The Instigator
NeenahLibertarian
Pro (for)
Winning
41 Points
The Contender
wheelhouse3
Con (against)
Losing
40 Points

Minimum Wage Laws Destroy the Economy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/16/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,293 times Debate No: 542
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (24)

 

NeenahLibertarian

Pro

Minimum wage laws create higher costs for employers which will have one of two implications on the economy. 1) The employer must pass that cost on to consumers in the form of higher prices, thus decreasing demand causing decline in the economy, or 2) The employer is forced to make cuts, the employees most likely to be cut first are the low-skill minimum wage employees, thus creating higher unemployment rates and directly harming those that the laws were intended to help. Either way minimum wage laws have a negative impact on the economy and as support for them increases, more drastic rises in minimum wage show potential to devastate corporate America, which we all depend on whether we like it or not.
wheelhouse3

Con

My view is that without a set minimum wage employers will have the leisure of handing out prejudiced wages. I personally do not want to be paid less than a lazy man when I am working a lot harder and more efficiently than that man just because I'm a woman. I see nothing wrong with what a minimum wage would do to America economically. You stated that "The employer must pass that cost on to consumers in the form of higher prices, thus decreasing demand causing decline in the economy or 2) The employer is forced to make cuts, the employees most likely to be cut first are the low-skill minimum wage employees, thus creating higher unemployment rates and directly harming those that the laws were intended to help". My answer to that is that these things will have the direct opposite effect on the economy than the one that you predict. In my opinion, the fact that employers will be forced to cut the low-skilled workers is beneficial to them. The fact that *all* employers will be forced to do this will create job opportunities for these "low-skill" workers to find a job that they will be considered "skilled" at, allowing them to hold that job and perhaps enjoy their work which is rare in today's society. With all these business having "skilled" employees, consumers can become better satisfied with their products which therefore reduces the need for raising the pricing of products. The default in our economy right now, in my opinion, is not caused by minimum wage but by the lack of sales in real estate. This causes a number of businesses such as the ones selling housing appliances to have decreases in the demand of their products.
Debate Round No. 1
NeenahLibertarian

Pro

1) I agree with your point that there should be a check on discrimination between the pay of men and women, but minimum wage laws are not the way to go about it. Not only do the harms of economy decline outweigh any possible benefits, but minimum wage laws don't even solve this problem. If there is a mandated minimum wage and employers assign this wage to women they will just pay men more than minimum wage and allow the discrimination to continue. Some sort of law regulating pay differential is necessary for that.

2) Your claim that getting fired provides people with an opportunity to find a job in which they are skilled is empirically false. Historically the low-skilled, minimum wage earners that I am talking about have been non-degree holders without any means of obtaining any form of higher education. Putting them back on the street will usually force them on to welfare. Supporting an even larger welfare system will inevitably result in higher taxes, taking money out of the pockets of working Americans, thus decreasing demand and having the negative effects on the economy that I spoke of in my first post.
wheelhouse3

Con

1) As a woman and not yet an adult I would at least like to have the comfort of a minimum wage. This comfort allows me to have the knowledge that I will get at least as much as an adult male with the same work experience as I. Without the minimum wage the 1920's will be repeated. Employers will hand out different wages depending on skill, race, gender, or age. There is no way of knowing for certain that "a check on discrimination" can determine who is discriminating and who isn't. Can you imagine the chaos that would follow? Any one employee could go and claim that their pay is too low because their employer discriminates against them. Employers would then be at the complete and total mercy of their employees. Employees would be able to decide how much they want to be paid. Those payments can continue to grow at an obnoxious rate. As long as there is someone making more money than them, employees have the argument that they're being paid too little due to discrimination.

2) "Historically the low-skilled, minimum wage earners that [you're] talking about" were the ones who were at fault for their own poverty. "Historically" the people who emerged from poverty were the ones with hard work and determination. Both of these qualities are ones that America should be encouraging its citizens to have. If they are "low-skilled" they obviously aren't working hard at becoming skilled. Employers don't appreciate or hire anyone who isn't hard-working at what they *voluntarily* chose to do to make a living. Anyone with hard-work and determination can have opportunity in America. That is why "historically" only people with those qualities could emerge from poverty. Bringing up welfare is a completely different type of argument because I don't necessarily believe in that either. Welfare destroys the economy too.
Debate Round No. 2
NeenahLibertarian

Pro

1) You're completely nonresponsive to my argument that minimum wage laws to not actually provide a check on discriminatory wages. Just because women must make at least the minimum wage does not guarantee that they will be making the same as men. If you're looking for the comfort of knowing that you will make the same amount of money as a man with the same qualifications as you, then you should be advocating a law that mandates equal pay for equal positions, NOT a minimum wage law which at best would simply make the pay gap a little bit smaller.

2) I'm not saying that it isn't these peoples fault that they are low-skilled and in poverty. In fact I agree with you, but I don't follow your logic at the point where you say laws that will likely lead to them being back on the street is some how going to fix this problem. We agree that low-skilled, minimum wage earners will likely be fired as minimum wages increase because of the necessity by employers to cut costs, but you provide no warrant as to how this will lead to them getting a better job if they have no way of obtaining the skills needed to get a better job (again this is regardless of whether or not it was by their choice that they are in this position). And I believe welfare is a completely relevant topic for this debate since an increase in the welfare state is the inevitable result of minimum wage laws.

