Resolved: A just government ought to require employers to pay a living wage
Debate Rounds (4)
"We must do away with the absolutely specious notion that everybody has to earn a living. It is a fact today that one in ten thousand of us can make a technological breakthrough capable of supporting all the rest. The youth of today are absolutely right in recognizing this nonsense of earning a living. We keep inventing jobs because of this false idea that everybody has to be employed at some kind of drudgery because, according to Malthusian-Darwinian theory, he must justify his right to exist. So we have inspectors of inspectors and people making instruments for inspectors to inspect inspectors. The true business of people should be to go back to school and think about whatever it was they were thinking about before somebody came along and told them they had to earn a living."
It is because I agree with Buckminster Fuller that I negate the resolution: A Just governments ought to require employers to pay a living wage.
For the purposes of this debate, I will accept my opponents value and criterion. I will argue that I achieve their framework much more effectively than they do.
The thesis of my argument will be that requiring employers to pay a living wage continues to place the burden of the social world on the private sector, continuing to endorse the fallacy of the private sphere. In today"s debate, I will support the idea that a just government would provide for its citizens, not through requiring employers to pay their employees, but instead, through providing directly for its citizens.
Contention One: "Ensuring Employers Pay" is a Mask for Exploitation
Sub-Point A: Making employees dependent on their employers is a method of ensuring ideological compliance with the system.
McNally (1996)The contradictory character of working class consciousness is a highly dynamic phenomenon. To begin with, there is no homogeneous consciousness within the working class. Among a single group of workers, some will veer towards near-total acceptance of the ideas of bosses, supervisors, heads of state, and so on, while others will lean towards an almost thorough-going opposition to such figures. Between these two positions one will find the majority of workers. But their consciousness will not be fixed. Great events"mass strikes and demonstrations, union drives, and so on"coupled with the organized propagation of oppositional ideas can contribute to significant radicalisation; while defeats, setbacks, and the decline of oppositional discourse can have a deeply conversing effect.
Sub-Point B: Forcing private employers to pay a "living wage" is precisely how capitalism masks itself and preserves itself into violence.
Deleuze and Guattari (1972)The capitalist machine does not run the risk of becoming mad, it is mad from one end to the other and from the beginning, and this is the source of its rationality, Marx's black humor, the source of Capital, is his fascination with such a machine: how it came to be assembled, on what foundation of decoding and deterritorialization; how it works, always more decoded, always more deterritorialized; how its operation grows more relentless with the development of the axiomatic, the combination of the flows; how it produces the terrible single class of gray gentlemen who keep up the machine; how it does not run the risk of dying all alone, but rather of making us die, by provoking to the very end investments of desire that do not even go by way of a deceptive and subjective ideology, and that lead us to cry out to the very end, Long live capital in all its reality, in all its objective dissimulation!
Except in ideology, there has never been a humane, liberal, and paternal capitalism. Capitalism is defined by a cruelty having no parallel in the despotic regime of terror. Wage increases and improvements in the standard of living are realities, but realities that derive from a given supplementary axiom that capitalism is always capable of adding to its axiomatic in terms of an enlargement of its limits: let's create the New Deal; let's cultivate and recognize strong unions; let's promote participation, the single class; let's take a step toward Russia, which is taking so many toward us; etc.
Contention Two: A Just Governments Provides an Income to All
Sub-Point A: Paying those lucky enough to be employed a living wage does not go far enough. Only providing guaranteed employment or a guaranteed minimum income can secure dignity for all.
Luther King Jr. (1967)But dignity is also corroded by poverty no matter how poetically we invest the humble with simple graces and charm. No worker can maintain his morale or sustain his spirit if in the marketplace his capacities are declared to be worthless to society. The Negro is no longer ashamed that he is black" he should never have permitted himself to accept the absurd concept that white is more virtuous than black, but he was crushed by the propaganda that superiority had a pale countenance. That day is fast coming to an end. However, in his search for human dignity he is handicapped by the stigma of poverty in a society whose measure of value revolves about money. If the society changes its concepts by placing the responsibility on its system, not on the individual, and guarantees secure employment or a minimum income, dignity will come within reach of all.
Sub-Point B: In order to solve our problems, we must deal with global poverty. We have the resources to deal with these problems, we just lack the will.
