The Instigator
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
45 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Pro (for)
Losing
42 Points

On the authoritative minimum wage.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 13 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/17/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,151 times Debate No: 8307
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (35)
Votes (13)

 

wjmelements

Con

Minimum wages are economically stupid government policies.

The "authoritative minimum wage" is said to be "authoritative" to distinguish it from the hotly debated "natural" minimum wage.

Wage is always less than the value of the hourly produce of an employee's labour. Otherwise, the employee would not be hired.

Because of the nature of wage, we can divide the effects of minimum wage into three categories:
-When the value of the minimum wage is below what would otherwise have been paid
-When the value of the minimum wage is above the real value of the produce of labour
-When the value of the minimum wage is between what would otherwise have been paid and the real value of the produce of labour

If a minimum wage is lower than a job would otherwise pay, then it has no effect.

If a minimum wage is higher than the economic value of a job, then it eliminates that job from economic feasibility.

If a minimum wage is higher than what a job would otherwise pay, but lower than the economic value of a job, then the costs of labour increase.
If the costs of labour increase, the costs of products the labour produce increase.
If the costs of the products that said labour increases, then the price of everything goes up.
This price inflation balances out the effect of the minimum wage, so that the real (as opposed to nominal) value of the minimum wage drops again below the price labour would have otherwise paid.

So, in no case can a minimum wage have a positive effect.

Further, the third said case causes politicians to again raise the minimum wage, eliminating more jobs and creating more price inflation.

I await my opponent's case (as he is PRO, he shall present first). I will present the bulk of my case next round.
Danielle

Pro

Assumptions:

(1) That this debate is structured around the current going-ons of society ; (2) The United States can be the subject of this debate ; (3) This debate can refer to both a State imposed as well as a National minimum wage, as the Instigator has not stated otherwise.

Introduction:

My opponent has laid out a very nice argument for you obviously taken straight from an Economics class, as my opponent is correct in stating that the minimum wage, on paper, is economically unsound. However, many times other factors in a particular culture or society have implications that affect the way a system is supposed to work. For example, the current economic recession, the issue of outsourcing , America's problem with millions of undocumented workers, etc., have all factored into my reasoning as to why I am PRO in this debate.

Contentions:

1. Abuse of the Labor Market

A) Opponents of the minimum wage claim that its existence costs the labor market thousands of jobs, i.e. a business will hire less staff members because they can only budget a certain amount of money towards wages. This is an example of something that sounds good on paper, but in reality simply isn't true. The fact of the matter is, a business needs a certain amount of employees to run effectively. Legally, an employee can only work 40 hours a week without having to be granted Overtime compensation. Thus, it's highly unlikely that a manager would work his employees round the clock. Instead, he's going to hire the proper amount of people in order for his business to excel and be efficient. While maybe a FEW jobs may be lost, the likelihood of this is not nearly enough for you to concede to abolishing the minimum wage entirely.

B) Without a minimum wage, management can abuse their workers by offering extremely low compensation. Sure the response to this is, "Well nobody would work for a wage that was inappropriate." This is complete nonsense. History shows us (see: The Great Depression) that people will work for what's available to them when they are desperate. Imagine if the minimum wage was abolished right now, and every major corporation decided to pay those already making minimum wage just $2/hour. Surely that is unfair and inappropriate in comparison with the overall Cost of Living today.

So what would my opponent suggest? Everybody quit their jobs until demand forces employers to pay more? That is not necessarily an accurate response, one because job availability is already so scarce (see: Recession), and two because there are many undocumented workers or foreign workers with little to no skill who would be willing to work for a fraction of what typical Americans would. Thus, employers have the ability to completely abuse the job market. Further, with so many employees out of work or making so much less money, the economy would suffer GREATLY (as people would have no money to spend) and the recession would only get worse.

2. The minimum wage is necessary for many families.

A) There are millions of adults who work for minimum wage in this country. These people rely on these jobs (sometimes having two) in order to pay the bills and raise their families. If the minimum wage were abolished, thereby reducing wage rates, surely these adults would be unable to afford basic necessities like homes, clothing , food, etc. Teenagers who don't have any expenses (or have their basic needs met by their parents) would be willing to work for less compensation, because it is not as crucial of an income to them as it would be for adults and adults with families.

