The Instigator
Advocate123
Pro (for)
Winning
63 Points
The Contender
ComradeJon1
Con (against)
Losing
12 Points

The Minimum Wage Should be Abolished.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/10/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,158 times Debate No: 2524
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (35)
Votes (25)

 

Advocate123

Pro

Society has the noble goal of reducing poverty. In order to reach this goal, do-gooders with no understanding of basic economics enact a law that increases unemployment and the cost of living. In fact, the sponsors of these initiatives are often clueless as to the great harm that they needlessly inflict on society. Ironically, the public continuously votes to institute this masochism year after year. Yes, I am talking about the minimum wage.

Few politicians, even those on the Right, would ever dream of running a campaign to abolish the minimum wage, even if it would have the effect of improving the standard of living for millions of Americans. Consequently, politicians simply debate whether or not to raise the minimum wage, rather than whether to abolish it entirely. Allow me to illustrate for you very clearly why the minimum wage hurts society, especially the poor.

Imagine you are a small business owner. Now, suppose that you had a total of $1000 a day that you could afford to pay your workers and still stay in business. (The numbers are arbitrary, but I'm using simple values to illustrate a point). With that $1000, you could pay 20 workers $50 a day, 10 workers $100 a day, 5 workers $200 a day, and 2 workers $500 a day. Assuming that you require 5 workers to get your job done, but you would really benefit if you had 20 workers, you would of course hire 20 workers at $50 a day.

Those 20 workers are 20 more people off the unemployment rolls. Those are 20 more people that can take home an honest wage. Those are 20 more people that have money to spend. Those are 20 more people that benefit the economy.

Now add ignorant do-gooders into the picture who think that $50 a day is "exploitative." As a result, these do-gooders who really care about your workers create laws that require you to pay everyone $100 a day. So, you know what you must do: You must first fire10 workers so you can now pay 10 workers $100 a day. That is the reality.

We all know that the people who received the pay increase from $50 to $100 are doing better, but what about the 10 people who were just fired? Not only were the people fired, but your business is less efficient after losing 10 workers. Therefore, you need to increase the price of your goods or services. This makes it impossible for the 10 unemployed people to afford the cost of living. Does this make any sense?

Now, the do-gooders notice that the cost of living has increased after their first implementation of the minimum wage of $100 a day. So, like clockwork, they pass legislation to increase the minimum wage to $200 a day. You know the drill by now.

This new initiative just required you to fire 5 more workers so that you could pay 5 workers $200 a day. So, in total, you have just fired 15 workers because the government wants to help the workers (Great logic). Again, you will also need to raise prices to make up for the lack of efficiency. But, keep in mind that your business is not an isolated incident. Millions of businesses around the Country just fired their labor force as well.

Many of them, in fact, could not afford the increased labor costs and went out of business. Other people decided not to start a new business because it would be too expensive. Ask yourself again, "Why would anyone in their right mind want this?"

The truth is that the minimum wage is created by two groups of people: 1) Do-gooders who do not understand economics; and 2) Unions. Unions use the minimum wage for contract negotiations. Their argument is that if the lowest skilled worker is paid $200 a day, their "skilled" workers should be paid $400 a day. So, this is nothing but an unholy alliance between the Unions and the ignorant; the ignorant being in the majority.

Now politicians see a storm of people on the unemployment rolls and fight to pass legislation that would act as safety nets for these people. Where do you suppose they get the money? Right! They tax businesses like yours so your former workers can sit at home and not work because you are not allowed to pay them their market value. Oh, by the way, you have to fire more workers to meet this new tax burden too.

This next election is clearly going to have an impact on the minimum wage. Barack Obama (Ignorant "Do-Gooder") and Hillary Clinton (Union Supporter) are likely to become President. Both of these candidates want to increase the minimum wage as often as possible and increase safety nets. Sadly, the public is on their side on these issues because they do not have the time to learn the economic reality. It just takes too much effort to sit down and explain the truth to the American people.
ComradeJon1

Con

Let me begin by saying that I vehemently share your qualms with the american bussiness system. But culprit is neither minimum wage nor "ignorant do-gooders". the culprit a a lack of economic stimulation. I will proceed to use your example to display the benefits of a system of an economically stimulated system that continues to use MW (i will use MW to represent minimum wage throughout the round)

In your example, you weigh that it is more beneficial to have 20 workers with 50 dollars each rather than 10 workers with 100 dollars. First, macroeconomically, you are mistaken: a worker who makes 50 dollars a week, no matter how many of them there are, are not going to buy as much as a worker who makes double. Put yourself in the situation, would you be more likely to buy, for example, an expensive car if you had 50 dollars or 100 dollars a week? Even though having 50 dollars would mean there are 20 people just like you, those other 19 people are no more likely to buy said car. If we assume you buy the car with 100 dollars, than we assume that the other 9 people can as well. Think of what you do when you have more money than you need: you buy more than you need.

