Economics Question


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In San Francisco, the fear of losing jobs to automation after an increase to the minimum wage has motivated two similar policy proposals aimed at discouraging or banning automation. As a student of economics and someone who will soon enter the job market, you find this issue interesting and relevant. [For simplicity, assume these policies are only occurring in or are only proposed for the San Francisco area. Also assume the ban is for automation in general, not just delivery robots.]


Write a letter to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors regarding the two policy proposals under consideration: a tax on automation (Ms. Kim’s proposal) or a ban on automation (Mr. Yee’s proposal). Your letter should:

  • Briefly explain the economic impact of a minimum wage increase (moving from nonbinding to binding) in the labor market, and its extended effect on the automation market as well as the market for a good which may be produced using labor, automation or some combination of the two;
  • Identify one of the two proposed policies and construct an argument, based in the economics you’ve learned in class, for why you oppose the policy.
    • You, personally, may oppose both policy proposals, but your paper should focus on only one policy, given the word count limit.
    • Your argument of opposition should not be based in your support for the other proposed policy.
    • While your letter is a normative economic assessment, majority of the letter should consist of positive economic analysis. [While you may have strong opinions on this subject based in moral or ethical reasoning, the purpose of this assignment is to see your ability to use the economic tools you’ve learned to analyze the situation.]
    • Explain the economic impact of this policy proposal on these same markets, highlighting the economic reasoning for opposing the policy;
    • Start your analysis assuming the minimum wage increase already occurred.
  • Be persuasive.

Items to keep in mind:

  • The Board of Supervisors likely has some knowledge of economics. Your explanations may assume prior general knowledge consistent with our coverage of Supply, Demand, Consumer Surplus, Producer Surplus, and Efficiency (Chapters 3, and 4). The supervisors understand the definitions of these terms, but not necessarily how they interact specifically to this problem. For example, the Board of Supervisors do not immediately understand how a price change in the labor market affects related markets.
  • The provided article must be cited. External references are not required but also must be cited, if used. Either APA format or MLA format are acceptable.
  • Since you are writing to the Board of Supervisors, you should take care to carefully edit and proofread your letter.
  • Your letter should be between 400-500 words (this includes your first draft) and should follow the conventions of a professional letter, including a To and From section as well as a professional and courteous tone. Please sign your letter “A Concerned Citizen” since anonymity is needed for peer review. Please include a word count at the end of your assignment. [The word count may exclude the “To” and “From” lines, as well as the parenthetical citations within your paper. Note quotations within your paper still count. Don’t forget that both the minimum and maximum limits to the word count are important on all drafts.]
  • For ease of grading, please make sure your paper is in Times New Roman, 12pt font, and double spaced.

Teacher Feedback: Good first attempt at this prompt! Here’s where your paper stands on the rubric and what you should address to improve your memo for the final draft:
CONCEPTS & ACCURACY: Missing (2 pts)
Consider further elaborating on the differences between a binding and non-binding price floor
Is there a better, more direct way to describe the relationship between automation and labor?
How are a ban and a quota related?
LINKING CONCEPTS: Missing (2 pts)
Be sure to explain how a ban on automation affects the labor market
Further explain what ultimately happens to quantity in the market for final goods and services
CONCISENESS: Meets (5 pts)
Good job staying in the word count!
Do you think the use of your quote is entirely necessary?
Consider the reasons for banning automation in the first place. Do you think that there will be less jobs in the labor market?
Your essay is well understood!

* I already wrote the rough draft for this letter but what I need you to do is go in and make the changes that my teacher said I needed to make (where I put teacher feedback) in order to reach the maximum amount of points for this assignment. The letter needs to stay within 500 words but it is already at 499 so feel free to take out any misleading or unuseful information so long as it checks off everything in the rubric (which I uploaded two pictures of)*

* The paper is due tonight at 11:59 pm so i need it tonight by 11:30!* If you have any questions feel free to ask me anything, thank you!

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