Most of my readers are familiar with small towns in Iowa that have longstanding family-owned businesses, such as family eateries. Grandparents, parents, and children may own and work in these restaurants. They often have loyal employees that are “part of the family.” These owners may be unable to afford to pay their workers much more than $10 per hour, to say nothing of the proposed $15 per hour minimum wage.
By anyone’s estimation, the recently deceased Vernon Jordan was a “mover and shaker.” A commentary on his life referred to him as, “a civil-rights leader, Washington insider, Wise Man, power broker, deal maker, rainmaker, Wall Street banker and, as an interviewer put it a few years ago in the Financial Times, ‘the most connected man in America (Peggy Noonan, “America Loses a Wise Man,” Wall Street Journal, March 6-7, 2021, A13).’” Whew!
During election season, people love to accuse the media of bias. Liberals and conservatives assail local and national newspapers, as well as various television newscasts, of tilting in one political direction or another. Since it is unlikely that a news source can be biased in both directions, many people’s perceptions must be erroneous.
You may have read that President Trump paid no federal income taxes for a few years. The press and rival politicians reacted with horror. Assuming President Trump accurately reported his income, losses, and other information, then there is absolutely nothing immoral or unethical about this result.
The COVID-19 epidemic has revealed that scammers are still alive and well. They nimbly offered nostrums to prevent or cure the virus to naïve buyers within a few weeks of the epidemic’s explosion. In doing so, the medical quacksters have lived up to their predecessors: let no health scare or new technology go to waste.
In the wake of the disruption in America’s economy, legislators on both sides of the aisle quickly rushed through palliatives for American businesses and workers. In doing so, they may have created situations rife with what economists call “moral hazard,” situations where the affected parties have disincentives to mitigate losses.