The Instigator
nmgdebate2
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
awr700
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Raise the minimum wage.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
awr700
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 842 times Debate No: 65912
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

nmgdebate2

Con

This is an open debate. First person to respond is the first one I debate. Round 1 is for acceptance.
awr700

Pro

I accept :)
Debate Round No. 1
nmgdebate2

Con

Here is a scenario: The mimimum wage is raised $3 to $10. Every hourly worker wil get a raise. Why? The workers who worked their way up to $10 will rightfully ask for a raise because now the entry level people are making the same as them. This will go on up the ladder. Everyone shifts up. Now all companies, including many small ones, are literally losing money by the hour. Let's take a McDonald's franchise as an example. This McDonalds franchise has 50 employees. 50 employees times $3/hr raise for each equals $150/hr more! That's $2.50 a minute! If that doesn't get you time yourself on how long it takes you to read the rest of this post and multiply the number of minues by $2.50 and that is how much money you would have lost if you ran a McDonald's franchise in this scenario. Meanwhile the McDonald's franchise is losing money fast. They have to recoup it fast. They have two options:
1. Increase income
2. Reduce expenses
Option #1 means they would raise prices as it's their primary source of income besides the money they get from the parent company which is at a fixed rate and they can't easily and quickly just ask for more. Franchises manager their own money, they don't have unlimited access to all of the money McDonald's has. Raising prices is the quickest way for them. When prices raise in a free market economy, other prices raise as well. For example, if McDonald's raises the price of a BigMac, the producers who produce the ingredients will raise their prices accordingly. For example, the farmer who produces the beef. He doesn't like McDonald's selling his beef for a larger markup than before. He will raise his prices accordingly. To keep it fair he'll raise his prices for all his customers, including a local grocery store. The store in turn will raise it's prices and creates a vicious cycle. So the price of beef will rise. And that is just one small example. This goes for the bakers of the buns, the farmers of the tomatoes! lettuce and onions... It even goes for the makers of the ketchup, mustard and mayo. Oh, and McDonald's has make chicken and fish sandwiches so the price of those meats will rise as well. As will all the things production businesses with hourly workers buy. This is all in correlation to the raise in prices the businesses made wich was in turn in correlation with the raised wages. So price increases correlate with wage increases creating a basic net zero for the hourly workers. This will hurt the unemployed since they did not get a raise. All in all Option #1 is not good because it will cause ripple effects of price raises throughout the economy hurting the unemployed and not helping the hourly workers.

Option #2 is to reduce expenses. Since this needs to be done quick it will result in less quality of produced goods. Our theoretical McDonald's franchise will either buy less ingredients, or sell some machines, both in turn producing less burgers. They could also fire workers which was not the point of the raise in the first place and which also lessens production. All in all Option #2 is bad because it causes companies to produce less and increases unemployment, stifling the economy.
awr700

Pro

Rebuttals:

While the McDonald's scenario was clever, it was entirely unfounded. First of all, you made the mistake of suggesting that any of the McDonald's food was made from farm-fresh produce when in actuality it's gained from factories belonging to large producing corporations, but for simplicity's sake I will continue with your scenario and pretend it comes directly from farmers. You made the assumption that because McDonald's raised the pay of their workers, the farmers would also want a pay raise. This makes sense, but then you continued with yet another assumption that because the farmer raised the costs of beef for McDonald's, he also would raise the price of all other produce. In reality if a farmer were to be providing the beef for a fast-food company as large as McDonald's, that would probably be his primary customer. The entirety of all the McDonald's sells 75 hamburgers every second, so you can imagine that a single restaurant would need quite a bit of beef to supply all of its customers. So a beef farmer might charge more to supply the McDonald's, but it would not do anything significant to the economy, or cause any vicious cycles.

Also, McDonald's made a $1.5 billion surplus in 2013 (1). They could probably afford it.

And as a relevant yet irrelevant addition, certain studies (2) show that if you were to double the salary of every McDonald's employee, from the $7.25 of the cashier to the $8.75 million of the CEO, Big Mac prices would only rise around 68 cents. This study has been disputed, however, and some people say that the current $3.99 price could go up to above five dollars, while others say that it wouldn't go up at all. Regardless of this, the raising of the minimum wage would have more benefits than ramifications for reasons I will get into shortly.

Arguments:

1) Over 45 million people are impoverished in one of the richest countries in the world. (3)

When you compare the 45 million in poverty to the total population of 310 million, it's a startling comparison. Approximately one in every seven people lives under the legal poverty line, with it increasing in certain states such as Arkansas, where it is more than one in five. But that's not all--of the 45 million in poverty, 15 million of these are children under 18. By increasing the minimum wage, this allows families and individuals to receive more money and be able to pay for food, shelter, and their children's education.

2) The minimum wage is supposed to be much higher than it is now.

If the minimum wage had tracked U.S. productivity gains since 1968, it would be $21.72 an hour (4). This differs greatly with our current $7.25 federal minimum wage. By not raising the minimum wage, it is swindling workers and laborers of the monetary compensation they deserve for their efforts.

3) Raising the minimum wage would reduce crime.

