The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Losing
29 Points
The Contender
Altik_0
Con (against)
Winning
31 Points

Under capitalism, corporate executives deserve the salaries that they are paid.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/15/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,971 times Debate No: 8291
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (12)

 

mongeese

Pro

Capitalism - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Corporate executive - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Deserve - to be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward or requital (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Salaries - http://en.wikipedia.org...
Paid (to pay) - to make due return to for services rendered or property delivered (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

My first contention: Corporate executives work, and the stockholders pay them for their work, and people deserve compensation for their work.

Thank you to whoever accepts this debate.
Altik_0

Con

I accept my opponent's definitions, but I would like to provide a bit of analysis of the resolution before getting to arguments. Because the resolution states "the salaries," we should be considering the salaries that executives are currently being paid. Because there are differences in these salaries between different businesses, some less controversial than others, I believe it would be best to focus on the heart of the issue – whether large executives deserve the higher salaries that they typically receive or not.

Contention 1: Corporate executives may work, but they do not have a greater workload than a worker at a much lower position.

Consider a simple oil-rig worker. The average worker in this situation will work 40 hour weeks in dangerous, labor intensive conditions. Their pay is about 979 dollars for those forty hours. (http://www.bls.gov...) But most importantly, their job is the most crucial – if there were no people mining for the oil, the entire business would collapse.

However, executives working in significantly safer conditions, in positions that are important, but not nearly as essential as the miners, for the same 40 hour week make twice that much. (http://www.bls.gov...)

This difference in pay is the heart of controversy in this topic, and reveals the problem with not only corporate executive salaries in general, but the inequality in workplaces.

Contention 2: Overpaying executives creates an economic gap between the wealthier and poorer people

The logic behind this argument need not be explained. As long as one group of people is being payed more than another group, whether that pay is fair or not, then wealth distribution is affected. This is harmful for economy, for, contrary to the concept of "Trickle-Down" economics, there are constantly people who are not benefited from the investments of the wealthy.

Moreover, as the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a healthy economy. At the point that the majority of the people in a society are poor, unemployment and deflation occur – suddenly, people need items to cost less money in order to purchase them, which causes the investments of the rich to become practically worthless.

While I understand that these arguments seem as though they rely upon "slippery-slope" logic, the effects of this very concept are seen today in the current economic crisis. As the wealthier Americans purchased mortgages and home equity loans from banks as investments, the point when people could no longer pay them turned those loans into toxic assets, draining money out of the US, and ultimately world, economy. I'm certain I don't need to explain the harms of an economic crisis like the one we currently experience.

Just as a brief argument against my opponent, I'd like to say that my Contention 1 shows the flaw in my opponent's lone contention. Yes, corporate executives are doing a job, and they do deserve to be paid according to capitalist ideology. However, the conflict rises at the point that executives are paid more than those under them.

I urge a negative vote. I now turn time over to my opponent...
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

"Because there are differences in these salaries between different businesses, some less controversial than others, I believe it would be best to focus on the heart of the issue – whether large executives deserve the higher salaries that they typically receive or not."
Correct.

"Contention 1: Corporate executives may work, but they do not have a greater workload than a worker at a much lower position."
This may be true, but at the same time, it is irrelevant. Just because an employee's workload is safer doesn't mean that the job deserves less of a salary. Supply and demand is key in this.
http://money.cnn.com...
"In the next two years, Noble plans on bringing five new drilling rigs online. It takes about 150 workers to staff each rig. The total number of employees required to keep these rigs running around the clock is about 300. That means Noble needs to hire nearly 1500 new employees in the next two years, an increase of over 20%."
Thousands of workers are hired for these companies; thousands more can replace them. Furthermore, an individual oil-rig worker is not nearly as important as an individual corporate executive.
Finally, just because it looks as if the stockholders of a company are paying an individual more for a job that is seemingly less important, doesn't mean that the corporate executive doesn't deserve the money that he makes.

"This difference in pay is the heart of controversy in this topic, and reveals the problem with not only corporate executive salaries in general, but the inequality in workplaces."
Inequality in workplaces is unavoidable for a practical business under capitalism, and as long as a corporate executive's job is deemed important enough to be worthy of a multi-million dollar salary, the job will be paid a multi-million dollar salary.

