The Instigator
dairygirl4u2c
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
invertman
Con (against)
Winning
41 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: 1,977 times Debate No: 944
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (13)

 

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.
invertman

Con

Before I get into the mechanics of the minimum wage, I would like to ask you to better define your terms.

1) You said the minimum wage should be, "a reasonable amount a single person can live off of reasonably." Besides the syntax of this sentence, are you implying that a minimum wage should be different for people who aren't single? What about dependents and students who are still supported by their parents? Are they to receive a different wage, or not be subjected to minimum wage laws? Also, you need to define how we would measure a amount someone can live off of. And how would location factor into your minimum wage law? Would someone living in Beverly Hills have the same minimum wage as someone living in Starbuck, Washington (pop. less than 1,000)?

2) You said "anywhere i look anyone can get a job for minimum wage if they have their bits together." First of all, what are bits and how can one get them together? Second, how far have you looked? How can you make a sweeping generalization about the employment opportunities of over 200 million people over the working age in the United States? What if a person has a disability? What if a person can't speak English, or can't speak it very well? What if a person has a learning disability or suffers from a chronic illness? What if all of these people want a job, or are they considered people who don't "have their bits together?" Use a term that actually has a meaning.

3) You said " 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." Just because mcdonald's may pay the minimum wage does not mean that every company that offers entry level jobs does. Your proof is not proof at all, but a guess. You need to show actual data if you want to make the claim that wages would be $3.50 an hour without an increase in the minimum wage law. You also need to show the data that the raise in the minimum wage in 1992 "simply caused the people who were paid much less than they shold have to be paid more" and had no other factors, like increasing unemployment.

4) Throughout your argument, you seem to think that mcdonald's and other large fast food corporations employ the majority of the workforce at the minimum wage. However, research has shown that the majority of the workforce employed at the minimum wage level resides in small businesses. Small businesses train many first time workers, and unlike corporations, do not have huge profits and revenues to expend. For the small business, workers cost much more. Everything that I am saying has been consistently documented in business literature, but if you want links I can provide them.

5) I have no idea what your point is by bringing up Indians and God. I don't understand what you are trying to say.

In order for this debate to continue, please use spell check, provided next to the bottom-right corner of the text box. Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

I said the minimum wage should be a reasonable amount a single person can live off. I don't see how you would imply I think they get more if they have kids or spouses etc. I don't think they should get more for that stuff, but I never said I do: the statement was clear minus the syntax.

The basis would be a wage based on a poor state's standard. Something a poor state could deal with. It wouldn't be enough for say NY City, but that's life. If NY had a higher wage without their consent, it would be a burden on them when companies go to the cheaper states for some things.

I acknowledge your standards, and wish you would stay.
But with that said, my spelling has been reasonable enough. I will put forth a reasonable effort, but will not go overboard for mere internet debates. This is my thread, and if you want this debate to continue, deal with it.

as for "have their bits together" statement. You bring up valid points for people with disabilities and some who speak forign langauge. These are actually exceptions to the general rule though, and we can't make broad based policy based on the exceptions. We make exceptions for the exceptions.
(For the foreign speakers specifically, they should be able to speak the langauge and if they can't, then they don't have their bits together)
It's funny you're trying to use the disadvantaged of the exceptions to cause disadvantage to the majority.

As for my 3.50 statement, it's a fact the minimum wage was that much then, and that people were paid that much.
There may be mitigating factors that I'm not aware of, but that's your duty to bring to the debate.
My guess is that the mitigating factors were not substantial enough anyway.
You said that just because MDonalds pays that much doesn't mean every entry level job does. This is true... and as I said in my intro, if they are paying more than the minimum wage does not matter. If they're paying minimum, then it matters because it's being used. If the wages were 350 then and 550 later, that proves that the wages would be lower if the employer would allow it. Really, the simply fact the wage is being used is proof the employer would pay probably less, because it wouldn't just be a coincident.

I do not contend your small business arguments. If paying the minimum wage isn't worth it for them to run a business andor is prohibitive, then they shouldn't be in business. We have the minimum wages now, and our country is not run amok with problems, just people who can't start a business as soon as they'd like. That in itself isn't sufficient to overlook the fact that people should be paid a livable wage as described in my first post.

The indians and God arguments are pretty crucuial, the philoshopical underpinning. Basically, I believe everyone should have an equal opportunity to get God's resources. We prevent that with our property laws. It's for the civil order, which is good and so the laws should exist. But, we must acknowlege that when someone has a million acres and someone else has a square foot, the person with a squre foot has an inherent right to a minimum.
The indians example is just an example. People don't realize the tragedy of the indians completely. We run them off their land and tell them they can't roam free anymore. That is not natural, but man made. They have priority, and should be able to roam free but can't. We did give them land, I know. The point is just to be illustritive, not saying indians deserve more or anything. We don't work in terms of natural resources for practical purposes; but we could and don't so are denying others' their trumping right, and are denying at any rate an analogous minimum.

