Showing posts from February, 2019

A lack of compassion

It's Saturday afternoon, and I have just returned from singing Evensong at Rochester Cathedral. The first reading was the dreadful story of Laban's deceitful behaviour towards Jacob. Laban made Jacob work for seven years in return for a promise of his daughter Rachel's hand in marriage. But at the end of the seven years, Laban palmed Jacob off with his other daughter instead, then made him work for another seven years to claim the hand of the woman he loved. This story is horrible not just because of Laban's underhand behaviour, nor even because Laban treated his daughters as his property, but because of the damage it did to Jacob's family. The rivalry between Rachel and her sister set up deep divisions that led to attempted murder  and the disintegration of their family. Writing in Unherd , Giles Fraser complains about disintegration of family. "Our social care crisis is a crisis of family and community life," he says. And he blames it on what he c

An XRP Illusion

Here is a Public Service Announcement. Since @Galgitron, who I think is certifiably insane, has  called for the XRP Army to deprive me of income by spamming the adverts on Forbes, I have decided to write future posts about XRP here on Coppola Comment. Moving to Coppola Comment negates accusations that I make money from posting what Ripplers call "FUD" on Forbes. Coppola Comment is widely read, but certainly doesn't have the reach of Forbes. There are no adverts here and I don't get paid for writing on my own blog.  I can, however, write freely and say what I really think. And I will. I have taken so much abuse from XRP supporters now that I am distinctly uninterested in soothing their aggrieved egos with gentle words. If they behave like disgusting rabid hyenas, that is what I will call them. The same applies to the other social media harpies that descend whenever I say something that ruffles their delicate feathers. To those who allege that I accept money

Why labour markets don't clear

This post originally appeared on Pieria in July 2014.  Roger Farmer has a blogpost in which he shows that labour markets don’t clear. Specifically, employment varies with the business cycle, whereas the labour force participation rate and hours worked only show long-term secular trends. During cyclical downturns, therefore, we must conclude that there is more labour available than there are jobs. New Keynesians say that the reason for this is sticky wages . If only nominal wages could fall enough,the market would clear and there would be no cyclical increase in unemployment. Therefore there should be labour market deregulation so that wages can flex with the business cycle. Roger Farmer questions this: he argues that the market simply does not clear at any wage. I disagree. I think the market does clear – when wages fall to starvation level. Humans need a minimum income to sustain life, but employers have no responsibility for ensuring that the remuneration of employees me