The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
25 Points
The Contender
TheHitchslap
Con (against)
Losing
11 Points

The minimum wage should not be raised to $15/hr for fast food workers

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 11 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/12/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 12,400 times Debate No: 37664
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (100)
Votes (11)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

Unions recently staged protests demanding that McDonald's in the U.S. should be required to pay workers a minimum of $15 per hour. An ABC News report provides some background on the issue [1. http://abcnews.go.com...]. While McDonald's was the focus of the demonstrations, a law cannot target just one fast food company. If that were legal, other chains might get most of the business, McDonald's would largely fail, and workers would be back at the current minimum wage of $7.25 working at competitors. Therefore, the resolution requires all fast food restaurants be required by law to pay $15 per hour.

The Pro position is that the disadvantages of requiring $15 per hour are greater than the advantages, and Con will argue the opposite. The purpose of focusing on the fast food industry, and McDonald's in particular, is to provide an example with real numbers in the economics. The debate is about the situation in the US, as other countries are often not comparable. American "fast food" is considered upscale in some places.

Do not accept this debate if your Elo ranking is less than 2800. Your Elo ranking is posted below your debate avatar on your profile page in the Debate Statistics block. If you have not debated yet, your Elo score is undefined, but it will be assigned a value of 2000, which does not qualify. By accepting this challenge you agree that if at the start of the debate you do not meet this criteria you forfeit all points.

Rules

This opening round is for definitions and acceptance only. I will give the Pro case at the start of the second round.

Standard debate conventions apply. I list them here for the benefit of new debaters and for readers. I believe there is nothing tricky or eccentric. Both sides agree to the following rules, and that violating the rules is a conduct violation, with anything contrary to the rules to be ignored by readers judging the debate:

DR 1. All arguments must be made in the debate. Evidence may be cited or linked from the debate, but only in support of arguments made in the debate. Arguments made in Comments are to be ignored.

DR 2. Source links or references must be included within the 8000 characters per round limit of the debate. No links or sources are permitted in comments.

DR 3 Any term not specifically defined before use is to be taken with the ordinary dictionary definition of the term that best fits the context of the debate.

DR 4. No new arguments shall be made in Round 4. Pro may rebut previous arguments using new evidence solely for that purpose, but no new arguments are allowed. Con may not present any new evidence or make new arguments in R4. R4 is for summarizing the debate and pointing out merits and deficiencies of the arguments rather than introducing new contentions.

DR 5. DDO site rules always apply. Neither side may add or modify rules for the debate once the challenge is accepted.



TheHitchslap

Con

I accept with some reservations.

Firstly, I'd like to point out that Pro is upholding the status quo, while I am trying to change that. Therefore, I have BOP in this case, unless pro advocates for abolishing Minimum wage entirely. I do not think that is his case, and thus I have BOP. The only reason why I am not making a case right now is due to the rules, otherwise with standard debate conventions I would be here.

Secondly, I'd like to point out that I'm on debate dot org doing this debate. I think at this point it's well noted that I'm at a distinct disadvantage to that of my opponent who is a well noted Republican HOF'er, and that this website is well noted for favoring Republican ideology. I only ask, that instead of using the bias to dictate who did and did not win, that we remove it and only go by the merits of the debate it's self rather than ones bias.

Thirdly, I also ask that we consider sources. I think that it isn't unreasonable to ask that the sources be considered for the audience due to how much "junk" is used on the internet to justify a position. I think we can agree to dismiss heavy partisan sources as illegitimate here today. Citing fox news or MSNBC for the impacts of minimum wage shouldn't be used here due to their intense bias'.

Finally, I think it's important to note that internationally, New Zeland was the first country to impliment a minimum wage in the international community. While I agree with my opponent that we should assume the context of this debate takes place in the US, I think I ought to point out that the impacts of other countries in a similar situation to the US (mostly wealthy developed countries as well) ought to be considered legitimate as a form of a "controlled" experiment should the debaters wish to do so.

A minimum wage is the lowest hourly, daily or monthly remuneration that employers may legally pay to workers. Equivalently, it is the lowest wage at which workers may sell their labor.

should -
  1. Used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions: "he should have been careful".
  2. Indicating a desirable or expected state: "by now students should be able to read".
Fast food -

Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly, first popularized in the 1950s in the United States. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a packaged form for take-out/take-away.

And with those notes, I accept the debate challenge


I wish my opponent the best of luck within this debate.


Let's get it on!
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

The main effects of requiring a $15 per hour minimum at McDonald's will be to eliminate about half the low-skilled jobs through automation, replace low-skilled workers with higher-skilled workers, and raise food prices to McDonald's customers. Many McDonald's customers cannot well afford the price increases.

1. Labor is now 25% to 35% of fast food costs

80% of McDonald's restaurants are owned by franchisees, not the Corporation. [2. http://tinyurl.com... The parent company makes most of its money through rents and royalties, not by selling food directly. Franchise owners are independent entrepreneurs. The best published detailed estimate is that currently labor costs are 25.3 % of the cost of running a McDonald's franchise. Huffington Post retracted their published estimate that only 17.1% of McDonald's cost were in labor and benefits. [3. http://tinyurl.com... ] Their cited study confused McDonald's Corporation labor with franchise labor, so they used the wrong numbers. [4. http://www.cnbc.com...

The current minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, with McDonald’s average about $9. Raising the minimum to $15 per hour would increase operating costs by about 17%.[5. http://tinyurl.com...] Forbes noted that the McDonald's franchising arrangement makes that calculation approximate, so it's probably more. For the fast food industry as a whole, labor costs are about a third of operating costs. [3. op cit] McDonald's is more automated, so their labor costs are a lower percentage. A 20% increase for the industry is a reasonable estimate.

The average McDonald's franchised restaurant costs the investor about $2 million and has $2.4 million in yearly sales. [6. http://tinyurl.com...] The net profit margin is about 10%. [7. http://tinyurl.com...] Restaurant sales vary from under $400K to nearly $10 million among restaurant in the chain. Some restaurants are much more profitable than others.

2. Increased costs cannot come out of profits

A 17% to 20% increase in costs cannot come out of a 10% profit margin. If profit's drop more than a few points, investors will move capital into alternative ventures.

To maintain a 10% return, franchise holders must continually pour in capital to stay competitive. They must buy equipment to make new menu items. They also face strategic risks as the parent company attempts to adapt to long term changes in consumer tastes. [8. http://tinyurl.com...] McDonald's represents 19% of the fast food industry, so there is plenty of competition. Individual owners also risk changes in the fortunes of their location, such as having a competitor open nearby or having the character of the neighborhood change in a way that affects consumer preferences. At much less than 10%, the investment becomes unattractive.

