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Just governments ought to require employers to pay a living wage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/3/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,016 times Debate No: 69365
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"Minimum wage laws are unethical because they introduce government force into employment relationships which should be based on voluntary trade between employers and employees." This statement here taken from Jaana Woiceshyn here states that the minimum wage is as it says unethical or not usual so here proving that minimum wage laws shall be abolished. This is why I stand in negation with the resolution:
Resolved: Just governments ought to require that employers to pay living wage.

For the ease of today"s debate, the following definitions will be offered from Black Law"s Dictionary:
Living Wage- Income from working that is sufficient to pay the bills, buy enough food, handle emergencies, and stay off welfare.
This definition was taken from Merriam Webster Dictionary:
Just Government: a government that is based on moral right or good
Ought- a suggestion of what should happen.

The highest value in today"s debate is of Utilitarianism, which is the theory in normative ethics holding that the proper course of action is the one that maximizes utility, usually defined as maximizing total benefit and reducing suffering or the negatives.
So to hold the value of Utilitarianism I offer the criterion of John Rawls" social contract of Justice as Fairness which is composed of two key elements.
1. Each person is to have an equal right to the most extensive basic liberty compatible with similar liberty for others.
2. Social and economic inequalities are to be arranged so that they are both:
a) reasonably expected to be in everyone"s advantage and
b) attached to positions and offices open to all.
So this brings me to my first contention".

Contention 1: Increase in the minimum wage would cost many jobs

Most minimum wage workers are from above median income families. So, most of the people benefiting from the minimum wage are not the intended targets of the "anti-poverty" aspect of raising the minimum wage. As a jobs program, raising the minimum wage is a real loser. Congress raised the minimum wage 10.6% in July,
2009 (know of anyone else getting a raise then?). In the ensuring 6 months, nearly 600,000 teen jobs.Why? When you raise the price of anything, people take less of it, including labor. The unemployment rate for teens remains unacceptably high. Workers of all ages that are relatively unskilled are adversely impacted by this policy disappeared, even with nearly 4% growth in the economy, this compared to a loss of 250,000 jobs in the first half of the year as GDP growth declined by 4%.

Contention 2: A Living Wage would force raised prices"

And the minimum wage"s negative effects do not stop at its perverse impact on the distribution of income. The minimum wage forces employers to substitute higher-wage workers or capital for low-wage labor, raising costs and therefore prices. The minimum wage perpetuates the notion that evil employers, rather than low skill, explain low wages. And the minimum wage pretends to fix a problem without imposing any costs, except that the costs are merely hidden, not avoided. So therefore, if we were to raise the minimum wage there would be no positive effect, there making that government unjust.

So finally, the contentions I had brought onto you show that just governments would not be a just government if we were to implement the living wage. The implementation of the living wage would cause people to have to pay the same amount of money as they do now, and would not allow overall support.


The highest value in today"s debate round is quality of life. Quality of life is defined asDaily living enhanced by wholesome food and clean air and water, enjoyment of unfettered open spaces and bodies of water, conservation of wildlife and natural resources, security from crime, and protection from radiation and toxic substances. It may also be used as a measure of the energy and power a person is endowed with that enable him or her to enjoy life and prevail over life's challenges irrespective of the handicaps he or she may have. (business dictionary). We ought to value Quality of Life because our quality of life is not in a prime state without the money to pay for basic necessities
The criterion that best supports my value is Joseph Fletcher"s philosophy of utilitarianism. His philosophy states that we should do what is the thing that would be the loving thing to do. Love is defined as A strong feeling of affectip.ion and concern toward another person, as that arising from kinship or close friendshHis philosophy supports quality of life best because it would be loving to help their standard of living. Also, in his philosophy, he states that ends matter most, so we must help these people because in the end once a living wage is enforced, people will have a better quality of life. It supports my side of the resolution because having a living wage is the loving thing because it gets people out of poverty and reduces crime which is an ultimate act of love for the majority of people.