3. Abolishing the minimum wage puts an unfair burden on many Americans.

A) Unable to take care of themselves, families would be forced to receive government aid like Welfare and Unemployment. In addition to this being a huge kick in the face to many people who WANT to work (for their psychological and social well-being), it also puts a huge drain on tax payers and the economy at large. Those who have usurped the minimum wage paying jobs and who now pay taxes with their very low wages will contribute very little towards taxes. Instead, middle income families (those who don't make minimum wage) will be effected the most. The wealthy will pay very high taxes, it's true, but will not feel the effect as much as the middle class.

B) Additionally, inflation would surely occur due to less people being able to be active in the market. Therefore, the rising prices to balance out costs and whatnot would put additional burdens on the middle class.

C) On that note, competing nations would not have the same economic burdens, therefore being able to sell their products for less money. This would completely destroy the American economy, and further advance the very real problem of job Outsourcing.

4. The face of politics/tax distribution.

A) Obviously, political legislation would have to greatly be revamped and modified in order to sustain the new economic situation. Keeping many people extremely poor while a few (presumably business owners, CEOs, etc.) prosper exponentially can lead to a massive class separation even greater than the one that already exists. This is repressive and counterproductive to American ideals of equality (or rather equal opportunity) and can hinder many advancements that this country can have socially, technologically, etc.

B) More taxes going towards helping people survive means less money for social programs, scholarships, research, medical and technological advancements, urban planning , etc.

5. The facts.

A) Studies have also shown that higher wages reduce employee turnover, raise productivity, and increase product quality and customer satisfaction. Four out of five small business owners say that a ten percent minimum wage increase would have either a positive effect or no effect on their business. The Fiscal Policy Institute agrees that raising the minimum wage is good for small businesses. As the study says, "There may be a Henry Ford effect at work here. If you pay workers more, they can buy more, boosting the overall economy, especially among small retail businesses." [1]

B) "The federal minimum wage increase of 1996/97 was followed by the best low-wage labor market outcomes in decades. When that proposed increase was under discussion, opponents predicted massive job losses among those affected by the increase... Instead, the employment rates of the least advantaged workers soared to unprecedented levels, poverty rates fell to historic lows, particularly for minority populations, the least skilled workers, and single mothers. Low wages rose in step with productivity growth for the first time in almost thirty years. Note that I do not claim that the federal minimum wage increase was solely responsible for these outcomes… But Congress should take note: the 1996/97 increase complemented these conditions; it did not preclude them." -- Econmist Jared Bernstein [1]

Conclusion:

Like I said, economically speaking , an imposed minimum wage is non-sensical. However, in consideration with the current times, I think it's safe to say that a minimum wage is not only practical, but necessary. American workers, small businesses, and economists all agree that increasing the minimum wage is good for America. You should too.

Sources:

[1] http://www.dmiblog.com...
Debate Round No. 1
wjmelements

Con

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate and apologize for using "he" in the first round.

Regarding my opponent's assumptions, this debate concerns the general application of a minimum wage policy. Otherwise, nothing truly matters. The current situation in the United States can be referenced, but it is not the focus of the debate.

In my opponent's introduction, she claims that outsourcing is a reason to be PRO minimum wage, when, in fact, minimum wage is the ultimate cause of outsourcing. If the minimum wage is high enough, then it then becomes more practical to move means of production to a place with a cheaper labour market. She also claims that the recession is a reason to be PRO minimum wage, despite its harmful effects on employment, and that undocumented workers are an argument to be PRO minimum wage, when in fact, they are not.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
MY OPPONENT'S CONTENTIONS:
1a) My opponent claims that companies will still employ workers at a high wage. While this is true (as I have said in my first argument regarding when wages can be effectively risen), it leads to price inflation:
The natural price of a product is based on many factors and among these is labour. When the costs of labour increase, the price of its products increase as a result. When this happens market-wide (as it would with a minimum wage), it leads to this price inflation. This price inflation increases until the nominal value of labour is essentially what it was before [1].

1b) My opponent's following argument is based in logical fallacy. Workers are typically paid less when there is a greater supply than demand [2]. The influx of labourers should naturally lead to a decrease in the value of said labour. Workers earn less as a result. The claim that a minimum wage would help said labourers is logically flawed, as the nominal value of their work would be more likely than otherwise to sink below this value.

Cheap labour is always temporary. As labour is cheaper, it is easier to effectively start a new business. This should lead to an increase in demand of labour, resulting in the increase in value of labour [2]. Then, wages rise again.

