The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
24 Points

Minumium wage is wrong and is bad

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/27/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 887 times Debate No: 38195
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (4)




The minimum wage is bad for many reasons. Here's my best two

1. It kills jobs.

"If we took away the minimum wage -- if conceivably it was gone -- we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level." -Michele Bachman

Bachman is a very credible polition. She wouldn't have stated this if she haden't done intesensive research in the subject,

2. It violates the constitution,

First amendemnt say

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances

Making a wage minuimum would spit on the first amendment. Because a boss can't freely say "I'm going to pay you X amount" His speech is restricted to a certain amount, not whatever amount he wants.


I accept this debate, and thank PRO for creating the challenge. This gives me an opportunity to address one of the myths that seems to be connected to the minimum wage... which is that it kills jobs and retards employment. I will also discuss whether or not it violates the First Amendment rights to peaceably assemble, to petition for redress of grievances, to determine one's own spiritual path and press freedoms.

Being only a three round debate, I think that I should provide a brief overview in this round of my position.


Limiting the amount of poverty in the US with a minimum wage helps to protect the health of consumer base, which businesspersons need in order to maintain profits. A healthy minimum wage also helps to protect taxpayers, who must subsidize businesses that pay their employees too little to survive on without welfare. Finally, the minimum wage has been raised many times since its inception, but never has been accompanied by the mass job losses that have always been predicted.

It's hard to see how the First Amendment can be used as an argument against the minimum wage. CON states that the inability of an employer to say "I will pay you X" to a worker is an infringement on the free speech rights of that employer. However, the First Amendment has many restrictions that are already established by the Supreme Court as reasonable. These restrictions include laws against treason, threats, libel. counterfeiting and fraud. It seems that entering into illegal contracts would also apply as reasonale restrictions.

I look forward to a good debate!
Debate Round No. 1


But it costs the empolers so they cant pay as much. Its a negative feedback loop. Bachman said so. So did forbes. Why not just make the minimum $50? It would eleminate poverty.

"Supporters of raising the minimum cite poorly done studies by agenda driven "research" groups that allege to show that raising the minimum doesn"t harm employment. This defines common sense and is not supported by good academic research. The Law of Demand always works: the higher the price of anything, the less that will be taken, and this includes labor."

More proof in there

Yes the first amendment has restrictions. You cant yell fire in a crouded theater. But the supreme court has never said anything about restircting it with the minimum wage! It doesn't make threats or anything or treason.


Before I address the specific issues raised by CON, I feel that a few facts should be presented on the larger subject of the minimum wage.

Minimum Wage FAQ

What is a minimum wage?
Every society has a certain minimum level of economic strength that each member needs to achieve in order to remain an asset to that society, and not become a burden.

In the United States, for example, that minimum level of economic achievement (for workers in most regions) is around $15/hour. [1] Those who earn less than $15/hour are unable to obtain adequate levels of food, housing, and other needs in our society. That means that society has to come to decision about what to do with these people. Do we abandon them to be supported by family and friends? Or do we support them with public assistance and welfare programs? Some other combination of participants.

The concept of a minimum wage argues that employers should pay for the labor that they purchase from their workers with wages that are attractive when compared to welfare.

Moreover, minimum levels of wage requirements prevent societal over-saturation of workers who are desperate for work, and impoverished. History has proven that very large numbers of people who are willing to subjugate themselves to powerful employers can destabilize a society. [2]

It is in the best interest of the public to require that these minimum economic needs are met somehow - and asking that employers pay a fair price for the labor that they purchase is one important part of how a society can ensure that those who work can avoid poverty.

This is especially true if the public is going to pay tax money to prevent mass poverty. The taxpaying society has the right to ask employers to pay their workers fairly if those taxpayers are required to maintain the welfare system that could otherwise be relieved by fair wages.

If the public were to choose not to help alleviate poverty within its society, then the public will be forced to pay to remedy the many negative effects that deep poverty can cause. (High levels of crime, disease among those who cannot afford health care, wage slavery and worker subjugation are all very expensive societal ailments.)

So taxpayers are left with the bill either way... unless employers are required to help out as well. Minimum wage laws are intended to ask employers to help create a society that has more members that are made self-sufficient through work, and not burdensome to the public, by paying a fair wage for the labor that they purchase from their workers.

