The Instigator
JackFritschy
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Bullish
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

Minimum Wage

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Bullish
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/26/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,860 times Debate No: 41242
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (7)
Votes (2)

 

JackFritschy

Con

I would like to debate Bullish on the minimum wage with I opposing it. I feel it creates unemployment and hurts everybody.
Bullish

Pro


I accept this debate.



I feel that, under the current system, the minimum wage is beneficial to society, for it maintains the just compensation to workers. I am not endorsing any specific line; but if I were forced to give a range that I feel is reasonable to set the minimum wage at, I would argue that at least 25% of the worker’s productivity or profit in addition to a minimum survival wage needs to be directly paid back to the worker in order to maintain balance. This of course, is not absolute.



Definitions:



1. “Minimum wage” shall be defined as a minimum reimbursement that an employer is required by a government to pay an employee relative to a certain reference point. Whether this system is a flat hourly dollar value or as a percent of profit is not what I’m concerned with here. This does not apply to situations where having a minimum wage is impossible, such as when a company is bankrupt.



BoP will be shared.



I shall argue that having some sort of wide spread minimum wage system is in general beneficial to society under the current situations, while my opponent will argue that having minimum wage will in general be bad for society.


Debate Round No. 1
JackFritschy

Con

First, lets consider what the minimum wage is intended to do. It is intended to prevent bussineses from "exploiting" workers. If we don't have it, workers will be paid next to nothing. This is simply not true. Very few workers even work the minimum wage, this is because the more they work, the more value they gain and there wages will rise. People have a choice of were to work, if they want a very low paying job, its because they feel its the best choice. Also, if bussinesses start paying people barely anything, people won't work there. Bussinesses will try to offer the best wages possible to compete for workers. They will also raise the wages of current workers or those workers will find higher paying jobs. The minimum wage harms people in areas where their is high enemployment and the ecomy is bad because bussinisses cant pay minimum wage. In areas of high enemployment people are desprete for work and will work for far less then the minimum wage. The minumum wage keeps them out of the workforce. If you don't have a skill that is worth the minumum wage you are also shut out of the economy, no one will pay you the minimum wage if you are an unskilled labor who isn't producing enough. It stops bussinisses from expanding and hiring others because they must pay minimum wage. In general it is governments attempt to fix what the free market does fine.
Bullish

Pro


Since BoP is shared in this debate, I will be presenting my case in this round of the debate. In the last round I will give rebuttals ONLY to my opponent’s original arguments while not defending my own, since it would be unfair for me to have the last word.



==========



I. Minimum wage keeps companies form exploiting workers.



A commercial company’s sole goal is to make money; the companies that don’t make money as fast as possible will fail, or be eliminated by other companies that make more money. Not all money-making techniques are ethical, and certainly not all are beneficial to the general society. For example: lying, monopolies, destruction of the environment, and exploiting workers.


The easiest way that a company will exploit workers is by not paying them. Companies can simply pay just enough money to workers to keep them alive, and keep all the profit. This is clearly unfair to the workers. This especially hurts unskilled or low-skill workers, since these workers are in low demand and high supply, companies simply don’t care if they leave; the companies can easily replace these unskilled workers with other persons, or even machinery. As a result, these workers have no choice but to work like slaves.


In early Britain and America, one of the first two nations to industrialize, brought the social issue of poor urban workers on the table. Various studies place average real wage increase in Britain between 30%~100% from 1780~1850 [1]; however, a lot of this was unevenly distributed and does not factor in environmental factors and standard of living [2]. After minimum wage was introduced in Britain in 1909, poverty was effectively reduced [3]; President FDR signed the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 into law as part of the Second New Deal to help get the U.S. out of the Great Depression [4].


It can be easily shown through statistical comparisons of minimum wage and income equality. It is the trend that income equality varies proportionally with minimum wage [5]. Of the 11 countries given in source 5 with higher minimum wages than the U.S., only one (Portugal) has a higher Gini index number than the U.S [6].



II. Minimum wage promotes progressive action from corporations and the general public.



As production value increases due to advancements in technology, company production will increase, while worker wage will stay the same. This causes an overflow of goods on the market with no one to buy them. Increasing worker’s wages will also increase demand, since these workers will now have the means to buy the products that they made. This is better as opposed to prices dropping, since dropping prices mean deflation, and deflation stagnates the economy because no one will want to invest in goods; deflation encourages investment in worthless and unproductive cash.


