The Instigator
gocrew
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
m93samman
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

The Minimum Wage Should Be Abolished

Do you like this debate?NoYes+3
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 0 votes the winner is...
It's a Tie!
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/9/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,881 times Debate No: 13112
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (0)

 

gocrew

Pro

The debate shall proceed from the standpoint that both Pro and Con wish to maximize the consumption of lower wage earners. My task will be to show that the Minimum Wage Law as passed by the Federal Government of the United States is a poor tool to accomplish this and that this law ought to be abolished (with the implication being that any minimum wage law is suspect, but this will not be part of the parameters of this debate). The Con will try to show that the Federal Minimum Wage is effective at achieving greater consumption for low wage earners and therefore ought to remain in effect, even though the Con may disagree with where it is set.
m93samman

Con

I thank my opponent for this opportunity to debate. Interestingly, I've wanted to gain some more insight into minimum wage for a long time, so I guess this is my chance. Before we begin i'd like to offer a few definitions, and then debating can begin in round 2 with my opponent.

Consumption: expenditure on goods and services for final personal use; the quantity consumed
http://dictionary.reference.com...
Minimum wage: the lowest wage payable to employees in general or to designated employees as fixed by law or by union agreement
http://dictionary.reference.com...
Abolish: to do away with; put an end to; annul;
http://dictionary.reference.com...

If my opponent agrees to these definitions, let's proceed with the arguments in round 2. My position is that the existence of minimum wage increases consumption economically and, to some point, definitionally. But, I don't need to defend the current minimum wage or establish an alternative to it now- rather, I need to prove that the absence of minimum wage is detrimental in comparison to its presence.
Debate Round No. 1
gocrew

Pro

I thank my opponent for his acceptance and I agree with his definitions, highlighting the "quantity consumed" portion of consumption, i.e., not just the expenditure but the actual personal use. Also, the focus is on the American Federal Minimum Wage.

In discussing labor and the price at which a worker may sell his labor, one must understand prices. The price at which something sells is not randomly determined but is the result of cause and effect. In other words, there are reasons why a selling price is what it is. A seller may no more ask whatever price he wants and expect to sell than a buyer may offer whatever price he wants and expect to buy. The interplay of supply and demand will determine the "market-clearing price". (1) For a more in depth study, see Kirzner's Market Theory and the Price System.

In considering supply and demand, we can see a very simple problem with a minimum wage, namely that raising the price of labor will lead to less quantity demanded. One would expect, complexities aside, that raising the minimum wage would lead to a reduction of employment among any whose labor is not worth the government-imposed wage floor, i.e., low wage workers. This is exactly what we do see. (2)(3) If the quantity demanded for low wage workers goes down, i.e., low wage workers are laid off or hired at a slower rate, their consumption necessarily drops.

Furthermore, low wage jobs are often the first rung in a ladder to higher paying jobs, and if workers are kept off this first rung, or delayed in getting on it, their future earnings are expected to be negatively affected. We do in fact see this. (3)

The Fair Labor Standards Act (sic) of 1938 (4) provides for a minimum wage for nonexempt workers. However, if low wage workers find it harder to get nonexempt jobs, as has been demonstrated, then there will be more workers seeking exempt jobs. (5) According to The Law of Supply and Demand, the wages of these workers will drop with the extra supply, thus hurting their consumption.

It is also instructive to note what the FLSA does NOT do. It does not A) prevent an employer from laying off workers, nor does it B) force him to hire new ones. It does not C) regulate what other benefits may be offered, it does not D) compel him to keep all his workers at full time status, and it does not E) dictate to whom job assignments may be given. The employer, in other words, is left free to "strategize around" the minimum wage law.

Because of A) and E), he is free to cut his labor force of low wage workers and make the fewer remaining workers do the same amount of labor. In this case, the remaining workers will experience an increase in wages but their jobs will become more strenuous. Since they were free to seek more strenuous work and its greater compensation without a minimum wage, it is not at all clear that they are better off with more consumption in the hours they don't work when the hours they do work will be less pleasant. Also, the workers who were laid off now earn nothing and, because of B), are not in a good position to find new employment.

Because of C), certain other amenities that contribute to quality of life may be cut to offset the increase in labor costs for any low wage workers who continue to be employed after a passage or increase of a minimum wage. For instance, air conditioning can be reduced, as can heating in cold weather. The point of consumption is to increase quality of life, so if a worker must work in less comfortable temperature while on the job, it is not clear that he is better off simply because he has greater purchasing power. Indeed, the workers were free to bargain with the employer beforehand, asking for a higher wage in exchange for more onerous working conditions which would cost the employer less.