3. A $15 minimum would eliminate about half the jobs

If McDonald's could raise prices without hurting sales, they would have already done so. Forbes pointed this out. If everyone's labor costs rise, the chain that uses the least amount of labor will benefit. Customers will also move to lower-margin budget items on the menu, hurting profit margins. [9. http://tinyurl.com...] Customers can also choose to bring their lunch more often, eat out less often, occasionally eat at slightly more upscale restaurants now more of a relative bargain, or purchase machine-made food from a vending machine [10. http://tinyurl.com...]. If the loss of business is too great at a particular location, the unprofitable location is closed.

Higher labor costs puts pressure to substitute capital for labor my automating more tasks. That's the main way jobs will be lost. McDonald's took a step towards automating some time ago by installing drink machines that automatically shut off when the cup is full. That automation eliminates one staff position in twelve. They now have machines that automate dispensing the cup and filling it. [11. http://tinyurl.com...] Fast food restaurants have moved drive-through order taking off shore. The drive-through customer speaks to an employee in India or elsewhere, who keys the order into a computer.

More than a decade ago, McDonald's built a prototype completely automated restaurant. [12. http://tinyurl.com... (2003)] Customers key in their orders directly into a terminal. Machines then build the order and deliver it by conveyer belt. The Japanese fast food chain Yoshinoya has a completely automated (one-employee) fast food restaurant operating in Tokyo, where labor costs are high. The level of automation suitable for McDonald's depends upon the labor costs imposed.

The bottom line is that jobs are lost. Raising the minimum wage produces no loss only when prevailing wages are already higher than new minimum – not the case for McDonald’s. In general, when the minimum wage increases by 10%, unemployment rises by +2% to +6% [13.Richard Burkhauser, Kenneth Couch et David Wittenberg, “Who Minimum Wage Increases Bite: An Analysis Using Monthly Data from the SIPP and CPS”, Southern Economic Journal, 2000)] Using that rule of thumb, we can expect about half of fast food worker jobs to be lost. The available data on costs and available automated machines confirms the reasonableness of that estimate.

Fast food restaurants can immediately replace entry-level employees with more productive employees. Productivity varies considerably. Efficiency varies in taking orders rapidly, performing multiple tasks concurrently, dealing with customers who are hard to understand, and refilling or cleaning the machinery used in the restaurant. At $15, McDonald's can attract more experienced workers.

Currently, fast food work is one of the opportunities to learn basic jobs skills. The most basic skill is showing up for work reliably. Other basic skills are dealing with customers, cooperating with co-workers, and taking direction from management. There are work-related skills in preparing the food. Eliminating these jobs harms people just entering the labor force. Youth unemployment, already high, will be made even worse.

Fast food work is for entry-level and part-time workers like students or for people who want supplementary income. A spouse might be the primary breadwinner in a household, or an older person might be supplementing retirement income. There are plenty of those people in the work force looking for jobs.

4. Welfare should be done by government insofar as it's done at all

If society decides that each person should have a certain minimum income, the government should raise taxes pay for it. That way everyone can see the cost, and the a progressive tax puts more burden on the more wealthy.

Artificially increased restaurant prices act in the same way as a tax. Employees are paid more than needed to produce the product, and the extra pay comes from the pockets of the fast food consumers. The “tax” of higher prices is not paid by Donald Trump and Warren Buffett. Rather, the wealth transfer is from the lower part of the wealth spectrum that comprise McDonald customers to the food workers. It is heavily regressive. A welfare state is not a good idea to start with, but a welfare state financed by lower-income consumers is ridiculous.

5. Debate issues

Con pleads that Republicans dominate the debate.org site, so he deserves special sympathy. The actual demographics show Democrats outnumber Republicans by 21% to 16%. Minority parties tend to the Left, so it's worse overall. Ideologically, Conservatives plus Libertarians are 27% of members, while Liberals, Progressives, and other leftist ideologies combine to make 33% of the site. [14. http://www.debate.org... ] So no sad violin music for Con.

To accurately compare cost numbers from foreign countries, the analysis must include food costs, real estate costs, the nature of the competition, and hidden government subsidies. In making a comparison, the first question is what percentage of the bottom line is in labor costs.

TheHitchslap

Con

MY TURN!

C1: The Resolution is a Minor Concession by my Opponent

Roy is advocating to that it ought to not increase. This must mean that my opponent concedes that there are benefits of the MW in the first place. If my opponent thought that the MW was more harmful than beneficial, he would have advocated for it's complete abolishment. Otherwise, there is at least some reason to keep minimum wage (MW).

C2: The Role of the Government is Not a Factor Here

I would like to point out that this debate revolves around the evaluation of a policy. The question is not what the government's role ought to be. The topic of this debate must assume that the government is already involved, and the question of this debate is whether it has been economically beneficial or not. Therefore, my opponents entire 4th point concerning welfare is completely irrelevant. Besides, MW and welfare are different.

To justify keeping MW the same, he must in fact show the effects of this on the whole economy. When my opponent reverts to microeconomics to try and justify his position, this is null-and-void.

Turn: Without raising MW, the costs to the state is substantial: we lose tax revenue, more people go on welfare programs, some look to the “shadow economy” and begin to commit crimes, etc... So by taking the position my opponent has maintained, he is actually making those dependant on the state worse off by opposing MW, instead of saving money by increasing wages. Besides, my opponent completely forgets that if MW increases, people will be encouraged to find a job through legal means. [http://tinyurl.com..., http://tinyurl.com...]

C3: MW Hasn't Been Abolished Due to it's Effectiveness

Thought experiment: MW enters the US in about the 1930's under FDR's New Deal. Since then, the MW legislation has been increased in the US alone 22 times. Unless it was beneficial to the people, politicians, and businesses, then why has it not been abolished? In fact, why has it been furthered even surpassing federal levels in some states? Heck, why is it that in some parts of South Asia, Latin America, and Africa, a MW is simply customary? The answer is simple: MW legislation simply works. Well over 90% of the world has some form of a MW legislation, so there’s lots of data for us to analyze.

[http://tinyurl.com...]

C4: MW Improves the Gini Coefficient

Pretty self-explanatory: when MW hikes happen, every single index from the Gini Coefficient to Atkinson indexes, or even standard deviation of logarithms, show great improvement for the US. Meaning when MW hikes happen, income mobility is dramatically improved, and ones ability to improve their financial situation from their parents is increased. (“the American Dream” folks?!)[http://tinyurl.com...]

