The Instigator
stwadsworth27
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
jakulanko
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

Should The Minimum Wage Be Raised From $7.25 to $15 An Hour?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/29/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,732 times Debate No: 64201
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

stwadsworth27

Con

First round is acceptance only. I will be arguing the con side, the minimum wage should not be $15 an hour as they have done in Seattle.
jakulanko

Pro

I accept. Good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
stwadsworth27

Con

Good luck to you as well friend, I hope we can challenge each others assumptions and come away with a better understanding of the other side.
The minimum wage should not be raised to 15 dollars and hour. The increase in the minimum wage to this rate is more than a 100% raise from the current minimum wage levels. To be clear, I am arguing on the basis of short term (Less than 1 year) implementation, I am not saying that the minimum wage should never reach $15 an hour, but this figure is several years, perhaps a couple of decades, down the line.
I will start by arguing this from a utilitarian perspective, though I think it can be argued from a variety of philosophic and economic paradigms, but it seems like a good place to start.
The $15 an hour minimum wage is an example of economic wishful thinking. This rate, is not a rate that we as a society are in a position to demand based upon our current skill set in a global economy. In the US, we have many skilled jobs that are generally paid at a rate at or above $15 an hour. These jobs would see no effect from this wage hike except for perhaps a slight wage increase but that would be offset and totally lost by a sharp decrease in purchasing power. The cost of this wage increase would be shifted to consumers, we could see inflation rates of 10% monthly, not too far off of the 22% necessary to constitute hyperinflation, an economic death sentence.
A second point, this proposed wage increase removes the incentive for many to go to college and develop a marketable skill set, after all, what would be the point of wasting 4 years in a college grind if you could make the nearly the same amount of money working at your local taco bell. This is not to everyone would abandon college and not pursue their passion, but the reality is many are in college simply to obtain a good paying job afterwards. Conclusion: An increase to the minimum wage of over 100% would decrease the number of college graduates and those working in skilled jobs, putting us in an even worse position in the global economy.
A third point, an increase to the minimum wage of over 100% to $15 an hour would increase methods of automated production. Yes, there are machines that can cook your burger for you. Fiscally, it does not make sense to use these machine just yet, but at a rate of $15 per hour per worker, we could expect to see many of these tasks automated. 3,653,168 Americans work in fast food right now, could you imagine the economic impact if 50% had their jobs eliminated in the next 5 years, and that's simply one sector, not even counting cashiers and other easily automated tasks. There would be a massive influx of unemployed to the system, having had their jobs replaced, and of those who had their jobs replaced many would not be able to find a new job because they lack the skills to demand 15 an hour. They would go from UNEMPLOYED to UNEMPLOYABLE. Conclusion: The increase to the minimum wage of over 100% would dramatically increase the unemployment rate, and in turn those unemployed would become dependent, at least for some time, on government programs already horribly strapped for case.
I think I have given this debate a good starting point, I have a few more points , but i will save something for the final round. I look forward to your response.
jakulanko

Pro



It is beneficial to raise the minimum wage in cities which items are generally more expensive:

Minimum wage is hardly a living wage for many people, especially people who live in wealthier areas or cities, but are not wealthy themselves. This is a problem for people who are already barely scraping by. In cities and other wealthy areas, it would not be unreasonable to raise the minimum wage to 15$ dollars an hour. For example, New York, and southern Connecticut are both around the most expensive cities to live in(1). Now there are plenty of minimum wage jobs in those areas, yet a minimum wage of 8.00$(the minimum for New York) is hardly sustainable. The prices in these areas were set for CEO’s and Executives, not the average WalMart employee.






Income inequality in the U.S. is atrocious compared to other developed nations:




The income inequality in the U.S. is among the worst in the world among developed nations. The U.S. is the third worst behind Singapore and China(2). The U.S. has an income in equality of 8.4, which means that the top 20% are on average, 8.4 times richer than the bottom 20%. A 2011 study by the CBO[3] found that the top earning 1 percent of households increased their income by about 275% after federal taxes and income transfers over a period between 1979 and 2007, compared to a gain of just under 40% for the 60 percent in the middle of America's income distribution. If we were to increase the minimum wage to 15$ an hour, the income inequality would lower substantially. We would no longer be among the worst in the world. The main benefit of decreasing is lowering the poverty rate. If the rate of income starts shifting towards the lower class, people will be brought out of poverty.






It would reduce the need for government assistance among lower class workers:




According to research done by CAP(4), raising the minimum wage would help get 3.5 million Americans get off of food stamps. This alone would be a huge boost for the economy, but there is more. That same study found that the government would save 46 billion $ over ten years in spending on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) as people earn enough on their own to no longer qualify. It is clear that raising the minimum wage would have a huge impact on the wellbeing of our government and our economy.




Note: Please do not make any new points in the last round. Since we only have 3 rounds to debate we should save the last for rebuttal/closing arguments.

sources:

http://www.forbes.com...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://www.cbo.gov...

Debate Round No. 2
stwadsworth27

Con

stwadsworth27 forfeited this round.
jakulanko

Pro

Since my opponent has forfeited his last round, I will debate the points he has previously expressed.

1. The $15 an hour minimum wage is an example of economic wishful thinking.

You have many statistics in this argument such as " we could see inflation rates of 10% monthly, not too far off of the 22% necessary to constitute hyperinflation, an economic death sentence." but I see no sources listed for your argument. But even without those sources I can tell you that 15$ an hour for select areas is not enough to cripple the economy, or even substantially damage it. Lower class workers would of course flourish compared to the situation before, but even middle class workers would be thriving due to, as you said, wage increases. Middle class workers, who were already earning enough, will now be earning even more, and lower class workers who were previously in poverty, will now be able to get out of that poverty.

2. This proposed wage increase removes the incentive for many to go to college and develop a marketable skill set, after all, what would be the point of wasting 4 years in a college grind if you could make the nearly the same amount of money working at your local taco bell.

This won"t affect much of anything due to the normal ebb and flow of the workforce. If less people are going to college for these jobs, then the demand for those workers will be higher, and thus they will be willing to pay them more. Necessary jobs that require an education will never go away because the pay will always adjust accordingly. Also many people go to college for a passion that they have, and not for the wage.

3. A third point, an increase to the minimum wage of over 100% to $15 an hour would increase methods of automated production.

Tasks becoming more automated won"t be much of an issue because if there was a cheap and efficient way to automate those tasks, it would have already been done. Raising the wages by 7$ an hour is not high enough to justify making thousands of new types of machinery just for that specific job. Even if some tasks were to become automated, it would still create job opportunities for those who create and maintain those machines.

Overall your argument would have been much stronger had you provided sources, and also not have forfeited the last round. While I personally don"t believe that a minimum wage increase would ever jump that high so soon everywhere in America, I do believe it would be very feasible for the wealthier areas of America.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by jakulanko 2 years ago
jakulanko
Wow I have no clue what happened to my formatting, but it looks awful. Please excuse that.
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