Because of diminishing returns, each additional hour of labor input from a worker is worth less, ceteris paribus, than the one before it. Therefore, each hour worked, ceteris paribus, will mean the mean labor value of the worker goes down. Because of D), an employer may choose to reduce labor hours per week to thus increase the average labor value per hour to make it commensurate with the higher mandated wage. However, since the worker has fewer hours, despite the higher hourly wage he does not necessarily gain in purchasing power. Indeed, if he could earn more by working less, his labor being worth more thereby, one would expect the employer to hire more workers for fewer hours per capita and the workers to demand just that, since they were all free to organize their affairs this way.

Finally, we know that not all workers are equally productive, given the same assignments and paid the same wage. Because of E) and A), an employer is free to lay off low wage earners and give their tasks to workers whom he was already paying above minimum wage in the first place. The employer may have to raise the high earners' salaries a bit in compensation, but the low earners are now "no earners" and their consumption must drop. Minimum wages have indeed been linked to more higher skilled adults taking minimum wage positions even as lower skilled youth workers see their employment opportunities shrink. (6)

This last part raises the issue of restricting the worker. Since low wage earners can be in competition with higher skilled workers, the ability to offer a lower wage is a way for a low skilled laborer to compete with a high skilled laborer. For instance, an employer may simply tell his chemical engineers that they are responsible for cleaning their own work spaces. However, a low skilled laborer may offer to do that work for a low wage and thus gain employment, a situation which might make all three parties – boss, engineers and janitors – happiest. A minimum wage can thus be seen to be a restriction on a low wage earner's ability to compete with high skilled labor.

Conclusion
A minimum wage is an unjustifiable intrusion by a government into a private labor contract between employer and employee. While there are many reasons to oppose it, including moral ones, one main reason is because it does not even achieve what it sets out to achieve. Many workers, because of the minimum wage, can expect to lose their jobs – and thus lose all purchasing power not lent to them or saved in advance – see a loss in hours worked – and thus see reduced consumption – or, even if they do see their wages increase, their jobs may become more unpleasant, something which may more than offset their gain in hourly wage.

Once again, I thank my opponent for accepting the debate and I look forward to his response.

(1). http://www.thefreemanonline.org...#
(2). http://austrianeconomists.typepad.com...
(3). http://showmeinstitute.org...
(4). http://finduslaw.com...
(5). http://www.toolkit.com...
(6). http://www.seattlepi.com...
m93samman

Con

Sorry if my response is too quick. I already had my part typed out.

1)Minimum wage augments workers' wallets AND increases employment

David Card and Alan Krueger ran a study in 1992 that compared two states, NJ and Pennsylvania, after the former increased its minimum wage and the latter remained the same. Thus study showed that, contrary to common belief, EMPLOYMENT increased in NJ. "Basic economic theory would have implied that relative employment should have decreased in New Jersey. Card and Krueger surveyed employers before the April 1992 New Jersey increase, and again in November-December 1992, asking managers for data on the full-time equivalent staff level of their restaurants both times. Based on data from the employers' responses, the authors concluded that the increase in the minimum wage increased employment in the New Jersey restaurants" [1]

Reviews: [2]

"The Card-Krueger work is essentially correct: the minimum wage at levels observed in the United States has had little or no effect on employment. At the minimum, the book has changed the burden of proof in debates over the minimum, from those who stressed the potential distributional benefits of the minimum to those who stress the potential employment losses."--Richard B. Freeman, Journal of Economic Perspectives; more reviews at the site given.

2)The alternative to minimum wage would allow sweatshops, ergo we would be annihilating the livelihood of the working class.

In China, (strongest economy with sweatshops) the worker earns an average of $0.44 in the working hour in USD. The highest pay average is in Costa Rica at $2.38 and the lowest is Bangladesh at $0.13 [3]. Only China comes close to matching the US economy, but guess what the problem is? All the made in China exports are low quality because they are not motivated to put any effort into their work. Proponents of minimum wage say it increases minimum wage workers' work ethic and boosts their morals, while forcing them to work more and harder as their employers try to make up the high cost of payroll by increasing productivity (among other effects). {SEE- Arguments in favor of minimum wage law [5][6][7]}

3) As the minimum wage drives up prices, low-income families pay proportionately more than high-income families for the goods they buy.