My opponent argues that the economy would suffer "GREATLY" if people made less money; however, with cheaper labour comes cheaper products. Essentially, they live as before.

2a) My opponent has a political argument here. By saying that people work for the minimum wage and that said minimum wage would disappear, she creates fear for the labourer. This is actually how the minimum wage was instated. In this contention, my opponent argues that dependants would bid their labour down to compete with other workers for low paying jobs. Apparently, without a minimum to not bid below, labourers will bid their labour down infinitely. I have already shown how this ends itself (as it makes business cheaper and employment less preferable, more businesses are created, and the demand for labour rises back above the supply). The said cycle works out fine for all involved.

Simply, to say that people would not be able to afford "basic necessities" is silly.

3a) My opponent claims that "families would be forced to receive government aid". My opponent claims that this aid will include unemployment benefits. However, eliminating the minimum wage will not destroy any more jobs than it creates. In fact, it will create jobs formerly outlawed.

Further, the system in question is not particularly revolving around the United States. The question of welfare is irrelevant.

3b) My opponent claims that price inflation occurs when there is less demand. However, price deflation occurs instead. Rather than putting a burden on Americans, the market naturally eases them until prices return to their natural values.

Further, there will not be less demand because there will be more employment (which then leads to higher wages, etc.)

3c) My opponent makes an economically silly argument again saying that the cost of American goods will increase (false); therefore, the economy will be destroyed (which wouldn't happen anyways even if prices rose). Further, outsourcing would be cut as it would be more practical to keep production within the United States.

4a) My opponent claims that increasing employment rates and costs of labour would lead to a sudden increase in the income gap. However, making small business more practical would only help the economy. Increasing the demand for labour will only increase wages for labourers.

4b) See 3a. My opponent repeats herself.

5a) My opponent is correct in saying that higher wages would help the economy. However, a minimum wage will only cut jobs out of market plausibility. My opponent also says that 80% of business owners would not suffer from an increase in the minimum wage. My opponent's statistic is a drive-by statistic in that it groups those who would benefit with those who BELIEVE that they would benefit with those who would not. And as I have shown, none would benefit from an increase.
My opponent claims that some Fiscal Policy Institute has defended the minimum wage. However, there are many such institutes and her source is unverified.

I have already covered the effects of having a minimum wage in my opening argument (which my opponent merely laughed off and didn't respond to logically).

5b) Jared Bernstein is hardly nonpartisan. http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com...

C_) My opponent claims that "economists" agree that increasing the minimum wage is good for America. She sources ONE economist (not plural) from the left. her source is hardly reliable. However, the Wealth Of Nations, a book that effectively details every aspect of the capitalist system, is much more objective. Had my opponent sourced John Maynard Keynes, then her source would have been relevant.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
A minimum wage is illogical from the arguments above stated and from the still unrefuted truth in the first round. My opponent's logic is based in economic fallacy and statist propaganda.

[1] The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith. Chapter VI: Of The Component Parts Of The Price of Commodities.
[2] The Wealth of Nations, by Adam Smith. Chapter VIII: Of the Wages of Labour.
Danielle

Pro

Thank you, Con, for the apology and prompt reply.

- - -

Con writes that the minimum wage is the ultimate cause of outsourcing. I disagree. Reasons for outsourcing include, but are not limited to: staying focused in its core areas to drive business growth and operational efficiencies; the organization can improve importance and reliability; accelerate business transformation, etc. To assume that outsourcing occurs BECAUSE of the imposed minimum wage is incorrect. Moreover, even without an established MW, it would be cheaper for production and labor costs to outsource jobs, thereby making this contention absolutely irrelevant.

Additionally, Con writes, "She also claims that the recession is a reason to be PRO minimum wage, despite its harmful effects on employment," and yet he makes no mention of what those 'harmful effects' might be. Any negative effects he could be referring to are things I have already refuted in R1. He also says that I listed "undocumented workers are an argument to be PRO minimum wage, when in fact, they are not." Again, Con makes this assertion and yet offers nothing to back it up. My argument is that without an established MW, an employer could simply hire an undocumented worker to work for less money than a tax paying citizen. Con has yet to refute this notion that is rooted entirely in common sense.

