Annotated Bibliography

Here are twelve sources I have summarized and analyzed.  Enjoy!

  1. Bronars, Stephen. “Why Conservatives Should Oppose the Minimum Wage.” Forbes. N.p., 1 Aug. 2012. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://www.forbes.com/sites/modeledbehavior/2012/08/01/why-conservatives-should-oppose-the-minimum-wage/#5cb5ee777311+&gt;.

SUMMARY

In his article entitled, “Why Conservatives Should Oppose the Minimum Wage”, Senior Economist Stephen Bronars responds to an article written by Forbes Contributor Adam Ozimek. He agrees with Ozimek’s claim that increasing the minimum wage makes it more difficult for teenagers and low-skill workers to gain valuable, hands-on work experience. However, Bronars claims Ozimek’s argument about the minimum wage hike increasing competition is unrealistic and states that raising the minimum wage will cost businesses more money and make them less competitive. Next, Bronars addresses one of Ozimek’s studies, claiming it was insightful but flawed and ambiguous. Bronars argues the study mistakenly claims raising the minimum wage would negatively impact the fast-food and restaurant industries, and even proposes that these businesses may benefit from an increase in the minimum wage. Finally, Bronars suggests sub-minimum wage for inexperienced workers as an alternative to raising the minimum wage.

COMMENTARY

I chose this article because it showed me how raising the minimum wage directly affects me. As a teenager who has worked several summer jobs, I recognized the importance of on-the-job training. Bronars’ argument about the minimum wage hike decreasing work experience for unskilled workers helped me develop my own opinion on this issue. After reading his and other articles, I favor the Conservative position: raising the minimum wage increases unemployment and hurts inexperienced workers.

  1. Smith, Noah. “Finally, An Answer to the Minimum Wage Question.” Bloomberg. N.p., 27 May 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <https://www.bloomberg.com/view/articles/2015-05-27/finally-an-answer-to-the-old-minimum-wage-question+&gt;.

SUMMARY

            In “Finally, an Answer to the Minimum Wage Question”, Noah Smith claims he is an ‘identificationist’. He applies the scientific method to the minimum wage question, stating that cities in the process of raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, such as Los Angeles and Seattle, act as ’guinee pigs’ for economic policy. Smith also argues that while the majority of evidence suggests that raising the minimum wage has minimal effects on employment rates, a substantial minority of studies have demonstrated otherwise. He cites the research of economists David Neumark and William Wescher, whose studies reveal negative effects on the employment rate. Additionally, Smith says some critics claim minimum wage will not only negatively affect employment rates but also result in a decrease in employment growth. Smith concludes by admitting that no firm conclusion can be made with current information. However, Smith hopes cities such as Los Angeles and Seattle will provide much needed empirical data.

COMMENTARY

While researching minimum wage, I found many articles claiming that raising the minimum wage and employment rates were completely unrelated. Smith acknowledged this evidence, but also provided research of his own. First, he included a 2013 review by John Schmitt of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. This review studied states that raised their minimum wage; it also studied cases where increasing the federal minimum wage had various effects. Next, Smith used two studies from supposedly credible economists to demonstrate his claim that the minimum wage has a large impact on employment rates. Finally, Smith alluded to a Forbes article by Adam Ozimek (See Source 1) for further Conservative views on minimum wage. By admitting that no definite conclusions can be made about minimum wage and by providing possible ways we can reach a conclusion, Smith shared a sensible perspective.

  1. Editorial Staff. “How A Minimum Wage Hike Affects You.” Information Station. Job Creators Network, 2 Oct. 2014. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <https://informationstation.org/kitchen_table_econ/how-a-minimum-wage-hike-affects-you/+&gt;.

SUMMARY

            In “How A Minimum Wage Hike Affects You”, the Editorial Staff of Information Station.org claim that raising the minimum wage will not only increase income: it will also cause a decrease in job opportunities. They explain that most minimum wage workers are employed in fields with low profit margins. This means that when labor becomes more expensive, employers often resort to firing their employees (instead of raising product praises). The Editorial Staff cites the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to demonstrate that raising the minimum wage decreases employment rates. They also claim increasing the minimum wage does not reduce poverty.   The Staff concludes by suggesting that the minimum wage solution is ironic because minimum-wage workers can usually get pay raises on their own.

COMMENTARY

This article built on the evidence cited in Smith’s paper (See Source #2) to support the claim that raising the minimum wage decreases employment rates. Because no author is provided for this article, its credibility is decreased. However, the Editorial Staff used several sources to support their arguments. For example, they cited the Bureau of Labor Statistics that claims the restaurant industry employs close to half of the United States’ minimum wage workers to emphasize the significant impact low profit margins have on this issue. They also cited the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, which said it expects 500,000 jobs to be lost if the minimum wage is increased to $10.10 an hour. Finally, they used research from economists at prestigious universities to demonstrate that increasing the minimum wage has not been shown to reduce poverty. Despite an unfamiliar website and even lesser known author, the arguments and evidence presented are sound and helped me realize the negative impact minimum wage hikes have on small businesses.

  1. Marginean, Silvia, and Alina Stefania Chenic. “Effects of Raising Minimum Wage: Theory, Evidence and Future Challenges.” Science Direct. Elsevier B. V., n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2017. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212567113001196/&gt;

SUMMARY

In her academic article entitled, “Effects of Raising Minimum Wage: Theory, Evidence and Future Challenges”, Romanian economist Silvia Marginean claims that raising the minimum wage has minimal effect on employment rates and that other research should be conducted on topics such as inflation and firm profits. Marginean supports this main claim with two additional arguments, claiming an increase in minimum wage will help reduce both poverty and welfare costs. Marginean utilizes multiple studies to support her arguments.

Marginean’s purpose was, “…to find… an explanation for the recent raise of minimum wage in some European Union countries and United States…” As evidenced by the 23 references on the works cited page, this article is replete with studies from various countries about the effects of raising the minimum wage on an economy. This paper primarily focuses on how increases in minimum wage effect employment rates. Numerous studies lead her to the same conclusion: a modest increase in minimum wage will not impact employment rates.

COMMENTARY

Marginean claimed that increasing the minimum wage has no effect on employment rates and reduces poverty and welfare costs. Her main claim is backed up by several studies, while her other claims are briefly mentioned in the concluding paragraph. She made these claims through a narrow-minded perspective and when Conservative arguments are considered, her arguments are substantially weakened. By “cherry-picking” her studies, she leads the reader to believe that there is no controversy over this claim. For example, in her introduction, she says that, “After many years of empirical research, studies seem to point fairly uniformly to the existence of small negative effects of higher minimum wages on employment and unemployment.” This simply is not true and research revealed many studies claiming that while increasing the minimum wage may not result in a decrease in employment, it does increase the risk of job loss.

Marginean also failed to address several Conservative arguments. First, a substantial minority of economic research and studies have concluded that increasing the minimum wage results in an increase of unemployment. This conclusion comes from basic economics: higher prices usually reduce demand. Second, raising the minimum wage makes it more difficult for teenagers and unskilled workers to gain experience and training that would increase their efficiency and future pay.   Marginean’s article taught me that formal diction and a narrow-minded perspective can sometimes mask faulty arguments.

  1. Kelly, Andrew P. “The Problem Is That Free College Isn’t Free.” The New York Times. N.p., 20 Jan. 2016. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2016/01/20/should-college-be-free/the-problem-is-that-free-college-isnt-free >.

SUMMARY

In his article entitled, “The Problem Is That Free College Isn’t Free”, resident scholar Andrew P. Kelly states that free college tuition is not actually free; it simply transfers the financial burden from students to taxpayers. While some argue that tuition free schools will lead to increased college access, Kelly asserts this will result in greater financial burdens on colleges and public budgets. Kelly also claims tuition prices are not necessarily the main obstacle to student success, and other problems such as educational quality and college readiness should be taken into consideration. Finally, instead of raising the minimum wage, Kelly suggests targeting funds towards students in need and encouraging them to use their resources wisely.

COMMENTARY

In this New York Times article, Andrew P. Kelly maked several insightful arguments. However, he failed to list any citations or sources for his statistics and evidence, significantly decreasing his credibility. This is why I focused more on his reasoning and relied on other sources for evidence. His argument that tuition prices were not the main obstacle to student success was compelling. Despite lacking reliable evidence, Kelly provided thoughtful arguments that I adopted as my own.

  1. Merissotis, Jamie. “Want to Be Happier and Healthier? Then Go to College.” The Huffington Post. N.p., 15 Oct. 2016. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jamie-merisotis/want-to-be-happier-and-he_b_8288354.html&gt;.

 SUMMARY

In “Want to Be Happier and Healthier? Then Go to College”, CEO of the Lumina Foundation Jamie Merisotis claims college will make you healthy, wealthy, and wise. She cites several studies including a Gallup-Purdue survey and a University of Maine study that found college graduates are less likely to engage in unhealthy or dangerous activities, have a longer life expectancy, and participate much more in their communities. Merisotis also argues that health and happiness should be valued just as much as the economic benefits of graduating college. She concludes by encouraging communities to work together to make college education more readily accessible. Merisotis suggests that working to decrease the talent deficit by combining commerce and creativity would result in many positive changes.

