The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour
Debate Rounds (4)
Simple debate on whether the minimum wage should be raised to 15 dollars. I'm Con on this, so Pro will debate for a 15 dollar minimum wage in the United States.
BOP is shared
1st round acceptance
Any violations of rules will be result in an immediate loss.
The US federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.
Unfortunately, I have to forfeit this round. I been too busy with school, and wasn't able to make my arguments in time. It's up to my opponent whether he believes I should be penalized for this. I'll accept his choice.
Sorry for the inconvience.
- The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour
The federal minimum wage has been $7.25 / hour since July 24, 2009. 
“In the 2014 State of the Union address, President Obama called again on Congress to raise the national minimum wage, and soon after signed an Executive Order to raise the minimum wage for the individuals working on new federal service contracts.” 
There is much debate among policy makers about the merits of minimum wage and about the effects of different policies. The conservative narrative is that having a minimum wage increases unemployment among teens and other unskilled workers. The liberal position points to research done by David Card and Alan Krueger that concludes that there is no evidence that raising worker pay had killed jobs. 
There is so much conformational bias among those writing on the subject that the experts look at the same data and come to opposite conclusions.
Some researchers say that raising the minimum wage will cause increased unemployment. Card and Krueger found that an increase of 19% in the minimum wage ($4.25 to $5.05) did not reduce employment rates. 
Some say that an increase in minimum wage will cause an unacceptable increase in prices. If the minimum wage were increased to $15 an hour, prices at fast food restaurants would rise by an estimated 4.3 percent, according to a new study. That would mean a McDonald’s Big Mac, which currently goes for $3.99, would cost about 17 cents more, or $4.16. 
Some claim that an increase in the minimum wage will reduce staff turnover. “In 2013, the turnover rate for franchises was 93 percent, and it can cost $4,700 per worker who leaves. A previous study found that for every 10 percent increase in the minimum wage, turnover drops by 2.2 percent, and a $15 wage would come with $5.2 billion in savings for the fast food industry.” 
All of this calls into question the published literature on the minimum wage. “The minimum-wage effects literature is contaminated by publication selection bias, which we estimate to be slightly larger than the average reported minimum-wage effect. Once this publication selection is corrected, little or no evidence of a negative association between minimum wages and employment remains.”
The misinformation around the minimum wage is so constant that the U.S. Department of Labor has set up a web page trying to debunk the common myths. 
In light of this we need to do a controlled experiment on a national scale to see both the value and the harm done by raising the minimum wage raised by a significant amount.
The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.
This should be introduced incrementally so we can measure the effects of the change to the federal minimum wage. (I suggest $2.58 / hour increase on Jan 1 each year for 3 years).
This would give us good data to draw some conclusions about what effects the minimum wage has on around issues of poverty and economics.
Here are some questions that need more data.
Does increasing the minimum wage reduce jobs?
- Current data says job growth is better with an increase in minimum wage.
Does increasing the minimum wage help the poor?
- Current research suggest it will mostly help middle class white women.
Does increasing the minimum wage reduce poverty?
- Current research suggests that most in poverty are not working at minimum wage jobs.
The prime factors causing poverty are: Current Poor Economy; Drug Use; Lack of Education and Medical Expenses.
Do we even have a good definition of poverty? 
Current definitions of poverty (for government policy considerations) have nothing to do with insufficient food or insufficient housing.
The minimum wage debate is crippled by a lack of good information.
Statements of position are presented like articles of faith which demand belief without question. We should raise the minimum wage substantially so we can see what effect, if any, all our minimum wage policies have. Then we can see if the minimum wage is a useful economic too or not.
- The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour
Why the Federal minimum wage shouldn't be raised to $15.
Since this debate is specifically about the Federal minimum wage, my arguments will focus on that. Since I missed a round, I will also provide my rebutalls to my opponents arguments.
Cost of Living
The cost of living varies across many states, and establishing a $15 federal minimum wage would either hurt a state, or overpay it's workers. We can use this tool provided by CNN to analyse this. Say we were to establish a $15 dollar federal minimum wage in place such as Des Moines, then the cost will be different in a state such as New York. For this example I will be using the $10.10 minimum wage, but all you have to do is extrapolate the data to see what will happen if we implement a 15 dollar minimum wage.
