The Instigator
Weiler
Pro (for)
Winning
10 Points
The Contender
ironknight47
Con (against)
Losing
6 Points

The minimum wage should be abolished

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Weiler
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/29/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,435 times Debate No: 38248
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

Weiler

Pro

The minimum wage should be abolished.

The government has no right telling employers what they should have to pay their employees. This is a private decision between the employer and employee, who way agree on what the job is worth.
ironknight47

Con

I accept your challenge.

I don't think the minimum wage should be abolished. To start off, think of where many people get their first jobs. Mainly places like McDonald's or other fast-food places. How much do they earn? At least $7.25. How much would they make if the minimum wage was abolished? Much less than that. Why? Because people don't work at McDonald's because they want to work there. They work there because it is easy, simple work that pays. They work there because it is the only work option to support their family. Which means that McDonald's could make their wages $3 an hour, and people would still work there. Because they HAVE to. $3 is better than nothing. And since McDonald's work is very easy to learn, they could just fire anyone who wants a raise. Because a replacement is right around the corner. The minimum wage is the governments way of keeping a balance between how much a worker gets paid and how much the employer gets to keep.
Debate Round No. 1
Weiler

Pro

Ah yes, the old McDonald's argument, invalid because:

1. Most McDonald's employee's make more than minimum wage;
2. McDonald's offers benefits that rival other large corporations, including stock options; and
3. McDonald's work is not that easy. Those who believe it is, have never worked in t he food service industry.

Glassdoor.com offers insight into this with an anonymous survey of McDonald's employees showing that the lowest paying job in the store actually pays about $0.50/hr ABOVE the minimum wage (http://www.glassdoor.com...).

Without a minimum wage, employers could give more jobs to undereducated people, who have difficulty finding any job because nearly nothing they can or are willing to do is worth $7.25/hr to a company. Because of the minimum wage, companies instead roll several simple jobs in to one job to make it worth the money, and hire somebody more capable.
ironknight47

Con

First, I did not strictly mean just McDonald's. McDonald's has a wage similar to the federal minimum, and I was just using it as an example. You get what I mean. And when I say McDonald's is easy, I mean it takes no experience or pretty much any other prerequisite. Pretty much all of the skills you need are the ability to read and write, the ability to count out money, and the ability to prepare food a certain way. Not exactly rocket science.
You talk about how undereducated people could get jobs without a minimum wage. First of all, how much would they get paid? Less than the minimum wage, I expect. It's hard enough for people to support a family on several minimum wage jobs. How much harder would it get if they got something like $5 an hour? Second, the people who make minimum wage now are, generally, society's group of what many call "undereducated", if by that you mean high school dropouts and such. They're able to get jobs, because they don't need to be college graduates to learn the simple skills needed to do minimum wage jobs.
Debate Round No. 2
Weiler

Pro

People with a high school education or less have the highest unemployment rate. People with less than a high school diploma have more than a 10% unemployment rate, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (see http://www.bls.gov...).

Allowing some low or no skill jobs to be paid less than minimum wage would allow these people to find employment. $5/hr is better than $0/hr.

You have contended that one cannot support a family on this rate of pay, and your are correct. I contend that one is not supposed to be able to support a family on this wage. This wage will simply allow that person to feed clothe and shelter themselves. A person who has not attained a high level of education, and does not or can not perform heavy manual labor, will not make much money. That is life.

If a person wishes to earn more money they must educate themselves, and work exceedingly hard to get to that level. I also will concede that many people in the upper stratosphere of our society have not gotten there by merit, but by inheritance either into money or status. However, somebody in that family's past DID earn it, and handed it down to their posterity. That is the American Dream we hear so much about. If you work hard and attain a high level of success, you and your posterity will be rewarded.

That dream is still alive today. Imagine if, a person of low or no education person applies themselves with a $5/hr job. They can advance in that job, and earn more money. They can get their GED, and then, one class at a time (because they are exceedingly expensive), that person achieves a two-year degree. Now they make more than enough to support themselves, and be a productive member of a family unit that can rear their child in a higher societal status.

Now imagine if that person can't find a job because their work is only worth $5/hr, and the government requires and employee to be paid more.
ironknight47

Con

Good points.

However, we come back to the question of this: Why should or shouldn't the federal minimum wage be abolished? It shouldn't because, as I said before, it keeps the balance between workers and employers. If the minimum wage was abolished, it could open up jobs to under-educated people. But why wouldn't the employers take advantage of the workers? These people NEED these jobs. Who says employers will pay $5 an hour? That seems a bit too much for most companies whose job is to maximize profit. They could offer $1 an hour. How would you pay for a higher level of education with that? You couldn't without giving up other necessities. You'd be stuck in a dead end loop of earning money, spending it on the necessities, and repeating. You'd never be able to find your true potential through education.