COMMENTARY

            While I do not believe college should be tuition-free, Jamie Merisotis’ article gave me a new perspective on why Liberals and many others believe it should be. She utilized the University of Maine study authored by Professor Phillip Trostel to support her main claim: college graduates enjoy not only economic benefits but also live happier and healthier lives. She used many statistics to illustrate this claim, including that college graduates have a life expectancy of seven years longer than those who did not graduate college. Merisotis also suggested ways to make college more readily accessible and gave examples of cities like Greensboro, N.C. and Dallas, Texas that are attempting to decrease the talent deficit. I still believe tuition-free college is not the solution. However, Merisotis’ article helped me understand the passion behind the Liberals’ view on this issue and made we aware of alternative solutions that I used to strengthen my own arguments.

  1. The Editorial Board. “A Promising Proposal for Free Tuition.” The New York Times. N.p., 5 Jan. 2017. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/05/opinion/a-promising-proposal-for-free-tuition.html?_r=0&gt;.

SUMMARY

In a New York Times article entitled, “A Promising Proposal for Free Tuition”, the Editorial Board announced an exciting possibility for middle class New York families. Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed a plan that will pay for tuition at public colleges. The plan is scheduled to go into effect by 2019, but requires legislative approval. Critics fear that this plan will increase the financial burden on public universities. Ultimately, the Editorial Board affirms that it is the Legislature’s responsibility to resolve the critics’ fears.

COMMENTARY

This article came from a usually Liberal source (The New York Times) but surprisingly contains many Conservative arguments. For example, the editorial board foresees possible problems with the new free tuition proposal including increased student enrollment and teacher and classrooms shortages. The editorial board also claims that Governor Cuomo’s proposal underestimates the financial burden that will be placed on public universities. These claims are supported by ample evidence taken from reliable sources including New York’s Independent Budget Office. I used the Conservative arguments made in this article to support my own Conservative beliefs about this issue.

  1. Gillespie, Patrick. “America’s Persistent Problem: Unskilled Workers.” CNN.com. Cable News Network, 7 Aug. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/07/news/economy/us-economy-job-skills-gap/&gt;.

SUMMARY

            In his article entitled, “America’s Persistent Problem: Unskilled Workers”, Patrick Gillespie asserts an increase in job openings signifies a decrease in qualified workers. He argues that employers may be partially to blame because their employee expectations are unrealistic. Gillespie concludes by citing economic professor Chris Tilly, claiming that too many Americans are going to college and not enough people are becoming blue-collar workers. Gillespie affirms that a rise in job openings is a red flag that should warn Americans about the ever-widening skills gap.

COMMENTARY

Gillespie’s claims regarding the skills gap helped me better understand the Liberal argument about tuition-free college. While I still do not agree with the Liberals’ solution of tuition-free college, I now comprehend the reasons behind their position. Gillespie used reliable sources such as UCLA economics professor Chris Tilly, Harvard Business School professor Joseph Fuller, and a research group called the Corporate Executive Board to support his claims. The direct quotes from the professors and the statistics from the research group strengthened his arguments. Also, by including related articles, Gillespie provided a way for me to delve deeper into this topic.

  1. Challeen, Dennis. ACLU: Conservative, Liberal, or Neither.” Winona Daily News. N.p., 21 July 2013. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://www.winonadailynews.com/news/opinion/columnists/local/dennis-challeen-aclu-conservative-liberal-or-neither/article_db56a0fc-f0ab-11e2-982d-001a4bcf887a.html&gt;.

SUMMARY

In “ACLU: Conservative, Liberal, or Neither”, community columnist Dennis Challeen identifies several Liberal positions of the ACLU, including advocating for the separation of church and state, (especially in schools) and the protection of freedom of speech (e.g., in the burning of the American flag). Challeen also notes situations where the ACLU seems to contradict their Liberal values. For example, the ACLU argued for conservative Rush Limbaugh’s Fourth Amendment rights. Challeen does not reach a definitive conclusion.

