The Invisible Hand and the minimum wage


“Faith in the Invisible Hand led to the once-general belief that a higher minimum wage results in lost jobs. It presumes that the wage paid reflects the worth of the workers and that any wage increase resulting from a minimum wage law represents an overpayment to workers, reduces profits, and also reduces the hiring of new workers. But in fact often the wage can be too low because of a business’s power or generally restrictive government policies that keep unemployment high. In that case, a hike in the minimum wage would be healthy economically, restoring demand for goods and services, and would not cause jobs to be lost. At the turn of the nineteenth century, the American economist John Bates Clark made one of the first claims that, economy-wide, wages reflect the worth of labor. As we shall see, there is little serious empirical work to justify this conclusion, and recent studies—which I call dirty economics—have shown that increases in the minimum wage result in very few lost jobs, if any. Empirical analysis is at last changing economists’ minds.”

Jeff Madrick, Seven Bad Ideas: How Mainstream Economists Have Damaged America and the World, page 41.

I interviewed Mr. Madrick a few weeks ago on KFI’s Sunday Morning News.



While it doesn’t show us anything new or teach us something we didn’t know before, it is nevertheless an extremely tense, tightly-plotted, well-acted, realistically grimy war movie, one of the better entries in the genre. Brad Pitt acquits himself admirably and shows himself once again to be under appreciated for his talent. My ONLY complaint is this: it incites bloodlust to near propaganda levels. Other than that, it’s excellent and well-worth the ticket price and deserves to be seen in theaters. Three and a half tanks out of five.

Party like it’s 2001

2001: A Space Odyssey is one of my favorite films, but I can only dream of seeing it on the big screen in all its panoramic glory. Maybe I need to plan a trip to England…

The film has been digitally restored and will be re-released in theaters in Britain. It might be a bit expensive to hop the pond just to see a flick, so in the meantime here’s a brand new trailer:

Open the pod bay doors, HAL.

I’ll be back Friday!

First of all, big thanks to Amy King for filling in for me during my absence. I’m sure Bill enjoyed it.

I had the terrible “nose splints” removed today, but it looks like there was some slight damage to my vocal cords during surgery last week, so the doctor prescribed mandatory vocal silence for the rest of Wednesday and all day Thursday, and says then and only then will I be able to return to work on Friday.

Can you begin to imagine how hard it is for someone like me not to talk at all? Even if there’s no one else home, I’m talking to the cat. (Sometimes the cat talks back but that’s another blog post.)

Here’s how much I talk: When the anesthesiologist began pumping me with the meds to put me under, I was still talking, even though the memory center of my brain was no longer functioning. That means I was still yakking and telling jokes even though I had no memory of it.

Below is a picture that was taken as the anesthesiologist, Dr. Sdrales, began giving me “the good stuff.” The last thing I remember saying was, “Whoa, this feels good!” but apparently, I was still jawing away as they wheeled me into the surgery suite. I have absolutely no memory of this picture being taken. And as you can see, I was in a pretty good mood…

Read more:

Under the knife–the aftermath

The surgical procedure last Thursday morning was a success.

Well, that’s what they tell me, but the recovery the first few days was very painful, even with the help of my new friends Mr. Percocet and Mr. Vicodin. The surgeon, Dr. Zandifar, and the anesthesiologist, Dr. Sdlares, both tell me the operation went without a hitch. (Details of the procedure are in my last blog post.)

I’m told that even after they began putting me under, I continued telling jokes. I have absolutely no memory of that – the last thing I can recall is saying, “Whoa, that feels kinda good!”

After that it’s a complete blank. The staff told me what I said and yes, the jokes were mine, including a dirty joke I told in Brian Holt’s office that actually made Bill Carroll laugh. Apparently I kept talking for another 10 minutes… not even heavy drugs can make me shut up! It’s very strange to hear my words repeated back to me and have no memory of saying them.

The photo above was taken by Ronnie Loaiza just a few minutes before anesthesia.

Thank you so much to everyone who Facebooked, tweeted, emailed and texted! I appreciate all of you, and that’s not just the drugs talking.

My first post-op appointments are Wednesday to have the splint removed and my vocal cords checked, and if all goes well I’m planning to be back on the air Thursday. See you then!

Read more:

Under the knife

I’m having surgery early Thursday morning at Cedars Sinai. An ENT surgeon is going up my nose to remove a nasal polyp. He’s also straightening out my deviated septum to get to the polyp, so I’m getting two surgeries for the price of one.

I’m told it’s pretty routine.

May the gods bless Bill Carroll for saying, “It’s an ENT procedure! What could possibly go wrong?”

I have to sign a lot of forms, and some of them detail some of the things that could go wrong.

There’s a possibility of damage to my vocal cords from the breathing tube.

I could die. Yes, that’s one of the possibilities. 

There’s also the possibility of brain death, but I’m told this wouldn’t preclude me from anchoring the news.


Actually, all kidding aside, if something were to happen to my brain and I’m not coming all the way out of this, and it turns out machines are needed to keep me alive, PLEASE UNPLUG THE MACHINES. Don’t let them keep my body alive and turn me into a protracted news story. 

I’m totally serious. If my brain is turning to oatmeal and I’m no longer responding to stimuli, turn the damn machines off and let me go.

Back to  kidding mode… I have pre-approved the doctor taking a selfie with me while I’m out. Actually, I’m not kidding. I really did pre-approve a doctor selfie.

And just in case, I’m readying some jokes to tell when I meet Joan Rivers.