"Contention 2: Overpaying executives creates an economic gap between the wealthier and poorer people"
This is still irrelevant.

"This is harmful for economy, for, contrary to the concept of 'Trickle-Down"' economics, there are constantly people who are not benefited from the investments of the wealthy."
And who exactly are these people? And why does this make a corporate executive undeserving of his salary?

"Moreover, as the rich become richer and the poor become poorer, it becomes more and more difficult to maintain a healthy economy. At the point that the majority of the people in a society are poor, unemployment and deflation occur – suddenly, people need items to cost less money in order to purchase them, which causes the investments of the rich to become practically worthless."
This is seriously the worst economic fallacy in history.
From Thomas Sowell's Economic Facts and Fallacies, page 136:
"Studies which follow specific individuals over a period of years must not be confused with statistics on incomes in society as a whole over a period of years, or even statistics on particular income brackets over a period of years. The crucial difference is that most people move from one income bracket to another as the years go on. That makes it completely misleading to say, for example, that 'people making minimum wage have waited ten long years of a raise,' because these are not the same people making the same wages for ten years, even when the minimum wage has not been changed in a decade. Far from being an enduring class, most Americans in the bottom 10 or 20 percent of income-earners are transients in those brackets-- as are people in other income brackets."
And on page 139:
"To say that the bottom 20 percent of households are 'falling further behind' those in upper income brackets-- as is often said in the media, in politics, and among the intelligentsia-- is not to say that any given flesh-and-blood individuals are falling further behind, since most of the people in the bottom 20 percent move ahead over time to rise into higher income brackets. Moreover, even when an abstract statistical category is falling behind other abstract statistical categories, that does not necessarily represent a declining real per capita income, even among those people transiently within that category."
Basically, there are always the poor, and there are always the rich, but people will shift among these brackets many times within their lifetime, often reaching near the top right before retirement, and the poor get richer, and the rich retire.

"As the wealthier Americans purchased mortgages and home equity loans from banks as investments, the point when people could no longer pay them turned those loans into toxic assets, draining money out of the US, and ultimately world, economy. I'm certain I don't need to explain the harms of an economic crisis like the one we currently experience."
That was not the fault of the wealthier Americans; that was the fault of the banks for making interest rates so low that it became extremely profitable for investment.

"Yes, corporate executives are doing a job, and they do deserve to be paid according to capitalist ideology."
My opponent just conceded the resolution...

"However, the conflict rises at the point that executives are paid more than those under them."
That conflict is not the resolution of the debate; the debate is about whether or not the corporate executives deserve their salaries for their work. Which you have just conceded, apparently.

Thus, it is obvious that a PRO vote is in order.

Thank you for reading.
Altik_0

Con

My opponent is basically arguing that capitalist ideology is the only thing worth valuing in this given resolution. By assuming this, we are not only over-simplifying the moral obligations that are questioned in this topic, but we are ignoring the basic human rights that must be preserved in any given society.

Contention 1(neg):
My opponent argues that the lower-end workers are easily replaced, therefore they are worthless. He insists that the quality and difficulty of their work is unimportant in the determinacy of their pay. But this argument ignores the human element of morality. Is it justified to force the most dangerous job to be paid the least? Is it a morally acceptable act to pay high end executives at the expense of the low-pier workers that really get the job done that makes the money? No.

"Inequality in workplaces is unavoidable for a practical business under capitalism, and as long as a corporate executive's job is deemed important enough to be worthy of a multi-million dollar salary, the job will be paid a multi-million dollar salary."
The issue is, who decides that the job is worth multiple millions of dollars? And furthermore, what are the criteria for the worth of a job in a capitalist society? The affirmative never gives you these answers. He simply insists that the managers of corporations should have their right to decide for themselves, without regard of the opinions of society as a whole. At that point, society is effectively owned and controlled by big-business – far from a fair, just system.

Contention 2:
My opponent simply misunderstands what I am saying. He claims that people, as individuals, rise to higher wealth as they grow older, which makes my point moot. However, I don't say anything about that. On the contrary, I simply say that as the group "wealthy" and group "poor" become farther apart, the economy suffers.

