||[Mar. 30th, 2006|10:02 pm]
|||||Age of Aquirius - The Mammas and the Pappas||]|
I have a professor that I can just tell daydreams he teaches at a more prestigious university. He wears a shirt and a tie everyday, has no tolerance for silliness or disrespect, and is just really good at what he does. He was lecturing on mergers versus capacity increases and their effects of competition this afternoon, and posed a question to the class that forced us to pause to contemplate a response. It was at this precise moment that an obscene belch echoed down the hallway and into the classroom, and I watched my professor’s eyes as he came crashing down off his cloud and had to accept that he had chosen an academic career at a glorified high school.
It’s for reasons like this I’m not too disappointed I wasn’t a little more outgoing over the last three years. I’ve made good friends, but only a handful that will miss that I’m gone. I suspect grad school will have the caliber of individuals I will want to be better friends with, work with, network with, go to the bar with, and who will force me to a better student and person.
All that has been on the radio on my commute for the last week has been the debate on illegal immigration. Labor economics is a pretty dry subject for most I suspect, but I secretly love it. I can't imagine much of a career in it, but when issues like illegal immigration are being discussed I wish I was a better student or was capable of researching my curiosities. Sadly, I lack mad skills. My classes at least allow for me to think about these things constructively, and help me formulate questions.
What is the cost of choice? Is it greater than the aggregate price difference of protecting firms with "small" scale economies across industries? This is relevant because illegal immigration shifts labor supply out; bring down wages, which in most models resulting in lower prices. Lower prices create barriers to entry for competition.
Are illegal immigrants concentrating in labor markets that are likely to become uncompetitive? Have all scale economies for illegal immigrant dominated industries been exploited?
Do American consumers have a preference to where a product is produced or by who (the actual labor unit not consumer preference influenced by price, advertising, brand name, etc) produced it? How does the labor input effect the price and income elasticity of demands across markets?
Are current profits inaccurate signals to firms (even regionally or within a community)? Are American’s simply utilizing of the only thing available or most convenient rather than shouting “we want everyday low prices?”
Is it possible that American unskilled labor asking for too high of a wage to remain competitive in a world economy? Why aren’t people discussing that increasing world populations lowers wages? Are these subjects so independent in our perspective that it doesn’t create deterrents for having children? Is this a paradox in the conservative paradigm?
How many illegal immigrants work on a piece rate? How does minimum wage law effect piece rate contracts?
What the fuck is a “living wage”? Be specific you policy making pricks.
Why do we use the term “poverty line” in this country? Be sure to define poverty and allow for your definition to encapsulate that 90% of the people in the United States living below the poverty line own a DVD player. If you're going to use the term inequality, be sure to distinguish the kind of inequality being discussed. Differentiate income and wealth distribution, poverty, and inequality. Give examples of poverty (vs. poor choice due to asymmetric information and chemical dependence) in the United States.
I define poverty as a complete lack of resources in a region. Poverty is a complete inability to maintain a population and the ultimate suffering induced by scarcity. This is not an “economic definition”, but it certainly differentiates anywhere in the United States from regions in Africa or the Middle East).