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

should the government raise minimum wage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/21/2017 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 months ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 592 times Debate No: 105222
Debate Rounds (5)
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Votes (0)

 

mariagold

Con

id say that they shouldn't because though you would get more money minimum wage jobs are temporary jobs and meant to be treated as such raising minimum wage will raise taxes and big businesses will hide behind taking it away and instead businesses should just offer better jobs and working environments A higher minimum wage, would be too heavy a burden on employers, especially small business owners. And those employers, in turn, would be unable to hire as many people an undesirable result when unemployment continues to hover at about 8 percent."Young workers willing to accept $5 per hour for low-level work or to gain valuable experience should be allowed to do so, Jacoby argued, especially if the alternative is being unable to find a job at all. Furthermore, increasing the minimum wage has not proven to be effective at lowering the poverty rate, according to the business-backed nonprofit Employment Policies Institute. Multiple studies have demonstrated little to no relationship between a higher minimum wage and reductions in poverty the institute says, in a policy brief."
Where does this all leave the minimum wage? Harkin's bill has been referred to committee, which means it is several legislative steps away from becoming a law. And in a highly polarized election season, action on such a controversial issue is unlikely.
tenyearsoflight

Pro

The question here is whether the government should raise the minimum wage. CON seems to be talking about the United States, so I'll assume that we're talking about the United States. To win, CON has to prove that the government should NOT raise the minimum wage. On the other hand, I have to show that the government should raise the minimum wage. Current minimum wage in the US is 7.25 USD/hr. Nothing in the resolution says that I have to show how much the minimum wage should be raised. I just have to argue that it should be raised to win. First, I'm going to say why the minimum wage should be raised. Second, I'm going to rebut CON's case.

Minimum wage should be raised:

1. Minimum wage should be raised because it does not pay a livable wage which creates an unfair burden on taxpayers and charities.

The minimum wage should be raised because keeping the minimum wage where it is creates an unfair burden on taxpayers What basically happens is that because the federal minimum wage only pays $15,080.00/yr government benefits and private charities have to pick up the difference between "what minimum wage-paying employers pay their employees" and "what it costs employees to survive".

Chris Lu, former deputy secretary of labor under the Obama administration writes in Time that: "the federal minimum wage amounts to just $15,080 a year for full-time work. That translates into declining living standards, reduced economic mobility and a shrinking middle class. It mires workers and our economy in an impoverishing cycle created by inadequate pay. Far too many workers earning minimum wage turn to government assistance and food pantries to make ends meet." (Source: http://time.com...)

When workers earning the minimum wage have to turn to government assistance and private charities like food pantries to make ends meet, that means that corporations are passing off the external cost of employee labor to society and to taxpayers. This is basically a corporate handout that comes out of the pockets of hard working taxpayers, which is an unfair burden to place on society. The minimum wage should therefore be raised to alleviate this unfair burden on taxpayers.

2. Raising the minimum wage will stimulate economic growth.

Economic growth in the service sector has not grown as fast as should have because the amount of disposable income for the majority of working Americans has not kept up with inflation. To illustrate, the minimum wage of 1968 would be $10.90 today. Except the problem is that inflation has exceeded minimum wage increases by a third. (Source: https://www.pbs.org...)

PBS reports that the unemployment rate was 3.6 percent in 1968 with a higher real minimum wage. (same source) So, that means that the unemployment rate is higher today " at 5 percent " than it was in 1968, while the real minimum wage is lower today than it was in 1968. Part of the reason for that is because consumers had more disposable income then, than they do now. By increasing the minimum wage, working consumers will have more money to spend locally, which they will (see source from Time above) and that will result in economic growth. One implication of that growth will be increased jobs.

CON doesn't really have individual arguments, so I'll just rebut the ideas he talks about:

CON claims that "A higher minimum wage, would be too heavy a burden on employers, especially small business owners."

This is false.

Former US Secretary of Labor Robert Reich explains that a higher minimum wage minimum "won"t result in major job losses because it would put money in the pockets of millions of low-wage workers who will spend it " thereby giving working families and the overall economy a boost, and creating jobs. (When I was Labor Secretary in 1996 and we raised the minimum wage, business predicted millions of job losses; in fact, we had more job gains over the next four years than in any comparable period in American history.)" (Source: http://robertreich.org...)

The only way that a higher minimum wage would harm business owners is if revenues didn't keep up with the increased cost of labor. The problem with that assumption is that it ignores the second-order implication of a higher minimum wage: more domestic economic spending, which would result in increased revenues, as the sum of the available literature suggests would be the case.

CON claims: "And those employers, in turn, would be unable to hire as many people an undesirable result when unemployment continues to hover at about 8 percent."

