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The Contender
Con (against)
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A just society should ensure all workers receive a minimum living wage.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/25/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,272 times Debate No: 60702
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (34)
Votes (1)





This debate is for the Adopt-A-Noob Tournament []. I wish my opponent, lannan13, congratulations on winning his debate, the best of luck, lots of fun, and that we both learn from this debate!


A just society should ensure all workers receive a minimum living wage.
(Esocial - Pro; Lannan - Con).


Burden of Proof is shared.
Any citations or foot/endnotes must be provided in the text of the debate
Wikipedia will not be accepted as a valid source.
No new arguments in the final round.
Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere.
Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss.


R1: Con starts off with his definitions and constructives.
R2: Pro's Constructives and Con begins rebuttals.
R3: Pro's rebuttals and Con's final statements.
R4: Pro's final statements and Con posts, 'No round as agreed upon.'


Just- acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good [1]

Society- people in general thought of as living together in organized communities with shared laws, traditions, and values, or the people of a particular country, area, time, etc., thought of especially as an organized community [2]

All- the whole, entire, total amount, quantity, or extent of [3]

Worker- a person who does a particular job to earn money [4]

Wage and salary workers- These are workers age 16 and older who receive wages, salaries, commissions, tips, payments in kind, or piece rates on their sole or principal job. This group includes employees in both the private and public sectors. All self-employed workers are excluded whether or not their businesses are incorporated. [5]

Minimum wage- the lowest wage paid or permitted to be paid; specifically : a wage fixed by legal authority or by contract as the least that may be paid either to employed persons generally or to a particular category of employed persons. [6]







Thanks and good luck again to lannan13 for what I am sure will be a great debate!



I appolygize for the late start as I have been with a terrible sickness lately.

Contention 1: Wage Increase=/= More Jobs

Wages will not increase jobs For instance the wage will increase and the employers will have to either raise prices in order to shelter the burden of the increased wages (which we'll get to this in another Contention) and the second is that we have roughly 500,000 jobs lost due to the cutting of jobs in order for business can still compete with others at low prices. You see that CBO actually supports my point (

This will also hurt teenagers in the Workforce making employers having to cut down on their hours and/or favoring adults and a older population. Let's take Wisconsin for example when the minimum wage was last raised the unemployment soared from 15.8%-19.8%. ( Imagine that on a US wide or even a world wide scale.

1 million jobs lost subtracted from the 900,000 that will be lifted from the poverty line and that equals 100,000 people unemployed and living in poverty. Not to mention the other side effects from raising the minimum wage such as loss of jobs for teenagers. The last time Congress raised the minimum wage in July of 2009, 600,000 teen jobs disappeared within 6 months. ( the last minimum wage teen unemployment percentages went from 14.8% to 27.1% (

The Inflation will also rise, but let's look at the minimum wage increase. It's going to go from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour which is over a 25% increase. (in the US) This will cause prices to rise by 25% again. (

Contention 2: Inflation
Why don't we raise the minimum wage to $20 per hour or why not make everyone a millionaire and have them make $million per hour? The answer to this question is a very simple one and it's simply causes prices to increase and inflation to rise. (

You see this is a lesson in supply and demand is that when the minimum wage is increased it will cost more for companies to hire and train employees causing more people not to be hired (see video), this results in less jobs, the costs of businesses also rise to keep up with the increased wages and that this ends up causing inflation. (

You see this will be a continuous cycle. If you continue to rise the minimum wage then inflation will fallow causing the minimum wage to rise again and again until we end up with a problem like Zimbabwe. When the minimum wage was risen once more the US saw products prices increase via inflation by a factor of 10. ( and (

Estimated Effects on Employment of an Increase in the Federal Minimum Wage, Second Half of 2016

Contention 3: Inflation's affect on Global Trade

Here when we observe the above chart we can see as the minimum wage increase the value of the dollar decreases. This only creates a terrible cycle that the average citizen is unable to get out of. The reason that this is important is because we would be raising the minimum wage to meet living requirements, but the thing that makes it contradictory is that prices will skyrocket causing for another call to raise the minimum wage to meet this resolution. It will be a vicious cycle that will the dollar to be worthless and have a devastating effect on the Global Economy. The higher the inflation rate also affects international trade as the higher the inflation is the higher the interest rates. ( According to Paul Krugman, the devaluation of the dollar (caused by the resolution here) will lead to a decrease in people people buying product which hurts the economy of the nation. (

Debate Round No. 1


Good start Con and thank you, lannan13, for accepting this debate.

I am for the statement that ‘A just society should ensure all workers receive a minimum living wage.