Now to focus on the microeconomic effect: youre absolutely correct in the assumption that those 10 people laid off due to the 10 people making more money are screwed. But this is only true in an unstable economy. In a stable economy, i invite you to re-examine your example: We can assume that the 10 people who keep their job and get more money are the 10 better workers out of the 20 total. In a stable economy, those 10 laid off are able to get another job, but one that pays less. To keep with your social darwinist theory, i think you'll agree that a high quality worker should, in fact, get paid more than a lesser worker.

Finally, we see that there is no logistical alternative to minimum wage. Look back to your example: Now assume there is no law to what you can pay your employees and you still have your 1000 dollars. Can we assume that all bussiness owners would be respectful to their workers and pay honest wages? I think youll agree that industry does take advantage of its workers more often than wed like it to. In a free-for-all job market, i can gaurentee that he industries will prevail over their unsupported workers.

In summation, i agree that there must be reform, but i cannot see how MW is the prevailing issue.
Debate Round No. 1
Advocate123

Pro

You failed to address my argument entirely, thereby giving it more credence, and you used the word "macroeconomics" without using any economic theory.

1) In fact, you seemed to acknowledge that workers would be laid off as a result of the minimum wage, but then essentially made the counterargument: If we lived in a fictitious world where there was economic stimulus and stability (whatever that means?), everyone would have a job. Unfortunately for you, I make my arguments in the real world (Which is why the Minimum Wage Should be Abolished);

2) The truth is that if there was no minimum wage, the cost of living would decrease, which I demonstrated in my introduction. You, however, simply invented a fictitious world where the cost of living stayed static no matter what any government policy did;

3) You also made the erroneous assumption that only businesses "set" prices. The truth is that with competing businesses all trying to gain the same pool of workers, they all would have to raise wages to a point where the amount of work would be correctly valued with the cost of living (otherwise, nobody would be willing to work);

4) You also never addressed the simple fact that having a job for low wages is undeniably better than having no job at all. Moreover, my hypothetical even paints a better picture than what really happens in the economy with the minimum wage. Because the wages are scaled for productivity, the number of workers fired as a result of the minimum wage increases exponentially (I just used simple math so that people who do not understand economics could follow the argument);

5) Lastly, you simply invent the assumption that in a "stable" economy everyone would be hired. No, no matter what the economy is like, prices are created by supply and demand, this is a scientific law no different from the laws of gravity. You could artificially raise the price so that it would not reflect the true supply and demand, but that does not create more jobs or put anyone in a better situation. I makes everyone worse with the higher prices of goods and services, plus more unemployment. In fact, the people who are most forgotten are those who never create a new businesses in the first place because it is not worth the cost.

Overall, you failed to address my point and simply invented an alternative reality. That is just not a sufficient argument to combat the facts: The Minimum wage increases unemployment, increases the cost of living, and hurts the people who its well-intentioned sponsors want to help the most.

I am sorry; but, if that is all you have I have won the argument.
ComradeJon1

Con

In case youre unaware, Macroeconomics is economics dealing with broad society, im not sure what you mean by economic theory in that sense. I was merely saying "this is how MW works in the broad sense". Im not sure how that constitutes a legit argument on your part though.

Ill go down on your numbered responses:

1) You misunderstand, workers get laid off as a result of poor production. Minimum wage that forces the worker to work harder (in the way you portray it) is in fact, the ideal criterion of capitalism. My argument are not based in a fake world. Stable economies have, and in some places do, exist. In an unstable economy (where there is poor production and a lack of jobs are available) there are going to be layoffs no matter what the MW is or if it exists at all.

2)you did not demonstrate that at all. only that 10 people in your example would lose thier jobs, but i logical showed you how that isnt true.

3) Im not assuming that businesses are alone in setting prices of their products. I am assuming that they would (in your MW-less world) would be free to set the wages of their employees. I understand what you say about the job pool, but look at it like this: cell phone companies charge ridiculously high prices for an unlimited, overhead-less product... "minuets". How does this happen? The cell phone minuet industry is by no means a monopoly? It happens because if all the companies work together to sell at the same price, they dont compete, but share the market. The same happens if you have no MW. you end up with companies who make the universal agreement to pay lower workers, lower wages (i.e. if all companies pay their factory workers 2 bucks an hour, whos gonna stop them?) If your competitive job pool assumption was correct, current companies restricted by the MW laws would offer their employees above MW to attract them away from competing companies. Unfortuneatley, that doesnt happen

4) i did address this, refer to my opening rebuttal in round 1.

5) Theres no such thing as an economy that has a 0 unemployed rating, but there by all means are stable economies (research US of the 90s, UK of early 00s, israel now). Prices are created by supply and demand, but MW doesnt increase price unless youre willing to give companies that free will that allows them to abuse workers.

