struggle of the minimum wage worker and the ideas of worker engagement

Paper 1 Assignment Sheet

use the Chicago manual of style.…

ASSIGNMENT QUESTION: The documentary episode Minimum Wage from 30 Days shows the struggles of American workers trying to live off of a minimum wage salary. This has also recently been a hotly contested debate in the political and social realms of our nation. The argument for a raise in the minimum centers around how the rise in wages can lead to economic stimulus, more job opportunities, reduced turnover, and reduced expenses for social programs. Additionally, those for a raise in minimum wage suggest that it is needed for low-wage workers to continue to survive against the continually rise in inflation.

On the other side of the argument, some say that a rise in the minimum wage could be detrimental by increasing layoffs, decreasing hiring, raising prices, and minimizing opportunities for younger workers and those with less skill (as competition would increase). Throughout the documentary, we see how much people are struggling to make ends meet from paying rent to eating to health care.

In his book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, Dan Pink suggests that America has “too much compliance and too little engagement in the workplace” and that the nation needs a new “operating system” for the workplace. He suggests that heuristic work provides more productivity and will result in better solutions to problems as well as higher levels of worker engagement.

For this essay, take into consideration all the stakeholders in the workplace (workers, employers, families, the American public), all the levels of American workers from low-wage workers to upper management, and the workplace values that matter to Americans. Write an essay that looks at the struggle of the minimum wage worker and the ideas of worker engagement.

Can the concepts of engagement and meaningful work exist for a worker that receives minimum wage? Should the general American public care about this or is it just an inherent part (or part of the price) of capitalism?


1. Throughout your paper, you:

a. MUST use the following sources:

i. Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Dan Pink—Chapter 1: The Rise and Fall of Motivation 2.0 (19 pages)

“uploaded below”

ii. 30 Days: Minimum Wage Season 1, Episode 1 of Morgan Spurlock’s Documentary

b. CANNOT perform any additional outside research (meaning no additional sources beyond the two listed above should be cited in your paper).

4. Your final paper must be a minimum of four (4) full pages, double spaced, 12 inch font but no more than six (6)

5. You must follow ALL the paper formatting requirements listed on the syllabus and here on the assignment sheet

6. You must use Chicago citations throughout the paper and include a properly formatted Bibliography Page (which is NOT part of your final page count)

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