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Home Publications Blogs Beat the Press Nonsense on Hiring, Taxes, and Regulation

Nonsense on Hiring, Taxes, and Regulation

Wednesday, 01 September 2010 05:20

Fool or Liar? That is the question that should be posed of anyone who says that companies are not hiring because of concerns about taxes or regulations.

Exhibit A, the only one necessary to prove the case, is that there has been no unusual increase in average weekly hours. There is some uptick from the low-point of the downturn, but nothing unusual for an upturn, and we are still far below average weekly hours from before the recession.

Comments (10)Add Comment
written by izzatzo, September 01, 2010 7:13
If they're fools, they're ignorant that demand is not there to justify more hiring, blaming it instead on uncertainty of government interference.

If they're liars, they're well aware that sufficient demand does not exist to justify more hiring, but still blame lack of hiring on government interference.

Low average weekly hours is presented by Baker as proof that insufficient demand exists, noting that high weekly hours would confirm the influence of uncertainty via refusal to hire more despite the presence of justifiable demand.

In that case it would be impossible to lie that sufficient demand does not exist, because existing workers would be worked more intensely at higher weekly hours in order to avoid hiring more new workers at the margin. That would make them fools instead.

Simultaneously, higher weekly hours over the long run also indicates a move towards full employment, at which point it would not make any difference if they were lying.

No one would care whether they are not hiring (more) due to uncertainty, because other than frictional unemployment, everyone who wanted work would have a job. That would make them liars.

So they're both, lying fools and foolish liars.
how does this preclude...
written by scott, September 01, 2010 8:07
how does this preclude us from finding more efficient and effective ways of "regulating" the economy? A return to simple product liability law would likely be more effective than a product safety admin, fiduciary laws better to protect excluded professions, and the like. We can't ignore the problem of regulatory capture and the political spoils system that "regulation" engenders. We need to return the CFTC's oversight of oil trading--all commodities markets should be covered by this. (Gary Ginsler explains clearly this phenomenon you don't believe exists.)
written by fuller schmidt, September 01, 2010 8:36
Join the Anti-Patronage Anti-Lobbyist Party now getting started in our minds.
the persistence of memory
written by diesel, September 01, 2010 9:29
"they're very uncertain about these costs" says the article.

It seems as though one can't read a newspaper or magazine these days without encountering this phrase somewhere in some article. Fellow geezers, remember the movie "Z" about the assassination of the liberal Greek candidate for president in which the special government investigator, in the course of interviewing high level military and government officials noted the repeated use of the phrase "sprung like a tiger" which tipped him off to a "vast right wing conspiracy"?

And yet, when today, we find a phrase repeated not twice, but monotonously in a web of interrelated press releases, we are ridiculed and labeled "conspiracy theorists" in spite of the fact that even the authors of the reports refer to the agents in question as "they" and attribute to "them" a common motive, purpose and behavior to attain that purpose.

stupid liberals indeed
written by anon, September 01, 2010 11:05
Guess what? If there was demand we would find a way to hire the people and make the investments we needed to meet the demand. Temps. Vendors. Any business person that says they would forego sales because of some vague event that may or may not happen a year or more from now should be fired.

PS your captcha thingy is way too unreadable
fired from or with?
written by Ethan, September 02, 2010 1:09
position or gun?
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About Beat the Press

Dean Baker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C. He is the author of several books, his latest being The End of Loser Liberalism: Making Markets Progressive. Read more about Dean.