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

Minimum wage should be decreased to where it has little to no effect on labor supply and demand.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/17/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 256 times Debate No: 102017
Debate Rounds (4)
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I work as a supervisor making 10.25 an hour at a fast food chain. The majority of our employees make minimum wage which in West Virginia was increased to 8.75 in 2016. Part of my job is to maintain an "acceptable" labor percentage as determined by the district manager. We typically shoot for less than 22% however the owners wanted to drop that to 20%. Meaning that regardless of an employee's wage, for a day with $6000 sales we can allocate 1320 for labor. We're open 19 hours a day but obviously are busier for lunch and dinner. In our example day, we have 150 hours to give out (not accounting for supervisors and a couple random employees making more). Compared to 2015's $8 minimum, we have 15 hours less to give out. Compared to 2014 which matched the federal minimum, we have 32 less hours. How did we compensate for this? The owners were not and are not taking a cut. If they're smart businessmen, they won't because then there's no point in them taking a risk on owning a franchise if they're not making a decent profit. Total labor cost remains steady so hours were cut and we have less employees. This means service is slower, training is virtually non-existent, store has gotten dirtier, employees have become unhappy, and customer service has suffered because employees are expected to do more work. We cannot give raises because that will require people to do more work and quite frankly, they're not worth more. I work with high school students, college students, young parents, school dropouts and your average young adult starting in the workforce. People have seen very little, if any, increase in paycheck because hours were cut and we have less employees. When the store opened about 7-8 years ago there were 116 employees, people enjoyed their job, and customer service was great. Today, everybody wants a new job, service is slow, and we have less than 50 employees.

I am a college studenrt graduating this semester with an Industrial Engineering degree so intend to move on and up in life. For some of these people, that isn't an option. They are stuck living off 700-1000 a month take home pay (averaging near 30-38 hours a week). Will increasing minimum wage help these people? No, because once again more will be expected in fewer time. Will decreasing the minimum wage (to near abolishment) help these people? I believe so because it will allow us to hire more help and train people better to once again provide a positive work environment. Will they be able to live? Yes, they already seem to have disposable income now. In my opinion, if you can afford cigarettes, weed, tanning beds, alcohol and fast food, you already believe your basic physical needs are met. An additional need in life is happiness, which is drastically being compromised by their highly-stressful job. Unfortunately as a management team, we struggle to fix this because we're stuck between that and profit. The profit is what protects our jobs.

It takes a teenager 3 times as long as me to complete a basic task. I'm getting 10.25 while they're getting 8.75. Should I be worth 26.25? If you were the owner, is that what you would pay me? Should they be worth 3.42? Why would you want that wage to be illegal?

Because of these reasons, I firmly believe minimum wage is too high. I would like to hear a progressive's opinion and perspective on the issue. Please address your thoughts on my experience as well. Thanks!
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