The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
21 Points
The Contender
NSG
Con (against)
Winning
50 Points

minimum wage should exist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/24/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,742 times Debate No: 943
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (10)
Votes (21)

 

dairygirl4u2c

Pro

i am for a minimum wage. i am not arguing a specifc amount, just that it be a reasonable amount a single person can live off of reasonably. we're only debating whether it should exist or not, not how much. i am responding to common objection to the wage from the get go.

anywhere i look anyone can get a job for minimum wage if they have their bits together. the only people i know, from experience only which might not be accurate i concede, who can't get a job at minimum wage are the dim wit slacker type. so, no one is being denied a job because of the wage, really. maybe the low wits are being denied 3.50 jobs, i'm not sure, but i doubt we should worry about that too much.

i say 3.50 jobs, because that's what the wages would go to without the minimum. to prove this, all we need to do is look back to the 80s. back then, the minimum by law was 3.50. and you can bet people were being paid that much at mcdonald's too. what did increasing it do? it simply caused the people who were paid much less than they shold have to be paid more. so, i think the notion is empiraclly proven wrong that economics will cause the wage to increase, if only we'd ban the minimum, because it hangs around at the minimum, stopping it from going lower. if it were still 3.50 today, that's what people would be paid.
and yes, i agree, workers don't stay at exactly 3.50 for long but increase with experience, but they do stay in that low territory for long. so you can't argue it's only temporary.

they can work their way up to better jobs, sometimes but not always. whatever the case, they should get a fairer wage whether temporary or long lasting. most places like mcdonald's and other sterotypical places can afford it, and make enough to pay a fairer wage, so they should. also, i'd be open to allowing categorical exclusions or something for people who pick dandelions for others or somehting. they shouldn't be paid minimum wage. most jobs should though, mcdonald's etc.

if you can't afford to pay a decent wage, you sholdnt be in business. we're always denying someone the opportunity to hire for beans but that doesn't mean we should just ban the minimum wage.

it's like denying indians the right to land: as a practical matter we have to have laws that prevent them from land, but we should recognize how our laws infringe, and act accordingly. with indians, and here. or, imagine a primitive world where a man has all the land taken up by the laws of man, and using technology to claim it like in farming etc: a family wanting to branch off can't because of the law of man, the law of God says they can. it's not stealing, it's fixing the fact the family has the right to take what God has given everyone but laws prevent it and keep things civil. these analogies are happening today, as we prevent people access to the natural world, which is a right. we have to recognize how laws infringe and act accordingly, if not by ging land, then by something else, to be reasonable and not partition everything absurdly.

also, even if some places pay more than minimum doesn't mean we shouldn't have the minimum, as has been suggested. if it's not being used, hten great. if it is, then that's when it matters and the law should exist.

also, i agree a wage increases inflation, but it does not nullify having the wage. peple often argue increasing wage increases price of goods so teh wage increase is canelled out and they are doomed to minimum living. but this is not the case. true inflatino would be if everyone got their wages increased. if just the minimum gets it, inflation would increase, but not wholly, and so the incrase would be much less proportionally ot the increase in minimum.
NSG

Con

You certainly shouldn't pay someone who is not good enough for the minimum wage.
You certainly should pay someone more than minimum wage if he/she does a better job. However, in reality,teenagers, workers in training, college students, interns, and part-time workers all have their options and opportunities limited by the minimum wage.You cannot make a living and support a family on a minimum wage job.
Also,there has been a lot of attention lately on the subject of job "outsourcing", where U.S. companies hire foreign workers instead of Americans. When businesses outsource American jobs, they're not doing it because they hate America; they're doing it because they're trying to cut costs. When you set the minimum price of labor in America, you create an additional incentive for businesses to hire Canadian, Mexican, or other foreign workers. The best way to stop outsourcing of jobs is to provide the best conditions for doing business in America. A minimum wage just makes things tougher for companies to do business in America.
Obviously, minimum wage isn't enough to support a person who lives in the cities of New York, Washington, or Los Angelas. However, it may be more than enough to support people living in rural areas or small towns. What is it real estate agents always say about real estate values? Location, location, location. You see that cost-of-living differences in various areas of the country make a universal minimum wage difficult to set!

