The Instigator
Pro (for)
12 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
6 Points

The effects of a minimum wage on an economy are bad

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Post Voting Period
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after 4 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/4/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,013 times Debate No: 20881
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)




First round acceptance


I accapt this debate challenge and look foward to my opponents response!
Debate Round No. 1


C1: teenage unemployment

Let's look at Milton's theory, if you raise minimum wage the least skilled will be the most effected. Well teens fit in this. But let me use raw numbers:

"Congress began raising the minimum wage from $5.15 an hour in July 2007, and there are now 691,000 fewer teens working." (1)

Now let me act as an employer:

"you are worth 5$ an hour with the skill you have, now the min wage is 7$. That would be -2$ every hour, and hiring you would be charity." now charity is good but most employers cannot afford the extra money per hour.

"These studies were exhaustively surveyed by the Minimum Wage Study Commission, which concluded that a 10% increase in the minimum wage reduced teenage employment by 1% to 3%." (2) a 10% increase raises teen unemployment by 1-3%.

Now this was over a 50 year period, so every time it raises teen unemployment does too, this disproves a economic down turn is fully responsible.

C2: minority unemployment

Now I will stress once again: a minimum wage raises unemployment, especially towards low skilled workers(3)

Sadly minorities in this country are less educated, so it would hurt them.

Minimum wage laws effect ethnic minorities the most. (4) As the minimum wage effects the least productive, miborities are more likely to be effected by these laws. (5) it also effects poor areas most, which are full of miborities, therefore affecting them. (5)

" The evidence to support this is overwhelming, and it is the black community that is the hardest hit" (6)
The refers to the minimum wage sorry the whole paragraph was long and I only needed this part.

C3: overall unemployment

"Estimates of the job losses of raising the minimum wage from $4.25 to $5.15 have ranged from 625,000 to 100,000 lost jobs. " (7)

So this makes sense. The raise would disqualify people who are worth less than 5$ from getting a job.

Only 1 study has reversed 300 years of min wage research, other economists tried to duplicate this study, but couldn't, all other studies indicated minimum wages increase unemployment. (7)(8)

It is almost a fact. It is well documented the minumum wage increases unemployment. (10)

C4: causes more school drop outs

One rarely talked about idea is that the minimum wage causes more highschool drop outs. (7) (9) (10)

Now how does this hurt the economy? A less educated populous leads to economic defeciencies as you will not have the nessacary skills in life. Really simple.

as I am on my phone I will just end. Vote pro! Next round 1 new argument may be added on my part.

Sources: (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7)
David and William Wascher, The Effect of New Jersey's Minimum Wage Increase on Fast-food Employment: A Re-evaluation using Payroll Records. National Bureau of Economic Research: Cambridge, MA, 1995. (8)
Neumark, David and William Wascher, The Effects of Minimum Wages on Teenage Employment and Enrollment: Evidence from Matched CPS Surveys. National Bureau for Economic Research: Cambridge, MA, 1995. (9) (10)


To start I would like to point out a very important flaw to my opponents case for ‘a minimum wage has bad effects on the economy’. Even if you take every contention he made at face value and consider them standing un-refuted by me, all he has amounted to showing is that ‘Raising the minimum wage has bad effects on the economy’. All of his arguments are based on the history of what happens when it goes up, which will might speak volumes for keeping it keeping it were its at or even trying to decrease it some but not strait up remove a minimum wage all together.

C1: Teenage unemployment.

Pro has tried to pass off Teenage unemployment off on an increase in the minimum wage. “the M. W. goes up, and we see teen unemployment go up too” so ergo its totally the M. W.’s fault. But this ignores the other factors wich I would even make the case are the primary reason for drop in teenage unemployment, the extended age of adolescence that has infected Generation Y.

fact is for teenagers in our new generation which I am a part of, opportunities for jobs or not their just not taking them seriously, wanting to have fun and put off responsibility until later in life. This has been attributed by Tim Elmor to lots of things like our connected to some kind of tech lives, or being told lies of ‘we can do anything if we try’ by our helicopter parents, and the new role of women in societies effect.

C2: Minority unemployment

Although the coincidence of what ethnics are already in poor area’s that are affected by what hurts the economy the most, I fail to see how observing they are minorities adds to the case. We do not owe the ethnics of the majority employment more than the minorities or vice versa. What matters is that employment goes up period. To give any special attention anyway to help the minorities in poorer areas would require working on cultural changes not….money regulation changes.