Re: Contentions

1A) Inflation --> Con states that an increased cost of labor will lead to price inflation. Well first, the value of the item is determined largely in part by the market. How much the consumers are willing to spend on a particular product is paramount in determining cost. Second, what is the point of low priced items when people aren't making enough money to buy them? If consumers stop buying goods and services, it is only another factor that leads to price inflation, so you're screwed either way. Again, nobody is suggesting that you over-pay low skilled employees for their dime a dozen labor. Instead, what advocates for a minimum wage want is an established base pay that would barely help impoverished citizens get by. Those making minimum wage still live WAY below the poverty level.

Finally on this issue, who is to say that the value of one's labor would be LESS than the minimum wage? Say the minimum wage was set to $5, but (by some miracle) it was determined that the value of the labor was actually worth $6. The employer would then have to pay $6, and in that case, wouldn't more expensive labor lead to price inflation by your logic?

1B) Abuse of the Labor Market --> Con says that my argument regarding abuse of the labor market is rooted in a logical fallacy; however, I see no "fallacy" here. Either my opponent is misusing the term, or he has failed to make an adequate point. He says that workers are paid less when there is a greater supply (of laborers) than demand. That's true. He also notes that in a recession (when unemployment rates are high), or in a situation where there are many immigrants who are willing to work for very low pay, there ARE, in fact, a greater number of workers (supply) than demand. Therefore, employers have the power to abuse the workforce by offering low wages and getting away with it, because there will always be people willing to work. In other words, I have used my opponent's own logic and argument against him.

My opponent also notes that cheaper labor = business expansion. In other words, new employment opportunities and an increase in the value of labor. This is not necessarily true if the supply of workers still exceeds the demand. Plus, all this does is increase a gap in the standard of living: the rich get richer while the poor get poorer (because more business = greater profit for those at the top; their wealth increases and so do the value of goods - because they can afford to buy more - which decreases the value of labor for consumers who can't keep up and afford things).

2) Fear Mongering for Laborers --> Con suggests that employees would not bid their labor down without the existence of a minimum wage. Using common sense alone, we can see that this is blatantly false. If there is 1 job available and 5 people willing to work for it, an employee is going to lower their wage standard for a competitive edge at getting the job. We see this happen every single day in instances where the minimum wage is not even a factor. For example, someone right out of college might be willing to work the same job as someone 20 years their senior, but for $20,000 less (salary) a year. Thus we have the Human Resource issue in the labor field of management letting go of more experienced employees for the sake at keeping costs (labor) down. All this does is deplete the value of the job, and put people out of work.

3A) Con writes, "eliminating the minimum wage will not destroy any more jobs than it creates. In fact, it will create jobs formerly outlawed." I have no idea what you are talking about here, Con, so please expand on this issue...

3B) Demand --> Con says, "My opponent claims that price inflation occurs when there is less demand." Not usually, but sometimes, yes, it does. Low demand means less consumer spending. How else will a company make up for their losses without increasing the price? And even if they didn't, they'd suffer a loss which would leave them less money to invest (expand business) and less money to pay their employees. Without an established minimum wage, a company could decide to drastically reduce employee compensation and therefore hurt a vast amount of people simply because their business/product took a plunge. That leaves the market entirely responsible for wage compensation which is unfair. It's too risky for an employee, and doesn't offer them any basic protection from getting screwed by their employer.

3C) Considering the logic I used in Point B (explaining the rise in the cost of goods), it's understandable as to why my Point C stands. I said that a country that could offer the same goods for a lower cost would prosper and take business away. Con didn't refute this at all and instead called it "silly" even though it makes perfect sense.

4) First off, I didn't repeat myself with any of my points; my opponent apparently did not read carefully enough. That said, I have already refuted why making small business more "practical" i.e. manipulating cheap labor is not necessarily good for the economy. His only argument revolves around the fact that cheaper labor = more jobs. This is not necessarily true! A business may choose to invest in their products and development rather than expansion.

5A) Con concedes that higher wages would help the economy, but then says that a minimum wage would only cut jobs. Please see R1, Contention 1A for where I have already proven this logic incorrect. Moreover, Con states, "My opponent claims that some Fiscal Policy Institute has defended the minimum wage. However, there are many such institutes and her source is unverified." I don't know what Con wants here -- I mentioned a direct quote AND linked a verifiable source.

5B) I never said that Jared Bernstein was nonpartisan, nor is that entirely relevant. All Con's link did was praise my very own source.

