The Instigator
beachgirl67
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
CameronTruehart
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points

The federal minimum wage should be increased

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/6/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 756 times Debate No: 71209
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (0)

 

beachgirl67

Con

First round is just acceptance. Excited to debate with someone, good luck :)
CameronTruehart

Pro

The minimum wage increasing will allow more people to have more money, stimulating the economy and helping citizens who are currently in poverty reach out of it, take a foothold, and stay in the middle class. (1)
These workers are not making enough to live on in this economy, and they need more. Unfortunately, jobs are very limited due to our ever rising population. (2)
There has been discussion about how increasing the minimum wage will increase prices, and this is always a fear but unfortunately for this side; increasing the minimum wage and increasing prices would be disaster for these companies. The more money they have, the more they are willing to spend on luxury goods and more expensive food. This would increase sales and return on investment for companies. They must be made aware of this, and there must be checks in place to protect the costumers from overzealous companies and organizations.
Most of the big names who are against the minimum wage increasing, tend to be owners, backers, or stockholders of very large companies that have had very shady practices regarding the minimum wage. Such as Walmart, McDonald's, etc.

(1) http://www.postcrescent.com...
(2) http://www.salary.com...
Debate Round No. 1
beachgirl67

Con

While people working for minimum wage would earn more, this would also mean the employer would have to pay them more. This means many people could get fired from work. Also as you mentioned, this would result in higher prices for their goods. In the long run, these higher prices could hurt everyone, not just those living on minimum wage.

A CBO report from 2013 states that half a million jobs would be lost if the federal wage would be raised to $10.10 ( as many people want it to be ) The report also estimates that many job benefits would be lost, such as paid vacation and reimbursed parking.

Another point I want to add is a higher minimum wage would hurt the development of people. Say you're in highschool and the new minimum wages looks pretty good to you. Many teens chose to drop out of highschool and not bother to attend college. These higher wages very well could entice teens and others to not go/go back to college because they are already making more money doing something so easy, like working at a fast food restaurant. In 2011, 3.8 million Americans were working for the federal minimum wage, more than half of them teens.

About 70% of minimum wage employees work fewer than 35 hours a week. They work less, and their job is a lot easier than ones that require a college education. Why should we give more money to people doing less work? They work less and the job is easier, thus they earn proportionally less.

In conclusion, we should not increase the federal minimum wage. By doing so, the quantity and quality of jobs decrease, and people very well may lose their strive to go to college and get a better education.

Sources- Salary.com, Economicshelp.org, Balancedpolitics.org
CameronTruehart

Pro

You seem to be forgetting that people are forced into living on minimum wage due to the shrinking amount of well paying, high education jobs available.
Again, there must be checks. For a Fortune 500 company to cut employees because they are making more per hour shows that, once again, these companies are shady and will do anything to make the big bucks.
These people living on minimum wage do not make enough to get by, they lack the ability to break out of this cycle due to the lack of funding that they receive. (1)
Quoting from the article:
"Raising the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour, would inject an amazing $9.5 billion extra spending power into the economy (this assumes all 3.8 million workers are making exactly $7.25, that each additional dollar earned is spent, and that none of the 3.8 million are earning wages below the federal minimum wage " even though there are 9 states that are below this level or which have no minimum wage law).

If the minimum wage were instead raised to where it should be, at least $10 per hour (which would still put it below the minimum wage in 1968), this would release at least $60 billion over two years into the economy..

On top of this, an increased minimum wage may also lead to an increase in the hourly pay of other low-wage workers that only make slightly more than the federal minimum wage. This increased purchasing power across the board helps stimulate the economy and benefits small businesses, many of which were hardest hit by the recession."

As you can see, increasing the minimum wage will also increase the economy and allow for more spending of the individual workers. Currently, these workers do not making enough. Some states do not even have minimum wage, or they offer much lower than the federal wage. The increase would force companies in these states to give minimum wage, and this would in turn increase the purchasing that these workers receive and may even help them out of this deadly cycle of low income.

Sources:
(1) http://www.timeforaraise.org...
Debate Round No. 2
beachgirl67

Con

I know some people are forced to work minimum wage, but many dropouts have the opportunity to keep going in their education and chose not to because of the enticing pay and easier work.

You mention people would be paid more, but you either get paid more or get paid nothing since many people end up getting laid off. I think it would be better if more people had jobs, but the jobs paid less then less people getting work but those who do get paid more. You mention we would get 9.5 billion dollars into the economy, but the quality of the economy itself would decrease, considering there would be less jobs and the jobs lack the quality they used to. This would make it harder for anyone to find jobs in the first place, hurting the economy further. It would be like pumping money into the economy, but getting nothing back in return. You seem to be focusing on just the benefits to the poor, while in doing so you are hurting everyone else.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only about 5% of US hourly paid workers for for or below the federal minimum wage. Out of these, most are young, unskilled, high school dropouts. Consider this situation- the wage increases, and since they have to pay more the corporation has to fire some employees. Who are they going to fire; unskilled, younger people with a lower education, or educated people with more experience and skills? The choice is obvious! This would hurt the poor more than help them, because instead of a lower paying jobs they would end up with nothing. I get they can't get out of the poor cycle and some are unable to attain good education, but now they are completely unable to obtain a job rather than get one, albeit with low pay. But some money is better than none.