C3: Overall unemployment

I’m going to use this contention as a chance to address the ‘your worth 5 dollars for your skill’ thing, though my initial case this round was enough to negate it from affecting the resolution (just means don’t RAISE the M.W.).

That employers would naturally want to put a figure they like on how much they think your service, your time, and your talent should be worth like $5.00, is exactly the reason a M.W. is needed. That you might be low skilled is irrelevant. As inflation occurs and the cost of living go up causing workers to HAVE to work for more for it to be worth there valuable time, high skilled use of it or not, the cost of employing a worker has to go up too. Employers should have the freedom to offer wages higher or lower as they see fit, but they cant be allowed to drop them soooo low. There has to be a minimum.

Now setting the minimum too high Pro has shown results in adverse effects, but don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If my boss thought she could get away with only offering to pay me less than 7.25 an hour for working at the convenience store she almost certainly would especially if the economy drops. They cant set there tax’s but they can set my salary. While I understand only paying the minimum amount you have to for employing me to give up over half of the time in my week to keep her place of business operating at all is a rational choice for her especially when anyone could qualify for the job skill wise (my work ethic cant be so easily replaced though) it does not change that I or anyone else need to be paid at least a minimum amount. If I spend 38 hours a week at that place and just make 100 bucks, something is very wrong for all hours I have lost serving their customers and operating their store.

The best case that you make involves the simply math problem of if it cost more to employ me because of federal payroll taxes then what they make by my dedicated service keeping the store running then its literal charity on their part to employ me at all. While that sounds like a compelling argument on the surface but upon closer examination it really only logically supports the resolution “Payroll tax’s at their current rate are hurting the economy” or even “Tax’s are bad”. Change the tax’s not the M.W. doing otherwise would be like treating the symptoms and not the disease of that is this problem.

C4: Drop outs.

I agree fewer drop-outs help the economy, but after reading your source again and again I can’t see how it connects High School drop outs to no teenage job. And it goes against all of my common sense to think there can be any connection. I did not have a job going through high school or college with the exception of one lower than minimum wage summer job at camp. It paid as much as a union does to have you stand in a picket line for way less hours and work. I graduated High School with an advance diploma and I have two degrees from College now. (if your wondering why I have a minimum wage job, its called ‘adding work experience to the résumé).

Not having a job while you’re in high school makes it easier to focus on homework and classes, not make it harder causing you to drop out. That there are correlating rates between drop outs and the teen unemployment is almost a sure sign both are connected to the extended age of adolescence with our generation and not the M.W.

Because there is such a lack of logical reason employment status would directly affect (or indirectly) staying in public school is probably why its not talked about very often.

I await my opponents response.

Debate Round No. 2


I would like to say the BOP is even as this issue is contested, and he needs o have arguments not just rebuttals.

=defense of arguments=

RC1: Teenage unemployment

First, you provide links, which are sourcing what? I will not refute them as you need to say your arguments. They seem to be talking about the new era of adolescents. You need to learn how unemployment is counted, if your partying and not looking for a job you are not counted. Let me quote;

"Persons are classified as unemployed if they do not have a job, have actively looked for work in the prior 4 weeks, and are currently available for work." [1]

Now, if your argument where true they would not try to enter the workforce hence if your argument was correct there would be lower unemployment.

Why teen unemployment is high:

1. A high minimum wage makes it harder for them to get a job. (2)

Then other reasons.

Raising the minimum wage is followed by teenage unemployment. (3)

Now, abolishing the min wage would lower unemployment.

RC2: minorities

This is economics not ethics. Extend argument.

Now your only rebuttal is the minority can't affect the majority, false.

Let's be simple, school grades.

100+0= 50%
100+100+100+0= 75%

That minority 0 has an impact. Now I refer to former arguments.

RC3: overall employment

My opponent ignores the numbers and logic.

Min wage= 7$
I am worth 5$

Because if that wage I am now not eligible for work. Milton Freidman says it perfectly by the way. This wage makes it impossible for me to get a job.


You make odd conclusions, if you look at the studies it links it directly to the minimum wage. You seem to ignore these studies. Most economists agree the minimum wage hurts the economy. (4) (5)

First, raising the minimum wage would not reduce poverty. (6)
Second, current evidence, see graph, shows when the minimum wage goes up so does unemployment. (7) I press the point forward.

