Ideas for Teachers - October 2015

Resources for additional study: Minimum Wage Raise the Minimum Wage raisetheminimumwage.com University of Chicago Poll of Economists goo.gl/QvzwA2 Economic Policy Institute epi.org/pay/ Pew Research Center goo.gl/BB1x3A UC San Diego Dept of Economics Study goo.gl/PK4FTa Congressional Budget Office Report goo.gl/EPFmoY High-Speed Rail White House’s Position goo.gl/SmizZc American Public Transportation Assn. goo.gl/XtqqJo Heritage Foundation Commentary goo.gl/9OGiWz Campaign for America’s Future Commentary goo.gl/ZNHMOh Debate.org’s Pro & Con Arguments goo.gl/xLtbVR SGAP makes a concerted effort to provide links to reliable sources, and to provide links to a balance of left-leaning and right-leaning publications. Some of the links have been shortened for your convenience. Issue # 1Should the federal government raise the minimum wage? Those in favor of raising the minimum wage say all Americans should be able to earn a “living wage” – that is, enough money to maintain a normal standard of living by working a 40-hour week. They say if workers earn more money this will translate into fewer people needing government-assistance programs as well as more discretionary spending, which will fuel the economy. Those against argue that in a capitalist system the government should not intervene in free-market dynamics because this will affect companies’ ability to hire and pay workers, which could result in a loss of jobs. Should the U.S. raise the federal minimum wage? Issue # 2 Should the government spend money to build a national high-speed rail network and grant funding to states such as California? Those for an intercity, high-speed rail across the U.S. say it will spur growth, reduce traffic, increase mobility by offering an alternative to flying or driving and reduce our dependence on oil. Those against the idea of the government investing in a national high-speed rail say it is simply too costly, with the expense outweighing any benefits. They point out that some states, such as Texas, are utilizing private funding. Should the U.S. government fund a high-speed rail system through grants to specific states?