The Instigator
DropoffStudios
Con (against)
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The Contender
ColeTrain
Pro (for)
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0 Points

Should Minimum Wage Be Raised To 15 Dollars

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/21/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,990 times Debate No: 73921
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

DropoffStudios

Con

I will allow my opponent to make the starting argument...
ColeTrain

Pro

I would like to bestow my gratitude to my opponent for creating this debate, and more importantly, allowing my acceptance.

Highly respected former US President Theodore Roosevelt was once quoted in saying, “Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.” His words of wisdom advise us to be practical and generous. However, they also warn us to be careful about where our ambitions lead us. Raising the minimum wage would be practical and generous to those in need while the ambitions remain simple and justly helpful. It is because I agree with the imperative duty charged to us by Roosevelt that I must affirm the resolution.


Affirmative Value Premise: the most important valueis Societal Welfare.
Societal Welfare is defined by the Business Dictionary as: the well being of an entire society.

Affirmative Judging Criterion: whichever side best upholds Pragmatism should win the debate.
Black’s Law Dictionary defines Pragmatism as: following a practical approach.

Contention One: A living wage hosts vital economic benefits

  • Subpoint A: Empirical evidence suggests that a living wage bolsters the economy and doesn’t result in unemployment.

    Contrary to popular belief, a living wage does not cause unemployment rates to increase. Instead, it has shown to bolster the economy and provide innumerable benefits.

    Erin Weir, Canadian economist, Phoenix-Star, August 31, 2012

“Benefits of a fair minimum wage are obvious. It means more much-needed income in the hands of low-paid workers. Increasing the wages of workers at the lowest end of the income spectrum would also add to consumer spending in Saskatchewan, helping local businesses and other participants in the economy. More than any other group, low-income earners spend their money in their communities. For example, they are far less likely to make foreign investments or to travel abroad. IncreasingSaskatchewan'sthe minimum wage would bolster theprovincial economy.Of course, opponents of a higher minimum wage argue that it would reduce employment. Ironically, the same conservative politicians and business lobbyists who characterize employment as being vulnerable to any improvement in the minimum wage often brag about the strength of Saskatchewan's job market and complain about "labour shortages." Better wages would help encourage more people to enter the workforce. Claims that minimum wages reduce employment have no empirical support. Economics professors from the universities of Massachusetts (Amherst), North Carolina (Chapel Hill) and California (Berkeley) recently compared adjacent U.S. counties along the borders of states with different minimum wages. Their conclusion, published in the November 2010 edition of The Review of Economics and Statistics,was that: "For cross-state contiguous counties, we find strong earnings effects and no employment effects of minimum wage increases." Page 1 In other words, boosting the minimum wage succeeded in raising pay without reducing employment, even when neighbouring jurisdictions maintained a lower minimum.We know from Saskatchewan's history that there is no contradiction between a strong minimum wage and a strong job market. During Allan Blakeney's premiership, this province enjoyed Canada's highest minimum wage and lowest unemployment rate. But even if raising the minimum wage reduced employers' demand for labour, it would still benefit employees. The vast majority of minimum-wage work is in areas such as fast food and retail, which have variable shifts and hours. If these employers want less labour, they cut back hours rather than lay off workers. In reality, a fastfood restaurant would likely require the same amount of labour since it could not substitute robots or other capital equipment for workers.”

Some people believe that welfare pays them more than a minimum wage job, so they simply live off of government funds. A higher minimum wage could dispell such thoughts. Furthermore, a living wage wouldn’t harm employment.


Stacy Brustin, Associate Professor, Columbus School of Law, Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy, Fall 2012

“Proponents of minimum and living wage increases argue that such actions lead to increased job growth and stronger consumer spending. Opponents of such initiatives argue thatsuch increases will lead to job losses which would work to the detriment of low-wageresident and nonresidentparents. However, recent research suggests that minimum wage increases do not cause job losses, even during periods of recession and high unemployment. These findings should spur legal services advocates and policy analysts focused on improving child support collection to develop broader strategies, including advocating for minimum wage increases.”