5C) David Card and Alan Krueger studied minimum wage in NJ; They found little or no impact on employment. Additionally, economist Robert Solow, an MIT Nobel Laureate, wrote in a New York Times article that the "main thing about the research is that the evidence of the job loss is weak, and the fact that the evidence is weak suggests the impact on jobs is small" [1]. In other words, there ARE many economists who support the minimum wage and entirely disagree with and disprove Con's points.

Conclusion:

Con says, "A minimum wage is illogical from the arguments above stated and from the still unrefuted truth in the first round." Please shed light upon that "unrefuted truth," Con.

Sources:
[1] http://www.policyalmanac.org...
Debate Round No. 2
wjmelements

Con

I thank my opponent for a response and for this debate.

My opponent claims that the minimum wage is not the only source of outsourcing. While this is true, it IS a cause of outsourcing as it makes outsourcing more practical.

My opponent claims that she had refuted my R1 case, when in fact she had not. Her only mention of it in R1 is:
"My opponent has laid out a very nice argument for you obviously taken straight from an Economics class, as my opponent is correct in stating that the minimum wage, on paper, is economically unsound. However, many times other factors in a particular culture or society have implications that affect the way a system is supposed to work."
My opponent did not contend this, she merely listed a few cases in which she felt a minimum wage actually helped (and it turned out they did not). She never truly attacked my case.

ON UNDOCUMENTED WORKERS:
Undocumented workers DO earn less than the minimum wage currently. My opponent's arguments are based on false premises. http://www.workplacefairness.org...

CONTENTIONS:
1a) My opponent claims that supply and demand play an important part in price. While this is true, labour is truly a cost component. This is undeniable. As the costs of labour increase to make a product, the price of that product increases as well. Supply and demand is effectively irrelevant to this fact.

My opponent then says that "if customers stop buying goods and services, it is only another facot that leads to price inflation". This is false. If this happens, demand falls and prices go down.

Then, my opponent claims that minimum wage helps "impoverished citizens" get by. However, if the price of everything increases proportionally to what their wages increased, are they any better?

Finally, my opponent's economic nonsense shines through. She claims that natural price values can lead to inflation simply by being above a government minimum wage (my gosh... who taught her economics?).
In my opponent's example, there are a few fallacies. First, the employer would not pay the full value of the employee's labour. Wage labour is always paid less than the true value of labour. Second, in my explanation of how market-wide price inflation occurs due to minimum wage, I stated that a market-wide ARTIFICIAL INCREASE in labour costs would lead to a proportional increase in price. My opponent's example does not even fit "[my] logic".

1b) My opponent restates my case and claims it supports her. However, cheap labour and unemployment is merely a temporary effect (and, in fact, cause) of the business cycle. My opponent forces me to repeat myself:
"Cheap labour is always temporary. As labour is cheaper, it is easier to effectively start a new business. This should lead to an increase in demand of labour, resulting in the increase in value of labour [2]. Then, wages rise again."

My opponent contends the above argument by stating that business WILL expand, but stop before demand is higher than supply. However, as long as supply is greater than demand, labour costs will decrease and it will be more personally desirable to employ rather than to be employed.

Cheap labour is merely a part of the business cycle and having a minimum wage would simply eliminate more jobs during this period.

2) My opponent suggests that I believe that employees would not bid their wages down. Acutally, I did the opposite. I argued that they would bid their wages down and then employment would become more practical so that the demand for workers would increase. Again, as I said, this cycle is natural.
My opponent simply agrees with me.

3a) See first round. I hate repeating myself.

3b) My opponent claims that low demand can increase price to maintain profits. However, such a practice would result in even fewer customers than before. Should my opponent's claim be true, the capitalist system would have fallen apart in the 1600s.
My opponent then claims that without a minimum wage, businesses could drop wages of workers below what would otherwise be a minimum wage. However, when we apply a minimum wage, instead of dropping wages, workers are merely laid off. This causes businesses to contract in production, which has a more permanent effect than worker's wages temporarily dropping.
"That leaves the market entirely responsible for wage compensation which is unfair."
Even Karl Marx knew that wages would never drop below the natural minimum wage, which was the price of living. Market wages are the MOST FAIR wages possible. They are always above the price of living and below the price of produce. Should government make this wage higher than price of produce, then there would be no incentive to employ stock and stagnation would occur.
Supply and Demand allows for wages to increase and decrease within these parameters. Because the people involved are the ones making decisions, their decisions will always be better and more thought out than any third party.