C5: Monopsonistic Competition Unfairly Favour Businesses

Imperfect competition has resulted in a buyer being able to unfairly dictate it's terms to the seller (worker) because of the volume of sellers. When competition between sellers ensues, the marginal product of labour (MLP) drops. The seller is producing the same amount of goods, but at a reduced price. As a result when MW increases, employment and wages go up as well. When we ask how much MW should increase, we look to MLP for equilibrium. MW is a legislation that regulates a market failure, not some silly “free-lunch” handout my opponent dresses it up as. [http://tinyurl.com...]

Re1: Labour Costs Are About 25-35% of Fast Food Costs

If we were to have a controlled experiment between someone who does pay MW (Walmart) vs paying more (Costco) we find that Costco actually saves money due to less turnover rates in the long run. [http://tinyurl.com...]

Re2: Increase Costs Actually Can Come From Revenue, in Fact My Opponent Himself Stated This in His First Paragraph (Price Increases)

Senator Elizabeth Warren notes on raising MW, McDonalds would be able to raise their prices about 8 more cents per burger to off-set the increase in labour costs (assuming MW is up to $14.75/hour). Meaning that increase costs can be compensated with additional revenue, my opponent noted this himself. It doesn't make sense to claim that prices will increase, but somehow revenue is lost when prices compensate for those factors. Furthermore, this is NOT counting the fact that most people who make a yearly income of $5,000 or less (students) spend about 6.2% of their income at fast-food chains. This is also not including the fact that increasing MW, as economist Robert Reich notes, only effects industries such as fast food, hospitality chains, and retail. Far more people will actually have more money to spend, furthering productivity, and the amount of money McDonalds gets in return as a result is higher than what my opponent claims. [http://tinyurl.com..., http://tinyurl.com..., http://tinyurl.com...]

Re3: My Opponent Assumes the Neoclassical Model of Supply and Demand When Claiming Half The Jobs Would Be Lost

My opponent is assuming a basic supply and demand model in microeconomics. As OMGJustinBeiber points out: To get that degree of precision would presupposing a kind of uniform rationality in regard to the consumer and producer, which obviously doesn't exist in the real world. Unfortunately, my opponent demands this exact precision – ["Raising minimum wage would costs half the jobs, jobs will be lost to technology"] -- to make his case. Short of believing this standard we must vote con.” For instance, my opponent notes a completely automated McDonalds in Tokyo, but as much as it makes complete rational sense for every single McDonalds to go this way (saves on labour costs substantially to the investor) they simply have not done it yet even after a MW hike in 2007! Rationally, this is the most illogical thinking I have ever seen if my opponents claim is correct! Meaning that some things demanded, or even supplied have absolutely no rational basis for them, and this assumption of actors always working for their own rational self-interests is nonsense. In fact, in his claim that jobs would be lost, he cites he following study: .Burkhauser, Couch et Wittenburg, “Who Minimum Wage Increases Bite: An Analysis Using Monthly Data from the SIPP and CPS”, Southern Economic Journal, 2000. Upon examining the study, it only used 3 points of data constituting a hasty conclusion.

Turn: My opponent claims that if MW increases, McDonalds would have incentive to replace workers with technology, costing jobs. However, he actually made a de facto case for minimum wage, as technology is a benefit to the economy not a detriment! Furthermore, this article was made in 2003 as his citation notes. Lets not forget MW at the federal level was increased in 2007, yet this fear of a complete automated McDonalds has yet to appear in the US (to the best of my knowledge). This is an irrational position for my opponent to claim; if my opponent's claim was correct, McDonalds would have already automated everything in every store. [http://tinyurl.com...] studies show that jobs are increased or are unaffected when MW is increased. The studies done by Card and Kruger show this when comparing New Jersey to Pennsylvania. This was after New Jersey hiked their MW in 1992 by 18%. This was repeated using the data from a federal MW hike, and California hike and the findings stayed the same. When we drop the supply and demand model, and actually precisely look at the employment impacts of a MW hike, they either remain unchanging or increase. [http://tinyurl.com..., http://tinyurl.com..., http://tinyurl.com...]

Re4: Role of the Government

(See C2)

Conclusion:

My opponent displays kettle logic and agreed with me on some points: MW increases technological innovation, businesses would not lose money due to price increases. The monsopolistic society we live in would heavily benefit from a MW increase when we drop the “s/d” generalities, and observe precise impacts via Card and Kruger studies.

I did not ask for special treatment!

Thank You

Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro


1. Labor is now 25% to 35% of fast food costs


Con did not contest my specific evidence that labor costs are 25% to 35% of costs in the fast food industry, that a $15 minimum would increase costs by 17% to 20%,


Con cites Sen Warren's figure that doubling the minimum at McDonald's would only increase the price of a burger by eight cents. That's unsupported nonsense and probably part of the early mistakes confusing McDonald's Corporation with the franchises. I provided a thoroughly referenced derivation of a minimum of 17% increase in costs. The average McDonald's Big Mac Meal costs $6.74, so a straight increase would be $1.14. In practice, prices would rise less than that with employees being replaced by machines.


2. Increased costs cannot come out of profits


Con concedes this point. Prices would rise.


3. A $15 minimum would eliminate about half the jobs


Con showed no error in my source.


Con referenced the Card and Kreuger (CK) paper (1994) claiming that employment actually increased in fast food restaurants when the minimum wage was raised in New Jersey. A later study by Neumark and Wascher (NW) (1995) [15. http://www.nber.org...] contradicted the result, showing a decrease in employment. NW discovered that CK had relied upon telephone survey data, whereas payroll data showed a different result. The two papers were considered by Roppenen [16. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com...] Roppenen found that employment decreased in the large fast food chain restaurants, but increased in small independent fast food restaurants. Fast food restaurants outside of large chains have almost disappeared since 1994. I suspect that growth in independent restaurants has something to do with the economic recovery being different in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the too states compared. NW also pointed out that data variances were very large so the CK results were subject to statistical error.


Con referenced the CK paper again with a second link. Con's reference after that is a bogus link.


Con then sites a Forbes article that says, “Fifteen dollars an hour is a huge jump from $7.25. It’s outside the range of experience. If you’re an empiricist, you have to say you don’t know what the outcome will be. But it will create some problems with McDonald’s business model.” This is like saying “We have no experience with a large chemical weapons attack on a US city, so we have no empirical data on what would happen.” Nonetheless, we have good reasons to believe it would be bad.


There have been many studies of the overall effect of raising the minimum wage. The Congressional Joint Economic Commission surveyed the literature published in the fifty years after World War II. They found only three studies out of 102 cited where a minimum wage increase had no negative effect. In all the others there was a negative effect. The Commission said, “These studies were exhaustively surveyed by the Minimum Wage Study Commission, which concluded that a 10% increase in the minimum wage reduced teenage employment by 1% to 3%.” [17. http://tinyurl.com...]


