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Must reads for 12/13/13

by on December 13, 2013

Raising minimum wage in increments of 10%, only half a percent rise in prices and no resulting unemployment.

“At the macro level, an increase of 10 percent in the minimum wage is associated with less than half a percentage point increase in the aggregate price level. With short-term nominal interest rates near zero, a transitory increase in the inflation rate from a minimum wage hike would lower the real interest rate, increasing demand and growth.”

I can’t believe things like this still happen in 2013, requirement to buy insurance in Michigan if getting raped results in a pregnancy.

“However, the law, which takes effect in early 2014, will also ban women from purchasing the policy after becoming pregnant under any circumstances, including rape and incest, causing opponents to refer to it as a policy on “rape insurance.”

Service employees getting paid horribly.

“A household cook typically earned $10 a week in 1910, century-old books on the etiquette of hiring servants show. That is $235 per week in today’s money, while the federal minimum wage for 40 hours comes to $290 a week.

At first blush, that looks like a real raise of $55 a week, or nearly a 25 percent increase in pay. But in fact, the 2013 minimum-wage cook is much worse off than the 1910 cook. Here’s why:

  • The 1910 cook earned tax-free pay, while 2013 cook pays 7.65 percent of his or her income in Social Security taxes as well as income taxes on more than a third of his pay, assuming full-time work every week of the year. For a single person, that’s about $29 of that $55 raise deducted for taxes.
  • Unless he can walk to work, today’s outsourced family cook must cover commuting costs. A monthly transit pass costs $75 in Los Angeles, $95 in Atlanta and $112 in New York City, so bus fare alone runs $17 to $27 a week, eating up a third to almost half of the seeming increase in pay, making the apparent raise pretty much vanish.
  • The 1910 cook got room and board, while the 2013 cook must provide his or her own living space and food.”

The potential eruption of Yellowstone is damn scary.

“So what would happen if Yellowstone was to erupt?

Something close to Armageddon.

Soil samples reveal that the last time it happened the whole of North America was smothered by ash. The lava flow was almost as great.

The streams of molten rock were hundreds of miles long, and miles thick.

Such was the extent of the smoke and debris cloud generated by the eruption that the climate of the entire world was affected for several centuries.”


From → News

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