The Instigator
Matthew14
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
JohnMaynardKeynes
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

The Minimum Wage

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
JohnMaynardKeynes
Voting Style: Open with Elo Restrictions Point System: Select Winner
Started: 6/9/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 594 times Debate No: 56322
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (1)

 

Matthew14

Pro

This debate will focus on the minimum wage. As Pro, I will argue in favor of it, whereas Con will argue against it. The winner of this debate will be the individual who proves his or her case with a preponderance of evidence. This means that both debaters possess an equal burden of proof.

Round 1 will be for acceptance, Round 2 will be for opening arguments, Round 3 will be for rebuttals, and Round 4 will be for final rebuttals and closing statements. The last person to argue—in this case, Con—will not be allowed to post any new arguments in the final round.

There are a few rules I would like to clarify ahead of time. First, neither this resolution, nor any of these rules, may be altered after the point of accepance. Inclusive of this is the definitions included in this initial post. Second, any form of resolution-sniping, trolling, semantics, or plagiarism will not be tolerated, and will result in a forfeit of all 7 points. Third, please cite your sources in whichever format you prefer and include footnotes. Both debaters must be able to access the materials of the other, so citing a print source will not be allowed unless the materials are available online in some way. If you do cite a print source, please indicate from where you took your information. The same is true for an online journal: instead of merely saying, "(x) assertion is borne out by (y) paper," please quote from the paper, precisely delineating the point you hope to convey. Finally, we will defer to Merriam-Webster for any definition not noted in this opening piece.

Definitions:

Preponderance of Evidence: "A requirement that more than 50% of the evidence points to something. This is the burden of proof in a civil trial. For example: At the end of a civil case A v. B, 51% of the evidence favors A. Thus, A has a preponderance of evidence, A has met their buden of proof, and A will win the case." [1]

Minimum Wage: "The minimum amount of compensation an employee must receive for performing labor. Minimum wages are typically established by contract or legislation by the government. As such, it is illegal to pay an employee less than the minimum wage." [2]


1. http://www.law.cornell.edu...
2. http://www.investopedia.com...

JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

I accept this debate, along with the terms, conditions, and definitions laid out by my opponent. I wish him the best of luck and look forward to an interesting debate. Hopefully he doesn't mind that I'll be playing Devil's Advocate.
Debate Round No. 1
Matthew14

Pro

Matthew14 forfeited this round.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

This is unfortunate. I'll give my adversary a chance to respond.
Debate Round No. 2
Matthew14

Pro

Matthew14 forfeited this round.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

Giving my adversary a chance to reply.
Debate Round No. 3
Matthew14

Pro

Matthew14 forfeited this round.
JohnMaynardKeynes

Con

Unfortunately, my opponent has not offered an argument. I'll offer mine at this point which will obviously go unrefuted.

Disclaimer: I am still playing Devil's Advocate.

The minimum wage is a classic price floor. What it does is tell employers that they cannot pay below a certain wage. That is, it outlaws contracts between employers and employees and injects the government into the market. There isn't only an economic argument, which I'll get to, but a moral argument. What business does the government have imposing its will on individuals acting freely? Shouldn't people be free to do as they wish provided that they are not harming one another?

Next is the economic argument. Because employers want to expand their businesses, for the most part, and employees are seeking the best possible positions for themselves--good wages, good benefits, opportunities for advancement, etc.--and thus there will be competition, not only for labor (from the employer's side) but for the jobs themselves (from the employee side). Not only are businesses in different positions as to whom they can actually hire--e.g., startups and mom-and-pop shops will need to spend sparingly on labor so that they can make investments in capacity--but employees are distinct in that they offer different skills. Those skills may be priced at by the market at, let's say, $8 per hour. If the minimum wage is $10.10, those people will be effectively shut out of the market. At the same time, they'll be competing with people with more skills than themselves. If employers have to spend $10.10, are they more likely to hire someone worth at least $10.10, or someone worth less? Obviously they want the best bang for their buck, so they're going to choose the employee worth $10.10. Therefore, the unskilled workers--we could even take this further and address whom this law would impact, though it's by no means exclusively these people: the youth, teenagers, college students, people without college degrees, etc. Why would we want to make it harder for people who are already struggling to find work?

Finally, there's the basic microeconomic argument. The minimum wage, a price floor, could either be set below the equilibrium wage--in which case, it's irrelevant--or above the equilibrium wage. In this case, the quantity of labor supplied (people willing to work at this wage) would increase, while the quantity of labor demanded (people willing to hire at this wage) would decrease. These leads to a glut of labor, and is much more inefficient than if the market was setting wages itself.

There's also empirical data on this front demonstrating job losses from minimum wage policies. For instance, the CBO estimated job losses from a $10.10 minimum wage would amount to about 500,000. Why would we want to do that amid an economic downturn?
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by jzonda415 2 years ago
jzonda415
If this is still open by the end of the week, I will take it.
Posted by cwt002 2 years ago
cwt002
I am interested in debating you but could you just verify. Are you in favor just of minimum wage or raising minimum wage? Cause I am definitely against raising minimum wage.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Matthew14JohnMaynardKeynes
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: Full forfeit.