If no employment losses follow a minimum wage increase, employers are likely to pass along their higher labor costs as higher prices for the goods they produce. The federal increase from $4.25 to $5.15 costs California families an average of $133 more per year for the goods they normally purchase. Since higher-income families spend more, they would pay more in absolute terms than lower-income families: up to $234 per year compared to $84 per year. [4]

Arguments in favor of Minimum Wage Laws [5][6][7]

Supporters of the minimum wage claim it has these effects:
-Increases the standard of living for the poorest and most vulnerable class in society and raises average.
-Motivates and encourages employees to work harder (unlike welfare programs and other transfer payments).
-Stimulates consumption, by putting more money in the hands of low-income people who spend their entire paychecks.
-Increases the work ethic of those who earn very little, as employers demand more return from the higher cost of hiring these employees.
-Decreases the cost of government social welfare programs by increasing incomes for the lowest-paid.
-Encourages the automation of industry.

MY SOURCES
[1] Myth and Measurement: The New Economics of the Minimum Wage David Card & Alan B. Krueger
[2] http://press.princeton.edu...
[3] http://www.independent.org...
[4] http://www.ppic.org...
[5]http://www.epi.org...
[6] Richard B. Freeman (1994). Minimum Wages – Again!. International Journal of Manpower
[7] Bernard Semmel, Imperialism and Social Reform: English Social-Imperial Thought 1895-1914 (London: Allen and Unwin, 1960), p. 71, p. 73
__________________________________________________________________________________
Refutation
__________________________________________________________________________________
"In considering supply and demand, we can see a very simple problem with a minimum wage, namely that raising the price of labor will lead to less quantity demanded."

This is empirically disproven. The price of all labor goes up, yes, the price of products will go up. But this neglects that with higher prices for labor, higher wages are necessarily being handed out. See my first argument.

"raising the minimum wage" would not lead to a reduction of employment. Rather, in a study I also showed in my first argument, it increases employment. I have provided the study; now, the burden of proof for this argument returns to my opponent. Read the reviews.

The issue of low wage jobs being the first step up the ladder is ridiculous. My opponent basically argues that, if we take one cashier's job @ $7.25 an hour and divide it among 7 cashiers @ $1.03 an hour, those 7 cashiers will all move up the ladder. Rather, I would argue that this decreases their work ethic because their jobs are being divided among other people, AND the employer won't need to move anyone up the ladder until another higher worker retires or dies. With such low hopes, those cashiers would quit before they enjoyed corporate status.

Then my opponent refers to the FLSA and exempt v. non-exempt workers. This may seem like a silly argument to make, but when I clicked "ctrl+F" and typed in "non" and clicked "enter", I didn't find "non" ever followed by exempt. Either my opponent has to explicitly quote his argument or find a better source, meanwhile I'd say this argument is invalid because my opponent pulls conclusions from works that don't provide for his claim.

Continuing with what the FLSA does NOT do, my opponent points out several potentially harmful problems. Let's look at it this way- I have knives in the kitchen, and I CAN murder my brothers, mother, and father. Also, my parents CAN hide them, but they don't. Just because it's there, doesn't mean I WILL seize the opportunity to make my life and my family's life miserable. Seeing that the US economy is the strongest and most resilient in the world and consumes more than any country on the planet [8], I'd say my opponent has to provide tangible evidence to prove that his A) through E) problems mentioned really did anything to affect the united states. Just like they say, "TITS OR GTFO!" [9] to my opponent: impacts, or drop the argument (sorry for the obscene comparison, I just thought it was funny).

CONCLUSION
_______________________________________________________
My opponent has the burden of proof for two different aspects of this debate. First, he must prove empirically/tangibly that minimum wage has negatively impacted the US. Second, he must show that, on balance, minimum wage is worse in the status quo than is lack of it. If my opponent disagrees that these are his burdens, I urge an explanation.
Given I have addressed the bulwark of my opponents argument, I will send the debating over to him and look forward to an interesting response. Thank you for your time.

Vote Con =)

REFUTATION SOURCES
_______________________________________________________________________
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[9] http://www.urbandictionary.com...
Debate Round No. 2
gocrew

Pro

I made a number of contentions, two of which my opponent did not deal with. They were 1) that a minimum wage restricts a less skilled worker in his ability to compete with more skilled laborers and 2) price theory.

1) I resubmit that an employer, faced with the decision of hiring a relatively more skilled worker whose labor he values at $8.00/hr or the hiring of a relatively less skilled worker whose labor he values at $4.00/hr will, ceteris paribus, choose the skilled worker if a minimum wage prevents the less skilled worker from offering his labor for $4.00/hr. The minimum wage, in this situation, is a restriction on the low skilled worker's ability to remain competitive. Does my opponent deny this?

