2010-10-04

Caplan Does Socrates

Bryan Caplan presents an entertaining ficticious dialogue between Socrates and Glaucon, regarding immigration. Please read it, it is fantastic.

I intended to post a comment lauding Prof. Caplan, but browsing through the comments I noticed so many objections to what is basically Econ 101 stuff. It is really too bad. Economics is becoming a lost discipline.

At any rate, I have three brief items to add:
  1. Even if immigration reduces the nominal wage rate, the corresponding reduction in prices gained by efficiency and a larger labor force bring the real wage rate up (we can now buy more with our lower salaries). Every laborer is also a consumer.
  2. Those who have the most to gain from abolishing minimum wages are teenagers and students. While many low-wage workers are poor and/or immigrants, the majority are part-time students saving for their future. That we would punish our children with minimum wages is unconscionable.
  3. Anti-immigration policy (including anti-illegal-immigration policy) is basically institutionalized racism. Pretending otherwise is untenable.