And his point is moot anyway, as it is too assuming of progress. In the book, "The Other America," by Michael Harrington, he explains that "These [the contemporary poor] are the people who are immune to progress." In locations such as the Appalachian Highlands, he explains, there are simply "pockets of poverty" which never progress into richer groups. Why should we listen to his proposed economic theory, when it is simply not the truth for all people?

He later attempts to explain that the blame for the current financial disaster lies solely on the banks offering the mortgages. However, as Adam Davidson, an economist for NPR's "Planet Money" explains that in the current global market, run by mutual funds and money market accounts, investments are largely controlled by executives who control those accounts. (http://www.pbs.org...) The fact that these investment companies bought up mortgages that failed because families didn't make enough money to pay for them is not a lie – it was a real cause for a real problem.

Finally, he attempts to argue that I concede the round based on semantics in my previous speech. Again, as I have shown in my rebuttal, we should not be looking solely to a capitalist mindset, but rather keep in mind the morality of the decisions we make. In a purely capitalist society, yes, executives deserve to be paid whatever they want, so long as it benefits society. However, if you keep in mind the rights of the people and the health of the economy in mind, then the paychecks that are being sent out to these executives suddenly become far less reasonable.

The only way to vote affirmative for this case is to drop all sense of human rights and allow a totalitarian regime to set in. So, for the sake of legitimacy in society and economy, I urge a negative vote.

My opponent is now free to respond...
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

"My opponent argues that the lower-end workers are easily replaced, therefore they are worthless."
No, they are not worthless. They are worth $24.475 an hour.

"He insists that the quality and difficulty of their work is unimportant in the determinacy of their pay."
Oh, the quality of work is very important. That's why CEOs are paid so much. Their decisions can gain or lose billions of dollars for a company. Thus, the stockholders want to get the very best CEO they can, and have the millions of dollars necessary to hire the best.

"Is it justified to force the most dangerous job to be paid the least? Is it a morally acceptable act to pay high end executives at the expense of the low-pier workers that really get the job done that makes the money?"
They aren't being forced to work for low pay. They can quit anytime, within the contract they choose to sign. The immense number of "low-paid" workers offsets things quite a bit; a company would go under if it paid millions to every rig worker.

"The issue is, who decides that the job is worth multiple millions of dollars? And furthermore, what are the criteria for the worth of a job in a capitalist society?"
Well, I can say this. Third parties are not the ones who decide whether a job is worth millions. That is the job of the stockholders, the ones who want the company to succeed. They decide that a CEO that can save their company billions is easily worth millions to pay. The worth of a job is solely determined by output.

"He simply insists that the managers of corporations should have their right to decide for themselves, without regard of the opinions of society as a whole."
Well, yeah. Since when does the society get to determine how much the stockholders have to pay for their own CEOs? Society is largely inexperienced with the managing of large amounts of money at the head of a company. The stockholders are experienced in these decisions, and have realized that CEOs are indeed worth millions of dollars, because they make billion-dollar decisions.
"At that point, society is effectively owned and controlled by big-business – far from a fair, just system."
Where is your proof that Bill Gates controls my life, or something to that extent?

"My opponent simply misunderstands what I am saying. He claims that people, as individuals, rise to higher wealth as they grow older, which makes my point moot."
I was simply proving that the poor get richer over time, not poorer, as you had implied.

"Why should we listen to his proposed economic theory, when it is simply not the truth for all people?"
On what basis does Michael Harrington make such a claim? And where does he make the assumption that CEOs are to blame for their "pockets of poverty?"

"The fact that these investment companies bought up mortgages that failed because families didn't make enough money to pay for them is not a lie – it was a real cause for a real problem."
Families simply did not buy homes that they would be able to buy. Banks started handing out homes left and right, some houses that the middle class wouldn't be able to afford, and it was suddenly realized that these families would never be able to pay off on the house they bought.

"Finally, he attempts to argue that I concede the round based on semantics in my previous speech. Again, as I have shown in my rebuttal, we should not be looking solely to a capitalist mindset, but rather keep in mind the morality of the decisions we make."
This debate is about capitalism, nothing more. I started this debate, and I determined that this debate would be about CEOs under capitalism. You're now trying to change the resolution.

"In a purely capitalist society, yes, executives deserve to be paid whatever they want, so long as it benefits society."
That was the resolution.

