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Minimum Wage and Its Effects on Economy: Article Analysis

Introduction and Summary

Introducing opportunities and creating a functional support system for those struggling to locate employment options is one of the central issues that the U.S. government must address. However, not all of the solutions that might seem effective on the surface will deliver the expected results. In his article “My Turn: $15 an Hour Minimum Wage Would Slow Economy,” Michael McMahan asserts that the increase in the levels of minimum wage to $15 per hour will only hurt those that experience poverty since it will lead to a drop in demand for labor, thus, minimizing employment opportunities for vulnerable groups (McMahan). Despite being rather one-sided and avoiding considering the arguments of the proponents of the wage increase, the article conveys an important idea about the nuances of relationships within the labor market, which makes the paper an important contribution to the discussion about the issue of wage raise.

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The article by McMahan contains several important points, yet the lack of focus on the specifics of the labor market and the theories behind its functioning weakens the assumptions that the author makes. Specifically, the main purpose of the article is to establish the urgency in reconsidering the regulation concerning the increase in the minimum wage rates. In other words, there is no specific key question that McMahan pursues in his paper; rather, he strives to convince the reader of the necessity to take immediate action to reconsider the proposed change to the current standards for minimum wage per hour (McMahan). However, one could claim that McMahan’s question is whether the government is capable of recognizing the problem that the suggested regulation will cause and whether the state leaders will amend the proposed law accordingly. Specifically, McMahan deploys what Elder and Paul referred to as the “slippery slope argument” (314). For instance, McMahan posits that higher wages will lead eliminate workers, which, in turn, will increase unemployment rates and, eventually, affect vulnerable groups.

When considering the factors that may have encouraged McMahan to write the article, one might bring up the gradual development in economic and political tension on a global scale. With the restrictions that the COVID-19 pandemic has created on the global trade and economic interactions between states, the need to consider the well-being of vulnerable groups has become particularly urgent (Warner and Zhang 177). Therefore, McMahan addressing the specified concerns in his paper should be regarded as a timely and sensible response to the alterations that may aggravate the current problem to the scale of a catastrophe.

What weakens McMahan’s argument slightly is the fact that h pulls most of his arguments from his experience rather than the objective analysis of the combined experiences of people in the labor force market. The latter approach would require conducting research in the target economic setting or, at the very least, consulting some of the existing research or reports, which McMahan fails to address. Overall, although the strategy that McMahan chose to approach the issue lacks substantiated evidence and provides s rather subjective viewpoint, his assessment of the situation appears to be quite legitimate. Therefore, the concerns that he raises are worth addressing.


Applying the framework of the elements of reasoning to the article my McMahan will show that it meets the key criteria, while slightly deviating from the established pattern. For instance, the paper has a clear purpose of discussing the problem with the increase in the minimum wage per hour (McMahan). Likewise, the issue, namely, the idea that the proposed change will do more harm than good, is established firmly. The key information is represented, although McMahan could have been more accurate in the statistical data that he provided, citing some of the recent trends in the labor market, specifically, the demand changes. Indeed, the lack of objective assessment and the constant reference to personal experience increases the subjectivity of McMahan’s judgment, which does not help to make the article more compelling. Similarly, the point of view is presented clearly, as McMahan argues that the suggested increase in the wage minimum will not have the desired effect. However, the article lacks inference, namely, the presence of alternative solutions that could help to amend the issue. Likewise, McMahan’s appeal to his own authority, as Elder and Paul define it, also makes his argument slightly weaker (314). Furthermore, McMahan does not detail which theories he applies to the analysis. As a result, some of the assumptions that McMahan makes could be seen as the result of taking the issue of wage increase for granted.

To understand the article better, readers might want to familiarize themselves with some of the key concepts related to the issue. For instance, the bargaining theory of wages might help explain the observed dilemma better. The specified theoretical framework introduces the reader to a large variety of factors that create the necessity to change the minimum wage rate (Baiju and Shamna 37). Therefore, the theory will shed light on the nuances of relationships within the labor market.


Although McMahan’s statement concerning the negative effects of raising the minimum salary considers only one aspect of the described change, specifically, the alterations in demand for the labor force in accordance with the exiting principles of demand and supply correlation, McMahan provides a very sensible commentary (McMahan). Therefore, despite the omissions of the essential discussions surrounding the nuances of economic interactions within the labor market, the article sends a reasonable warning that must be taken into consideration when introducing new regulations into the labor market setting. Although McMahan does use some of the manipulation tools, such as the appeal to authority when he credits himself for having a vast experience in business and economy, he still conveys an important point (Elder and Paul 314). Consequently, the author should be credited for rather thoughtful and deep criticism of the proposed change to the current regulations within the labor market.

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Baiju, K. C., and Shamna, T. C. “Determinants of Wage Differences between the Inmigrant and Local Labourers in the Construction Sector of Kerala.” Econ Polit Wkly, vol. 54, no. 31, 2019, pp. 35-43.

Elder, Linda, and Richard Paul. Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life. Foundation for Critical Thinking, 2020.

McMahan, Michael. “My Turn: $15 an Hour Minimum Wage Would Slow Economy.” Gaston Gazette, n.d. Web.

Warner, Mildred E., and Xue Zhang. “Social safety nets and COVID-19 stay home orders across US states: A comparative policy analysis.” Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis: Research and Practice, vol. 23, no. 2, 2021, pp. 176-190.

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