RC4: Drop outs

It is simple why, if you raise the min wage the kid says "cool 7$ per hour" well kids are dumb. Anyway they see immediate benifit with these wages, so they quit school to get the money, so naive. But this is what they do, they only think short term, and go where the money is, high minimum wages. (8)

Let me quote:

"That minimum-wage increases lead to higher dropout rates is exactly what Texas A&M economist Finis Welch found. Now that's a revelation, higher wages attract people into the workforce." (8)

So they just go $$$$$, but forget they could get more. But they go here instead. Now, as they cannot get a job it's a double whamie:

A. No job
B. no schooling.


More stats:

´┐ŻAnother side effect of raising the minimum wage is that it increases the number of high-school students who drop out (9) (10)

"An increase in the minimum wage to $5.15 an hour, as President Clinton proposes, would drive teenagers with few skills out of the workplace and out of the schools, say members of the African-American leadership group Project 21." (11)

Point advanced.

My point I promised to add on last round:

C5: outsources jobs

The minimum wage increases costs to the employer through a higher wage. (12)

One reason to outsource is lower wages. (13) In china you pay less ---> less cost to you ---> $$$$

Vs the minimum wage

Higher wages ---> expensive ---> move to china!


"When you force American companies to pay a certain wage, you increase the likelihood that those companies will outsource jobs to foreign workers, where labor is much cheaper. There has been a lot of attention lately on the subject of job "outsourcing", where U.S. companies hire foreign workers instead of Americans. When businesses outsource American jobs, they're not doing it because they hate America; they're doing it because they're trying to cut costs. When you increase the price of labor in America, you create an additional incentive for businesses to hire Canadian, Mexican, or other foreign workers. The best way to stop outsourcing of jobs is to provide the best conditions for doing business in America. A minimum wage just makes things tougher for companies to do business in America.´┐Ż Remember that American companies may have no choice but to outsource with the high cost in the U.S.--they may go out of business entirely if they can't cut costs to a level that's competitive with foreign competitors." (4)

Vote Pro! [1] (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) (9)
Neumark, David and William Wascher, The Effects of Minimum Wages on Teenage Employment and Enrollment: Evidence from Matched CPS Surveys. National Bureau for Economic Research: Cambridge, MA, 1995. (10) (11) (12) (13)


By rebutting your points individually I seem to have distracted you to what I labled my main argument. Let me restate it now.

All that you have argued only amounts to make the case to not raise the minimum wage, or even keep it the same. This does not mean get rid of it all together.

You gave stats for what has happened when it goes up. I did not contest that. Why would I? I’m not arguing to have us raise it and I don’t want us to raise it.

But there has to be one of some kind. Your assumption is flawed to label yourself ‘worth 5 dollars’. You work is not ‘worth 5 dollars’ if the minimum wage is set at 7.

The minimum wage sets the market supply for help at a minimum of 7.25. if there is higher demand than it can go up for what they offer to pay to get you working but there offer cant go below that. You cant count on employers to think of you or me the worker first, or to even give you what you are ‘bare minimum worth’.

Here are some numbers for you that matter to me, a southerner who actually knows what it means to be called a ‘redneck’. 10,000

10,000 coal miners in west virgina risked there lives and some of them giving them even on Blair Mountain, to ensure the corrupt mine company owners did not walk all over them. From these coal miners was the term ‘redneck’ born for the bandanas they whore around there necks.

Youve used math examples based on us being worth just 5 dollars, but you have not done anything to make me think anything defines us as so. as far as I'm concerned my boss gets 7.25 an hour out of me everytime I come to work and if the minimum wage changed and so did my pay then she would get that much work out of me though the work would still be the same. the market for employes would have gone up and thus my times worth.

You have made compelling cases to not raise it, fine dont. lower it even if its apparent its worth any low skilled workers time to come out work for that much. but there is a minimum needed to make it worth any workers time no matter the job.

"well they just have to suck it up its a job...."

NO. same logic but reversed

"well they just have to suck it up, its a worker...." (said toward the employers).

there is no reason to give employers consideration before employes espically when it was seen how bad that could get in west virgina before the Union fought back.

There is a minimum that any laborer's time should cost at. Is it nessesary 7.25? To prove the resolution I dont need to prove that specific, and the mimum is subject to change with economic changes.

Though I dont want this to destract you from that main argument, I do want to a quickly address one very insulting thing you said that has really, really, really set me off, as this kind of attitude has always angered me all my life.

"Kids are dumb"

No adults are dumb. dumb, stubborn, and senile.

