The Instigator
Aturaten
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
Klashbash
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

Minimum Wage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/15/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,885 times Debate No: 508
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (14)

 

Aturaten

Pro

I am for the enforcment of a national minimum wage. Minimum wage, although it has its drawbacks, is necessary to protect the livelihood of employees who are likely to be working in lower-class jobs and living in lower-class conditions. Even with the minimum wage most fulltime workers who are payed aforementioned wage live in povertous conditions and can be easily taken advantage of by unscrupulous employers.
Klashbash

Con

Wages are a voluntary agreement between an employer and an employee. The government has no business to interfere with the optional consent of individuals. The wage agreement by its nature is mutually beneficiary to both parties. The employer has agreed his money is worth less than the work the employee does. The employee has agreed his work is worth less than the money he is paid by his employer. It makes no economic sense to force an employer to pay employees more than what they're willing to work for. The market consequences of government interference are fewer jobs available because the finances of the employer are constrained due to excess pay.

Minimum wage is artificially raising the worth of an employee when the true productive value can only be negotiated by private individuals. Are we to believe that every employee on minimum wage each doing separate jobs are equally productive to one another? When do we reach the stage of a livable wage? Is it when the employee can buy a car? Is it when a house can be purchased? What about a huge television? A livable wage cannot be measured because there are no criteria. What can be said is the employee by agreeing to a wage has determined it is a livable wage.
Debate Round No. 1
Aturaten

Pro

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Wages are a voluntary agreement between an employer and an employee. The government has no business to interfere with the optional consent of individuals.
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A wage is hardly an "optional" facet of the workplace. It is rudimentary. People need money and obtain it by using their skills in a certain field.

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The wage agreement by its nature is mutually beneficiary to both parties. The employer has agreed his money is worth less than the work the employee does. The employee has agreed his work is worth less than the money he is paid by his employer.
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Scarce amounts of employees 'agree' that their work is worth less than the money they are paid. They concede their work is at LEAST worth the amount their employers pay them.

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t makes no economic sense to force an employer to pay employees more than what they're willing to work for.
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Perhaps not economicall but when you factor in ethics it becomes a whole other matter. Take for example the abundant Chinese sweatshops. It is well known they are payed pitifully small wages. It is extremely doubtful the employees believe their work is worth cents per hour but concede to the wage because there is no other alternative. Most minimum wage jobs are "bottom of the barrel" and many employers would jump at the chance of paying their employees 2 dollars an hour. It then becomes a matter of wage fixing among different employers.

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The market consequences of government interference are fewer jobs available because the finances of the employer are constrained due to excess pay.
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Fewer jobs? Perhaps. However, is this not negateable when employees are being paid half of the current wage? For example, we have a hypothetical factory which currently employs 30 people at $8.00/hour (the current minimum wage in Canada). Now, if the minimum wage is abolished the factory can hire twice as many employees and pay them $4.00/hour. Assumedly this would result in a higher revenue stream for the factory which could be potentially levied out to the employees. However, it is equally possible it could not be. Thus, while the economy is stronger, we have now 60 people living well below the poverty line (extremely below, actually) when before we simply had 30 people on the poverty line and 30 people without work. The economy thrives at the expense of the underprivalleged or poor. Thus, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. We cannot expect companies to pay fair wages to employees who are, again, "bottom-of the barrel".

There is yet another possibility. Would it not also be reasonable to say that as wage increases the demand for labour increases?

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Minimum wage is artificially raising the worth of an employee when the true productive value can only be negotiated by private individuals. Are we to believe that every employee on minimum wage each doing separate jobs are equally productive to one another?
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Again, let us take a hypothetical situation. We have Joe Blow wanting to get a clerical job at a fast food restaurant. He feels that 7 dollars an hour for this work is perfectly reasonable. He goes to the first restaurant. They offer 4 dollars an hour. Second: 3. Third: 3.50. Fourth: 2.00. Naturally he goes with the first offer. Joe did not agree to this wage, he simply had nowhere else to work. There was no negotiation, he was forced to either not work or get paid 4.00/hour.

Your logic also fails you in questioning that every employee whom is paid minimum wage is equally productive to the other when it works the same way: is every employee NOT paid minimum wage more productive than every employee whom is?

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When do we reach the stage of a livable wage? Is it when the employee can buy a car? Is it when a house can be purchased? What about a huge television? A livable wage cannot be measured because there are no criteria. What can be said is the employee by agreeing to a wage has determined it is a livable wage.
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A "livable wage" is a number of factors majorily pertaining to the person earning the wages. For example, to a mother of 3 making less than 17,000 dollars/year is povertous. But to a single bachelor anything less than 9,500 is povertous. Tailor fitting wages to fit the people who earn them is a communist ideal. Thus the lesser of the two evils is simply making a minimum wage.

The minimum wage is in my own eyes the minimum amount of payment a person should be paid for sacrificing time to an employer.
Klashbash

Con

A job is a privilege and not a right. Nobody owes somebody else a job through mere existence. You recognize that individuals earn wages using certain skills. You're versed in the basics. How is it that you then conclude those with the least of skills deserve a set wage? To figure out an appropriate wage is to factor in the market supply and demand of a skill. If supply is higher than demand the prices fall accordingly. Workers on minimum wage come a dime a dozen. These employees do tasks requiring the minimum of individual ability. It isn't a cruel scheme in how meager the employees are paid. The employees suffocate themselves by the failure to offer skills in demand. Ever heard of consequences?