For example, if Des Moines, Iowa, had a minimum wage of $10.10, that would only equal a $4.12 per hour rate when measured by the real costs of working and living in New York City. On the other hand, it would take $24.77 to equal the Des Moines rate." These changes can be seen if we continue to compare other states. A federal minimum wage is just ineffective, because it's hard to pinpoint the right wage on a federal standpoint. Something such as minimum wage is best left to the local counties or municipalities. Many states already have minimum wage laws that are set higher than the federal standard, and it's best if we let them take control of this, because they are accomodate their needs better.
Will lead to job loss
Think about the following senario. An employer has a worker, who generates him 20 dollars renvenue every hour. The owner pays him 15 dollars/hour, and makes $5 profit every hour. Now, the owner hires another worker, but he only generates 12 dollars revenue every hour. The owner pays him 7 dollars/hour, and generates $5 profit.
Now, suppose a 15 dollar minimum wage is implemented, this would effect the owner very much. The worker was only generating 12 dollars, will know be paid 15 dollars for his work. What does that mean? It means the owner is losing money. No owner will want to keep losing potential profit, so he will likely fire the new employee. This is basic supply and demand law. And this According to several studies done by economists, they have come to the conclusion that minimium wage hikes will lead to job loss. This would also be significant since 64% of job creations come from small buisnesses.
Here is some more evidence that proves minimum wage constitutes job loss. According to Federal Reserve bank of Chicago, “10 percent increase in the minimum wage lowers low skill employment by 2 to 4 percent and total restaurant employment by 1 to 3 percent.” According to the American Economist, 61% of economists were against the idea of a minimum wage raise. All this evidence indicates that the minimum wage hike is a job killer, and that it shouldn't be increased to $15 especially. Alan Kruger, a economist who once did a study on minimum wage effects in New Jersey, opposed a $15 dollar minimum wage stating a $15-an-hour national minimum wage would put us in uncharted waters, and risk undesirable and unintended consequences." Here is a graph showing the rise of teen unemployment after the minimum wage increase. Nearly after every minimum wage increase, unemployment rates have increased.
Does very little to help the poor
Emperical dates indicates that a minimum wage hike doesn't really effect the poor, because 60% of those in poverty are not even in the workforce. So, this would make it harder for them to get a job, because employers will try to hire those who are most experienced and more equiped for the job, even though the minimum wage job was meant for youngsters to get job experience. "Research from economists at American University and Cornell University in 2008 showed the many state minimum-wage increases between 2003 and 2007 did nothing to reduce poverty rates. And economists at Ohio University found the federal minimum wage didn’t decrease poverty, and may actually have increased poverty for certain subgroups."
The earned income tax credit is a refundable tax credit for low- to moderate-income working individuals and couples, particularly those with children. This method is far more feasible as means of reducing poverty than increasing the minimum wage. EITC does not have such detrimental employment effects such as unemployment and outsourcement of job but works the other way around for it really is a subsidy to employers to employ low value labor. Here is a graph showing the wages of employees without their EITC, and with their EITC.
As you can see, the EITC boosts wages, and this will help reduce the wage gap between the rich and poor. The best part is, the unemployment disadvantages that minimum wage creates are not present. Other studies also prove that EITC decreases unemployment. Hoynes and Patel also find that the EITC has significantly boosted employment. A $1,000 increase in the credit translates into a 7.3 percentage-point increase in the employment of single mothers. This means that as a result of the boost in 1993, hundreds of thousands of women have entered the workforce. Notable people such as Warren Baffett have said expanding EITC is the right thing to do.
A $15 dollar minimum wage is not the way to go, because it's ignores the cost of livings by state, increases unemployment, does very little to reduce poverty, and other solutions such as EITC are much more effective.
From reading Pro's arguments, I feel like he is focusing more on the idea of a minimum wage, rather than $15 dollar figure. I'd like to mention the debate wasn't really about that, and Pro is most certainly aware of that, especially since he accepted the debate saying he would argue for a $15 dollar minimum wage.