We would expect a few more studies before 2009 to show no significant effect, because the minimum wage has fallen further below the prevailing wage. It's as if we had a minimum wage of $20 per hour for neurosurgeons and raised it to $25. There would be no significant effect because so few neurosurgeons work at such low wage. Before the 2009 recession, only about 2.5% of the population was working at the minimum wage. A study done in those years may show little effect. Most of the state minimum wage hikes were in states with high prevailing wages, making it even less likely for an impact to be observed.


Con argued that in general wages are not subject to supply and demand and that any minimum wage increase would therefore have no effect. About a hundred studies contradict that. [Con's falsely generalizes small increases in the minimum to any increase in the minimum. In 1967 the minimum wage was 50% of average wages, now it is 39%. The minimum is now $7.25 and the average wage is $20.08. [18. http://tinyurl.com... ] That is why if raised to $9. countrywide it would have modest effect. At McDonald's workers are generally paid $9, so raising the wage to $15 is a different story. That's an increase from 80% of average to 166% of average.


Even though she used the bogus McDonald's numbers, Sen. Warren's hearing was about a small increase, not the $15 proposed for McDonald's, The testimony was that a small raise in the minimum wage would have little effect on the economy as a whole. The studies cited of no impact were from years when only 2.5% worked at the minimum wage. Now 4.7% of workers are at the minimum wage, and most of those part time. [19. http://www.bls.gov...] Even if that group is hurt badly, it is too small a part of the whole economy to have a devastating effect on the nation as whole.


Con argues that since full automation did not occur after the 2007 minimum wage increase, none will occur in the future. In fact, automation is incremental. After the comparatively modest 2007 wage increase, McDonald's installed automatic-shutoff drink machines and eliminated one job in twelve. Additional increments of automation are fully-automated drink dispensing, automatic burger flippers, touchscreen order taking, and factory preparation of menu items. Deliberately causing mass inefficiency with artificial increases in labor costs is a net loss of efficiency even there is remediation of part of it with automation.


I didn't cite a McDonald's in Tokyo. I cited a competitor that is more easily automated.


In Prof. Reich's video he is talking about a raise from $7.25 to $9, not close to what we are debating. He says jobs won't be lost because personal service jobs cannot be automated. In the specific case of fast food I have shown exactly how the jobs can be automated. The only issue is capital costs versus labor costs.


If Con argues that supply and demand do not operate on labor. About a hundred studies contradict that. [17] He made the generic argument that the minimum wage has no effect on employment, regardless of the amount. I challenge Con to explain why, under his theory, we should not raise the minimum to $200 per hour. If Con agrees that the amount matters, then he needs to reference the actual numbers for McDonald's.


A rise in the minimum cannot be stimulus, because it merely transfers wealth.


Con argues that reducing turnover will compensate for increased wages. That depends on the industry, and no one knows more about the McDonald's tradeoffs than McDonald's. Costco is a warehouse store, that's not McDonald's.


4. Welfare should be done by government insofar as it's done at all


Con supposes that if the government sets any minimum and if I don't oppose abolishing the minimum entirely, then I've accepted the principle that government is free to set any minimum. If something is bad, it's still valid to discuss an acute case of making it worse. If the minimum is set well below the prevailing wage, it has little effect and isn't worth debating.


Con says questioning the role of government is irrelevant. No, the challenge only says that we are weighing advantages versus disadvantages. It is a disadvantage of the $15 per hour minimum that it transfers wealth away from lower and middle income groups to fast food workers, rather than transferring it from the wealthy.


The Gini Coefficient is a measure of income equality. Total equality is achieved when all incomes are zero. It is a measure, but not a goal.


I showed that fast food is not a monopoly industry. I never said or implied a minimum wage was a free lunch. I said it puts workers out of their jobs.


Debate issues


Con has the link to the Costco reference used erroneously three times. The CK link is duplicated. I need the real links.


Con references Reich's arguments without making the arguments himself. They should be ignored.




TheHitchslap

Con

Re1: Labour Costs is Indeed 25-30% However, Pro Commits a Straw man Here

Con claims I didn't contest his assertion that labour costs are 25-30%. I agree, I did not. Because objectively it is true, but what I did refute what that labour costs would increase as a result of an increase in MW. And if we have two similar companies (such as Walmart and Costco) and compare the two, we see that Costco saves a substantial amount of money due to a lack of turnover caused by paying more for labour. Turnover is unusually low, at 17% overall and just 6% after one year’s employment. In contrast, turnover at Wal-Mart is 44% a year, close to the industry average...let’s assume that the total cost of replacing an hourly employee at Costco or Sam’s Club is only 60% of his or her annual salary. If a Costco employee quits, the cost of replacing him or her is therefore $21,216. If a Sam’s Club employee leaves, the cost is $12,617. At first glance, it may seem that the low-wage approach at Sam’s Club would result in lower turnover costs...total annual cost to Costco of employee churn is $244 million, whereas the total annual cost to Sam’s Club is $612 million” Thus, when MW increases, we notice turnover dropping and costs saved. Which means in the short run it might be more expensive, however in the long run these firms do save money as a result, which means MW decreases labour costs, not increase them. That was my whole point, to which my opponent obviously missed.

[http://hbr.org...]

The committee lead by Warren noted only an 8 cent increase was supported by the Card and Kruger studies which noted prices did increase but only cents at a time (about 5). Both the study and the increase we're debating about increased wages about 18% found the same numbers. They have been consistent even with my opponents own numbers (20% is reasonable as he stated) so claiming it's more like $1.25 is outrageous and unsupported. That's only if his math is correct, but it again does not account for all variables (such as staff workers buying into McDonald’s themselves when they have more disposable income due to MW increases) I agree prices will rise, I disagree with how much they will rise.

[http://davidcard.berkeley.edu...]

Re2: MW Increases Do Not Eliminate Jobs

No error in his source because the model in which he examines MW call for what we would generally predict in the economy, which again is not what we precisely see. This is only using the supply and demand model, which generalizes the economy, it does not precisely predict what happens. Just because there is no error in his source does not mean the methodology isn't flawed, and indeed as I showed it was made to find that MW would cost jobs. When we drop this model and go strictly on the basis of observation, we find this is simply untrue.

[http://en.wikipedia.org...]

In fact, my opponent cites the Newmark papers, which are heavily flawed. Originally, my opponents study actually agreed with the results of Card and Kruger before contradicting them. Card and Krugers (C&K) later studies were not only verified by T.D Stanley in 2005, but Meta-analysis of MW studies also verify C&K's studies as showing more employment increases with studies on increases of MW, and that the studies my opponent cite had heavy publication bias, and failed to meet the statistical reliability needed to justify their model and results (to be reliable studies have to have a 0.05 rating in the T-stat, opponents of MW had a score of 2, meaning they're junk science).

