The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

Resolved: The United States should incrementally raise the federal minimum wage to at least $15/hr

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/2/2015 Category: Society
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 553 times Debate No: 80411
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)




1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or sources must be used within the character limit of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling or semantics
6. No K's of the topic
7. My opponent accepts all of the following definitions and waives his/her right to challenge these definitions
8. The BOP is shared
9. Both debaters must follow this format:
R1: Acceptance
R2: Arguments (No rebuttals)
R3: Rebuttals and arguments
R4: Conclusions (No new arguments or rebuttals in this round)
10. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss of a conduct point and due to the severity of the breach may merit an entire forfeit of the debate

Definition of minimum wage: Minimum wage definition (From Merriam Webster: "An amount of money that is the least amount of money per hour that workers must be paid according to the law"
Source: (
Thank you and good luck.
Debate Round No. 1


NateTheFirst forfeited this round.


Hello, truthiskey here,
It's unfortunate that con forfeited (award conduct to me) however, I hope he comes back so we can have a fun debate!

My value for today"s debate is Justice. One may say that justice is subjective. However, for the purposes of today"s debate we can define Justice through John Rawls" Veil of Ignorance (VOI). John Rawls" Veil of Ignorance thought experiment involved completely rational agents to objectively and fairly structure society, not knowing in what position they may fall into in society. He believed that this was the way to find out how a just society should work. John Rawls predicts that they would choose a society that is as happy as possible, but balanced. His reasoning is that since the completely rational agent does not know where in society he will be born into, they would not gamble on being born into a favorable and powerful family. Instead, they would create a society that is fair so that no matter where they are born, they will have a fair shot advancing in life.

Because of this, the value criterion of today"s debate should be equality because the way to see if we are getting closer to that perfect society, is to see that society is getting more equal.

I shall now move on to my contentions:

Contention 1: The living wage makes the world a fairer and more equal place

Subpoint A: Reduces Poverty
Hiltzik, Michael. "Yes, a Minimum Wage Boost Will Reduce Poverty. Here's the Evidence." Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, 13 Feb. 2014. Web. 13 Dec. 2014.

"A study by Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts concluded that the 39% increase in the federal minimum wage proposed by Harkin and Miller would immediately reduce the poverty rate among America's nonelderly population by 1.7 percentage points. Over time, the reduction would be 2.5 points. That's 4.6 million people lifted out of poverty immediately, and 6.8 million over time.

What this piece of evidence is saying is that if congress raised the minimum wage from about seven to eight dollars to a mere ten dollars, then poverty among America"s nonelderly mould reduced by 1.7%. The results would be even better with a $15 wage. Reducing poverty is an action that any just society must take because a just society promotes equality. Judge, the living wage promotes equality, the value criterion of today"s debate by narrowing the gap between the poor and the rich."

Subpoint B: Makes things more fair for single parent families

"A typical family of four (two working adults, two children) spends 21% of their after-tax income on childcare and another 21% on housing. Faced with trade offs, a second working adult must earn at least $11,195 on average in order to cover the costs of childcare and other increased expenses when they enter the workforce. Single-parent families need to work almost twice as hard as families with two working adults to earn the living wage. A single-mother with two children earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour needs to work 125 hours per week, more hours than there are in a 5-day week, to earn a living wage"

With a higher minimum wage, single-parent families can at least compete with dual-parented families.

Subpoint C: Levels the playing field for minorities
ROC United. "Realizing The Dream: How the Minimum Wage Impacts Racial Equity in the Restaurant Industry and In America." ROC United. ROC United, 19 June 2013. Web. 13 Dec. 2014.

"The minimum wage, at its current level, economically excludes and marginalizes millions of people who could instead be generators of growth throughout the economy. This burden falls disproportionately on people of color, since they represent 42% of minimum wage earners yet only make up 32% of the total workforce.The restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing sectors of the United States economy, employing over 10 million workers. The industry is the largest employer of people of color, and the second largest employer of immigrants. Unfortunately, the restaurant industry is the largest low-wage employer, accounting for 39% of all workers earning at or below the minimum wage. Workers of color and immigrants are disproportionately concentrated in the industry"s lowest paying positions. Forty percent of all tipped workers are people of color, and over 23% of all tipped workers are immigrants, a disproportionate number compared to the 16% of immigrants in the total workforce. Overall, 58% of workers with incomes below the poverty line, and over 50% of tipped workers and restaurant workers with incomes below the poverty line are people of color."

This argument proves, once again, that a higher minimum wage wage will promote equality, the value criterion of today"s debate, by closing the gap between the poor minority and the relatively richer majority.

