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

Minimum wages lead to unemployment

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amomar has forfeited round #4.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/29/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 222 times Debate No: 95072
Debate Rounds (4)
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This debate will be about how minimum wage affects unemployment, and about how minimum wage laws really affect the ones they're meant to help.

Whoever my opponent is, I look forward to an enriching and meaningful debate.

The only rules are not to troll, forfeit, or insult your opponent.

Here's how the debate will be structured:
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Pro's opening argument, Con's rebuttal.
Round 3: Con's argument, Pro's rebuttal.
Round 4: Pro's rebuttal to rebuttal, closing points, Con's rebuttal to rebuttal, closing points.

Good luck!


According to, the minimum wage is defined as "a legally mandated price floor on hourly wages, below which non-exempt workers may not be offered or accept a job."

Minimum wage does not lead to unemployment, because as a social tool, it is vital to protect those who are exposed heaviest to the realities of open market environments. Those who are most exposed are mostly those living on the fringes of society. They exist in both developed and developing economies. In advanced economies, the state apparatus would be in a greater position to secure social protection for the poor. If they are not taken care of, then the government would lose out in the long-run that could be triggered by potential social disruption and unrest due to the gross exploitation of workers in an industry that would seek to exploit them by building up a framework of long-term dependency on the company. Without adequate income, a family would not be able to secure much-needed savings to go up the social ladders, thereby ruining the social mobility process which is so needed for economies to succeed in the long-run. Having a minimum wage would enable them to succeed in the long-run and therefore the economy will succeed too.
Debate Round No. 1


I said the first round was for acceptance only, but we might as well start now. That being said, please note that my opponent provided no sources, so all of his arguments are speculation.

As the definition says, workers may not accept a job below minimum wage. This actually works against unskilled workers, who are the very people the minimum wage is supposed to "protect". Because they are unable to out compete more skilled workers, this results in many people not having jobs at all when they could have had at least $10,000 a year. Another ill affect of minimum wage is that is prevents teens from getting jobs, since they can't box out the more skilled adults. This lack of job experience and funds could very well hurt them in the future. We also have to consider the employer's point of view. Many small companies can't afford to pay for increasing minimum wage, destroying many jobs that would have provided at least some money to families. To offset these expenses, the small companies who can afford to pay higher minimum wage would have to raise prices, further hurting low-income or poverty families. Even at the current minimum wage, many marginal family owned companies may struggle to get off the ground. Because of the minimum wage, many people couldn't secure savings to climb the social ladder, as you said. But without minimum wages, they could secure basic income and some job experience to better their future. And because companies need employees to function, the same companies that my struggle due to the minimum wage might work their way up in funds, paying more employees more money to work. This would be virtually guaranteed, because of the competitive nature of wages. For these many reasons, minimum wage would in fact hurt the very people it's meant to benefit.



On the contrary, minimum wage does help to in improving the social mobility of those affected most in adverse conditions, in such, it would provide them a living wage enough not just to survive but to secure extra income to afford the much-needed provisions for their family and livelihoods. Examples such as obtaining a basic income of $2,000 per month which would be enough to pay for the rental, car fuel, child's education, income tax, and much more. Had there not been a minimum wage, and given the ample supply of labours in the market, the private sector being profit-driven would drive down the prices of wages to, say $1000, leaving the worker in the lurch. He would then be socially, physiologically, & physically drained from all the work that would be placed on him in the name of producing the firms' profit. According to the Socialist Labour Party website, "(t)he richest 20% of the world's population receive each year 86% of the world's wealth - while the poorest 20% of the world's population exist on just 1% of the world's annual wealth." Is is not about time that society demands a fair share from these MNEs to distribute the wealth to the people? Without adequate laws or legislation, the people would be exposed of being egregiously exploited by top MNEs. By placing the right form of law, such as minimum wage, it would ensure that it would secure the livelihoods of the people and this, in turn, would secure a proper social foundation of an economy. This, in turn, would create a 'virtuous cycle of growth' needed to generate a bigger middle class, a stronger consumer market, a greater demand for products, and therefore bigger business opportunities for young firms to capitalise on. It is through these cycles that would help to generate greater economic activity in the form of the setting up of new businesses, and this, in turn, would create more employment. Minimum wage therefore does not lead to unemployment.

Debate Round No. 2


As you said, the private sector is profit driven, but that profit has to come from somewhere. A MNE offering minimum wage would be driven out by companies paying higher amounts, leading to potential failure of the company. Most multinational salaries, such as Procter & Gamble, pay wages far above minimum wage. How would the minimum wage increase overall salaries in those companies? For minimum wage to help, those companies should be paying minimum wage. Even if the top 20% own 86% of the world's wealth, then that still doesn't mean that minimum wage is the way to fix that. As I said before, minimum wage doesn't lead to a "virtuous cycle of growth", it leads to the opposite. If anything, minimum wage prevents competition in wages, meaning that instead of earning $10000 dollars a year, an unskilled worker with little education would earn nothing. This prevents social mobility, as the same people will continuously be beaten by more skilled workers, working for the same salary. As a result, minimum wage would prevent jobs, at social mobility of those in poverty.



