The Instigator
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points
The Contender
Zachattack
Pro (for)
Losing
14 Points

Raising the minimum wage would help get America out of its recession.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/3/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,726 times Debate No: 7664
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (5)
Votes (8)

 

wjmelements

Con

I would like to remind my opponent that he is PRO and I am CON. In the past, debaters have been confused and argued my point. I encouraged voters to make it a tie, but I do not want a repeat.

Clarification: 'Raising the minimum wage' is raising the minimum hourly income of a job in America.

Raising the minimum wage will have a negative effect on the American economy, because:
1. Jobs will be cut.
2. Prices on everyday goods will go up.
3. Price inflation will result.
4. Interest rates will increase.
5. Fewer businesses will start.
6. Savings diminish in value.
7. Less money will be spent.
8. More jobs will be cut.
9. This goes on and on.

1.
If the cost of hiring someone increases, then companies will not be able to afford as many employees. http://www.heritage.org... http://www.frbsf.org... http://www.pbs.org... http://www.heritage.org...

2. 3.
If the cost of hiring someone increases, then companies will be forced to raise their prices to compensate. In the long run, this cancels all of the benefits of raising the minimum wage.
When goods cost more, the cost of everything goes up. This is called price inflation. Such inflation can weaken the economy. http://www.onlineathens.com...

4.
Because banks lend money to make money, when the value of their loans decreases do to the inflation described above, they must make more money to compensate for this. They do this by increasing interest rates on loans. http://www.foxnews.com...

5.
With higher interest rates, it is harder for businesses to start, as they have to make a larger initial risk. Also, with higher interest rates, it is harder for a business to stay afloat. http://www.westportresources.com...

6.
Because interest rates will be less than the rate of inflation (banks have to make money), the stronger inflation is, the quicker the value of a savings account deteriorates. http://www.bankrate.com...

7.
When people have less savings, they spend less. Also, they feel less secure. www.iht.com/articles/2009/02/02/business/03econA.php

8.
With less people spending, fewer companies can sustain themselves. Also, with less spending, the economy is weaker. http://www.coloradoan.com...

9.
This really does go on. Raising the minimum wage can severely weaken an economy, and that certainly isn't what we need right now.

I give regards to my opponent and wish luck to the person who chooses to accept.
Zachattack

Pro

First of all, thank you for the opportunity for a good debate.

Next, I will proceed to attack my opponent's case. Voters, I would like you to notice that he has a chain reaction of events - therefore, if I can prove that one of the base arguments isn't true, then none of their other impacts will happen.

Their first subpoint, referring to how jobs will be cut, has been empirically denied. The 1990-1991 recession proves this point. (1) As a voter of this debate round, I would like for you to think about this for a second. Which is more likely - something that is a mere 'guess', or something that has been proven in the past? The argument I am trying to make here is that you should always follow empirically proven data before you listen to guesses.

Their next subpoints, two and three, are talking about how this will cause inflation. My response to this is that

A) It's actually the other way around. Historically, inflation has risen up the minimum wage prices. But, currently, the market is incredibly inflated, and the minimum wage hasn't kept up. (2)
B) Even if you do not believe my argument above that has been proven in the past, I would like to point out that there is no real evidence that companies will raise their prices if the minimum wage goes up. A lot of American companies today are barely holding on. They realize that if they raise their prices any higher (especially with all of the current inflation), they will loose business. That is something they cannot afford. So, they won't raise their prices.

I would like to stop for a moment to point out that if I win these arguments above, that again, have been historically proven, then the rest of their case doesn't matter. From points 4 and on, it is dependent on this inflation.

Now, I am going to move onto my case.

1. Raising the minimum wage would allow for those that make minimum wage to have more money to spend. Please take a look at their seventh subpoint. It says that "When people have less savings, they spend less. Also, they feel less secure". But, with more money, they can spend more. This will allow for more companies to be able to sustain themselves. (1)

2. Raising the minimum wage would allow for families to be able to have economic security for the future. (1) This economic security has an important implication:

A) This heightened economic security will allow for more parents to be able to care for their children. Studies have shown that this will allow for their children to overall lead better lives. (3) These more educated children can then go on and break out of poverty and lead successful lives. This will benefit the economy even more. Even if somehow he wins all of his case, I will still win that this will be better for America's future, allowing a recession to never happen again.

3) Raising the minimum wage would decrease the amount of days a worker is absent and increase overall productivity. Please now look at his second and third subpoint. He said "If the cost of hiring someone increases, then companies will be forced to raise their prices to compensate. In the long run, this cancels all of the benefits of raising the minimum wage. When goods cost more, the cost of everything goes up. This is called price inflation. Such inflation can weaken the economy." Even if he wins all of the other points, this is the main one that I need to win. If the productivity goes up, then companies will make more money - ensuring that subpoints 4+ won't happen.