[http://en.wikipedia.org...]

Finally, one thing my opponent completely dropped was that when MW increases, more people will look for a job. Let's not forget to be considered unemployed you must meet the following conditions: 1) you must be actively looking for a job and 2) you must not have a job. So someone like a stay-at-home mother is not considered “unemployed” because she is not actively looking. Whereas someone fired and looking for work is considered. So, if labour force participation increases with increases in MW, then it's entirely possible under my opponents model to show increases of unemployed, yet MW increases still create more jobs; it's just that more people are encouraged to actively look for a job as a result, which is why his studies using supply and demand do not work, they cannot tell if it's more people entering the labour force or if firms are no longer hiring.

[http://www.oecd.org...]

Finally, my opponent claims that MW increase cannot stimulate the economy, this is nonsense, the poorest people in this country spend their money the most, if they have more disposable income and continue to spend they way they do, then increases of MW will in fact act like a stimulus for the economy.

[http://www.ksl.com...]

And no McDonald's will not automate everything even though MW increases because in the short run, those investments in tech are too costly, whereas people have the distinct advantage of having more skill in more than one area of work (promotions for example, or cooking more than one good, etc...) Besides, McDonald's when they were first founded were already automated to a certain degree, if MW increases have already happened and automation hasn't taken over completely, then this is an absurd argument by appealing to fear. They've been around since the 1940's and have seen numerous MW hikes, and yet they went from a self-serving type fast-food chain to an “assembly line” as my source notes.

[http://en.wikipedia.org...]

Finally, my opponent states “no one knows more about the McDonald's trade offs than McDonald's” which is true, but we have to look at this policy from the economy as a whole and evaluate it, we're not debating if it ought to be implemented, thus we have to go by economists, and the C&K studies, not McDonald's, last time I checked, they're not experts on Macroeconomics, economists are.

Also, I cited the Costco vs Walmart for a “controlled experiment” on the impacts of wage hikes. Which is why Roy doesn't want that to be considered; it shows without question the superiority of MW increases.

Re3: MW is NOT Welfare

My opponent concedes that MW is here to stay for at least some positive reason, he just doesn't want it to get “worse”, besides I already showed through MPL in a monopsonistic competition that wages are below, thus my opponent concedes here.

My opponent then goes on to say we have to talk about advantages versus disadvantages, which is true, but it's been around since the 1800's internationally, and is still in 90% of the world. If we want to weight in the +/- consequences of this policy, then to empirically test it's soundness we must see what it's impacts are, and assume the government is involved with MW and violating the right to contract, otherwise his whole case around the empirical of MW losing jobs has to be tossed out as irrelevant, because he simply has no data to show, and concedes that his model is a bunch of generalities, not preciseness.

The Gini coefficient is important, when inequality is reduced, crime decrease, social cohesion improves, quality of life improves, and economic incentives develop, all this by increasing MW, to which my opponent didn't contest and just claimed “it's a measure” yet the two are correlated, and show the "spin-off" effect of increases.

[http://en.wikipedia.org...]

Drops:

My opponent drops that MW has been around for years due to it's effectiveness, and it has been internationally accepted in other parts of the world. In fact, some parts it's socially employed not legally

My opponent drops my monopsonistic argument favouring businesses unfairly

My opponent drops that MW may cause tech improvements, and his contradicting claims in RD2(prices)



Thank You

Debate Round No. 3
RoyLatham

Pro


Summary


We know McDonald’s current cost structure. Raising the minimum wage at McDonald's would raise costs by 17% to 20%. That's $1.14 on a typical meal. Customers, mainly the poor and middle class, would pay more and they would tend to eat out less often. The fast food business would shrink, losing jobs. Higher labor costs makes more automation cost effective, so McDonald’s would install more equipment and further reduce the numbers of jobs. We know what McDonald’s can do for automation, like automatic drink machines and touchscreen order entry. They would reduce the number of entry-level jobs. By forcing the prices higher than required, the economy suffers from lowered efficiency. Taxpayers will end up paying unemployment benefits and welfare to the low-skilled workers who lose jobs.


Prices will rise 17% to 20% and half the employees will be laid off


We agree prices will rise, a strong disadvantage, with the amount in dispute. Con's entire price and unemployment case is built upon a single study (CK) that compared what happened in 1994 when New Jersey raised its minimum wage but Pennsylvania did not. If the study were valid, one case is inadequate to establish that the minimum wage has no effect on employment no matter what the industry, the prevailing wage, and the state of automation technology. 99 of 102 studies on raising the minimum wage showed bad effects, and that's not overcome by one study that shows the contrary. We don't know if there were other differences affecting general economic growth in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Saying that one example amounts to a law of nature is the fallacy of hasty generalization.


However, the CK study was bogus, relying on a telephone survey that produced numbers with a very large spread. The study was contradicted by in 1995 by Neumark, who followed up by checking payroll data. Con says that a 2005 study attempted to resurrect the one case establishing minimum wage having no effect on employment, but he didn't provide a link to that study. However, the most recent study by Roppenen [16] in 2011 showed that CK was in error, and that employment dropped in the large fast food chains.


Con explains that Sen Warren's claim of the price of rising eight cents came from the CK study, which claimed an 8% rise in prices. Con says “Both the [CK] study and the increase we're debating about increased wages about 18% found the same numbers.” Actually, we are debating an increase for $7.25 to $15. That is 107%, is 5.93 times 18%. If an 18% rise in wages produces an 8% rise in prices, then a 107% increase should product something closer to 45%. I'm claiming less than half that.


To get to an eight cent rise in the price of a hamburger, the Senator must have used the promotional one dollar hamburger, and pretended that was what a McDonald's customer would typically purchase just one of those and nothing else. The Senator's calculation is fraudulent. The current minimum wage rise is much larger, the current economics of McDonald's applies – not 1994, and the average customer does not purchase a single one dollar burger. The analysis showed that costs would rise 17% to 20%. Applying that to the Big Mac Meal, more typical than a single $1 burger, produces a rise of $1.14 for a typical transaction.


Con quotes a completely general Wikipedia article that says the classic supply and demand model does not always work because sometimes the assumptions are not met. Con did not make any of the arguments in the article himself, nor did he show how it applies to McDonald's. Wikipedia is not, in any case a valid source for opinions. Con needs to show that people will buy McDonald's hamburgers at the same rate regardless of price, and that McDonald's won't automate to lower costs despite the clear ways they can proceed to do so.


