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According to the author, Social Security is an essential
program, but its future is looking unpromising unless we start
by eliminating the payroll tax cap.
In the author’s proposal to keep the funding open, the author
proposes the acceptance of Bernie Sanders’ “Keeping Our
Social Security Promises Act,” which the author suggests would
removes the payroll tax cap. To elaborate further, the author
stated that the reason for the cap on the social security is
because of the uneven amount of participation during elections
which makes the rich influential in governance. The author
stated that, research have found that the rich who made over
$125,000 contributed 35% in campaigns. According to the
author, this act causes a major problem regarding the shaping of
the social security because people with lower income would not
be able to contribute that amount of money towards campaigns.
The author also states that it causes greater income equality,
since those who contribute are rich and as a matter of fact get
more benefits from political power in the form of payroll tax
cap. This in the authors words, compromises the state of social
welfare in the United States because those active in politics
don’t have the same views as the poor who are focused on
housing, poverty, and health. Congressional Research Service
was used to predicts that, if tax cap is not removed, there will
be a permanent increase of tax rate from 12.4% to 15.1% which
would hurt people making less than the current tax cap currently
at $132,900 or, cutting benefits by 20% in 2035 and
continuously rising every year.
In as much as the author makes a good point on the percentage
of rich people that donated to campaign, the author failed to
state how much the rich get in payroll tax cap since that is a
major part of the authors argument. The authors failed to
indicate how an increase in tax rate would affect people making
less than the current tax cap which is $132,900. To sum it up,
the author failed to expand and give more numeric evidence to
support the argument.
In addition, to provide a guideline in eliminating payroll tax
cap, the author suggested a bill introduced by Bernie Sanders
called, Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act. The bill
according to the author seeks to remove the cap placed on
payroll taxes. The author further stated the bill will help
Solvency to expand for 75 years without increasing taxes for
those who earn less than $250,000, the only people who will see
a change are those earn more than $250,000. According to the
Congressional Research Service as stated by the author,
removing the cap would eliminate 84% of the projected
shortfall. The author stated that, the top 200 CEOs would have
to contributed $341,291,106 towards Social Security when the
tax cap is removed. In addition, the author stated that, removing
the cap would eliminate 84% of the projected shortfall. The
author proposes an increase in the taxable payroll from 12.40%
to 12.83% to keep it solvent for 75 years. This as stated by the
author is the best solution, compared to increasing the taxable
income by 2% each year to cover 90 % earnings which would
only cover 25% of the projected shortfall and increase the
taxable payroll by 2.02%.
In conclusion, the author made a good point in stating the
policy proposal but failed to give numerical evidence as to what
the top 200 CEO’s currently contribute in comparison to what
they would contribute. Also, the author failed to show how
increasing taxable payroll from 12.40% to 12.83% would keep
the social security solvent for 75 years. In the concluding
paragraph, the author called for people to vote which in my
opinion diverted the argument from eliminating payroll tax cap.
Kamala Harris, the California senator and former Democratic
presidential candidate,
proposed a policy to address the gender wage gap by shifting
responsibility from individuals to
prove the existence of the gap to corporations. The gender wage
gap experienced by full-time
women employees in the United States results in an averaged
total loss of more than $916 billion
every year (National Partnership for Women & Families).
Similar policies have been proposed
by Democrats such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
The gender pay gap has remained relatively stable since it
narrowed in the 1980s, as
women earning rose from 60 percent of what their men made to
about 75 percent (The Library of
Economics and Liberty). However, complacency questioning the
significance of the wage gap is
misplaced. Women in the United States are paid 82 cents for
every dollar paid to men, which
results in an annual gender wage gap of $10,194. The disparity
is more prevalent in different
races, as Black women are paid 62 cents, Native American 57
cents and Latinas 54 cents for
every dollar of a white, non-Hispanic man. In the United States,
women head 15 million family
households and of that, 26 percent have family incomes that fall
below the poverty level.
Therefore, in these millions of cases eliminating the wage gap
would provide substantive
economic relief to households reliant on the women’s wage
(National Partnership for Women &
Families).
Economist Francine Blu and Lawerence Kahn have found that
observable factors such as
education, job experience, and hours of work can explain
around 33 percent of the wage gap,
previously determined to be 55 percent. Rather the residual, the
remainder of the gap, can not be
explained by observable factors. This can be the result of
women’s choice of work and gender
discrimination (The Library of Economics and Liberty). The
pervasiveness of these factors is
difficult to be held legally accountable for. Workplace culture
enables gender stereotypes and the
devaluation of women’s skill and time (The Washington Post).