So, we've established that minimum wage jobs are usually taken by unskilled and generally uneducated people who are poor. Since they are poor, they can't get a good education, so basically they are forced into a lower paying job. But why should they get paid more? Sadly, they are unskilled so they should do a basic job. Is there a reason to give these people more money for bagging groceries and flipping burgers? What i'm trying to say is the amount of money they get is proportional to the amount of work they do and how hard the job is. We'd be giving them more money for doing a basic job that doesn't take much intelligence to complete.

Once again, this higher wage would hurt small businesses more than help them. Since they aren't a large corporation, they aren't as affluent and usually have lower pay for workers. Now, they have to pay their workers more. This would make it a lot easier for small businesses to go bankrupt, and they wouldn't be able to give their workers usual job benefits. Again, the quantity and quality of jobs would go down.

Your main point is that a higher minimum wage would help people get out of a low income cycle, when it would do just the opposite. Many people who made low income would end up with no income since they had to get laid off, and small business owners who make less as it is would struggle to get by. Smaller/family businesses would definitely suffer.

Sources- fff.org, Huffington Post News website
CameronTruehart

Pro

So because these people are not the ideal societal members, we should forget about them and leave them to their fates? We should leave the group who is forced into these jobs to suffer and make below the amount required to live?

You also forget that the price to live has increased, and it will only continue to increase. And with the current minimum wage, these people will continue to seep deeper and deeper into poverty. (1)

Quoting from the article:

"When the cost of living goes up, so should wages. It's common sense. While serving in the US Congress, we supported reasonable periodic increases in the federal minimum wage to enable workers to better support their families and keep up with the economy. And we rallied our Republican and Democratic colleagues to make it the law.

But the last time Congress voted to raise the wage to its current rate of $7.25 an hour was seven years ago. Since then, the cost of life's essentials have shot up. Groceries cost 20% more, a gallon of gas costs 25%more, and average tuition at a community college increased 44%. But the minimum wage remains at $7.25. If it had kept up with inflation since 1968, it would be almost $10.70 today."

These people deserve to have their wages increased as the price of living increases, for the time that was a proper minimum wage. Now? Prices have increased and to live costs more. Should they be forsaken to this fate as the prices continue to rise every year? Raise the minimum wage and leave it that way for ten years then go back and review the situation. Change the minimum wage to be parallel to the price of living. As it increases, raise the wage, as it decreases, lower the wage.

Sources:
(1) http://www.usatoday.com...
Debate Round No. 3
beachgirl67

Con

The minimum wage has been raised in several areas already, and has shown some harmful side effects. Take Oakland, California as an example. The minimum wage there has rose to $12.25 hourly. A CNN report was shocked to find the usually affluent Bay Area had a high level of child poverty. Economists there thought a wage hike would help decrease the poverty, but it did the exact opposite. The 2003 wage increase was supposed to have an immediately positive effect on people there, but that was not what happened. According to the City and County of San Francisco"s Office of Economic Analysis, The food service industry saw a -2.3% job loss and the former booming manufacturing industry saw a -8.5% job loss. Now, looking at the community demographics, about 14.1% of the families there live in poverty. This wage hike hit single mother families hard. Single mothers with a child/children under five had about a 42.3% poverty rate. The minimum wage law increased the number of children in poverty, it did not help families!

This is a perfect example of a time where the minimum wage increase did the exact opposite of what it was supposed to do. As you can see, it hit single mother families hardest, which are the ones who need the most help. The economy in Oakland took a sharp nose dive. As you can see, increasing the minimum wage did not help break the low income cycle. In fact, it made the whole situation worse. Many places in California have had similar experiences, too many to describe them all here. The state in general is pushing for increased minimum wage, which as you can see, has not benefited many of the cities it was implemented in. For these reasons, I believe it would be best for everyone AND the economy if the federal minimum wage did not increase. I fear it may have the same effects it did in Oakland nation-wide.

Source- Americanthinker.com, Minimum-wage.org Vote con!
CameronTruehart

Pro

But again, the cost of living is increasing. The only way to fix that problem, caused by inflation, is to stimulate the economy through an increase in the minimum wage.
Increasing the wage would assist many people, mostly those who are in poverty. As discussed by CNN (1).

Quoting from the article:
"Last week Oxfam released a new study that dispels many of the political myths surrounding the nation's minimum wage debate. It shows not only that increasing the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour would give some 25 million workers across America a much-needed raise, but also that, on average, one in five workers in every single congressional district in America -- red or blue -- would benefit from such a raise.

In fact, according to our data, a hike in the minimum wage would benefit more than 55,000 workers in the average congressional district."

This increase has been proven to assist workers across America, helping those in every state.

Quoting from the Study done by Oxfam:

"The districts with the highest percentages of workers who would benefit from a higher minimum wage are a diverse mix " at least 29 percent of workers in districts like South Florida, rural South Texas, and Bakersfield, California." (2)

This increase would benefit workers across the nation, but assisting those mainly in the states with the highest number of workers. This is what America needs, a chance to fix this poverty problem by attacking the source; low income. The price to live has risen over these seven years, and it is time that we fix that mistake.

Sources:
(1)http://www.cnn.com...
(2) http://www.oxfamamerica.org...
Debate Round No. 4
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