Debate Round No. 3


"All that you have argued only amounts to make the case to not raise the minimum wage, or even keep it the same. This does not mean get rid of it all together."

Raising the minimum wage is bad, and the minimum wage = a higher wage anyway, therefore lowering it would be benificial and getting rid of it = a lowering. " South Africa is a sad example of the fact that minimum wage laws end up hurting, rather than helping, the poor and unskilled." [1]

It is simple how a even small minimum wage is bad:

Let's say it is 4$ only:

If the cost of your labor is more then the output you make, then chances are the emloyer is losing money and is mor elikely to fire you. [1]

The minimum wage has clear effects: The minimum wage reduces employment. [2] [3] The minimum wage hurts the less skilled for the reasons above. [4] The minimum wage lowes employment in industries like retail that have lower paid workers. [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] Another prof that the minimuwage hurts the economy: The minimum wage increases the amou of people on welfare. [10] [11]That means it increases the amount of people on welfare. Further more, one of the reasons people hire minimum wag eworkers is because of the minimum wage. A minimum wage causes people to hire illegal imagrants. [12]

For the reasons above the minimum wage increases unemployment, = worse economy.

Also if you are worth 5$, then a 7$ minimum wage disqualifies you from getting a job. If the employer loeses money hiring you he is gonna either 1) not hire you 2) fire you.

Further more teenage unemployment is raised and effected more drastically then adult unemployment, althou still effected, by minimum wage laws. [13] [14] [15]

My opponent didn't like my other args so I modified, and either way a minimum wage is in itself a wage raise. So if I showed (which I have) higher wags are bad them a minimum wage in itself is raising unemployment, having a miimum wage at 0$ would be better for the economy alower wges are better. Obviously if your worth 2$ you will get paid that. [16]

I have provided statistics so I have won ths point.

I extend C4.


I have proven the minimum wage does all of wht I said it did. It is bad, it increses drop out rates. [17] [18] [19] He droped that btw. It does not lower poverty. [20] [21] And it even hurts the poor. [22] All of these things hurt the economy, and the minimum wage causes it. The minimum wage is not good for the economy. Vote PRO!

Also for studies cited please give the cedit of me finding them to this website:

Just google the name and year then add minimum wage study for my sources that are not links.

sources: [1]
Currie and Fallick (1993) [2]
Gallasch (1975) [3]
Krumm (1981). [4]
Cotterman (1981) [5]
Douty (1960) [6]
Fleisher (1981) [7]
Hammermesh (1981) [8]
Peterson (1981). [9]
Brandon (1995) [10]
Leffler (1978). [11]
Beranek (1982). [12]
Adie (1973); [13]
Brown, Gilroy and Kohen (1981a, 1981b);[14]
Fleisher (1981)[15] [16] [17]
David Neumark and William Wascher, "Minimum Wages and Skill Acquisition: Another Look at Schooling Effects,"Economics of Education Review 22:1-10. [18] [19]
Bonilla (1992) [20]
Brown (1988) [21]
Stigler (1946) [22]


"Since getting the minimum wage removed is lowing the minimum wage, it would benifit to get remove it"

By this same logic I could say

"eating less keeps you from getting fat, and since not eating at all would lower how much you eat, it would benefit you to quit eating"


"shorting you hair makes you look cuter, so since shaving your head shortens your hair, shaving your head will make you look cuter"

At some point, with either of those, you cross a threshold of the benefits of shortening your hair or eating less. You have to eat some, what’s minimum necessary or you die. And whether or not you find baldness a good hairstyle or not, you don’t find it so on the same grounds of ‘shorter is better’.

I as a worker, when I go home I have basic minimum expenses, not talking about luxuries like paying for the movies, games, music. There’s a minimum I have to pay to put gas in my truck so I can get to work on time, there’s a minimum I have to pay for other basic bills I might have like phone, electric, heating, rent, groceries for the week. If I am payed under those expenses THEN I AM DOING CHARITY by working for the employer who wants to pay me less than the gas it took to drive to work each day that week.

And as it would turn out, my expenses in basic utilities are not different than anyone else’s can be expected to be. So this minimum needed to make it worth a workers time is the same for any worker. Should employers go under that threshold your just asking to push the bulk of the workforce in the whole nation on welfare to help make that minimum payments, and that is definitely not better for the economy.

Your arguments have continued to hinge on saying “If your worth 5 bucks”, if the cost of living is 7.25 an hour than bare minimum I am worth 7.25 an hour for my time.