Different countries and areas have different numerical values for a minimum wage. In this debate, we will not be arguing for a specific minimum wage value, as can be seen from the resolution, but from a mostly philosophical view that it is moral or right for all workers to receive a minimum living wage. This should clear up any issues both Con and or the audience may have had.

As following the agreed-upon round structure, I shall make my points now and await my next round for rebuttals.


C1) Jobs

Would a just society allow citizens, who are ready and willing to work but are without qualifications, to go by- without a salary, a way to provide for themselves?

Jobs with less skills and qualifications necessary are usually minimum wage jobs. Although these workers don’t earn much, they are able to get a job! Employers can afford to pay workers, who otherwise wouldn’t be able to get a job because of a lack of a degree, connections, or advanced skills. Through these jobs, workers gain an opportunity to learn valuable skills and acquire hands on working experience, to compete for even better jobs, or advance within a company.

C1B) Increase in jobs

With these workers employed, there is a reduction in unemployment. Without minimum wage jobs, these people wouldn’t have this opportunity. At least, with these workers employed, their labour can be used productively, instead of resorting to illegal methods to obtain living conditions or giving up completely.

“In the monopsony model, employers are unlikely to pay higher wages in order to fill vacancies because they would then have to raise the pay of their existing workers to match the pay offered to their last hire. As a result, in monopsonistic settings, employers habitually operate with unfilled vacancies, rather than raising the wage for their entire workforce. In this context, raising the minimum wage can actually increase employment by raising the wages of the existing workforce to the "competitive" level (no existing jobs are lost because these workers were being paid below their "marginal product") and filling existing vacancies (which increases overall employment).”[1]

Therefore minimum living wages creates jobs, or fills job vacancies, thereby reducing the unemployment rate and raising the quality of life and standard of living.

Would it then be just for workers to not be paid minimum living wages?

C2) Character Growth

As said before, people working for minimum living wages don’t earn much, and usually have no other profession to resort to. Therefore, they value it a lot- they would work more, come in for extra time to try to make more money, and try to develop closer relationships with fellow workers. These people benefit from learning about the experience of hands-on work, independence, reliability, accountability, assiduous labour and responsibility.

‘Today’s job market is extremely competitive and demands the most from jobseekers. Particularly for students, a minimum wage job provides a great opportunity to prepare for the challenges they will face searching for their ideal career aftergraduation. To get ahead one has to be assertive and a minimum wage job provides a chance to do that.’[2]

Therefore, the jobs attained with a minimum wage offer character growth. Would it not be fair to allow workers to benefit from character growth attained by the minimum wage?

C3) Narrowing the rich-poor gap

- Helping low-income families

Poor families have a way of making money, by minimum wage, though it may not be much. This wage, added on to the income that breadwinners may attain, may help provide for the family. Minimum wage alleviates poverty, worker are able to gain an income. Now the poor have a chance at obtaining an income, no matter how small it is. Moreover, more money is generated into the economy since low income families are able to spend more. Also, this shrinks government programs e.g. food stamps, thereby allowing the reallocation of resources elsewhere.

If people work hard, should they not be paid at least the minimum wage to be able to provide for themselves, and maybe their family?

C4) Egalitarianism and Utilarianism

‘Egalitarianism is a trend of thought in political philosophy. An egalitarian favours equality of some sort: People should get the same, or be treated the same, or be treated as equals, in some respect. An alternative view expands on this last-mentioned option: People should be treated as equals, should treat one another as equals, should relate as equals, or enjoy an equality of social status of some sort. Egalitarian doctrines tend to rest on a background idea that all human persons are equal in fundamental worth or moral status.’[3]

‘The principle of utility [Utilarianism] is used to determine the validity of rules of conduct (moral principles). A rule like promise-keeping is established by looking at the consequences of a world in which people broke promises at will and a world in which promises were binding.’[4]

By the laws of egalitarianism- that all people are equal- these workers should be given a wage for their work. By Utilarianism, it is *just* that these people get paid, if they are going to put in their labour, working. If they are paid, they can afford the basic necessities and generate money into the economy to stimulate it.

Why should we NOT allow these people to get an income? Why should we prevent someone who is WILLING to work to establish a way to support himself?

C5) John Rawls- The Principles of Justice as Fairness (Rawls’s name for the set of principles)

[The veil of ignorance] assures that each party to the choice is equally or symmetrically situated, with none enjoying greater power (or “threat advantage”) than any other ... It also isolates the parties’ choice from the contingencies—the sheer luck—underlying the variations in people’s natural abilities and talents, their social backgrounds, and their particular society’s historical circumstances.”[5]

-First Principle: Rights and Liberties

‘Society must assure each citizen “an equal claim to a fully adequate scheme of equal basic rights and liberties, which scheme is compatible with the same scheme for all.”’[5]

-Difference Principle: Income and Wealth

“Social and economic inequalities … are to be to the greatest benefit of the least advantaged members of society.” [5]

From the First Principle, we can see that it is just for each citizen to gain their equal rights – the right to a job, of their choice.

