Friday, January 27, 2017

save some jobs; lose a lot more

Maybe we should start a new/trendy term like #TradeDeniers or #EconDeniers for topics like intl trade and the minimum wage.

Sometimes, the job gains/losses are relatively obvious. When we protect sugar jobs, we kill candy jobs. When we protect steel, we hurt GE and Ford. Other times, the job loss is through the retail sector-- and then from there, through other sectors-- as higher prices reduce spending in other areas. Here, tire jobs are saved at the expense of other jobs-- and a ton of economic activity.

This is a difficult empirical task. Once in a while, relatively speaking, pointy-headed economists make the effort to measure such things. The easiest part is measuring the cost increases. Calculating job losses is much more speculative. Whatever it's costing us in terms of jobs, if we're spending nearly $1M to save a job, it's obviously costing us a lot more than three-jobs-worth of economic activity.



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