“The Impact of Equal Pay on
Poverty and the Economy” found that gender wage
discrimination has led to the misallocation of
human capital leading to women working in less productive
roles.
Senator Kamala Harris proposes to hold corporations
accountable for permitting wage
inequality. The policy requires companies with 100 employees
or more must obtain “Equal Pay
Certification” from the Equal Employment and Opportunity
Commission (EEOC) within two
years of her presidency. Companies can be fined 1% of their
average daily profits during the last
fiscal year for every 1% wage gap, in consideration to
differences in position, experience and
performance. Eliminating the wage gap in corporations is vital
as the American Association of
University Women found that women make 64 percent of
primary, sole, or co-breadwinners of
their families. Long-term economic security for such families
can be achieved through equal pay.
A 2010 report by the joint economic committee in the House
found that addressing the gender
wage gap is necessary as the latter results in lower contributions
to employer-sponsored
retirement plans and Social Security benefits. These benefits
become a substantial source of
income, providing nearly $12,000 for older women. Majority of
Social Security beneficiaries are
women, 55.5 percent represent age 62 and older and 65 percent
age 85 and older (Social Security
Administration Factsheet).
The argument emerges whether companies are willing and able
to disclose the necessary
information to receive certification. Critics find these data-
sharing processes as too burdensome
for companies. A fact sheet from the National Women’s Law
Center reports that in recent years
businesses have taken similar analyses in regards to equal pay
audits or performance evaluations.
The significance of the gender pay gap is not exclusive.
Necessary action is needed to
make sure everyone’s mother, daughter, sister, and grandmother
efforts are accounted for.
Citations
●
https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GenderGap.html#lfHenders
onCEE2-070_figure_02
6
● https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-
work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/ameri
cas-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf
● https://iwpr.org/publications/impact-equal-pay-poverty-
economy/
● https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9118a9ef-
0771-4777-9c1f-8232fe70a45c/
compendium---sans-appendix.pdf
● https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/women-alt.pdf
● https://kamalaharris.org/policies/equal-pay/full-policy/
https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GenderGap.html#lfHenders
onCEE2-070_figure_026
https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GenderGap.html#lfHenders
onCEE2-070_figure_026
https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-
work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/americas-women-and-
the-wage-gap.pdf
https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-
work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/americas-women-and-
the-wage-gap.pdf
https://iwpr.org/publications/impact-equal-pay-poverty-
economy/
https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9118a9ef-0771-
4777-9c1f-8232fe70a45c/compendium---sans-appendix.pdf
https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9118a9ef-0771-
4777-9c1f-8232fe70a45c/compendium---sans-appendix.pdf
https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/women-alt.pdf
https://kamalaharris.org/policies/equal-pay/full-policy/
Op-Ed Rubric
Prof. Hankinson
Spring 2020
Components of a Successful Op-Ed
● Contains an “catchy” headline
○ I should have an idea of your position from the headline
○ Good example
■ “On Social Security, Tap the Wealthy to Support a Program
for All” - "On
Social Security, Tap the Wealthy to Support a Program for All"
○ Bad example
■ “How to Fix Housing Policy”
● Doesn’t tell me anything about the argument
● Establishes argument in the opening paragraph
○ Good example
■ “Social Security is in peril these days, not because of its
finances, but
because politicians refuse to consider the most obvious, highly
popular
reform -- uncapping the payroll tax, which would essentially
shore up its
finances in perpetuity.” - "On Social Security, Tap the Wealthy
to Support
a Program for All"
● Describe the status quo
○ What is society like today, without the proposed policy? Why
is the status quo
inadequate?
○ Good example
■ “After remaining essentially flat in the 1950s and 1960s, the
prevalence of
obesity doubled in adults and tripled in children between the
1970s and
2000. According to new data from the Centers for Disease
Control, the
epidemic shows no signs of abating. Nearly four out of 10
adults are
obese; for children, it’s nearly two out of 10. Most 2-year-olds
today will
develop obesity by age 35, according to a recent projection from
our
colleagues at Harvard. The obesity epidemic affects every
region of the
country and every demographic group. But rates have increased
the
fastest among low-income Americans and racial minorities,
exacerbating
pre-existing health disparities.“ - "The Toll of America’s
Obesity"
■ Directly addresses need for policy in this space using
empirical evidence
to highlight problem
● Uses one piece of social science evidence for the existence of
the status quo
○ What are the politics that created this problem in the first
place?
○ What are the politics that are preventing your solution from
being implemented?
○ Examples of theories
■ E.g., Does the concentration/diffusion of costs and benefits
limit policy
action (J. Q. Wilson)?
https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should-
social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/on-social-security-tap-
the-wealthy-to-support-a-program-for-all
https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should-
social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/on-social-security-tap-
the-wealthy-to-support-a-program-for-all
https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should-
social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/on-social-security-tap-
the-wealthy-to-support-a-program-for-all
https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should-
social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/on-social-security-tap-
the-wealthy-to-support-a-program-for-all
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/health/obesity-us-
adults.html?module=inline
https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1703860
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/opinion/cost-diabetes-
obesity-budget.html
■ E.g., Does your policy require collective action and face the
problem of
free-riding (Olson)?
■ E.g., Are people simply unaware of the status quo, or
systematically
misperceiving it?
○ Good examples
■ Misperceptions of elected officials
● “Congress doesn’t know what policies Americans support. We
know that because we asked the most senior staff members in
Congress — the people who help their bosses decide what bills
to
pursue and support — what they believed public opinion was in
their district or state on a range of issues....As a similar study
showed, state politicians also do a poor job guessing public
opinion of their constituents. We found two key factors that
explain
why members of Congress are so ignorant of public preferences:
their staffs’ own beliefs and congressional offices’ relationships
with interest groups.” "Congress Has No Clue What Americans
Want"
● Cites a study showing that politicians are bad at guessing
public
opinion, such as systematically underestimating what share of
their constituents support climate change legislation.
■ Loss aversion
● “Obviously, programs like these don’t eliminate the costs of
moving away from dirty energy. But they can change the
political
calculus. When a policy calls attention to the costs of the
transition, as a carbon tax does, people are wary. When a policy
calls attention to the benefits, people often have a more
favorable
attitude and are willing to accept slightly higher costs.”
"Winning
the climate fight"
● ^Uses social science psychology, but needs a citation.
○ Bad Example
■ “Republicans and Democrats are gridlocked and can’t agree to
a fix...”
● Unsightful. Why are they at a gridlock? What are there
arguments/values that lead to disagreement?
■ “The X political party is in the pockets of Big Y...”
● Show me evidence of why? Is there evidence of how extensive
campaign donations to key decision makers?
● Propose a specific policy change
○ What is the policy or regulation?
■ “And this legislative session, a bipartisan coalition of
California legislators
is supporting the More Homes Act, which is sponsored by one
of us
(Senator Wiener). The bill would override local restrictive
zoning by
legalizing small to midsize apartment buildings (up to five
stories) near job
https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-political-
science-review/article/bias-in-perceptions-of-public-opinion-
among-political-
elites/2EF080E04D3AAE6AC1C894F52642E706
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/opinion/congress-
midterms-public-opinion.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/opinion/congress-
midterms-public-opinion.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/opinion/climate-change-
green-new-deal.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/opinion/climate-change-
green-new-deal.html
https://www.vox.com/policy-and-
politics/2018/12/7/18125644/scott-wiener-sb-50-california-
housing
https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill
_id=201920200SB50
centers and public transportation and set minimum affordability
standards
for some of those units.” - "Why Housing Policy Is Climate
Policy"
○ Who would it affect, in terms of beneficiaries?
■ “The legislation would also help existing renters keep their
homes in
areas that qualify for new housing. The measures are intended
to stem
the growth of super-commuters — workers who are priced out
of areas
near their jobs and forced to drive long distances to get to
work.” - "Why
Housing Policy Is Climate Policy"
○ How much would it cost?/Who would it harm?
● Describe at least 2 pieces of policy evidence supporting your
policy effects
○ What studies support the expected effects of your policy?
○ Who wrote the studies?
○ What are the specific findings of the studies?