"However, if you keep in mind the rights of the people and the health of the economy in mind, then the paychecks that are being sent out to these executives suddenly become far less reasonable."
You're now in a Socialist mindset, here.

"The only way to vote affirmative for this case is to drop all sense of human rights and allow a totalitarian regime to set in. So, for the sake of legitimacy in society and economy, I urge a negative vote."
No, the obvious way to vote affirmative is to realize the clause "Under capitalism..." in the resolution, and that any arguments that don't apply to capitalism don't apply to this debate.

Now, I'm going to have to destroy your Socialist perspective.

From "Economic Facts and Fallacies," by Thomas Sowell, page 149:
"Claims by some that they cannot understand or justify large income differences ('disparities', 'inequalities') are another version of the presumption that third parties are the best judges-- as if people's incomes, like their housing arrangements, should be judged by what a tableau they present to outsiders, rather than how they reflect the choices and mutual accommodations of those directly involved. Such third-party presumptions are often based on an awareness of being part of a more educated group having, on average, more general knowledge than most people-- and an UNAWARENESS that the TOTAL knowledge of all the others vastly exceeds theirs, as well as being more specific knowledge relevant to the decisions at hand. No third parties can possibly know the values, preferences, priorities, potentialities, circumstances, and constraints of millions of individuals better than those individuals know themselves.
"Sometimes the presumptions are moral, rather than intellectual. Third parties who take on the task of deciding who 'really' deserves how much income often confuse merit with productivity, quite aside from the question whether they have the competence to judge either. In no society of human beings has everyone had the same probabilities of achieving the same level of productivity.... But an economy is not a moral seminar authorized to hand out badges of merit to deserving people. An economy is a mechanism for generating the material wealth on which the standard of living of millions of people depends....
"Although one person's income may be a hundred or a thousand times greater than another's, it is of course very doubtful that one person is a hundred or a thousand times more intelligent or works a hundred or a thousand times more intelligent or works a hundred or a thousand times as hard. But, again, INPUT is not the measure of value. RESULTS are. In a multibillion dollar corporation, one person's business decisions can easily make a difference of millions-- of even billions-- of dollars, compared to someone else's decisions. Those who see paying such a person $50 million or $100 million a year are coming at the expense of consumers or stockholders have implicitly accepted the zero-sum view of economics. If the value of the services rendered exceeds the pay, then both consumers and stockholders are better off, not worse off, whether the person hired is a corporate CEO or a production line employee."

There. You're taking a Socialist view in a debate that assumes capitalism. If you want to debate this without the "Under capitalism" clause, just challenge me to that debate, but don't turn this debate into that debate.

In conclusion, my opponent has conceded the resolution... twice. Thus, affirmative is the only way to vote.
Altik_0

Con

Contention 1:
My opponent continues to provide no grounds for deciding what a person is paid in a capitalist society. He suggests that it is the responsibility of the stockholders, but in a capitalist society, isn't that really the general society? Sure, it isn't the ENTIRE society, but it is as accurate as a capitalist corporation will ever be able to provide.

Think of it this way: if the stockholders are in a traditional corporation – not simply multi-billion dollar executives investing into other companies, but rather a collection of each person that bought stocks in a company, then there is representation from the general public amongst their ranks. While not every person in a society is going to agree on a decision of any sort, there are norms that can be followed. This is the principle that democracy is run on, and logically makes a good grounds for how to run a capitalist infrastructure.

At that point, it isn't the executives themselves, but the stockholders – or, as I've shown, society – that determines what fair wages are. It isn't simply enough to say that low-paid miners have the ability to quite any time, therefore their wage is justified. Why is it that people in factories of the 1800's were paid practically nothing, yet didn't quit? Because they have a family to feed, and the need for money is too great to just quit.

In effect, by trying to mute my arguments about the need for fair wages, my opponent is arguing that labor unions are not only unnecessary, but unjustified in what they do. It isn't the role of the people, he says, that can determine pay, but rather the business. This is how he is arguing an unjust society – the corporations run the people, because the people cannot rise up against the business's will and still survive.