As of right now, the top fifth of US families control 89% of all wealth in the US (5), leaving the remaining four fifths of the population to split the remainder among themselves. It is a logical assumption that this wealth inequality produces crime as impoverished individuals might have to resort to extra-legal means to gain money, such as burglary or drug-dealing. Raising the minimum wage would help to reduce this wealth gap and subsequently reduce crime.

4) Women, especially women of color, are most affected by the minimum wage. (6)

Women are more likely to hold a minimum-wage job than their male counterparts, studies show. In 2011, 63% of all minimum-wage jobs were held by women. Raising the minimum wage would therefore benefit women significantly, directly or indirectly.

5) Having such a low minimum wage actually costs the government (and taxpayers) money.

Going back to the McDonald's example, I said that McDonald's experienced a $1.5 billion profit in 2013 (1). This is close to the $1.2 billion taxpayers shell out each year to help pay public assistance to the McDonald's workforce, who do not receive enough money from their salary to pay for all their expenses. The public assistance came in the form of welfare, food stamps, Medicaid, and other federal programs. McDonald's isn't the only company whose workers need this--the employees of other chain fast-food places such as KFC, Taco Bell, Subway, Burger King, Sonic, Domino's, and Wendy's all need billions of dollars in welfare just to cover the costs of their lives. By raising the minimum wage, the government would be saving these billions of dollars to be given to a better cause because the workers would now be able to independently support themselves.

Sources:
(1) http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
(2) http://thinkprogress.org...
(3) http://www.feedingamerica.org...
(4) http://www.bloombergview.com...
(5) http://www.pewresearch.org...
(6) https://www.americanprogressaction.org...
Debate Round No. 2
nmgdebate2

Con

First off I would like to say that I never said that the farmer would raise the prices of other produce. I said they would raise prices for all their other customers. Meaning when they raise the price of beef for McDonald's they will raise it for the grocery store they sell it to. The grocccery store will then raise it's price on beef. The other produce listed was the other indigents found in a burger, which would obviously raise (as you said, it makes sense) in price. And, OK, McDonalds may get it's food from factories but the factories don't make the beef itself. Somewhere down the line there has to be a farmer. So I believe my agrument about these price raises (aka inflation) still stands. As for the $1.5 million surplus, this won't help. Franchises manage their own money and do not receive assistance from McDonald's corporate. (1) None of that $1.5 million can help in this scenario.
Now for a point by point refutation.
1) This is an impressive number... until you realize the vast majority of these people are not on the minimum wage. Only about 1.5 million people in the US made the minimum wage last year. (2) I believe this argument by Pro is irrelevant and should not be here.
2) The article you as a source for this does not explain how they got this info. They very likely may have miscalculated or forgot certain factors. Another way to think about it is this: if what you said it true, why don't we see the impact? Sure there are millions of poor people but a $14/hr difference would cause a much larger impact than we see. As I said above only 1.5 million people made minimum wage last year. That seems like a lot until you realize the US has over 300 million people.
3) " It is a logical assumption that this wealth inequality produces crime..." There is absolutely no proof for this. When was the last time you heard about somebody saying "I committed that crime because I'm on minimum wage and poor." Which brings up something interesting. It appears you are assuming people on minimum wage are poor. This is simply not true. The ones that are are the ones that didn't make good financial decisions. "I can't raise a family off minimum wage". That's not what minimum wage is for. It's a launching pad for individuals. The poor people on minimum wage are the ones who did not realize the added expenses from their decisions. Assuming crime by the poor is a result of the minimum wage is wrong. As stated above 1.5 million (a small percentage of the poor population) makes minimum wage.
4) Why do women make minimum wage? Because they choose to. In a family, the father brings in most of the money. If the mother works at all it's not a lot because she wants to spend time with her kids. So they are not necessarily in an unfair situation. This in addition to the the still possible negative effects of raising the minimum wage, means we should not raise the minimum wage.
5) Welfare is a messed up system. Many people of welfare don't even work. And as stated above the poor people on minimum wage are in that mess because of their own bad decisions. So these billions of dollars are mostly going to lazy people, or people who thought they could take on several expenses while still on minimum wage.
Sources:
(1) http://franchises.about.com...
(2) http://www.bls.gov...;
awr700

Pro

"First off I would like to say that I never said that the farmer would raise the prices of other produce. I said they would raise prices for all their other customers. Meaning when they raise the price of beef for McDonald's they will raise it for the grocery store they sell it to."

My point was the farmer, if we are talking about a single farmer here, would probably have only McDonald's as its employer, because that particular restaurant would need a lot of food to feed all of its customers.

"And, OK, McDonalds may get it's food from factories but the factories don't make the beef itself. Somewhere down the line there has to be a farmer. So I believe my argument about these price raises (aka inflation) still stands."

It's rather optimistic to say those farmers have any say in their salaries. Large corporations force farmers into bankruptcy, causing said farmer to depend entirely on the corporation. If a farmer threatened to quit unless his pay was raised, he would be immediately laid off and replaced with someone less standoffish.

"This is an impressive number... until you realize the vast majority of these people are not on the minimum wage. Only about 1.5 million people in the US made the minimum wage last year. (2) I believe this argument by Pro is irrelevant and should not be here."

