Friday, August 29, 2014

Does raising the Minimum Wage really help the Poor? Business English lesson

Does Raising the Minimum Wage really help the Poor?  Conventional wisdom says that it does. You give poorer workers more money and they are able to meet their needs better.   Sepember 1st is Labor Day this year, so Mayor Eric Garcetti  of Los Angeles  my hometown, wants to raise the minimum wage.  

Read this article and be prepared to discuss it with your English teacher 
http://time.com/3212237/minimum-wage-labor-day-california/

Key Terms
stiffs 
called for goosing
is typically sold
business magnate and philanthropist
would help lift people out of poverty
shrinking share
six figures
government diktat
widgets
working poor
photo-op
savvy politician 
economic intervention

Questions
What percentage of workers actually earn the minimum  wage? 
Are they all poor people? 
How long do workers work at this low wage?
What is a better way to benefit poor people? Why do poor workers stay at the minimum wage?
What is the goal of raising the Minimum Wage?  To help poor people, or to help workers? 
What do the politicians say about it?
Did you know about Labor Day and what it stands for? 
What was your first job?  What did it pay? 
What tasks did you have? 
Did you like the job?  How long did you work there? Why did you leave? 
What job do you have now? How did you get it? How is it different from your first job? 

Case Study
You feel it is time for a raise at your job. You have a meeting with your boss next week to ask for the raise.  Role play with your teacher the points that you want to say to convince that you are worth more money in your job. 


Lesson Plan by Rachael Alice Orbach, Professional English Teacher 

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