2) Discussing the price of labor, and government intrusions upon it, I thought it of the utmost importance to talk about supply and demand. I think my opponent should explicitly state his opinions on the effects of supply and demand on price, as well as the effects of price on quantity demanded.

My opponent has responded:
1) to my claim that the simple effect of raising a price would be to reduce quantity demanded. His first paragraph seemed to misunderstand my contention, but the second was more on the mark. In it, he referred to his cited study but did nothing else. This is an unsatisfactory response for three reasons: A) the cited study is far too narrow in scope and methodologically unsound, B) its conclusion conflicts with data I provided but my opponent did not even mention the conflict nor attempt to resolve it in his favor and C)he gives no explanation for why the minimum wage should increase employment, especially when it flies in the face of what is overwhelmingly accepted in the economics community. (1) (2)

A) The cited study merely looks at employment in two states, and only in the restaurant industry. Furthermore, it assumes ceteris paribus conditions and makes no attempt to control for other factors. (3) He also fails to show that the increase in employment was among low wage workers and not among already higher wage workers now crowding out the lower wage ones.

C) A study by itself is not sufficient to disprove something like this. If it were, we could simply lob studies at each other and see who gets buried deeper. I can cite five studies that show the minimum wage reduces employment, or 14 that it reduces employment more among teenagers than adults, or seven that it reduces it most among black teenagers, or four that it hurts unskilled and low wage workers. (4) If my opponent wants to use his study, he should offer an explanation for its findings. My explanation is that other factors, not controlled for, corrupted the data.

2) to my contention that a low wage job is the first rung on an economic ladder, calling the assertion "ridiculous". He proceeds with such a distortion of my position that one hesitates even to call it a strawman. What I said was, "low wage jobs are often the first rung in a ladder to higher paying jobs, and if workers are kept off this first rung, or delayed in getting on it, their future earnings are expected to be negatively affected," and provided a citation. When my opponent says, "the employer won't need to move anyone up the ladder until another higher worker retires or dies. With such low hopes, those cashiers would quit before they enjoyed corporate status," is he saying that there are no steps between entry level job and corporate status? Is he saying that no low wage earner ever gets promoted? Is he saying that a worker who has come to work and proven himself reliable enjoys no advantage when a higher position opens up over a person who has not worked at all? Is he saying that no business ever expands, so that only death and retirement open up positions? Brozen (1969) and Smith and Vavrichek (1992) find that few workers are stuck in minimum wage positions. (4)

3) that there seem to be no exempt workers in the FLSA, having done a search for "non", saying, "my opponent has to explicitly quote his argument or find a better source". I can think of no better source for the FLSA than the actual act itself. If my opponent had done a search for "exempt", he would have found 19 matches, and under Section 213 he would have found what he seeks. Presumably, Congress found it easier to list the exemptions than to list the nonexemptions. Having established that there are exemptions, I ask my opponent to state whether he agrees that excluded workers move into exempt jobs. When he gives us his view of supply and demand, he can tell us whether this movement will reduce wages in that area, as Brozen (1962), Tauchen (1981) and Welch (1974) found. (4)

4) that he agrees with me on what the FLSA does not do, but likens the odds of employers taking advantage of these loopholes to him cutting up his family with knives, saying, "…my opponent has to provide tangible evidence to prove that his A) through E) problems mentioned really did anything…" This is a very peculiar thing to say, since he – and I use caps to highlight, not to shout – USED MY E) FOR ONE OF HIS OWN ARGUMENTS. At any rate, A)and B) have citations in this post; for C) look to McKenzie (1980) and Wessels (1980) (4); D) is just A) with hours apportioned differently, and E) we apparently both agree on but see differently.

If an employer can get more productivity out of workers by giving them higher wages, one wonders why he does not do this anyway. Workers are free to agree to this without a minimum wage imposition. This call for a "work ethic" is interesting in a post where sweatshops are denounced. At any rate, it is not clear that workers are better off if they are worked harder for a higher wage; they may consume more in their leisure hours but be worse off in their working hours. Should they not be left alone to negotiate as they see fit?

Does he believe that this trend of higher productivity with higher wages can go on forever, or is there a point where productivity maxes out? If there is no max, would my opponent agree to a minimum wage of $3,000,000,000.00/hr? If there is a max, does my opponent believe that all workers, in all industries in all states, are equally distant from it, such that a uniform minimum wage will throw no one over the productivity max?