Believe what you wish, but you neglected to take into account the millions of jobs that pay just above minimum wage. While only one and a half million people might have minimum wage jobs (and that's not exactly a small number) one in four private sector jobs pay less than $10.00 (1). If the minimum wage were to be raised to $10.00, all employers paying their workers less than $10.00 would have to increase the salaries.

"The article you as a source for this does not explain how they got this info. They very likely may have miscalculated or forgot certain factors. Another way to think about it is this: if what you said it true, why don't we see the impact?"

A more credible source (2) says it was calculated in a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which should be sufficient ethos for you. And while you might not "see" the impact, if you go to any impoverished neighborhood in any city you'd definitely see it, and moreover the people who are residents there live it. You'll often find those who have little money are systematically ignored since we live in a society which equates money to power, so with no money comes no power. The impact is there--you'll be reminded that 45 million people live in abject poverty in the US.

"'It is a logical assumption that this wealth inequality produces crime...' There is absolutely no proof for this. When was the last time you heard about somebody saying 'I committed that crime because I'm on minimum wage and poor.'"

There is lots of proof of this. People have written whole books on this (such as Richard G. Wilkinson's "Unhealthy Societies: The Afflictions of Inequality" and it's sequel, "The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthier") and you can find several articles on it (https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk... and http://politicalviolenceataglance.org... and many more). It's an observable and provable phenomena. Please research before making such assumptions.

"Which brings up something interesting. It appears you are assuming people on minimum wage are poor. This is simply not true. The ones that are are the ones that didn't make good financial decisions. 'I can't raise a family off minimum wage.' That's not what minimum wage is for. It's a launching pad for individuals."

It's not logical to say that people who make the minimum wage and are in poverty are only in such an economic position because of poor choices. Some people don't have the choice to have a well-paying job because there simply aren't opportunities--you can take a look at unemployment rates to check that fact. Some people can't afford to go to college, but this shouldn't even be important because we shouldn't live in a society where you have to have received higher education to be able to feed yourself. The intent of the minimum wage might not be to provide for the whole family, but that's what's happening now, and we need to accommodate for that.

"Why do women make minimum wage? Because they choose to. In a family, the father brings in most of the money. If the mother works at all it's not a lot because she wants to spend time with her kids."

If this is true, why is the labor force comprised of 47% women (3)? And of the employed women, then why do 73% worked full-time jobs? Though men are still perceived as the main breadwinners of the family, and that holds a certain degree of truth, it is becoming more and more necessary for a woman to take a job in order to support her husband and children since there is simply not enough money to go around. And if a working woman took a minimum wage job because she wanted to spend more time with her kids, I would imagine taking a low-paying job with an eight-hour workday would not be the brightest idea. You act as if minimum wage work is effortless or easy.

"Welfare is a messed up system. Many people of welfare don't even work."

Oh? Do you have a source for that? Better yet, are you remembering that pesky 6% unemployment rate (4)?

"And as stated above the poor people on minimum wage are in that mess because of their own bad decisions. So these billions of dollars are mostly going to lazy people, or people who thought they could take on several expenses while still on minimum wage."

I usually don't use ad hominem, but that is such a pretentious thing to suggest!

Picture this: A hypothetical family comes as immigrants to this country. As a result, they can't get well-paying jobs, so their children can't get an education. Those children go on to have low-paying jobs of their own since they don't have college degrees, and their kids suffer the same fate as they did, and so on and so on. People don't start as clean slates. Every time a child is born, they carry the baggage of the choices of their predecessors, and often a lack of economic mobility is included in this. These billions of dollars are going to people who need it.

Sources:
(1) http://thinkprogress.org...
(2) http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
(3) http://www.dol.gov...
(4) http://data.bls.gov...
Debate Round No. 3
nmgdebate2

Con

First off I would like to thank my opponent for making this a very exciting debate. Anyway, here is Pro's last post, with some quotes of my previous arguments removed due to the character limit, and with my points in bold.

My point was the farmer, if we are talking about a single farmer here, would probably have only McDonald's as its employer, because that particular restaurant would need a lot of food to feed all of its customers.

OK, this is a fiar point, but in a free market system prices from other competitors are linked so other farmers would raise prices as well so that, as you pointed out below, the corporations (or anyone who buys farm food) don't fire the farmer they employ and turn to them because they have lower prices. They don't want peole to see their prices, then ask them for a large amount of farm food where they cannot make a profit. So just because the farmer who supplies McDonalds doesn't supply other places. Doesn't mean the other farmers won't raise their prices as well.

Also, Pro has not responded to my point that the $1.5 million surplus wont help.

It's rather optimistic to say those farmers have any say in their salaries. Large corporations force farmers into bankruptcy, causing said farmer to depend entirely on the corporation. If a farmer threatened to quit unless his pay was raised, he would be immediately laid off and replaced with someone less standoffish.

This is a good point, but it is a harsh generalization. It is rather pessimistic and requires the assumption that all corporations are greedy and power-hungry, plowing through everyone in their path without a care in the world. If this wasn't assumed, one could easily say that McDonalds is not a "greedy and power-hungry..." company. And the assumption that every company is like that is entirely unfounded and false.

