The Instigator
eZminT
Con (against)
Tied
3 Points
The Contender
SJM
Pro (for)
Tied
3 Points

The minimum wage should be raised

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/29/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 5 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 239 times Debate No: 93194
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (1)

 

eZminT

Con

First Round Accept
SJM

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
eZminT

Con

The minimum wage should not be raised because:

1) Price-Demand chart shows that when the price of a good or service increases, consumers will demand less of it. In this case, laborers offering to sell their labor to an employer now must be worth at least the mandated minimum to the employer otherwise the employee is now unemployable and will not be able to work the job even if he would have done so for less than the mandated minimum. Raising the minimum wage increases unemployment for unskilled workers, just as raising height requirements decreases the amount of short passengers for a roller-coaster.

2) The current minimum wage is in fact "livable", as by the criteria of "livable", nobody working at the current minimum wage could do so if it were not. Since the minimum wage is in fact already "livable", then the minimum wage has already achieved what it is set out to achieve and thus, does not need to be raised any further.

3) Only roughly 4% of the labor force actually works at the mandated minimum wage. And out of that 4%, 50% are under the age of 25. [1] People who are this young tend to be dependent on other members of their families and so there is no reason to be raising the "livable" wage for those which are not dependent on the wage itself being "livable".

4) Since only 2% of workers could be said to be dependent on the minimum wage, and the minimum wage is federal policy which is contingent on the current political atmosphere and not sound economic policy, other methods besides the minimum wage should be pursued to better the lives of that 2%.

[1] http://www.bls.gov...
SJM

Pro

My opponent claims that if we raise the minimum wage, that it would make such a difference that it would make employers not want to hire any laborers. But my opponent didn"t state how much the wage would be increased by. Therefore I can argue that we should increase the wage by one cent. And a one cent difference to someone"s wage, will not deter an employer from hiring someone.

My opponent states that someone who works minimum wage has enough to be in a livable state. But the poverty iine for one person is 11,880, but A full-time minimum wage employee earns $15,080 annually. Yes it"s livable wage, but barely, there people also want things like education, clothes, and better food and be able to enjoy themselves. Plus the poverty line for a family of 2 is about 16,00, therefore if a mother is raising a children working as a fast food worker, this wage is unlivable. Also the wage is livable, means someone can get only the necessities they need to live. Shelter is not a necessity to live since people can live without a house, but people can"t live without food and water. Being able to live is not the only thing someone should strive for. "Seattle estimates that, before its historic decision, almost a fourth of its workers earned below $15 an hour. That translates into about $31,000 a year for a full-time worker. In a high-cost city like Seattle, that's barely enough to support a family. Most minimum-wage workers aren't teenagers these days. They're major breadwinners who need a higher minimum wage in order to keep their families out of poverty."

Source- http://obamacarefacts.com...
http://poverty.ucdavis.edu...
http://www.cnbc.com...

If this affects only 4% of people, then that mitigates the problems with raising the minimum wage. And people ages 19-25 are people I would say is not dependent on families. Under that probably, but not always. These people are still people that need to make money to do the things I have listed above.

More jobs and faster growth.

"The gains from a higher minimum wage extend beyond those who receive it. More money in the pockets of low-wage workers means more sales, especially in the locales they live in " which, in turn, creates faster growth and more jobs. A major reason the current economic recovery is anemic is that so many Americans lack the purchasing power to get the economy moving again." This is a good reason for raising the minimum wage, since it"s better to have more jobs and economic growth.
Debate Round No. 2
eZminT

Con

"My opponent claims that if we raise the minimum wage, that it would make such a difference that it would make employers not want to hire any laborers."

My argument against the minimum wage is primarily an argument on economic principle, not an actual dollar amount - I am not arguing that raising the minimum wage to $15/hr is bad but $10/hr is good. I will remind Pro that we are debating "the minimum wage should be raised" and not "the minimum wage should be raised by X".

"Therefore I can argue that we should increase the wage by one cent."

Pro did not understand point 1 in my first argument, which was referring to the basic economic principle of of price vs demand. It doesn't matter what the amount of increase is, be it $5 or 1 cent. When the price of anything increases, demand for that good or service decreases.

"And a one cent difference to someone"s wage, will not deter an employer from hiring someone."

In fact, all other things being equal, an employer will hire someone who will do the job for $10.00 over someone who will do the job for $10.01.
Pro is also suggesting that $0.01/hr increase in wages adds no significant cost to running a business, so let's crunch some numbers for fun:

The number hours worked by full time employee: 40
The number of hours worked per year: 2080
The increase per year per employee: $20.08

Now let's take a look at what that would cost Wal-Mart:

Wal-Mart employees: 2.1 million [2]
Total increase in labor cost: $43,680,000/yr
And that's just one cent - proponents of the minimum wage are currently fighting to DOUBLE the current minimum wage.
So yes, in fact, even one cent can have very large ramifications to operating a business which might cause the business to think about downsizing it's labor force.