I quoted a survey of published papers that showed the trend in job loses with minimum wage increases. Half the fast food jobs will go.


I challenged Con to show that McDonald's jobs were so skilled that employee retention would save as much as it was claimed to at Costco. Costco is mainly a logistics company, finding many thousands of products, negotiating prices, arranging supply routes, and stocking warehouse stores. Those are high skill jobs were retaining employees saves training and recruitment. Not so McDonald's, who has no problem finding and training applicants. Con made preposterous unjustified assumptions of replacement costs.


Con says, “My opponent drops that MW has been around for years due to it's effectiveness, ...”


Debate fans will recognize the ad populum fallacy: that because something has been around for a long time, it must be a good thing. Smoking was around for centuries, and it wasn't a good thing. I did not accept that the minimum wage has been around for years due to its effectiveness. It's around because foolish politicians think they are doing good, and because it gets them votes. I said whether it is a good thing or not, we can debate the effects of doubling it in the fast food industry. I presented a survey showing that in 99 of 102 studies, the minimum wage increases had bad effects. Con did not respond with counter evidence. I challenged Con to explain why the minimum wage should not be raised to $200, given his argument that supply and demand did not apply to labor. He did not respond.


Con says, “My opponent drops my monopsonistic argument favouring businesses unfairly.”


I did not drop it. I responded that McDonald's had many competitors for labor. A monopsony is when there is one buyer. Not only are there many companies buying labor, but anyone can start their own company. If Con is correct that supply and demand do not operate on burgers, he or anyone can start a hamburger stand, charge $100 a burger and pay employees $200 an hour. The argument is nonsense. Supply and demand are operative, and there is plenty of active competition for both burgers and labor.


Con says, “My opponent drops that MW may cause tech improvements, and his contradicting claims in RD2(prices).”


I treated this at length. I said that raising the minimum wage causes price increases, and that some of the increase is absorbed by replacing jobs by automation.


Con seems to believe that automation necessarily lowers costs and improves efficiency. That's not true, and I said so. If it were more efficient to increase automation at present wage levels, McDonald's would have already done so. Capital costs compete with labor costs. Raising labor costs artificially allows automation to be increased to save some money, but costs will still be higher than if labor costs were not increased.


Higher wages won't attract more labor into the market because we already have large surpluses at low skill levels.


Gini Coefficient I correctly said that having all wages zero produces a 0 Gini coefficient. The studies Con cites assume that per capita income is equal. That says that if the average income is the same, it's better to have fewer poor people. The Gini coefficient for the United States is 0.38, whereas about the best in Europe is Greece, at 0.33. [20. http://en.wikipedia.org...] So should we strive to be more like Greece? The problem is that achieving a lower coefficient by forced redistribution of wealth also necessary lowers the total wealth, because it allocates capital inefficiently.


Con argued that transferring wealth from McDonald’s customers to McDonald’s employees will produce stimulus. Con produced no evidence that McDonald's customers were so wealthy as to be less likely to spend the money more readily than McDonald's employees. It's fundamentally unfair to transfer wealth from customers.


--------------


Con had few sources relevant to current McDonald's economics, he declined to fix broken and bogus links, and he relied almost entirely on one doubtful study.


Con repeatedly claims that I have dropped arguments when I did not.


Thanks to Con for a debate that thoroughly covered the subject.


TheHitchslap

Con


Summary



My opponents case rest on the notion of correlation being causation. For me to meet by BOP here, I must either show that with a MW hike, jobs either remain the same, or increase, while my opponent must show they will decrease. I have shown that they have correlated with increase, but have other benefits as well. (Such as less paid on welfare, or a de facto stimulus effect as well).



The Card and Kreuger Studies Are Sound



While my opponent might claim that I based my case on one study, this is false. I noted that the C&K studies not only went state to state, but tested it at the federal level as well, and also with the state of California, they were then verified in 2005 by T.D Stanley, and meta-analysis also shows that my opponents study ignored variables, were designed with publication bias, and failed to show that MW harms jobs. This is not a hasty conclusion, this is an economic reality. Meta-analysis takes all the studies done on MW and tries to show a general trend in those studies, those trends showed a correlation with job increases, or no impact on jobs confirming the soundness of C&K studies.



Furthermore, as with the fact that 90% of the world has some form of MW legislation, and the meta-analysis showing overwhelming evidence of error for those studies against MW, showed that again my opponents study was designed to fail (no moving t-score means junk science, as more data you get the t-score MUST change otherwise your ignoring variables). That's great that he cites a study that showed MW costed jobs, but again correlation is not causation, and furthermore as my previous link noted on the meta-analysis states:Hristos Doucouliagos and T.D. Stanley conducted a similar meta-analysis of 64 U.S. studies on dis-employment effects and concluded that Card and Krueger's initial claim of publication bias is still correct. Moreover, they concluded, "Once this publication selection is corrected, no evidence of a negative association between minimum wages and employment remains."


My opponent simply claims this is bogus, and dismisses my evidence asking for more, this is the moving the goal-post fallacy. I provided evidence, and my link was fine.



Here it is: http://en.wikipedia.org...



I Did Not Make an Ad Populum Fallacy



My opponent is factually wrong, I noted that in some places (Latin America, Africa, etc...) MW is simply customary, which is an exception for the Ad Populum fallacy.



Furthermore, appeal to popularity is valid only when the questions are whether the belief is widespread and to what degree. I had noted that MW was in over 90% of the world, that was it. Therefore, this does not qualify for the Ad populum fallacy, as it's impacts are debated, however, factually it is used internationally, and thus ample data exists.



http://en.wikipedia.org...



McDonald's Has Been Around Since the 1940's And Has Seen MW Increase. Their Tech Went the Opposite Way



My opponent continues to claim that automation would steal jobs, but this does not make sense for several reasons as I noted earlier: 1) McDonalds has gone the opposite way, from a self-serve resturaunt to a more “factory” like one (as noted in their history) and 2) They've been around for years and seen MW hike about 15 times, yet they still have not completely automated like my opponent claims. What makes now so different?



Even then, technology innovation is excellent for the economy, and as I pointed out earlier is a case for MW increases, not against it!





(Due to time constraints, this is the last of my argument)



Thank you Roy, I accepted this to assist me in an essay for Minimum wage Legislation! I'm happy we had this debate and hope to battle it out again another time!


Debate Round No. 4
100 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by brianjustin3709 1 year ago
brianjustin3709
and 100!!!
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Bigdave,

Well, third against George Washington and Lincoln; I should have said Presidents after Lincoln.

Thanks, for the update.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
I forgot to address your last points.