Having a minimum wage will also encourage employers to seek better and more efficient ways to do the job. Many machines were invented because employers simply didn’t want to use brutal human labor on everything. Investment in technology is a long term way to increase productivity.


As more urban workers are unable to find low paying jobs that will barely satisfy their survival needs, they will realize that education is the only way out. A family that has a higher wage earner has more of an incentive to let a child to receive a better education, while a family that requires child labor to keep itself alive will not be able to afford an education. An educated society is a much more productive society, since they will invent more efficient ways to produce goods.


Keeping the minimum wage high also increases quality in products. Since employers will now have to pay more per person, the quality to quantity ratio will increase. Quality is usually a better investment than quantity.



III. Minimum wage has almost no negative effect on unemployment rate.



Many people like to use the argument that Minimum wage makes employers more reluctant to hire since their work force now costs more. But that is simply not true. Even at minimum wage, an employer wouldn’t hire anyone unless they carried their weight. So, an employer earning a $7 profit per worker will have absolutely no incentive to hire less people even if he now only makes $5 per worker. In fact, if anything, the employer will now have to hire more people if he wants to keep a level profit. [7]



==========



[1]. http://www.economist.com...


[2]. http://economics.uwo.ca...


[3]. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...


[4]. http://en.wikipedia.org...


[5]. http://upload.wikimedia.org...


[6]. http://en.wikipedia.org...


[7].http://www.cepr.net...



Debate Round No. 2
JackFritschy

Con

The two points of this debate are does no minimum wage allow for worker exploitation and does it hurt bussiness. As for worker exploitation, that means that countries with no minimum wages will have higher poverty rates.Germany is one of the only countries without a minimum wage. Their poverty rate is the exact same as ours. In fact, new Mexico and California have minimum wages higher then the rest of the country. The national average is 15%. Calafornai has a poverty rate of 18%. New Mexico's is 21%. The city of San franisico has a the highest minimum wage in the country and it has a poverty rate of 23%. So places with high minimum wages can also have high poverty rates. Not having a minimum wage lifts people out of poverty because it makes it easier to find a job. As for making it more expensive more bussinesess, that's comment sense. You can have less of something that cost more. Any one in us who produces less 7.25 an hour is unhireable. You will not make a profit. With no minimum wage you could pay a worker that produces 7 dollars an our 6 dollars and they could learn job skill and eventually earn a higher wage.
Bullish

Pro

It appears that my opponent offered new arguments in the last round. I suppose I will rebut those as well, since I was expecting him to give only a rebuttal. I will not offer new arguments or defend my own.

==========

“Very few workers even work the minimum wage…”

Both pew research and the government bureau conclude that about 4.7% of all hourly-waged workers work at or below minimum wage as of 2012 [1][2]. That translates to about 3.6 million people. And this does NOT include the appreciable number of states and districts that have a minimum wage of above the federal minimum. Clearly, that’s not “very few” people. In addition, this number has been decreasing significantly since 1979, when 13.4% of hourly workers worked at or below minimum wage, despite increasing minimum lines. My opponent went on to base many of his later assertions on this statement.

“People have a choice of w[h]ere to work, if they want a very low paying job, it[’]s because they feel it[’]s the best choice”

The purpose of minimum wage is so that workers can survive their wages at a reasonable degree of health; in general, earning significantly below minimum wage is supposed to make a worker a very poor person and barely able or unable to survive. Indeed, some times working for inhumane wages and not working for any wages are the two evils that workers are stuck between; minimum wage is meant to alleviate one of those. Sometimes, the choice simply isn’t there, because the companies DO exploit people.

“Competition is better than minimum wage.” [Paraphrase]

I have shown this to not be true. Companies do and will exploit workers if there are no regulations. The assertion that “free market does fine” when it comes to protecting workers can’t be further from the truth. The proof is in Industrial Britain, where workers were regularly exploited until the government stepped in with the Factory Acts, child labor laws [3], regulations, and minimum wage. I have also shown why having a broad worker base that is willing to spend money is good for the economy. The assertion that “Bu[s]inesses will try to offer the best wages possible to compete for workers” is ludicrous; worker competition only becomes an issue when a certain skill set is in low supply. This virtually never happens at skills that are worthy of minimum wage.