I acknowledge your spelling standards, however, wish you would stay.
With that said, though, I feel my spelling has been reasonable. I will continue putting forth a reasonable effort but will not go overboard with an something as fleeting as an internet debate. This is my thread, and if you wish this debate to continue, deal with it.
invertman

Con

The first point I will discuss is your level of a living wage. In saying that you believe the wage should be high enough so that a single person can live, you are not just setting a minimum that employees can pay, but a "living wage" which is high enough that a person can live without additional help from the government. According to the Economic Policy Institute, a person living in rural Nebraska, having no savings, no renters insurance, no visits to restaurants ever, no additional expenditures beyond the absolute minimum to survive, needs at least $10.00 an hour. In poor towns in West Virginia, the poorest state in America, a person needs at least $14.00 an hour. In Columbus, Ohio, a person needs more than $15.00 an hour. In my hometown of Costa Mesa, California, a person needs more than $21.00 per hour, just to be able to live here.

Now lets see what the effects of this kind of a wage increase would have on some of our largest corporations, who take in massive profits. Can they afford a living wage for their workers? I'll use Wal-Mart as an example. Walmart employs 1.4 million workers in the U.S. alone. Using a conservative estimate, lets say only 1/3rd of those workers are working at the minimum wage level of 5.15 an hour full time, which would be 466,666 workers. Now, working at full time, this costs 4.8 Billion dollars per year in just paying workers wages, not including training or benefits. WalMarts total revenue in 2007 was 348.7 Billion dollars, with a net (before tax) income of 11.3 Billion. If you increased the national minimum wage to $10.00 an hour, the absolute minimum for the absolute poorest state, it would cost WalMart an additional 4.5 billion dollars in wages alone for only U.S. employees. If the amount is increased to $14.00 an hour, Walmarts total before tax income shrinks to less than 2 billion, not a small sum, but an very small profit margin for the largest employer in the U.S. And if the amount was increased to the $21.00 an hour required to live in my hometown, Walmart would be 3.8 billion dollars in debt. Now with these very conservative estimates, how do you think this would have an effect on a small business, who's total year end profits many times are not even in the hundreds of thousands? How could anyone start a restaurant or a small clothing store or any other kind of small business when suddenly your labor costs have tripled from 5 to 15 dollars.

Increases in labor cost increase unemployment, all things the same: This is microeconomics 202. Supply and Demand laws say this will always happen, and this is undisputed by economists. The question is how much more will people be unemployed. According to a study done by the Cato institute, when the minimum wage was raised only $.90 cents, from $3.35 in 1990 (the minimum wage was not 3.50 in the 80's), to $4.25 in 1991, employment among low wage workers fell, on average, 2% across the board. Now, if an only a $.90 forced wage increase causes a 2% increase in unemployment among low wage workers, increasing the minimum wage to the "live able" amount of $10.00, could cause an over 12% Increase in low wage unemployment. Increasing it to the West Virginian level of $14, unemployment among low wage workers could rise to over 19% in Additional unemployment.

In summary, your wage increases would not only bankrupt the vast majority of businesses but also disemploy vastly more people than they would help.

You say if a business can't pay a living wage then they don't deserve to be in business. How can a business even run at your repressive wage levels? How could a business get started when right from the start the business can't afford to hire anyone? And what gives you the right to decide who can and can't do business? Just because it seems good that everyone gets a pay raise in no way means that it would be good in reality nor does it mean that it is good in a moral sense. I'll admit that some businessmen are unscrupulous, but many are not. What gives you the right to shut down their businesses? In one way, you are giving to people, but it comes at a direct cost to businesses. One could say that you are stealing from one for the benefit of another.

You said: "Basically, I believe everyone should have an equal opportunity to get God's resources." God's resources? First of all, our constitution says absolutely nothing about this nation's resources belonging to God. Millions of people in this country do not believe in a personal god, nor do many people who do believe in a personal god think that we should have a theistic-communitarian society you described. Maybe certain politicians refuse to acknowledge it, but this is a secular nation, and you legislate a wage increase because your interpretation of god says he/she/it want' s this kind of society. Your philosophical argument is exactly that: yours. Philosophy cannot trump the facts of this issue, which is that your minimum wage increases unemployment much higher than the benefit the increased wages give to a few.
Debate Round No. 2
dairygirl4u2c

Pro

The fact that it costs more in some cities doesn't mean a national uniform wage shouldn't exist. The people in California may not be able to live off six dollars an hour, but at least some people in other places can live off six dollars an hour. And, at least with the wage, those earning the minimum are not earning three dollars an hour.
And As I said, if workers are making more than minimum, great. If they're making minimum, then it should exist, because that probably means they'd be getting less had it not existed. It's not just a coincidence some people start out exactly at minimum wage.
I really do not see your point?

Unless you're arguing that the wage to be livable for one person would have to be a really high amount, not six, and that'd be too damaging. if that's teh case, i really doubt we'd need it really high, for example columbus ohio does not cost fifteen an hour to live. having lived there myself. now, there may be retirement fund considerations etc, but we don't have to include that sort of stuff. six or seven or something.