In conclusion, the argument here is extremely simple: poverty stricken people will lose their low-paying jobs as a result of minimum wage laws and it is quite clear that this will result in an increase of the welfare state or that in order to retain these people as employees, employers will raise their prices and pass the costs on to consumers. Either way, working citizens will have less purchasing power and thus the economy will faulter. Minimum wage laws also fail to provide the check on discriminatory wages that you speak about.
wheelhouse3

Con

Firstly I would like to congratulate you lol. That is the strongest argument you've had. Now to assess your arguments…

1) What I was trying to imply with vague wording on the connection between minimum wage laws and discrimination is actually fairly simple. Discrimination will never cease to exist. We cannot change someone's beliefs or feelings. We can only influence them. There is no way to completely rid the world of discrimination. However, we can influence an individual's perception of a certain sex, race, or sexual orientation. I think minimum wage has a good influence on changing that perception. I prefer at least the comfort of knowing that I can make the *minimum* $8.50 (or whatever the minimum wage is) to a man's $10.50; not $0.50 to that $10.50. I have the comfort of knowing I can make at *least* that much money and that maybe, with hard work and determination, I can prove that even I, as a woman, deserve just as much as that man.

2) Opportunity to obtain "skills" is all around us. It presents itself everyday. My parents are middle-class citizens…with seven kids. They can't afford for me to go to college to obtain the skills and knowledge needed to get jobs in our society. Does that mean I end up on the street living off welfare? No. I have over $6,000.00 in scholarship money. I sought opportunity and found it despite my lack of skills. I am an average student, but I work hard. My determination to find something better for myself is what earned me that scholarship money. Being "low-skilled" did not dampen my chances of earning that money and creating my own opportunity. Those laid off workers can do the same thing.

Without minimum wage laws employers are able to go back to giving jobs only to those who will work for the cheapest, usually immigrants. This still puts people out of work, probably even more so than the than the minimum wage laws do. Employers will raise prices as long as they can still make a profit off of it and there continues to be a demand for their product. If it keeps the economy rolling, then who cares? The real problem with our economy is the welfare system, not minimum wage.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by blond_guy 9 years ago
blond_guy
I voted con... I think you did a good job addressing your opponents points and your argument was stronger than his.
Posted by bcaldwell100 9 years ago
bcaldwell100
I vote pro, but it is kind of hard to really tell who won. The Con was entirely about who minimum wage laws will limited income discrimination. The Pro case is all about how minimum wage laws will destroy the economy through decreasing demand, and low- skill workers will be fired, increasing welfare and hurting our economy. In the first round, I was leaning pro because the impact of an economic collapse seemed to be worse than possible wage discrimination. But in round 2 the con establishes this slippery slope argument that said people would use potential discrimination laws to exponentially increase their wages. This impacts directly to the pro's goal of preserving our economy. The pro answers this vaguely when he points out that the slippery slope impact happens regardless of minimum wage laws. At this point, the con really has no case. She really just makes a new case in round 3, and it is too late for the con to respond so I ignore those arguments. Very close debate.
Posted by wheelhouse3 9 years ago
wheelhouse3
to that last comment I almost choked with laughter. I said minimum wage is a comfort because it gives me the ability to do all you said, not make it an impossibilty by not having a minimum wage
Posted by Publius_Infinitum 9 years ago
Publius_Infinitum
You want the comfort of a minimum wage? Well that's easy to insure... just bring minimum skill and minimum care and concern for your job and your employers well being.

Excellent pro.. weak con.
Posted by italia4356 9 years ago
italia4356
You are absolutly right. It is just another classic example of why our country is failing right now. It has now become the norm in American to slap on a law to fix a problem. Laws don't fix problems, they do nothing but mask the problem and create more problems becuase the lawmakers never addressed the real problem they just slapped on a law. people like wheelhouse think that they have a right to work. But what many people do not understand is that no one in this country has a right to work. owning a business is a private choice. the owner of the business should have the free will do just as he pleases. If minimun wage is done away with prices for good will come down. Business will have money free up that was once forced to pay worker so now they will use that money and give it back to the people in the form of cheaper goods to get people to come to thier business. Cheap items sell good, look at walmart perfect example. And if business could pay their employee what they wanted then maybe not all of the big businesses would out source for employees but that is not gurenteed because business now are geting slave labor the only way to fix that is for american to stop buying made in china or anywhere else.
Posted by wheelhouse3 9 years ago
wheelhouse3
lol i agree but no use in crying over spilled milk
Posted by NeenahLibertarian 9 years ago
NeenahLibertarian
Nice job, perhaps I should have set this up to go another two rounds, both of our arguments got much stronger and clearer in the last round and would have provided a more solid understanding to provide a better debate.
Posted by ahundredhighways 9 years ago
ahundredhighways
if you want to eliminate the need for a minimum wage, you must bring more jobs home and have more jobs than people, when you do this the cost of labor goes up because it is easy to find a decent job and companies have to compete to keep workers
Posted by repete21 9 years ago
repete21
good point on the job oppurtunities, Wheelhouse3, I never thought of it that way
24 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Mharman 3 months ago
Mharman
NeenahLibertarianwheelhouse3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Counter vote bombing.
Vote Placed by Willoweed 5 years ago
Willoweed
NeenahLibertarianwheelhouse3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con proved it doesn not destroy economy
Vote Placed by Danielle 7 years ago
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