○ Good example
■ “Moreover, liberal economists Emmanuel Saez and Jeffrey
Liebman
concluded that, because of income shifting and behavioral
responses, net
collections from eliminating the cap would be less than 60
percent of what
static projections claim.” - "Don’t Raise or Eliminate the
Contribution Cap"
■ “In 2018, researchers at the Education Trust found that in
many states
free college policies actually end up providing more resources
to
upper-middle-class students than more needy ones. A similar
studythat
zeroed in on Tennessee’s community college program showed
that about
half of qualifying students received no aid at all. Meanwhile, a
student
from a family earning over $160,000 annually could receive
more than
$1,400 in state subsidies.” - “The Cruel Irony of ‘Free’ College
Promises”
● Include a qualifying paragraph (2-3 sentences)
○ What are the tradeoffs of your proposed policy?
■ Are there reasons the policy may fail or not fix everything
wrong with the
status quo?
■ Are there people who will “lose” from it?
■ Why should we tolerate that lost/cost?
○ Good example
■ “One objection does have merit: Though carbon pricing would
spur huge
change in infrastructure and power generation, that alone would
not be
enough. It would not stimulate all the innovation the nation
needs in the
climate fight, nor would it change behaviors in circumstances
where the
desired price signal is muted or nonexistent. Carbon pricing can
do a lot
— but not everything...In those circumstances, the government
would
have to do more.” - "Want a Green New Deal? Here’s a better
one"
● Closing Statement/Call to Action
○ What can X group do to help achieve this policy goal?
○ E.g., “In June, the Women in Public Service Project will
convene at Wellesley
some 50 emerging women leaders from around the world,
focusing on countries
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/california-home-
prices-climate.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/california-home-
prices-climate.html
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/california-home-
prices-climate.html
https://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/liebman-saezSSA06.pdf
https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should-
social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/dont-raise-or-eliminate-
the-contribution-cap-7
https://edtrust.org/resource/a-promise-fulfilled/
http://www.ihep.org/sites/default/files/uploads/docs/pubs/ihep_s
tate_free_college_tennessee_promise.pdf
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/18/opinion/free-public-
college.html
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-a-green-new-
deal-heres-a-better-one/2019/02/24/2d7e491c-36d2-11e9-af5b-
b51b7ff322e9_story.html?utm_term=.38508ad07ef0
in transition, to offer intensive training and a cross-cultural
exchange of ideas and
resources....I hope other institutions will join the movement
towards leadership
parity, because if you have female students, and if you believe
that they will be
integral in leading the world in the 21st century, then you too
are a women’s
college. And if we get this right, the world will be a better
place—not just for
women but for everyone.” “Why all colleges should think of
themselves as
women’s colleges”
Sources
For public policy evidence, several trusted, nonpartisan think
tanks include:
● Urban Institute - poverty and inequality related policy
● Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget - federal budget
and fiscal issues
● Kaiser Family Foundation - health care and health policy
● Brookings Institution - general public policy
You are welcome to cite research outside of these groups, but
strive to explain their
background. For example, “The Center for American Progress, a
liberal-leaning think tank,
finds…” Or, “The Cato Institute, a Libertarian think tank,...”
Ultimately, these categories can be
fluid, but some organizations are extremely oriented towards
specific policy agendas,
threatening the objectivity of their policy briefs.
Here is a list compiled by The New York Times that categorizes
the most prominent think tanks:
https://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/think-tanks/
Rough Draft
A draft of your op-ed to be circulated blindly to a peer for
review
● Due Wednesday, March 18th, 11:59 pm
● Not graded, but will be penalized if judged
incomplete/incoherent
Peer Review
A write-up in response to your peer’s op-ed.
● 400-500 words,
● Due Monday, April 6th, 11:59 pm
● Verify that each component of the op-ed is present
● Grade the op-ed as if you were a professor
● Your review will be graded on whether it addresses each of
the defined components
○ State where the component is in the text
○ State whether the component meets your standard
Final Submission
To achieve an A, your op-ed must meet each criteria
● Include all of the above components
● Length between 600 and 700 words
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/why-all-colleges-
should-think-of-themselves-as-womens-
colleges/2012/03/09/gIQALFBf1R_story.html?utm_term=.a1842
4dc59c4
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/why-all-colleges-
should-think-of-themselves-as-womens-
colleges/2012/03/09/gIQALFBf1R_story.html?utm_term=.a1842
4dc59c4
https://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/think-tanks/
● 1” margins, double-spaced, submitted as a pdf
● Include a ‘Works Cited’ section formatted in the APA style
○ All facts must be supported in the text by their source
○ Formal in-text citations are not required, nor appropriate for
an op-ed
● Include a pdf/screenshot of the email sent to the media outlet
for publication
● Contain zero spelling or grammar errors
● Be submitted by Monday, April 27th, 11:59 pm
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According to the author, Social Security is an essential program, .docx

  • 1. According to the author, Social Security is an essential program, but its future is looking unpromising unless we start by eliminating the payroll tax cap. In the author’s proposal to keep the funding open, the author proposes the acceptance of Bernie Sanders’ “Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act,” which the author suggests would removes the payroll tax cap. To elaborate further, the author stated that the reason for the cap on the social security is because of the uneven amount of participation during elections which makes the rich influential in governance. The author stated that, research have found that the rich who made over $125,000 contributed 35% in campaigns. According to the author, this act causes a major problem regarding the shaping of the social security because people with lower income would not be able to contribute that amount of money towards campaigns. The author also states that it causes greater income equality, since those who contribute are rich and as a matter of fact get more benefits from political power in the form of payroll tax cap. This in the authors words, compromises the state of social welfare in the United States because those active in politics don’t have the same views as the poor who are focused on housing, poverty, and health. Congressional Research Service was used to predicts that, if tax cap is not removed, there will be a permanent increase of tax rate from 12.4% to 15.1% which would hurt people making less than the current tax cap currently at $132,900 or, cutting benefits by 20% in 2035 and continuously rising every year. In as much as the author makes a good point on the percentage of rich people that donated to campaign, the author failed to state how much the rich get in payroll tax cap since that is a major part of the authors argument. The authors failed to indicate how an increase in tax rate would affect people making less than the current tax cap which is $132,900. To sum it up, the author failed to expand and give more numeric evidence to
  • 2. support the argument. In addition, to provide a guideline in eliminating payroll tax cap, the author suggested a bill introduced by Bernie Sanders called, Keeping Our Social Security Promises Act. The bill according to the author seeks to remove the cap placed on payroll taxes. The author further stated the bill will help Solvency to expand for 75 years without increasing taxes for those who earn less than $250,000, the only people who will see a change are those earn more than $250,000. According to the Congressional Research Service as stated by the author, removing the cap would eliminate 84% of the projected shortfall. The author stated that, the top 200 CEOs would have to contributed $341,291,106 towards Social Security when the tax cap is removed. In addition, the author stated that, removing the cap would eliminate 84% of the projected shortfall. The author proposes an increase in the taxable payroll from 12.40% to 12.83% to keep it solvent for 75 years. This as stated by the author is the best solution, compared to increasing the taxable income by 2% each year to cover 90 % earnings which would only cover 25% of the projected shortfall and increase the taxable payroll by 2.02%. In conclusion, the author made a good point in stating the policy proposal but failed to give numerical evidence as to what the top 200 CEO’s currently contribute in comparison to what they would contribute. Also, the author failed to show how increasing taxable payroll from 12.40% to 12.83% would keep the social security solvent for 75 years. In the concluding paragraph, the author called for people to vote which in my opinion diverted the argument from eliminating payroll tax cap. Kamala Harris, the California senator and former Democratic presidential candidate,
  • 3. proposed a policy to address the gender wage gap by shifting responsibility from individuals to prove the existence of the gap to corporations. The gender wage gap experienced by full-time women employees in the United States results in an averaged total loss of more than $916 billion every year (National Partnership for Women & Families). Similar policies have been proposed by Democrats such as Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. The gender pay gap has remained relatively stable since it narrowed in the 1980s, as women earning rose from 60 percent of what their men made to about 75 percent (The Library of Economics and Liberty). However, complacency questioning the significance of the wage gap is misplaced. Women in the United States are paid 82 cents for every dollar paid to men, which results in an annual gender wage gap of $10,194. The disparity is more prevalent in different races, as Black women are paid 62 cents, Native American 57 cents and Latinas 54 cents for every dollar of a white, non-Hispanic man. In the United States, women head 15 million family households and of that, 26 percent have family incomes that fall
  • 4. below the poverty level. Therefore, in these millions of cases eliminating the wage gap would provide substantive economic relief to households reliant on the women’s wage (National Partnership for Women & Families). Economist Francine Blu and Lawerence Kahn have found that observable factors such as education, job experience, and hours of work can explain around 33 percent of the wage gap, previously determined to be 55 percent. Rather the residual, the remainder of the gap, can not be explained by observable factors. This can be the result of women’s choice of work and gender discrimination (The Library of Economics and Liberty). The pervasiveness of these factors is difficult to be held legally accountable for. Workplace culture enables gender stereotypes and the devaluation of women’s skill and time (The Washington Post). “The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy” found that gender wage discrimination has led to the misallocation of
  • 5. human capital leading to women working in less productive roles. Senator Kamala Harris proposes to hold corporations accountable for permitting wage inequality. The policy requires companies with 100 employees or more must obtain “Equal Pay Certification” from the Equal Employment and Opportunity Commission (EEOC) within two years of her presidency. Companies can be fined 1% of their average daily profits during the last fiscal year for every 1% wage gap, in consideration to differences in position, experience and performance. Eliminating the wage gap in corporations is vital as the American Association of University Women found that women make 64 percent of primary, sole, or co-breadwinners of their families. Long-term economic security for such families can be achieved through equal pay. A 2010 report by the joint economic committee in the House found that addressing the gender wage gap is necessary as the latter results in lower contributions to employer-sponsored retirement plans and Social Security benefits. These benefits become a substantial source of
  • 6. income, providing nearly $12,000 for older women. Majority of Social Security beneficiaries are women, 55.5 percent represent age 62 and older and 65 percent age 85 and older (Social Security Administration Factsheet). The argument emerges whether companies are willing and able to disclose the necessary information to receive certification. Critics find these data- sharing processes as too burdensome for companies. A fact sheet from the National Women’s Law Center reports that in recent years businesses have taken similar analyses in regards to equal pay audits or performance evaluations. The significance of the gender pay gap is not exclusive. Necessary action is needed to make sure everyone’s mother, daughter, sister, and grandmother efforts are accounted for. Citations
  • 7. ● https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GenderGap.html#lfHenders onCEE2-070_figure_02 6 ● https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our- work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/ameri cas-women-and-the-wage-gap.pdf ● https://iwpr.org/publications/impact-equal-pay-poverty- economy/ ● https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9118a9ef- 0771-4777-9c1f-8232fe70a45c/ compendium---sans-appendix.pdf ● https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/women-alt.pdf ● https://kamalaharris.org/policies/equal-pay/full-policy/ https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GenderGap.html#lfHenders onCEE2-070_figure_026 https://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/GenderGap.html#lfHenders onCEE2-070_figure_026 https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our- work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/americas-women-and- the-wage-gap.pdf https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our- work/resources/economic-justice/fair-pay/americas-women-and- the-wage-gap.pdf https://iwpr.org/publications/impact-equal-pay-poverty-
  • 8. economy/ https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9118a9ef-0771- 4777-9c1f-8232fe70a45c/compendium---sans-appendix.pdf https://www.jec.senate.gov/public/_cache/files/9118a9ef-0771- 4777-9c1f-8232fe70a45c/compendium---sans-appendix.pdf https://www.ssa.gov/news/press/factsheets/women-alt.pdf https://kamalaharris.org/policies/equal-pay/full-policy/ Op-Ed Rubric Prof. Hankinson Spring 2020 Components of a Successful Op-Ed ● Contains an “catchy” headline ○ I should have an idea of your position from the headline ○ Good example ■ “On Social Security, Tap the Wealthy to Support a Program for All” - "On Social Security, Tap the Wealthy to Support a Program for All" ○ Bad example ■ “How to Fix Housing Policy” ● Doesn’t tell me anything about the argument ● Establishes argument in the opening paragraph ○ Good example ■ “Social Security is in peril these days, not because of its finances, but because politicians refuse to consider the most obvious, highly
  • 9. popular reform -- uncapping the payroll tax, which would essentially shore up its finances in perpetuity.” - "On Social Security, Tap the Wealthy to Support a Program for All" ● Describe the status quo ○ What is society like today, without the proposed policy? Why is the status quo inadequate? ○ Good example ■ “After remaining essentially flat in the 1950s and 1960s, the prevalence of obesity doubled in adults and tripled in children between the 1970s and 2000. According to new data from the Centers for Disease Control, the epidemic shows no signs of abating. Nearly four out of 10 adults are obese; for children, it’s nearly two out of 10. Most 2-year-olds today will develop obesity by age 35, according to a recent projection from our colleagues at Harvard. The obesity epidemic affects every region of the country and every demographic group. But rates have increased the fastest among low-income Americans and racial minorities, exacerbating pre-existing health disparities.“ - "The Toll of America’s Obesity" ■ Directly addresses need for policy in this space using