Impact #1

The living wage will promote equality, the value criterion of today"s debate, by closing the gap between different groups of people, and therefore giving everyone a fair shot at life.

The second impact:

(Ronald C. Kramer, professor of sociology and director of the Criminal Justice Program at Western Michigan University, Poverty, Inequality, and Youth Violence, July 13 2014 )

"Sustainability is a human need that demands to be met. When the legal methods of obtaining food and shelter have been exhausted, citizens have no choice but to turn to criminal means.
The links between extreme deprivation, delinquency, and violence, then, are strong, consistent, and compelling. There is little question that growing up in extreme poverty exerts powerful pressures toward crime. The fact that those pressures are overcome by some individuals is testimony to human strength and resiliency, but does not diminish the importance of the link between social exclusion and violence.The impacts of violence in a country are numerous. The intimate relationship between poverty and crime create a cycle of instability. A living wage must be required by the government in order to stop this perpetuating cycle."

Therefore, raising the minimum wage lowers crime.

Contention 2: Prevents companies from abusing the public

Judge, one of the reasons why the living wage is good is because it prevents companies like walmart from abusing food stamps. What companies like Walmart do, is take hard-earned taxpayer money, and give their employees minimum wage, so that they are forced to use the food stamps to survive. You heard that right judge, companies like Walmart are taking taxpayer money to pay for the needs of their employees. It is all explained beautifully in the 3-step process card.

Smiley, Erica. "Walmart"s Food Stamp Scam Explained in One Easy Chart - Jobs..." Jobs With Justice. Jobs With Justice, 25 June 2014. Web. 19 Dec. 2014. .

"Step One: Pay your employees so little that they are forced to rely on food stamps to survive. Even at Walmart"s definition of a full-time job, an employee earning the company"s average wage of $8.81/hour makes just $15,500 per year, placing them well below the federal poverty line for a family of four. With such low wages, even when working full-time hours, many associates are forced to depend on taxpayer-funded assistance such as food stamps and Medicaid to survive. In other words, Walmart is shifting responsibility onto the public for ensuring their associates" basic needs are met. One study showed that a single Walmart can cost taxpayers anywhere from $904,542 to nearly $1.75 million per year, or about $5,815 per employee for these programs all because one of the world"s most profitable retailers is paying substandard wages and benefits. A more recent report by Americans for Tax Fairness revealed that Walmart"s reliance on programs like food stamps cost federal taxpayers an estimated $6.2 billion a year. Step Two: Exploit loopholes to avoid paying billions in taxes that fund food stamps. While taxpayers are shouldering the responsibility to ensure Walmart"s employees can make ends meet, the company zealously avoids contributing its fair share of taxes using a myriad of schemes. Another report by Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies claims the company exploits a little-known loophole to avoid an estimated $104 million in U.S. taxes by granting extravagant "performance pay" bonuses to top executives. You read that right " the more Walmart pays its executives, the less it pays in taxes. The Waltons, the nation"s wealthiest family and owners of Walmart, contribute almost none of their personal wealth to the charitable foundation that bears their name and instead uses the charity"s tax structure to avoid an estimated $3 billion per year in estate taxes. By fervently minimizing its tax liability, Walmart has once again dodged its responsibility in addressing its employees" basic needs and is instead letting the rest of us foot the bill. Step Three: Reap billions in profits when food stamps are spent in your stores. So what happens to all those food stamp dollars? They"re spent at Walmart! Last year alone, Walmart collected an estimated $13 billion in revenue from food stamps spent in their stores. As Slate and NPR reported in April, "The same company that brings in the most food stamp dollars in revenue " an estimated $13 billion last year " also likely has the most employees using food stamps."

The reason why we need a higher minimum wage now more than ever, is to stop these big companies from using hard-earned taxpayer dollars to pay their employees. The increasing the minimum wage will stop all this because it makes companies pay their employees enough to survive, not make the working people shoulder that burden. This links back to my VC because it helps close the wealth gap.
Debate Round No. 2


NateTheFirst forfeited this round.


Extend all.
Debate Round No. 3


NateTheFirst forfeited this round.


Extend All
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by truthiskey 1 year ago
I wanna debate you on this
Posted by SITR 1 year ago
on second thought. I do not. I did not realize you were against the topic.

only a fool would want to raise the minimum wage to 15 dollars after all.

good luck arguing against some imbecile.
Posted by SITR 1 year ago
I accept the challenge.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by ColeTrain 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were coherent, statistically backed, and relatively feasible. Con forfeited every round of argumentation and did not provide a case. For these reasons, I cast my vote in favor of Pro.