The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

We should raise the minimum wage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 11 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 723 times Debate No: 99843
Debate Rounds (4)
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This is a debate Over increasing the minimum wage I don't think that we should, you will debate for, in you initial option just put that you accept.


I will accept this argument, and will affirm the resolved in that we should raise the minimum wage.
Debate Round No. 1


I am going to start off simple, small businesses, who provide half of private sector workers, when doing well have on average $30,000 to $75,000 profit and four employees. Assuming they are having them work 35 hours as is average and that they are paying them the federal minimum wage they would lose about $52,080 annually while over half of them don't make that much. Even the businesses which are doing better would be forced to let employees go to live semi-comfortably. A case study from 2012 done by Joseph Sabia, Richard Burkhauser, and Benjamin Hansen found that when New York increased their minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.75 and withholding other factors, employment of younger individuals dropped about 20%. People look at this issue the wrong way, they think that since a higher minimum wage passed, that it is forcing employers to pay them that much, in reality it is making it illegal for employers to hire you for less, even if you are okay with it. My and employer and I may both agree just to pay me $5.00 an hour, but due to the minimum wage, he won't hire me because of the extra $2.25. That is where the issue lies.


I will first begin by very easily negating what has been presented thus far by my opponent. They brought up the lack of employment from younger individuals in New York when the minimum wage was increased. This point, however, is null and void. As of December 31st of 2016, New York's minimum wage has already been raised to fifteen dollars, supporting my argument. According to the New York government, the raise in minimum wage was actually due to input from both employers and employees. This means that the people 'wanting to work for less', as my opponent tried to argue for, do not exist, or are a very subjective minority of workers. Source(s): (

EPI states that raising the minimum wage to just ten dollars would inject $22.1 billion net into the economy and create about 85,000 new jobs over a three-year phase-in period. This means my opponent supports a smaller economy and less jobs. The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago's economists predicted that a $1.75 rise in the federal minimum wage would increase aggregate household spending by $48 billion the following year, thus boosting GDP and leading to job growth. In 1994, an economic study done by the economists Alan Krueger, PhD, and David Card, PhD studied employment rates between Pennsylvania and New Jersey, the latter having a higher minimum wage. They found no difference in employment rates, meaning that my opponent's argument about lower employment is null and void and flows over to my side. Furthermore, economists Hristos Doucouliagos, PhD, and T.D. Stanley, PhD, released in a review of 64 minimum wage studies. The authors found "little or no evidence of a negative association between minimum wages and employment." Source(s): (David Cooper, "Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Lift Wages for Millions and Provide a Modest Economic Boost," Economic Policy Institute website, Dec. 19, 2013) (Daniel Aaronson and Eric French, "How Does a Federal Minimum Wage Hike Affect Aggregate Household Spending?," Chicago Fed Letter, Aug. 2013) (David Card and Alan B. Krueger, "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," The American Economic Review, Sep. 1994) (Hristos Doucouliagos and T.D. Stanley, "Publication Selection Bias in Minimum-Wage Research? A Meta-Regression Analysis," British Journal of Industrial Relations, June 2009)

For these reasons, supporting my side of the argument and nullifying everything presented by my opponent, I heavily urge a strong Pro/Aff voter turnout.
Debate Round No. 2


Thank you for being respectful I truly appreciate it. As for my opponents first point he claims that the rebuttal for my believing that it hurt young workers was widespread support. I am sorry but widespread support does not equal truth, while raising the minimum wage may be a popular issue, that does not make it economically correct. I presented a study against the minimum wage he said that it had widespread support, the difference is vast.

As for his second point, I want to point to the attribution of motive that my opponent gives about me. He says that I am for " a smaller economy and less jobs." To say that is disingenuous would be an understatement. The goal here is to show the better argument, not to hurl accusations at you opponent. However I will now face his point head on, my opponent's referenced article from the EPI makes the fatal error of equating a growing GDP to more jobs. While it is true that on it's face it makes the economy look better, the actual results are catastrophic in the way of jobs. According to Forbes despite a growing GDP in New York, 250,000 jobs were lost. To say that increase in GDP leads to more jobs, is a major folly.

As for my opponents last points, I will address both studies with a broad hand. The reason I feel that I can do that with them is that the study by Doucouliagos's purpose is "to replicate and extend C-K"s meta-analysis of the
minimum-wage effect employing valid meta-analytic methods that differentiate genuine
empirical effects from publication selection bias." When copy the way the study was done, you are sure to get the same results if not similar, unless it is a constantly changing thing. First off Card and Kreuger's study was on fast food chains, not individual companies. When doing the math I had done in my first argument (which I will address again) chains like Walmart survive. Chains are more prepared to take that hit. Second off there is no shortage of studies disagreeing with Kreuger. A study done by Janet Currie and Bruce Fallick found that people in employed in 1979 were less likely to get jobs in 1980. A study done by H.F. Gallasch found that the 1967 minimum wage increase in minimum wage jobs led to a reduction of agricultural employment. David Neumark and William Wascher have done a study that showed " overwhelming evidence of stronger disemployment effects for these groups." I have more that will be provided below.

As you can see my opponent has brought forward some very weak evidence to rebut me and he didn't even attempt at rebutting at half of my argument. In the first argument I made, I went through the math of increasing the minimum wage and he just showed studies saying that I was wrong without first showing me how the math I did was wrong. If he has an issue with the math please present me with what I did wrong and I will happily concede on that part of the issue.

Let me make a point here of my opponents position. To accept his premise that raising the minimum wage doesn't have any negative impact on the economy, you have to do one of two things. Argue why the law of supply and demand does not apply in this scenario, or show how the law does not apply at all. If you artificially increase the price of a product, in this case your labor, without first shortening the supply of that said product, the demand of that product has to change with the supply. This causes two things, one is unemployment, this is the short term solution for employers who are unable to afford to hire on more, however the eventual long-term effect is inflation. The demand for the product is still there but they have to raise prices to meet that demand meaning that over time the industry as a whole raises prices to match that of wages. This creates the inevitable loop of minimum wage creating inflation then inflation creating the "need" for a higher minimum wage. This has been shown by studies including one by Gerard F. Adams which showed that the minimum wage increase of $1 would increase inflationary pressure from .01% to .02%. While this doesn't seem massive think about it in that it doubled inflationary pressure. There is also the study by Edward M. Gramlich which showed that increasing the minimum wage increases unemployment and inflation.

In the end it comes down to this, people are unable to afford the minimum wage, unemployment increases, and inflation rises. This has always been the trend, this will always bee the trend.

Currie, Janet, and Fallick, Bruce. 1993. A Note on the New Minimum Wage Research. National Bureau of
Economic Research Working Paper No. 4348 (April).

Gallasch, H.F., Jr. 1975. Minimum Wages and the Farm Labor Market. Southern Economic Journal, vol. 41
(January): 480-491.

Neumark, David, and Wascher, William. 1992. Employment Effects of Minimum and Subminimum
Wages: Panel Data on State Minimum Wage Laws. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, vol. 46
(October): 55-81.

Gramlich, Edward M. 1976. Impact of Minimum Wages on Other Wages, Employment, and Family
Incomes. Brookings Papers on Economic Activity (No. 2): 409-461
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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