  • Subpoint B: A higher wage ensures quality jobs


Currently, many jobs are considered of poor quality. This stems from either low pay or an insufficient working environment. A higher wage can solve these problems. Further, a higher wage can be labeled as a "living" wage, one sustainable for life.

Team of Economists, University of Wisconsin, “Local Living Wage Ordinances,” November 2013

“A living wage ordinance [higher wages] ensures that jobs supported by local taxpayers pay a decent wage and that companies benefitting from taxpayer-supported projects or contracts pay their workers enough to make ends meet.”

Better jobs would not only benefit employees, but it would also give taxpayers consolation that their money is going to provide for profitable and sustainable occupations. These jobs are completely plausible as well.


Ken Jacobs, Chairman, Center for Labor Research and Education, University of California, November 2010

“The evidence demonstrates that raising job standards does not reduce the number of jobs in a city. This means that job growth does not have to come at the expense of job quality.”

These good jobs don’t have to reduce job quality, as a higher wage can provide for both.


Contention Two: Inflation is not a reasonable counter to higher wages.

Many people make the argument that a higher wage will cause the inflation of goods. While this may be true, the percent of inflation is minute when compared to the benefits these wages will provide.

Jeff Chapman and Jeff Thompson, research associates, John Hopkins University, Economic Impact of Living Wages, 2006

“In 1999, the Economic Policy Institute (EPI) published the third study of the Baltimore experience. Analyzing contracts that could be directly compared before and after the implementation of the ordinance, the EPI research associates from John Hopkins University found that the nominal contract costs for the city rose just 1.2%-- lower than inflation during the same period-- and concluded that the “budgetary impact of the living wage has, to date, been insignificantDespite the overall real decline in contract costs during the period under there was a range of results for different contract types. Some contracts experience moderate price decreases, while others grew considerably. The overall price for the heavily affected janitorial contracts, for example, rose 16.6% in nominal terms, with specific contracts seeing price increases range from less than 1% to over 50%.The overall budgetary impact of these contracts, however, was negligible cost increases. in other contract areas were more modest. The EPI study’s overall conclusion was that “the widely voiced fear that the living wage ordinance implementation would place intolerable strains on the city’s budget have not yet materialized.”

While there may be slight inflation, the degree to which prices increase would be of no merit when compared to the increase of wage individuals would be receiving. Individuals are then able to help the economy because they have more money to spend on corporate products. Inflation happens as it is, and the minimum wage can’t keep pace. However, a living wage could assist individuals negatively affected by current inflation.


Contention Three: The implementation of a higher wage will uphold Societal Welfare and is a Pragmatic approach to solving societal problems.

Senator Bernie Sanders, PoliticusUSA, December 30th, 2013

“The national minimum wage is seven and a quarter an hour. I think most people understand that’s a starvation wage. Individuals can’t live on it. Families can’t live on it.”

The current minimum wage is not sustainable for human life. Introducing a higher minimum would allow individuals and families to afford their necessities. Furthermore, the results of such a wage would be beneficial to society. This wage can bolster the economy and create more jobs, and is a pragmatic approach to solving for poverty, unemployment, and wage complications. Furthermore, outsourcing and poverty are current societal problems to which a higher wage is a pragmatic solution.

Rachel Harvey, Bachelor of Science in Foreign Science, Georgetown University, University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy, 2003

“The living wage movements responds to the trend of outsourcing, in which governments contract out government services to private firms. The private firms pay lower wages in order to have the lowest bid and win the government contract. Thus, by contracting out work to private companies, the city saves money at the expense of low-wage workers.Living wage advocates reason that, because low-wage workers’ wages fall so far below the poverty level, these works must turn to the government for support. However, with a living wage, these workers could have supported themselves.The living wage campaign aims to halt this process and prevent workers from living in poverty and having to rely on the government programs in order to survive."

Consequently, higher wages would combat these issues, benefiting the well being of low-wage workers. The living wage can be utilized as a “cure-all” and pragmatically benefit the society. It is for these reasons and many more I would politely urge an PRO ballot in this debate.

