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The US Federal Government should raise the minimum wage.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/7/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 501 times Debate No: 90855
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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Round 1-Acceptance, Round 2-Cases, Round 3-Rebuttals, Round 4-Defense.
I will be arguing for the US federal government to increase the minimum wage every year by one dollar. My opponent will argue that the government should not increase the minimum wage.


I will be arguing that he Federal Goveronment should not raise the minimum wage for a number of reasons:

Reason #1 - The intention of the minimum wage - The minimum wage is just a entrance wage, thus it should not be something you can live comfortably off of, because the idea is you're supposed to work, invest, and get a better job over time. Furthermore, the minimum wage was invented to protect workers from corporate greed.

Reason #2 - The Constitution - The Consdtitution never grants the Federal Government the power to establish a Federal minimum wage, rather, under the Tenth Amendment, as this power isn't prohibited to the states, the power to establish a minimum waste should be given to the states respectively (state minimum wages), or to the people (labour unions)

Reason #3 - Economics - In the United States, we are having an inflation rate of 8-13%, and raising the minimum wage will only make it worse. Besides, raising the minimum wage will harm small businesses the most, and since 60% of new jobs come from small businesses, this will significantly raise the unemployment rate.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I will be arguing that the US Federal Government should raise the minimum wage. I would like more my opponent to note that I agree that the US Federal government should raise the minimum wage one dollar every year until we get to 10 dollars in order to make small businesses adjust to the wages. Now, I will begin my case.
Democracy Advantage:
Before, I begin to state the statistics on how many people in America support an increase in the minimum wage; I want to stress the importance of this argument. The Founding Fathers intended for our representatives to listen to what the American people want. These are one of the fundamental principles of America, and what defined our country in the 1700s as a democratic nation. My opponent is libertarian. If there is anything libertarians, liberals, and conservatives can agree with; it is that we should all be able to agree that when 76% of Americans agree on simple legislation that should be passed, than the government is obligated to listen and pass the legislation a majority of Americans want to be passed. If the government does not listen to the pleas of the American people, than our democracy is not functioning properly. 76% of Americans support raising the minimum wage. A great majority of Americans support raising the minimum wage to $10.10 dollars an hour.
I offer this question to my opponent.
I believe that if the government continues to deny the pleas to raise the minimum wage, than how can we still call ourselves a functional democracy.
My opponent is of the few in America that claim that raising the minimum wage will hurt jobs. I will debunk this popular myth in this contention. Note that 73 million people are paid hourly wages.

1. Improved living standards: The first benefit is that millions of Americans would see a pay raise that could go toward meeting their basic needs and living expenses. A 2013 report from the Congressional Budget Office estimated that 16.5 million low-wage workers would benefit from a $10.10-per-hour wage, including 900,000 workers who would climb above the poverty threshold. A more recent analysis by CNN was even more aggressive, implying that 5 million Americans would be lifted out of poverty at $10.10 per hour. More workers being able to pay for their basic expenses is a good thing, as it may lead to less reliance on government- and state-sponsored financial-aid programs
2. Increasing the federal minimum wage to $9.80 by July 1, 2014, would raise the wages of about 28 million workers who would receive nearly 40 billion dollars in additional wages over the phase in period.
3. GDP has been proven to increase roughly by 25 billion dollar resulting in the creation of approximately 100,000 net jobs.
4. Around 54% of affected worker work full time, over 70% are in families with incomes of less than 60,000 dollars, more than a quarter are parents, and over a third are married.
5. The average affected worker earns about half of his or her family's total income.
6. The immediate benefits of a minimum-wage increase are in the boosted earnings of the lowest-paid workers, but its positive effects would far exceed this extra income. Recent research reveals that, despite skeptics" claims, raising the minimum wage does not cause job loss. In fact, throughout the nation, minimum-wage increases would create jobs. Like unemployment insurance benefits or tax breaks for low- and middle-income workers, raising the minimum wage puts more money in the pockets of working families when they need it most, thereby augmenting their spending power. Economists generally recognize that low-wage workers are more likely than any other income group to spend any extra earnings immediately on previously unaffordable basic needs or services:
Europe is also a good example of how the minimum wage actually benefits workers more than it harms workers.
-Great Britain's minimum wage is $10.31 an hour. There GDP is 2.8 trillion dollars. There are 4.9 million small businesses that are fully capable of managing this wage without loosing jobs.

-Germany's minimum wage is $11.50 an hour. Germany's GDP is 3.85 trillion dollars.

-France's minimum wage is $10.70 an hour. France's GDP is 2.83 trillion dollars.

-Australia's minimum wage is $10.50 an hour. Australia's GDO is 1.45 trillion dollars.

- America's minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. America's GDP is 17.48 trillion dollars.
I offer my opponent these questions.
-Why is it that America was the wealthiest country in that list, yet had the lowest federal minimum wage?

-Why is America able to access an abundant amount of benefits from raising the minimum wage, and the government is still not pass it into law?

-Why is it that that the US Federal Government will not raise the minimum wage when 76% of Americans believe that it is the right thing to do?

I look forward to these answers. It is up to my opponent whether to address these questions in his case or rebuttal.



