The Instigator
ColeTrain
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points
The Contender
SongHaGin
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points

The US should should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
ColeTrain
Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 10/21/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 687 times Debate No: 81273
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (38)
Votes (1)

 

ColeTrain

Con

Full Resolution - Resolved: The United States should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

Rules:
Do not troll
No semantics
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

Round Structure:
Round 1:
- Con: Rules
- Pro: Acceptance and Initial Arguments/Case
Round 2:
- Con: Opening Arguments/Case
- Pro: Rebuttals
Round 3:
- Con: Rebuttals
- Pro: Defense and Rebuttals
Round 4:
- Con: Defense and Rebuttals
- Pro: Waive Round

Definitions:
The resolution should be self-explanatory. To avoid dispute or ambiguity:
Ought: refers to obligation or logical consequence/necessity [1]

I look forward to an engaging and stimulating debate!

Sources:
[1] http://www.merriam-webster.com......
SongHaGin

Pro

Acceptance! ^_^
The minimum wage should be raised to benefit families, immigrants, and middle class people all across america.
Debate Round No. 1
ColeTrain

Con

Framework:
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.” [1] 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." [2] 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." [3] A host of other businesses would be remarkably harmed, as noted by National Federation of Independent Business. [4]

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. [5] Moreover, as the American Legislative Exchange Council asserts, small corporations have to stay competitive to stay open. They do so by keeping lower prices. [6] 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. [7]

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 [8], economists David Neumark and William Wascher [9], and a plethora of others. [10] [11] [12]

Conclusion:
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.

Sources:
[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[2] http://www.aei.org...
[3] http://www.theguardian.com...
[4] http://www.nfib.com...
[5] https://www.sba.gov...
[6] http://www.alec.org...
[7] http://www.cbo.gov...
[8] https://www.epionline.org...
[9] http://www.nber.org...
[10] http://www.nber.org...
[11] http://www.ncpa.org...
[12]
https://www.aei.org...
SongHaGin

Pro

I'm sorry my argument is stupid >< I didn't have enough time to research it correctly.
I'm just going to say that It would help people who are working very hard but struggling to pay the bills.
Debate Round No. 2
ColeTrain

Con

Introduction:
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.


Families:
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." [1] 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.

Immigrants:
Many immigrants (particularly the ones my opponent is speaking of) are paid low-wages, often times the minimum wage. [2] Since many of these are also poor [2], and the minimum wage doesn't solve poverty [3] [4], immigrants can't feasibly be positively impacted.


Middle Class:
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. [5] [6]


Conclusion:
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.


Sources:
[1] https://www.epionline.org...
[2] http://www.epi.org...
[3] http://www.nber.org...
[4] http://www.forbes.com...
[5] https://mises.org...
[6]
http://www.thenewamerican.com...
SongHaGin

Pro

SongHaGin forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
ColeTrain

Con

Extend arguments and rebuttals.
SongHaGin

Pro

Forfeit, sorry.
Debate Round No. 4
38 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SongHaGin 1 year ago
SongHaGin
Um, stop voting? I already lost. He'll get his win. It's like salt on a wound.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: themightyindividual// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: Con definitely won this debate, as it would be idiotic to choose to take some money from employers by force and give it to employees. That is redistribution, and therefore theft.

[*Reason for removal*] This seems to chiefly involve the voter's own biases as reasoning for the decision. The voter doesn't point to any actual arguments given, and analyzes what he does cover solely through his own lens rather than through the debate
************************************************************************
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
Sure! send me a request.
Posted by SongHaGin 1 year ago
SongHaGin
Oh... Can we be friends?
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
I'm sorry... :(
Just so you know... I'm against gay marriage as well.
Posted by SongHaGin 1 year ago
SongHaGin
I've been harassed because I'm a girl, I'm Korean, and I don't believe in gay marriage.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
Hey, it's fine! I know what it's like to be bogged down with school. :)
Wrong? Well, I might think so, but that's the point of the debate; to persuade the voters who is right and settle the dispute, if possible.
Why do you think this website is corrupt?
Posted by SongHaGin 1 year ago
SongHaGin
And i'm sorry, all these honors courses combined with activities on campus have me very booked ><
Posted by SongHaGin 1 year ago
SongHaGin
No i'm not wrong. You didn't even read my comment correctly.
This website is corrupt.. literally.
Posted by ColeTrain 1 year ago
ColeTrain
SongHaGin: Sorry... It's just that you essentially forfeited the debate really early on. Maybe we can have a rematch when you aren't so busy with school. :)
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
ColeTrainSongHaGin
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: FF