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

You certainly shouldn't pay someone who is not good enough for the minimum wage.
If the person isn't good enough for the minimum, then fire then or don't hire them. If you're still willing to keep them, then don't given them a raise, but you kept them so it's their own choice to keep them.
As for menial jobs like picking dandelions, I have already agreed to make exceptions.... but most jobs that pay minimum now are worth it to the managers to continue the business and still pay the minimum wage.
Someone will always not be able to hire for beans.... but that doesn't mean we don't keep them, it just means they shouldn't be in business if it's a job that could be worth it to anyone else who could afford it. (if it's not that then it might be an exception)

"You certainly should pay someone more than minimum wage if he/she does a better job. However, in reality,teenagers, workers in training, college students, interns, and part-time workers all have their options and opportunities limited by the minimum wage.You cannot make a living and support a family on a minimum wage job."
These are all actually arguments for a minimum. Those just starting out would have peanuts for wages and not be able to pull ahead very well. We say pull yourself up from your boot straps, but what if you have no boot straps to pull yourself up with?
If they want to support a family, then can get a better job somehow.. we can't take care of everything. but anyway, your point about them not being able to afford a family makes my argument more than yours in taht sense, so i'm not sure what your point even is with that statement.

"Also,there has been a lot of attention lately on the subject of job "outsourcing""

We simply prohibit the outsourcing then, as much as possible. We live in a wealthy country, and it's not right for employers to maximize their profits while using our resources by exploiting cheap labor in other countries. I could become very welathy if i hired a poor mexican to do my bidding, doesn't mean it's right, and oesn't mean it's fair to my fellow countrymen, who's resources and wealth i'm using.
If we allow outsourcing, then we'd all be paid beans, because labor is for practical purposes infinite.
(the loical end of capitalism completely unfettered would be those rich will be so rich as to own everything as the poor would keep falling behind. thyis is proven because the gap between the rich and the poor continues to increase in this country)

"Obviously, minimum wage isn't enough to support a person who lives in the cities of New York, Washington, or Los Angelas. However, it may be more than enough to support people living in rural areas or small towns."
So... it is helping the people in the small towns and such, and at least keeping things from being worse in the new york areas... I don't see your point?
NSG

Con

You should not pay someone a set wage when they are clearly not as good or are better that their co-workers. Let's say working in McDonald' s, student B has been doing a reasonable job(He accomplishes everything that needs to be done on the list),student A is a better worker than student B because she does extra work, such as, picking up more shifts when others are absence. Should we paid her more? Yes, besides reward student A on what she has done, it would also motivates student B work harder at the same time!Each individual should be assessed by how well he or she performs at their given job, there is comparison among all the fellow co workers just on one simple job, so we should not set a minimum wage.

YOU say that "We simply prohibit the outsourcing then, as much as possible." Do you know that the U.S. trade deficit increases every year, which means we're exporting less than we're importing. In an increasingly global economy, it's important to give American companies every chance to turn out the cheapest and best products. A minimum wage only applies to workers in the United States; foreign companies can pay what they want. There are two direct components that go into the price & quality of a product -- raw material and labor. Thus, when you set a minimum cost level for the labor component, you cause a competitive disadvantage in two ways. First, the cost per hour of direct labor potentially goes up. Second, in some cases, you force companies to hire fewer workers, which may affect the quality of the final output. Add it all up and American companies must work harder to compete with foreign companies, which in the long run costs us jobs, profits, and prestige while damaging the reputation of American products.

Here , you need to understand what is comparative advantage :http://www.fee.org...

"So... it is helping the people in the small towns and such, and at least keeping things from being worse in the new york areas... I don't see your point?"

My point is that, minimum wage isn't enough to support a person who lives in the cities of New York, Washington, or Los Angelas. That is because a 1-bedroom rundown apartment in the city may cost 5 times as much as a well-kept 3-bedroom apartment in a small town. And of course, housing is only a small part of the cost of living. Consider how much more gas costs for a commuter in NYC than it does for a small town worker who can walk to work. The list goes on. Thus, eg.a $8 minimum wage ( any minimum wage) may be more reasonable in New York, but it would be ridiculously high in certain small town and rural areas. And besides gas, housing,etc...things ( food, utilities,clothes) in small town are relatively cheaper than in big city, how could you set the minimum wage the same within the whole nation?

The minimum wage law is just another example of the government controlling our actions and destroying personal choice. Citizens do have the ability to say no to a lower wage!
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

I understand that you've explained why you think a person who works better should not be paid the same as someone who does worse job. That's why they give that person a raise. Why wouldn't this work? The person who sucks doesn't get a raise, and if they're so bad, they don't stay at that job then. If they're a hot body doing the work and is making the employer money, they wouldn't be keeping them if they weren't that great.

As for outsources, most jobs I can think of that pay minimum practically are not outsourced. Mcdonald's. etc. The only jobs I know of are things like steel jobs. These jobs were not minimum wage to begin with, so actually they don't have to do with this debate much.
Now, really, I have to pleadd a degree of ignroance, because I'm not sure why they don't just pay less for other workers here, instead of like 30 dollars pay 20 etc. Maybe there's no people here willing to pay them at the rate they want, which is what I've heard before. But if that's the case, it's not hurting us because people who want better jobs must be able to get them, and the minimum wage doesn't really come into play here that I can see.