My opponent brings in new arguments (some of which I have already dealt with here). I would point out his claim that the alternative to minimum wage would be sweatshops. He gives no reason for this. How does he explain the rise in workers' wages in the 19th century in America, long before the minimum wage was enacted? (5) And how can a minimum wage prevent the "annihilat(ion) [of] the livelihood of the working class" in America when only 0.2% of its workers earn the minimum wage? (6)

Finally, the claim that higher income families pay more of the price increase due to minimum wages in California is irrelevant; it does show that low income families pay some of it, which reduces their consumption, as I contend.

Conclusion
My opponent should fully respond to my Round 2 as well as better develop his ideas. He should also do more to defend what I consider a false dichotomy: either minimum wage or sweatshops. I have given a theory of labor prices and theoretically shown what this should mean for a minimum wage with what must now be considered copious citations. My opponent has yet to tell us how he believes prices work and what this means for his contentions and his comparatively sparse citations.

(1). http://tinyurl.com...
(2). Kearl, J. R., et al., "A Confusion of Economists?" American Economic Review 69 (1979): 28–37.
(3). http://tinyurl.com...
(4). http://tinyurl.com...
(5). DiLorenzo, Thomas, How Capitalism Saved America (2004): 95-96.
(6). http://tinyurl.com...
m93samman

Con

I thank my opponent for this very interesting debate, but I apologize on both debaters' behalves because we have not been doing enough sign posting, so the debate is getting a little disorganized. I'll begin with the signposting, and I request my opponent pick it up in round 4.

-CONTENT-
1) Intro
a. Observations and Judging criterion

2) Defense of Con arguments
a. Card-Krueger
b. Sweatshops dichotomy
c. Minimum wage/Consumption increase (California evidence)
d. Arguments in favor of Min Wage Laws

3) Rebuttals of Pro arguments
a. Low v. High skilled competition
b. Price theory
c. "Rungs on the Ladder"
d. FLSA

4) Conclusion
a. Summary
______________________________
1) Intro
a. Observations and Judging criterion.

Looking back to the top of the round, "The debate shall proceed from the standpoint that both Pro and Con wish to maximize the consumption of lower wage earners." So, when judging all arguments, being "right" doesn't necessarily win you a vote. Rather, you have to link the argument back to the value or purpose of this debate which was just quoted.
Furthermore, given that the status quo is minimum wage and my opponent wishes to abolish it, it is his burden to prove that abolishing minimum wage would be beneficial in achieving the stated purpose of this debate, because he is the one who is the reformist/activist in the debate.
Finally, when my opponent says I make "new arguments," note that last round was my first legit

2) Defense of Con arguments
a. Card-Krueger

To the reputable Card-Krueger evidence, my opponent responds "[it] merely looks at employment in two states, and only in the restaurant industry... it assumes ceteris paribus conditions and makes no attempt to control for other factors." The problems with his response are two-fold: First, the majority of Pro's arguments assume ceteris paribus conditions. Here are quotes from round 2 and 3, respectively. "Because of diminishing returns, each additional hour of labor input from a worker is worth less, ceteris paribus, than the one before it. Therefore, each hour worked, ceteris paribus, will mean the mean labor value of the worker goes down." And "an employer, faced with the decision of hiring a relatively more skilled worker whose labor he values at $8.00/hr or the hiring of a relatively less skilled worker whose labor he values at $4.00/hr will, ceteris paribus, choose the skilled worker if..." So because of this, my opponent either must drop both my argument and his, or allow both of them to carry through the round. Second, he says the study is too narrow, but again, he has the burden of proof, and if I provide any evidence to disprove him the weight of the round shifts to his side, and he has more work to do; not I.

b. Sweatshops dichotomy

My opponent misconstrues the argument. He thinks that I'm saying the ONLY alternative would be sweatshops; rather, what I am saying is that it would open up the window for sweatshops because a lack of minimum wage law gives the discretion to the employer. I don't see any problem with this argument; so, I urge my opponent to explain why society in which no minimum wage laws are in place would NOT have sweatshops (Look to round 2 for the countries mentioned)

c. California evidence

The point of the card was to show that, simply because they are paying more, they are consuming more. It is definitionally true, and don't find any need to defend this argument. It can move through to round 4.

d. Arguments in favor of MWL's

In round 2, I listed several arguments that all had their own sources, and they were commonly made arguments in defense of them. I'll repaste them seeing as they weren't responded to.
-Increases the standard of living for the poorest and most vulnerable class in society and raises average.
-Motivates and encourages employees to work harder
-Stimulates consumption, by putting more money in the hands of low-income people who spend their entire paychecks.
-Increases the work ethic of those who earn very little, as employers demand more return from the higher cost of hiring these employees.
-Decreases the cost of government social welfare programs by increasing incomes for the lowest-paid.
-Encourages the automation of industry.