4) Raising the minimum wage would help millions of workers. (4)

5) The rising cost of living, especially with a low minimum wage, ensures that families will not be able to make payments, such as their house payments. (4) Please refer back to their fourth subpoint. If these families cannot make their bank payments because they don't have enough money because of the minimum wage, then the banks will fail, and cause all of their other impacts from points five and on.

6) Historically, a low minimum wage increases the income gap between men and women by about 32 percent. That isn't fair! (4)

7) Increasing the minimum wage would translate into an extra 2,000 dollars per family if it is increased by one dollar, and 3,000 dollars if the minimum wage is increased by one dollar and fifty cents. This would translate into eight months of groceries, or five months of rent. (4)

8) Historically, jobs are created and the amount of people that do not have jobs decreases. (4) This is exactly what we need right now - to make sure people have jobs.

9) A higher minimum wage would allow for the 21st century to build up. (5) With 1950 wages, we cannot build up and advance technologically.

I would like to make it clear, again, that studies have shown, along with historical data, that there has NEVER been jobs lost when the minimum wage increases. (4)

Next, I would like to remind you that critics of the minimum wage have predicted dire consequences to raising the minimum wage - which have never happened. In the past, raising the minimum wage decreases inflation, reduces the amount of people in poverty, and stimulates the economy. (6)

Last, I would like to wish my opponent good luck as he prepares for his next speech. Thank you again for this opportunity to debate you.

(1) http://www.njpp.org...
(2) http://www.bloomberg.com...
(3) http://www.aecf.org...
(4) http://www.policyalmanac.org...
(5) http://www.ncccusa.org...
(6) http://www.commondreams.org...
Debate Round No. 1
wjmelements

Con

My opponent's fundamental flaw in logic is that he assumes that companies do not pay people more because they do not want to. This is not the case.
Raising the minimum wage would immediately increase unemployment (it costs more to hire people), especially in poor families. My opponent overlooks this, and this undoes some of his case.
The rest lies in the lack of economic knowledge that my opponent has, and there are a variety of logical flaws in his arguments.

As to my opponent's rebuttal:
______________________________

A) My opponent contends that the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation. However, to raise it causes price inflation. So, with my opponent's logic, we could increase the minimum wage over and over again, causing inflation until it gets to the point where the dollar is useless, as it was in pre-Hitler Germany.
The link between raising the minimum wage and inflation is a flaw in my opponent's second subpoint.

B) My opponent contends that a company will lose business by raising prices. This is not the case, because the entire industry is forced to raise their prices.
With an increased employment expense, a business will need a means to generate more revenue to stay afloat, and the easiest way to do that is to raise prices. All companies in the industry will do this. This is called Price Inflation (not to be confused with Monetary Inflation).
Further, a company will meet this new expense by cutting expenditures, most likely now-more-expensive employees. However, if this is not an option, they will simply raise prices.
Inflation and unemployment are not good for a recession, as my other points have contended.

1. While some people will make more money, the rest will lose their jobs. With less employed people, the economy suffers, as there is less people that can spend. So, there is no way that this will make employees richer, unless the companies raise prices, which ultimately undoes their riches with inflation.

2. Raising the minimum wage would not allow for families to have more economic security, because either they lose their jobs or the cost of everything increases. So, this point is also null.

3. "Raising the minimum wage would decrease the amount of days a worker is absent and increase overall productivity." My opponent has not sourced this. This statement is not based in fact and is a meager assumption.

4. Raising the minimum wage would only 'help' the workers earning near the minimum wage, and it isn't really helping them because (again) their costs of living go up and/or they lose their job.

5. "If these families cannot make their bank payments because they don't have enough money because of the minimum wage, then the banks will fail" Actually, banks only fail after their client's bankruptcy if the loan was sub-prime.
And again, my opponent's point is null because the value of what they make is ultimately the same as it was before (unless they lose their job) with the exception that after the inflation resulting from an increased minimum wage will cause the banks to lose money.

6. I would like to use an analogy.
I see a tree. I spit on the ground. A lumberjack comes and chopes the tree down. Therefore, my spitting caused the tree to fall.
There is no link between minimum wage and male-female income gaps.
The cause for the increases in income gaps is commonly linked to other factors, such as births and a rise in pregnancy. (Source: Economic Facts and Fallacies [Male-Female Facts and Fallacies Chapter])

7. My opponent pulls an argument from Bill Clinton's talking points. What is not considered in these statistics is the the price inflation that would result in this extra money being worth less, and the costs of living increasing (higher rent and more expensive groceries).