Two points as for displacing workers. a minimum wage exists now. i don't know anywhere where you can't find a job, if you're willing to try. in NW ohio, some have a hard time, but all yheu has to do is move, for example, to where they could find them. I really doubt that people can't find jobs if they try, I see job openings everywehre I go.
Unemployment might have went up when the increase occurred, but I'm sure those who were cut found jobs again somewhere else. it just makes sense: an employer cuts some workers, maybe, so they go somewher eelse. empiraclly jobs are out there.

Plus, ultimately, even if we did cause problems in the job market. we have to set the parameters of our society, what's good. there'd always be more people who could get more jobs more easily if we allowed wages to go to next to nothing, but we don't allow that and have standards. ideally, those who are displaced would not breed, if they're so bad as to not be able to find a jobn that is available, and we'd not have too many people living in bad conditions.

but the real argument is that, even with our standards, a wage exists now, and society is not in crambles. attempts like CATO to say no wage should exist are obviously skewed, because no wage would allow the wages to go below even what the wage is now, which is not causing problems.

cause whatever the case, i'm not arguing the wage be too high, just that it exists.
and if ultimately it needed to be fifteen to meet my definition, then it could just be lowered to seven or so to mitigate the effects of it. we'd still have the wages though, to ensure it doesn't drop to three.
really though, ten and fifteen etc is too high to be examples of what's livable.
invertman

Con

I would like, first of all, to point out that my opponent has not answered or contested any of my claims about the negative effects of a minimum wage. Throughout this argument, the main point of my opponent seems to be we should have a minimum wage because we should have one. That is circular reasoning.

One of my opponent's claims is that society needs to have wage standards. However, the problem comes with what do wage standards, i.e. a minimum wage, do to society. My opponent has never answered the fundamental issue of minimum wage: that it causes unemployment, particularly amongst those working at the minimum wage level, therefore unemploying the very people the laws claim to help. My data has shown this is indeed the case, therefore society should not have a minimum wage because it hurts those it's designed to help.

It doesn't matter what the law is supposed to do but what the law actually does. And, as I have shown, if the law hurts the people it is trying to help, by unemploying them, then it isn't worth helping.

My opponent has not provided any actual data on this issue, only conjectures, should haves, and personal experiences. Without showing that the minimum wage doesn't hurt people, then there really isn't an argument, only opinion.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by mjvoss 8 years ago
mjvoss
That "finding jobs if they want" is not a valid argument. It's a hasty generalization because you assume that, just because, in your experience, you've been able to find jobs easily or you have friends who have been able to find jobs with relative ease that everyone "can find a job if they want." You are faced with impeccable data that raising the minimum wage raises unemployment, and yet, you continue to persist that "people can find jobs if they want." Raising unemployment is never good for the people, especially uneducated citizens. As long as unemployment is as low as it can be, then everyone can get hired guaranteed. If it isn't, then there are going to be people who will not be able to be hired.

Right now, you are persisting with the argument that the minimum wage is simply not hurting, so we should have it. If we pretend that the minimum wage doesn't hurt anyone, it still doesn't benefit, so why have it?
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 8 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
now, he has a point, that sometimes companies lay off people if they're forced to have a minimum.
that's a nice piece of data. i wonder if he feels justified relying only on that, because he found a website that shows it to be the case.
but that still doesn't respond to the idea that they can find jobs, if they want. that's common knowledge.
unfortunately, it's also in the link below. he clearly did not wish to respond to the arguments, and simply call them my "personal expericnes" etc etc. it's not just mine though.
Posted by dairygirl4u2c 8 years ago
dairygirl4u2c
i really think my opponent is rationalizing his views. the bottom line is that the minimum wage exists now. jobs are aplenty. and that's an empiracal fact, or at least something he did not try to refute. i think it's so common knowledge, that it didn't need info.

here are "facts" if it makes him happy. states with a minimum create better jobs.
http://www.epinet.org...

adjusted to inflation, the minimum wage is the same as its' ever been. jobs are not being lost then, any more than it ever has.
people can find jobs if they want. even if they couldn't, that only means we help them out. the fact is though, they can find jobs, and i've shown data on that. nothing has been given to disprove that.

all he gives is rhetoric.
Posted by Modernmoron 8 years ago
Modernmoron
Invertman holds a good point. Even if there is a minimum wage who is to say what it should be? It all depends on where and how you live. if u cant afford to live where you are with the minimum wage you need to move somewhere else, or get a better job.
Posted by mjvoss 8 years ago
mjvoss
Invertman created an amazing and undeniable argument. Minimum wage also raises prices. The only thing the minimum wage does is to take a good thing (jobs) away to give to the people (money). It's better for people to negotiate for wages than to receive it by default. That way, competition increases because a person can always quit a low-paying job for a higher-paying job. This competition is already in effect when people get out of college because a need for their education is there. Therefore, people with education and previous experience get different offers from different companies that are subject to change if the competitor offers them more.

Not only would competition increase, but nearly everyone would have a job.
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