3) Rebuttals of Pro arguments
a. Low v. High skilled competition

He reiterates in his round 3 argument that "an employer, faced with the decision of hiring a relatively more skilled worker whose labor he values at $8.00/hr or the hiring of a relatively less skilled worker whose labor he values at $4.00/hr will, ceteris paribus, choose the skilled worker if a minimum wage prevents the less skilled worker from offering his labor for $4.00/hr." I agree; he will choose the more skilled worker. That plays to my advantage. This necessarily increases consumption proportionally from a worker in the market earning $4.00/hr to a worker earning minimum wage. Second, the assumption of ceteris paribus means that he excludes the possibility of only one worker applying for the job, and, seeing the current state of employment, businesses around the market would benefit if more people had larger paychecks to spend on their products. Here, http://www.visualeconomics.com... we see that the average consumer is just around 14 grand short of spending his entire income BEFORE TAX on his expenditures. So, the larger the paycheck, the more air there is that is going to be pumped into the economic balloon, causing the already present air to circulate and shocking the economy back to life.

b. Price theory
Basically, my opponent wants to talk about supply and demand in the labor market. He presents Kirzner's Market Theory to defend his case; there are several market theories to consider and, of course, he chose the one that suits him best. To it, I'll present a counter theory and it will be more than sufficient to negate both arguments, or extend both arguments. "The departure of labour markets from the serendipitous fiction of orthodox economic theory makes institutions like minimum wage necessary and right. Labour markets are inherently distorted. Minimum wage is a necessary institution for us to progress to a higher-income economy, just society, and mature democracy," write Yao and Jan. http://greglopez.wordpress.com... Presenting a theory that promotes the debater's position is not debate, so an eye for an eye.

c. "Rungs on the Ladder"

gocrew provides a series of questions. Here are my answers.
No- I didn't say there are no steps between entry level job and corporate status. But who is going to be promoted? I already presented the work ethic problem which he rejected; hiring 1 cashier at $7.00/hour becomes 7 cashiers at $1.00/hour easily at the discretion of an employee (see sweatshop argument, largely missed by my opponent) so, given the low wage and divided work, no one is going to be working hard enough to try to earn anything; on top of that, the employer is content keeping everyone where they are if he is getting x productivity with the minimum level of y wages handed out. The business will only expand when it needs to, because by nature, the top of the ladder is after its own profit. Regarding the 19th century issue; industrial revolution. Expansion was inevitable.

d. FLSA

I'm still having problems seeing why my opponent is spending so much time on the argument. Regardless, he has to not just prove the problems with minimum wage, but defend the system that will arise with the lack of it. Again, he has the burden of proof.

4) Conclusion
a. Summary

My opponent still is not providing any tangible issues to look at today that are direct result of minimum wage. He has the burden of proof, so it's required of him if he wishes to win the round. Moreover, his arguments I have all addressed, but in his arguments he didn't address all of mine. It is up to judges to dete
Debate Round No. 3
gocrew

Pro

gocrew forfeited this round.
m93samman

Con

I won't make my opponent have to make up for a whole round; I just wish that, as the instigator, he would've been more committed to the debate. Meanwhile, extend my arguments.

Sorry, readers.
Debate Round No. 4
gocrew

Pro

My opponent attempts to pass all burden of proof to me. It is my goal to show the minimum wage does not increase or reduces the consumption of low wage earners; it is his goal to show that it does increase it. Given the debate parameters, it follows that we support abolition if it be proved detrimental but continuance if it be proved beneficial. We both have an equal burden of proof.

I. Responses
II. Review of Debate
III. Final Argument

I. _2a). This plainly displays an unfamiliarity with this sort of analysis. I said, IN THE ABSTRACT, that IF all else were equal, THEN certain things follow. The "reputable" Card-Krueger study assumes ceteris paribus conditions IN A REAL LIFE SITUATION. I drop neither of my arguments and note that my opponent has done nothing to address them, instead assuming that a real life scenario can be altered at will as if it were an abstract example (or that neither can, but in that case he needs to concede his cited study is flawed). We also note that he has done nothing to defend the study. It is narrow and its methodology is poor. It also is contradicted by citations I provided which my opponent has ignored. Which studies does he consider more sound and why?

b). My opponent stated "we would be annihilating the livelihood of the working class". He did not say ‘could' or ‘might'. It was a false dichotomy.