8. My opponent has the same logical fallacy as in 6. He uses the same list of Bill Clinton's talking points as in most of the rest of his arguments. Bill Clinton does not elaborate as to which years his 'research' used and included and what it was about, when it was done. There is not way to verify this information. Further, the statistics that Bill Clinton used were not from recession situations.
This is a common political technique called 'drive-by'. Therefore, one cannot trust these statistics and it is likely that the reasons for the decreased unemployment were not an increased minimum wage, as Clinton insisted.

9. "we cannot build up and advance technologically."
Creating inflation that will set up misery for the banking system and unemployment for the economy will not spur new technologies. During the Great Depression, very few 'new' technologies were developed. However, the 1950s were a time of great innovation.

http://www.mckinseyquarterly.com...
"Many companies hesitated to innovate during the 1930s. Consider, for example, patent applications as a proxy for resources devoted to innovation. The growth rate of US patent applications by companies with R&D laboratories was considerably lower during the 1930s than in the preceding decade."

http://www.ddmcd.com...
(Uses 1950s as an example as a time with amazing and impressive innovation.)

So, my opponent's point is flat out false and disproven by the very history he feels is on his side.
__________________________________________________________

"that there has NEVER been jobs lost when the minimum wage increases. (4)"
My opponent again sources Bill Clinton's talking points. I have already discussed the irrelevance of this source.

"In the past, raising the minimum wage decreases inflation, reduces the amount of people in poverty, and stimulates the economy. (6)"
Another lie; raising the minimum wage leads to price inflation and does not 'decrease' inflation at all; it causes an increase in unemployment (leading to more people in poverty); and harms the economy.

Conclusion:
*****************************************
I thank my opponent for this economic debate.
My opponent's argument is based in economic and logical fallacy.
Raising the minimum wage leads to A)unemployent and price inflation , which B) leads to other problems.
B has been conceded by PRO.
Raising the minimum wage will worsen the current recession.
Therefore, it will not 'help get America out of its recession'. So, you, the objective voter, must vote CON.
Zachattack

Pro

I would like to start by saying that my logic isn't flawed, on the contrary, yours is. There is a certain analytical threshold - and I'm afraid that you are way over it. I am first going to start by responding to their last speech.

____________________
My opponent began by saying that raising the minimum wage would immediately increase unemployment. This has been *historically proven* to not happen. While my opponent insists otherwise, he cannot compete with studies that have taken place. My opponent might know a lot about the economy - but he isn't qualified enough to compete with studies and authors who spend their life studying things like this. Now, I will proceed to respond to my opponent's arguments in the same manner that he responded to mine in.

A) My opponent has not responded to my main argument. My opponent contends that raising the minimum wage will cause inflation. Yet, he ignored my point. The current inflation is so high right now that the minimum wage hasn't kept up with it. HISTORICALLY, the minimum wage is normally proportionate to inflation. But not anymore. Raising the minimum wage would NOT cause inflation because it would simply be catching up to where it will be. But my next argument, that was conceded, is what will win me this debate.

B) My opponent contends that the entire industry will raise their prices. This argument has crossed the line. It's absolutely absurd. Say the local grocery store raises their prices. My opponent contends that then, Kroger, will raise their prices too. This flawed economical assumption is another reason that I will win the debate. Luckily, these small businesses realize this. So they will find other ways to lower the cost, as my opponent pointed out, by cutting expenditures.

1) Again, there is a threshold for analytical arguments. Historically, twelve million jobs have been created by raising the minimum wage. Don't listen to my opponent's arguments that are merely 'assumptions', instead, look at what has happened in the past. I will now quote my first source. "Numerous economic studies, including those by David Card and Alan Krueger of Princeton University, have shown that increasing the minimum wage has no negative effect on employment." (1) I would like to ask you, the voter, to believe an economist at Princeton over my opponent.

2) My opponent contends that people will loose their jobs, so people will not have economic security. Again, please trust Princeton economists over my opponent. This point is null, too, because studies, again, by Princeton economists, have shown that there has been no job loss.

3) I apologize for forgetting to source this. This is from my second source down at the bottom. Do not ignore this argument - my opponent had plenty of room to both respond to this and tell you that I forgot to source it.

4) For this point, please refer back to my previous arguments on how there will be no inflation.

5) My opponent contends here that what they make is the same as they had made before (unless they loose their job, which, again, again, Princeton economists have proven to be false).

6) This argument isn't really relevant, I was just putting it out there. Even though my opponent thinks he can win this argument by making analytical arguments, that is not the case. Refer back to my third source at the bottom. "Research has shown that the decline in the real value of the minimum wage from 1979 to 1988 was responsible for approximately 24 percent of the increase in wage inequality experienced by men and about 32 percent of the increase in wage inequality for women." My opponent also says that this is due to other factors. That is irrelevant. It still causes the gap to widen, even if it is not the only thing.

