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The Contender
Con (against)

Should Minimum wage in the United States be raised?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/30/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 739 times Debate No: 97512
Debate Rounds (3)
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People argue that small businesses can not afford to pay employees more and as a result will end up firing many employees. This is just not true. In July of 2015 a survey found out that 60% of small business owners support a gradual increase to the minimum wage of $12.00. This survey also reports that small business owners preferred this because an increase of income would put money into the pockets of low- wage workers who will then spend the money on goods and services. This boost in demand will stimulate the economy and help create job opportunities. In fact, the White House published an article called Raise the Wage and it states that raising the minimum wage nationwide will benefit local economies and support millions of workers.
Many people also say that the federal minimum wage should stay the same because if the minimum wage goes up then other prices will increase as well, and as a result everything. becomes more expensive. Some states have placed rules in recent years causing increases in their minimum wages to help keep up with the already rising inflation. The federal minimum wage does not operate that way. According to the Department of Labor in their article Minimum Wage Mythbusters, in order for the federal minimum wage to increase it has to gain approval from Congress and the President. The plan is to gradually increase the minimum wage so it has time to adjust automatically with inflation. This will help low income families keep up with prices of the cost of living.
People also say that increasing the minimum wage will cause people to lose their jobs. What these people are thinking that the federal minimum wage is going to be raised immediately. In reality what President Obama wants to do is to raise the minimum wage in increments until it eventually reaches $15.00 per hour. He wants to do this because if he tells the whole country to pay their workers $15.00 per hour, employers will not have a chance to adjust to this sudden change. But if he asks to slowly raise the wage of employees, then employers will have the time to adjust. This way no jobs are lost. In fact 600 economists studied that increasing the minimum wage has no effect on employment of minimum-wage workers including at times of weakness in the labor market. Robert Reich (former Labor Secretary) in an article called Why we Should Raise the Minimum Wage published on CNBC"s website on April 27, 2015,he states that increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour from $7.25 per hour would lift 900,000 people out of poverty.


As a leftist, you probably wonder why I accepted this debate. I'm one leftist that is opposed to minimum wage for one reason: it is a mandate given by the government. I'm a libertarian socialist, which means that I support a worker-controlled economy(socialist) but am generally opposed to the state(libertarian).

Since my opponent didn't put any guidelines as for how the debate should be structured, I shall offer my own points and rebut the points that my opponent has made.

First: rebuttals

If 60% of small businesses do support an increase in the minimum wage, then I don't see why those businesses themselves wouldn't already be paying their workers that amount. I am worried for the 40% of small businesses who are opposed to the idea. A policy shouldn't just help the majority and disadvantage the minority, it should be good for 100% of cases. Thus, policies should be adaptable, changeable, and specific(not a general $15/hr rule for every business since it's not good for every single business) in order to be good for all businesses. I'm going to assume that you are arguing that the federal government should raise the minimum wage, since you said the United States should increase the minimum wage. I am going to argue that this is better done by local governments, as local governments will know the needs of their specific small businesses in the area, and will be able to better implement a minimum wage if one is needed. The federal government doesn't know, and can't know the needs of every single small business in the United States since there are just too many to be kept record of.

My argument:
Now, I am an advocate of democratically-run businesses and transforming into an economy of such businesses. These businesses are known as cooperatives. In my opinion, there would be no need for a minimum wage if every single business was a cooperative. The worker's themselves would be deciding their wages from the profits the business makes. Their income would naturally raise if they worked under a cooperative instead of a traditional business model, because there would be no business owner or stockholders who are taking a percentage of the company's profits. Instead, these profits would be split among the workers. This is a much more preferable solution to help end poverty than by raising the minimum wage which will negatively effect the 40% of small businesses which are opposed to it.

The problem with cooperatives is that they're essentially a socialist business model that is trying to get by in a capitalist economy. I'm sure you can see the problem there. Banks rarely loan to cooperatives, and people are too much in the mindset that they need to own their own business to be successful without thinking about owning the business collectively with other workers. Because of these reasons, there are few cooperatives. Instead of a minimum wage, I would suggest the government help cooperatives out by having the federal reserve donate to cooperative banks(those also exist) who will then lend money to cooperatives. That alone would help the creation of cooperatives big time. Alternatively, the workers themselves could rise up against the capitalist business models and take the businesses for themselves, or we could use my least favorite tactic, which is pass a law making traditional businesses illegal and that all businesses have to be democratic or republican in nature(and I don't mean the parties, but the actual definition of those words). Our government is a democratic republic, so should not the economy be organized the same way?

This solution would end the need for a minimum wage and would also likely drastically reduce poverty. For more information about cooperatives and how the work, see my below debate [1]

Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Tom-The-Hypocrit 1 year ago
sorry about the spelling, i h8 this spell check so i couldn't be bothered to fix it up
Posted by Tom-The-Hypocrit 1 year ago
local governments are more likely to swing one way or the other. We would see a mass exodus of job seekers from some states and a flood of hopefuls entering others. It would destroy the population distribution. As a results, many states would face increasing dept as people continue to leave their state. This would result in the local government raising their minimum wage. This owuld force other states to raise theirs. We would see intense competition between the states and the minimum wage would skyrocket, leaving small businesses as well as large ones in a but of a pickle. You should never subdivide a counrties taxes or wages unless you want to see a civil war. Its time to think logically.
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