You do not comprehend the concept of worth. Its undeniable employees are paid lower than their own perception of worth. This is nothing more than sentimental value. I believe my own personal copy of the computer game Starcraft to be $1,000. This is not the actual market value. Who's going to buy my copy when other sellers price theirs at $6? It cannot be worth $1,000 unless someone is willing to pay for it. If I retained the last existing copy of the game do you think it would be worth at least $1,000? You betcha. Did you see it? This is supply and demand.

You have a misconception regarding sweatshops. Without these jobs the people would otherwise be starving to death. The employers provided an opportunity that wouldn't have been available otherwise. The working conditions are deplorable without a doubt. Yet you cannot deny that these employers who you despise are the ones keeping these people alive. Your solution is to shackle the employers? They'll either locate somewhere else or hire less workers doing harsher work. Either way the situation has worsened. Sweatshops in their respective countries will improve with less government bloat and more job opportunities.

Your hypothetical factory ignores a crucial differentiation. The $4.00/hour employees totaling sixty had consented to the pay as did the employers. The $8.00/hour workers consisting of thirty employees did not have their employers consent beyond wanting to keep their business alive. The threat of government force has tipped the scale unfairly to the employees. You might think who cares or be satisfied. This would be underestimating the severe market consequences.

Due to cost efficiency the employer will take other routes. He might take notice his effort is not worth the return and settle as a worker. There go a few jobs for every employer who quits. Have we forgotten the reduction of workers by minimum wage on top of it? What happens to the workers who haven't been laid off? They'll be working harder to make up for the loss in productivity and even hours not paid for by threat. The employees could report this but that would mean the loss of a job. You have dwindled the opportunities available to them with minimum wage law. This means losing a job is less of an option than before. Rampant abuse of employees increases because availability to switch jobs has decreased.

You have admitted the possibility of an ever increasing wage for workers not under minimum wage. You dismiss it by falling into the "either or" trap of determining it has a 50% likelihood because it could either happen or not. Does it sound like sixty workers can achieve a higher productivity than thirty? Of course they can. Want to know what causes a rise in wages besides inflation and supply and demand? It is flexibility.

Wouldn't you say that as a worker has more of a choice to change jobs his value as an employee trends upward? Where does this flexibility come from? The more employees there are to hire workers the more choice (thus flexibility) the workers have. Minimum wage does nothing more than give a few more bucks to workers and the expense is less employers hiring. You have severely crippled what limited opportunity the poor with their current skills have. You say the rich get richer while the poor get poorer? Your thinking contributes to it. I hope you feel proud of yourself.

The third possibility of the hypothetical factory is unrealistic. Employers have a budget to maintain. With limited resources it does not follow that as wages increases the demand for labor rises. Would setting the minimum wage to $20 or $100 cause an unprecedented demand in labor? Employers would be overjoyed to even have a business. An employer by the mere want to have additional workers because the business is understaffed does not translate to actual demand. I can want a gorgeous mansion. But unless I have the willingness and the funds to buy it I cannot.

The hypothetical of Joe Blow ignores his own impractical expectations. It further does nothing in describing the reality of Joe Blow's self-inflicted missed opportunities in life. Why didn't Joe Blow obtain the skills necessary to not be stuck in such a position? The poor get poorer because of poor decisions. How much of the poor squander what little cash gathered? How many invest? How many don't smoke or drink? How many got pregnant or impregnated a girl when he or she couldn't afford it? What were they doing with their education in early life? Was it spent studying and getting good grades or was it used to hang out with buddies for the night and goof around?

Why would anyone have sympathy for a mother of three? Did the employer have sex with this woman? If not why would someone want to make it his responsibility? Why would someone want the fruit of the employer's labor to be divided according to someone else's problems? This distorted perspective is why you claim to abhor communism. Your answer is the same answer in an altered disguise. Minimum wage punishes employers for employee problems. It isn't an employer's fault that the employee didn't pursue worthwhile skills to businesses.

Your bargaining chip in life is your talents. It's what you can offer to others. Your failure to acquire talents that are beneficiary is not somebody else's problem. It's yours. An employer is there out of his own financial risk to offer you an opportunity to be partners. It'll be skewed in his favor because he's the one giving you the opportunity. He has to make a profit to survive. There's no sinister motive behind hiring someone who is willing to do the same work for less. You know what this is called? Common sense. This employer has his own competitors to be concerned about. He's not charity. He can't shower you with money from the warmest places of his heart without bankruptcy.

He's further taking home a bigger piece of the pie than you because it is what he deserves. Without him there wouldn't be a pie. The pie is the wealth he has created by offering products or services that enriches the lives of others. You're able to negotiate for a larger chunk of the pie by having an invaluable skill to his business. Without attaining skills crucial to businesses and choosing to invest time elsewhere is an obstacle you're going to have to deal with. Don't make employers pay for your mistakes. They're the ones responsible for the wealth we have.
Debate Round No. 2
Aturaten

Pro

Aturaten forfeited this round.
Klashbash

Con

Individuals should rise and fall to their own accord regardless of wealth status. Minimum wage wrongfully obstructs and makes someone else pay for another's consequences.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Wallstreetatheist 2 years ago
Wallstreetatheist
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Reasons for voting decision: FF and Con had better arguments
Vote Placed by 16kadams 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: conduct to con because of the FF, and arguments to him too.
Vote Placed by studentathletechristian8 5 years ago
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Vote Placed by NeoLiberal 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by dairygirl4u2c 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Klashbash 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Chob 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by Folca 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by mors202 6 years ago
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Vote Placed by ccdem 6 years ago
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