The Instigator
SPF
Pro (for)
Losing
18 Points
The Contender
RedEye
Con (against)
Winning
20 Points

The minimum wage is a necesary rigth for working Americans.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/14/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,128 times Debate No: 4414
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (8)
Votes (9)

 

SPF

Pro

Without a minimum wage, workers could be paid whatever buissinesses want. Workers would be exploited, which would not only be undecent, and unfair but you can't even imagine how hard it would be for some workers to survive. Taxes,rent, heating,running water, food , drinking water, and money for gas or public transportation, all cost money. These are all neccesities for survival in the 21st century United States.

The US government has a responsibility to make sure workers are paid fairly, and enough money to meet these costs. Without a minimum wage, hard working Americans could end each year with a princely sum of one thousand dollars,or less to meet these costs.

As a result the rich will get richer, the poor will get poorer, and oh yea we'd lose the middle class.
RedEye

Con

Ok, I'll present my 1st argument, then depending on rebuttal, I may add or leave the same.

1) Whenever politicians wish to score political points, they recommend raising the minimum wage. Parading as champions of the poor and downtrodden, they cry out against all those selfish and greedy employers who are paying less-than-subsistence wages to their employees.

The truth is that whenever public officials enact or raise a minimum wage, the only people who get harmed are the very people who are supposedly helped-those at the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.

In every voluntary economic exchange, both parties benefit. Each party to the transaction gives up something he values less for something he values more. If such were not the case, he wouldn't enter into the transaction.

The principle applies to labor relations. When an employer and employee voluntarily enter into working relationship, both of them benefit. The employer values the employee's work product more than he values the money he is paying the worker. The employee values the money more than he values the time and energy he is devoting to the business.

Let's assume that a certain employer offers to pay a job applicant $2 an hour and that the applicant refuses to take the job. We can assume that the applicant values his time more than he values the money.

What if the applicant offers to work for $5 an hour and the employer refuses? Here, the employer values his money more than he values the work product of the employee.

All of sudden, politicians step in with a law that requires employers to pay a minimum wage of $5 an hour. Is poverty alleviated? Is "exploitation" eradicated? Is the worker helped?

No. After all, a minimum-wage law does not force an employer to hire an applicant. The law simply says that if an employer hires an applicant, he must pay the legally established rate of $5 an hour. Which applicants will get hired? Only those workers whom an employer would have been willing to pay $5 an hour anyway.

In other words, if an employer values the money ($5 an hour) less than he values the work product of the employee, he'll hire the employee. But in such a case, the minimum-wage law is superfluous because the employee would have been hired in the absence of the law.

What if an employer values the money ($5 an hour) more than he values the person's work product? Then he doesn't employ him and, thus, the minimum-wage law has accomplished nothing.

So, what's the problem? The problem is that the minimum-wage law locks out of the labor market all of those people whose labor is valued by employers at less than the legally established minimum wage.

For example, suppose an employer and a worker both wish to enter into a working relationship at $4 an hour. The minimum-wage law prohibits them from doing so. Thus, the worker is condemned to unemployment and the employer loses the value of his labor services.

So, how would wages ever rise in the absence of minimum-wage laws? There is one and only one way that wages can rise in a society: through the accumulation of capital. With capital, workers become more productive. A farm worker who uses a tractor will produce more than his counterpart who uses a hoe. And more productivity means more money with which to pay higher wages.

Doesn't this mean then that employees are at the mercy of the kindness and benevolence of employers to pay them higher wages when they produce more? No. What motivates even the most self-seeking, profit-grabbing employers to pay higher wages is the prospect of competitors' bidding away their workers.

After all, if in the absence of minimum-wage laws, employers would pay only subsistence wages or less, then why do so many businesses today pay their employees more than the minimum wage? Competition in the labor market, not kindness or generosity, forces employers to pay the higher wages.