Believe what you wish, but you neglected to take into account the millions of jobs that pay just above minimum wage. While only one and a half million people might have minimum wage jobs (and that's not exactly a small number) one in four private sector jobs pay less than $10.00 (1). If the minimum wage were to be raised to $10.00, all employers paying their workers less than $10.00 would have to increase the salaries.

Yes, but still, if those people were calculated in, it would still not come even near as close to the number you originally gave. That should prove that minimum wage does not significantly affect poverty, so this point by Pro is irrelevant.

A more credible source (2) says it was calculated in a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, which should be sufficient ethos for you. And while you might not "see" the impact, if you go to any impoverished neighborhood in any city you'd definitely see it, and moreover the people who are residents there live it. You'll often find those who have little money are systematically ignored since we live in a society which equates money to power, so with no money comes no power. The impact is there--you'll be reminded that 45 million people live in abject poverty in the US.

OK, sure Center for Economic and Policy Research sounds like an official or at least professional organization, but it's not. While run out of D.C. it's a non-profit left-leaning (as described in this article: http://nbcnews.to...) group. Since the left wants increased minimum wage it would make since they would report things that would favor it.And yes, if I go to an impoverished neighborhood I would see poor people, butwe do not see the impact of the magnitude the assertion of a $21 wage as fair would mean. In 2012,75.3 million people (age 16+) worked by the hour (http://1.usa.gov...). As stated ealier: if the minimum wage increases, so does every other hourly wage. The proof to back it up is simple economics. Also, many companies have pay systems tied to the minimum wage. So to assert that we need a $14/hr increase in the minimum wage, is saying that every single one of these 75 million people deserve a $14/hr raise, which would mean that all of these people that deserve that raise are living in poverty right now. After all, if you need $14/hr more ($560 a week for full-timers) in order to make a "living wage" you are obviously poor. But these 75 million are not. Only 45 million people, barely above half of the number of hourly workers, are in poverty as you said. So the minimum wage should not be raised, definitely not to $21 because the logic behind that is flawed and the report you gave should be taken with a grain of salt.

There is lots of proof of this. People have written whole books on this (such as Richard G. Wilkinson's "Unhealthy Societies: The Afflictions of Inequality" and it's sequel, "The Impact of Inequality: How to Make Sick Societies Healthier") and you can find several articles on it (https://www.equalitytrust.org.uk...... and http://politicalviolenceataglance.org...... and many more). It's an observable and provable phenomena. Please research before making such assumptions.

OK, fair point. But, as stated above, minimum wage does not have much of an influence in this wealth "inequality", as you put it. The minimum wage was paid to only 1.5 million poeple and even if you say the people that make $10 (who you stated earlier are still poor) was 5 million, that would not even equal a fourth of the poor population that you yourself gave the statistic for. Again minimum wage does not equal poverty thus all Pro's points on poverty in general are irrelevant.

It's not logical to say that people who make the minimum wage and are in poverty are only in such an economic position because of poor choices. Some people don't have the choice to have a well-paying job because there simply aren't opportunities--you can take a look at unemployment rates to check that fact. Some people can't afford to go to college, but this shouldn't even be important because we shouldn't live in a society where you have to have received higher education to be able to feed yourself. The intent of the minimum wage might not be to provide for the whole family, but that's what's happening now, and we need to accommodate for that.

You are right. Some poeple cannot get a well paying job. Imagine this: you are an individual who wants to start a family but the only job you can find is for minimum wage. Once you realize that you should take the job, and use the money to save up. Once you can combine that with the money you were hopefully saving early on and have enough money to start a family, go ahead and do it. You need to count the cost. And you most certainly should not start a family before yo even have a job. The only people I can think of who are the losers here are people who did have well-paying jobs but were fired or laid off. But that represent a small percentage of minimum-wagers. And to say we need to accommodate for something just because it's there is bad reasoning. We need some things to be firm unchanging.

"Why do women make minimum wage? Because they choose to... ...because she wants to spend time with her kids."

If this is true, why is the labor force comprised of 47% women (3)? And of the employed women, then why do 73% worked full-time jobs? Though men are still perceived as the main breadwinners of the family, and that holds a certain degree of truth, it is becoming more and more necessary for a woman to take a job in order to support her husband and children since there is simply not enough money to go around. And if a working woman took a minimum wage job because she wanted to spend more time with her kids, I would imagine taking a low-paying job with an eight-hour workday would not be the brightest idea. You act as if minimum wage work is effortless or easy.

Not all minimum wage jobs are 8 hours work days. So, no, taking on a minimum wage job would not always be a bad idea.

"...Many people of welfare don't even work."

Oh? Do you have a source for that? Better yet, are you remembering that pesky 6% unemployment rate (4)?

"And as stated above the poor people on minimum wage are in that mess because of their own bad decisions. So these billions of dollars are mostly going to lazy people, or people who thought they could take on several expenses while still on minimum wage."

I usually don't use ad hominem, but that is such a pretentious thing to suggest!

Picture this: A hypothetical family comes as immigrants to this country. As a result, they can't get well-paying jobs, so their children can't get an education. Those children go on to have low-paying jobs of their own since they don't have college degrees, and their kids suffer the same fate as they did, and so on and so on. People don't start as clean slates. Every time a child is born, they carry the baggage of the choices of their predecessors, and often a lack of economic mobility is included in this. These billions of dollars are going to people who need it.

