Mike & Jay open the show with a discussion of the 5th Circuit overturning a federal district court judge and allowing Texas’ abortion law to remain in effect. Neither Mike nor Jay believe the law is constitutional according to current precedents, but Texas’ clever crafting of the law has made it more difficult for federal courts to enjoin it. Jay wonders when there will be a high profile case with a non-state defendant, which would circumvent the “you can’t sue Texas because Texas isn’t directly enforcing the law” argument. Mike points out that even if the law is eventually overturned it will have achieved in part what many pro-life advocates hoped for — making it much more difficult for women to terminate their pregnancies, at least for a time.
Next is a look at a bunch of economic data on jobs, job switching, unemployment, and inflation. Mike sees the economic news as mixed, but believes that current inflationary pressures are temporary and that it’s a good thing that workers have greater leverage to demand higher pay. Jay is less optimistic about inflation in particular, and is more willing than Mike to attribute much of what we’re seeing to overly-generous government support. Mike admits that Jay will almost certainly end up right in his 2021 year end inflation prediction (Jay predicted around 5%, Mike thought it would be closer to the 2% range), but Mike then decides to make even more predictions – that the CPI will be under 4% by mid April of 2022 and under 3% by July of 2022. Jay thinks both numbers will be higher than that.
Finally, they consider the minimum wage in light of this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics going to economist David Card, who is most well known for his work on the minimum wage. Mike points to a considerable body of research suggesting that the conventional wisdom viewing minimum wage hikes are “job killers” is, if not entirely incorrect, at least somewhat overstated. Jay isn’t as convinced, and while he agrees that there probably should be a wage floor, the federal minimum wage shouldn’t be raised.
The Chair (Netflix)
Jay’s amicus brief to the Ohio Supreme Court on unemployment insurance benefits. (Only 12 pages – totally worth checking out to witness Jay doing his “real job” thing.)
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