We need at least 200,000 additional IRS auditors to catch all the owners of small businesses that are responsible for most of the trillion dollar tax gap each decade.

We need many more regulations and auditors to catch all the cheats on Wall Street and in the Big banks than manipulate the stock market and screw the little people in favor for the wealthy.

Again, Roy, the American system is broken.

What is sad for you Roy; you are on the losing side of this battle.
Posted by bigdave 3 years ago
bigdave
GWL-CPA

Oddly, scholars rate FDR #3.

"Sixty-five historians have brought their far-reaching perspective to the list of American presidents, and ranked them from best to worst.

Considering a litany of factors in 10 different categories ranging from economic management to crisis management, the list places Abraham Lincoln as the greatest U.S. leader. Lincoln placed in the top three in each of the top 10 categories. Presidents were given ratings of 1 (poor) to 10 (excellent).

After Lincoln, historians placed George Washington next, followed by back-to-back Roosevelts (Franklin D. Roosevelt and Theodore Roosevelt, respectively) and then Harry Truman.

Modern highlights include George W. Bush ranked #36 out of 42, Ronald Reagan coming in at #10, and William Jefferson Clinton placing at #15.

James Buchanan sits at the unenviable bottom."

Source: http://www.examiner.com...
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
We will have to agree to disagree.

I have cited all the proof that is necessary to prove my case; you choose to ignore it.

Most of the wealthy in the USA, especially the Plutocracy and Libertarians don't accept reality, except the non-reality the wealthy live in.

Thomas Jefferson got it right with his comments about the blood of tyrants and patriots. A new revolution is brewing; it might not happen in my lifetime; but, unless major changes occur, e.g. much higher minimum wage, sharing of profits with all workers, Universal Health Care, higher Social Security retirement benefits, etc.; it will eventually happen.

We are on the opposite ends of the political and economic ideologies; we will never agree.

For example, I think FDR " Franklin Delano Roosevelt was then and is still the greatest President in the history of the United States; I am sure you do not agree. I am guessing you are a big President Cowboy Borax Ronnie Alzheimeric (i.e., my new adjective for someone with Alzheimer"s dementia) Reagan fan, or the Bush Presidents. I think it is time for another FDR type of "New Deal"; I am sure you are not.

And, of course I will expect you to post the last comment. We are both very tenacious; but, I have fairness on my side; you don't; you represent a small minority of wealthy in America, and the World for that matter, e.g., the royalty in the UK, Germany, France, Middle East, etc. And, you won"t accept that Capitalism is dead or slowly dying

Thanks for the fun.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
GWL, Your condescension is clear in nearly everything you write. You always present yourself as the ultimate authority on every subject, and you view every doubter of your authority with contempt.

I do not understand the process by which liberals come to believe not only that they are victims, but that victimhood conveys high authority. I had as many interactions with rich kids as anyone, maybe more, but it never occurred to me that they were anything other than a bit lucky. The rich dolts will end life poor.. Statistics show that wealth carries for only one generation; by the second generation the correlation is gone. Your background is unremarkable; mine is unremarkable as well. Life strikes people in different ways is all I can say. I know people who have suffered much more and never become victims, and people with much better who think they are victims.

Kevin Phillips is a legitimate writer. Howard Zinn writes works of fantasy that have been debunked redundantly. Try some Hayek and von Mises for a little balance on the economics. Any reputable historian cures Zinn.

The US is the only country that uses the system of self-assessed taxation. It leads to strange behavior as honest businesses have to play the 3600 tax loopholes government has provided as incentive what Big Brother wants. However, the mentality of the individual vs. government is common worldwide. Ask anyone who has lived under an authoritarian rule. Their lives are all about trying to keep a low profile and evading government as a means for survival. The US government added about 6000 new regulations last year, authored by bureaucrats independent of anyone elected, and nearly all liberals who are certain they are rulemakers because of their inherent superiority.
Posted by RoyLatham 3 years ago
RoyLatham
1. Jobs will not be lost because retail stores, especially fast food restaurants need to keep a minimum numbers of workers, which is the number they currently are employing.

Of course not. They can simply go out of business if they cannot compete with businesses that are less labor intensive.

2.Automation will continue regardless of whether the minimum wage is raised to $15 per hour or not.

Automation is a cost issue. About ten years ago, McDonalds built a restaurant that is 100% automated. It costs to automate, so they have not yet implemented fully automated restaurants. In response to rising labor costs McDonalds implemented partially automated drink machines a few years ago. That allowed them to eliminate 1 job of every 12. No one automates because they like the concept. It's done only if it's cheaper than labor. Raise the price of labor, and automation follows.

3.I answered the welfare question below; it is something that businesses should pay for because they benefit the most from the infrastructure that the taxpayers have paid for; and because corporations and businesses have not paid their fair share of taxes and get huge breaks and subsidies from the Federal and state governments, which I tough upon briefly later.

Nonsense. A business may be losing money, barely breaking even, or teetering on bankruptcy. If you believe that corporations in general don't pay enough, then you can try to get legislation to increase taxes or make taxes more progressive. If you think that its really easy for businesses to make money, then just start one and pay low-skill workers whatever you want to.

Business gets no more benefit from infrastructure than the average person. Individuals get free schooling and they use all the transportation infrastructure as much as business. Business shipping by trucks and rail is very heavily taxed. Employment is voluntary on both sides; it's an equal deal.
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Roy " Part I.

I will answer your last three questions first about why raising the minimum wages to $15 for everyone, not just fast food workers, will be good for America.

1. Jobs will not be lost because retail stores, especially fast food restaurants need to keep a minimum numbers of workers, which is the number they currently are employing.

2.Automation will continue regardless of whether the minimum wage is raised to $15 per hour or not.

3.I answered the welfare question below; it is something that businesses should pay for because they benefit the most from the infrastructure that the taxpayers have paid for; and because corporations and businesses have not paid their fair share of taxes and get huge breaks and subsidies from the Federal and state governments, which I tough upon briefly later.

Answering your question about fun; it is a relative term, and very subjective.

My strong sense of entitlement is called fairness.

As far as my being vastly superior to everyone else, I never claimed any such thing. I am not a medical doctor, dentist, etc. My expertise is in accounting, auditing, and I am a CPA " Certified Public Accounting, CISA " Certified Information System Auditor, and CBA " Chartered Bank Auditor. I analyze data very well. I have a minor in Philosophy. I have been a voracious reading over the last 40 years, and have an extensive library.