3C) As my opponent's faulty logic collapses for 3B, it collapses here too.

4) My opponent makes another silly argument here. She claims that capital may be invested in product rather than expansion. Such an option would be EVEN BETTER! Investment in innovation creates high paying jobs (IE, scientists).

5A) Of course higher wages would help the economy. And, of course, the minimum wage would either cut jobs or cause price inflation to the point where the real value of wages are no higher than before. See R1, Economic Logic.

"I don't know what Con wants here -- I mentioned a direct quote AND linked a verifiable source."
http://www.fiscalpolicy.org... Found it, but without your help (this was not what you had sourced).
Now, I can refute:
My opponent sourced the New York Branch of the Fiscal Policy Institute, which has always been associated with the left wing.

5B) The only praise of Bernstein here (http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com...) is from Joe Biden. The rest is essentially claiming that he is a loyal and partisan mouth for the left. Further, 90% of economists disagree with him, (see below).

SOURCES and 5C:
My opponent's claim that there are many (meaning more than one) economists that believe that raising the minimum wage would have only a little effect on unemployment. There are many dissenters, in fact, VERY MANY:
"According to a 1978 article in the American Economic Review, 90 percent of the economists surveyed agreed that the minimum wage increases unemployment among low-skilled workers" http://en.wikipedia.org...
This may be Wikipedia, but it sources the American Economic Review, which is a credible source.

The last thing my opponent does is claim that she has no idea what my "unrefuted truth" is. It is the still unrefuted economic logic seen in R1.

So, it remains:
-If a worker's wage increases, but the cost of everything he has to pay for increases proportionally, is he any better off?
-If a worker's employment produces $4 of value per hour and he is paid $3.88, should he be unemployed?
--If the government tries to artificially raise his wage above $4, he will lose his job.
--If a company only employs such workers and they can no longer afford to employ these workers in this trade, their entire company collapses.
--Other companies that relied on that company for themselves also collapse.

1. Under no case does a minimum wage help any party involved.
2. Under no case should my opponent's sources be taken as credible.
3. 90% of economists agree that the minimum wage decreases jobs.
4. I have shown why.
VOTE CON.

I thank my opponent for this debate.
Danielle

Pro

Danielle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Whatever, theLwerd.

You forfeited the last round, had weaker arguments (at least IMO), and less sources.
Posted by Danielle 7 years ago
Danielle
Just add it to the list of debates that I've lost but really won ; )
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Well, there was a conceded round. That should have been a red flag, right there.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
It came down to the last few votes. There was a surprising amount of activity in the last week.

I don't think it should have been this close, either, but that's just me.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
How could voting possibly be this close?
Posted by magpie 7 years ago
magpie
Rob, Radical or conservative, we are thinkers. That sets us apart from most of the rest.
Logical modeling - as in my example - doesn't stop at the primary presentation, but can be modified or expanded as the argument proceeds. It must change only as necessary. I remember arguing this same issue with a high school teacher. After I presented my model, he quickly launched into legislation, unions, and strikes. Clearly, his capacity for logical analysis is limited. Your response jumps in that direction - not surprising for a young person. I call it the blizzard effect. This is the opposite of simplification. Of course, in a complex society/economy, some additional (maybe many) parameters are required. But only one, (well thought out) added at a time.
As a conservative, I am mindful of the needs of those less fortunate. I donate considerable sums to several charities. Those that I believe are worthy of support. I don't trust the govt. to do as well. One case in point. I hired several "homeless men" to assist in my landscaping project. Some quit because the work was too hard. All were younger than my 72. Some quit for better paying gigs. They were all receiving various forms of welfare, including: SSI (federal disability) food stamps, general assistance (supplement for their drug habits), Medicaid and Medical. One lived with his girlfriend also getting welfare, including section-8 housing and moonlighting as a practical nurse, paid under the table. His gross income was more than mine. You and I are paying for this boondoggle..
I was, for almost 20 years, an atheist. I'm now a devout Christian. I have never proselytized for either.
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
I don't see how you could possibly have numbers for the amount of money that we spend on purchasing illegal drugs every year in this nation. No one has those numbers. I don't think any type of poll can produce those numbers, since the very nature of the act of consuming illegal drugs is that it is done in as much secrecy in possible, less you risk the most basic legal rights you have as a person. Furthermore, your church offering numbers need citation. As far as I have seen, church offerings come in many different forms. The basket that gets passed around goes to the front of the room and is filled with money, none of which has receipt. It is just as hard to track that money as it is illegal drug money. There are wills, which are no doubt kept good track of. I don't remember the name of that situation in which you pledge a certain % of your income to the church but that would also need accounting. Business donations would be another factor that I would like to see your citation account for.

