The Instigator
BobTurner
Pro (for)
Winning
19 Points
The Contender
Im_Bentley
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The minimum wage should be increased

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
BobTurner
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/12/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 848 times Debate No: 48959
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (7)
Votes (4)

 

BobTurner

Pro

Resolution: The Federal Minimum Wage Should be Increased


Rules
1. Burden of proof is shared.
2. No semantical games -- they will result in an automatic 7-point loss.
3. Con will begin his arguments in round 1, and will post "no round, as agreed upon" in round 5. Failure to do so will result in an automatic 7-point loss.
4. Forfeitting is an automatic loss.
5. By accepting this debate, you agree to these rules.



Let the debate begin.
Im_Bentley

Con

If the national minimal wages were raised then prices in EVERYTHING will go up as well.

Gas may go up to $4.50 a gallon
"Big Mac's" might raise to $5
Ect....

Not only that, but, students in primary and secondary school will have the idea that going straight out of high school he/she will be making $15 dollars an hour as a cashier at a fast food restaurant, instead of actually getting an education and a respectable job.
Debate Round No. 1
BobTurner

Pro

Con's arguments are largely unfounded. Note that there is no evidence backing up his (her? I apologize, but your profile doesn't give your gender!) assertions.

Let's look at the two assertions in his round 1 arguments.

1. Raising the minimum wage will cause inflation.
2. It will tell students that, straight out of high school, they will be able to earn a living wage of $15. ( Note: This claim is inaccurate, because the resolution calls for a minimum wage increase, but not necessarily a living wage of $15 per hour. So this argument is unfounded.)


First, the inflationary impacts of raising the minimum wage are negligible (1). A myriad of research has been done on this, and there is simply no evidence that raising the minimum wage would raise the gallon of gas to $4.50. For goodness' sake, do you truly think low wage workers have that type of power? Gas prices are determined not even by the Federal Reserve's QE, but by global demand. Gas prices tend to fluctuate with global events, and are high at this moment because of increased demand from China and India. There is no evidence whatsoever that a slight hike in the minimum wage would raise gas prices to the degree you're suggesting.

Next, you act as though inflation -- even if it were possible for the minimum wage to cause inflation -- is a bad thing. It is not. In fact, we had mild inflation during the golden years of U.S. years -- the three decades following WWII -- and about 4 percent inflation during Ronald Reagan's second term. Inflation, in moderate levels, is a good thing because wages and prices adjust, and thus it doens't impact purchasing power, and it eats away at debts. If inflation were ever to reach an exorbitant level, the Federal Reserve would simply raise interest rates and downsize its balance sheet. The threat of inflation is an unheard of, unfounded apparaition. The current inflation rate is 1.6%, below the Fed's 2% target. Yes, there was a higher inflation target under Ronald Reagan's Fed Chair than there was under Bernanke (that remains today under Yellen).

Next, the inability to inflate is a severe cause of the downturn in Europe. The ECB can only purchase government bonds on the secondary market, and is thus subject to the whims of investors. As a result, it must pay extremely high interest rates in even a feeble attempt to hold down rates and boost aggregate demand and investment. At the same time, the same kind of deflationary drive running rampant in the US -- amid a liquidity trap, mind you -- is increasing nominally denominated debt shares and forcing through austerity. It turns out, debt deflation leads to lower wages, leads to less demand, leads to higher unemployment, leads to less demand, etc. and the cycle continues.



Now, moving onto my arguments:


1. The minimum wage is good for the economy. If the minimum wage kept pace with productivity since 1960, it would be about $22 per hour (2). Right now, it's a measely $7.25 per hour. What happened to the rest of the money? Productivity has nearly doubled after all, yet wages have been flat -- or, if you factor in the Great Recession, median wages have fallen. The answer is quite simple: they've gone to the top. Even since the 2009 recovery, 95% of income gains have gone to the top 1 percent.

2. Any job losses for raising the minimum wage are negligible vis-a-vis the net gain. The CBO recently released a report on the minimum wage in which they said raising the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour would cost anywhere from 0 to 1 million jobs, though the best estimate is about 500,000. Note the massive disparity. They simply can't put a number on it. At the same time, it would lift over a million people out of poverty, and they even acknowledged that it would spur a rather large demand stimulus. This stimulus would more than offset any loss of employment, and macropolicies alone could care for low-skilled workers who may lose their jobs as a result. The point is, the benefits would outweigh the cost.

3. It is a myth that the majority of minimum wage workers are teenagers. My opponent has fallen into this trap with his second argument, which I will now address. First, the CBO also told us that only 12% of workers who would benefit from a minimum wage increase to $10.10 would be teenagers. That means that a whopping 88% are not teenagers. This is simply the truth. A majority of minimum wage workers are breadwinners. They depend on the minimum wage for their livelihoods. And, at the same time, because these people are literally living below the poverty line, they must spend 100% of what they earn in order to survive. Increasing their incomes by way of a minimum wage increase would significantly boost demand, and thus provide a stimulus to both businesses and the economy at large.


Conclusion:
My opponent's arguments are unfounded. He has not provided a single argument against the minimum wage.




1. http://truth-out.org...;
2. http://www.huffingtonpost.com...;
3. http://www.cbo.gov...;
Im_Bentley

Con

Im_Bentley forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
BobTurner

Pro

Con has dropped all of my arguments. Extending forward.
Im_Bentley

Con

Im_Bentley forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
BobTurner

Pro

Forward, again.
Im_Bentley

Con

Im_Bentley forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
BobTurner

Pro

Another forfeit. All arguments have been dropped. Our Round 5 rule still applies since I will be unable to respond to Con's arguments.

Vote Pro.
Im_Bentley

Con

Im_Bentley forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
7 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Posted by BobTurner 2 years ago
BobTurner
Thanks, I appreciate it. It's not even my real position hahaha.
Posted by RochelleStone 2 years ago
RochelleStone
Though I'm against the raising of minimum wage, I am very impressed with how BobTurner uses sources and has very elaborate debates. Good job Bob!
Posted by BobTurner 2 years ago
BobTurner
Nope, it's not my real position. Thanks though!
Posted by JohnMaynardKeynes 2 years ago
JohnMaynardKeynes
Bob, is that a left-wing position? Geez! I'm proud of you, buddy haha. You made the transition from "abolish every federal department" to raising the minimum wage. Good on ya. There may be hope for you.
Posted by BobTurner 2 years ago
BobTurner
Actually, I'm playing Devil's Advocate. I want to abolish the minimum wage hahaha.
Posted by wwwwh 2 years ago
wwwwh
I would accept but the only argument I have is that every thing else would increase as well: all that would happen is inflation though I would like to know how you would combat that you probably already researched this sense you were so confident to make this 5 rounds.
Posted by ZebramZee 2 years ago
ZebramZee
Very interesting debate topic. I consider all govt actions including minimum wages to be illegitimate for moral reasons. However I don't delve much into economics which is what I'm guessing you will be discussing and I anticipate the arguments to come.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
BobTurnerIm_BentleyTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Not sure what to say, rules say Pro gets all points and Pro deserved them as well. Cons arguments were non existent, rather assertions with no meaning.
Vote Placed by Dakota-Hiltzman 2 years ago
Dakota-Hiltzman
BobTurnerIm_BentleyTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by Wylted 2 years ago
Wylted
BobTurnerIm_BentleyTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: FF
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
BobTurnerIm_BentleyTied
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Total points awarded:60 
Reasons for voting decision: FF and pro had sources.