The US should should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Debate Rounds (4)
Full Resolution - Resolved: The United States should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
Do not troll
Kritiks of the topic are unaccepable
Vulgarity is unacceptable
Refrain from utilizing a counterplan - debate the resolution as it is
Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere throughout the course of the debate
If necesssary/applicable, sources may be provided via an external link
Failure to comply with any of the above mentioned rules results in an automatic loss
- Con: Rules
- Pro: Acceptance and Initial Arguments/Case
- Con: Opening Arguments/Case
- Pro: Rebuttals
- Con: Rebuttals
- Pro: Defense and Rebuttals
- Con: Defense and Rebuttals
- Pro: Waive Round
The resolution should be self-explanatory. To avoid dispute or ambiguity:
Ought: refers to obligation or logical consequence/necessity 
I look forward to an engaging and stimulating debate!
The minimum wage should be raised to benefit families, immigrants, and middle class people all across america.
The burden of this debate should be shared by both sides. As Pro, my opponent must prove the United States ought (implying obligation or necessity by logical consequence) to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. Pro should present the reasons for this on both pragmatic and moral grounds to fulfill the burden. Likewise, it is my definitive duty to prove, on moral and pragmatic grounds, the US ought NOT raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour. With this out of the way, let's move to the actual arguments.
Contention I: A $15 Wage Hike is Either Unfair or Indeterminable
The goal of a wage hike is to reduce poverty and stimulate the economy. It's widely and commonly seen as a wage off of which one can live accompanied by the necessities in an acceptable standard of living. However, achieving this end is indeterminable. Whether it be $10.10, $15, $17, et cetera, there is no plausible or fair way to numerically calculate a just minimum wage on a federal playing field. The Huffington Post provides an article which reads, "Living wage measures are completely arbitrary and that [individuals], both conservatives and liberals, aren’t well qualified to determine what’s an acceptable lifestyle for other people.”  Federal governments cannot adequately instigate a just or fair living wage for their citizens. It's simply unjust for a government, federal or otherwise, to impose a wage requirement deemed unjust by the employers and/or community.
In many instances, this would be the case. Small communities, especially in areas where the cost of living is far lower than the norm. These areas, as well as others, suffer because of what the American Enterprise Institute notes, "disproportionate effects by location."  The cost of living differs from small, rural cities as opposed to bustling suburbias. Institutionalizing a "one-size-fits-all" system is bound to detriment at least one of the extremes.
Contention II: Effects on Small Businesses
If it were plausible to instigate a $15 living wage, we'd see dire circumstances shadow small businesses. The effects are compounded on these smaller businesses who can't effectively absorb the increase. Karen Heisler, co-owner of Mission Pie Bakery in San Francisco, California explains how her business would be affected. "Our business is dedicated to proving high quality food at as low a price as we can, but we won’t have room to achieve that. The most expensive meal on the menu is $8.50, a stew with vegetables and rice. Raising the minimum wage will have a huge impact, not this year but ultimately. It will probably require us to hire more experienced and skillful people. We will see a decrease in the number of businesses in the 20-employee range because it’s becoming impossible to make it because of the cost of operation."  A host of other businesses would be remarkably harmed, as noted by National Federation of Independent Business. 
These results are even more significant when it is recognized that 48.5% of private-sector jobs are employed by small businesses, according to the US Small Business Administration.  Moreover, as the American Legislative Exchange Council asserts, small corporations have to stay competitive to stay open. They do so by keeping lower prices.  Adding to their burden would push them under, a potential detriment to nearly 50% of private-sector jobs.
Contention III: A wage raise to $15 an hour displays a host of flaws.
Perhaps one of the most important negative consequences to a minimum wage increase is unemployment concerns. Numerous studies indicate an increase in wages, especially one that more than doubles the current minimum, will facilitate job loss. The Congressional Budget Office claims that a potential 1 million jobs could be lost with only an increase to $10.10, which would only be furthered if the wage was increased nearly another $5 dollars. 
