Aggregating the best in libertarian news daily from a number of leading sites:
The Beacon, FEE, Laissez-Faire, Lew Rockwell, Personal Liberty,
Reason, Scott Adams & Sex & The State. See our Sources

China’s Other Cultural Revolution: New at Reason

The Communists tried to purge Chinese society of bourgeoise influence during the Cultural Revolution. It sparked another cultural revolution, one that thrived on black markets.

Frank Dikötter writes:

One village had abandoned any attempt to wrest food from the arid soil, opting to specialize in selling pork instead. In order to fulfill their quota of grain deliveries to the state, the villagers used the profit from their meat business to buy back corn from the market. Local cadres, instead of enforcing the planned economy as they were supposed to, sided with the villagers and supervised the entire operation.

Yan’an was not alone in taking to the market. Entire communes in Luonan had divided up all collective assets and handed responsibility for production back to individual families. Many villagers abandoned two decades of monoculture, imposed by a state keen on grain to feed the cities and to barter on the international market, and cultivated crops that performed well on the black market. Some rented out their plots and went to the city instead, working in underground factories and sending back remittances to the village.

View this article.

Read More →
Minimum Wage vs. the Carwasheros: New at Reason

Car washers are the latest victims of minimum wage fanatics.

As Jim Epstein writes in the latest issue of Reason:

It’s conventional wisdom among progressives that low-skilled workers like the carwasheros stand to benefit most from high wage floors. The opposite is true. The 67 percent wage hike will obliterate jobs at car washes and further the agenda of anti-immigrant conservatives—some of whom explicitly advocate for increasing the minimum wage because it reduces employment opportunities, halting future waves of illegal immigration and encouraging those already here to return to their countries of origin.

When labor costs rise, employers hire fewer people. But some liberal economists say the law of supply and demand doesn’t apply to the labor market. Nobel laureate Paul Krugman claimed in a 2014 interview with Business Insider that minimum wage increases have a negligible effect on job losses because they mostly affect service-sector positions that can’t be replaced by automation.

View this article.

Read More →