Monday, September 27, 2010

News Article Round-Up: Iraq and Minimum Wage Laws

Here are some interesting news articles, with my comments:

"Sunni Awakening" Officers Kicked Off the Force in Iraq

Now this isn't a good idea.  These guys switched sides during the worst of the insurgency in Iraq to fight against the al-Qaeda foreign fighters alongside the Shi'ite-dominated Iraqi government, never mind the sectarian divide that existed between them and their newfound allies.  The "Awakening" program brought peace to the Anbar Province, previously an ugly running sore claiming many American and Iraqi lives.

That being said, if they're not qualified for the positions they've got, perhaps some training or education is in order.  That appears to have been done in at least some of the cases here.  Having unqualified police officers and officials (at least some of them have been given the option of being beat cops, so they're not all being tossed out onto the street) is a bad thing, but depriving people who are likely to be al-Qaeda targets of the protection the police force has provided is a poor reward for what these men have done.

Wage Laws Squeeze South Africa's Poor

This is an example of the law of unintended consequences and why a minimum wage, or at least one that is too high, is not a good idea.  Businesses that cannot pay the minimum wage will employ fewer people or close down entirely, producing a net increase in human suffering.  And in South Africa, being unemployed is a heck of a lot worse than being unemployed is over here in the USA.

The image of the workers in the factory protesting the police coming to close the factory for violating laws intended to benefit them is rather telling.

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