(Now, when they do outsource, they may be paying them less than minimum wage overseas, but, that's why we make sure regulations ensure labor standards, proabbly not our standard but one fair for them. but this is an incidental point to minimum wage)

Also, now, when they do outsource, actually, the inifite sea of labor from overseas wouldn't help us, but hurt us. the cost of homemade products would be uncompetitive with proucts from overseas. So, it seems that outsourcing, or at least not taxing the imports, is actually hurting us, at least in terms of the working class. We have no reason to stay super competitive with other countries. i see nothing wrong with some isolationism. why not?

I almost want ot put the last paragraph in paranthesis though, because outsourcing that we're talking about, for practical purposes, given walmart jobs etc, is not affected by minimum wage as I can see.

As for the cost of raw material etc being bought, I'm glad you brought it up. Because if we have no steel, for example, and have to import it, then their cheap labor (within ethical labor standards from the seller) will allow us to buy cheap. But only if there's not much steel here, or the steel here is unreasonalby high with reasonable labor standards.

So, basically, we have to take a more catgorical approach, instead of simply being a free market fundamentalist, as per outsourcing.

I now see your point now that you've explained it, about how a uniform wage would be bad for a smaller economy where it's too high. that's why we set the standard very low, not a NY standard, but a poor state standard. Again, some cannot created businesses, but if they can't while others can within a reasonable frame, ie some job blow like me can't hire mexicans to be sterotypical, they/i simply should not be in business.

As a final point, the smartest economists have debated this forever, the topic of outsourcing, and i'd guess the topic of minimum wage. There may be empiracal data we simply need to study, to see who's theory is correct. I'm willing to bet both of us are in over our heads.
NSG

Con

"As for outsources, most jobs I can think of that pay minimum practically are not outsourced. Mcdonald's. etc."
Labor in McDonald's is what has left AFTER all the inventory in McDonald's are outsourced. The uniform that McDonald's employees wear is made in China/Mexico, etc. If there are ENOUGH labor that are willing to take the minimum wage, then TONS of uniforms, paper cups, plastic knives/forks can be made here. Can you imagine how many jobs we can have here with all the McDonald's inventory productions? You think that Americans don't know how to make those products? No, but why the business outsource the labor, b/c the goal of business is to make profit, by making profit, they need to cut the cost as much as they can. The US dollar value is still higher than most other currencies, say RenMingBi, $1= 8 yuan, you pay Americans minimum wage $6.15 while you only need to pay the Chinese $2 (=16 yuan). 16 yuan/hr is enough to for a Chinese worker to survive in Mainland China. So it is not about fire the Americans if they are not as good workers as the other Americans, the problem lies on the US dollar value and stanadard living conditions/level in other poorer countries.

We were talking about legal outsourcing, now let's bring up the concern on hiring illegal immigrants based one their comparative advantage. The minimum wage is a limit on the freedom of both employers and employees. Minimum wage laws make it illegal for employers to pay workers less than the minimum wage. This also prevents workers from being made to provide labor or services for less than the minimum. For example, during the apartheid era in South Africa, white trade unions lobbied for the introduction of minimum wage laws so as to exclude black workers from the labor market. By preventing black workers from selling their labor for less than white workers, the black workers were prevented from competing for jobs held by whites.

The minimum wage can also increases the number of people on welfare, thus requiring greater government spending. (http://ideas.repec.org...)

Keep in mind that minimum wage laws apply to more than big businesses, they apply to government and non-profit organizations. Non-profit charitable organizations are hurt by the minimum wage. Let's take an example. Consider a domestic violence shelter. This type of shelter normally needs workers to clean, collect & organize donations, counsel & assist residents, monitor help-lines, provide legal assistance in such things as obtaining restraining orders, and so on. Volunteers help relieve some of the duties, but it's often tough to find dedicated ongoing volunteers to do the job. After all, volunteers still have to earn a living, raise a family, etc. However, if the charitable organization were able to pay some amount, even a few dollars an hour, it would better be able to build a more steady set of workers. A non-profit organization may simply not be able to afford a $7 per hour pay rate. Thus, non-profits have only two solutions: dissolve their organizations or hire fewer people to provide the charitable service.