What happens if the minimum wage is set too low?
When workers cannot work hard enough to lift themselves out of poverty, they lose the incentive to productively sell their labor. Instead, they begin to rely on more lucrative methods of sustenance, for example returning to a gathering/scavenging lifestyle, begging, or finding private benefactors who will support them. In developed nations such as the US and Great Britain, a minimum wage that is set too low will trigger an economic migration onto social welfare systems. Faced with the choice between unproductive work and more profitable welfare, most workers will choose the option that presents them with the most beneficial reward for their efforts.

The welfare system should be seen as a subsidy to employers that do not pay their workers a wage that is high enough to prevent those workers from falling below certain poverty thresholds that society has deemed to be unacceptable. Taxpayers add to the inadequate paychecks with food stamps, housing assistance and other welfare programs, so that these workers do not fall into extreme poverty.

How Do Minimum Wages Impact Supply and Demand?
The need to be a self-sufficient member of society as a result of engaging in productive labor is a society-wide requirement. That means that the demand is universal - no significant portion of society wants to live in lethal levels of poverty, and no society wants large numbers of impoverished populations living nearby.

Therefore, since the demand to be self-sufficient is universal, the typical economic
rules that regulate "Supply and Demand" mechanisms do not apply. The minimum economic needs of these people will be met somehow - the question is why employers should not be required to meet some of this burden by paying workers a fair price based on the value of the work that they perform? [3]

Society should balance these social engineering priorities. The public also has a need to support employers by creating a welfare state that will permit business owners to pay their workers somewhat less than their competitors abroad must. These welfare subsidies allow American workers to be cost-competitive compared to foreign labor pools in other nations.

However, a balance must be struck: make the welfare programs too lucrative for workers, and the American work force becomes unproductive. Make these programs too stingy, and American labor becomes too expensive (or else Americans become underpaid and impoverished.)

Supply and demand forces are not only economic: they are also societal. Balancing the economic needs of society with the needs of the public to remain a good source of productivity is an important reason to maintain minimum wage laws. [4]

Can We Make Everyone Wealthy by Setting a Very High Minimum Wage?
No. Other pay scales would increase in a way that is commensurate with the minimum wage, thus reducing the delta between the minimum pay rates and those for better paid workers.

Do Minimum Wages Violate Free Speech?

Debate Round No. 2


republicantown forfeited this round.


In the first round, my opponent put forward a popular myth about the minimum wage. That is reduces employment by making labor more expensive. It actually does the opposite: it increases hiring by expanding the consumer base.

This is accomplished by making slightly less surplus value available from worker labor available to employers, and instead allowing it to be retained by the workers that produce that surplus value. These workers then be

Global Data:
Simply put, if raising the minimum wage reduces employment, then nations that have instituted and raised the minimum wage should see reductions in employment when compared to those nations where employers are not required to pay their employees as well. The data shows very clearly that minimum wage economies are much stronger than those with no minimum pay requirements. [1] Some examples of nations with no minimum wage laws, and no collective bargaining substitutes,are: Somalia, North Korea, Malaysia, Brunei and the small African nations of Djibouti and Guinea. None of these economies are enviable. [2]

Despite tons of data, there is not even a single example of an economy that does not require minimum standards of pay for its workers that has higher levels of employment over comparable ones that do. (Not all developed nations have historically had formal minimum wages. Germany, for example, has traditionally relied on labor unions and collective bargaining to protect worker salaries instead of federal minimum wage laws.)

Historical Data:

The minimum wage has been raised in the US many times. This allows us a large data field to study. This abundant data tells us that raising the minimum wage has no negative effect on unemployment, and may help to encourage increases in labor utilization. This becomes obvious when we look at historical employment levels. Despite an ever increasing minimum wage over the same time period, employment trends in the US do not mirror changes in the minimum wage.

Source URL: <a href= Image URL: [3] Unemployment rate since 1948" />


Further, when we look at the exact dates of the minimum wage increases by year, we see even fewer possible negative impacts on employment. For example, unemployment often seems to decrease in the years following legislated increases in the minimum wage.

Source URL: <a href= Image URL: Minimum wage increases by year [4]" />

No matter how convincing the arguments to the contrary may sound, a closer look at the actual data does not support any argument that minimum wage increases result in large scale layoffs and workforce reductions.

How Does Minimum Wage Work?
Minimum wage laws allow workers to keep a slightly larger share of what they earn, they promote a healthy consumer base for businesses, and helps productive work to raise the lowest income earners from poverty.