Discretion in employment is retained by both parties; my opponent wrongly claims it resides only with the employer.

He sees no problem with his argument, yet I have already given him two and he ignored them. I shall reprint them: "How does he explain the rise in workers' wages in the 19th century in America, long before the minimum wage was enacted? And how can a minimum wage prevent the "annihilat(ion) [of] the livelihood of the working class" in America when only 0.2% of its workers earn the minimum wage?" Wages steadily increased before the minimum wage; even today next to no one earns the minimum wage. How does a minimum wage of (X) explain the vast majority of workers earning (> X)?

c). He showed nothing more than that the families were paying more for goods. In other words, he kicked the ball in his own goal.

d). "I'll repaste them seeing as they weren't responded to." Is this meant to be taken seriously? Points 1, 3 and 5 are simply restating what we are debating; points 2 and 4 were points I originally made and they don't help his argument, they help mine (see the second paragraph of Pro, section 4 in Round 3; also, see the third paragraph in the same section for a series of questions he ignored); point 6, if he wants to advocate it, is a concession that I am right and he is wrong… another own goal. Does he understand what the "automation of industry" entails?

3a). "I agree; he will choose the more skilled worker. That plays to my advantage." The lower wage worker, you agree, does not get hired. This does not help his consumption. Has my opponent forgotten which side he is on? This is three own goals he scored for me.

b). My opponent still has not told us what he thinks of supply and demand. His citation is not a counter to my Kirzner citation. Furthermore, the cited study COMES OUT AGAINST THE MINIMUM WAGE… he linked to a blog article disagreeing with the work. Yao and Jan did not write what he quoted, Lee Hwok Aun did. This is an absolute failure on his part. I'll ask it plainly: does he accept that greater supply drives down price while greater demand drives it up? If he does, how does he explain minimum wage increasing employment, as he contends? If not, he should explain why he believes the entire economics profession is wrong.

c). Promotions happen. Someone who has working experience has an advantage over someone who does not. My opponent continues to divide $7 salaries among seven workers for a reason that remains obscure. Does he disagree with either of my first two sentences? If he does, an explanation is required. If he does not, he must concede the point.

d). Because my opponent was unable to do a cogent search in the citation provided.

II._ It is abundantly clear that my opponent is inexperienced with economics and does not entirely understand my arguments. I do not say this with any more malice than would be in Brian Boitano's suggestion that I am untrained in figure skating.

I have explained my position on the Law of Supply and Demand(Pro, Round 2, Paragraph 2); he has not. I have explained what we would expect, prima facie, to occur under a minimum wage law based on my understanding of this(Pro, Rd 2, Pa 3); he cannot. I have examined, in the light of economic incentives, what employers can do in the face of a minimum wage law (Pro, Rd 2, Pa's 6-10); my opponent has not demonstrated any sort of thought along the lines of economic incentives. I have cited around two-score sources backing up my contentions and predictions; his scant citations include a methodologically flawed study (Con, Rd 2, Part 1… Pro, Rd 3, Pa's 4-6) and a blog article of a study which he got exactly backwards (Con, Rd 3, Pt 3b… Pro, Rd 5, Pt I-3b). Also, he failed to respond to a further problem with the study even if it weren't flawed (Pro, Rd 3, Pa 5, last sentence).

He fails to see the difference between assumptions made in the abstract and assumptions made in a real life scenario (Con, Rd 3, Pt 2a). He has made arguments which unambiguously support my position (Con, Rd 2, Pt 3; Con, Rd 2, Pt 3, 5th dash point) and another which I argue also supports my position (Con, Rd 2, Pt 3, 2nd and 4th dash points… Pro Rd 3, Pt 4, first two Pa's) and yet has made no attempt to refute this or show how it does indeed help him. He asserts that the minimum wage keeps the working class out of abject poverty (Con, Rd 2, Pt 2), but fails in a meager attempt to demonstrate how (Pro, Rd 5, Pt I.-2b, Pa 2)and fails to respond to two key issues which show that this contention must be false (Pro, Rd 3, third to last Pa). Finally, he states that raising the minimum wage makes workers more productive (an argument I had made for those not laid off, but cast in a different light) but failed to respond to my questions designed to get at the logical conclusion of that statement:

"Does he believe that this trend of higher productivity with higher wages can go on forever, or is there a point where productivity maxes out? If there is no max, would my opponent agree to a minimum wage of $3,000,000,000.00/hr? If there is a max, does my opponent believe that all workers, in all industries in all states, are equally distant from it, such that a uniform minimum wage will throw no one over the productivity max?"