The key to raising standards of living then, especially for those at the bottom of the economic ladder, is (1) to prohibit governments from "helping the poor" by confiscating massive amounts of income and capital from the rich and middle class and (2) to prohibit government from "helping the poor" with economic regulations like the minimum wage.

2) The vast majority of economists believe the minimum wage law costs the economy thousands of jobs. The most fundamental principle of economics is 'supply and demand'. In the case of labor, this means that the supply of workers goes up as wage goes up, and the demand for workers by employers goes down as the wage goes up. For example, imagine a janitorial job was advertised for hire. If the wage is $100 per hour, thousands of people would want the job. If the wage was $1 per hour, you probably wouldn't find anyone to do it. Conversely, if the government forced the employer to pay at least $7 per hour, the employer might decide not to hire a janitor at all, instead opting to have other staff pick up the duties. Thus, a job would be lost because of the minimum wage. Another example is restaurant employment. A manager might have $10,000 in her monthly budget to hire bus persons. If the wage is set at $7 per hour, the manager may only be able to hire 10 bus people instead of 15. Setting a mandated wage limit disrupts market forces of supply and demand. Just because there is no minimum wage doesn't mean companies can pay whatever they want. Would you work a dishwashing job that paid 25 cents per hour? Would anyone? If they raised the wage to $4 per hour, they might be able to hire a high school student. Consider some highly skilled jobs such as accountant, lawyer, and engineer. Do these people make $5.15 an hour? Obviously, the answer is no. Market factors of supply and demand determine how many jobs are available and what each job would pay. In summary, as the minimum wage goes up, the number of people employed goes down. When the minimum wage goes down, the number of people employed goes up. Keep in mind: the minimum wage only applies if someone is employed.

3) 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.

4) The minimum wage can drive some small companies out of business. Many people believe businesses have endless supplies of cash and can easily withstand minimum wage increases or other cost increases. Unfortunately, that's simply not the case. Over 90 percent of businesses fold within the first few years. Every time there is a recession, thousands of businesses go under. Restaurants, which pay wages at or near the minimum wage level, have the highest rate of failure of any business type. Anytime you increase the costs of businesses, you push them closer to the edge. Let's take an example. Imagine a small neighborhood hardware store. This hardware store isn't going to have the logistics and economy of scale advantages of say, Wal-Mart; thus, it must charge more. It probably makes up the price difference with better service. When you raise the minimum wage, it increases the operating costs for that hardware store even more. Thus, it must raise it's prices to cover costs. Eventually, prices get so high that customers conclude that shopping there isn't worth the additional cost. Slowly, the local hardware store is driven out of business.

-I stand ready for next round.
Debate Round No. 1
SPF

Pro

First of all I would like to thank my opponent for accepting my challenge.

1."The only people who get harmed are the people at the bottom."
- Wrong. The people who get harmed are the employers, even if they cut back on jobs. If the survival of a buissiness depends on the exploitation of workers, to bad. Buissinesses big or small shouldn't be paying workers unfairly, and it is the responsibility of public officials to make sure that workers are treated fairly.

Among the employers who try to pay their workers fairly, the minimum wage is something to set a standard of what is fair.

2. The minimum wage encourages the unemployed to find jobs with the promise of a higher wage. The unemployed include people on General Welfare.

3.We could all learn from our past, so I will briefly go into the History of the National Minimum Wage:

The first attempt at a national minimum wage was in 1933, but it failed to become law.Then in 1938 the national minimum wage was passed. It should be noted that around the time 1938-1940, the Great Depression ended.

4. " In every voluntary economic exchange both parties benefit."

Wrong. When an employee works hard, and is payed a wage he\she cant live decently with, then he/she doesn't benefit, his/her boss does.

5. With minimum wage laws, a worker wouldn't want to accept an illegal wage.

6. I have been generous earlier by saying that without the minimum wage people could be living on one thousand dollars a year or less to pay there bills, because in truth without a minimum wage people could be living on One dollar a day or less.

