The Instigator
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The Contender
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Minimum wage laws should be abolished.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/31/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 509 times Debate No: 75993
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
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First round is acceptance.


First and foremost I accept this debate.

First I am going to give you defintions then constructive arguements.
  1. Minimum wage laws by Merriam Webster- an amount of money that is the least amount of money per hour that workers must be paid according to the law (
  2. Abolished by to do away with; put an end to; annul; make void:(
  1. Minimum wage is needed reports Keep the Middle Class (

Moreover, there are many benefits and little costs of a Federal minimum wage. As opposed to the EITC (Earned Income Tax Credit), the minimum wage adds nothing to the federal deficit and will likely decrease the deficit by reducing welfare payments. Furthermore, the minimum wage can be an effective stimulus on the economy.

This has a few impacts
A- The minimum wage protect the United States and the world's econmy
B- Minimum wage decreases the amount of United States debt
C- Minimum wages reduces the amount of welfare pay outs thus freeing up money for other sections of the federal budget

Debate Round No. 1


I'll first go over my own arguments, then go into what LincolnDouglas101 has stated.

FIRST- Employment.
A minimum wage specifically hurts the low-skilled workers, who make up the majority of people in poverty [1]. For example, if the minimum wage is $10.10, as Obama is proposing currently, any worker whose value to a company is less than $10.10 will be fired, since it will no longer be profitable to hire them. The economic literature agrees with this [2], showing that, as minimum wage increases, so does unemployment, particularly for the most impoverished who need it the most. Logically, businesses will seek to find ways to cut the costs as much as possible, and as the price of labor increases, the demand for it will decrease. Moreover, this employment decrease can effect higher skill jobs as well. Many skills can be taught on the job, but not in a classroom [3]. The skills someone learns on the job may very well be part of their payment-- even if the direct salary for a person is, say, $2.50 an hour, they may value what they are learning on the job as $5 an hour. Eventually, that person would build up enough skills to gain a raise, or be able to work a better job at another company, yet in a world with a minimum wage, the added value from learning is not taken into account. Consequently, they are either forced to look at unpaid interships or apprenticeships (which may not be an option), reducing the overall skills that employees can look to. The overall negative effects of minimum wage apply disproportionately to people of color, especially the black community [4]. The history of the minimum wage involves white unions wishing to price black workers out of a job. Today, black workers continue to have less skills than white workers, meaning that, as in the past, people of color will face these harms at a far greater rate than white workers. Indeed, another argument claiming the racism of minimum wages is that, since the pool of unemployed people is much greater in a world with minimum wage, businesses do not have to worry about losing workers. Hence, if a worker quits due to racism or discrimination, a business owner can easily hire a replacement [5]. Cost cutting to deal with increased labor costs may come via automation, by replacing people with robots [6]. It may also come via reduced employee benefits. In Seattle, workers report losing free meals, free parking, paid vacation, retirement benefits, and health benefits, as employers struggled to meet the new costs [7].

SECOND- corporatist bias.
Big corporations are far better able to absorb minimum wage than smaller businesses, since they have more money to deal with increased labor costs [8]. Small businesses are continually left behind by minimum wages that they cannot afford. In Seattle, dozens of small businesses are shutting down because they are unable to pay the new minimum wage [9], while large businesses are able to remain. Perhaps the best evidence of this is what corporations themselves are saying. Corporations, including McDonalds and Starbucks, currently pay only a few cents more than the minimum wage to many of their workers. Yet these corporations are calling for an increased minimum wage [10][11]. Clearly, if McDonalds and Starbucks wanted to pay their workers $10.10 per hour, they would already be doing so. They seek a minimum wage raise because it keeps their small-business opponents from growing any larger, further leading to a dominance of large corporations. Minimum wage is blatantly unfair to small businesses, and as a result, is anti-competitive, going against the spirit of free market competition. Smaller businesses are also preferred by Americans, so much that 88% view them favorably, and 68% would pay more to buy at a small business rather than a large corporation [12].

THIRD- higher prices.
Employers also raise prices to respond to high minimum wages. This has already been demonstrated statistically-- a 10% increase in minimum wage increases food prices by 4% [13]. This increase in prices hurts everyone-- consumers, whether they are unemployed, making the minimum wage, or making above the minimum wage, must pay more, and businesses see a decline in revenue as the demand for their products decrease.
Now, looking at my opponents case.
I'd like to start off by examining the one source that they offered.
This source isn't a study or anything demonstrating the statistical net benefits of minimum wage. In fact, the statistics it does cite do not compare the benefits with the harms. The one key statistic cited in the article is a Federal Reserve statistic claiming there's an $800 per person income increase. I looked up the actual statistic this article is mentioning-- it is $700, not $800, per household, not person. The Federal Reserve then states that most of this $700 comes NOT from the minimum wage, but because minimum-wage earners go into more debt when the minimum-wage is raised [14]. My opponent's source ALSO doesn't measure this benefit against the price increases, and against the unemployment increases.

Protects the US and the world economies
How? I never got an explanation, and the source didn't mention this. If anything, it makes the US less competitive, because businesses look overseas to countries that don't have minimum wages.

Welfare benefit
Welfare spending on unemployment will increase, since more people will be unemployed. The welfare benefit is enormously small, only 7.6 billion [15] compared to a multi-trillion dollar US spending. If we want to reduce debt, we should aim for programs like Social Security and the military, which make up by far the biggest of US spending. In addition, total economic loss due to unemployment is 19.8 billion, which clearly outweighs this [15]. Moreover, studies have found that there is not actually an effect on poverty from minimum wage, which means that, if welfare spending is decreasing, not only are minimum wage earners just as impoverished as before, they have less welfare money to help them [16]. Finally, I'm not about to say debt is a good thing-- but for my opponent to win this argument, they need to show why debt is a bad thing. It has to be proven, not assumed.

Economic Stimulus
I already talked about the "stimulus" above-- it is fueled by debt increases. That money eventually has to be repaid. I present you with evidence that the prices are increasing-- if prices are increasing, this isn't a stimulus, it is people responding to higher prices by increasing their spending. There is no clear cost benefit analysis here. In fact, 5 out of the 6 minimum wage increases have had a recession immediately following them [17]. And most importantly, this doesn't look at spending DECREASES-- from people who have lost their jobs.



LincolnDouglas101 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2


Well, I guess all of my argument still stand.


LincolnDouglas101 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3


catsmeowmeow forfeited this round.


LincolnDouglas101 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Jack_D 1 year ago
It looks like LincolnDouglas has forfeited. I'd be happy to take his place; I believe very strongly I can rebut the Pro Arguments.
Posted by trevor32192 1 year ago
I really hope lincolndouglas101 is competent because this is an easy debate to win
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