The Instigator
Con (against)
14 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
7 Points

The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour

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Voting Style: Open Point System: Select Winner
Started: 12/14/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,464 times Debate No: 83855
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (41)
Votes (3)




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
No K's

Any violations of rules will be result in an immediate loss.


I accept.

The US federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.
Debate Round No. 1


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. [1]

“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.” [2]

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. [3]

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. [3]

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. [4]

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.” [4]

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.”[5]

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. [6]

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.[7]

Do we even have a good definition of poverty? [8]
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


Debate Round No. 2


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.

My sources;



Summary from Round 2

Pro -
1. Economists are not agreed on the of the effects of a minimum wage.

2. The literature is split. We need more data by way of a large scale experiment.

3. Too small a change to the minimum wage is unlikely to give use clear data. The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 /hour.

Con -
Oops - no arguments

Regarding CON’s arguments in Round 3

The cost of living
There are 2 problems with Con’s arguments about the cost of living.

1. CON argues there should be no FEDERAL minimum wage, which is outside the scope of this debate. He also does not suggest a different value.

2. Con says that a $15 minimum wage will hurt employers or overpay workers. Both these statements have no data to back them up.

It seems that Con is suggesting that the FEDERAL MINIMUM WAGE should be decided by each state or be different in each state. This is not the definition of a FEDERAL minimum wage. The idea of a FEDERAL MINIMUM is that it is decided nationally, and states can choose to have local or state legislation that mandates an increase above this. In CON’s example the state of New York could mandate a $20 minimum if they thought the cost of living merited an increase to improve the lot of people in their state.

CON recognizes that states can have higher minimums than the federal minimum. CON does not seem to recognize that setting a federal minimum wage is designed to get people at a better standard of living in all states.

CON seems to be arguing that there should be NO federal minimum wage. This is outside the realm of this debate. Note that CON says “Something such as minimum wage is best left to the local counties or municipalities”, which implies that the Federal Government should not set any minimum wage.

Some who argue against paying workers a living wage say that the cost of living would go way up for all of us if we raised the federal minimum wage to $15. I am glad that Con did not try this argument as it is directly refuted by the evidence.

Will lead to job loss

Con makes up a fictional scenario with fictional numbers. Any employer with numbers like those given by con would already be out of business. Please give us real numbers for a real business in a real state in a real world.

CON gave a completely fictional “example” to try to sway the reader about an important question. “Will an increased minimum wage lead to any significant job loss?”

One source referenced by CON is “Do Economists Agree on Anything? Yes!” which concludes that “The efficacy of the minimum wage continues to divide economists.” [1]
The data presented say that 48.1% of economists want to decrease or eliminate the minimum wage, while 52.0% are in favour of it. (Note this does not specify local or federal minimum wage). Not only were 52% in favour of a minimum wage, but 37.7% of economists were in favour of a substantial increase. NOTE This is from Table 3 in first source that CON presented.

The US Department of labor refutes CON’s claim. Here is what they say “In a letter to President Obama and congressional leaders urging a minimum wage increase, more than 600 economists, including 7 Nobel Prize winners wrote, "In recent years there have been important developments in the academic literature on the effect of increases in the minimum wage on employment, with the weight of evidence now showing that increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers, even during times of weakness in the labor market. Research suggests that a minimum-wage increase could have a small stimulative effect on the economy as low-wage workers spend their additional earnings, raising demand and job growth, and providing some help on the jobs front.” [2]

In the special case of tipped workers who get both the minimum wage plus tips (so they receive even more than the minimum) the department of labor states: “As of May 2015, employers in San Francisco must pay tipped workers the full minimum wage of $12.25 per hour — before tips. Yet, the San Francisco leisure and hospitality industry, which includes full-service restaurants, has experienced positive job growth this year, including following the most recent minimum wage increase.” [2]

There are many more studies that come to the same conclusion: There is no evidence that increasing the federal minimum wage will cause job loss or hurt job growth. The NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH, which produces policy papers for government and industry, has an important 2008 paper on optimizing the value of the minimum wage.[3]

It talks about supply, demand, competitive equilibrium and tax policy, and it takes the complexity of the issues seriously. Looking at all these factors we need a federal minimum wage of $15 so we can learn how to adjust taxes and welfare to give the most good to the most people.

Does very little to help the poor

CON seems to say that because the minimum wage does not fix every problem for the poor, we should abandon it as a tool for helping low wage earners. That is like saying that because everybody dies we should stop spending money on hospitals and doctors.

