The Instigator
TheFreeThinker
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
Tablesplease
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Abolishing the minimum wage would benefit the lower income class

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
TheFreeThinker
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/22/2011 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,072 times Debate No: 16597
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)

 

TheFreeThinker

Pro

I will defend the position that abolishing the minimum wage in the United States of America will benefit the lower income class, defined as people making up to 100% of the national poverty level.
Tablesplease

Con

I accept this round of debate

This is my first time using this website so if you could perhaps at the end of your argument give me a few general tips concerning format per rounds i'd appreciate it
Debate Round No. 1
TheFreeThinker

Pro

Welcome to Debate.org and thank you for accepting the debate.

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In the next round I will either defend my position or attacking yours, depending on how the debate evolves.

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A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labour.

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, In the United States of America, the poverty line for a single person is 10,890 $ per year. [1]

The federal minimum wage in the United States is 7.25 $ an hour. If we divide the poverty threshold by the amount of the minimum wage, we understand that in order to earn 100% of the poverty threshold in a yeah a person working at 7.25$/hr will need to work roughly 32 hours a week.

If we estimate the standard workweek in the United States at around 40 hours, it becomes clear that people who work for minimum wage are without any doubt on the lower end of the income scale. lf we assume that a worker works full time on minimum wage, we can estimate his annual salary at 13,920 $.

In order to establish if abolishing the minimum wage would benefit anybody, we need to understand who is affected by it in the first place.
As I have shown above, people who work for minimum wage tend to be at the lower end of the income scale.
The reason for this is that most minimum wage jobs consist of low-skill manual labor. If you were fortunate enough to go to college you will probably have learned a set of skills that allow you to perform a job that pays more than minimum wage. If a person works for minimum wage, we can therefore assume that he or she does so because of a lack of education.

We can also assume, since high skill workers earn much more than the minimum wage, that minimum wage laws are in place with the intent to protect low-skill and poor workers. However, when the government intervenes in the free market with social engineering tools like the minimum wage, there are always unintended consequences.
If greater number of workers are willing to work at the higher (minimum) wage while a smaller numbers of jobs will be available at the higher wage, companies can be more selective in those whom they employ thus the least skilled and least experienced will typically be excluded.

The minimum wage prevents an employer to hire low-skilled workers for training, which would allow the worker to learn a new set of skills on-the-job and then go on to earn a higher wage.
An employer who is forced to pay a minimum wage to an employee, will more likely hire the employee with better skills, thus leaving the low-skill worker with no income at all and no way to acquire new skills.

In a free market, an low-skill employee is able to make himself competitive by offering his labor at a lower cost.
If the government take that competitive advantage away from him, the low-skill worker is left with nothing to compete with.
Since most low-skill workers are logically at the bottom of the income scale, it is logic to assume that a measure that might have theoretically been adopted to help them, is in fact hurting them.

Therefore, abolishing the minimum wage would benefit first and foremost the lower income class.

[1] http://aspe.hhs.gov...
Tablesplease

Con

Tablesplease forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
TheFreeThinker

Pro

My opponent has forfeited the round so I reserve the right to reply to his argument, if he comes back, in the comments.
Tablesplease

Con

Tablesplease forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by quarterexchange 3 years ago
quarterexchange
TheFreeThinkerTablespleaseTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
TheFreeThinkerTablespleaseTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeits lose conduct, leave arguments unanswered.
Vote Placed by SkepticsAskHere 3 years ago
SkepticsAskHere
TheFreeThinkerTablespleaseTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeits
Vote Placed by LaissezFaire 3 years ago
LaissezFaire
TheFreeThinkerTablespleaseTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfiets.