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  1. Kenneth Waltz revolutionized the way international relations scholars approach conflict in international relations theory with his 1959 book "Man, the State, and War". Waltz claimed that theories fell into one of three explanations; government-level explanations, individual-level explanations, and system-level explanations. He noted that explanations of war were more or less persuasive depending on the actor in focus (or "unit of analysis"). Focusing on different actors at different levels could obscure or highlight different problems related to war theorizing. The "units of analysis" concept has utility outside of conflict theory. The debate over minimum wage is overwhelmingly discussed in terms of its impact on individual people. Proponents of the minimum wage tend to argue that it will help individual people escape poverty, that peoples' spending will spur growth, and people will not lose jobs from the minimum wage. Opponents of the minimum wage tend to frame their impact articulation in similar terms – people will lose jobs, people will spend less, people's job quality will decrease. As with war theory, focusing exclusively on individuals as the unit of analysis has analytical limitations. This article will begin with a different starting point and a different unit of analysis – the business. While businesses are discussed in the minimum wage literature, they are usually a secondary afterthought relevant to the extent they impact people; more/fewer people are employed by businesses, people will leave/stay at their business, and the like. Instead of treating the business as an afterthought, this article will foreground the business and outline a framework that amounts to "business impacts first". Continue Reading
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