OK, the immigrant family is a good point but here is the thing. The system we have now where we pay taxes and the government uses that to help the poor was not the original intent of the founding fathers.Time for a history lesson. America started with the Articles of Confederation. The AOC set up a system where everyone shared everying and no one owned property. The women had to wash everyone's clothes and the men had to do similar jobs for everyone. This system utterly failed. People were refusing to work and the system was crumbling. This sounds a lot like welfare. People giving up their "property" to help other people. But, like welfare, this system was failing. So the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, which set up the idea of personal property. Within a year they had so much money and food they threw a big party called Thanksgiving. The Constitution allowed for taxes to run the government, but that was it. It wasn't until the 1800s for the government to start giving out money. We need to stick to the original principles instead of chasing the wind and accomadating for everything.
awr700

Pro

"First off I would like to thank my opponent for making this a very exciting debate."

Same to you :)

"OK, this is a [fair] point, but in a free market system prices from other competitors are linked so other farmers would raise prices as well so that, as you pointed out below, the corporations (or anyone who buys farm food) don't fire the farmers they employ and turn to them because they have lower prices. They don't want [people] to see their prices, then ask them for a large amount of farm food where they cannot make a profit. So just because the farmer who supplies McDonalds doesn't supply other places. Doesn't mean the other farmers won't raise their prices as well."

I don't quite understand what you're trying to say here? I don't think it quite turned out as coherent as was intended. From what I understood (and forgive me if my interpretation is wrong), you are putting way too much of an emphasis on the power and motivation of the farmer. The fact of the matter is the farmer probably won't feel a raise is necessary enough to demand for one, and even if he did, there are tens of thousands of farmers in America--too many to assimilate and motivate into one huge wage strike. If a farmer really needed money that desperately, he could get an agricultural subsidy.

"Also, Pro has not responded to my point that the $1.5 million surplus wont help."

It was a $1.5 BILLION surplus, but I didn't respond because it didn't make much sense. What do you think that money goes to if not towards enriching the franchises?

"This is a good point, but it is a harsh generalization. It is rather pessimistic and requires the assumption that all corporations are greedy and power-hungry, plowing through everyone in their path without a care in the world."

Corporations are inherently greedy and power-hungry, seeing as they have no choice but to be. Their ultimate goal is to receive a profit and they will do this however possible; that's just the essence of capitalism.

"Yes, but still, if those people were calculated in, it would still not come even near as close to the number you originally gave. That should prove that minimum wage does not significantly affect poverty, so this point by Pro is irrelevant."

Do you know what a private sector job is? Private sector jobs make up around 80% of all jobs (1), so if you factor in those people it would give quite a change, actually.

"OK, sure Center for Economic and Policy Research sounds like an official or at least professional organization, but it's not. While run out of D.C. it's a non-profit left-leaning...group. Since the left wants increased minimum wage it would make since they would report things that would favor it."

I'm not sure what your point was in this. Is it suddenly not okay for those who want an increased minimum wage to research facts to support it?

"As stated earlier: if the minimum wage increases, so does every other hourly wage. The proof to back it up is simple economics."

If you think "simple economics" is going to back up that assertion, I would love to hear that theory.

"So to assert that we need a $14/hr increase in the minimum wage, is saying that every single one of these 75 million people deserve a $14/hr raise."

I never said we should have a $22 minimum wage. What gave you that impression?

"But, as stated above, minimum wage does not have much of an influence in this wealth 'inequality'."

I don't follow? I'm pretty sure having a low-paying job or being unemployed are what cause poverty and subsequently wealth inequality. The minimum wage being so low has a profound impact on the inequality of the distribution of wealth.

"Not all minimum wage jobs are 8 hours work days."

Maybe not all minimum wage jobs, but 90% of workers say they work 40 hours a week or more (2). That's an eight hour work day.

"The system we have now where we pay taxes and the government uses that to help the poor was not the original intent of the founding fathers.Time for a history lesson. America started with the Articles of Confederation. The AOC set up a system where everyone shared [everything] and no one owned property. The women had to wash everyone's clothes and the men had to do similar jobs for everyone. This system utterly failed. People were refusing to work and the system was crumbling. This sounds a lot like welfare. People giving up their "property" to help other people. But, like welfare, this system was failing. So the founding fathers wrote the Constitution, which set up the idea of personal property. Within a year they had so much money and food they threw a big party called Thanksgiving. The Constitution allowed for taxes to run the government, but that was it. It wasn't until the 1800s for the government to start giving out money. We need to stick to the original principles instead of chasing the wind and [accommodating] for everything."

What?

First of all, the Articles of Confederation were never meant to be a permanent solution (3). It was proposed and supported by most of the delegates, including Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, to be a brief government for the American colonies after having declared independence from the British Empire. Its purpose was to unify the states, stabilize the country, and provide a small central government to sort of organize affairs. The problem with it wasn't whatever you described, it was the fact that Congress had no power, no ability to tax, trade, or regulate anything.

The text of the Articles can be found at http://www.let.rug.nl... if you want to read them for yourself.

As for the Thanksgiving thing, pretty sure that was established in the 1860s by Abraham Lincoln. And funny how the government started giving out money around the time slavery ended.

Sources:
(1) http://mercatus.org...
(2) http://www.washingtonpost.com...
(3) https://history.state.gov...
Debate Round No. 4
nmgdebate2

Con

Here is the last Pro post (minus a few of her quotes of me) with my points in bold.

I don't quite understand what you're trying to say here? I don't think it quite turned out as coherent as was intended. From what I understood (and forgive me if my interpretation is wrong), you are putting way too much of an emphasis on the power and motivation of the farmer. The fact of the matter is the farmer probably won't feel a raise is necessary enough to demand for one, and even if he did, there are tens of thousands of farmers in America--too many to assimilate and motivate into one huge wage strike. If a farmer really needed money that desperately, he could get an agricultural subsidy.

What I was trying to say there is this:
1. You said even if the farmer with McDonald's as their only customer raised prices, other prices elsewhere wouldn't rise.
2. I assumed you meant this was because only the McDonalds farmer raised their prices.
3. But my point was that other farmers (ones that supply to grocery stores), in fear of McDonald's turning to them because their prices are lower and then ordering millions of dollars of beef from them, they will raise their prices.

"Also, Pro has not responded to my point that the $1.5 million surplus wont help."

It was a $1.5 BILLION surplus, but I didn't respond because it didn't make much sense. What do you think that money goes to if not towards enriching the franchises?

I am sorry for the confusion. To answer your question many of it goes to their ad campaigns. But the question you're is the wrong question. The source I gave clearly stated, and I quote: "McDonald's does not provide financing or assistance" to the franchises. So the question is not: "Where does it go if not to the franchises?", but "Why does it not go to the franchises?" And to answer that: I don't know. But they don't. So the $1,500,000,000 still won't help the franchises pay for the wage raise at all.

"This is a good point, but it is a harsh generalization. It is rather pessimistic and requires the assumption that all corporations are greedy and power-hungry, plowing through everyone in their path without a care in the world."

Corporations are inherently greedy and power-hungry, seeing as they have no choice but to be. Their ultimate goal is to receive a profit and they will do this however possible; that's just the essence of capitalism.

That, and I am saying this not in a demeaning way, but in a more sorrowful way, must be a very depressing way to view life. I can point to many stories of corporations who are not greedy. For example, the entire show Undercover Boss. The CEOs of large companies go undercover and find people inside their company who need help and they help them! They are not always looking only for a profit. As I said, that assumption is irrational and unfounded. And that since that assumption is not true, it is very possible McDonald's is not power-hungry and greedy. And the essence of capitalism is that people can work and make money for themselves and the give that money freely to anyone they choose, not to get rich by being greedy and power-hungry.

"Yes, but still, if those people were calculated in, it would still not come even near as close to the number you originally gave. That should prove that minimum wage does not significantly affect poverty, so this point by Pro is irrelevant."

Do you know what a private sector job is? Private sector jobs make up around 80% of all jobs (1), so if you factor in those people it would give quite a change, actually.

Private sector jobs may take up 80% of jobs, but definitely not anywhere near that percentage of the poor. Many people in the private sector are not poor at all. Your original point was that raising the minimum wage would help poverty but you have failed to show how the minimum wage affects the statistics of poverty you gave. Many poor people are unemployed. And raising the minimum wage won't help the unemployed. Since they are not employed they won't get a raise. In fact, it would make it harder for the unemployed to find jobs because it would cost the employer more money so they'll think twice before hiring them. Therefore raising the minimum wage won't help many poor. Simple deductive reasoning.

"OK, sure Center for Economic and Policy Research sounds like an official or at least professional organization, but it's not. While run out of D.C. it's a non-profit left-leaning...group. Since the left wants increased minimum wage it would make since they would report things that would favor it."

I'm not sure what your point was in this. Is it suddenly not okay for those who want an increased minimum wage to research facts to support it?

My point is this. They obviously want a raise in minimum wage raise, so it's conceivable that they would report on facts that favor it whether accurate or not. They could very easily neglect to incorporate info that would hurt their cause. (I've noticed many of these confusions are because of things I couldn't include due to the character limit of the last post :P).


"As stated earlier: if the minimum wage increases, so does every other hourly wage. The proof to back it up is simple economics."

If you think "simple economics" is going to back up that assertion, I would love to hear that theory.

I told it. If the $7/hr people started making $10/hr, the $10/hr people would rightfully demand a raise as well (since they are doing more work that the minimum wagers for the same wage) to about $13/hr, then the $13/hr people will rightfully demand a raise and so on up the ladder. Sometimes they don't even need to ask for a raise. Many companies have pay scales linked to the minimum wage. Meaning by their rules if the minimum wage goes up, everyone is shifted up. My friend works at one. So yes it is simple economics.

"So to assert that we need a $14/hr increase in the minimum wage, is saying that every single one of these 75 million people deserve a $14/hr raise."

I never said we should have a $22 minimum wage. What gave you that impression?

I'll quote you:

"2) The minimum wage is supposed to be much higher than it is now.

If the minimum wage had tracked U.S. productivity gains since 1968, it would be $21.72 an hour (4). This differs greatly with our current $7.25 federal minimum wage. By not raising the minimum wage, it is swindling workers and laborers of the monetary compensation they deserve for their efforts." (emphasis added)

So yes, you didn't say we should have a $22 minimum wage, but $21.72 (which isn't that much of a difference).

"But, as stated above, minimum wage does not have much of an influence in this wealth 'inequality'."

I don't follow? I'm pretty sure having a low-paying job or being unemployed are what cause poverty and subsequently wealth inequality. The minimum wage being so low has a profound impact on the inequality of the distribution of wealth.

The wealth inequality that you point out can also be called poverty. And I have proved above, much of the poor are poor due to things other than the minimum wage.

"Not all minimum wage jobs are 8 hours work days."

Maybe not all minimum wage jobs, but 90% of workers say they work 40 hours a week or more (2). That's an eight hour work day.

Yes but this original point was about women and minimum wage jobs. The majority of these worker were probably male because, as you said women make up 47% of the workfrose so obversely men make up 53%. So this stat it not relevant in this case.

What?

First of all, the Articles of Confederation were never meant to be a permanent solution (3). It was proposed and supported by most of the delegates, including Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson, to be a brief government for the American colonies after having declared independence from the British Empire. Its purpose was to unify the states, stabilize the country, and provide a small central government to sort of organize affairs. The problem with it wasn't whatever you described, it was the fact that Congress had no power, no ability to tax, trade, or regulate anything.
First of all I think you are misreading the article. The Continental Congress was meant to be temporary. I quote: "Some Continental Congress delegates had also informally discussed plans for a more permanent union than the Continental Congress, whose status was temporary. Benjamin Franklin had drawn up a plan for 'Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.'" (emphasis added). If the words "of... Perpetual Union" in the name aren't enough to prove that it was not meant to be temporary, I don't know what will. The Oxford English dictionary defines perpetual as "Never ending of changing" (1). If it were meant to me temporary why would they call it "Articles of... Perpetual Union"?

The text of the Articles can be found at http://www.let.rug.nl...... if you want to read them for yourself.

As for the Thanksgiving thing, pretty sure that was established in the 1860s by Abraham Lincoln. And funny how the government started giving out money around the time slavery ended.
Second, yes it is only called Thanksgiving retrospectively. Thanksgiving was made an official hoidlay in the way it is in the 1840's, but it all goes back to that one day. What did you think the people in the mid-1800s were celebrating? They were celebrating the first Thanksgiving, which happened because of a system that is dying today. A system where people helped themselves instead of asking for the government's money. A system where people's primary source of income was money they earned, not money the government gave or mandated that they receive.


(1) http://bit.ly...
awr700

Pro

"What I was trying to say there is this:
1. You said even if the farmer with McDonald's as their only customer raised prices, other prices elsewhere wouldn't rise.
2. I assumed you meant this was because only the McDonalds farmer raised their prices.
3. But my point was that other farmers (ones that supply to grocery stores), in fear of McDonald's turning to them because their prices are lower and then ordering millions of dollars of beef from them, they will raise their prices."

Okay, that makes more sense. And I see where you're coming from, I really do, it's just you're relying on not only the motivation of the producer, but also the compliance of the consumer. And raising the price isn't entirely bad; if a farmer has more income from what he sells, it would allow him to use those profits to expand his farm and produce even more of whatever the product is, allowing him to expand his business and, what with the increased revenue, even bring down prices after a while. But, of course, this is an entirely hypothetical situation.

"I can point to many stories of corporations who are not greedy. For example, the entire show Undercover Boss. The CEOs of large companies go undercover and find people inside their company who need help and they help them! They are not always looking only for a profit. As I said, that assumption is irrational and unfounded. And that since that assumption is not true, it is very possible McDonald's is not power-hungry and greedy."

The whole show "Undercover Boss" is meant to boost the popularity and public relations of the companies they portray, making them more popular and getting the company more money. If you want to see shows about what real corporations are, look into a documentary about the food industry called "Food Inc." It gives copious amounts of evidence and research into how large corporations have destroyed the average American's health, as well as the economy and food industry, all for the sake of profit.

"And the essence of capitalism is that people can work and make money for themselves and then give that money freely to anyone they choose, not to get rich by being greedy and power-hungry."

That's the INTENTION of capitalism, similarly how totalitarianism's INTENTION was to be a fast way of governing that needs not to pander over the nuances and frivolities of issues and actually get things done, but obviously intention oftentimes falls short of reality.

"Private sector jobs may take up 80% of jobs, but definitely not anywhere near that percentage of the poor. Many people in the private sector are not poor at all. Your original point was that raising the minimum wage would help poverty but you have failed to show how the minimum wage affects the statistics of poverty you gave. Many poor people are unemployed. And raising the minimum wage won't help the unemployed. Since they are not employed they won't get a raise. In fact, it would make it harder for the unemployed to find jobs because it would cost the employer more money so they'll think twice before hiring them. Therefore raising the minimum wage won't help many poor."

The minimum wage in France is $12.50 (2). However, they still manage to keep a very low poverty rate, at only 13.5% of the population (1). The minimum wage in Australia is a staggering $15.20, with a 13.9% poverty rate. Why do these countries, who have minimum wage that are double that of America, have lower poverty rates than our 16%? To me, that information strongly suggests that the minimum wage has some correlation with the poverty rate. And if that isn't enough credibility, economists agree that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 could possibly reduce the number of people in poverty to 4.6 million (3). Also, it's simple deductive reasoning that if you pay 20% of the private-sector working class under $10 an hour, that may correspond to poverty rates.

Also, most of your "facts" seem to be abstract theories. Hypothetically, if the minimum wage were raised, employers could be more stringent about hiring, but is there any evidence to suggest this?

"I told it. If the $7/hr people started making $10/hr, the $10/hr people would rightfully demand a raise as well."

Ah, see, but my "simple economics" suggests that employers would not be cooperative with these workers' "demand" for a raise. Like I said above, you are treating a personal theory like you would a fact.

"...since they are doing more work that the minimum wagers for the same wage..."

Where have you pulled the assumption that job salaries are priced by their difficulty from?

"Many companies have pay scales linked to the minimum wage. Meaning by their rules if the minimum wage goes up, everyone is shifted up. My friend works at one."

Since you neglected to give any research supporting the assertion that "many companies" have this sort of system, I had to take the initiative to do it myself. I found no sources saying that companies did that.

"So yes, you didn't say we should have a $22 minimum wage, but $21.72 (which isn't that much of a difference)."

I apologize for the confusion, I in no way meant that I personally wanted a $22 minimum wage when I pointed out this fact. Making such a dramatic change in such a short period of time is not what the economy needs at the moment.

"The wealth inequality that you point out can also be called poverty. And I have proved above, much of the poor are poor due to things other than the minimum wage."

The wealth inequality that I point out is not poverty; this also impacts middle-class citizens. Poverty is a result of this inequality, however, as you have 90% of wealth concentrated into the hands of an elite upper portion of the population, and the rest left to be distributed among the lower and middle classes.

"Yes but this original point was about women and minimum wage jobs. The majority of these worker were probably male because, as you said women make up 47% of the [workforce] so [obviously] men make up 53%. So this stat it not relevant in this case."

The majority of these workers were male if you constitute a majority as 53% of them...

"First of all I think you are misreading the article. The Continental Congress was meant to be temporary. I quote: "Some Continental Congress delegates had also informally discussed plans for a more permanent union than the Continental Congress, whose status was temporary. Benjamin Franklin had drawn up a plan for 'Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union.'" (emphasis added). If the words "of... Perpetual Union" in the name aren't enough to prove that it was not meant to be temporary, I don't know what will. The Oxford English dictionary defines perpetual as "Never ending of changing" (1). If it were meant to me temporary why would they call it "Articles of... Perpetual Union"?"

I was not taking all of that information from the article. The Articles of Confederation, though entirely irrelevant to the premise of a minimum wage, were a deeply flawed system, and the founding fathers most likely knew this when they ratified it. It was written in a time of war to create unity among deeply divided states and was later replaced with the Constitution.

So, in conclusion, I believe the minimum wage should be raised for several reasons. The first of these is that it will reduce the wealth inequality by having more money circulating in the lower classes, which will subsequently reduce crime rates as high rates of crimes like thievery and homicide have been proven to be associated with high wealth imbalances. Raising the minimum wage would also reduce poverty rates, allowing the US government to stop shelling out billions of dollars in welfare, food stamps, Medicare, and other federal programs to corporations that don't pay their workers enough to cover the costs of necessities. Also, the fact that the minimum wage is as low as it is actually shows that we are paying workers less than what they deserve for the work they are doing, as it has been proven that the minimum wage has gone down while production rates skyrocketed. Increasing the minimum wage has not been associated with any job loss and no tests or studies that have been conducted have said that it would result in any job loss (4). My opponent has relied entirely on theoretical arguments that have little factual evidence and are often in contrary to what actual research has proven, whereas I have attempted to the best of my ability to provide sources and information that backs my arguments. All in all, the benefits of raising the minimum wage definitely outweigh any possible complications.

Sources:
(1) http://www.inequalitywatch.eu...
(2) http://www.politifact.com...
(3) http://www.washingtonpost.com...
(4) http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com...
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by awr700 2 years ago
awr700
thanks to nmgdebate2 for making this such an interesting debate :)
Posted by nmgdebate2 2 years ago
nmgdebate2
I am thankful to awr700 for making this an amazing debate. On to you voters!
Posted by BIPARTISANSHIP676 2 years ago
BIPARTISANSHIP676
As of now the pro arguer looks like he will win. Since he already talked about so much stuff it will be interesting to see what else he talks about.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by salam.morcos 2 years ago
salam.morcos
nmgdebate2awr700Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: This was a very good debate. I actually enjoyed reading it. Con had many good arguments, but Pro's arguments were very strong and he did a very good job rebutting Con. I was a bit disappointed that there was a lot of focus on the farmer which I don't think was central to the debate. Con should have produced some evidence and studies of how raising the wage has negative impact (loss in jobs...etc) and not just claim it. Conduct was excellent from both and the language was good. Pro supported his arguments with many sources so I awarded this point to him. I give credit to con for citing a few sources, but Pro win in this category. I was disappointed that Con made some comments I wasn't very pleased with, inferring that women are somehow inferior to men. Good debate, but I vote pro.