==> I’m getting ready for my trip to Mordor next week, so blogging is still sparse. I’m really looking forward to posting the YouTube videos of the presentations from our panelists at the IER Carbon Tax conference, especially for you professional free-market economists who read this blog. I think you’re going to be surprised by some of the facts about the peer-reviewed literature that Ross McKitrick in particular has to share.
==> C’mon, this exchange with Daniel Kuehn is just plain funny.
==> David R. Henderson, perhaps sensing that I have been lazy, takes up the crusade against Krugman.
==> Landsburg wants Krugman to show his work next time, when commenting on sweatshops. BTW, in this earlier post I pointed out Krugman’s hypocritical complaints against the pro-taperers. Krugman said (with no quotation or link so I can’t verify) that the “near-universal” assertion among the people who wanted the Fed to taper, was that a small rise in interest rates wouldn’t do any real damage. Krugman incredulously asked: “As I’ve argued, this is a novel economic principle; where else do we argue that demand curves (in this case the demand for investment) are vertical at low prices?”
Given this reality, can we demand that Bangladesh provide better conditions for its workers? If we do this for Bangladesh, and only for Bangladesh, it could backfire: the business could move to China or Cambodia. But if we demand higher standards for all countries — modestly higher standards, so that we’re not talking about driving the business back to advanced countries — we can achieve an improvement in workers’ lives (and fewer horrible workers’ deaths), without undermining the export industries these countries so desperately need.
So, can we act to improve the lot of workers in low-age, labor-intensive manufacturing? Yes, we can, as long as the goals are realistic and the measures appropriate in scale. And we should go ahead and do it.
So, for Krugman’s argument to work, the demand curve for apparel apparently is vertical at least for cheap apparel. (Landsburg spells this out here.) Yet another example of Krugman doing exactly the thing for which he ridiculed the pro-taperers (without giving an actual example so I can’t evaluate if they’re doing it too).