Debate Round No. 1
DropoffStudios

Con

POINT A: A job that requires no skill or risk should not be paid like a job that requires skill.
There are blue and white collar jobs that require skill or involve risk. These people deserve income of 15 dollars above. It is frivolous to say that someone should make money doing something a 14 year-old can do over the summer. If you don't have sufficient funds to support a family you shouldn't have a family. If you have a minimalist lifestyle and are married 30,000 dollars a year should suffice given you are married. With two incomes making minimum wage you should have enough money to go by. If these individuals spent more time focusing in school and getting a college degree they would have more than enough money. Generally, ones failure of working at somewhere like McDonald's is THEIR OWN FAULT. They deserve to make 7 dollars an hour. 15,800 dollars is what an unskilled tradesman should make.

POINT B: People have an opportunity to go to college whether it is through a 529 plan or debt and this can allow them to receive a skilled job.
If need be these individuals could go to college and go back into the workforce to make a sizable income. If you work for minimum wage you are lazy because you don't feel like going back to college. If these people took out student debt they would make a respectable living doing a respectable job. These individuals could let robots do their job. They are doing something that is not nexus for them to do. Debt is okay if they go from making the measly income the deserve to making 70k a year. These people are the reason the US is seen as lazy, they sit back in their chair and fill drinks, why is that worth 15 dollars an hour?

Point C: How much does one bring to the economy by filling a cup of soda every few minutes.
These people don't bring much to the economy. If you are making 7 dollars an hour it is because you aren't important to the economy. Robots would take over, those people could be homeless, and our economy's wheels will still turn. When your job isn't necessary you don't make that much. These people messed up all on their own and therefore they deserve to pay through their lack of income. If they actually worked in school and went to college they could grow our nations economy and they would deserve 15 dollars an hour, but it is clear that they don't grow our economy. The laziest people on Earth feel they are entitled to their boss's(who actually do something worth while) money. GIVE BACK TO YOUR NATION, GROW THE ECONOMY.

Point D: How is it that we are able to grow our economy with increased wages.
Corporations will continue to outsource and people will make 0 dollars an hour instead of 15 or 7. Why would a company pay someone 15 dollars instead of making 300% more profit by paying people in Indonesia 3 cents an hour. It doesn't make sense. Our nation will end up losing money. Companies aren't looking for the ethical decision they are looking for the decision they can make money on. If the bottom sucks all of the money from the top of socioeconomic hierarchy we will have a sinkhole. We need to keep balance.
ColeTrain

Pro

Point A: "A job that requires no skill or risk should not be paid like a job that requires skill."
I have two primary arguments to this:

1. All jobs must must sustain, or there is no purpose for the job in the first place.
If a job pays a wage that cannot sustain a family or even an individual, the job serves no reputable purpose for the society. If an inhumane act enhances society, it is counter-inuitive. A job that consistently pays an inadequate wage cannot be just. The societal welfare, as the primary value, can only be upheld if justice is kept.
Editorial, THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 12, 2014
"As for New York City, $13.13 an hour is well below the self-sufficiency standards that budget experts use to gauge how much families need to meet basic daily expenses. These standards show that a family in the Bronx in 2010 with two adults and two young children needed each adult to make at least $15.69 an hour; higher hourly minimums were needed in most of Manhattan and the other boroughs."

2. Many individuals cannot afford college.
My opponent trys to allude to the notion that individuals should pursue college rather than entering the workforce. However, many individuals simply cannot afford the expense of college. By no fault of their own, a substantial quantity of individuals are in poverty. Thus, they cannot afford college. Discriminating the job market against those who are poor is unjust and immoral. Therefore, we should raise the minimum wage to compensate for such disparity.