Fuller (1969)Another grave problem that must be solved if we are to live creatively in our world house is that of poverty on an international scale. Like a monstrous octopus, it stretches its choking, prehensile tentacles into lands and villages all over the world. Two-thirds of the peoples of the world go to bed hungry at night. They are undernourished, ill-housed and shabbily clad. Many of them have no houses or beds to sleep in. Their only beds are the sidewalks of the cities and the dusty roads of the villages. Most of these poverty-stricken children have never seen a physician or a dentist. There is nothing new about poverty. What is new, however, is that we now have the resources to get rid of it. Today, therefore, the question on the agenda must read: why should there be hunger and privation in any land, in any city, at any table, when man has the resources and the scientific know-how to provide all mankind with the basic necessities of life? In other words, I doubt that there can be a stabilization of the population without a prior stabilization of economic resources.
Contention Three: A living wage increases corporations and decreases small businesses. A living wage decreases the profits of the small businesses that essentially boost the production of small rural towns. According to Karen Mills (2013) It's not a just government that creates jobs; it's small business. Our job is to make sure they have the access to capital, the access to contracting opportunities, and the help, advice and mentoring that they need to go out and be successful. A living wage will increase the probability of these small businesses going under. Corporations and those who work at this low class and low standard of living are the ones that thrive. We need to think of the effect on small businesses first before affirming a resolution like this.
To rebut your first conention, I'll begin with the basis of what you're arguing for, rather than what you're arguing against. "Let's take a step toward Russia" is the single most ironic thing I've read thus far. Your argument for communism with this quote to be had is laughable. Russia is no longer communist. The Soviet Union collapse of 1991 was based in a wave of revolt and the dissatisfaction of the people, and Russia had begun thriving off capitalism since.
More to the "point", I'll begin with point A of your first contention, or, as I like to call it "The contradictory". It's strange that you'd open this point by describing the working class as robots dependant on their employer overlords then emediately turn to the individual motivations, thoughts, and non-homogeneous consciousness of said working class. I don't even need to rebut this, you've rebutted yourself, and successfully, might I add. And on to your point about how such a system can lead to protest. Protest does not equel anarchy. people, in a free society, have the right to protest all they like. Right now, what the opposition (as has been emmediately described) is the favor towards something you're adimently against. Something that is entirely reasonable when regulating a free market, that will lead to greater ecinomic prosperity, and will assure better living conditions among the people. It is far better to have outcry and to meet the needs of the masses than to supress all people (other than those found worthy by themselves).
On to point B. Dissatiscfaction and revolt are two seperate things. Dissatisfaction can, in fact, lead to revolt, however, as it did with communism. We have not seen this to that extent with capitalism. We have seen protest, but not violence. The idea that creating a living wage would cause a violent uproar is absolutely rediculous. The protests that you are so afraid of are calling to have this living wage. That in mind, you can apease the needs of the people while not opressing them. If you set up a system based in the idea that human beings do not need competition, and the people ask for more, they are unable to get more. The system itself will not allow it, and, as we've seen with russia, they will revolt. In this instance, even with simular oppression, we do not see revolt. Why is that? Because the system allows for peaceful means to resolution. The system allows for regulation when needed, and, in the event of government discourse, the people are not dependant on the government and can find seperate means for regulation. for instance, the campeign finanse reform resolutions. While, with otu a free market, there would not be the same form of corruption calling for such resolutions, if such government found itself with seperate means to opress the people, as has been seen time and time before with a communist government, there would be no peaceful resolution as there would be no outside source to be bottled. When the people are entirely reliant on a government, and that government is not supporting the people, those people are left with no choice but revolt. This is not speculation, this has been seen in history.
To adress your second contention, I do agree with you that a just government would assure adiquit living condisions with a wellfare plan and a social safety net. [...] Oh, wait.
Of course poverty is somethign to be avoided. All reasonable people would agree. So, in the instance that a government impliments a communist system then later becomes corrupt, where are the people to go? you have assured momentary stability, but have ignored the long term. You have put the lives of many into the hands of the everchanging few, and human beings are innately insensitive when faced with benifit. If this were not true, we would have natturally formed a communist society. capitalism would not be viewed as bad but would naturally show the good in all people because all people would be good and equely share anyway. All you would have done is given every ounce of power to the government, a government just as capable of becoming corrupt. The only thing you have assured is that the people will not have a peacefull resolution in this instance. Instead a capitalist government can assure subsidies for the unnemplpoyed to fall back on in troubled times while not creating dependency on a single entity who may become corrupt.
To your final contention, small businesses disagree with you, so do econimists. Increasing the minimum wage would boost the economy by $22 billion and create 85,000 jobs. The main fear in what you have described is that small businesses could not afford to pay their workers a living wage, but 85% already do.
So why would it be just? Because it assures a nations prosperity economicaly and humanely. Because the majority of the people who had elected this government to reprisent them call for it. And because not only will small businesses not be hurt by this, they they want it as well.
