– Note: this video uses an example of a $5 minimum wage as an illustration only. The same exact point could be made with a minimum wage of $7.25, $9, $12.37, or any other amount, so please do not get hung up on the $5 amount. The point is whether or not the government ought to dictate the wages of a private transaction between a willing employee and employer.

Describe the main points of each video. Which one or two videos do you agree with more from an economic perspective and why? Be specific!

9) Based on your previous responses, do you believe that the minimum wage should be raised, lowered, remain as it currently is, or be altogether eliminated? If you think there should be a minimum wage, how would you arrive at the specific wage? You need to give a thorough reason for your answer.

10) Who should get to decide how much a worker gets paid, the worker and their employer or a politician? WHY?


OPTION 2 – Outsourcing

There has been much talk in recent time about outsourcing and “sweatshops.” Outsourcing is usually defined as occurring when a company chooses to export some of its production to foreign countries. Jobs in which foreign workers work in “sub-standard” conditions and are paid lower wages (than their American counterparts) are typically referred to as “sweatshops.”

1) What are some of the economic reasons why some firms choose to relocate some of their productive facilities to foreign countries?

2) With regards to low- and high-skill laborers, which domestic (American) workers may gain from outsourcing, and which domestic workers might lose? Why is this the case?

3) With respect to the types of products produced by companies that outsource, what effect may outsourcing have on domestic prices of these products?

4) If the US government wanted to reduce outsourcing, what changes in policy could it make to do so?

5) Please watch the following 2 videos regarding “sweatshops.”

John Stossel – Sweatshops

Describe the main points of EACH video. What evidence do they present to reach their overall conclusions?

6) After watching the videos, please tell me if “sweatshops” are a good or bad thing for foreign workers? WHY? You need to thoroughly explain your answer.


OPTION 3 – “Buy American” Provisions

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was passed by President Obama and Congress in response to the recession of 2007-2009. The primary components of this bill included tax cuts and increased government spending, with an emphasis on infrastructure spending such as roads and bridges. Included in the bill was a “Buy American” provision which required all manufactured goods (a few exceptions did apply) purchased with ARRA funds to be made in the United States. The intention of this provision was to increase jobs in the United States by preventing foreign companies from reaping the rewards of the new spending projects.

1) Are attempts to protect U.S. firms from foreign competition, such as the Buy American provision, good ideas? Explain.

2) Explain why some American companies might be opposed to this provision.

3) Explain whether or not you believe the Buy American provision would create jobs in the United States.

4) What do you think will be the economic consequences of a Buy American provision?

5) Do you believe the government should get involved in this aspect of private business, even when the available funds are coming from the government? If so, why? If not, why not?

6) Watch the following 2 videos:

Describe the main points of EACH video. What evidence do they present to reach their overall conclusions?

Which of these videos make more economic sense than the other? BE SPECIFIC! What points does the better video make that the other fails to adequately address?

OPTION 4 – “Worker-owned” Businesses


Some politicians have recently proposed ideas that would encourage or require more businesses to operate as “co-ops” or “worker-owned” businesses. In such businesses, the workers and the bosses get paid the same amount of money and have an equal say in the management of the business.

1) Do you believe that more businesses should be run in such a manner, as cooperatives in which the owner and employees make roughly the same amount of money?

2) What are the potential drawbacks to the owners of such an idea? What about drawbacks to the workers?

3) If you like the idea of “worker-owned” businesses, should the government require businesses to operate in such a manner? Why or why not?

4) Why do you think some politicians may want to pass laws that would require more businesses to become cooperatives?

5) Please watch the following two videos and answer the following questions.

Describe the main points of EACH video. What evidence do they present to reach their overall conclusions?

Which of these two videos makes the most sensible economic conclusions? WHY? Be specific.

OPTION 5 – Race- and Sex-Based Preferences

Some people argue that colleges and employers should give preferences to women and racial/ethnic minorities due to discrimination in the past (and maybe even now, as well). Others disagree and believe that such preferences unfairly hurt not only men and white people directly, but also indirectly hurt women and minorities.

1) Recently, California became the first state to pass a law requiring a gender quota for corporate boards. California SB 826 requires boards to have a minimum number of females. Please watch the following two videos:

CNBC: How a California law is changing boardrooms all over the country

Anastasia Explains: Race and Gender Quotas

Does this law help or hurt females? Explain in detail

Does this law help or hurt males? Explain in detail

2) Please watch the following two videos:

Pink tax: Why do women pay more for goods and services?

The Daily Show's Pink Tax Segment: DEBUNKED

Which video makes more economic sense? Utilizing economic principles, is the “pink tax” real? Explain in detail

3) Watch the following videos regarding the concepts of “diversity, equity, and inclusion” (DEI) and “meritocracy.”

Why Diversity Is More Important Than Meritocracy: Quotas, Talent, Wall Street | Sallie Krawcheck

Campus Reform: Students Support Diversity Quotas…Until It Comes to Football

Which concept is based on a person’s identity/immutable characteristics such as gender and race? Which concept is based on a person’s performance, experience, or skills?

4) Who benefits and who is harmed when governments or private businesses make hiring decisions based on “DEI”?

5) Who benefits and who is harmed when governments or private businesses make hiring decisions based on “meritocracy”?

6) Which concept, DEI or meritocracy, is most economically sustainable or feasible?

7) Which concept is most conducive to capitalism and which is most conducive to socialism?

8) Which of the above concepts would you like to be graded on in academia? In sports? In applying for a job? WHY? Explain in detail

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