Wednesday, February 27, 2008

How to Diminish the Influence of Economics

by Tom Bozzo

1. Expend energy railing against the "Patriot Employer Act," co-sponsored by Barack Obama. What's to hate about it? From the Economist's Free Exchange blog (h/t Mark Thoma):
There is much to dislike in the bill. Essentially, it offers employers a tax credit, worth one percent of taxable income, in exchange for adherence to a set of economic limitations. Among them are: a minimum wage, minimum standards on retirement and health plans, and protections for workers and headquarters based in America.

Yeah, that Obama sure is History's Worst Monster for wanting to give corporations a modest tax incentive to do that sort of stuff. (They do need to hire a Frank Luntz type to come up with a better short title for the bill, though.)

A couple of European academics go much further in calling this package "reactionary, populist, xenophobic and just plain silly." It perhaps goes without saying that, were Willem Buiter and Anne Sibert somehow to lose their sinecures, they wouldn't have to pray to the gods of health that they not get too sick for a while. Or perhaps they're just part of a movement, which I've found curious, of neoliberal Euroeconomists who seem want to show their pals at Chicago how tough they are. Or, as Charlie Stross put down New Labour:
And lo, in the thrusting entrepreneurial climate of the early nineties a new government came into power with the remit to bring about the triumph of true socialism by privatising the post office and air traffic control systems...

And it might be prudent to verify that the U.S. doesn't get thrusted by its entrepreneurial climate before frothing at the mouth about the evils of populism.

(Cross-posted to Scatterplot.)

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Thank you. I saw that one yesterday, but couldn't figure out what was supposed to be so egregious about it.

Now I know: it offers employers a tax credit for obeying the law and incenting their workers to stay with them (reducing their turnover costs and increasing their knowledge base).

Gosh. How evil.
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