McJobs Revisited

Krugman asserts.

Kevin Williamson does an apt job at responding.

I personally don’t spend much time on Krugman’s columns. I find his lapses in logic laughable and the fact that he gets so much attention as evidence of a nation lacking in critical thinking skills.

Just as an example, first Kruman writes (emphasis-added):

Several factors underlie this rapid population growth: a high birth rate, immigration from Mexico, and inward migration of Americans from other states, who are attracted to Texas by its warm weather and low cost of living, low housing costs in particular.

A few paragraphs later he writes:

What Texas shows is that a state offering cheap labor and, less important, weak regulation can attract jobs from other states.

The point is that arguing from this experience that depressing wages and dismantling regulation in America as a whole would create more jobs…involves a fallacy of composition: every state can’t lure jobs away from every other state.

Wouldn’t you think it plausible that a state with a lower cost of living, and ‘low housing costs in particular’, would also have lower wages?  Just sayin…

And as far as the McJobs argument goes, I’ve never understood it.

If folks are willing to work, let them.  They may learn something. They may acquire skills and get a chance to earn more as they get better. That’s much more productive than waiting.

I started out for less than minimum wage.  I learned a great deal and built experience that I still draw on today.   That was much more valuable than watching reruns of the Beverly Hillbillies.

Though, Williamson’s response casts doubt on the accuracy of Krugman’s claim in that regard as well.

3 thoughts on “McJobs Revisited

  1. “…every state can’t lure jobs away from every other state.”

    I’ve heard this argument against the so-called Texas model from numerous sources over the past week or so. Two questions for those who make it:

    1) Is this supposed ‘job stealing’ idea anything more than another example of zero-sum thinking? That is, if Texas can ‘steal’ jobs with lower taxes and regulations, what’s to say a similar regime couldn’t promote the creation of new jobs if implemented in, say, New York?

    2) But supposing that this zero-sum ‘job stealing’ is a reality: if the US as a whole had lower taxes and less onerous regulations, might this not attract investment from overseas (i.e. steal jobs from other countries) and/or prevent the offshoring of ‘American’ jobs?

  2. Krugman’s unabashed political bias has effectively castrated him as an believable economist. Just as Mr. Obama’s rapid rise to the presidency left him believing that anything he did or said would be worshiped as the acts and words of a god, Krugman’s Nobel prize has led him to believe that even though he speaks without thinking, the aura of the Nobel will convince us mere mortals that his words are sacred. Instead, he’s become nothing more than a talking head for Marxist politicians. Sad, really sad – a once respected academician transformed into a monkey on a string.

    • Hi Mike M – Thanks for the comment.

      I agree that PK’s columns are slanted and I think his logic and analysis are sloppy.

      What irritates me more is how much attention he gets from both sides. After reading one or two columns of his years ago I dismissed him as a hack and deemed his editorials not worth of my time.

      Yet, leftist intellectuals pride themselves on being able to decode his twisted logic as if it is some sort of entry test for MENSA.

      Conservatives and libertarians seem all too eager to try to reconcile the economist and the political hack — rather than just dismissing it and spending time more productively.


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