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$15 minimum wage: Bad news from Seattle should give Minneapolis pause

As price of labor went up, people bought less of it — as standard economic theory predicts. This op-ed appeared June 29, 2017 in the Star Tribune. The Minneapolis City Council’s ordinance raising the minimum wage to $15 goes up for a vote on Friday. During a long and often emotional debate, supporters of the ordinance have often pointed to the example of Seattle, where the minimum wage was raised from $9.47 to $11 per hour in 2015 and to $13 per hour in 2016. But a new study suggests that Seattle’s experience might be a warning rather than an example. Economists at the...

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Major new study jolts liberals out of Fantasyland on $15 minimum wage

Steven Hayward has written about how liberals enjoy hiking cigarette and alcohol taxes so less is consumed but somehow totally fail to understand economic basics like supply and demand and price sensitivity when it comes to raising the minimum wage. The much needed reality check is delivered via a game-changing new study described in yesterday’s Washington Post story, “A ‘very credible’ new study on Seattle’s $15 minimum wage has bad news for liberals”: When Seattle officials voted three years ago to incrementally boost the city's minimum wage up to $15 an hour, they'd hoped to improve the lives of low-income workers. Yet...

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Educational and Career Advice and a Barely Changing Score

In the grand scheme of things – and even in much smaller schemes – two decades are not much more than a blip.  So, I don’t want to read too much into an article, published in 1997, that makes many of the same points about how young people choose between four-year colleges and other postsecondary institutions, aided and perhaps pressured by their parents, as does American Experiment’s current multi-year project, Great Jobs Without a Four-Year Degree: Good News for Students, Parents, and Employers.  Still, the consistency is interesting. The article, “The Gatekeepers,” was written by Kenneth Gray, a professor of education...

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Good News about Apprenticeships

President Trump signed an executive order last Thursday (June 15) significantly reducing federal oversight of apprenticeship programs that receive federal funds.  Good and good.  Or more precisely, less regulation will lead more businesses, unions, schools, and postsecondary institutions to participate in such programs.  And overwhelmingly they will do so responsibly, fiscally and in other ways, even with governmental officials demanding less paperwork than usual. One name that has come up frequently has been that of economist Robert I. Lerman, who has studied apprenticeships more insightfully, and advocated them more energetically, than any scholar I know.  In a 2013 paper, “Skill Development...

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