use a bit of common sense, and go into the argument with both eyes open, along with the mind, and bloody hell, you never know what wonders you may come up with ?

    Asleep during Micro and Macro 101 ?

  31. Ray Dixon says:

    Leon’s argument is “floored”, says Len !!! (as well as being flawed)

    Actually, I like your description better, Len.

  32. Len says:

    That was done on purpose Ray.
    On the floor, ready to be swept into the bin ?
    No further down to fall ?
    😉

  33. Leon Bertrand says:

    Ray,

    You keep accusing me of things and I keep refuting your accusations. Your claims of self-pwning are therefore very hollow indeed.

  34. Ray Dixon says:

    You put up someone’s dodgy survey as proof of your economic literacy, Leon. Call it stupidity then.

  35. Craigy says:

    Leon, it sounds like you are talking about a consensus of economists……I think I remember another argument along those lines….

    Anyway a fact or two for Leon to add to his other facts.

    – Economists have forecasted nine out of the last five recessions.

    – Bentley’s second Law of Economics: The only thing more dangerous than an economist is an amateur economist!

    – Q: How many Chicago School economists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: None. If the light bulb needed changing the market would have already done it.

    -Q: How many conservative economists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: None. The darkness will cause the light bulb to change by itself.

    many more available just google….

    Looking forward to your email Iain.

  36. Husky Jim says:

    Q: How many lefty economists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: “WTF is a light bulb?”

  37. Ray Dixon says:

    Q: How many lefty economists does it take to change a light bulb?
    A: Ten – three to form a committee to decide if the bulb needs changing, three to form another committee to formulate a strategy, three to form a further committee to seek expressions of interest … and one to change to it. At least we’d get it done.

  38. Iain Hall says:

    I’m sure that you have underestimated the numbers here Ray because you forgot about the committee to evaluate the evaluation. and the committee to decide which person will offer the very best return derived from changing the light bulb,

  39. Ray Dixon says:

    I picked 10 because I am on a council committee that is supposed to be driving public infrastructure improvements in my home town. It’s made up of ten people. We had a meeting yesterday and re-confirmed the priorities, which is exactly what we did at the first meeting over 2 years ago. And still nothing is getting done.

  40. MK says:

    Leftists are stupid, why would we need research to prove otherwise, just talk to one of the halfwits and you’ll see it, right there in front of your face.

  41. lynot says:

    “Leftists are stupid, why would we need research to prove otherwise, just talk to one of the halfwits and you’ll see it, right there in front of your face”

    Of course they are.But in comparison to wing nuts, they’re rocket scientists.

  42. JM says:

    In which Leon invents a parallel reality and pontificates on the economic profile of an entirely imaginary state:

    surrounding suburbs and their building codes, and so on, are other important factors that have to be considered.

    There have been uniform – that means the same everywhere – building codes in Victoria for about 30 years Leon. ie. no difference from suburb to suburb. I think other states are similar.

    By limiting the block size, it has not been proven that this limits the purchaser’s intentions for that block. The smaller the block size, the more inventive the design of house put on that block has to be. Hence, the increase in multi storey developments, units etc.

    More fanciful bullshit. Blocksize is regulated by a number of things but it aint’ open slather, subdivision is limited in scope which in turn determines the scope of the developer to be “inventive” about housing layout. For example, about 10 years ago I struck a house block that had a frontage slightly (I’m talking 6 inches) under 50 feet and was therefore hit by a (state-wide) restriction on the size of the dwelling that could be built.

    Your argument would have more force Leon if it were based in reality.

  43. Ken Lovell says:

    Leon Leon Leon … you would have done much better to stick to your decision to retire from blogging. But no, you can’t resist demonstrating your profound ignorance in public.

    There is no need to make schoolboy deductive arguments about the effect of things like minimum wage laws. They have actually been the subject of extensive research by people who are qualified to do such things – you know, economists with PhDs and stuff – and the empirical evidence (I know, you don’t like to be reminded of that crap because it tends to invalidate your stream-of-consciousness argumentation from first principles but WTF, can you say “scientific method”?) … anyway the empirical evidence is that the relationship between minimum wage laws and unemployment is, like, COMPLEX. Yes I know, complexity is a concept you’ve never mastered and you prefer answering questions yes or no, but that doesn’t make you perceptive. Just dumb as a box of rocks.

  44. Iain Hall says:

    Ken Lovell
    Firstly welcome to the Blog, But you made me laugh when you asserted the economics is amenable to the scientific method 😆
    I have a very close friend in the food service business and changes to the Labour laws have a direct effect on how many staff he hires so please don’t claim that a rise in the minimum wage won’t mean a lower number of new positions offered or fewer hours of work offered to those in work.
    Its not rocket science 🙄

  45. Leon Bertrand says:

    Ken,

    The fact that the relationship between unemployment and minimum wages is complex is immaterial because the point is that as minimum wages go up, unemployment also rises. The “the empirical evidence” confirms this. So would any respectable economist.

    Nice try, but I’m afraid that’s another big swing and miss on your part.

  46. Ray Dixon says:

    It’s okay Ken, you have to make allowances for “young” Leon, who has so little experience in the real world. Although you’d think being so economically illiterate he’d just stick to topics he knows something about, like Spaghetti Westerns (see “about Leon” in the link at the top of this page).

    “as minimum wages go up, unemployment also rises.”

    It also falls, Leon. Or haven’t you noticed that in Australia our minimum wage is always going up, but our unemployment figures move both ways? That’s because unemployment is more influenced by other factors. You should stop reading theories based on the American model.

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