Friday, November 11, 2005

'Wage Gouging' Exposed!

In today’s ‘In brief’ from The Foundation for Economic Education, there is a brilliant little piece showing the idiocy prevalent in parts of the US legislature (the same idiocies are latent in the House of Commons – yes, the 'usual suspects', lamentably, on both sides of the Chamber).

Apologies for the unscholarly language but recent antics by some US Senators against oil companies under the banner of ‘price gouging’ shows their illiteracy in how economies work, when they are doing what they do best in moving the quantity supplied into line with sudden surges in the quantity demanded, has reached avoidable and self imposed crisis levels among some legislators.

Worker Scarcity Boosts Pay in New Orleans11/11/05“Burger King is offering a $6,000 signing bonus to anyone who agrees to work for a year at one of its New Orleans outlets. Rally's, a local restaurant chain, has nearly doubled its pay for new employees to $10 an hour. . . . Ten weeks after Katrina, government officials and business leaders worry that a scarcity of able-bodied workers is hampering the area's recovery. In their desperation, they are using a variety of tactics to attract workers.” (New York Times, Friday) Wage-gouging!"

If the above mentioned Senators had their way there would be Senate inquiries afoot with ‘experts’ advising the worthy legislators to impose a special super-wages tax on the employees for accepting such 'ludicrously high' wages ('profiting from misery', etc.,) and expounding rabid, foaming at the mouth, indignation-laced demands to subject them to public pillory.

Fortunately, working people in the US have more common sense that some of their legislating ‘betters’.

Note: reading the daily FEE ‘In brief’ produces loads of gems like the above. Enquire from: (subscribe free from:

The Foundation for Economic Education is at: 30 South Broadway, Irvington, NY 10533, USA.

Those teaching economics anywhere in the world will find loads of practical discussion topics from this source to liven class discussions.


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