Point B: "People have an opportunity to go to college whether it is through a 529 plan or debt and this can allow them to receive a skilled job"
I have three primary arguments to this:

1. Once again, many individuals cannot afford college.
As I have explained multiple times before, some people cannot afford college. In case my opponent fails to understand this, I will provide another credible source as evidence to back up my claim.
Mark Trumbull, THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, November 6, 2014
"This is not a partisan issue for working folks, but a practical one," said Christine Owens, executive director of the National Employment Law Project (NELP). "People understand that $7.25 is not nearly enough to make ends meet."
If people are in poverty, and can only achieve an education worthy of a fast food job, they should be justified to have a job. They are citizens and human beings just as everyone else is, and should be able to get a job that pays them enough to sustain themselves and their family.
2. People exist in poverty by no fault of their own.
There are people who are in poverty by no fault of their own. Often times, this is a result of either a lackluster parent or past economic trouble/recession. Because of these complications, they are often left in poverty, and are not plausibly able to help themselves in a reasonable manner. They need a job. But they often find they are worse off than before getting the job. They don't receive unemployment, but have to work for little pay, that often is less than welfare. This results in a vast populace "fudging the system" so to speak, or not working. This is in no way beneficial to the government when we have people taking money, without doing anything to help the circulation and production of more money (bettering the economy).
3. Fast-food workers do more than fill drinks.
Although most fast food jobs are not difficult, they also are jobs that skilled workers would not want. If we didn't have these people working these jobs, we would be without the benefits of hamburgers and french fries. However, we must ensure that these people can make enough money to get out of poverty, as the status quo does not provide.
Michael Lerner, TIKKUN, Spring 2014
"At the current minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, a full-time worker makes only $15,080 in a year--well below the poverty line for a family of three."
Plus, these fast food workers also a) cook food, b) wait on customers, c) work the cash register, d) run the drive-thru, e) clean the tables, and finally d) clean the restrooms. These jobs, especially the dirty ones, warrant at least a livable wage.

Point C by my opponent has already been covered.

Point D: "How is it that we are able to grow our economy with increased wages."
I have three main arguments to this point:
1. Extra earnings = extra spending
If people have more money, the nature of man will spend it for him.
Bryce Covert, Economic Policy editor, Think Progress, December 19, 2013
"Because low-wage workers are much more likely to spend extra earnings, raising their wages can boost economic activity when consumer spending is low. The report finds that 27.8 million workers would get a raise with a higher wage. Author David Cooper looked at this boost in spending while accounting for any increased labor costs for employers and potentially small price increases for consumers and still found that an increase would give growth a bump. Other studies have found that raising the minimum wage would be good for growth, such as one from the Chicago Fed."
As we can see, we have credible evidence and studies that support the notion that economic growth will be found when distributing higher wages.
2. More distribution of money creates a more open market
With more money circulating through the system, we find other countries more willing to trade, as they see individuals in our country are doing well and sustaining themselves. This will also allow a more diversified field of study for individuals wishing to enter the job force. It also encourages a more open job market, giving incentive for people to work. If they know they will have enough to sustain themselves, and perhaps a bit more, they will be more willing to work.
3. Outsourcing is solved
As I have already brought up evidence to prove, raising wages will combat outsourcing. I will once again bring up that piece of evidence for crystallization and clarity.
Rachel Harvey, Bachelor of Science in Foreign Science, Georgetown University, University of Florida Journal of Law and Public Policy, 2003

“The living wage movements responds to the trend of outsourcing, in which governments contract out government services to private firms. The private firms pay lower wages in order to have the lowest bid and win the government contract. Thus, by contracting out work to private companies, the city saves money at the expense of low-wage workers.Living wage advocates reason that, because low-wage workers’ wages fall so far below the poverty level, these works must turn to the government for support. However, with a living wage, these workers could have supported themselves.The living wage campaign aims to halt this process and prevent workers from living in poverty and having to rely on the government programs in order to survive."
If we use this system, it is bound to be not only beneficial, but better than the status quo.