‘What you reap, you sew.’ [6]

If these workers are using their physical and mental capacities to provide a labour force for their employers, they should be paid for their efforts.

“The … informal argument for the difference principle: because equality is an ideal fundamentally relevant to the idea of fair cooperation, the OP situates the parties symmetrically and deprives them of information that could distinguish them or allow one to gain bargaining advantage over another. Given this set-up, the parties will consider the situation of equal distribution a reasonable starting point in their deliberations... [Instituting] a system of social rules that differentially reward the especially productive, could achieve results that are better for everyone … This is the kind of inequality that the Difference Principle allows and requires: departures from full equality that make some better off and no one worse off.”[5]

In other words, The Difference Principle allows those who are less advantaged to become better off, but no one becomes worse off.

In conclusion, it is of my firm belief that a just society should ensure all workers receive a minimum living wage. It is fair as the employees, employers, society and the economy benefit. Moreover, from a philosophical egalitarian view- using Utilarianism and John Rawls’ Principles of Justice as Fairness.







[6]- Proverb



I under stand that there are different numerical values for a minimum wage, but I have chosen the most mentioned minimum wages as a middle point to argue here.

Contention 1: Jobs

I agree with my opponent that these minimum wage jobs can provide a great opportunity to get experience, but the fact is that these jobs cannot afford such a minimum wage boost. You see that as I have brought up last round that minimum wage jobs are typically teenager jobs working through high school or college. I showed that in Wisconsin, in 2009, when the minimum wage was last raised that the teenagers lost out on these opportunities, because the minimum wage increase harms fast food industries due to the fact that they only make X a week and have to pay their employees Y, but with the minimum wage increase it is now Y+Z meaning that the company is going to have less money to buy goods for their service, so they will have to resort to cutting back on their employees, especially teens, in order to save money.

My opponent brings up a invalid argument as she states that minimum wage increases jobs. The debate is about increasing to a living minimum wage not about having the minimum wage.

"The Congressional Budget Office is projecting job losses as a result of a proposed federal minimum wage increase. The raise to the hourly wage has been a cornerstone of President Obama's recent policy speeches. According to predictions by the non-partisan CBO, approximately 500,000 jobs would be lost by late 2016 due to such a law's implementation." (

From the above quote, one can see that we will be losing jobs in result of a minimum wage increase. That is only for what Obama's doing, but let's apply this resolution to it and we'll find that it will be a whole lot worse. Even in Kansas, which isn't a very populated state, they predict that the cost for a nuclear family (2 adults and 2 children) will be $18 per hour! That's only for Topeka, could you imagine the numbers for that in Boston or New York City? I'll post the link to the Living Wage Calculator so you can even see for yourself. (

Contention 2: Character Growth?

I'm not completely sure on the relevance of this point, but let's get to it. Most of the minimum wage jobs will actually be obsolete and nonexistent in 20 years due to technological advancements. Waiters, Cashiers, and even assembly line workers are all expected to be gone and be replaced by machines in 20 years and if you do not have technical skills then you will find yourself unemployed. (

Contention 3: Rich Poor Divide

Though most people associate the Democrat Party with caring for the poor and trying to protect them it has actually been seen that their welfare and minimum wage increases/programs have actually increase the Rich-Poor Divide than the Republicans! (

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Contention 4: Egalitarianism and Utilitarianism

The equality that she is talking about is impossible to achieve, because though this might seem very blunt, but Not all Men are created equal. Whites will never be socially equal with blacks and homosexuals will never truly be equal with heterosexuals, now before you write me off as a racist let's look at history. In the 1870's, Congress passed a Civil Rights act that ensured things for blacks like the right to vote, abolishing anything to discriminate against those with the ability to vote, it also did all the things that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 did, and it banned the KKK. ( The thing is that they gave up on their rights , because they believe equality could never be achieved. There was also an amendment in the 1970's, (though I can't remember the name of it) the amendment would legalize gay marriage in all US states and it would legalize women in combat. This amendment failed. Allan Bakke lead a Supreme Court Case about the University of California denying him the right to go their just because he was white. Luckily the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Bakke. ( Many people today already recognize the discrimination against whites. (

For the second part here, I will apply the economic system of Capitalism. Here in the United States, the harder you work the better off you will get paid. This is to show that you as an individual must work hard or if you do not then you only have yourself to blame, but in a society that my opponent is purposing is that you can show up for woke, half do it, and get paid a bucket load of cash just for slacking off. You see under Capitalism people get paid on how well they do their job.