MNEs with their war chest of billions can afford to hire white-collar workers at a premium because they possess the skill sets, education, and training to compensate for such high salaries. They are not the subject of this debate, but rather the unskilled workers who are on the lowest totem pole of society, for they are the ones who make up the labour components in the factories and manufacturing centres run and lead by these white-collar workers and MNEs. Many of these factories are located in developing countries. Those who make up these workers would mostly be paid at the lowest scale. Often times, this is because developing nations do not possess the right form of legislation to protect the social welfare of the people affected the most by the volatility and caprices of the market, such as the exhortation by MNEs to produce the greatest possible output at the lowest wage . At worst, some of those in the factories are women (1).

Without adequate protection, they would be exposed to the dangers of market changes so terrible that it may literally endanger their lives. Take for instance what has happened in Bangladesh when a garment factory crashed and took the lives of 1000 people (2). Muhammad Yunus, in his article, appealed to have the government to introduce social protection laws, such as the minimum wage in order to protect their livelihoods (3). These people have no prior skill sets, education, and training; but given a minimum wage, it would enable workers to have basic rights to live. To live with the money they honestly earn to survive so crucial to human dignity and upward social mobility. To avoid being exploited by the MNEs, which already has possessed billions of dollars of war chest, and rather utilise the minimum wage as a redistribution policy to give the workers their due income they sorely deserved. Therefore minimum wage does not lead to unemployment. Rather it enhances employment and results in a greater socio-economic performance in the long-run through a fair and just redistribution of profits made by the MNEs to those who it owes the most - the workers.

Once the MNEs does this then a trickle down of wealth would flow down to the societies they operate on. And this, in turn, would precipitate economic development. Minimum wage serves as a policy that would help economies in the long-run to develop, and once it develops it can then in turn generate sustainable growth and growth in turn would generate more jobs. The virtuous cycle of growth continues and would put a halt a vicious cycle of gross exploitation of workers (4). The minimum wage is the way to do it.

1) This is How Women are Exploited in Today"s Global Workforce ";
2) Bangladesh factory collapse toll passes 1,000 -
3) Minimum wage for workers in Bangladesh raised after protests -
4) Virtuous circle and vicious circle -

(The pro-side has been using personal pronouns, such as 'You', 'I' to make his points. The writer should avoid such means of communications to avoid being too personal in the debate.)
Debate Round No. 3


Con says that MNEs aren't the subject of the debate, since they pay well, yet he also says that the MNEs try to underpay their workers for maximum labor. I don't see how that hypocrisy is logical. I agree that the topic of this debate is the lower class, and the fact is that MNEs are becoming increasingly technology based. Jobs in factories are dropping, and those that remain are being replaced by technology. With that technology comes new jobs based on operating the machines rather than actual labor in the factories. Despite the inherent dangers of factory jobs, these new jobs are safer than ever, and require less exertion than before. None of Con's sources say that the low wages of factory workers in developing countries are due to a lack of legislation; the reason is that workers are willing to work for less than in more developed areas like the U.S. This is regardless of gender, and I don't see how it would be worse to have women in factories. Seems like blatant sexism to me.

This clearly shows that it is not minimum wage that protects them in any way. Physical danger is mitigated, and incidents such as the factory crash have nothing to do with the minimum wage. Speaking of which, it seems like almost all of Con's arguments are based on incidents from Bangladesh, which is an undeveloped country that is growing, and will eventually switch to a service based economy like many other developed countries. If anything, a higher minimum wage will slow down that inevitable transition. This would simply prolong the abundance of factories and lower paying jobs, while preventing easier, safer, and better paying jobs from coming to the country.

There is one more thing that I would like to address. I have repetitively emphasized how minimum wages prevent unskilled job candidates from gaining employment, but Con seem to be fixed upon the concept that a minimum wage will provide those workers with enough money to live. The minimum wage won't do anything for the people who can't get a job, the very people the minimum wage laws are supposed to benefit. As one can see from my arguments, the minimum wage not only proves ineffective at helping to reduce poverty rates, it also slows economic growth and prevents social mobility on the lowest rungs of the ladder. If Con wants to bring up virtuous and vicious cycles, the minimum wage would definitely qualify as the latter. If anything, the inflation from increases in minimum wage would hurt the unemployed more than it would help those who already have jobs, albeit low paying ones. In conclusion, minimum wage comes with a plethora of negative effects, far outweighing the useful qualities. The minimum wage isn't helping anyone, and it certainly shouldn't be increased. Vote pro.

Note to Con: Please don't post an argument for the last round, as you posted one in the acceptance round. This would mean that Con would have one more round to argue in, which could lead to a biased debate.

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Debate Round No. 4
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