Department of Economics Macroeconomics



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Department of Economics






Between 1973 and 2017, U.S. worker hourly wages practically stagnated, increasing only 12.4%, while productivity has increased by 77%. The result was higher profits and soaring inequality. Worker insecurity has also increased. The challenge of this essay is to explore why workers have fared so poorly and some of the policies that have been proposed to improve the quality of the work experience and its remuneration. A second goal is to practice writing a properly researched and crafted essay. Your papers should address the following issues.


1) What do Michael McCormack and Jeff Madrick see low wages in the U.S, as resulting in social fragmentation, political uncertainty, and lost economic output? What do they propose?


2) How do Dean Baker and Jared Bernstein link inequality to unemployment?


3) How can unions, according to Christian E. Weller, David Madland, and Alex Rowell, play a role in increasing wealth for the middle-class household?


4) Describe and assess the employment apocalypse that Kevin Drum sees coming.


5) Might a Federal job guarantee as proposed by Mark Paul, William Darity, Jr., and Darrick Hamilton definitively resolve the unemployment problem?


Your essays must demonstrate a critical comprehension of the above issues. They must draw from all the readings in Part II, Section E of the syllabus (Wisman and Reksten is optional), and each must be referenced. References may include either a direct quotation or an idea from the readings explained in your own words. Both must be appropriately cited. Your essay must use in-text citations and references as set forth in the endnote below.[endnoteRef:1] Counting everything, papers may not be more than 1250 words in length (You must provide word count at the end of the paper). It will be approximately three and 1/2 typewritten, double-spaced pages). This assignment is due at 11:20 a.m. on November 15. It must be submitted both in hard copy and electronically on our BB site (go to BB, Essay 2 submission, attach files, browse my computer, choose file, submit). [1: Examples of in text citation and reference: In text: “Only a crisis—actual or perceived—produces real change” (Friedman1962, ix). Friedman believes that the evidence supports the contention that competitive capitalism is necessary for freedom (Friedman 1962, 9). References Friedman, Milton. Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962. ]


P.S. To save paper and thus trees, please print on both sides of your pages and do not use cover sheets. Put title and your name at the top of your first page of text.


Grading: There are 10 points for this Essay:


Eight points for content (quality of essay treating all of the assigned readings).


One point for proper referencing.


One point for no more than 5 spelling or grammatical mistakes.


There will be a 2 point penalty for papers late 1-7 days. The penalty for papers later than a week will be the full 10 points and they will not be graded! There will be a 2-point penalty for papers longer than 1250 words.


Some hints on writing a good essay:


1) Outline your paper before writing it so as to ensure that the paper will unfold as you wish.


2) Choose a title for your paper that is suggestive of your essay.


3) State what your essay is about in the first paragraph (your thesis).


4) Divide your paper into sections with section headings (your outline will make this easy).


5) Bring your essay to a clear conclusion in the last paragraph.


6) Check for spelling and correct grammar.


7) Check that your references are correctly listed at the end.


8) Read your paper out loud.


9) Continue revising until a big smile spontaneously comes onto your face.


10) Ask a friend to proofread and comment on your paper.

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