Contention 2:
My opponent simply twists and dismisses my point without any reason or logic. I am not arguing socialism, I am arguing moralism. Under socialism, I'd be arguing that it is the government that determines how the wealth is divided, and that we need to make everyone on equal grounds, period. That is not what I'm saying. I'm saying that every society – whether capitalist, socialist, or idealistic with no economy whatsoever, there are still an underlying set of moral guidelines that we should be using. The resolution does state that we are looking at a society "under capitalism," but also says that we are questioning whether or not "executives DESERVE" their salaries. The term deserves is what gives this resolution a measurement of morality, and I argue that we can't simply use the values of capitalism to determine that – we must look to the basic, human sense of morality as well.

Furthermore, I argue that his interpretation of the resolution is abusive and one-sided. Were we to measure this debate simply on the values of capitalism, then, as he states in his first speech, it is obvious that an executive deserves to be paid money for the work he does. Where is the controversy? There would be no point debating whatsoever if that was how the resolution was interpreted. Rather, I say we need to be looking at more than JUST capitalism, and see the underlying principles that my opponent is ignoring.

I am not arguing that the people who are currently poor become poorer, I'm arguing that the poor group and rich group (basically a set of standards saying "what makes you poor?" and another saying "what makes you rich?") are growing farther apart, which is unhealthy for an economy. He never once argues this point, he simply ignores it. Extend it, and make it a major voting point for the round.

Moreover, he questions Michael Harrington's book. He wants me to provide the evidence that Michael Harrington provides. I say if he wants that information, go read the passage I posted in my last speech. I shouldn't have to prove a philosophy or economic theory that I didn't write, I just need to show that it is there in order to make my argument.

I have never once conceded the resolution. My opponent misanalysed my speeches three times, and his arguments need to drop because of it. The only way to vote in this round is negative.

My opponent is now free to rebut...
Debate Round No. 3
mongeese

Pro

"My opponent continues to provide no grounds for deciding what a person is paid in a capitalist society."
Actually, I did. A person is NOT paid for merit. A person is paid for RESULTS. When a CEO is making billion-dollar decisions to benefit the company, his results are easily worth millions to employ. Those are the grounds for a capitalist society.

"Think of it this way: if the stockholders are in a traditional corporation �€" not simply multi-billion dollar executives investing into other companies, but rather a collection of each person that bought stocks in a company, then there is representation from the general public amongst their ranks. While not every person in a society is going to agree on a decision of any sort, there are norms that can be followed. This is the principle that democracy is run on, and logically makes a good grounds for how to run a capitalist infrastructure."
First, you said that the entire society owns a corporation. Then, you said that there are only multi-billion dollar executives. This is contradictory.
You're among the third-party people who think that they know what is best, even though it's not even your money you're talking about.
It's very simple, really. The stockholders identify who the best CEOs are, and then they find out who the best CEO would be for their company. They then offer the CEO millions of dollars to make billion-dollar decisions to benefit the company.

Actually, I am PRO-Labor Unions. I think that labor unions are great. They set a natural minimum wage through their own work, as opposed to government making an artificial minimum wage. However, in the end, the business is what determines the pay, because they have the money. The labor union can get a whole bunch of people to protest for more pay, but if some people are willing to be paid less to guarantee a job, the labor union can't stop that, and shouldn't be allowed to stop that.

The fact is, if qualified people are willing to work for $25 an hour, why pay any more? Meanwhile, if a CEO will only work for millions, but the stockholders realize that choosing him over another person will be well worth the salary, the CEO should be hired.

You're trying to change this debate into what it's not. You are arguing that the people should determine how much one man pays another man to do work. I'm arguing that that job should go to the man who is paying the money and receiving the production.

"I'm saying that every society – whether capitalist, socialist, or idealistic with no economy whatsoever, there are still an underlying set of moral guidelines that we should be using."
Yes. People get paid based on production. CEOs make billion-dollar decisions, which stockholders try to make into the smartest billion-dollar decisions by paying more for a CEO. Everyone has a chance to try to work their way up to the level of CEO, but only those who prove themselves capable become CEOs, and thus benefit.

"The term deserves is what gives this resolution a measurement of morality..."
"Deserve - to be worthy, fit, or suitable for some reward or requital"
"Deserves" does not imply morality. CEOs deserve their salaries because they are suitable to receive it, because they do the work that earns the salary, and the stockholders feel that the CEO deserves the salary, and it's the stockholders' money, so they naturally get to decide who deserves it. NOT YOU.