  • 10. empirical evidence to highlight problem ● Uses one piece of social science evidence for the existence of the status quo ○ What are the politics that created this problem in the first place? ○ What are the politics that are preventing your solution from being implemented? ○ Examples of theories ■ E.g., Does the concentration/diffusion of costs and benefits limit policy action (J. Q. Wilson)? https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should- social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/on-social-security-tap- the-wealthy-to-support-a-program-for-all https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should- social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/on-social-security-tap- the-wealthy-to-support-a-program-for-all https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should- social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/on-social-security-tap- the-wealthy-to-support-a-program-for-all https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should- social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/on-social-security-tap- the-wealthy-to-support-a-program-for-all https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/23/health/obesity-us- adults.html?module=inline https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMoa1703860 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/08/09/opinion/cost-diabetes- obesity-budget.html ■ E.g., Does your policy require collective action and face the
  • 11. problem of free-riding (Olson)? ■ E.g., Are people simply unaware of the status quo, or systematically misperceiving it? ○ Good examples ■ Misperceptions of elected officials ● “Congress doesn’t know what policies Americans support. We know that because we asked the most senior staff members in Congress — the people who help their bosses decide what bills to pursue and support — what they believed public opinion was in their district or state on a range of issues....As a similar study showed, state politicians also do a poor job guessing public opinion of their constituents. We found two key factors that explain why members of Congress are so ignorant of public preferences: their staffs’ own beliefs and congressional offices’ relationships with interest groups.” "Congress Has No Clue What Americans Want" ● Cites a study showing that politicians are bad at guessing public opinion, such as systematically underestimating what share of their constituents support climate change legislation. ■ Loss aversion ● “Obviously, programs like these don’t eliminate the costs of moving away from dirty energy. But they can change the political calculus. When a policy calls attention to the costs of the transition, as a carbon tax does, people are wary. When a policy
  • 12. calls attention to the benefits, people often have a more favorable attitude and are willing to accept slightly higher costs.” "Winning the climate fight" ● ^Uses social science psychology, but needs a citation. ○ Bad Example ■ “Republicans and Democrats are gridlocked and can’t agree to a fix...” ● Unsightful. Why are they at a gridlock? What are there arguments/values that lead to disagreement? ■ “The X political party is in the pockets of Big Y...” ● Show me evidence of why? Is there evidence of how extensive campaign donations to key decision makers? ● Propose a specific policy change ○ What is the policy or regulation? ■ “And this legislative session, a bipartisan coalition of California legislators is supporting the More Homes Act, which is sponsored by one of us (Senator Wiener). The bill would override local restrictive zoning by legalizing small to midsize apartment buildings (up to five stories) near job https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/american-political- science-review/article/bias-in-perceptions-of-public-opinion- among-political- elites/2EF080E04D3AAE6AC1C894F52642E706 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/opinion/congress-
  • 13. midterms-public-opinion.html https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/31/opinion/congress- midterms-public-opinion.html https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/opinion/climate-change- green-new-deal.html https://www.nytimes.com/2019/04/10/opinion/climate-change- green-new-deal.html https://www.vox.com/policy-and- politics/2018/12/7/18125644/scott-wiener-sb-50-california- housing https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billTextClient.xhtml?bill _id=201920200SB50 centers and public transportation and set minimum affordability standards for some of those units.” - "Why Housing Policy Is Climate Policy" ○ Who would it affect, in terms of beneficiaries? ■ “The legislation would also help existing renters keep their homes in areas that qualify for new housing. The measures are intended to stem the growth of super-commuters — workers who are priced out of areas near their jobs and forced to drive long distances to get to work.” - "Why Housing Policy Is Climate Policy" ○ How much would it cost?/Who would it harm? ● Describe at least 2 pieces of policy evidence supporting your policy effects
  • 14. ○ What studies support the expected effects of your policy? ○ Who wrote the studies? ○ What are the specific findings of the studies? ○ Good example ■ “Moreover, liberal economists Emmanuel Saez and Jeffrey Liebman concluded that, because of income shifting and behavioral responses, net collections from eliminating the cap would be less than 60 percent of what static projections claim.” - "Don’t Raise or Eliminate the Contribution Cap" ■ “In 2018, researchers at the Education Trust found that in many states free college policies actually end up providing more resources to upper-middle-class students than more needy ones. A similar studythat zeroed in on Tennessee’s community college program showed that about half of qualifying students received no aid at all. Meanwhile, a student from a family earning over $160,000 annually could receive more than $1,400 in state subsidies.” - “The Cruel Irony of ‘Free’ College Promises” ● Include a qualifying paragraph (2-3 sentences) ○ What are the tradeoffs of your proposed policy? ■ Are there reasons the policy may fail or not fix everything wrong with the status quo?