CON suggest a low minimum wage BECAUSE WE ARE NOT DOING ENOUGH. This is a fallacy. In response to CON and people with similar logic we need to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 (and indexed for cost of living)

CON says that 60% of those in poverty are not in the workforce. This is true, many are the children and non working spouses of the working poor. Raising the wealth of poor communities will help many who are not employed.


CON says there should be a tax credit for those earning so little that a minimum wage increase would affect them. I agree that a comprehensive strategy to help the poor needs to include MORE than the minimum wage. Our debate, however, is about the fact that the federal minimum should be increased to $15.

CON’s (false) conclusions
Con points to his false understanding about the cost of living and minimum wage.
Con wrongly claims that a minimum wage increases unemployment
Con rightly claims that a minimum wage increase is not the ONLY way to help the poor.
Con suggests tax breaks (which are outside the scope of this debate).

The facts prove CON wrong.
The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour

Regarding CON’s “rebuttals”
- The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour

David Card’s study -
CON says the study didn’t show any proof that the minimum wage increase was a good thing. I’m sure that those receiving the increase were happy to receive it.

Con makes a nonsense comment that it compared 2 cities with similar cost of living. This is the way science works, you try to minimize changes in every variable but the one you are studying. I’m glad CON pointed out that this is good science. His comment is a pont in favour of my understanding of the subject, not his.

Con says that Alan Kruger was against raising the minimum wage to $15. Since he gives no reference, I’ll assume he is referring to the 1992 study in my references. I agree that $15 / hour would be excessive in 1992 when the study was between $4.25 and $5.05 per hour.

Price Increases
If the minimum wage were increased to $15 an hour, prices at fast food restaurants would rise by an estimated 4.3 percent.[5] That would mean a McDonald’s Big Mac, which currently goes for $3.99, would cost about 17 cents more, or $4.16. This is a trivial amount. If I buy a Big Mack meal every day of the week my total cost increase is $1.19 per week. The price increases would be trivial.

CON states “I'll admit I'm a bit confused now.

CON seems to have missed my main premise that :

The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.

This is because we need better information about the cause and effect relationship between minimum wage and other economic indicators. A federal minimum wage increase to this level would give good data for policy makers and a better understanding for economists.

Most of CON’s arguments prove my point that we need good data that we can only get from a large increase in the federal minimum wage. For example, one main source for CON is a blog page from a software developer and CEO of a software company.[6] He is possibly a great guy, but not an authority on government policy and economics.

CON basically ignores the position of the US Dept. Of Labor.
Please read here to see them refute his fallacies one by one.

Vote PRO
The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.

Debate Round No. 3


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.

Price Increases

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 :

1. Arguments for a $15 federal minimum wage.

2. Summary of and Responses to CON’s statements

3. Closing statement.

1. The federal minimum wage should be raised to $15 an hour.

The primary reason the Federal Government should mandate a $15 minimum wage is so it have hard data on all the effects of this public policy tool. The majority of current research suggests that increasing the minimum wage will do the following:
a) “Provide a much-needed boost to the earnings of low-wage workers.” [1]
b) Stimulate the economy as workers spend their additional earnings, raising demand and job growth. [1]
c) Senator Edward Kennedy once called the minimum wage “one of the best antipoverty programs we have.”. [2]
d) Reduce the number of single moms living in poverty. [1]
e) It is good for public health [3]

Not only are these benefits backed by the data, but the following are likely. [4]
a) Job Hunt Motivation
b) Single Parents benefit
c) Job Creation
d) Increased Morale
e) Greater odds of high school completion [3]
f) Reduced costs for state Medicaid [3]
g) Less people choosing welfare over work.

These are all excellent reasons to increase the minimum wage.

The Federal Government should mandate a $15 minimum wage because that is a substantial increase, and we will see clear trends in the data to help us understand all the effects of a minimum wage that is above the poverty line.

Another reason for proposing a $15 minimum wage, is because it will place our minimum wage earners above the poverty line.

