Law Review Articles

Bruce E. Kaufman, Institutional Economics and the Minimum Wage: Broadening the Theoretical and Policy Debate, 63 Industrial & Labor Relations Review 427 (2010) Total Pages Read: 18

This article went into detail behind the economics behind imposing a higher minimum wage and how this will affect our economy. Since I was an Economics major in college, I really enjoyed the author’s points, although I am not sure how someone unfamiliar with basic economic principles would have been able to understand some of his points. His best point for proving my thesis was his interpretation that a higher minimum wage may, in fact, increase economic deficiency in the marketplace. This helps my thesis since the obvious argument against it would be that a higher minimum wage would mandate employers to hire fewer workers due to the higher salary and thus have lower production. A higher minimum wage will make the employer’s employees happier and thus increase their production at work. This is a basic economic principle of the happy worker and this article’s author based part of his paper on it. In sum, by raising the minimum wage, employers may have to pay more to their employee but they will also possibly get more work out of them. This is a win for both sides since the employee will be able to have a higher standard of living and the employer will also see more production. This article did contain a bibliography.

David Neumark, William Wascher, Minimum Wages and Low-Wage Workers: How Well Does Reality Match the Rhetoric?, 92 Minnesota Law Review 1296 (2008)

This article discussed the history of the minimum wage regarding how it was initially enacted through the current minimum wage set by Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2007. This article weighs the pros and cons of enacting a minimum wage and how it affects our economy. I disagreed with the author’s conclusion that a minimum wage is not an effective antipoverty program. If we have a minimum wage which is equal to the current living wage, it will provide enough incentive for the worker’s to increase productivity that it will cancel out the increase overhead costs for salaries. I believe that if the minimum wage is set to an amount, for example say $12, this would give the employee’s an incentive to work hard to avoid losing their job. While this article did not touch on the concept of race, it dealt with the idea of minimum wage and whether it is beneficial for society. While I disagree with the author’s view that a minimum wage is a detriment, this article showed how the minimum wage has evolved to what it currently is today. There was no bibliography although the article contained 116 footnotes citing cases.


Debra Burke et. al., Minimum Wage and Unemployment Rates: A Study of Contiguous Counties, 46 Gonzaga Law Review 661 (2011)

This article studied the impact of varying minimum wage amounts on communities and how this affected their way of life. The study found that communities which had higher minimum wages also were the same communities which had higher levels of employment. This makes economic sense because employers will need to spend more money on employee’s salary which limits their amount of money to hire extra workers. However, if the government mandates a nationwide higher minimum wage, there will be no discrepancies between communities and thus should have no effect on unemployment rates. The author made good points regarding alternative means for minimum wage workers instead of pursuing a higher minimum wage however I think a nationwide change to the minimum wage is still the best way to meet the goal of economic equality.

            This author did not include a bibliography; however the law review article did contain 122 footnotes which cited specific sources

Anjana Samant, “Race, Religion, and National Origin in Post-9/11 Employment Discrimination Cases in the Wake of Discrimination Against People Perceived to Be of Middle-Eastern Descent, Courts Have Had to Revisit the Hazy Boundary Between Race and National Origin, as Well as Consider the Potential Overlap Between These Categories and Religion”, Practical Litigator Journal, March 2009 Total Pages Read: 14

This journal article talks about the types of employment discrimination minorities have had to deal with in the United States after the 9/11 attacks. Many of these people have been denied jobs so their families have suffered economically. Others have been forced to take jobs which pay them well below what they deserve to be earning. This leads to lower levels of economic equality between races since whites continue to prosper while minorities are denied jobs. If our government had enacted a higher minimum wage, these people would not be forced to take jobs which fail to provide them with the proper means to enjoy a better lifestyle. After 9/11, Middle Eastern Americans have relegated to poor paying jobs and have begun a cycle of poverty. A higher minimum wage floor may deter that poverty cycle and ensure a higher standard of living. I agree with author’s point that the American society was shocked by 9/11 and its aftermath but the treatment of the Middle Eastern people has been unnecessarily cruel. A higher minimum wage helps people who are being oppressed by ensuring them to receive a fair wage for their work. There was no bibliography for this article.

Brenda Valle, You Don't Have to Reinvent the Wheel: A Comparison of Wage and Hour Laws, Their Effects on the Latino Family, and What We Can Learn from Them, 8 Hastings Race & Poverty Law Journal 137 (2011) Total Pages Read: 16

            This article discusses the economic problems which Latinos, the fastest growing minority in the United States, have been suffering. This race has historically worked lower paying jobs so a raise in the minimum wage may affect their race more than others. A higher wage will allow these people to obtain a higher standard of living. This article studied wages for Latinos in certain US states and how they have been negatively affected by current hourly wage laws. I agree with the author’s contention that our government does not need to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to economic policy for the Latino people. I think a solution for many of their problems would be a higher minimum wage. I think the author’s best point was that as the Latino population grows, so will the number of workers in these lower paying jobs which thus makes it all the more important to make sure that this group of people is protected. We need to protect the Latino population from being taken advantage of and being forced to work jobs which pay salaries that make it almost impossible to support their families. A higher minimum wage may not solve all of their problems, but I think it would be a step in the right direction. There was no bibliography although the article contained 32 footnotes citing cases.