Research Links & Critical Thinking Questions for October 2018 Topics

Sep 18, 2018 | Ideas For Teachers


Issue 1: Minimum Wage

U.S. Department of Labor: State Minimum Wage Laws
National Conference of State Legislatures: State Minimum Wage Laws
Economic Policy Institute: Minimum Wage Tracker  
The Guardian: “How Much Is an Hour Worth? The War Over Minimum Wage” 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Living Wage Calculator
Forbes: “McDonald’s Says Goodbye Cashiers, Hello Kiosks”
Issue 2: Fuel Efficiency Standards

Federal Register: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking from EPA and NHTSA
EPA: Greenhouse Gas Emissions from a Typical Passenger Vehicle
InsideClimateNews: “How Pruitt’s EPA Is Weakening Clean Air Rules” 
Reuters: “U.S. States Vow to Fight Trump Rollback on Auto Emissions” 
Washington Post: “Trump Administration Says Weaker Fuel Standards Saves …”
EPA: Estimate Your Carbon Footprint Calculator


Issue 1:  Minimum Wage

  1. Visit the U.S. Department of Labor link above to see if your state has a minimum wage law. How does your state compare to other states? Do you think it should be higher or lower than it is?
  2. How does the minimum wage issue relate to gender and race?
  3. Use the Living Wage Calculator (link above) to calculate your living wage. Should the U.S. should establish a “living wage” standard? Why or why not?
  4. Do you support or oppose raising the minimum wage? If you were speaking to a person who disagreed, what is the strongest argument in support of your position?
  5. Do you think that if the minimum wage was raised, it would ultimately help or hurt workers?


Issue 2: Fuel Efficiency Standards

  1. Does the responsibility to slow down or stop climate change belong to humans? Why or why not?
  2. Using the EPA’s Carbon Footprint Calculator (link above), calculate your carbon footprint. What does the term “carbon footprint” mean? Why do people care about their carbon footprint?
  3. On an individual level, what can you do to limit your “carbon contribution” to the environment?
  4. Are greenhouse gases a natural part of the earth’s climate system? Why or why not?
  5. Do you think the U.S. should weaken their fuel-efficiency standards? Why or why not?