Our federal government uses two measures of poverty: “poverty guidelines” and “poverty thresholds” [5] Poverty thresholds were developed in 1963-1964, based largely on estimates of the minimal cost of food needs. Poverty guidelines are a dollar figure used by the census bureau to calculate the number of people in poverty. [6]

As an example, the poverty guideline for a single person living in “48 Contiguous States and D.C.” is $11,770 for 2015. It would take 1624 hours at the 7.25 minimum wage to earn this amount. Many minimum wage workers get 30 hours a week or less, and can not rise above the poverty guideline. If the minimum wage were $10 this same worker could earn $15600 a year, which is almost enough to support a spouse or child at the poverty line($15,930). If the Federal minimum wage were $15, this same person would earn $23400. This is enough for three people to be above the poverty line, or for four people to almost rise out of poverty. [6 - poverty guideline table]

The issue of public health is often forgotten in the Minimum wage debate:

“Last year, Minnesota legislators successfully enacted a raise in the minimum wage, taking Minnesota from one of the lowest-paying minimum wage states to one of the highest. State Health Commissioner Edward Ehlinger described the move as the greatest legislative victory of the year. - “I’d argue that it was the biggest public health achievement in that legislative session — and probably in the four years I’ve been health commissioner” [3]

The Federal Government should mandate a $15 minimum wage because it will improve the health of low income earners. This means there will be less drain on medical resources and possibly even net savings as federal costs of Obama Care rise.

A study “in APHA’s American Journal of Public Health, found that the wage increase would decrease the risk of premature death by 5 percent for adults ages 24 to 44 living in households with an income of about $20,000. In addition, the children of such workers would experience substantially increased odds of high school completion and a 22 percent decrease in the risk of early childbirth.” [3]

A “higher minimum wages reduce enrollment in traditional Medicaid — the portion of the health insurance program in which states pay a substantial share.”

There are many other reasons why a $15 federal minimum wage would be good for minimum wage earners, and for the country. One helpful way to think of it is:

You get more of what you pay for!

I would rather see workers paid a living wage.

I would rather not see increased spending on welfare and medicaid.

2. Summary of and Responses to CON’s statements

Con has the following concerns / issues

- Cost of Living
- Will lead to job loss
- Does very little to help the poor

Let me respond to some of his errors.

- Cost of Living
“Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.” CON is taking a simplistic view that any increase in prices as absolutely bad. For the worker earning minimum wage, their purchasing power at $15/hour is far greater than it was at $7.25/ hour. For the rest of us, a Big Mac meal ($3.99) would cost about 17 cents more ($4.16) which is hardly going to hurt us.[7] One of the problems with the current Federal Minimum Wage is that it is not indexed to the consumer price index or the cost of living. [8] Adjusted for inflation/cost of living, the highest minimum wage was in 1968, when it was equivalent to $10.69/hour in purchasing power.[9]

The effect on the cost of living will be small, but the effect on those earning the minimum wage will be huge.

- Will lead to job loss
CON seems to ignore all the scholarly papers that state that an increased minimum wage will have little effect on the unemployment rate. The literature concludes “we find no evidence that the rise in New Jersey's minimum wage reduced employment at fast-food restaurants in the state.” [10] The Pew Research Center found that the strongest opposition to a minimum wage increase came from Republicans, and that the opposition in the debate are more partisan politics that based on fact.[11]

- Does very little to help the poor
CON is correct that not all people in poverty are the working poor. Many are on some form of welfare. I want to reward the working poor with a higher minimum wage so they will be not so poor. Raising the Federal minimum wage to $15/ hour will even allow some to be above the poverty line. It will increase the health of these working poor. It will encourage people who are on welfare to consider working.

CON is absolutely incorrect in suggesting that an increase in the Federal Minimum Wage will not benefit the working poor.

CON sings the Republican party line that tax breaks are the answer. This is absolutely false. The people who benefit the most from tax breaks are the wealthy who can afford to hire an accountant to protect their money from government. I have a good income. I pay almost no taxes because the wealthy have a high motivation to find tax breaks.

There is one great advantage of the EITC. It often encourages people who are on welfare to participate in the workforce.[12] As such, I applaud it. It is a good tool to reduce welfare abuse. Combined with a decent ($15) minimum wage there should be even more benefits for the working poor, and for tax payers.