It also does not cost outside of my wage to employ me for my minimum wage job. My small convenience store owner does not pay for my medical bill if I have them, they don’t pay for my gas, or to feed me, or anything like that. All that goes into the cost of having me stand there at the cash register and keeping the shelves stocked and various other duties is a paycheck every 2 weeks.

Any cost that are involved in keeping me employed that you may have mentioned are not connected directly to the inherent expenses of running a business. Like payroll taxes. If that is causing the expense in taxs higher than their net profits after I have been paid, then the payroll taxes out to be lowered not my dirt low wage that barely pays for the gas in my truck to drive to the store (and I live pretty close)

If your talking about how much they make from sales net profit and that not meeting what it takes to pay me and the other employees, then they need to hire less and work some themselves in there own store if there not doing good enough in business right now to pay us all. Harsh as that sounds though paying all of us just a little bit less than enough to get by is still not enough to get by and we employees need to quite and go work somewhere else anyway. Better that fewer of us are being paid enough than all of the employees doing charity by showing up to work being paid less than the trip and time is worth.

So in Conclusion

1) Keeping employers from doing charity does not come before keeping employees from doing charity

2) The basic cost of living are around the same amount for anybody

3) Paying below the cost of living forces employees on welfare to be able to meet them.

4) If the store does not make enough to pay all the employees wages, they should not have so many employees

5) If tax’s on employing me are higher than the store profits, lower the tax

6) All your sources are still just odd statistics; there is no logical reason to connect school drop outs with unemployment. I stayed in school and was never employed until after I got 2 Associates degrees. Obviously in spite of the numbers from one does not follow the other or my life would be very different, so there must be other causes of the high school drop out rates, like culture problems.

7) Eating less may make for a better diet, but eating nothing while it is eating less is not a good diet

8) Any employee is at bear minimum worth is the hourly wage that would meet there cost of living if they were given the chance to work enough hours there.

My opponent has argued well this debate and clearly outsourced me though much of it was not links I could actually click on. I have enjoyed this debate and I thank my opponent for finishing it with me.

Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
Well obviously hes more skilled! He's older and I was phone debating.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
No one read my final arguments which where only minimum wage related not a raise...
Posted by Zaradi 6 years ago
I would vote on this, but I technically haven't finished three full debates, even though I'm currently participating in four or five. But whatevs. I ain't even mad.

As much as I think con was the more skilled debater here, I end up voting pro and here's why: I think the entire thing ends up coming down to what is the BOP placed on the pro. As much as the pro wanted the BOP to be even, it was square on the pro to prove that having a minimum wage could lead to bad effects. Which, I feel, that it did. Even if the link story for it being true is sketch, which I concede, I give it strength of link since it was insufficiently responded to. I'll explain why I believe this in a second.

But the main slip-up on the con's part is mistaking the pro's responsibility as per the resolution. Since the resolution only talks about how having a minimum wage is bad, all the pro really has to do is say why having one could be bad. I feel that the pro sufficiently does this, even in some point you concede this, and this is where I inevitably affirm.

Just letting you guys know, it took me a whole thirty minutes to come to this decision. Both debaters could've done a lot to make things clearer on how I am to weigh things. But aside from clarity issues, I thought this debate was okay. Good job.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
I wishi had 1 refutation your eating comment is lol. Not eating = death, no minimum wage = more employment.
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
lol kk
Posted by thett3 6 years ago
16k, maybe you should consider making a seperate debate to place sources in (like this:, or this: to save characters for arguments?
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
my sources are as long as my args!
Posted by 16kadams 6 years ago
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I still can't believe imabench gave con sources when it is obvious that pro won in that category. And his arguments were better and weren't completely countered by con.
Vote Placed by jimtimmy 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro was more than able to show that the minimum wage has substantial negative effects on employment, especially for teenagers. Pro also won sources.
Vote Placed by imabench 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: this really was a debate of how the minimum wage is bad only if it is raised and not really that the minimum wage is bad overall to the economy, so the Pro did not substantially meet his BOP. Arguments go to the con but the pro, as usual, saturated his half of the debate with sources so he gets that.
Vote Placed by trippledubs 6 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Really good debate on both sides. The resolution hurt Pro once Con brought it up. raising vs. abolishing. Then the threshhold argument scored.. I was with Pro once he brought up BOP, but Con iterated over what I thought were better points at the very end. Good arguments both sides