COMMENTARY

            Dennis Challeen’s purpose in writing this article is to help his audience reach a conclusion about their personal beliefs by first explaining the ACLU’s values and then sharing some of his own opinions. His article contained a brief overview of the ACLU’s beliefs and positions on various controversial issues. Then, Challeen alluded to a popular satirical online journal (The Onion) article entitled, “ACLU Defends Nazis’ Right to Burn Down ACLU Headquarters”. This hyperbole failed to recognize that the ACLU does not advocate violence in the defense of any civil right. Challeen then ended with some humor, joking that whether you like the ACLU or not, at least the ACLU will protect your First Amendment right to express your opinion. Challeen’s overview of the ACLU’s beliefs helped me establish my own opinion of the ACLU and helped me develop my arguments. I believe the ACLU is a threat to America because of its advocacy of abortion and other Liberal issues. This organization is also bad for the United States because of its atheistic perspective, which it tries to enforce by loosely interpreting the Constitution.

  1. King, Justin. “The Facts That Neither Side Wants to Admit About Gun Control.” Mintpress News. N.p., 5 Oct. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://www.mintpressnews.com/the-facts-that-neither-side-wants-to-admit-about-gun-control/207152/ >.

SUMMARY

            In his article entitled, “The Facts That Neither Side Wants to Admit About Gun Control”, Justin King examines flaws in the Liberal and Conservative gun control arguments. He claims that gun control laws have no effect on murder rates. King utilizes examples from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Australia to demonstrate this claim. King claims poverty causes more crimes than access to guns. He concludes by stating America doesn’t have a gun control problem: we have a violence problem.

COMMENTARY

Justin King provided an insightful perspective without an apparent Liberal or Conservative bias. He finds faults in both sides of the gun control issue and asserted that the problem is not a lack of gun restrictions but a lack of violence sensitivity. King gave several examples from history including a UK handgun ban in 1996. The homicide rate increased from between 10.9 and 13 homicides per million in 1990 to 28 per million in 2003. King cited several other similar examples, although he failed to list any sources. This somewhat lowers his credibility. He concluded that the real way to decrease crime rates is not by enacting more gun control laws but by changing society’s values. I adopted King’s claims and used his unique perspective to deduce that both the Conservatives and Liberals may be wrong.

  1. Samuels, Dorothy. “The Second Amendment Was Never Meant to Protect an Individual’s Right to a Gun.” Bill Moyers and Company. Public Square Media Inc., 4 Dec. 2015. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://billmoyers.com/story/the-second-amendment-was-never-meant-to-protect-an-individuals-right-to-a-gun/&gt;.

SUMMARY

In “The Second Amendment Was Never Meant to Protect an Individual’s Right to a Gun”, Dorothy Samuels states that the 2008 Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia vs Heller put the U.S. in a dangerous position. In this case, a 5-4 majority declared that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to a gun, at least for self-defense purposes. Samuels strongly disagrees with this court ruling and supports the Liberal position. She claims the Constitution is a living document and should be interpreted as such.

COMMENTARY

While Samuels argued that the Constitution should be interpreted as a living document, many Conservatives (including myself) disagree. Conservatives believe the Constitution should be interpreted according to the original intent of its writers and probably would agree with this Supreme Court decision. I found Samuels’ article very helpful in developing my own arguments. While I disagree with her opinions, her arguments helped me understand the Liberal perspective. Samuels’ arguments were strengthened by quotes from Judge Scalia, Saul Cornell (a leading Second Amendment scholar) and many other experts.

  1. Freiburger, Calvin. “Peer-Reviewed Study: Abortion is Not Safer for Women Than Childbirth.” Life News. N.p., 16 Aug. 2013. Web. 16 Feb. 2017. <http://www.lifenews.com/2013/08/16/peer-reviewed-study-abortion-is-not-safer-for-women-than-childbirth/&gt;.

SUMMARY

            In his article entitled, “Abortion is Not Safer for Women Than Childbirth”, Freiburger cites a study by Dr. Byron Calhoun published in peer-reviewed Catholic medical journal Linacre Quarterly that claimes abortion is not a safer alternative to childbirth. Freiburger included the full abstract of the study in his article, detailing statistics and empirical evidence that supports his claim that abortion-related mortality is underreported and the statistics regarding complications are unreliable.  Next, he claimes the Liberal argument that abortion is a safer alternative to childbirth is purely self-serving.   Freiburger states that Liberals’ arguments are riddled with lies: from what the embryo is biologically to what the Constitution says about abortion.

COMMENTARY

Freiburger presented some interesting arguments in his attack against Liberals who defend abortion. He cited a peer-reviewed study that claimed abortion is not safer for women than childbirth. Furthermore, the study showed that Liberals’ claims are unreliable and their evidence self-serving. I was able to use his claim that Liberals’ arguments are self-serving to strengthen my own arguments and beliefs. I have to admit a bias in favor of Freiburger as I strongly oppose abortion in most cases.

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