Flash Mob Attacks

Paul H. Rubin —  9 August 2011

Glenn Reynolds links to a Christian Science Monitor story on flash mobs made up of black teenagers.  Cities mentioned are Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Chicago and Atlanta.  Criminologists are quoted giving their usual explanations, including high unemployment.  Black teenage unemployment is now about 40%.  Don’t forget that the minimum wage was increased in July 2009 to $7.25 per hour.  While economists understand the economic effects of higher minimum, there may be horrid social effects as well.

Paul H. Rubin


PAUL H. RUBIN is Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Economics at Emory University in Atlanta and formerly editor in chief of Managerial and Decision Economics. He blogs at Truth on the Market. He was President of the Southern Economic Association in 2013. He is a Fellow of the Public Choice Society and is associated with the Technology Policy Institute, the American Enterprise Institute, and the Independent Institute. Dr. Rubin has been a Senior Economist at President Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers, Chief Economist at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Director of Advertising Economics at the Federal Trade Commission, and vice-president of Glassman-Oliver Economic Consultants, Inc., a litigation consulting firm in Washington. He has taught economics at the University of Georgia, City University of New York, VPI, and George Washington University Law School. Dr. Rubin has written or edited eleven books, and published over two hundred and fifty articles and chapters on economics, law, regulation, and evolution in journals including the American Economic Review, Journal of Political Economy, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Journal of Legal Studies, and the Journal of Law and Economics, and he frequently contributes to the Wall Street Journal and other leading newspapers. His work has been cited in the professional literature over 8000 times. Books include Managing Business Transactions, Free Press, 1990, Tort Reform by Contract, AEI, 1993, Privacy and the Commercial Use of Personal Information, Kluwer, 2001, (with Thomas Lenard), Darwinian Politics: The Evolutionary Origin of Freedom, Rutgers University Press, 2002, and Economics, Law and Individual Rights, Routledge, 2008 (edited, with Hugo Mialon). He has consulted widely on litigation related matters and has been an adviser to the Congressional Budget Office on tort reform. He has addressed numerous business, professional, policy, government and academic audiences. Dr. Rubin received his B.A. from the University of Cincinnati in 1963 and his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1970.

2 responses to Flash Mob Attacks


    Yes, very insightful.

    The ONLY way out of this predicament is a reduction in wages across the board to less than $1.00 an hour, without benefits, so that we may compete with the Chinese better.

    CLEARLY minimum wages are a horrible concept.

    I much prefer 500 million dollar salaries for hedge fund managers who saddle corporations with debt, give themselves huge payouts, bankrupt that company, and move on to the next victim.

    I celebrate the hyenas of credit default swaps.

    John David Galt 9 August 2011 at 6:37 pm

    I can’t believe that mob action as widespread and long-lasting as that going on in Britain — or for that matter, what has gone on at every WTO meeting in the last 10 years — is either “understandable” or spontaneous. These criminal attacks are preplanned, presumably at enough cost to their organizers and participants that they expect to gain something in return.

    In other words, they’re terrorists. I say, send in the Marines and don’t stop until every single thief or vandal is dead.