The Instigator
TheRussian
Con (against)
The Contender
ajisthetruth
Pro (for)

Minimum Wage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/28/2016 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 403 times Debate No: 96437
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (0)

 

TheRussian

Con

I will be arguing that the minimum wage in US should be lowered (perhaps as much as being totally removed), my opponent will be arguing that the minimum wage should be raised.

Any questions can be answered in comments.

Should you accept, feel free to present your arguments in the first Round.
ajisthetruth

Pro

In 1934, Henry Ford wrote "Low wages are the most costly any employer can pay. It is like using low-grade material"the waste makes it very expensive in the end." Ford"s observation is as right today as it was then.

When workers struggle to make ends meet, productivity sags, absenteeism increases, morale suffers and turnover rises because workers are constantly hunting for better opportunities.

At the same time, as employees" pay stagnates or declines, fewer households have money to spend, meaning businesses see fewer customers. Consumer spending"which makes up 70 percent of the U.S. economy"is weakened, and more people go into debt or turn to government assistance just to get by.

Sadly, millions of Americans are facing this situation. Over the past 45 years, average worker productivity has more than doubled, while pay for middle- and low-income workers has either flatlined or fallen after being adjusted for inflation. This is due, in part, to our failure to raise the minimum wage.

The minimum wage is the floor upon which the entire wage structure is built. Unless it is periodically raised, a larger and larger segment of the population sees its living standards decline, in spite of a growing economy.

Today"s minimum of $7.25 an hour is worth 25 percent less than the minimum in the late 1960s. A full-time, minimum-wage worker earns about $15,000 per year, which is below the federal poverty line for a worker with just one child.

When there"s a significant gap between the wage floor and what it actually takes to live, not only do workers suffer, but good employers are penalized. Businesses that may want to pay a livable wage fear being undercut by "low-road" employers who pay dismal wages for even the slightest price advantage.

We need to raise the minimum wage to the point where the lowest-paid worker can afford their basic needs. An increase to $10.10 an hour as proposed by President Barack Obama would restore the wage floor to the same value it had in the 1960s. In doing so, it would lift earnings for nearly 28 million workers nationwide"roughly 1 in 5 U.S. workers.

Opponents claim that raising the wage floor will do more harm than good, forcing businesses to reduce staff, cut hours or hike prices. But research has shown that modest increases"like the proposed raise to $10.10"have little to no effect on employment and that affected businesses can absorb them with negligible price adjustments.

As the country struggled to pull itself out of the Great Depression, America"s business leaders saw what many employers are coming to recognize today"that paying dismally low wages has significant costs for businesses. To build a thriving economy, workers need to be paid wages upon which they can build a life.

--David Cooper, economic analyst, Economic Policy Institute

No one criticizes the salaries at Google, where the average employee makes more than $140,000 a year. Yet many complain about what McDonald"s pays. Average wages in the fast-food sector run around $9 an hour. Many Americans think this makes Google a "good" employer and McDonald"s a "bad" one. They propose fixing this through a minimum-wage hike. They seldom notice how this would hurt McDonald"s workers.

Google employs very skilled and educated workers"usually diligent, motivated self-starters. They come to the job with the skills necessary to succeed. By contrast, McDonald"s employees often lack work experience and the soft skills needed on the job: grit, motivation, reliability and teamwork. Google would not hire them.

McDonald"s teaches its workers how to function on the job, breaking down the work into tasks they can easily perform. This enables them to gain those soft skills. Their time at McDonald"s makes them more employable; most leave shortly for higher-paying jobs. The average McDonald"s employee leaves within a year.

Google does none of these things. The company pays a premium to hire workers who are already highly skilled.

McDonald"s could pay like Google if it transformed its business model. It could replace its cashiers with touch pads and its cooks with mechanized burger cookers. Inventors recently came up with a machine that cooks almost 400 gourmet hamburgers an hour with no human intervention. McDonald"s could install these devices, fire its line workers and hire a few skilled engineers at "good" salaries to keep the machines running. Would such a transformation benefit low-income workers? Or would it deprive them of entry-level job opportunities?

In fact, most Americans started off working within a dollar of the minimum wage. Few stayed there long. Two-thirds of minimum-wage workers earn raises within a year, typically of about 24 percent. Minimum-wage jobs provide a gateway to higher-paying work.

Raising the minimum wage will price less productive workers out of such jobs. Companies pay for productivity. Neither McDonald"s nor Google nor any other firm will pay its employees more than the value they create. Higher minimum wages make it harder for unskilled workers to get started in the job market.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that most minimum-wage workers have not yet turned 25. Three-fifths have no more than a high school diploma. Many of these young adults cannot yet produce $10 an hour of value for prospective employers. Raising the minimum wage effectively saws off the bottom rung of their career ladders. It prevents them from gaining the skills that would qualify them for higher-paying jobs. That hardly helps their prospects.

Higher minimum wages change who companies hire and how they structure their businesses. They do not cause businesses to pay workers more than the value they produce. McDonald"s could operate like Google, but that would hurt the low-income workers minimum-wage advocates want to help.

--James Sherk, senior policy analyst, labor economics, The Heritage Foundation

- See more at: https://des-edit.shrm.org...
Debate Round No. 1
TheRussian

Con

Thank you for your acceptance and arguments! Let's get into it.