Many people believe businesses have endless supplies of cash and can easily withstand minimum wage increases or other cost increases. Unfortunately, that's simply not the case. The minimum wage can drive some small companies out of business. Every time there is a recession, thousands of businesses go under. Restaurants, which pay wages at or near the minimum wage level, have the highest rate of failure of any business type. Anytime you increase the costs of businesses, you push them closer to the edge. Let's take an example. Imagine a small neighborhood hardware store. This hardware store isn't going to have the logistics and economy of scale advantages of say, Wal-Mart; thus, it must charge more. It probably makes up the price difference with better service. When you raise the minimum wage, it increases the operating costs for that hardware store even more. Thus, it must raise it's prices to cover costs. Eventually, prices get so high that customers conclude that shopping there isn't worth the additional cost. Slowly, the local hardware store is driven out of business.
Debate Round No. 3
10 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by SocialistRI82 8 years ago
SocialistRI82
Are you seriously going to suggest that there is a potential for companies to pay above the minimum wage, if it didn't exist?? These are the same companies that have abandoned America for CHEAPER labor overseas, the same companies that complain to congress everytime the mention of the minimum wage being raised happens, and the same companies that are hiring illegal immigrants due to CHEAPER labor. Are you suggesting that by removing the minimum wage that somehow companies would open their pocket books to the workers?? The minimum doesn't even due enough as it is. People cannot support themselves (single/living alone) on those wages. I don't believe your suggestion, and apparently our government doesn't either, hence why the minimum exists.
Posted by aaeap2 8 years ago
aaeap2
It's more complicated than you have thought. As NSG has mentioned "it's another government controlling our actions". You can possibly get paid more without the law of minimum wage! Have you thought about that?
Posted by SocialistRI82 8 years ago
SocialistRI82
I swear I must be at a corporately sponsored website. I can't understand how people could possibly be voting for someone advocating against the minimum wage. I'm sad that we have gotten this far off track as a society. I didn't realize this was the republican national convention.
Posted by NSG 8 years ago
NSG
I enjoy reading all your comments!
Thank you all.:)
Posted by SocialistRI82 8 years ago
SocialistRI82
Regardless of any possible argument against minimum wage I would hope all of you can realize what that would do to our country and our economy. There is a minimum wage in place for a reason. The economists realized that without it disaster would occur. As for the arguement of "purchasing power" I doubt that 6 or 7 dollar minimum wages give anyone any purchasing power outside of basic neccessities. So ifthe argument were "purchasing power" then one should be in favor of a raise in the wage so as to stimulate purchasing. I'm not adovcating a massive hike in the wage, but one that allows people to support themselves. No one is living in any type of decent conditions on minimum wage now. (Assuming they are being supported by themselves)
Posted by Thoreau 8 years ago
Thoreau
While I do not agree that minimum wage should be abolished, and in fact I support minimum wage, I have to say that NSG's arguments were more convincing and therefore have my vote.

On the actual debate, the problem with eliminating minimum wage is that while it would increase employment rates temporarily, it would almost certainly put more people below the poverty line because of lowered wages. Eliminating the minimum wage would mean that people would be allowed to work for less, meaning that there would be competition for who could work for the least while still surviving. America's economy would suffer because people would not have any money, and so not be able to buy things, leading to managers of those businesses to need to lower prices and lay off, creating unemployment in the long term. The Robber Baron situation would return, with a few people reaping the rewards of millions of peoples' toil for survival. People would invariably call for reform, and as a result, among other reforms a minimum wage would be established simply to guarantee that workers would be payed enough to survive on.
Posted by Daxitarian 8 years ago
Daxitarian
What you are forgetting is that the best wage is not the one with the most zeros behind it, but the one that gives a person the most purchasing power.

Whenever a price floor (this case, minimum wage) is put on something, it causes an excess of supply (measured in the distance between where supply and demand intersect the line from the price). In this case, the excess supply is unemployment. If minimum wage were 30 dollars, I wouldn't be trying to go to college to get a better job, I would just work at McDonalds. If an employer has to pay 30 per hour, he isn't going to hire someone with no education. These people are then left without a job.

Ever wonder why there are no more ushers at the movie?

Being a "neo-con" corporate hack isn't the reason to oppose minimum wage, but rather having economic literacy, or at a minimum, some contact with functioning of reality.
Posted by Fimbulvintr 8 years ago
Fimbulvintr
untrue, the traditional libertarian position does not advocate for a minimum wage, we believe the market will resolve that. The neo-cons conversely do not have that kind of faith in the market. No one has been more critical of the neo-cons than the limited government people.
Posted by SocialistRI82 8 years ago
SocialistRI82
Only a neo-con corporate hack would say no to a minimum wage.
Posted by Creed-Diskenth 8 years ago
Creed-Diskenth
If the company doesnt want to pay idiots minimum wage, then they should fire the idiots!

You cannot business to pay people honestly or equivocally.

Sure, you can argue that motivating lazy people to work harder just to keep there current wage will work, but in practice this can also hurt those that earn the current minimum wage, do work hard, and have a heartless boss. You need to keep in mind that even the idiots have families to support.
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