In all, this debate comes down to whether or not you can prove logically or empirically that abused workers is a justified means to reaching the end result of cheaper products. Morally, ethically, economically and politically, youre 100% wrong.
Debate Round No. 2
Advocate123

Pro

You are digging yourself a hole and burying yourself in it.

1) You state that there are "stable" economies that exist, without providing an example of one place in the world where that is true or defining what a stable economy is. Nothing you said is an argument for increasing unemployment and the cost of living, which is exactly what the minimum wage does. But, if you want to know, where production is most efficient, look no further than capitalist nations. So, I am still winning this argument substantially on why the minimum wage should be abolished;

2) You neither proved or demonstrate anything against my straightforward example of why the minimum wage does not work. Your counterargument again creates a fictitious world where production increases just because you say it does. Well, I could declare by fiat that the world is flat, but that would not make it any more true;

3) You are now diverging into whether or not we should prevent collusion with anti-trust legislation. That still has nothing to do with the minimum wage, and in fact the minimum wage during collusion would still have the result of increasing unemployment and the cost of living;

4) I'll take your word for it, but I did not see anything that you said that refutes my argument;

5) You ended off by saying that no Country has 0 unemployment. This is my whole point; with no minimum wage, the market would continuously work to have full employment. If you set a minimum wage, you increase it;

Your last argument about exploitation and morals and ethics is baseless. It is immoral to crate a system that increases unemployment and the cost of living at the expense of the poor.
ComradeJon1

Con

1) Actually, I gave you 3 examples (UK early this decade, Israel now and 90s US). A stable economy is one that can limit unemployment, maintain social programs, kill inflation and stabilize the budget. Ive responded to this at all 3 rounds now but you seem to keep repeating the same ridiculous statement

2) If you cant deal with the fact that a stable economy isnt fictitious, thats not my problem. Just because you dont understand logic doenst mean it doesnt exist.

3) Industrial abuse of workers is real and has EVERYTHING to do with the abolishment of MW. Without some legislation protecting a the MW of workers, industry controls what they make to their own discretion.

4) Than look again

5) Untrue. without a MW, all you have is an uncontrolled industry that can, and would, underpay its work force. Just because companies can afford to pay you 1 cent an hour now that there is no legislation protecting you doenst mean that there are going to be more jobs. sorry

In summation, good debate. Thank you for your time. I wish you luck with the vote tally.
Debate Round No. 3
35 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Advocate123 6 years ago
Advocate123
Thanks Donald. Feel free to comment on it any time.
Posted by DonaldAbraham 6 years ago
DonaldAbraham
Advocate, well done. I am a fan of your blog as well.
Posted by HandsOff 6 years ago
HandsOff
Very nice. I've come to similar conclusions. I look forward to reading more of your debates.
Posted by Advocate123 6 years ago
Advocate123
Katrina to an extent, meaning they could use the military to come in with helicopters to save people. But, price gouging must be legalized so that people all around the country have an incentive to bring as many goods and services to the area.

The Great Depression was prolonged for years because of FDR. We learned our lesson in 1987, did nothing, and no depression occurred.
Posted by HandsOff 6 years ago
HandsOff
So you believe the government is not here to interfere in anyone's circumstances or personal outcome, good or bad? Do you think the government should respond to tradgedies such as hurricane Katrina? Do you believe they should have been involved in helping feed he poor during the great depression?
Posted by Advocate123 6 years ago
Advocate123
When you say would it be okay for the government to step in, you are really asking is it okay for the government to put a gun to the rest of the citizenry's head and throw them in jail if they refuse to do something.

The answer is no.

Moreover, when you tax people less, there is more money for the charities to help, and there is more money to hire the poor, and there is more money to help the people.

The fact of the matter is that less people slip through the cracks.

By the way. I'm Devil's Advocate from Copious Dissent.
Posted by HandsOff 6 years ago
HandsOff
Also, if hypothetically it were found that, in fact, private charity was not able to handle the problem completely, would it then be the government's duty to step in?
Posted by HandsOff 6 years ago
HandsOff
What do you say to those who think there is no way private industry is open to helping unfortunate people who can't pay them for their products or for their services? How can all these unfortunate people be helped? Where will the money come from? Cerntainly private charity will not suffice, say many.
Posted by Advocate123 6 years ago
Advocate123
Government's only role is for the Military, Police and the Courts.

The people who are disabled will and have done much better in the free market, and will continue to do so.

Just think of the technology (artificial limbs, audio Internet for the blind, artificial heart, cochlear implants) that has been used to help these people.

It is not out of apathy, it is out of compassion that the government must stay out of it.
Posted by HandsOff 6 years ago
HandsOff
Advocate,
Is there anything you believe the government should do for truly unfortunate people? Should the government be there to protect the disabled or mentally retarded? Or should the government just get out of the way so that capable people can live and produce freely under the protection of government and free from its intrusions?

This is not a challenge. I've enjoyed reading your debates and just want to throw this topic around with you.
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