III._I think it is clear my opponent, far from making his case, has in his best of moments only cobbled together certain elements of a case. I have used theory, fact and study to make a lucid interpretation, one which, as I cited in Round 3, is in keeping with what the majority of economists profess. In this light I will quote the LIBERAL economist Paul Samuelson: "What good does it do a black youth to know that an employer must pay him $2.00 per hour if the fact that he must be paid that amount is what keeps him from getting a job?" (Paul Samuelson, Economics, 9th ed. (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1973), pp. 393–394.)

Finally, I raise one last issue. Given that we both agree that raising the minimum wage raises the cost, and therefore the price, of consumer goods, and given that an increase in price will meet a decrease in quantity demanded, must it not be true that, even if a minimum wage did not lead to layoffs – only price increases – the affected industries must shrink and therefore… lay off employees?

There are many reasons to oppose a minimum wage. I would oppose it even if it did accomplish its goals. The point of this debate is to determine whether it even meets that standard. I have shown it does not.
m93samman

Con

Regarding the burden of proof; my opponent is attempting to change the status quo. His assertion MUST be beneficial; meanwhile (I have made this assertion several times) that the US has the largest economy on the planet in terms of consumption. This should be more than enough to vote con, so I'll try and keep this round short for two reasons: the aforementioned, and because my opponent no longer has the ability to respond, for this is the last round.

I. Responses
II. Conclusion
III. Thank you

I. _2a) I would hope that an abstract of the economy isn't as accurate as taking a real-life study from working businesses in the economy we're studying. I'm not sure who, but this quote best explains it. "The endless ponderings of a philosopher are worth less than a simple plan put to work."

b) "Discretion in employment is retained by both parties; my opponent wrongly claims it resides only with the employer." That's a ludicrous claim; I have no discretion as to whether or not my employer wants to hire me. Then he says only .2% of workers earn minimum wage, but provides no source. Lets look to a government database. http://www.bls.gov...
Around 1/20 people earn at OR BELOW minimum wage. That is a significant number, considering the size of the US economy.

c) "He showed nothing more than that the families were paying more for goods. In other words, he kicked the ball in his own goal." Uhmm... What? "families were paying MORE for goods" ==> consumption is therefore higher... I'm not sure what I missed.

d) Too many arguments my opponent didn't directly refute; I'll leave this issue up to the judges. I made the promise to try and keep this short.

3a) The lower wage worker doesn't get hired, right. But again, if they are both hired to the same position, their wages would be divided between them, which is another point I made that passed ignored.

b) Sure, supply drives down price. So does price do the same to supply. And again, I point to the economy realistically, which has the highest consumption rate on the planet. For heaven's sake, we export $700billion less than we import, as of 2006!! It's even worse now... http://www.globalpolicy.org...

c) I know promotions happen. But employers wouldn't have any incentive to do so if minimum wage weren't enacted, and workers wouldn't have the initial motivation anyways because they're being paid so little.

d) Okay...

II. At the end of the day, we continue to see that the US currently has the largest consumption economy on earth. The only way we CAN go is down, and that is, again, why my opponent does have the burden of proof. Furthermore, my opponent didn't exactly make the best arguments in round 5; I hope I addressed them adequately without saying too much. Again, I have the last word. And here is the second to last word: I contend that, given our current level of consumption (#1), we couldn't really have any higher consumption, which is what the purpose of the debate was (look to round 1).

III. Final word

Although the redundancy department of redundancy fined me for my round 5, I think my redundancy made a point with my redundancy. Haha, humor. Thank you readers, happy voting =)
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
Maybe it was too long for people to read? People tend to gratify themselves for others based on their ability to read an entire round and vote on it; if it's short, it's all the easier for them. *shakes head*

Although I do that sometimes, I don't neglect reading long debates. Meanwhile, good luck to you too!
Posted by gocrew 6 years ago
gocrew
I'm a little surprised about this. I had two votes for a debate where the other person, the challenger, didn't even show up. I'm not sure why no one wanted to touch this one.

Well, anyway, thanks for the debate! Best of luck!
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
well that's not cool...
Posted by m93samman 6 years ago
m93samman
Not a problem at all, congratulations on your fatherhood (if it's a first)
Posted by gocrew 6 years ago
gocrew
Sorry about missing the round. My son was born on Monday and I simply forgot. I shall get my final argument in on time.
No votes have been placed for this debate.