C1: David Card's study
For Pro's first argument, he says that the Conservative narrtative about minimum wage killing jobs is false, because a study done by David Card and Alan Krueger demostrate that this isn't the case. First we need to look at what their actual study was about. It was comparing the minimum wages of two cities which compared the fast food prices of New Jersey and Pennsylvania. It's important to note that this study was done by comparing two cities with similar costs of living. Also, the increase did not show any data that the minimum wage was a positive thing, rather there wasn't much of an impact with the unemployment. However, this debate is about a $15 federal minimum wage. So, this example is apples and oranges in many instances, because comparing minimum wage increases among cities is much different than minimum wage increase nationwide. Interesting enough, Alan Kruger himself said he was against the idea of increasing the minimum wage to $15.
C2: Price Increases and everything else
I'll admit I'm a bit confused now, because Pro makes some arguments against the minimum wage, which are increased food costs. Not sure how I'll refute this.
Pro's arguments about the bias in minimum wage articles, is rather defensive. Even if those arguments are biased, it doesn't give any reason why the $15 dollar minimum wage should be there. This is more of a rebutall than an argument.
Regarding the link of the Department of Labor, many of those arguments are just cherrypicked examples of some studies which show a net positive in minimum wage. For example, the first rebutall by the DOL shows that hundreds of economists agreed with Obama, but these don't represent every ecnonmist. Most economists are against the idea of the minimum wage, so this is just a cherrypicked argument. Also, Obama's proposal is not a $15 increase, but a $10.10 increase. There is not gurantee all those economists would still support a $15 minimum wage.
Finally, Pro's gives an argument states that gradually increasing it would give us good data to draw conclusions, but that isn't reallly an argument for an increase. That's like saying we should just ban all guns, so we can see how it effects the crime rate, but ignoring all the colleral damage caused by it! Minimum wage increases will increase unemployment as I have shown, and is ineffective in reducing poverty.
Summary from Round 2
The Cost of Living
The problem with Pro's accusation is that he assumes I was arguing for abolishing the minimum wage. This is wrong, because I said no such thing. All I said was that it was ineffective, and it was better handled at the state or local level. Pro also seems to think that it was outside the scope of this debate, but no where in my resolution did I mention such a thing. All that is being argued is me opposing the $15 FEDERAL minimum wage. I can present any argument that I want, that shows that the United States of America shouldn't implement it. Pro says that I provided no data that shows a $15 dollar minimum wage causes unemployment, but how could I do that, when there isn't a National minimum wage? Instead I have shown minimum wage increases have resulted in unemployment, but Pro is ignoring that.
Again, Pro is mistaking my arguments, and saying that a Federal Minimum wage isn't not decided by the states. That wasn't the point of my argument. It was to show that increasing the federal minimum wage is inefficient, but it something such as minimum wage is better handled at a state level. Pro is stating that the minimum wage is is designed to get a people to have a better standard of living, but he forget this is done at the expense of employees, who will soon be forced to pay people more than they are worth. Pro completely concedes my analogy with Des Moines and New York, on how a $15 dollar minimum wage doesnt take the cost of living into factor.
Will lead to job loss
Pro is insisting that I provide an example of an employers. who fired people. When Wal-Mart hiked the minimum wage, it was expected it would fire 1000 employees. In another study, it showed that 38% of employers would fire workers if they were to hike the minimum wage to $10.10. Now you just need to imagine what that number would be if it were $15.
Pro is saying that 52% of economists in that study support increasing the minimum wage , which is a complete lie. In the study itself, it only says 38% support increase the minimum wage. Now, we need to relook at this. What exactly is Pro proposing? A Federal $15 dollar minimum wage. If we use that criteria, only 16.7% support increasing by more than $1 per hour. However we don't actually know how high that number is, just it's more than $1. So it's likely that number is less than 16.7%.
Having already refuted this argument, Pro clings onto the fact that several ecnonomists have supported President Obama's propsal to increase the minimum wage. I already mentioned that Obama's plan was to increase to $10.10, not $15. Pro's point ultimately falls flat because he has no evidence that shows ecnonomists would support a $15 minimum wage. Throughout the whole debate, he has cherry-picked economists that only either say increasing the minimum wage wouldn't cause substancial loss or have said they support increasing it to a number much smaller than $15.
