Category Economics

On Free Lunches

Seoul is currently all abuzz with what I’m told is its first-ever referendum: the issue of free school lunches. Problem is, I’m not sure people have considered even the most basic facts before forming an opinion.

Let me open by saying I am all for free school lunches. In both Korea and the U.S., there are some kids who, for various reasons, would literally have nothing to eat all day if they weren’t provided a lunch by the school. If we, as a society, can help these kids by giving them one meal a day, we must.

Now, in Seoul, where this issue is being debated, how many children are in this kind of situation, or something remotely close to it? I’m thinking 5% would be the absolute high end.

Here’s the thing: Seoul already provides free lunches for the bottom 35%.

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Minimum wage laws hurt more people than they help

Hawaii is considering raising its minimum wage. Again.

As always, the reasons are noble, but the results undermine them and make nearly everyone worse off.

Minimum wage proponents want to reduce poverty and increase the standard of living for the lowest paid workers. This is great, and I support this. Everyone, rich or poor, should rationally support such an objective. Problem is, a minimum wage does not do this.
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