7. As I said earlier one could only imagine how oppressive life would be wihout a minimum wage.

Remember the Gilded Age?
RedEye

Con

Ok, I'll attack my opponent's case then more to crystallize my own.

Well, he only did a rebuttal so i'll go right to defending.

He responds: "The people who get harmed are the employers, even if they cut back on jobs. If the survival of a buissiness depends on the exploitation of workers, to bad. Buissinesses big or small shouldn't be paying workers unfairly, and it is the responsibility of public officials to make sure that workers are treated fairly."

My Response: The minimum wage hurts both the workers and the employer. He didn't refute my above point about this. It's the value of the market. Time vs money. It's not exploitation of the worker. THE WORKER HAS A CHOICE, as i have already stated, which has gone unrefuted. Extend this point for the round.

He then goes on to say: The minimum wage encourages the unemployed to find jobs with the promise of a higher wage. The unemployed include people on General Welfare.

My Response: It doesn't encourage anything. In todays society the salary is totally above minimum wage. According to Business Week, the only jobs that pay a little above minimum wage is the ones that are for teenagers. And even is that case the teen has the choice of either working or not. So, going to his idea, that it helps people get motivated for jobs. This is indeed wrong on the fact hat adult jobs pay so much more then minimum. He then says about welfare. HA, people on welfare get more if they didn't work, thats why the system is messed up.

He then says: "We could all learn from our past, so I will briefly go into the History of the National Minimum Wage:

The first attempt at a national minimum wage was in 1933, but it failed to become law.Then in 1938 the national minimum wage was passed. It should be noted that around the time 1938-1940, the Great Depression ended."

My Response: Uh, it seems my opponent needs a history lesson. We got out of the great depression because our economy was spurred by WW2. And, also interesting to note, the next recession that the US went through was partially responsible because of the minimum wage.

"" In every voluntary economic exchange both parties benefit."

Wrong. When an employee works hard, and is payed a wage he\she cant live decently with, then he/she doesn't benefit, his/her boss does."

My Response: First the possible employee has a choice to join. If the employer needs the extra help, he would raise the wage. And the person could refuse. The cycle goes around around, till a satisfactory disposition is discovered. My opponent seems to not understand that market, which I have proven in my contention 1.

Group my opponents attacks: #5, 6, 7.

My Response: Link all my contentions to this, it's refuted.

Extend all my points since he failed to attack them.
Debate Round No. 2
SPF

Pro

1. The minimum wage helps the economy because when workers have more money to spend, they have more money to be consumers. Consumers HELP the economy. In that sense, the minimum wage helps buissinesses big and small.

2. Yes WW2 helped create jobs, but my above point which proves an economic asset, supports my assertion from Round 2 that the minimum wage helped end the depression.

3. Another positive factor was that the multiple jobs created by World War
Two paid better thanks to, the minimum wage.

4.One thing in my opponent's arguement that should be pointed out is the idea that even the most profit hungry employers pay there employees well so that other buissinesses don't out bid there employees.

First of all, if that were the case, then another issue brought up by my opponent, rising costs for buissinesses, would not be an issue.

However, as rosy as that sounds, it is not the case. There is a reason people go on strike, and it is inadaquet pay.

5. Another argument of my opponents, that there are less jobs thanks to the minimum wage making the costs of employment rise, which I believe is the argument stresses the most, is faulty. In that spirit, I am sure you could employ every American for a nice salary of - nothing.

6. The minimum wage helps insure many Americans that their jobs pay decently, and fairly. As costs rise, workers should be able to earn enough money to meet these costs.

The minimum wage, it is fair to assert, is a necesary right for working Americans.

I urge you to vote pro.
RedEye

Con

I'll do a rebuttal of my opponents arguments:

"The minimum wage helps the economy because when workers have more money to spend, they have more money to be consumers. Consumers HELP the economy. In that sense, the minimum wage helps businesses big and small."