My opponent has failed to refute or even argue any of the points that I brought up. That leaves me with the following arguments still standing:
1. A living wage hosts vital economic benefits.
a. Living wages bolster the economy and doesn't result in unemployment.
b. Higher wages ensure quality jobs
2. Inflation is not a reasonable counter to higher wages.
3. Higher wages will uphold societal welfare and is pragmatic.
Debate Round No. 2
DropoffStudios

Con

Point A2: My opponent seems so ignorant to the fact that if we increase our wages even more more people in the manufacturing industry will be laid off and their job will be done in a 3rd world country for cheaper. "It means you and I pay more for whatever we"re buying, since business owners " the ones who put up the capital to open the business in the first place " are not going to reduce their share of the business to any excessive degree. To keep their profits at an adequate level, they will raise prices to afford the higher wages " and, thus, begets inflation.
It makes America less competitive globally. If we lived in a closed economy, we wouldn't"t care about the cost of labor in Brazil or Mexico or Malaysia. But because we operate in an open economy in a globalize world, we compete with global labor " and globally there is a glut of labor, which means certain categories of American workers are already overpaid relative to their peers overseas. So, every time we raise the cost of labor we are making America a little less competitive."(http://www.marketoracle.co.uk...) My opponent seems to neglect this. Economists have seen the manufacturing decline over a long period of time. It is obvious to see that we can't compete on a global scale. It will result in unemployment and most people need to face the facts that sustainable income and lazy job are not the same.

Point B2; 15,580 dollars a year is enough for one person and if you have a family of three there is likely two incomes resulting in a 31,160 dollar a year income. This should suffice for a family of three and if you cannot afford to raise a family than you shouldn't have a family. There is no way around this. My opened said a family of three cannot live on 16,000 dollars a year, I agree, but if one cannot afford a family why should they have one. A living income is earned, not given. Why should hard working people make the same as lazy and lethargic burger flippers?

Point C2: College can result in a better job and many people are seeking college loans which would be a practical means of getting a real job that will actually give back to the economy. These people are lazy. If lazy burger flippers want an honest income they should have an honest job. You seem to neglect that. If they wanted to they could go to college. An education provides collateral in the long run and in places like Chicago if you actually work in school you can get a free college scholarship. No matter who you are there is debt and scholarships for you.

Point D2: You need to earn a higher wage. If you want to "ensure a quality job" you should go to college and get the job that deserves the higher wage. Our lazy fast food workers and button pushers cannot understand it and those greedy individuals want more, and my opened feels it is okay. If they want more money they can take the risk of starting their own corporation and selling a real product. With no risk there is no gain. Higher ups deserve that income because they took the risk not the worthless workforce flipping burgers. If these lazy people take a risk it might pay off.

Point E: My opponent says I refuse to argue the points of societal welfare, higher wages ensure quality jobs, and living wages bolster the economy and doesn't result in unemployment, but I have responded. It will result in unemployment due to cheaper international wages. Higher wages ensure quality jobs, but burger flipping isn't what I would call a quality job. Societal welfare can happen if people choose to do jobs worth doing. The current national CEO of Mc Donald's started out flipping burgers. She was driven and dedicated, something most burger flippers don't have. Success comes with hard work. When the unacceptably workforce understands this they will rise up, go to college, and give back to the economy. This is my closing argument. Now I ask my opponent to respond to outsourcing which he has not responded to yet.

I respectfully ask you as voters to agree that we should not raise income to 15 dollars an hour.
ColeTrain

Pro

Point A2: "My opponent seems so ignorant to the fact that if we increase our wages even more more people in the manufacturing industry will be laid off and their job will be done in a 3rd world country for cheaper."
I assume my opponent thinks I am ignorant. However, I'm not quite as ignorant as he might think. I've provided, in two consecutive rounds, a source from a credible author and report that explains how outsourcing can be combated, or even solved, by using higher wages. Yet my opponent calls my stance "ignorant." The only source he's used in this entire debate doesn't specifically relate to outsourcing, and is more like an opinion column than a comendable source backed up by conducted studies. In case my opponent has not yet grasped this truth, I will attempt to explain it once more. Basically, outsourcing is where governments the contracts to other places, so they don't have to do the work. As the market is highly competitive, these private firms offer lower and lower wages, so the government doesn't have to spend so much money. As a result, people work from little to nothing with current wages. However, these people wouldn't even be in the contract work situation had their jobs payed enough to sustain them. With more money in their pockets, they don't have to search for work that promises high wages but then pays nothing. Instead, they will be able to support themselves with a job. He/she then brings up that this makes America less competitive. However, it can also better supply free market and free trade between country because of the heightened money flow I explained earlier.

