Saturday, May 1, 2010


Over the past week or so I've pretty much been doing a lot more research on the topics outlined in my last blog during the time we've had off. I've simplified the different things I've researched in to some general bloc-themes to cover in my paper: economic, political, and cultural evolutions in America that have affected the minimum wage in one way or another.

More specifically, minimum wage, as there isn't conclusive economic research about its effects/benefits/problems, can be spun any which way depending on the rhetoric/ideology of a time period. Especially, support of minimum wage primarily depends on peoples' perception of how/to what extent the government should interfere in everyday life. In other words, some would argue the government ensuring a wage floor harms freedom, while others would argue that a wage floor, especially a high one above the poverty level, should be enacted because Americans can only be free and independent (i.e. not on welfare, and not spending all time working) if they're free from poverty. Each political view has a very different definition of 'freedom.'

Some people put the burden of obtaining a higher wage on that of the poor, holding them responsible for improving themselves through education in order to demand a better pay (the idea is that employers can't afford paying higher wages if the worker isn't educated/skilled enough to be productive enough to create sufficient profits for the business to cover the higher wage paid by the employer). In contrast, others think that higher pay should be guaranteed and the burden of maximizing productivity from an unskilled worker falls on the employer, so the higher wages motivate the employer to invest in educating/training their employees.

That's not my thesis, but I guess you get the idea of the types of a couple of the things affecting minimum wage.

The main task now is to do more organizing/outlining, and then get writing, basically, in order to see what works and what doesn't. My interview is coming up in a couple days. I've communicated with the professor a bit and he's really nice.

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