7) Since I have won before with my previous arguments that there will be no more inflation than there is in the status quo, I win this argument too. This argument cannot be looked over. My opponent contends that that extra amount isn't worth much because of the increased cost of living. If they somehow win that there will be inflation, it is NOT POSSIBLE for it to rise so high so that 2,000-3,000 dollars is worth nothing. This extra money for these workers is what we need for the economy right now - they can then buy items from companies, who then make money and can then hire more workers. It's a chain reaction.

8) This is not Bill Clinton speaking. This is a report done by his economists, who are more qualified than my opponent and his analytical arguments. It is irrelevant whether this is statistics from a recession - 2,000 dollars is 2,000 dollars. Even if they win that there will be inflation, I will win that this 2,000 dollars for tens of millions of people will stimulate the economy and help us get out of the recession. The last part of my opponent's argument confuses me. My opponent says that "it is likely that the reasons for the decreased unemployment were not an increased minimum wage, as Clinton insisted." I do not see anywhere in this article where it says that. He, and his economic experts, are arguing against you. Not for you.

9) Since I, again, win that there will be no inflation, I will turn this argument and argue that since the minimum wage will be increased, and millions of jobs will be created, there will be MORE technology created so that we can advance.

""Me: that there has NEVER been jobs lost when the minimum wage increases. (4)"
Opponent : My opponent again sources Bill Clinton's talking points. I have already discussed the irrelevance of this source"
My opponent forgets that this is from Princeton economists. His arguments are all irrelevant because Princeton economists know more than him.

My opponent contends that "raising the minimum wage leads to price inflation and does not 'decrease' inflation at all; it causes an increase in unemployment (leading to more people in poverty); and harms the economy."
Since I have already won that this will not lead to inflation, and I have won that it creates millions of jobs, I win that it helps the economy, which is what wins me this debate round.

Now, I am going to go over my arguments, and then reach my conclusion. The main argument I am going to go over again is the inflation argument. It seems like there has been some confusion about this with my opponent.

---
How does inflation occur? I will list the relevant reasons.
---

1) A type of inflation known as stagflation occurs when an economy faces high unemployment rate and economic stagnation. (4)

2) There is a possibility of inflation when the business houses and industries increase the price of their goods and services in order to increase their profit margins. This type of inflation is known as pricing power inflation or administered price inflation. In this type of inflation, the business houses have the power of pricing their respective goods and services. (4)

I have proven number one to be untrue. Raising the minimum wage creates millions of jobs.
I have also proven number two untrue. Businesses will not raise their prices because they realize they can't, and also workers will work harder so that the businesses will make more money. This was conceded by my opponent.
Also, examine my argument that inflation is high right now, and if the minimum wage catches up, it will not increase inflation.

Conclusion

My opponent believes that he is more qualified than my authors, Princeton economists, and economic advisers to the President. Do not let him win any of his analytical, historically untrue, arguments.

Raising the minimum wage leads to

A) Tens of millions of jobs
B) More money for those people to spend elsewhere, stimulating the economy

Thank you for this wonderful debate. Vote pro.

(1) http://www.policyalmanac.org...
(2) http://www.njpp.org...
(3) http://www.policyalmanac.org...
(4
Debate Round No. 2
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Definitely a good debate.
Posted by Zachattack 7 years ago
Zachattack
I, of course, voted Pro. (I'm sure there's a bias here too)

Conduct - Tie
Spelling/grammar - Tie
Arguments - PRO ....had BETTER sources, Con doesn't understand the different between a report done by the government and a speech, made arguments that were dropped, had overall more logic and wasn't making analytical arguments against experts
Sources - Pro

I think that I have won for a few reasons...

1) Everything that I've said was historically proven
2) Con made illogical arguments against my arguments that had highly qualified experts backing it up

Good debate.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
You mean RFD.

Well, in my opinion (which may be a tad biased):

Conduct: tied
S&G: tied
Arguments: CON (it went down to whose sources were better because they were conflicted. CON's sources linked to Bill Clinton's Talking Points, which he referred to for many of his arguments. The talking points vaguely sourced studies without telling which ones. Though CON used the Heritage Foundation, this is not the work of some politician, but a group.The Heritage Foundation was also better at sourcing their sources. CON also sourced more sources and they were varifiable.)
Sources: CON (see above)

Both of our arguments were heavily sourced, but the sources contradicted eachother. Because CON's sources were better, his arguments triumphed.

Real good debate.
Posted by Zachattack 7 years ago
Zachattack
Could people please post the reason why they voted for a particular side? Just so we can know what to improve on.
Posted by Zachattack 7 years ago
Zachattack
Sorry, it wouldn't let me post my fourth source. Every time I would type it in, it would delete it.

http://www.buzzle.com...

Thanks again!
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