"Were we to measure this debate simply on the values of capitalism, then, as he states in his first speech, it is obvious that an executive deserves to be paid money for the work he does. Where is the controversy?"
The controversy was SUPPOSED to be where my opponent argued that CEOs didn't actually do anything, and thus didn't deserve the money. You never made this argument, and instead have tried to remove the phrase "Under capitalism" from the resolution.

"Rather, I say we need to be looking at more than JUST capitalism, and see the underlying principles that my opponent is ignoring."
And I say that this debate specified that we would ONLY look at capitalism, and anything beyond capitalism is irrelevant to the debate.

"I'm arguing that the poor group and rich group are growing farther apart, which is unhealthy for an economy."
And yet, you failed to introduce HOW this is unhealthy. You claimed that it was because of mortgages, but you completely dropped that argument this round, when I actually had a response, so you have nothing. Thus, the point is dropped.

"Extend it, and make it a major voting point for the round."
You failed to support it against my claims, so don't extend it; drop it. Drop it into a bottomless pit.

"I shouldn't have to prove a philosophy or economic theory that I didn't write, I just need to show that it is there in order to make my argument."
Ah, but then you give me no reason to believe Michael Harrington. You give no reason why the poor in the Appalachian Highlands are poor because of the rich. If you don't give a possible connection, how am I supposed to severe it? Michael Harrington must have supported his argument. Why didn't you just quote him? It's too late now, though, because it's impossible to severe a connection made in the last round.

"I have never once conceded the resolution. My opponent mis-analyzed my speeches three times, and his arguments need to drop because of it. The only way to vote in this round is negative."

Here is what you said:
In Round 1: "Yes, corporate executives are doing a job, and they do deserve to be paid according to capitalist ideology."
In Round 2: "In a purely capitalist society, yes, executives deserve to be paid whatever they want, so long as it benefits society."
In Round 3: "Were we to measure this debate simply on the values of capitalism, then, as he states in his first speech, it is obvious that an executive deserves to be paid money for the work he does."

All three of these things affirm the resolution. My opponent is trying to warp the resolution to fit his desires. If he does wish to debate this without "Under capitalism" in the resolution, that's fine. He should challenge me to a debate that excludes such a phrase. However, upon accepting this debate, my opponent accepted the resolution, and now he is trying to change it into what it is NOT.
If "according to capitalist ideology" and "Under capitalism" are synonymous, and "deserve to be paid" and "deserve the salaries that they are paid" are synonymous, then the resolution has been conceded.
If "In a purely capitalist society" and "Under capitalism" are synonymous, and "to be paid whatever they want..." and "the salaries they are paid" are synonymous, then the resolution has been conceded.
If "Simply on the values of capitalism" and "Under capitalism" are synonymous, and "deserves to be paid money for the work he does" and "deserve[s] the salaries that [he is paid]" are synonymous, then the resolution has been conceded.
It seems obvious that all of these things are synonymous.

Furthermore, it is obvious that when CON concedes that the resolution is true three times, once every round, then PRO wins.

So, using the logic that CON has used statements that are synonymous with the resolution, and CON has affirmed said statements, thus CON has affirmed the resolution, thus CON has conceded that PRO is correct; thus, PRO wins.

It is only logically acceptable, therefore, to vote PRO.

Thank you for this debate. Remember, if you want to debate under a different resolution, just issue a challenge!
Altik_0

Con

At this point in the debate, the voters must make a decision. Either interpret the resolution as my opponent has interpreted it, allowing a corrupt, immoral, and uncaring society to become justified, or the way I have, balancing the economic capitalism with societal morality.

My argument against my opponents interpretation stands that it is non-controversial. I still believe that to be true. My opponent explains, "The controversy was SUPPOSED to be where my opponent argued that CEOs didn't actually do anything, and thus didn't deserve the money. You never made this argument, and instead have tried to remove the phrase "Under capitalism" from the resolution." However, two problems lie in this argument: A) I actually HAVE argued that throughout my speeches (when I requested him to provide some logic and some reason that the CEOs are getting paid more than average workers, which he never truly provides), and B: one point of argumentation does not make a controversial topic.