  • 15. ■ Are there people who will “lose” from it? ■ Why should we tolerate that lost/cost? ○ Good example ■ “One objection does have merit: Though carbon pricing would spur huge change in infrastructure and power generation, that alone would not be enough. It would not stimulate all the innovation the nation needs in the climate fight, nor would it change behaviors in circumstances where the desired price signal is muted or nonexistent. Carbon pricing can do a lot — but not everything...In those circumstances, the government would have to do more.” - "Want a Green New Deal? Here’s a better one" ● Closing Statement/Call to Action ○ What can X group do to help achieve this policy goal? ○ E.g., “In June, the Women in Public Service Project will convene at Wellesley some 50 emerging women leaders from around the world, focusing on countries https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/california-home- prices-climate.html https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/california-home- prices-climate.html https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/opinion/california-home- prices-climate.html https://elsa.berkeley.edu/~saez/liebman-saezSSA06.pdf https://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2013/04/17/should-
  • 16. social-security-taxes-affect-all-wages/dont-raise-or-eliminate- the-contribution-cap-7 https://edtrust.org/resource/a-promise-fulfilled/ http://www.ihep.org/sites/default/files/uploads/docs/pubs/ihep_s tate_free_college_tennessee_promise.pdf https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/18/opinion/free-public- college.html https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/want-a-green-new- deal-heres-a-better-one/2019/02/24/2d7e491c-36d2-11e9-af5b- b51b7ff322e9_story.html?utm_term=.38508ad07ef0 in transition, to offer intensive training and a cross-cultural exchange of ideas and resources....I hope other institutions will join the movement towards leadership parity, because if you have female students, and if you believe that they will be integral in leading the world in the 21st century, then you too are a women’s college. And if we get this right, the world will be a better place—not just for women but for everyone.” “Why all colleges should think of themselves as women’s colleges” Sources For public policy evidence, several trusted, nonpartisan think tanks include: ● Urban Institute - poverty and inequality related policy ● Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget - federal budget and fiscal issues ● Kaiser Family Foundation - health care and health policy
  • 17. ● Brookings Institution - general public policy You are welcome to cite research outside of these groups, but strive to explain their background. For example, “The Center for American Progress, a liberal-leaning think tank, finds…” Or, “The Cato Institute, a Libertarian think tank,...” Ultimately, these categories can be fluid, but some organizations are extremely oriented towards specific policy agendas, threatening the objectivity of their policy briefs. Here is a list compiled by The New York Times that categorizes the most prominent think tanks: https://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/think-tanks/ Rough Draft A draft of your op-ed to be circulated blindly to a peer for review ● Due Wednesday, March 18th, 11:59 pm ● Not graded, but will be penalized if judged incomplete/incoherent Peer Review A write-up in response to your peer’s op-ed. ● 400-500 words, ● Due Monday, April 6th, 11:59 pm ● Verify that each component of the op-ed is present ● Grade the op-ed as if you were a professor ● Your review will be graded on whether it addresses each of the defined components
  • 18. ○ State where the component is in the text ○ State whether the component meets your standard Final Submission To achieve an A, your op-ed must meet each criteria ● Include all of the above components ● Length between 600 and 700 words https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/why-all-colleges- should-think-of-themselves-as-womens- colleges/2012/03/09/gIQALFBf1R_story.html?utm_term=.a1842 4dc59c4 https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/why-all-colleges- should-think-of-themselves-as-womens- colleges/2012/03/09/gIQALFBf1R_story.html?utm_term=.a1842 4dc59c4 https://ideas.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/10/think-tanks/ ● 1” margins, double-spaced, submitted as a pdf ● Include a ‘Works Cited’ section formatted in the APA style ○ All facts must be supported in the text by their source ○ Formal in-text citations are not required, nor appropriate for an op-ed ● Include a pdf/screenshot of the email sent to the media outlet for publication ● Contain zero spelling or grammar errors ● Be submitted by Monday, April 27th, 11:59 pm