I don't pay a penny of this money but that doesn't mean I don't want it accountable. We have earned the right of government acountability as American citizens through 200+ years of political process. Those resourcs represent a large chunk of the capital in this country.
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank you, Magpie, for yet another chance to spar on this subject (I believe we had a similar conversation last year). In any other time, place, or medium I would be completely ostracized (if not burned at the stake) for the things I have said and suffice to say there are plenty of people in my life that have... similar ideologies to you... that I could never have a healthy argument with (as much as I would like to) but there is no honor in arguing with people who really have no interest in defending their beliefs.

Your analogy with the island is sound; the question lies in its relevance. Taking an island of three and applying it to an island of three hundred million is troublesome. Still, I see your point. I guess this argument always comes down to the economic argument of efficiency vs. equity and the moral argument of survival of the fittest vs. the sentient being's higher responsibility to rise above survival of the fittest and provide for everyone (since this is theoretically possible). I don't think either of us are going to settle these dilemmas today in a comments section, but it's always nice to hear the opposite side of the argument presented to remind me that I just might not have all the answers. Taking a step back, the reason why I come off as a radical is because I feel that there must be a better way of handling the world's needs than we are doing right now. I feel like we are on the cusp of a different time, no different than any other point in the last millennium as we continue rapid advancement in morality and technology. The word "conservative" in its essence gives me bad vibes. How can we come all this way, just to button-hook and stop where we are? You are almost three times my age (if your profile age is correct). When I am older, I wonder if I am going to be the conservative one, trying to tell younger radicals that they have lost their way.
Posted by magpie 7 years ago
magpie
Rob doesn't pay a penny toward the construction of churches, but I pay plenty to support the murder of unborn humans. With the current Pres., that will likely come to paying for those who escape an abortion, but are then killed after an unsuccessful abortion.
Parts of he war on drugs may be misdirected, but the costs to society, by the air-heads who use drugs are extensive. Christian, Jew, or Atheist, why must I pay for for their stupidity?
Rob said: "With the money we waste on expensive illegal drugs, paying off the DEA, and building 100,000 square foot mega churches, we could pay off every person in the country's medical bills and grocery bills for the rest of time."
I suspect he didn't pass sixth grade arithmetic. Let's see: 310,000,000 people X 365 days/yr X $15/day for food and medical s (very conservative) = $1,697,250,000,000.
That's - hold on to your hat -One trillion, 697 billion, 250 million dollars. Now, using Rob's figures for DEA, 52 Billion Dollars plus Church income of 100 Billion Dollars = 152 Billion Dollars, total. I included the 100 Billion for church collections, even though Rob doesn't pay a penny of it.
Actually, Rob, At $152 Billion/year it would take 11 years to pay for one year of food and medical.
You're playing fast and loose with your numbers. Pot muddles the brain. Watch out!
Posted by Rob1Billion 7 years ago
Rob1Billion
sorry I don't have time to respond to your entire comment.

"Why should I sacrifice to promote a foolish lifestyle?"

I sacrifice for foolish Christian lifestyles everyday. They believe that a man was sent here by a supernaturaly deity and he split a sea in half, rose from the dead, etc. You want to talk about silly? These people, who I am surprised aren't so gullable that they won't believe any story you tell them (the Bible isn't even that good of a hoax) are placing demands on my life everyday. They have flooded the legislature and make laws based on Christian beliefs, they maintain that America is a "Christian" nation in the letter of the Constitution (where exactly does that leave someone like me?), they operate vast financial empires that qualify for tax breaks (do they even pay taxes on offerings at all?)... If the resources they were using wasn't bad enough, we have these drug warriors that we pay $1Billion a week to fight of this imaginary drug war, and then to dwarf all of these we have the illegal drug market, which is created almost entirely out of the fact that the drugs are kept on the black market by the drug warriors themselves. With the money we waste on expensive illegal drugs, paying off the DEA, and building 100,000 square foot mega churches, we could pay off every person in the country's medical bills and grocery bills for the rest of time.
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