He claims that CEOs make multi-billion dollar decisions, yet he never tells you what these decisions are. In fact, I find it hard to believe that one man could alone decide how billions of dollars could be either gained or lost in a business. Why should we listen to an argument so vague and without any evidence or reason to back it up?

Which returns me to my original point with Contention 1: The CEOs are really simply an unnecessary part of the corporation. Yes, they do a job, but when it comes down to it, their job is pointless if all the miners (or whatever other low-end workers) decide to quit working. My opponent argues that the low-end workers are replaceable, but if they don't get replaced, the business completely collapses. You can't run an oil production company off of executives arguing in chairs alone.

"Actually, I am PRO-Labor Unions. I think that labor unions are great. They set a natural minimum wage through their own work, as opposed to government making an artificial minimum wage. However, in the end, the business is what determines the pay, because they have the money. The labor union can get a whole bunch of people to protest for more pay, but if some people are willing to be paid less to guarantee a job, the labor union can't stop that, and shouldn't be allowed to stop that." How much more contradictory can an argument be? He argues that labor unions are good for getting a set minimum wage and protecting workers rights, yet it doesn't really matter if the union can't do anything, because it's justified whatever the business decides to pay its workers? Does that mean that the workers really don't matter whatsoever, that there is no moral disparity between providing money to the workers and running an efficient business since the workers don't deserve pay anyway? My opponent is arguing an incredibly flawed perspective on how business morality should function.

"he fact is, if qualified people are willing to work for $25 an hour, why pay any more? Meanwhile, if a CEO will only work for millions, but the stockholders realize that choosing him over another person will be well worth the salary, the CEO should be hired." There are dozens of problems with this philosophy. First of all, as I have previously said, low-end workers are typically in a situation where their job is all they have – they can't quit, because it is all the money that they have to survive on. This makes it difficult for them to demand more pay at the risk of their job. This gives the executives and stockholders total control of this man's life.

Secondly, it is often the executives that decide their own salary, based on my opponent's proposed method for determining. If it is simply the stockholders that decide it, then that means that the people with most shares controlled would be the dominant voices in determining salaries. Interestingly enough, the majority of shares are owned by executives themselves. This would then mean that executives decide what income they get for themselves and other executives.

And even if you don't assume corruption such as that, the stockholders still have no basis for their decision according to the affirmative position. All he provides you is the concept that executives make "multi-billion dollar decisions." Again, what are these decisions, and why is it that these decisions fall to one man alone? Moreover, does this make the job worth more than the man who puts his very life on the line for his job? Whether it is the stockholders that determine pay or not, we must question whether their judgment is fair or not.

So it comes down to one question. Will you assume that capitalism is all that we look at, ignoring all facets of reasonable morality, or do you accept that any society, capitalist included, must have some basis in morality to make fair decisions. My opponent insists the resolution limits the debate to capitalism alone, yet read what the resolution says:
"Under capitalism, corporate executives deserve the salaries that they are paid."
This simply implies we look to a capitalist society. Yes, we should be looking to capitalist philosophies, which would say that a man deserves pay for the work that he does. But look to basic moral standards outside of that. Is sitting in a chair, making bargains with other executives really worth as much money as risking your life on an oil rig?

Clearly, the only way to make a fair, justified decision is by voting negation.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 8 years ago
RoyLatham
I thought that this was well argued by Pro. He made the right arguments. The central point is that the market determines what something is worth, and that in the case of executives it is the results that are sought. If execs don't produce at a very high level, it is only a matter of time until they are gone.

Incidentally, it is not true that executives generally work a 40 hour week. They generally work very long hours under high stress. The stress can be killing.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
My opponent just made two new arguments in the last round:
1. Corporate executives are the stockholders.
2. Corporate executives don't actually make billion-dollar decisions. (This point was brought up in Round 2, but never attacked until Round 4.)
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
My opponent is ignoring the resolution completely.
Posted by mongeese 8 years ago
mongeese
Yes, they could. And by all means, let them.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
But otherwise, the wage of an individual under the employment of another is always higher than the amount required to subsist the worker and always lower than the nominal value of the labour.

When one works for one's self, the wage of the individual is always equal to the market (nominal) value of the labour.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
One could argue that no one deserves salary and that we should only work to subsist ourselves.

One could argue against private property.

One could argue that no one "deserves" anything.
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