Two of my recent reads (last 5 years) that are relevant to this topic being discussed are "Wealth and Democracy " A Political History of the American Rich" and "The Politics of Rich and Poor" by Kevin Phillips. Another book I recently reread "The History of the United States " 1492 to Present" by Howard Zinn, which gives the true history of America, not the whitewashed BS you get in school; it tells the truth about how the wealthy backed by the government have been screwing everyone except the wealthy since the beginning in 1492. I also keep a copy of a U.S. Constitutional Primer close at
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Roy " Part II.

In 1969 at Bradley University, while in a speech class, the Professor assigned me the topic Communism, I had to do a persuasive presentation to the class. To prepare for that presentation, I read "The Communist Manifesto" by Karl Marx and Fridrich Engels for the first time. I must have done a good job, because I had at least three people after the class stopped me to discuss it. I remember a big football jock, hairy knuckles dragging on the floor, stopping me and stating "you don"t really believe that S_hit?" I said, of course not, it was a persuasive speech for class. At the time, I had no real opinion one way or the other. I was poor, and had worked in sweaty factories where I wasn"t paid well, which helped convince me that I should go to college. I was at a relatively expensive college, but only because my Dad died at 42 when I was 15 leaving my Mom with nothing, but I did get Social Security Survivor benefits because I was in college; I actually needed the benefits, unlike Congressman Paul Ryan and his Mother who were millionaires and still took the Survivor Social Security benefits; and, of course they were entitled, but that is not the point. I went to a local junior college my first year. I was surrounded by many wealthy snotty punks at Bradley that had never worked a day in their lives, but had fancy cars, and lots of spending money and fanny clothes just because somehow their parents were wealthy. I went to Bradley because my best buddy at the time was going to go there is his second year; he came from a poor family too. We didn"t get to fly to Florida or Hawaii for our spring and Christmas breaks, and to Europe in the summers. We all had full time jobs during the summers between school years
Posted by GWL-CPA 3 years ago
GWL-CPA
Roy " Part III.

I have reread the Communist manifesto, and in my opinion it is the only possible way for a global economy to work as we approach a World population of 10 billion in 2050. It is the only way to ensure that we don"t have a two class society - the haves and the have nots. I take the same position that Albert Einstein took in his article that he wrote in 1949:

"Why Socialism"

"I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate (the) grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow-men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society."

I don"t care if jobs are lost in America because the minimum wage for retail fast is raised to $15 per hour; the job loss, if it happens at all, will be temporary. It has not happened in Canada.

The source I cited on Germany states: "Minimum Wages in Germany 2013 " Statutory agree minimum wages in Germany in January 2013" is the same site you cited. But, here are more sources:

Germany"s Merkel agrees to Social Democrats demand for a universal minimum wage
By Agence France-Presse
Thursday, November 21, 2013 10:05 EST
11 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
RoyLathamTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Sorry to both of you debaters, but I don't have enough time to compose a good RFD, so I'll just vote on sources. Basically, con used to much Wikipedia. Pro had more reliable sources.
Vote Placed by Magic8000 3 years ago
Magic8000
RoyLathamTheHitchslapTied
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Reasons for voting decision: This is a really hard debate to vote on, because both sides did well. Con was straw manned by Pro on Labor costs and Pro's futuristic McDonald's contention seemed irrelevant, as it wasn't linked to McDonald's overall. However the main point of the debate seems to be Pro's studies vs Con's studies on minimum wage. Con claims Pro's studies are based on a flawed methodology. Pro attacks the CK studies, claiming other reliable studies contradicted the conclusion. Along with attacking the methodology of his source too. Con showed Pro's studies were heavily biased and showed the CK studies weren't in one state (as Pro stated) but were in every state and on the federal level. Con cited a meta-analysis that confirmed CK studies. Pro repeated himself, going after the CK studies, claiming it's a hasty generalization. But ignored the meta-analysis. Pro was also wrong in claiming Con's argument as an ad populum fallacy. Con showed it to be an exception.
Vote Placed by donald.keller 3 years ago
donald.keller
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in Comments
Vote Placed by 2-D 3 years ago
2-D
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Reasons for voting decision: This debate would have been closer if this was over the minimum wage in general. Con just did not develop a justification for such a large unprecedented increase. I agree that Pro gave a more convincing case as to where the money would come from and that the large hike would cause more harm overall. Initially asking for special consideration from voters may be borderline for conduct but I'll take Con's word for it that he just wanted a fair debate. I didn't see that Con used Wikipedia when a more detailed, professional site was warranted but I may look at this later. Strong well presented arguments on both sides.
Vote Placed by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments
Vote Placed by Anon_Y_Mous 3 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: It was a close debate, but I that Con edged it out with his supporting evidence of the CK study.
Vote Placed by gordonjames 3 years ago
gordonjames
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a good case - $$ have to come from somewhere. It either comes from profits or from increased product price. Both argued that they knew what would (might) happen. Pro suggested price increases, layoffs an even higher level of automation(lost jobs). Con doesn't give a convincing idea where the money will come from. Better sources for PRO - although wikipedia did cite some good sources.
Vote Placed by dylancatlow 3 years ago
dylancatlow
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro made a convincing case that raising the minimum wage to that level would result in massive unemployment, and harm those it would be intended to help. 15 dollars an hour translates to 43k a year, which is nearly the medium income in the United States. This would mean that a job at McDonalds -requiring virtually no skills - would be a decent career, rivaling teacher's salaries. Con just made generic arguments in favor of the Minimum wage without ever addressing how a MW of 15 dollars an hour for fast food workers would be even slightly feasible.
Vote Placed by imabench 3 years ago
imabench
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Reasons for voting decision: countering Ameliam's source vote. Wikipedia is perfectly fine when talking about general concepts or simple statistics, which is what con used it for. Arguments were very well done from both sides where the contest was basically corporate wealth vs employee wealth, with neither side pulling away in terms of quality.
Vote Placed by calculatedr1sk 3 years ago
calculatedr1sk
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Reasons for voting decision: I agree with Ameliamk1 that it is strange to ask that biased sources like MSNBC and Fox be excluded, but then refer to Wikipedia. Pro struck hard against several aspects of Con's argument, and I don't feel like Con's accusations of dropped arguments or fallacies by Pro quite landed, so I'm still deciding whether or not to give Pro conduct. On the other hand, Pro didn't really convince me that $15 MW is all around a negative thing. Like any other policy, it will hurt some (those who lose jobs, pay more for fast food, and lose profits) while it benefits others (fast food workers who keep their jobs. So what? As Con pointed out, higher payrolls means more money in workers' (low average savings rate) hands, which acts like a stimulus when more money is put into people's hands at the lower end of the economic spectrum. The increased demand from that stimulus-like effect, coupled with more demand for automated technology seems rather like a good thing to me.