Finally, Pro gives us some examples of employees who get paid a minimum wage somewhat closer to his proposed $15 minimum wage. I can relate to this much better than the examples he provided earlier, although this is technically an argument, and not a rebutall. So, what Pro provided us is a minimum wage increase on a local level. As I have said before, I'm not opposed to a minimum wage increase in local levels, because I already acknowledged that the cost of living is quite different in different states and cities.
In a state such as San Francisco, it makes a lot of sense, because the cost of living there is quite high, compared to other cities. The problem is that if we were to implement it nation-wide, other states or cities with low cost of livings, will suffer from things such as unemployment and inflation, because their workers will be paid more money than they are generating money.
Pro is now saying that there is no evidence for job loss from a $15 dollar minimum wage. That is true, but I have shown there is evidence for job loss during minimum wage hikes with several studies done by economists. I even showed that Alan Kreuger, an ecnonomist who did a minimum wage study in New Jersey, opposed the minimum wage to $15.
Does very little to help the poor
In this argument Pro is stating that I support abandoning the minimum wage because it does very little to help the poor. But this isn't the point of that argument. I showed with evidence that a minimum wage hike actually does make it harder for the poor to enter the workplace, which Pro doesn't adresss. Somehow, me saying we shouldn't raise it to $15 translates to "WE ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH" On top of that, Pro says it's a fallacy, but he doesn't he take the time to tell what kind of fallacy I committed. So, Pro fails to refute the negative impacts of raising the minimium wage, and instead resorts to calling my argument a fallacy. Which in fact, is a fallacy itself.
While I'll agree that this isn't a minimum wage, it doesn't mean it is outside the scope of the debate. I didn't just say we should expand EITC, but I also said it works better than a minimum wage, because it doesn't bring along the negative impacts of the minimum wage. Con concedes that, and is saying we should expand both.
David Card’s study
So, earlier I said that the study didn't show proof that the minimum wage was a good thing. His reply is that those with the increase were happy with it. This isn't an acceptable rebutall, because who would be sad when they receive a pay raise? Why not just increase the minimum wage to $100, and those people will be even more happier. Does that mean it's a good thing? Not really.
First of all I never said it was good science, and I'm not sure where Pro seems to get this from. And the point of my comment directly ties in with the comparision I made earlier with Des Moines and New York. The changes wouldn't be substancially different when compared to New Jersey and Pennslyania, but when we make it at Federal level, we see the problem it might cause. Pro has not refuted this.
Pro says that I gave no reference to Alan Kreugers comment, but I clearly did. I gave a link to the comment, and I quoted his exact words. Also when Alan Kreguer made that comment, he was referring to Bernie Sander's proposal of $15. Bernie Sanders is running for president in 2016, so this comment is not outdated. Pro lies once again, and tries to present wrong information by saying he will assume this took place in 1992.
This is precisely why I was confused in the beggining. I'm not sure why Pro is making arguments in my favor. But I'll go with it. Pro shows the prices of food items will go up, and this definetly doesn't indicate we should increase the minimum wage.
Arguments Pro has conceded
A $15 Minimum wage create unemployment
The minimum wage doesn't take the cost of living into factor
Economist such as Alan Kreuger are against it a $15 increase specifically
EITC will help people more than a $15 Minimum wage
Increasing the minimum wage will drive costs up in fast food restaurants
60% of those in poverty aren't even working
The majority of economists are against a raise, and support Abolishing it
I urge voters to vote Con, because I have shown the harmful impacts of raising the Federal minimum wage to $15, and I also provided a much better solution in the form of a tax break, which would work better than a minimum wage in reducing poverty.
Please Vote Con
Also, I thank Pro for this debate, and wish him goodluck in the voting period.
In round 4 I want to cover the following :
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 9 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: This is a vote out of the voters union. RFD IN COMMENTS - If either side has any issue with this vote feel free to let me know.
Vote Placed by Juan_Pablo 9 months ago
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments section.
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