As I stated before, the Constitution never grants the Federal Goveronment the power to establish a FEDERAL minimum wage, since this power is not prohibied to the states, it should be given to the states respectively, or to the people. This is why the term state to the rest of the world, as well as in America during the 1700's, "state" meant a sovereign state, with the power to establish their own laws, their own ystem, etc. This has a number of benefits, first of all, the economic and social situations of each state is different, allowing for laws to change according to circumstances. For example, if someone was carryin a riffle around in the open in Washington DC it might be considered threatening, but if someone lives in Detroit- this is acceptable.

And yes, under the First Ammendment the people have a right to petition the goveronment for a redress of their greivances, but either way it would be best to give this powe to the states or to the people. Also, it would not be appropriateterminology to say "raising the minimum wage to 10.10$ a hour," because in 1968 it was 11$ a hour, thus this would be "restoring the minimum wage to 11$ a hour.

In response to the latter, first of all, in Switzerland there is no minimum wage, yet workers earn 2,500$ a month, for the 41.5 hour shift that the swiss earn, this is 15.06$, that's 6 cents higher than the 15$ that those crazy american workers want. This is a classic example of the power being reserved "to the people," because this is all because of labour unions.

And my opponents wages in Europe are irrelevant, because in the US the minimum wage is left to the states, so saying that the minimum wage in the US is 7.25$ isn't really fair, the minimum wage in California is 10$ a hour, in the District of Columbia it's 11.50$, and if you want to forma labour union you can raise the minimum wage (for you) yourself. {1}

Debate Round No. 2


I would like to first of all thank my opponent for accepting this debate. I will now begin my rebuttal.


Constitution-My opponent treats the constitution like a religion that can never change. His main claim is that the constitution never granted the government the power to create a minimum wage.
The US Constitution has been changed 27 times through amendments. That is the purpose of the amendments. And of course its meaning can be changed by the courts who have decided it is a "living document". It is changed by having 2/3 of the house and senate agree to the change, and then 3/4 of the states through a 2/3 majority have to rattify it. Yes, it may be amended. Amendments may be proposed by Congress by a two thirds majority in both houses. Proposed amendments become part of the Constitution when they are ratified by the legislatures of three fourths of the States (38 of the 50 States).
It can be amended and has been several times. An amendment effectively changes the constitution. yes this change is called an amendment. Yes, the Constitution can be changed by amendment. Amendments are either proposed by Congress and then passed by the legislatures of 3/4s of the states, or they can be proposed and passed by 3/4s of the state legislatures directly. The third way the constitution can be "changed" is through interpretation by the Supreme Court. Some would argue that this does not constitute a change, only an interpretation of original intent, while others would argue that some of the interpretations of the Supreme Court in the past are far removed from the original intent of the framers. Yes, The constitution can be changed. This change is called an amendment.
"In response to the latter, first of all, in Switzerland there is no minimum wage, yet workers earn 2,500$ a month, for the 41.5 hour shift that the swiss earn, this is 15.06$, that's 6 cents higher than the 15$ that those crazy american workers want. This is a classic example of the power being reserved "to the people,""
My opponent is right in this claim, but fails to address how abolishing the minimum wage in America would cause any benefits. I have proved in my case that there are many benefits to raising the minimum wage.
" because in the US the minimum wage is left to the states, so saying that the minimum wage in the US is 7.25$ isn't really fair, the minimum wage in California is 10$ a hour"
My opponent does not realize that the resolution implies that the US federal government should raise the federal minimum wage nationally. He also fails to again list any significant benefits of the minimum wage staying that $7.25.

My opponent has raised no significant harms to raising the minimum wage. All of his attacks were either about the constitution, or about how one can form a labor union. This is not happening which is a very big problem. 76% of Americans agree with the government raising the minimum wage nationally.
Dropped Arguments
Democracy Advantage
Benefits of raising the minimum wage
I know for a fact that if 76% of America wants certain legislation to be passed, than the founding fathers would want that legislation to be passed.


First of all, though the constitution can be amendment, no official amendment was passed allowing the Federal government to create a Federal Minimum wage. And the supreme court was never given the power to amend the constitution, and even if it was, they never even ruled that this was constitutional, thus the Federal Government does not have the power to establish a minimum wage.

Secondly, I do believe I proved that Switzerland, as a result of not having any minimum wage, has increased the average wages of its workers through competition. This actually happened in the US during WW2, the reason is that there were more jobs than employees, thus employers competed over employees by offering benefits, higher wages, safer conditions etc. Furthermore, labor unions during the progressive movement were able to get better wages as of the 1890's, the Federal Government couldn't increase wages until 1941. This means that labor unions are much better at achieving a better wage than the federal government.

Thirdly, I never said there are benefits to a 7.25$ a hour minimum wage, only that it isn't necessary because states have proven to be much better at increasing their minimum wage than the federal government. And the same is true about labor unions, thus, the federal government increasing the minimum wage wouldn't do much because it would be incapable of consistently updating it with inflation, which is severely miscalculated.
Debate Round No. 3


Ariesz forfeited this round.


Harry Truman wins by knockout!
Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Ariesz 1 year ago
My opponent completely wins conduct, but I still would like to post a response to what my opponent has said. I was out with my family, and my internet connection broke. I will only post a response if my opponent allows me to in the comments.
Posted by thebestdebate 1 year ago
I might cast a vote within the next few days. RFD coming soon
Posted by jamccartney 1 year ago
The minimum wage gets rid of low skilled jobs. It should be abolished effective immediately.
Posted by Ragnar 1 year ago
Not the worst suggestion. It would lead to increased inflation, but probably not hyperinflation.
No votes have been placed for this debate.