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Abrun Nereim

The main claim held within the editorial Raise That Wage by Paul Krugman is that the
standard minimum wage rate in the United States of $7.25 an hour should be raised to $9, with
subsequent increases in line with inflation. Mr. Krugman does not shy away from any sort of
bias in his proposition either as he is particularly up front about his political beliefs as well as his
credentials. He presents his own personal political alignment relatively transparently as he
advocates several aspects of President Obamas ideas within his State of the Union Address
and simultaneously criticizing the decisions of the Republican controlled House of
Representatives. The immediate statement of political alignment only strengthens the
presentation of his own credentials as it focuses on the clear cut qualifications Mr. Krugman
displays whilst acknowledging towards the reader any preexisting bias of the author. In tandem,
these tools of rhetoric from the author serve to convince the reader that despite apparent bias,
Mr. Krugman believes in an objectively relevant claim: the minimum wage should be raised.
Paul Krugman proceeds to develop his own ethical appeal by mentioning to the reader
that he has literally written the book on economics: he has his own academically published text
on the subject of macroeconomics. In reminding the reader of this fact, Krugman is able to
reinforce the idea that despite his inherent bias, the idea of raising the minimum wage makes
sense from an objective macroeconomic perspective. As Krugman promotes the increase of the
minimum wage to $9 an hour, he makes the increase appear more reasonable by including a
more drastic, hyperbolic proposition of $20 per hour. By simply suggesting that such an idea is
extant, the reader feels that the proposed increase to $9 an hour is more reasonable by
contrast. At the same time Krugman states the more reasonable proposal of an increase to $9

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an hour is what is actually being proposed, he also advocates the lack of repercussions of the
policy proposal.
Paul Krugman explicitly states, relying on his own reputation, that such an increase in the
minimum wage would have overwhelmingly positive effects. Subsequently, he reinforces this
claim with a complimentary claim that the present minimum wage level is very low by any
reasonable standard. By making this claim in regards to any reasonable standard, Krugman
appeals to the reason of the reader and of his appeal itself. Such an appeal to reason serves to
develop his appeal to logos. The entire paragraph accompanied with this claim includes nothing
but factual and mathematical evidence reinforcing his claim and appeal to logos. In concluding
this sentence, Krugman includes the rhetorical question: Isnt it time for a raise? This question
is intended to challenge the reader to ask the question presented throughout the entire article
while the reader has just been presented with a collection of mathematical evidence reinforcing
the point the author is aiming at.
In supplementary appeal to the logical though of the reader, Krugman acknowledges
potential concerns the reader may hold in the form of concern for lost jobs as the cost of an
increased minimum wage. Krugman argues that according to natural and neutral studies
conducted with the United States, an increase in the minimum wage points to little if any
negative effect on preexisting jobs in the United States. Such suppositions by the author rely on
preexisting evidence and studies conducted on the subject matter and thus serve to develop the
authors logos.

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As Krugman admits that such relevant research is indeed ongoing, he also develops an
appeal to pathos as he focuses on the humanity of workers; he works with the empathy of the
readers of his article by suggesting that workers arent bushels of wheat or even Manhattan
apartments; theyre human beings. This emotional complements his rational appeal as
Krugman is able to identify with both potential readers: those who identify with text
predominantly logically, and those who identify with text predominantly emotionally. This
emotional appeal is continued as Krugman characterizes the population is overtly representing
as hard-working, but under payed. Such a supposition suggests an injustice directed toward the
portion of the working class earning minimum wage: presumably such a group makes up a
substantial portion of readers. This claim specifically appeals to this group in an emotionally
significant way.To the rest of Krugmans audience, such a claim exists as simply reasonable with
insubstantial repercussions.
Following this claim, Krugman proceeds to support additional liberal tax policies which
adhere to the theme of his article: benefits aimed at the underpaid working class yield positive
results. Krugman acknowledges a preexisting defect of an existing tax benefit aimed at the
underpaid working class and claims that the increase in the minimum wage he advocates
serves to adjust and correct this defect. This acknowledgement develops his ethical appeal as
he admits flaws in the current state of social benefits for the group he is representing; the new
proposition he advocates serves to fix the flaws he acknowledges. As Krugman develops this
idea, he undermines the credibility of the party which directly opposes the proposition he is
promoting. He claims that any objection held by the opposing partys claims rely on faulty logic,

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reinforcing his own point from a logical perspective. This undermining is accompanied by the
overt suggestion of disdain for the low-wage workers from Republican leaders. Such a
suggestion develops Krugmans appeal to pathos as he appeals to readers natural empathetic
feeling for the underpaid working class. Such claims also serve to vilify Republican leaders who
are Krugmans primary opposition to the argument represented.
In concluding his own article and argument, Krugman separates the majority of readers
from his opposition in saying the good news is that not many Americans share that disdain.
Such a statement appeals to the patriotism of the reader by suggesting people who typically
identify themselves as American typically do not disagree with him. As Krugman ends his
article, he amplifies this point by further alienating male Republicans as the party in the wrong.
Krugman also ends the entire article by reiterating the point he propagates throughout the
article: the minimum wage should be raised. This final inclusion finalizes the relation within the
readers head between the article itself and the point being made: the minimum wage should be