Wednesday Links: Wages, Pre-rolling in It, State Capitalism, Po’ Boys

Breakingviews would like you to know, in its coldly calculating way, that Americans earn too much relative to the rest of the world and that we need to earn less while they earn more. Why? Well, free trade, which if you take it to its logical conclusion, which its proponents rarely do so baldly, implies that wages will converge among countries somewhere down the road in some sort of equilibrium:

Global wage convergence is great for the poor but tough on the overpaid. It’s possible to run the numbers to show that American manufacturing workers should take average real wage cuts of as much as 20 percent to get into global balance.

The New York Times reports that online-video ads are “booming” at news sites. The Wall Street Journal is sold out of video advertising. Alas, news sites only get about 2 percent of all video streams of what’s about a billion-dollar market, though one firm projects it will reach more than $5 billion in five years.

— Martin Wolf of the Financial Times points to a “superb” report by the Bank of England putting the total gross value of the bailouts worldwide at $14 trillion. “This is state capitalism,” he says.

To put it bluntly, the banking system has been gaming the taxpayer on an intolerable scale. This must end, in one of two ways: the sector must be made subject to the market or become a heavily regulated ward of the state. Again, the curbing of huge credit bubbles must be an integral element in the formation of regulatory and monetary policies.

Finally, the Times reports that New Orleans legendary po’ boy sandwich is perceived to be under siege.

Po’ boy preservationists recognize a range of culprits, inside and outside the city limits.

A creeping monoculture is the most frequently cited threat, exemplified by chains like Subway and Quiznos, which are making inroads south of I-10.

Yikes. A quick look at Subway’s Web site tells us the chain alone has thirty-six locations in New Orleans proper. (h/t Heidi Moore)

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Ryan Chittum is a former Wall Street Journal reporter, and deputy editor of The Audit, CJR's business section. If you see notable business journalism, give him a heads-up at Follow him on Twitter at @ryanchittum.