As stated earlier, few Americans who earn less than $15 and hour can be self-sufficient. Without partnering with other income earners to share living expenses, most persons who earn less than this threshold will eventually become an economic burden to the rest of the economy. These persons will require help from friends and family, as well as the taxpayers, in order to obtain proper nutrition, safe housing and provide for their children. It does not benefit an economy to accumulate too many persons who cannot survive unassisted. The minimum wage seeks to reward hard work. If workers are willing to work hard, then a public is forced to use legislation in order to prevent employers from generating too many impoverished consumers.

The minimum wage works thanks to a concept known as Surplus Value. Surplus value can be thought of as capital generation; profits, income, markup, etc. Businesses combine parts and labor, and then produce goods or services that they can then resell. This surplus is harvested, and then distributed out in the form of wages, re-investment, or savings.

Allowing this capital to flow back to workers allows those workers to become more valuable consumers, enriching and resupplying the consumer base with minable capital.

The Dangers of Removing the Minimum Wage

The primary risk that might come from removal of the minimum wage is capital restriction. The minimum wage is not the only means by which the American consumer base is resupplied with capital that can be extracted by businesses, but it is an important mechanism that helps to keep potential customers wealthy enough to support a professional class population. The wealthier the broad masses of citizens are, the more lucrative they are to market goods and services to.

On the other hand, if too many employers are allowed to underpay too many workers, then an economic system runs the real risk of over-contaminating a consumer base with those who are too poor to patronize area businesses, and who may become an overall burden to the economic system. The minimum wage helps to maintain the health of businesses that need consumers, it helps to stimulate the flow of capital throughout an economy, and it helps reward hard work, by making work more lucrative than welfare.

Debate Conclusion: Is the Minimum Wage "Wrong and Bad?"
It is obvious that the minimum wage helps workers keep more of the money that they earn, and there is no evidence (despite generations worth of data) that it reduces levels of employment. It also helps to enrich consumers with resupplied capital that in turn makes it possible to market to them. It also helps to prevent economic anemia that might result from too many citizens who are not self-sufficient economic participants.

Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
I would debate minimum wages
Posted by GarretKadeDupre 2 years ago
Was Pro drunk for this entire debate?
Posted by Double_R 3 years ago
"Bachman is a very credible polition. She wouldn't have stated this if she haden't done intesensive research in the subject"

Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
. . . with money for cost of living expenses . . .
Posted by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
Having a minimum wage that can provide the lower classes with cost of living expenses is morally right. In fact, in the United States, minimum wage should be increased. If a person running a business cannot afford to pay minimum wage, he shouldn't be running a business in the first place.
Posted by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
Freedom of speech is about speech. Contracts are written, not spoken.
Posted by ADreamOfLiberty 3 years ago
A minimum wage is objectively wrong, but it does not violate the constitution. I don't see what in the first amendment gave you that idea?
Posted by republicantown 3 years ago
Bad for the economy
Posted by StevenDixon 3 years ago
Are you arguing that minimum wage is objectively wrong or bad? or just that it would be harmful to our economy?
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by brant.merrell 3 years ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: This is not a vote-bomb. Pro forfeited the last two rounds, spelled the words "polition," "empolers," misspelled Michelle Bachmann's first and last name, made grammar mistakes, forgot multiple apostrophes, made incohesive arguments with confusing organization, stated that raising minimum wage to $50/hour would eliminate unemployment (no doubt an attempt at satire, parody or slippery-slope argument, but I tried to make sense of it and couldn't), misinterpreted the first amendment, and used Michelle Bachmann as a credible economic source. Con formed consistently full sentences, was informative and respectful, provided two full charts to help illustrate her points, and cited good sources. And her avatar is cute, not the face of an idiotic pundit.
Vote Placed by Cermank 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: A clear win to Con. She neatly countered all the points Pro made. Pro could have easily built upon his unemployment point with studies and theories, without resorting to appeal to authority. The violation of first amendment was a perplexing point that he could not back up. Pro assertion was clear, thorough and relevant. Kudos! Although I'd like to see you up against someone else. :P
Vote Placed by Juan_Pablo 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro forfeited this debate so he loses conduct points. Con demonstrated why Minimum wage is necessary. She also used many, many more reliable sources than Pro did, so she wins points there. The debate's resolution was defeated!
Vote Placed by Weiler 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro used bad grammar, unsupported arguments, and few, but clearly biased sources. Furthermore, pro abandoned the debate.