With basic consideration of simplistic economic theory and logic, flaws become increasingly evident. The money to pay those workers a higher wage HAS to come from SOMEWHERE. If companies were already making plenty of profit, they'd adhere to labor unions demands of higher wages. I understand some large corporations could honestly support a higher wage with little harm, but as a utilitarian and federal policy, the minimum wage hike is a bad idea. Smaller corporations, especially, would have to do one of three things to compensate for paying higher wages: a) raise prices, b) cut hours, or c) cut workers. For option a, we know that wouldn't be a good thing. Logically, this entirely removes any benefit from a wage hike. If you get paid more money, but suddenly products are all more expensive, what is the gain? More money flowing, which can lead to inflation. Other than that, there isn't a benefit. You're back to where you started, without enough capital to pay for your necessities and comforts. For option b, we know this isn't a good things. Less hours equals less wages, so once again, you don't actually see the benefits of the wage hike in the first place. For option c, perhaps the most ominous, you see unemployment grow. Who, one might ask, is going to lose their job? It's obvious that a corporation wants to keep its best, most skilled, and better educated employees, and would be willing to pay higher wages for them. But what about the less skilled and uneducated employees? To the company, all things considered, they wouldn't be worth $15 dollars an hour. These would be the ones to lose their jobs, and they are the impoverished. More people without jobs would facilitate more reliance on welfare, which obviously isn't beneficial.
Other studies indicated job losses, including ones from Miami and Trinity Universities , economists David Neumark and William Wascher , and a plethora of others.   
I've provided a primarily logical and consequential argument as to why the federal minimum wage should not be raised. First, it's indeterminable. Second, it has location issues. Third, it harms small businesses, particularly. Fourth, it facilitates unemployment. Tying back, all of these things negate the resolution because of logical consequence. However, since the goal is to reduce poverty and stimulate economy, this means achieves no positive end. Thusly, it's immoral to implement a policy which reverts its intentions towards an ultimately immoral end. For this reason, vote Con.
I'm just going to say that It would help people who are working very hard but struggling to pay the bills.
First of all, my opponent's argument is not stupid. Don't accept that interpretation as it is unfounded. It may be incorrect, as I shall attempt to demonstrate (as in any other debate), but it is not stupid. Hopefully we can have the chance to debate this topic to a greater degree later.
My opponent asserted a boost in the minimum wage would benefit families, however, on net, this is completely false. The insinuation that a wage increase would be beneficial to families is erroneous when considering the harmful effects it contains. Unemployment, higher prices, and cut hours, to name a few, don't seem beneficial to families. From a statistical standpoint, it is also illogical to assume families would receive any noteworthy benefits from more than doubling the current minimum wage. The Commonwealth Foundation expressed this in their study regarding a raise in Pennsylvania alone. They quote "Much of the wage gains would go to low-wage employees in higher income families, rather than those most in need. For instance, about two-fifths of the wage gains would go to employees in families with incomes of $40,000 or greater."  If these families are already earning enough, and are simply young teens (as the study also indicates), there is no real benefit to the family, as it is already doing fine.
However, we also see significant job loss, which I examined in my previous round. Cross-apply all the evidence and explanation as it wasn't refuted in any capacity. The same applies to the other detriments I exemplified. Families can't be effectively benefited when the policy simultaneously increases unemployment and damages the economy by increasing prices and facilitating inflation.
Many immigrants (particularly the ones my opponent is speaking of) are paid low-wages, often times the minimum wage.  Since many of these are also poor , and the minimum wage doesn't solve poverty  , immigrants can't feasibly be positively impacted.
It seems rather dubious to assume raising the minimum wage would help the middle class. Since middle class workers generally are paid a wage far above the minimum, the raise would give them any more money. Adding that to rising costs makes no benefit to middle class, but higher costs, an obvious detriment.
Struggling to Pay the Bills
This clearly refers to the impoverished. As I've alread shown, when accompanied with job loss, the minimum wage increase can't sufficiently reduce poverty. While some might receive small benefits, unemployment creates instantaneous poverty. Moreover, the policy can't specifically target the poor, which is how poverty is reduced. Thusly, it can't reduce poverty, and won't help those struggling to pay the bills.  
There are many detriments to a $15 minimum wage, and there is not sufficient reason to implement such a policy. I've demonstrated on moral and pragmatic grounds that raising the minimum wage is ineffective and a bad idea. My opponent has not refuted any of my arguments pragmatically, morally, or with evidence. Thus, you vote Con.
SongHaGin forfeited this round.
Extend arguments and rebuttals.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.