Contention 1: Minimum wage isn't sufficient
The Virginian News, November 23, 2014

A new report from the Alliance for a Just Society found that most full-time workers in the U.S. do not earn enough to support a family with children. Think about that, you are a full time worker, and not getting paid enough to have an acceptable life. I would be pretty mad that I am working my tail off and can"t even have an acceptable life. Only 26 percent of all full-time workers in Virginia earn a wage that will allow a single working parent with two children to make ends meet, while only 57 percent of workers in the state earn enough for a single adult to make ends meet for themselves. Just imagine, you are a single adult working hard with two children and you can"t even put food on the table for your children. To me, there is no greater source proving that we need a living wage than the face of hungry children. Then, if you are single with no children you can"t even pay for your food and shelter. This needs to be stopped.
"It was surprising to me just how consistent the inequities are across the board," said Ben Henry, one of the researchers who put the report together. "Nationally and by state the research found these inequities. Normally you see some outliers."
The report defined a living wage for a single adult as earning $18.57 an hour. This means in Virginia, a single adult earning minimum wage is $10 under a sufficient life. That may mean not being able to pay rent. This might mean not being able to pay for water. That means they may not be able to pay for food. A family of two adults (of which only one is working) with two children needs to make $33.95 an hour to earn a living wage. In Virginia, the minimum wage is just $7.25, less than half of the living wage an adult needs just to sustain him or herself.
"The numbers themselves are staggering, but we look at these outcomes as deeper systemic problems," Henry said.

When the minimum wage can"t cover basic needs, are quality of life is basically non-existent. We are clearly not living a life that is worthful without a sufficient living wage. Also, looking through my criterion, we should give people a living wage because it helps in the end and is loving. It is also not right, according to my criterion, to keep a minimum wage because with a minimum wage people can"t buy basic necessities as this evidence just proved.
.Contention 2: Living wage reduces poverty.
Tamara Vrooman, (The Vancouver Sun (British Columbia);June 18, 2013 Tuesday;ISSUES & IDEAS; Tamara Vrooman; Pg. A11;Tamara Vrooman is president and CEO of Vancity, Canada's largest community credit union.)
We also know that the benefits of paying a living wage extend far beyond the individual employee. I believe employment should lift you out of poverty and paying a living wage - one that reflects the actual cost of living - is an important and achievable poverty reduction strategy for many employers. Tamara Vrooman is president and CEO of Vancity, Canada's largest community credit union.

Poverty is not a prime state for quality of life. This proved that living wage could help lift people out of poverty. Seeing as lifting people out of poverty is loving we should do it to achieve a higher quality of life which should be highest valued. Lifting a person out of poverty is loving because this would be a show of affection and concern. We need to show concern and affection to our neighbors and community. We need to lift them out of poverty and help them

Contention 3: Living wage reduces crime.
Fernandez, Holman, Pepper "14, (Jose, Thomas, and John. Professor of Economics, University of Virginia " Medical Economist, Professor " Department of Economics University of Virigina "The Impact of LivingR08;Wage Ordinances on Urban Crime."Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society)
To summarize our primary findings, we observe that living wages have a modest negative effect on property-related crimes. The Model 5 estimated elasticities on property crimes suggest that a 1 percentage-point increase in living wage relative to the effective minimum wage results in a 0.05 to 0.15 percent drop in property-related crime. Likewise, the results found when using a simple living-wage-indicator variable in our most restrictive Model 5 suggests that a policy that caused a roughly 50 percent increase in the wages for some fraction of low-wage workers is associated with a 8 percent reduction in burglaries, a 6 percent reduction in car thefts, a 4 percent reduction in robberies, and a 3 percent reduction in larceny.

. We cannot have good quality of life with all this crime because as stated in the quality of life definition a lack of crime is necessary in a good quality of life, since quality of life ought to be highest valued, we ought to do whatever we can to improve. This means getting rid of crime. According to my criterion, getting rid of crime for an enhanced quality of life is the most loving thing to do, so we ought to get rid of crime. We are showing no love allowing crime to go on.

I will now go on to attack my opponents case

His value can't stand because when we value utilitarianism we are allowing to harm the minority. This is making society crumble.

His criterion can't stand because it is no fair to allow the minority to crumble, but a living wage wouldn't.

His first contention can't stand becuase we are decreasing poverty and crime with a Living Wage. A minimum wage isn't sufficient as I have also proven. These are all major benefits that will overcome that cost.

His second contention can't stand because we would have the money to afford it with a living wage, so his second contention is irrelevant
Debate Round No. 1


paytown forfeited this round.


My opponent forfeited the round, so my opponent has dropped all of my case. Thus, agreeing that my case and my side is superior. He dropped all of the attacks I made on his case. This means that his case falls because he didn't have a rebuttal on my attacks on his case. He can't make any new arguments
Debate Round No. 2


paytown forfeited this round.


My opponent forfeited rounds. My opponent thus agrees to my case and drops his case. This means my case and side is superior.
Thank you for the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
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Vote Placed by maydaykiller 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture by Con
Vote Placed by lannan13 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture