The Instigator
Juan_Pablo
Pro (for)
Winning
2 Points
The Contender
Jevinigh
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour will benefit the US economy

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Juan_Pablo
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/15/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,588 times Debate No: 52526
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (1)

 

Juan_Pablo

Pro

Increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour will mostly benefit the U.S. Economy. This will be my position in this debate. (I will also be arguing that the federal minimum wage should be indexed to inflation, to keep up with the rising cost of living--a point which my opponent can either choose to refute or ignore.)

Con will argue that raising the federal minimum wage will either have no benefit for anyone or will hurt the U.S. economy.

I will use numerous reliable sources to show that an increase in the federal minimum wage will grow national GDP by tens of billions of dollars and create hundreds of thousands of jobs. But there are other numerous benefits to raising the minimum which I will demonstrate.

I expect Con to use resources to demonstrate that a raise will either have zero impact or will overall negatively hurt the U.S. Economy.


First Round is for acceptance only. Good luck!


(Disclaimer: for this debate the use of the comments section to post working links that appear dead in the actual debate will be allowed. Neither debater can use the comments section to extend the debate. The comments section shall be used only for non-scored comments and to post working links to sources that are inactive in the actual debate.)
Jevinigh

Con

You biggest problem is that your addressing the issue in a vacuum, I will show you how the only people who will benefit from a minimum wage raise are the top tier of the wall street financial. prepare for a schooling in the interconnecting nature of our economic reality, I am fealing paticularly ruthless today. I accept the challenge to show how this will have little effect on the actual living standards.
Debate Round No. 1
Juan_Pablo

Pro

To begin, I want to thank my daring opponent Jevinigh for taking this debate. I wish her well and I know she will present me with a good challenge. This is, after all, the purpose of these debating engagements.

As I stated in ROUND 1, I will be defending the position that increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 per hour to $10.10 per hour will mostly benefit the U.S. economy; I will also be arguing that any proposed minimum wage hike should be indexed to inflation, to allow it to rise with the increasing cost of living. A minimum wage hike will increase the number of jobs in the United States and is likely to increase the nation's gross domestic product--this according to the congressional budget office's latest projections on such a hypothetical raise [1]--and it will have a mostly positive impact on low wage workers, or those that make minimum wage or less to about 5 times the poverty threshold [1]; to give you an example of what this means, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour would not only directly benefit those making the new minimum wage but it would also benefit a single person family (working) that makes up to $68,825 per year, by putting more money in his pocket--this according to the congressional budget office's estimation [1][2]. And of course larger working families will see even greater monetary rewards [1].

But before we get into that discussion, I'm going to demonstrate in this ROUND why a minimum wage increase is badly needed and why failing to raise it will only continue to hurt the nation's workforce, which has seen the purchasing value of its wages go down over the last 30 years because of inflation [3][4].


Purchasing Power of the Dollar isn't what it use to be


Because of inflation, the vast majority of America's workforce has either seen the purchasing value of its wages stagnate or decrease steadily [3]; low wage earners have seen the value of their wages decrease the most [4]. In comparison, the nation's top 1% of earners saw their incomes rise by 31.4% from 2009 to 2012, comfortably exceeding the 9% inflation rate during that period [5][6]. While the value of earnings of the top 1% of earners outpaces the rate of inflation, the vast majority of working Americans are seeing the value of their wages stagnate (upper-middle class) or decrease (below). Income inequality in the U.S. is now at the highest its ever been since 1928 right before the Great Depression [5]. According to economist/professor Emmanuel Saez at the University of Berkeley, the top 1% of earners in the nation get 22.5% of all pre-tax income while 90% of remaining earners get less than half, 49.6% [5]!

Low-wage earners have the seen the value of their wages decrease the most. For the last 40 years, the federal minimum wage has badly fallen behind inflation in real terms. Studies by the U.S. Labor Department, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Pew Research Center have shown that, accounting for inflation, the current minimum wage of $7.25 is even less than what it was in 1968, when it had a value of $8.56 in 2012 dollars (see graph below) [5][7][8].

Accounting for inflation, the current minimum wage of $7.25 is less than what it was in 1968, when it had a value of $8.56 in 2012 dollars.

The U.S. Labor Department has concluded that today's minimum wage workers are paid even less in real terms because of inflation when compared to their 1968 minimum wage counterparts [8]! In fact, since it was last raised to $7.25 in 2009, the federal minimum wage has lost about 5.8% of its purchasing value due to inflation [7].

In a 2012 study, The Centers for Economic and Policy Research concluded that if the minimum wage had kept pace with inflation since it was first enacted in the 1930s, it would now be at $10.52 an hour [5].

To provide an accurate sense of how badly lagging behind the federal minimum wage now is, in 1968 a full-time minimum wage worker earned about $20,000 per year in today's dollars; today a full-time minimum wage worker earns about $15,000 per year [4]. In 1968 a full-time minimum wage worker earned about half of the average annual income during that period; today a full-time minimum wage worker earns about 37% of the average annual income [4]. A steady decline.

While the price of food, services, goods, and healthcare go up both in terms of cost and inflation, the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage has significantly eroded over the years [3]. While the average price of the McDonald's Big Mac has risen from $2.71 in 2004 to $4.62 in 2014--an increase of 70.1% over 10 years--the federal minimum wage has only increased by $2.10 to its current rate over the same period, or by 41% [9][10]. Over the years these less than adequate minimum wage increases accumulate and they create poverty were previously there wasn't any or where it was less pronounced.

As the graph above shows, when accounting for inflation, the current minimum wage has less purchasing power now than it did in the late 1960s. In order to rectify the reduced value of the minimum wage, it needs to be elevated to at least $10.00 in today's dollar value! Failure to do so will only expand poverty in America and deepen the crisis facing low wage workers.


Raising the Minimum Wage would directly benefit 21.4% of the worforce


Currently 3.8 million workers are paid the nation's minimum wage, but raising the wage to $10.10 would directly benefit 21.4% of the workforce--about 30 million workers--by putting more money in their pocket [5][4].

21.4% of the nation's workforce would now have more money in their pocket; the accumulated losses caused by inflation over the years straining the minimum wage worker would be effectively eliminated! A fierce proponent of this idea, the current President has advocated tying this proposed minimum wage hike to inflation, that way any adverse effects created by inflation are effectively handled [11]. This is an even better idea!

Recognizing the current crisis facing the nation's million of low wager earners, President Obama has already signed an exectuve order raising the minimum wage for federal workers from $7.25 to $10.10 [11]. The rest of the nation should follow this example.

Who directly benefits?

As of 2012, 49% of all minimum wage workers are 25 years old or older (see graphic below). However, more than 85.5% of all minimum wage workers are 20 years old or older (not teenagers) [7]. 55% of federal minimum wage earners work full time [4]. But of course many more people making less than $10.10 per hour would see a pay raise.

Distribution of Minimum Wage Workers by age. More than 85.5% of all minimum wage workers are 20 years old or older.
As I stated earlier, nearly 30 million workers would get a pay raise with the minimum wage increase; 9 million of these workers are parents [4]. 57.3% of those who would be effected are women [7]; a low minimum wage is one of the reasons why females continue to make 77 cents per dollar that a man makes [12]. Increasing the minimum to $10.10 would help close that gap by 5% [12].

And increasing the minimum wage is the sensible thing to do. Already 19 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum [7]. Numerous business executives and CEOs are in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10.10. Costco President and CEO, Craig Jelenik, has come out in favor of this proposal by President Obama, stating "Instead of minimizing wages, we know it’s a lot more profitable in the long term to minimize employee turnover and maximize employee productivity, commitment and loyalty" [5]; executives of GAP have come out in favor of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 as well [12]. Already a full 85% of small businesses pay wages higher than the minimum [4].

Conservative estimates by the congressional budget office (CBO)--a federal agency within the U.S. government that provides economic data to congress--places the total immediate gains of raising the minimum wage to $10.10 at $5 billion for working families that make less than the poverty threshold (live in poverty); their income would increase by about 3% and 900,000 people would be moved above the poverty threshold [1].

The CBO also projects that families making one to three times the poverty threshold would see $12 billion in additional real income; families making three to six times the poverty threshold would see $2 billion in additional real income [1].

Overall, the CBO estimates that the nation's poverty would be reduced and that a total of $2 billion would be immediately added to the U.S economy because of the minimum wage increase [1].


2 out of 3 Americans Support Raising the Minimum Wage


Finally, a large majority of Americans approve of raising the federal minimum wage. As inflation continues to increase and as wealthy employers increasingly keep more of their profits and distribute less to their employees, widening the income gap, Americans are recognizing the need to increase the federal minimum wage! A recent Wall Street Journal/CNN poll shows that 63% of Americans support raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour [13][14]; some polls show even greater support for hiking the federal minimum wage [4].

[1] (http://cbo.gov...)
[2] (http://aspe.hhs.gov...)
[3] (http://www.epi.org...)
[4] (http://www.epi.org...)
[5] (http://www.mybanktracker.com...)
[6] (http://www.bls.gov...)
[7] (http://www.pewresearch.org...)
[8] (http://www.dol.gov...)
[9] (http://news.yahoo.com...)
[10] (http://www.bls.gov...)
[11] (http://www.foxnews.com...)
[12] (http://www.whitehouse.gov...)
[13] (http://www.cnn.com...)
[14] (http://online.wsj.com...)
Jevinigh

Con

*Links are annotated, where you see an abbreviated number

The simplistic argument would be to point out that raise in costs of employment will result in rise of prices in goods and services, To which you will argue that Businesses would incur very little little cost in the big scheme, dominoes would have to raise the price of a pizza like 30 cents ( etc etc) completely discounting laws of what the companies COULD charge, and will. But I won't go down that route for both of our sakes.

The first point you used in your argument is the chief reason why raising the minimum wage wont benefit the average people. I told you in the opening that you are looking at the issue in the vacuum and I meant that you are discounting the manipulation involved in the currencies. So let me show you.

In 2009, the Federal reserve made changes to the way they measures the Consumer Price Index ( also referred to as Core Inflation) by removing Food and fuel from the calculation. With fuel at over 3/$ a gallon on average ( and heading for 4$ by the way) And any half witt that buys groceries knows these are the two biggest expenses in every house hold's bills and they have inflated to all hell, but the Reserve gets a very low inflation rate to report officially. (1)


"So The federal reserve is willing to crook the books to make their numbers look good, So what?" is likely what's going through your mind or there abuts. The Truth is the Federal Reserve is a banking Cartel not a Federal agency. This has become common knowledge but I will show you why its relevant to this debate. First examine why the Federal Reserve Wants Inflation. (2) So we see here that the Federal Government has an interest inflating the currency because the U.S. Has "debt obligations" beyond what is just recognized as the National debt of around 17.5 trillion. The largest part of which is not any federal spending but the U.S. collateral market for which the Government is theoretically on the hook for. If by now you haven't realized I am making your argument in reverse, I am.

Inflation has already happened, so why than is a 10.10 minimum wage won't benefit the average worker. Well it should in the short term as in the next 1-2 years. So in that respect Kudos, you win. But in the 5-10 year scope, a 10.10 Minimum wage is just pointless. The federal Government needs to catch wages up with inflation but it has nothing to do with improving the quality of your life. Its a Strategic move aimed at alleviating pressure in the markets so the the next wave of Inflation pressures won't cause the velocity of money to break down.

This is like the Neo of our economic system. Just another type of control mechanism. (3) And remember what we learned earlier, since 2009 the Federal Reserve no longer measures fuel prices or food as part of their inflation calculations.. that really just leaves financial services as the primary measurement of their inflation measurements.

Gee... I wonder who is benefiting from this.

So President Obummer gets behind 10.10 wage lift, with the approval of his patrons in the Financial sector. (4) The result of which will stabilize the already existing inflation, but with a dark secret. The Federal reserve has been inflating the currency like mad since 2009. (5) to which Janet yellen is by the way also a subscriber to the Bernanke doctrine. So again, if you're all for defending the status qou and protecting the interest of Big financials as part of "helping the U.S. economy" than sure... 10.10 will help the paper economy (6). we can definitely see more paper gains.

So, do you still believe that 10.10 minimum wage is really being done to YOUR benefit? Besides this, there the issue of worker output, a key part of pay scales in a real economy. That just gets us into a whole other mess that ties into Automation and so forth. Reality is that our economy si contrived and manpulated beyiond where simple common sense can account for its mechanisms.

If you want a progressive minimum standard of living, there are better ways to accomplish it. Raising the Minimum wage arbitrarily wont accomplish it. In the next rounf I will post a counter proposal to just rasing the wage.



(1) http://www.bankrate.com...
(2) http://www.investopedia.com...
(3) http://wallstcheatsheet.com...
(4) http://blogs.wsj.com...
(5) http://www.thedailybeast.com...
(6) http://www.cbsnews.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Juan_Pablo

Pro

In ROUND 2 my opponent makes several points--including accusing the U.S. Federal Reserve of forcing inflation to benefit the U.S. economy. She also accuses this federal organization of "crook[ing] the books" to make the numbers it reports look good to the American people. This second specific point is an allegation of wild conspiracy and I consider it irrelevant to the debate; however, she does use this argument to indicate that inflation is actually higher than what is reported, because of alterations to the way the Consumer Price Index (CPI) is computed since the early 1970s [1]. (My opponent is actually wrong. Excluding the prices of fuel and food from the CPI has been the way the U.S. Federal Reserve has been computing this parameter for decades now--not beginning in 2009, as she claims [2].)

I want to point out that if inflation is actually higher than what the U.S. Federal Reserve is reporting, than this should motivate us even more to hike the minimum wage and index it to inflation! This means that the purchasing power of the federal minimum wage is even less than what the U.S. Labor Department is already reporting--and it's reporting a significant decrease in the value of the minimum wage over the last four decades in real terms with great worry [3]. (However, the inflation rate as reported is accurate; my opponent is in fact mistaken about the way the CPI is traditionally computed since the 1970s [2].)

My opponent also claims that worker output should decide "pay scales in a real economy". I will demonstrate why she's correct, and why the 20% increase in worker productivity observed over this last decade should correspond with an increase in the federal minimum wage [4].

I will demonstrate this and other reasons for hiking the federal minimum wage in this ROUND.


Inflation has many causes, which is why the Federal Minimum Wage should be Indexed to Inflation


My opponent argues that raising the federal minimum wage would be pointless, as inflation would eventually eat the gains caused by increasing the minimum wage. And on this point she is moderately right; however, inflation has many causes, as economists point out, and it's a healthy economic trend in any growing economy--as long as it stays within limits [5]. Inflation is caused when demand for a product or service outstrips supply, which causes prices to go up; it can also be caused when new popular technology is introduced--some brand names demand higher prices; but it can also be caused by the depletion of natural resources, by natural disasters, by an increase in production costs, by the deregulation of banks, by government regulation and taxation, by business monopolies, by the expansion of the money supply, and various other reasons [5]. Inflation is natural and unavoidable in any economy. But too much of it can present problems, which is why the federal government tries to regulate it wherever it can [5]. Increasing wages can also create inflation if a business passes on the wage increase to consumers, but this doesn't always happen [6]. Recently, inflation has caused even pay raises among middle class workers to be fruitless, as the modest pay increases simply aren't enough to deal with the deleterious effects of inflation, especially as the income gap grows between well-to-do employers, who are increasingly keeping more of their profits, and all other wage earners [7][4]. As I demonstrated in ROUND 2, the nation's wealthiest Americans are generating income comfortably exceeding the rate of inflation; the middle class has seen either stagnant wage growth or negative wage growth when accounting for the effect; the lower classes have seen the worse decline in income over this last decade [4]. Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would eliminate the accumulated deleterious effects of inflation over the years for low wage earners; linking (or "indexing") it to inflation would ensure the effects are prevented in the future.

Four states--Florida, Oregon, Washington, Vermont--have already indexed their state minimum wage to inflation, and Minnesota is currently proposing to do so [8]. After raising the state minimum wage and indexing, the state of Washington saw no negative impact on employment some initially feared would be there [9]. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives, proposed raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10, and then having it adjusted every year to keep pace with the rising cost of living [10]. It is a congressional bill President Obama endorses and continues to endorse [11], particularly in light of the recent executive order he enacted which hiked the federal minimum wage for federal contractors from $7.25 to $10.10 [12].


Since 2000, worker productivity is up 20%


In ROUND 2, my opponent claims that worker productivity should decide their pay wages. I whole-heartedly agree! That's why I endorse raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Since 2000 worker productivity has risen 20%, even while median hourly wages among all workers have increased by only 3% [4]. Even more astounding is that since 2003, median hourly wages among all workers have not increased at all--zero increase in hourly wages--while the income of the nation's richest 5% have increased by 9% [4]! The nation's top 1% of earners have seen their incomes rise by 31.4% since 2009 [13]!

This trend is frightening. While the nation's workers have seen their productivity rise, their income has not grown at all; yet the income of the nation's top 5% of earners continues to surge upward [4][5], widening the income gap. When the effects of inflation are incorporated, middle-class workers have seen their incomes stagnant while lower-class workers have seen the value of their wages depreciate, contributing to an uptick in poverty [4][14].


Inadequate Increases in the Federal Minimum Wage have Increased Poverty


In the U.S. poverty is measured by whether a household fails to make enough income (or show enough savings) per year to surpass the "poverty threshold" assigned by the U.S government for the number of individuals living in the household [15][19]. Because of inadequate increases in the federal minimum wage with respect to inflation and because employee paychecks have become smaller in real terms for the same reason, poverty in the U.S. has increased over the last three decades [16]. The chart below illustrates the "povery guidelines" used by the Department of Health and Human Services for assigning poverty to a household based on annual income and number of people. Households making less than the income enumerated for the corresponding number of people in them are classified as "living in poverty". The "poverty guidelines" are in actuality simplified versions of the "poverty thresholds" used by the U.S. Census Bureau [19].

The Poverty Guidelines are used by the Department of Health and Human Services for assigning poverty to a household based on annual income and number of people. Households making less than the income enumerated for the corresponding number of people in them are classified as "living in poverty". The Poverty Guidelines are in actuality simplified versions of the "Poverty Thresholds" used by the U.S. Census Bureau, and are acquired using a similar formula.

Now, from first appearances via this chart a full-time minimum wage earner might appear to not be in poverty, but if his/her family consist of another person not employed and not receiving any type of income (a child perhaps), that would assign this person as "living in poverty", simply because his/her income falls below the poverty guideline for the household number [17].

In 2012 the U.S. Census Bureau announced that more than 16% of the U.S. population lived in poverty, including about 20% of all U.S. children, up from 13.2%--39.8 million people--in 2008 [15]. Since the 1980s, relative poverty in the U.S. has consistently exceeded that of other wealthy nations [15]. In 2011, child poverty reached historically high levels, with 16.7 million children living in food insecure households; in 2013 a UNICEF report ranked the U.S. as having the second highest relative child poverty rates in the developed world [15].

The congressional budget office (CBO) projects that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will not only add billions of dollars to the economy and provide additional income to low-wage earners, but that it will lift a full 900,000 people out of poverty [18]!


American Tax-payers Subsidize Low-wage Businesses


Furthermore, American tax-payers subsidize low-wage businesses. Many low-wage earners have to rely on public assistance such as food stamps or the earned income tax credit (EITC), because their wages are simply too low. Programs like the EITC are useful protections against poverty, but we shouldn’t let them act as subsidies to low-wage employers, who currently pay lower wages because the American taxpayer will make up the difference [14].

Raising the minimum wage would shrink the federal deficit, since fewer workers would qualify for the EITC [13]. Finally, a recent study by U.C.-Berkeley concluded that raising the minimum wage would allow 3 million people to quit the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) formerly known as food stamps [13].


(Note: R2 = Round 2; S# = Source number)

[1] (http://www.bankrate.com...)
[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
[3] S8, R2
[4] S3, R2
[5] (http://useconomy.about.com...)
[6] (http://www.wisegeek.com...)
[7] (http://www.washingtonpost.com...)
[8] (http://www.ehow.com...)
[9] (http://seattletimes.com...)
[10] (http://www.raisetheminimumwage.com...)
[11] (http://www.nytimes.com...;)
[12] S11, R2
[13] S5, R2
[14] S4, R2
[15] (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
[16] (http://www.worldhunger.org...)
[17] (http://poverty.ucdavis.edu...)
[18] S1, R2
[19] S2, R2
Jevinigh

Con


A conspiracy you say?
http://www.investopedia.com...

( for further reading)
http://richmondfed.org...

But : http://www.federalreserve.gov... Mr. Tarullo on the Board of Federal governors.

Shadow banking is no kook fringe theory my friend. The U.S. government is on the hook in ways I don't think you yet understand. I draw your attention here to something important people are missing because its honestly...confounding to the senses... http://www.usdebtclock.org... When looking at this number shat we are use to talking about eh Number at the top left, the National Debt. Now over 17Trillion Dollars. But that number is not honestly a big concern. I direct you instead to look at the number on the bottom, right. That number is the one you need to worry about.


Finally: Your argument is that if Inflation is already here Why than, or even how than can raising the minimum wage not be the answer? This Maneuver as I illustrated in the first round is a Calculated maneuver designed to alleviate inflationary pleasures NOT to improve the standard of living.


= The Solution =

The problem is not that people are warning too little, the problem is that costs are too high.

Any measure of success to improve the economy and improve the quality of lives for people in the United states must be aimed first and Fore most as Reducing expenses. Decentralized renewable energy sources to drive down energy costs... Renewable powered vehicles and more sophrticated transports to reduce travel expenses. In Truth, A complete redesign of our cities is required. Raising of the minimum wage is an Incomplete answer to issue. Only if our solution is aimed at addressing the expenses of our population can we have success. This also includes massive Financial sector reforms and deleveraging on financial sector as a whole.

The gains made from a 10.10 Mininum wage raise will be erased by already existing inflation in only a couple of years.

An out line to do that is found here.
http://www.zerocosteconomy.com...
( I am sorry this post is being short I will be out of town when this round expires and I procrastinated my response too long)

Debate Round No. 3
Juan_Pablo

Pro

In her ROUND 3 rebuttal, my opponent, trying to defend her assertion that the U.S. government is involved in a conspiracy, of trying to project favorable economic numbers, posted links to several websites on "shadow banking". Though there is unregulated illegal activity going on inside of financial institutions, which several of the sites she posts insist are happening, I still fail to see how this directly effects our minimum wage debate. Even more, those sources primarily focus on unregulated activity within private banks [1]--not the federal reserve banks, which she asserted is involved in the conspiracy. Yes, it's true that unregulated activity within private banks does contribute to inaccurate numbers on the state of the U.S. economy; but she has not defended her view that the U.S. government is directly involved in a conspiracy--which is beside the point of our debate on a minimum wage increase anyway.

The numbers that are collected by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and other U.S. departments about the state of the economy and on financial/banking dealings are thoroughly scrutinized by such agencies as the IRS, the Office of Financial Institutions, the Federal Reserve System, and others [2][3]. However, unregulated illegal conduct is bound to happen and effect the numbers collected by these institutions. Nevertheless, these numbers are considered reliable by these institutions unless there's sensible/evident reason to believe they are not. The Federal Reserve System supervises the behavior of private banks to determine the authenticity of their financial/banking data; if misconduct is discovered, it will take action against the private bank [3].

Ultimately we're stuck accepting the data on the state of the economy provided to us by the U.S. government. Unless my opponent can provide ample, credible, widely-accepted evidence that the U.S. government is "crooking the books", like she says, to the degree that she asserts there's no reason to consider this argument credible or even relevant to our debate on a minimum wage increase.

In ROUND 3 my opponent draws our attention to the U.S. Federal debt, but then tells us to ingore that number as unimportant, re-directing our attention to another number: the U.S. Federal deficit. Once again I fail to see how this is relevant to our debate on a minimum wage increase. (What connection is she trying to make? We shouldn't raise the federal minimum wage because our U.S. federal deficit is too high? Huh?) This seems to be more of a political attack on her part, of my political leanings; it has nothing to do with our debate on a federal minimum wage increase as far as I can tell. However, since she is looking at that number, she'll notice that that number--the U.S. Federal (budget) deficit--is in fact trending downward now [4]! That number is shrinking (something she failed to spot even though she posted it as a source) precisely because President Obama has supported decreasing the U.S. Federal deficit and making the overall national debt manageable [5]. Watch as the U.S. Federal deficit shrinks with each elapsing second: http://www.usdebtclock.org...

But that's entirely beside the point. Our debate is about raising the federal minimum wage--not about the U.S. Federal deficit.


My opponent finally focuses on our minimum wage debate in the later part of her ROUND 4 response. And she provides us with her analysis of the crisis currently facing low-wage workers.

She says: "The problem is not that people are [being paid] too little, the problem is that costs are too high."

She then uses a chart to show us the effect of inflation on the prices of goods over the last century, explaining:


"Any measure of success to improve the economy and improve the quality of lives for people in the United states must be aimed first and foremost as reducing expenses. Decentralized renewable energy sources to drive down energy costs...Renewable powered vehicles and more sophiticated transports to reduce travel expenses...A complete redesign of our cities is required. Raising of the minimum wage is an incomplete answer to issue. Only if our solution is aimed at addressing the expenses of our population can we have success. This also includes massive financial sector reforms..."

Well, I agree with her about reducing energy costs and about getting our nation's vehicles powered by renewable energy (even though fuel isn't used to calculate the current inflation rate by the U.S. Federal Reserve, as I explained in ROUND 3 [6]). However, she then indicates that we have to re-engineer our cities and impose major reforms on the financial sector to improve the lot of low-wage workers. Prices are too high she claims.


Well, what's easier to do? Increase the federal minimum wage and index it to inflation? Or decrease the prices of numerous goods in the market, re-engineer cities, get all our vehicles dependent on renewable energy sources, and impose major reforms on the financial sector?

The first solution is way easier to impose and will immediately solve the crisis facing low-wage earners; indexing the minimum wage hike will then eliminate any effects caused by inflation in the future [7].

There's a simple way to solve the severely reduced purchasing power of the federal minimum wage and that's by increasing it to over $10.00 and then indexing it to inflation. Not doing anything to alleviate the pain experienced by low-wage earners will only make the problem worse; solving it by the methods my opponent endorses is too heavy and awkward, and there's no data to show it will even work!


Pro's closing remarks


As I stated in ROUND 2, the congressional budget office projects that raising the minimum wage to $10.10 will provide an additional $2 billion to the nation's GDP by 2016 (with an increase of $19 billion in pre-tax income among low wage earners); the CBO is also projecting that 900,000 people will be lifted above the poverty threshold (out of poverty) [8].


Various economic research organizations project positive gains in employment, as a result of hiking the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. A study by the Economic Policy Institute shows that raising the federal minimum to $10.10 (in the precise steps offered by the Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013) would generate $30 billion in new economic activity and lead to the creation of 140,000 new full-time jobs [9]; this is identical to the position of numerous economic research organizations and the White House [10]. Furthermore, numerous studies--including several by the U.S. government's Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, the Universities of California-Berkeley, Massachussetts-Amherst, North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and a survey by the University of Chicago--show that previous raises in the federal minimum wage have in fact positively impacted the economy and have no measurable negative effect on employment [11][12][13][14]; a positive effect to employment has frequently been observed [15][16].


An often-cited 2006 study found that states with a minimum wage above the federal minimum wage had faster retail and small business job growth [16]!

Now, there is a plethora of data by government agencies, universities, and economic research organizations that show increases to the federal minimum wage have mostly expanded the U.S. economy and GDP, while either not negatively impacting the employment numbers or driving them up because of increased sales and business growth. This is also well understood in the business community. A 2012 study by MIT professor Zeynop Ton documents how major businesses like Trader Joe's and Costco benefit from higher sales revenue and profits than their low-wage competitors by investing in their employees, which reduces turnover and boost productivity [17]. For example, the starting wage at Trader Joe’s ranges between $40,000 and $60,000 per year, more than twice what many of its competitors offer, and yet the sales revenue per square foot at Trader Joe’s are three times higher than the average U.S. supermarket [17].

85% of small businesses are on the same page as Costco and Trader Joe's as they already pay wages higher than the minimum [18].

Right now American low-wage workers are facing a crisis. The purchasing power of the minimum wage is so low today that American fast food workers receive more than $7 billion in public assistance [19]; Walmart employees, which are paid the minimum wage starting out, are the single biggest group of food stamp recipients in the nation, recieving on average $1,000 in public assistance [19].

(Note: R# = Round number; S# = Source number)


[1] (http://www.federalreserve.gov...)
[2] (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
[3] (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
[4] (http://www.usdebtclock.org...)
[5] (http://money.howstuffworks.com...)
[6] S2, R3
[7] S10, R3
[8] S1, R2
[9] (http://www.epi.org...)
[10] S5, R2
[11] S8, R2
[12] (http://www.cepr.net...)
[13] (https://escholarship.org...)
[14] (http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com...)
[15] (http://blogs.wsj.com...)
[16] (http://fiscalpolicy.org...)
[17] (http://hbr.org...)
[18] (http://www.businessforafairminimumwage.org...)
[19] (http://www.bloomberg.com...)
Jevinigh

Con



Notice the terminology the CBO is using... $30.bn in new economic activity. They aren't claiming it will create enhanced quality of life- or that it will result in new spending in the economy just that it will create " New economic activity." Let me show you why this is smoke and mirrors. http://finance.yahoo.com... Raising the minimum wage will do nothing to stop this behavior in corporate America...and it is the behavioral science that undoes your argument on the spot.


Now, in round 2 I endeavored to explain to you that the government is in fact-in bed with big financial. Its not a conspiracy as we use the term in modern days, its corruption. That corruption is extremely relevant to this argument- this move to raise the minimum wage is a mechanism of alleviating inflationary pressures... you seem to have taken that point out of its actual context in this debate.

I will apologize to pro formally, private matters have restricted my time and the amount of energy to allocate into debates how ever I believe I have sufficiently made the case for this debate that 10.10 minimum wage will NOT benefit the average person and the ones who come out on top will in the end be the big-financial sector- very much in collusion with the Federal government especially our current administration. The current admisnitration is no more-or-less corrupt than the former.

Pro, feel free to send me a direct challenge any time you like. Thank you for the debate.
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
Jevinigh
Fu-k this sh-t.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Okay. I'm now working on my ROUND 4 response.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
I'll provide my ROUND 4 response later today.
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
Jevinigh
Also, now that I am reading my last round, there are mistakes that I am not sure why the spell checker din't pick up. From now on I should put less faith in the built in spell checker.
Posted by Jevinigh 2 years ago
Jevinigh
Cool! I've had a few people bail on me after the first round, i was concerned you'de be doing the same. I look forward to the next round.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
I'll post my ROUND 3 arguments/response tonight/very early tomorrow morning.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Correction:

All my links in ROUND 2 are active! I figured out how to present them to make each one an engageable, active link!

Okay. I think that's right.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Correction:

All my links in ROUND 2 are active! I figured out how to present them to make each one engageable, active links!
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
All my links in ROUND 2 are active! I figured out to present them to make each one active, engageable links!
Posted by Juan_Pablo 2 years ago
Juan_Pablo
Sorry, but forcing the American tax payer to take the hit that employers should be taking for the workers is no solution and is wildly irresponsible!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by emmylou3322 2 years ago
emmylou3322
Juan_PabloJevinighTied
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
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Made more convincing arguments:--Vote Checkmark3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:20 
Reasons for voting decision: One of Con's charts was not clearly labled, so I found it somewhat difficult to understand what it was saying.