"When workers struggle to make ends meet, productivity sags, absenteeism increases, morale suffers and turnover rises because workers are constantly hunting for better opportunities."
I totally agree, and in my view, having a minimum wage creates this exact issue and makes it worse by not providing any "better opportunities". Why? If there's a minimum wage, all the companies just pay that minimum or perhaps just above it.

"At the same time, as employees" pay stagnates or declines, fewer households have money to spend, meaning businesses see fewer customers. Consumer spending"which makes up 70 percent of the U.S. economy"is weakened, and more people go into debt or turn to government assistance just to get by."
Though I don't know where you got that 70 percent statistic (and "economy" is awfully general in that case), I agree with this as well.

"Unless it is periodically raised, a larger and larger segment of the population sees its living standards decline, in spite of a growing economy."
Precisely. If the minimum isn't flexible, problems arise. Abolishing the minimum wage solves this problem as there will be constant competition, constant opportunities and no "floor" for every company to stand on.

"But research has shown that modest increases"like the proposed raise to $10.10"have little to no effect on employment and that affected businesses can absorb them with negligible price adjustments."
Could you provide a source for this please?

As I was reading your argument, I realized you provided an argument for both sides which is a bit confusing since you're supposed to be arguing that the minimum wage should be raised.

Issues raised in your second half of argument pretty accurately reflect what I was going to say. The first half assumes that either:
a) I am arguing that people should be paid less
b) Abolishing minimum wage will lead to lower wages

However, the first is simply false and the second is something you must prove. If we look at things "theoretically", allowing for companies to decide their wages completely will create competition among companies to provide good wages and if workers aren't happy with it? They can actually go out and try to find an employer that will actually pay more for their work.

If we look at things on a "practical" level, we see that Switzerland voted to abolish the minimum wage and the result was actually an increase in average salaries.
http://www.fff.org...

Raising the minimum wage will push mechanization of companies, as mentioned by your second half. Why should McDonald's hire 5 people and pay everyone more, when they can just install a few machines and pay one manager?

I await your response.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ehsom 1 month ago
Ehsom
Oh... I was looking forward to an AMAZING SCIENTIFIC BREAKTHROUGH, not just another marketing technique.
Posted by RepublicanForLIfe 1 month ago
RepublicanForLIfe
:P Instead of describing it I just pulled it off Wikipedia.org: "4D film or 4-D film is a marketing term for an entertainment presentation system combining a 3D film with physical effects that occur in the theatre in synchronization with the film. Effects simulated in a 4D film may include rain, wind, strobe lights, and vibration."
Posted by Ehsom 1 month ago
Ehsom
@RepublicanForLife what's a 4D movie?
Posted by RepublicanForLIfe 1 month ago
RepublicanForLIfe
It was just an idea. :) I noticed that there would be very little evidence to debate.

Donald Trump would make a better comedian than Tony Horton (creator of p90x)
Posted by TheRussian 1 month ago
TheRussian
@DavidMancke I would be fine with arguing the topic, but I'm not sure I like the style. I would prefer a less-formal style of debate, but also could we debate it without having to offer a "plan" of our own perhaps? I'm okay with arguing against a gun ban though. Are we talking just US or any country?

@RepublicanForLlfe I don't have a strong or well defined position on the issue, so I'm not sure I'd be comfortable arguing either side, sorry :/
Posted by RepublicanForLIfe 1 month ago
RepublicanForLIfe
"Pardon me for my ignorance, but what exactly are you referring to with "3D" and "4D"?"

Sorry. :) I meant 3D movies and 4D movies. :)
Posted by DavidMancke 1 month ago
DavidMancke
Also, in policy debate formats, even less formal ones, the negative has the option to argue against the need the resolution addresses, or to accept the need is real and offer a better plan than the Aff.

In the second scenario that means the negative will offer a "counterplan" that is supposed to be unique or mutually exclusive from the Pro plan (pro argues ban all guns, negative argues ban fully automatic weapons but not all guns) this would as opposed to arguing that the need is not real or significant (guns don't kill people, crazy people do)

These are important rules to remember, because if the negative offers a counterplan, but it is not mutually exclusive of the pro plan, pro can just incorporate the negative plan and typically: automatically wins.

(pro argues for a gun ban, con argues for stronger punishment for gun crimes instead; pro says: "we can do both=pro wins by default)
Posted by DavidMancke 1 month ago
DavidMancke
Stock issues: Harms, Inherency, Solvency, Topicality, and Significance.

Harms: that the status quo has a problem that causes harms (people use guns for suicide)

Inherency: where the blame lies for the problem (most suicides are commit with gun in the US, cultures without guns see less suicide.)

Solvency: How your plan solves the problem (no guns=reduced suicide)

Significance: that the problem is significant, and therefore that your plan has a proportionally significant impact on the problem(s) causing the harms.

Topicality: that the plan offered is topical to the resolution (proposing world peace to stop gun violence would NOT be topical)

if you prefer a less formal arrangement I am okay with that too. I have had some ideas for a gun ban deabte from either side for a while now. It would be neat to test the cases in practice.
Posted by TheRussian 1 month ago
TheRussian
What exactly do you mean by "policy style with stock issues"?
Posted by DavidMancke 1 month ago
DavidMancke
How about a gun ban debate...? Max character counts. Policy style with stock issues. I will be pro or con if you are interested.
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