Point B2: "15,580 dollars a year is enough for one person and if you have a family of three there is likely two incomes "
I would first like to point out that my opponent repeatedly describes low-wage workers with words such as "lazy" and "lethargic," both of which are stereotypical and disrespectful. Regardless, I will attack his/her points just the same. My opponent claims that 15k is enough for one person, and a family, because "there is likely two incomes." However, most of the time, they cannot get two jobs, especially for single mother's with two kids. Once again, my opponent stereotypes the situation. However, single mothers cannot get two jobs that pay enough to support her family and take care of her children with adequate time. Furthermore, this mother cannot be lazy or lethargic if she intends to survive. Because these situations are prevalent, we need to compensate for these problems by raising wages and providing sufficient funds for individuals in need. Working, in basically any form, is earning of a living income.

Point C2: "College can result in a better job and many people are seeking college loans which would be a practical means of getting a real job that will actually give back to the economy."
My opponent basically says that everyone should go to college. I would more or less agree with this. However, total agreement with this assumes the premise that everyone can afford college. This premise doesn't exist, becuase not everyone can afford college. But calling the people who cannot afford it lazy and greedy as my opponent does is simply wrong. Furthermore, a burger-flipping job is an honest job, one that a young or unskilled worker should be proud of. Discriminating and bashing these individuals just because they cannot afford college to receive the necessary skill for a "better" job is immoral. Furthermore, not all students are eligible for the scholarships. Beyond this, fast food workers can benefit the populace by providing food for people to eat at a cheap price.

Point D2: "If you want to "ensure a quality job" you should go to college and get the job that deserves the higher wage."
This is once again undert he assumed premise that people can afford college. The simply fact is that poverty exists, and until that is solved, college isn't always an option. Thus, we must allow those people who can't afford college have two things: a job, and secondly a pay that will suffice for survival and basic needs. Without raising the minimum wage, neither of these things can be achieved in a utilitarian facet. Furthermore, as I have explained time and again, stereotyping fast food workers as lazy is immoral, wrong, and disrespectful. In reality, these individuals are just trying to live life, which they should be allowed. In regards to risk taking, there is always potential danger. By raising wages, we not only give the person enough money to sustain, but decimate the chance of danger or harm.

Point E: "My opponent says I refuse to argue the points..."
First of all, he has still not directly attacked any points, but simply generalized a reason why we should not raise the wages. Secondly, my opponent concedes that higher wages ensure quality jobs. However, if "burger-flipping" is the only job you can get, then so be it. Individuals are deserving of pay if they do any work or service for society that benefits society. This, fast food chains do, by providing quick, cheap, and delicious food for citizens. My opponent's next claim is logically contradictory. He continually bashes fast food chains and their supposed worthlessness, but then brings up a success story of dedication and motivation from McDonald's. This contradicts his ideals that fast food chains are "worthless," "lazy," and "lethargic." Instead, he contradicts his points by representing part of McDonald's as "driven" and "dedicated." Thus, this point has been refuted by both myself and my opponent. Lastly, my opponent asks me to respond to outsourcing, and claims that I have yet to do so. However, besides this round, I mentioned it in my original case and in argument three of his point D in round. Thereby this claim falls without merit, as the point has been successfully refuted.

Conclusively, we see that all of my opponent's points have been refuted, and points of mine still stand, as my opponent has not directly attacked any of these points. They include the following:
1. A living wage hosts vital economic benefits.
a. Living wages bolster the economy and doesn't result in unemployment.
b. Higher wages ensure quality jobs
2. Inflation is not a reasonable counter to higher wages.
3. Higher wages will uphold societal welfare and is pragmatic.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by ConceptEagle 1 year ago
ConceptEagle
I think it should be raised to $10.10 for now.
No votes have been placed for this debate.