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1.

What insight does the chapter give that you think most people wouldn’t know?

2.

Critique this statement in detail: “If there was no minimum wage, some people would have to work for 25 cents an hour!”

3.

Some people are concerned about robots and artificial intelligence replacing human labor. How would a series of increases in the minimum wage affect the adaptation of new labor-saving technology over time? Discuss in detail.

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CHAPTER THIRTEEN
argued that the interest of unions is not in improving the welfare of low­
wage workers. Instead, the critics say, unions are hoping to raise the cost
of the non-union labor, which competes with and is a direct substitute
for union labor.
Between 2014 and 2017 more than half the states raised their mini­
mum wages, as did many cities. Only a few locations have implemented
or scheduled minimums as high as $15. So far, the biggest hikes have
occurred in locations such as New York and California, where market
wages are relatively high. Hence, the adverse employment effects of many
of the new state or local minimums have been relatively modest-so far.
But if a major minimum wage increase were imposed at the national
level, the negative effects would likely be substantial, especially in the
low-wage rural South and among unskilled workers. As noted financier
Warren Buffett put it: “I may wish to have all jobs pay at least $15 an
hour. But that minimum would almost certainly reduce employment in a
major way, crushing many workers possessing only basic skills.”
NOTHING ls EASY
When politicians decide to raise the minimum wage, it is only after
heated battles often lasting months. Given the stakes involved-an
improved standard of living for some and a loss of job opportunities for
others-it is not surprising that discussions of the minimum wage soon
tum to controversy. As one former high-level U.S. Department of Labor
official said, “When it comes to the minimum wage, there are no easy
positions to take. Either you are in favor of more jobs, less discrimina­
tion, and more on-the-job training, or you support better wages for work­
ers. Whatever stance you choose, you are bound to get clobbered by the
opposition.” When Congress and the president face this issue, one or
both usually feel the same way.
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