The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

I Do Not Have A Federal Reserve Alter Ego

Posted on | November 17, 2011 | 20 Comments

by Smitty

Just want to make that perfectly clear. Also, I am not a US Representative from New Jersey.
As for what’s driving teen unemployment, I think that an economy parked in the toilet bowl is the main culprit.

via Marginal Revolution


20 Responses to “I Do Not Have A Federal Reserve Alter Ego”

  1. Ladd Ehlinger Jr.
    November 17th, 2011 @ 1:32 pm

    Minimum wage laws too.

  2. smitty
    November 17th, 2011 @ 1:42 pm

    Government queering of a market has helped when, exactly?

  3. Joe
    November 17th, 2011 @ 1:51 pm

    As for what’s driving teen unemployment, I think that an economy parked in the toilet bowl is the main culprit.  That is true.  So is what Ladd said above. 

    How about cheap illegal labor?  I was in Freehold, NJ (Bruce Springsteen’s home town!) last year and saw lots (at least 40) of what appeared to be Mexicans/Central Americans standing around the downtown bus and rail station as day laborers.  I saw a few landscape contractors pick up a few for day work.  Now that is not teen labor per se that they are taking jobs from, but presumably there are some high school drop outs and recent high school graduates who could do those jobs.  But chances are the Mexicans and Guantamalans have less drug issues and are better workers. 

    Maybe the Boss can write a song about it. 

    And there is another issue.  Some kids are lazy; or alternatively, many parents are protective of their kids.  When I was a kid (starting at 10) I was out every fall raking leaves, every snow day shoveling walks and drives, every spring and summer mowing grass.  I went blocks from my parent’s home, looking for customers (mostly retired folks who did not or could not do raking, shoveling, etc.).  I did not have an allowance.  If I wanted money I had to earn it.  Parents do not let their kids go solicit work from neighbors any more (except maybe people you absolutely know).  Certainly not at 10–but I was an exceptional kid. 

  4. Adjoran
    November 17th, 2011 @ 3:08 pm

    There are also whole categories of work teens used to do that don’t exist anymore or aren’t manned by teens now.  Newspaper delivery is a good example – declining circulations make routes bigger geographically, less profitable for the time it takes, and most papers have replaced the old contract-carrier system where the carrier collects the money and pays wholesale to the paper to one where adults are paid a flat rate to deliver only.

    There are fewer full-service jobs which used to be filled by teens, too.  Gas station attendants, grocery bag boys, soda counters in drug stores, etc. are all rarer now than 40 years ago.

    And then there is also the work ethic.  Young people today expect things handed to them, and baby boomer parents have been only too happy to oblige.  For the last 20 years or so in my poor rural community, families take on debt to give their kids a new car for graduation or even just for “sweet 16” where my generation had to find work, save up, and start out with an old beater that needed constant work.

  5. Adjoran
    November 17th, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

    Celebrate diversity! 

  6. ThePaganTemple
    November 17th, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

    Good job Ladd, let’s cut another ten percent off our support by coming out against minimum wage, to hell with it, who cares about winning these damned old elections anyway.

  7. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

    Also, lawyers have made it very, very hard to hire teens for anything.

    Hell, I wouldn’t hire teens to shovel my walk, for fear of the damn lawsuits.

  8. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 3:39 pm

    You also aren’t a professional Jazz Musician.

    Chris Smith (Cornet, Trombone, Sousaphone) co-leads Phil Ogilvie’s Rhythm Kings.

    I highly recommend this band, BTW.  They play original 20’s and 30’s jazz, with arrangements by Jim Dapogny (one of the world’s leading scholars on the musicans, bands, and history of the 20’s).

  9. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 3:41 pm

    Summer work in construction is almost impossible for under 18s also.

  10. Joe
    November 17th, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

    Doesn’t mean Ladd is wrong about it resulting in less jobs for teens.  Obviously there is a political component to this, but don’t shoot the messenger Pagan. 

  11. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 4:29 pm

    That post is Exhibit A in why we’re doomed, Pagan.

    The Constitution was not designed for a warm-body democracy; it was designed as a government of the productive. It certainly wasn’t fought for or voted on by a majority.

    We’re going to get back to a government of the productive someday; the only question is how high the body count will be. I’m figuring about 30%… optimistically.

  12. Adjoran
    November 17th, 2011 @ 4:51 pm

    Two thumbs up on the Rhythm Kings!  I’ve got a good bit of music from the era, but it’s all just mono with minimal remastering.  Still great, but lacks depth.

    These guys put you in the ballroom for what it must have sounded like live.  Great sound.

  13. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 5:09 pm

    That’s my son on drums!

  14. ThePaganTemple
    November 17th, 2011 @ 6:07 pm

    Minimum wage is a very small component of our problems and wouldn’t be a problem if the real ones were fixed. If we could get the corporate tax rate lowered to a competitive level (I would go for fourteen percent but YMMV) and cut regulations or the expense of same by a target of about 70 percent, then yeah, there would still be employers bitching about minimum wage. Fuck them, everybody’s got to give something. What’s going to doom us is insisting on ideological purity to the detriment of everything else. If we would have a flat tax for everyone, a fairly low flat tax of about twenty-one percent for individual earners, we’re still going to need so much revenue. Do away with minimum wage and we’re cutting our own throats, because if you think for one minute a lot of these employers won’t slash wages down to bargain basement levels-think again.

  15. ThePaganTemple
    November 17th, 2011 @ 6:34 pm

    There are a lot of jobs in which minimum wage laws do not apply, and also other part time jobs where minimum wage is not applicable. The main reason there is such a large level of teenage unemployment is quite simply that the economy is in such a shitty state, a lot of adults are taking these kinds of jobs, and others for which they are over-qualified.

  16. Bob Belvedere
    November 17th, 2011 @ 8:44 pm

    My first car was fifteen years old when I bought it off my Grandfather with money I earned as a busboy and bartender.  It only had AM, ran on leaded gas [in 1979 – try finding a gas station that sold that] and no AC [of course, it holds a special place in my heart because it was my first and it was a ’64 Plymouth Belvedere].

  17. Anonymous
    November 17th, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

    I got an email yesterday from a German academic publishing house that wanted my permission to publish a students paper from Rutgers. I informed them I was not the professor they were looking for, or any professor for that matter.

  18. SDN
    November 18th, 2011 @ 12:49 am

    What’s going to doom us is to refuse to even try for actual changes because we’ll hurt someone’s little feewings and then they’ll be mean to us. 

    But, hey. There’s a reason the Patriots weren’t a majority… just the ones who would do whatever it took.

  19. Adjoran
    November 18th, 2011 @ 1:11 am

    Rock Jazz on!

  20. Quartermaster
    November 18th, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    I rode a bicycle as much as 20 miles from home when I was 10 (parents weren’t happy about it, but didn’t kill me), and was all over the extended neighborhood doing odd jobs during teh same period (40 years ago). No way I’d let kids do it now. Far too many predators loose in society these days.

    Alas, many are in government looking to cause trouble.