Contention 5: Equal Rights

I truly agree that we should have equal opportunity to jobs, but as I brought up with the Affirmative Action turning against the whites and being reverse racism it is actually counter-productive. I agree that you should get paid based on what you do, but there is no way that putting a patty on a bun down at McDonald's is worth the $18 that I had shown for the living wage in Kansas.

Debate Round No. 2


Unfortunately, due to incumbent, pressing real life work, I’m going to have to drop out of the Adopt-A-Noob tournament.

Although I have time to finish this round, I’m not going to have much with A Levels now, to finish the rest of the debate. I thought I’d have enough time when I signed up, or that it might end right as school started. I’d have really liked to finish this, but alas! School takes preference. I’d love to debate this with you again lannan and I’m sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Good luck to you for the rest of the tourney! You'll do great! :D

Vote Con.



I thank Pro for her time here in this debate and am sorry that she has to drop out. I love the Mulan refrence thought.

Thank you and as Pro said, please vote Con.
Debate Round No. 3


I wish I could've finished this, but oh well... Vote Con.


No round as agreed upon.
Debate Round No. 4
34 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
Haiden.I was raised by a single mother. My father left when I was about 3. She raised 4 of us. She put her feelings aside, got a job, and paid her and our bills.Not one dime ever came from government .She was not a freeloader. I was privileged to have known and raised by her.Honor was her lifestyle. Certainly not welfare.What will affect the welfare children is what they consider as easy street. Generational poverty is what they will look forward to.
Low paying jobs are there for those just entering the workforce. To give them a work ethic. Keeping a schedule. Following instructions. Flipping hamburgers should never be made into a career.Like I said. You do not need big brother to powder your behind then send you out into the world. Grow up.
Posted by Haiden 2 years ago
"It is not governments responsibility to see that you have more skills that someone will pay you more for.Here is a novel idea. How about you developing those skills on your own.Trust me, you will be more content and go much farther than if you wait for government to powder your behind and send you out into the world."

In order to get the skill required, one must have the experience. Anyone who has worked for a living knows the best experience is on-the-job experience. Suggesting people "learn it on their own", is suggesting that they have the time required to do so. This logic is flawed. Using your own experiences, which are always different from that of others, is not a very clean argument. It stinks of bias.
Posted by Haiden 2 years ago
"Only you can make what you do as having no value. NEVER let other people dictate what your heart says is best for you.Just walk with your head high and be free to enjoy life. Just stay away from dishonorable things. They will throw a wrench into your contentment. Take this from someone who has lived 66 years. I was not born with this way of thinking."

For those unable to pay for a decent living, what others deem "worthy", is hardly even an issue. I would say it is of no consequence. A single mother for instance, she is concerned about the welfare of her children. If she cannot for her children, this will effect the children as they grow.

What people tend to get caught up in , ultimately, is who gets the bill.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
lets just get this over with and make minimum wage 50.00$ per hour.Mabe then the money hustlers will quit crying.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
Only you can make what you do as having no value. NEVER let other people dictate what your heart says is best for you.Just walk with your head high and be free to enjoy life. Just stay away from dishonorable things. They will throw a wrench into your contentment. Take this from someone who has lived 66 years. I was not born with this way of thinking.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
I know. I have a saying, "Do what your heart desires and the wealth shall accumulate as leaves into a pile." I do what I enjoy, but I do not appriate those who make what I love doing useless.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
lannin. Just have patience. That job is temporary. Just wait for opportunities to improve your skill level and you will rise. Just seek out what makes you happy and you have passion for. Then go at that full speed.Do not go after money. It will be there when you do those things. Because money will not bring happiness. Relationships, especially family, will bring contentment.And contentment is great gain.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
The job I currently have I make $9.00 per hour. I started making that much and the minimum wage in my state is $7.25, so I'm greatful that I have the job that I have. If the minimum wage rises to $10.10 then I know that I want a higher wage where I work.
Posted by cheyennebodie 2 years ago
I started out at minimum wage at 1.25 an hour. Then I improved my work ethic and job skills and got a job making 2.52 an hour. That was back in the mid sixties. Thank God I didn't wait for government to give me a raise by force.I have never looked back. It is not governments responsibility to see that you have more skills that someone will pay you more for.Here is a novel idea. How about you developing those skills on your own.Trust me, you will be more content and go much farther than if you wait for government to powder your behind and send you out into the world.
Posted by ESocialBookworm 2 years ago
Umm... okay then... @9space
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: concession...this would be a good debate to see...