Closing Statement.
We need a Federal Minimum Wage of $15


this is a good resource

Debate Round No. 4
41 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by donald.keller 9 months ago
The Voter's Union has provided two votes for this debate.
Posted by Midnight1131 9 months ago
RFD 1/3

Ok, this was a pretty interesting debate I'll have to say. Before I delve into it, I'm awarding the win to Con. Starting off, Con forfeited a round, I'm not going to award any points for this because it's a select winner system, not 7-point, and in my view Con made up for his missed time in later rounds. Moving on. In R2, Pro seemed focused more on refuting the arguments against a $15 minimum wage hike than making any arguments FOR a minimum wage, even though at this point Con hadn't presented any of his own arguments to refute. All of these are good points, however I advise Pro to wait until the opponent brings this up, instead of pretty much reminding their opponent of all the points against a minimum wage. Moving on. Con making pretty good arguments in R3, and backed them up with examples and sources. I know later in the debate Pro criticizes Con for using random examples instead of hard numbers, however these rebuttals don't mean much because Pro simply called them "random numbers" instead of actually going in and refuting the examples themselves. In R3, Con shows that the minimum wage increases cost of living, he also shows that due to the differences between states, a federal minimum wage would simply be ineffective. He then proposes to not raise the federal minimum wage and instead let the states decide. He makes another valid point in job loss, stating that employers will be forced to pay more, possibly for undeserving work, and that will lead to them firing workers. His final point is that it does little to help the poor. He also gives an alternative in the earned income tax credit, which he shows works, and doesn't have the negative effects of a minimum wage hike.
Posted by Midnight1131 9 months ago
RFD 2/3

After this, Con moves onto his rebuttals. He successfully refutes the study cited by Pro, because he shows that the study compared two similar cities, and therefore the data doesn't reflect how a minimum wage hike would turn out if it were implemented federally. He also notes that it wasn't referring to a $15 figure specifically. Now moving to Pro's response to this round. Pro started off by accusing Con of wanting to abolish the minimum wage federally, and states it's not related to the debate. Next he goes after Con for not backing up his claim that a MW hike would hurt employers and lead to job losses. However he doesn't even mention the simple logic Con provided. This is technically a dropped argument, since Pro dropped the crux of it. Pro does make a good point in refuting that a MW hike does little to help the poor. He notes that Con was only talking about the unemployed, not the working poor. And he makes a good point that many poor people who are employed would be helped through a MW hike. Pro pretty much agrees on Con regarding the earned income tax credit. In the final round, Con defends his cost of living argument. Stating again that it's better handled at state levels, which is true due to the differences between them. He defends his job loss argument by giving examples of Walmart, and notes it was during a much smaller MW hike. Con defends his argument about the poor by saying it makes it harder for them to enter the workplace, which is true, given that up to this point Pro hasn't offered a decent rebuttal to Con's argument that MW leads to job cuts. This pretty much ends Con's final round. Pro's final round was an interesting one. Surprisingly, he makes pretty much all of arguments FOR the minimum wage in this round. Sadly for Pro, this is against DDO conduct, to present new arguments in the final round, as it pretty much guarantees the other side can't respond to them. Due to this I will not take this arguments into regard.
Posted by Midnight1131 9 months ago
RFD 3/3
Now since I've covered all of the important bits I'll move onto my conclusion. Con wins the debate. This was actually a pretty easy win for Con, because despite the good rebuttals put up by Pro, Pro spent the entire debate only refuting arguments against the minimum wage, and made none for it. The new arguments introduced in the final round don't count, because Con had no chance to respond. Technically Con would've won this debate if he won just one contention. However he won more, he showed that an MW hike shouldn't be enforced at the federal level because of the differences between the states, and he also showed how it would lead to job cuts [and has already in the past]. Both sides cited credible research, however Con was able to show how the study didn't really have an impact on the debate. He also showed how the majority of economists were against a $15 federal minimum wage, and he was able to provide a better alternative in the earned income tax credit. All in all a good, clear win for Con.
Posted by donald.keller 9 months ago
The Voter's Union has voted once on this debate, and will vote again soon.
Posted by whiteflame 9 months ago
You're welcome. Honestly, the chance is open to anyone. Always surprised with how few take it.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 9 months ago
I just want to state that I'm thrilled I was given an opportunity to better support my vote in this DDO debate!!
Posted by Juan_Pablo 9 months ago
Thank you, whiteflame!!
Posted by whiteflame 9 months ago
>Reported vote: Juan_Pablo// Mod action: NOT Removed<

7 points to Pro. Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments section.

[*Reason for non-removal*] The RFD sufficiently analyzes the debate.
Posted by Juan_Pablo 9 months ago

passed = past
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Midnight1131 9 months ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
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
Who won the debate:-Vote Checkmark
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments section.
Vote Placed by bballcrook21 10 months ago
Who won the debate:Vote Checkmark-
Reasons for voting decision: I shall post the link to my RFD in the comments.