So I ask you again, why do you hate democracy? Why would you argue in favor of shoving down the peoples throats what would be a totalitarian policy, when it is perfectly apperant that we do not want what you're selling?
chrisjachimiak forfeited this round.
When looking at china's GDP and wage growth, you see a collation in trends. From the 1970's to the early 1990's, china (being a phenomena in this analysis) had seen a Rural wage increase of .1% whereas the real growth rate of china's GDP was 4%. In the late 1990's, china began to increase their wage beyond that of their productivity, and their GDP and GNP skyrocketed since, as both trends continue to incline at a constant, and unchanging rate, whereas, before hand, their GDP and GNP, looking more closely in the time line, appeared, more, to almost stagnate. This is a phenomena non the less, but still important to take into consideration when considering my opponents interest in communism. This in mind, we must understand that China is (in title) a communist state. The reality is, as with most modern things, that this is much more complex than taken at face value. China is heavily (almost entirely) dependent on outside sources for economic growth. China has been dubbed the "trading capital of the world" by some, and rightly so when considering. China, more than a communist state, is a mix between communism and socialism, as communism would not be sustainable undergoing isolationism, thus, ironically, forcing the nation to be capitalistic on the global scale. Where the government has full control over what jobs are available, the opportunity is still capitalistic in nature, allowing the citizens to choose their work force, and socialistic in practice, as china has opened it's doors to imported and exported goods as a means to economic growth. In the end, this proves the fact that no communist nation could sustain itself based purely in communist beliefs. Reality shows the true collation with the economic prosperity is the socialist nature obtained by this government and it's capitalistic way of providing for it's citizens. The communist value is minuscule at most.
Now, on to more developed economies. When looking at the U.S. compared to the U.K., you see some very telling statistics. The U.K. has had a steady minimum wage growth since 07' of 17% met with a GNP growth of 16% also steadily growing, with a momentary collapse of -6% from 08' to 09' when their minimum wage appeared to momentarily stagnate. In this you can see the trend of the wage growing at a higher rate than the GNP, as well as a stable, steady paced economy. The U.S., on the other hand, had a minimum wage growth (In the Bush years), after stagnating, of 40% from 06' until 09'. Up until 08' we see a GNP growth of 19%, then, until the end of Bushes final term, the rate dropped to -4%.
As to pin point my opponents claims about job growth more thoroughly within the same parameter, we can also see collating trends with job growth and minimum wage. Beginning again with the U.K., we see (again) the minimum wage growth of 23%, and we see the unemployed persons rate overall go down with a -27% unemployed persons growth rate. During the time that the minimum wage stagnates, however, the unemployed persons rate skyrockets with a 53% growth rate during the time. We see a similar flow of events from the U.S., but with much scarier implications, as it spans over a much vaster amount of time. Again, while the U.S. minimum wage stagnates, and the GNP grows, our unemployed persons rate falls (from 01' to 07') by -3% (growth rate), but in the time after, as we see the GNP fall by -4%, we see the unemployed persons rate rise by 119%.
Put simply, Productivity is wage, and wage is productivity. When a wage is given, that is an employers productivity as well as an employees wage, and, when the employee pays a business for a good, their wage then becomes their productivity as well as the businesses wage, and the cycle continues. In understanding the U.K.'s economy, it's important to understand the patterns between the three margins given (GNP, Wage, Unemployed persons). The minimum wage and GNP rates grow at a substantially similar rate, and growth is practically constant (other than the slight hiccup in 09') that was met with a skyrocketing unemployed persons rate. It is seen in correlation to the years preceding (07' and early 08') as the minimum was significantly lower than that of the GNP. In the time that the two graphs show similar, the unemployed persons rate begins to drop again. The U.S shows a far worse series of events as the wage stagnates as the GNP grows. As the two margins separate further, the eventually are unable to sustain each other, and the country nears another recession as the GNP drops and the unemployed persons rate rises exponentially. To counterbalance this, the federal government raises the minimum wage, and, when the GNP and minimum wage meet again, the GNP begins to grow. This shows that one can not survive with out the other. A minimum wage is needed to grow along side the GNP in order to sustain the economy. This comes back to the reality that your productivity is another's wage. When the GNP (representing a nations productivity) reaches a place that the wage can no longer provide to, the average citizen is no longer able to exert their productivity, and, so, the GNP drops exorbitantly, and, so, employers are no longer able to provide for their employees (as productivity has fallen) and are forced to commit to layoffs and other measures leading to growing unemployed persons.
This displays a necessity for an ever growing minimum wage and, as we are at risk of another fall, a major rise to meet the needs of counterbalancing the mistakes that have been made.
chrisjachimiak forfeited this round.
chrisjachimiak forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by PolitcsMaster 2 years ago
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