My Response: This is true, more money helps the economy. However you are using this as a faulty defense. Why? 1) Even if a person was living off the minimum wage, he or she would be below the poverty line, and wouldn't be contributing to the economy very much. 2)Since the minimum wage increases outsourcing, then more Americans are losing jobs and therefore wouldn't be able to help the economy.

Extension: My opponent failed to attack my point about outsourcing from Round 1, so you can extend this.

"Yes WW2 helped create jobs, but my above point which proves an economic asset, supports my assertion from Round 2 that the minimum wage helped end the depression."

My Response: You never actually explain how it helped, all you do is say the timing was right. And I already brought up how the minimum wage was a catalyst for the next recession.

"However, as rosy as that sounds, it is not the case. There is a reason people go on strike, and it is inadaquet pay."

My Response: Lol. Not at all. People go on strike because they WANT more, not because they need more. Take the Commercial Airway strike in 2000. Before the strike each person was recieving $75,000 a year. This is considered good pay. They all wanted $100,000. Anyone could live off of 75,000; they just wanted more.

"Another argument of my opponents, that there are less jobs thanks to the minimum wage making the costs of employment rise, which I believe is the argument stresses the most, is faulty. In that spirit, I am sure you could employ every American for a nice salary of - nothing."

My Response: Wow, your living in a fantasy world. The minimum wage increases outsourcing to India, China, ect. There are no minimum wage laws there. In those places people have the ability to live off of $5 an hour because the dollar is stronger then the value of the Indian, and the Chinese currency especially. If the minimum wage law is abolished then, according to Bussiness Week, outsourcing should drop a minimum of 30%, which would increase jobs for Americans.

"The minimum wage helps insure many Americans that their jobs pay decently, and fairly. As costs rise, workers should be able to earn enough money to meet these costs."

My Response: I have already explained that jobs for adults already pay sufficient amount. He also failed to respond to my teenage workers point, so extend that. Also, link this to my first contention on the cycle of market, which my opponent also fails to attack.
===============================================================================

Voting Issues:

1) The extension of all my primary arguments from Round 1
2) My opponent fails to see that the minimum age creates many negative effects. Like outsourcing ---> Loss of jobs.
3) My opponent never actually proves his burden, that its a RIGHT. I have proven it's not a a right and the negatives that hurt Americans.

It's a clear Con ballet.

Thank you ladies and gentleman.
Debate Round No. 3
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Donpawn 8 years ago
Donpawn
I read all the paragraphs and con looked like he repeated what he said in different contexts but only to see it is the same point over and over again and since because, SPF has different arguments I vote SPF all the way, SPF is not lying guys look at it and read it yourselves
Posted by SPF 8 years ago
SPF
Actually 10 out of 13 paragraphs in round one were for RedEyes first point.

That is cheating. I urge judges to vote for honest debaters. vote pro.
Posted by CiRrO 8 years ago
CiRrO
Actually your wrong, it was only my first point, not the first round. I apologize for not citing it, mea culpa.
Posted by SPF 8 years ago
SPF
I just clicked on the link, and I was shocked. I feel as if RedEye cheated.
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
If you didn't check the link I posted, do so. You'll see that RedEye's entire first round was taken directly from it, without any credit given.
His argument was not his own, it was that of Jacob G. Hornberger, December 1998.
Posted by SPF 8 years ago
SPF
I agree with voters that I have lost this debate, and I agree with RedEye that it was a good debate.
Posted by beem0r 8 years ago
beem0r
http://www.fff.org...

Vote PRO, don't support plagiarism.
Posted by RedEye 8 years ago
RedEye
Hmm, good debate. More rounds should have been used. But w/e good debate SPF.
9 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Vote Placed by Ron-Paul 4 years ago
Ron-Paul
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Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: sources because he did well too. As voting RFD is not required I will not explain more.
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Vote Placed by SPF 8 years ago
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