"people also want things like education, clothes, and better food and be able to enjoy themselves."

I'm sure that most people - those who may not even be of working age at all - want these things too. I'm not too sure how that fit's in to a discussion about the "livable" minimum wage, since what you are describing is not what is livable, but what is the minimum luxury. If it is luxury that you want for low paid workers, perhaps you should consider donating a certain percentage of YOUR income every week to the poor, otherwise what you are essentially demanding is that business owners pay charity on your behalf. The minimum wage is not charity and should never be viewed as such.

"...if a mother is raising a children working as a fast food worker, this wage is unlivable."

Pro will need to provide a citation of the case in question where a mother who works as a fast food worker while raising a family perished due to the fact that the wage she was being paid was in fact "unlivable".

"Most minimum-wage workers aren't teenagers these days. They're major breadwinners who need a higher minimum wage in order to keep their families out of poverty."

I invite Pro to revisit point 3 in my first argument and to at least observe the first 2 pages of the cited source, as these are direct refutations to this claim.

"If this affects only 4% of people, then that mitigates the problems with raising the minimum wage."

The minimum wage affects 100% of the labor market.

"More jobs and faster growth."

If raising the minimum wage created positive economic growth, and we could raise it to whatever we pleased, why stop at $15? Why not $20? Why not $2,000?

[1] http://thehill.com...
[2] http://www.businessinsider.com...
SJM

Pro

So my opponent"s first few arguments against my point that I could be arguing about adding a one cent increase to wage and that people wouldn"t deter from hiring such people, is that someone would prefer someone with 7$ to 7.01, and that because the concept of price and demand, it would be true for any amount. But this shows that my opponent doesn"t understand the concept of minimum wage, someone wouldn"t be able to hire someone for 7.00 if the minimum wage is 7.01. The only way this would make sense is if he was arguing that it would deter employers from hiring workers because they would want to put the money into something less expensive, but my opponent did not make that argument, therefore disregard it. And even if we are arguing that it should be raised period, that means that 0.01 still falls into that category.

Now let"s look at my opponent"s calculations since my opponent is arguing that if we increased the wage by 0.01, then the increase overall for 2.1 million employees would be 43,680,000. This is obviously not a huge ramification for a company like walmart, if you look at the type of money the company posses, and the owners and investors. Labor is one of their primary liabilities so it"s not at all shocking. ."

Then my opponent claims that my point about education and other things doesn"t fall under livable, but that is exactly what I said which my opponent neglects. I"m not saying that these things fall under livable, I"m saying that people deserve more than what is just livable solely for being humans. Also education is not a luxury, by definition it"s the state of great comfort and extravagant living, which education doesn"t ensure. Then my opponent says that if I don"t donate my income then I basically want companies to pay charity on my behalf. But on what grounds does my opponent say this? I do donate, and it"s ridiculous for my opponet to assume that I don"t.

"Pro will need to provide a citation of the case in question where a mother who works as a fast food worker while raising a family perished due to the fact that the wage she was being paid was in fact "unlivable".

CON used the same standard of judging whether income is livable with the same measurement. Therefore my opponent is a hypocrite for saying that his measurement of livable works while my definition using the same standard doesn"t. Thus I do not need to provide an example since voters will see the hypocrisy my opponent has committed.

"I invite Pro to revisit point 3 in my first argument and to at least observe the first 2 pages of the cited source, as these are direct refutations to this claim."

We both cited evidence that contradict each other, therefore we need to say which one is better with reason, or they cancel out. And my opponent didn"t provide any reason, except says to read 2 pages from a site, which is not how someone types a card. You can"t just copy and paste a website and tell someone to read it, you take the evidence out of the website and paste it and give the source. Therefore both evidences are cancelled out.

"The minimum wage affects 100% of the labor market."

In that case it does matter because my opponent used the 4% point to make it seem as if the minimum wage increase didn"t matter, but now he just provided information that did make it matter.

"If raising the minimum wage created positive economic growth, and we could raise it to whatever we pleased, why stop at $15? Why not $20? Why not $2,000?"

Oh please! I did not expect this type of argument but I"ll refute it anyway. To put it simply, my opponent is basically saying that if something is good because of a factor, why not do it indefinitely? Therefore if it"s good to drink water, why not do it indefinitely? The reason for that is because the person would drown. Therefore my opponent did not provide a good argument since water is a necessity for living but yet someone can"t drink it indefinitely.

Thus please vote pro.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by TheWorldIsComplicated 5 months ago
TheWorldIsComplicated
In my opinion, minimum wage jobs are meant for college students so they can pay off student loans, they aren't supposed to be a job that you can live off of.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Eshan13 4 months ago
Eshan13
eZminTSJMTied
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Total points awarded:33 
Reasons for voting decision: I thought that some of the arguments were a little questionable on con side