At that point, a worker would wonder whether it is worth it. Their work is worth next to nothing. Very few could get education to increase their work value without digging themselves into a huge hole. They'd be working to get nowhere. How much of that could they take before they decide to just give up and depend entirely on government support? Now we have workers who have to pay some of their hard-earned money to people how can't support themselves, and people who can't find a way out of their endless cycle. It's a lose-lose. Nobody wins.

Solutions aren't pretty. But they work. And currently, I think the minimum wage is a solution to wealth gaps across America. It may not be much, but it's a way of making sure employees can earn enough to hopefully make some future for themselves. In an America without a minimum wage, we'd have so many workers who would give up because all of their hard work wasn't paying the bills. It'd be a sad, depressing world for so many hardworking Americans who couldn't find a way out of their cycle of hard work, expenses, and repeating. With our current minimum wage, at least Americans can find jobs and be able to work through the ranks to truly achieve the American dream.

Whoever wins, know that this has been a very interesting debate for me. I hope I can have more good debates with you in the future.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by ironknight47 3 years ago
ironknight47
it's a shame i lost just because of the sources
Posted by campbellp10 3 years ago
campbellp10
To clarify my RFD: Pro did provide BLS stats that showed employment among uneducated/unskilled workers was very low, but this doesn't say anything about minimum wage. The BLS statistics provide no correlative links to minimum wage, they simply give us a raw information. In order to really buy into that data, I need a little more explanation. You claimed "Allowing some low or no skill jobs to be paid less than minimum wage would allow these people to find employment." But this presupposes the argument that you're trying to make (minimum wage decreases employment), which makes this argument circular and the data superfluous. You need to first establish that the 10% unemployment among low-skilled workers is CAUSED by minimum wage (with data preferably) and THEN establish that abolishing minimum wage would decrease unemployment. The reason you need data to express this point is because there are MANY factors of unemployment, especially among low-skilled workers. The recession, the shift of the economy away from low-skilled labor, immigration, out-sourcing, increased average education and the list goes on.

By and by, this is intended to be constructive, not necessarily critical. I did give you the round after all =)
Posted by ironknight47 3 years ago
ironknight47
Thanks Weiler, I had a great debate.
Posted by slin2678 3 years ago
slin2678
Juan_pablo, pro's the only one that used sources. Even if you disagreed with him, how can you not give him those points?
Posted by Weiler 3 years ago
Weiler
I would like to thank my opponent for a sincere and respectful debate. I look forward to debating you on other subjects in the future.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by campbellp10 3 years ago
campbellp10
Weilerironknight47Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Well, the first round of the debate was basically a complete wash, nothing really substantial there. Second round got a little better, with Pro pretty obviously taking the lead. By the final round, I finally started hearing what should have been said by Con but it was too little to late. Overall, Pro's arguments really aren't that convincing but relative to Con they were more clear and thought out so those points go to Pro. In an Econ debate, it helps to cite some empirical data. For example, Pro argued that minimum wage decreases employment. Any evidence supporting that claim? Con could have used this opportunity to look up some evidence of his own. As it turns out, states that have higher than federal minimum wage actually have lower unemployment rates than those with lower minimum wages. Overall, you were both on the right track but not quite there. Keep up the good work! Round goes to Pro.
Vote Placed by funwiththoughts 3 years ago
funwiththoughts
Weilerironknight47Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pretty much what Beverlee said.
Vote Placed by Beverlee 3 years ago
Beverlee
Weilerironknight47Tied
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Total points awarded:23 
Reasons for voting decision: The first rounds were wasted by Pro, because the question of McDonalds pay was not relevant to a discussion about abolishing the minimum wage. When Con says that abolishing the min wage would mean lower wages, I think he's convincing. Pro admits that $5/hr is better than $0/hr... which is exactly why there is such a thing as a minimum wage - to prevent workers being paid $0/hr. That counts as a turn and a concession, so I gave arguments to Con.
Vote Placed by slin2678 3 years ago
slin2678
Weilerironknight47Tied
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Total points awarded:50 
Reasons for voting decision: I don't know if Con realized that he was actually giving the same reasons as Pro, but using those reasons for establishing a minimum wage. Con says if there were no minimum wage, then the undereducated would have no incentive to work because the pay would be too low and they'd be "working to get nowhere." I don't see how that's different than having a minimum wage and they don't even have the opportunity to get a job. Points to Pro for a clearer argument as well as using sources.