“As for worker exploitation, that means that countries with no minimum wages will have higher poverty rates.”

No. it means that countries without minimum wages will have lower worker wages. Cherry picking states that suit your case doesn’t work. Failing to look outside of the U.S. also doesn’t make it work.

The fact that the minimum wage is below the poverty line [4] in the U.S. doesn’t help you either, since this means people in poverty are going to remain in poverty even when their wages are boosted.

To make that EVEN worse, your examples of poverty rates are BLATANTLY FALSE; the one thing debaters hate more than arguments from ignorance is inherently FALSE statements; seriously. California’s poverty rate is 13.2%, New Mexico 17.9% [5], and San Francisco 15.2% [6]. I don’t know where you got your news form, but I’m guessing it’s some right-wing liar. Yes, my liberal colors are showing because I can’t stand it when people lie like this.

Oh, and Germany does have pseudo-minimum wage laws [7]. Not only that, they legalize and enforce collective bargaining and have a vague law that bans “immorally” low payments [8].

“Any one in us who produces less 7.25 an hour is unhireable.”

Conceded. However I have shown that this has minimal impact, and encourages people to be more productive.

==========

Conclusion:

I have shown that:
1. Minimum wage prevents worker exploitation.
2. Encourages progressive action.
3. Has an unappreciable impact on unemployment that is far balanced out by its other benefits.

My opponent has:
1. Failed to show that minimum wage causes poverty.
2. Failed to show that companies will treat workers humanely without minimum wage.
3. Lied.

Vote PRO.

==========

I’d like to add that the current minimum wage laws are far from perfect. Something more along the lines of productivity, more exemptions for people such as part-time college students willing to work for less than minimum wage, or inequality controls like they have in Germany would be more ideal. I believe that the current minimum wage in the U.S. does not need raising; in fact I think lowering it to about $6 per hour would be more sensible, since $6 per hour would still be about the recent historical average minimum wage adjusted for inflation. $15 per hour is ridiculous.

[1]. http://www.pewresearch.org...

[2]. http://www.bls.gov...

[3]. http://eh.net...

[4]. http://billmoyers.com...

[5]. http://en.wikipedia.org... (The data compiled here is from the United States Census Bureau.)

[6]. http://www.city-data.com...

[7]. http://www.wageindicator.org...

[8]. http://en.wikipedia.org...

Debate Round No. 3
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
Lol. Didn't read any of my sources, or even your own, did you...

I didn't call you a liar. I blamed your source and you failure to read it. It may have more polite to call you a liar.
Posted by JackFritschy 3 years ago
JackFritschy
For your benifit, here's where I got my statistics http://www.bizjournals.com...
http://www.sfgate.com...
One of of this is private. The public policy institute is very nonpartisan. In fact this study shows poverty In California as 21% higher then what I origanely found. You can try to cast doubt on the californai study but the nm one is from the cencus. I will politely refrain from calling you a liar and inform you that you're info is four years old. I also live in new Mexico and poverty is pretty damn high thanks to democratic management.
Posted by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
I mean no offense saying that you do not adequately understand the scope outside of the U.S. In fact you show slightly more knowledge than I would expect from the average American.
Posted by Yraelz 3 years ago
Yraelz
Or I'll redo this one with you.
Posted by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
Since he's on right now, I'm going to friendlily remind Con that his argument for this debate is due in about 2 hours.

It seems that Con are currently engaged in at least 5 active debates. I would suggest that no one engage in more than 3 debates at one time, as doing so would suck one's life away and perhaps decrease the quality of one's arguments.
Posted by JackFritschy 3 years ago
JackFritschy
Sure net benifits or any argument you can come up with.
Posted by Bullish 3 years ago
Bullish
I will not argue based only on unemployment. I will argue based on net benefits. I will accept this once my opponent acknowledges this.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dtaylor971 3 years ago
dtaylor971
JackFritschyBullishTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: The reliable sources definitely goes to pro, and so does the arguments. Since neither one acknowledged each other, conduct is tied. Pro wins by a small margin in spelling and grammar.
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
JackFritschyBullishTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con showed he was painfully ignorant about how wages even works and what the minimum wage impacts, whereas pro showed and proved that the minimum wage can certainly benefit society and protect workers against unfair exploitation.... Pro's arguments were better, and eh used a ton of sources to reinforce his arguments whereas con didnt use sh**.