Again, this is wrong for the same reason as stated above. Increases in disposable income are going to translate into increased local spending, which will increase revenues and likely increase profits overall. In order to make the argument that companies wouldn't be able to hire more people, you have to assume that the only part of the business's account sheet which would change is how much they have to pay their employees. Except, the evidence above shows that this is false because of predictable increases in economic activity. (The Time and Robert Reich article)

CON Claims: "Young workers willing to accept $5 per hour for low-level work or to gain valuable experience should be allowed to do so"

This has absolutely nothing to do with the minimum wage. If young workers want to gain experience and are willing to work for substandard wages, they can still take unpaid internships. The minimum wage has nothing to do with that issue. (https://www.forbes.com..., discussing unpaid internships). More importantly, as Reich explains, "Most low-wage workers aren"t young teenagers; they"re major breadwinners for their families, and many are women." So, talk of teenagers is a red herring more or less for this issue.

CON further claims "increasing the minimum wage has not proven to be effective at lowering the poverty rate, according to the business-backed nonprofit Employment Policies Institute."

CON doesn't cite to this source so it automatically should be struck; he just makes a vague reference to it. But the question isn't whether increasing the minimum wage is "proven" to lower the poverty rate, because we're not talking about a specific amount to raise the minimum wage in this debate. To illustrate, if we raised the minimum wage by 0.01 USD, then that obviously would have very little if any impact on ameliorating poverty of any kind. The question is whether or not raising the minimum wage is a good idea or not. The evidence I've provided shows that it is, because raising the minimum wage will increase the standard of living, which (implicitly) means reducing poverty.

VOTE PRO!
Debate Round No. 1
mariagold

Con

The government shouldnt raise minimum wage because though you would get more money minimum wage jobs are temporary jobs and meant to be treated as such. The minimum wage was never designed to be a "living wage" it was for all intent and purpose to be a safeguard against legalized slavery. If a company wants decent workers they will pay a decent wage. If the jobs are too low paying no one will want them and it will force the rates to be increased. Also if the rates are too low it will also discourage illegal immigration which we all know is a problem. A minimum wage job is a starting point not a career. And continuously increasing that wage only raises the costs of all goods and those earning that minimum wage will have their income gone sooner. Also raising minimum wage will raise taxes and big businesses will hide behind it taking it away and instead businesses should just offer better jobs and working environments A higher minimum wage would be a heavier burden on employers especially small business owners. And those employers in turn would be unable to hire as many people an undesirable result when unemployment continues to exist "Young workers willing to accept five dollars per hour for low-level work or to gain valuable experience should be allowed to do so Jacoby argued especially if the alternative is being unable to find a job at all. Furthermore increasing the minimum wage has not proven to be effective at lowering the poverty rate according to the business-backed nonprofit Employment Policies Institute. Multiple studies have demonstrated little to no relationship between a higher minimum wage and reductions in poverty the institute says in a policy brief". Where does this all leave the minimum wage? Harkins bill has been referred to committee which means it is several legislative steps away from becoming a law. And in a highly polarized election season action on such a controversial issue is unlikely. raising the minimum wage will hurt the smaller businesses that cannot afford to pay their employees more than what the minimum is now. Raising minimum wage is a vicious circle the government raises it because it hasnt been raised in years and as soon as its raised everything else goes up immediately to compensate. If it were easy for businesses to pay higher wages than they would! Now think about this. If a business has three people working for it and it is a very small business but the people want to be payed more. So they start getting people to protest and then the minimum wage gets raised. The business can no longer pay all three so they fire one. Now that person that wanted more has nothing at all. This is precisely what happened in Detroit. Detroit was known for having amazing cars. But after a while the people in Detroit wanted the wage to be higher so they made the car companies pay them more. In the end the companies could not afford to pay them so after laying thousands of people off they eventually all moved to a place where the minimum wage was lower to prevent shutting down. This completely crashed the economy. Many people dedicate mass amounts of their precious time fighting to raise minimum wage. Their perception of minimum wage on the other hand only goes skin deep their belief is that it should be a living wage so that a low income laborer could provide for his or her family. The problem with that concept as previously mentioned is that they only scratch the surface when they decide what minimum wage should be set at.
tenyearsoflight

Pro

This round will be dedicated to explaining why I am winning this debate and CON is losing.

CON Argues: "minimum wage jobs are temporary jobs and meant to be treated as such. "

Without any evidence whatsoever (which means that this point falls by its own lack of merit), CON claims that "minimum wage jobs are temporary jobs and meant to be treated as such", but does not provide any evidence that minimum wage jobs are temporary. People who work minimum wage jobs tend to stay in those jobs, or move from one minimum or barely above minimum wage job to another for many years of their life. (Source: https://www.bls.gov...)

The implication is that minimum wage jobs are not "temporary" even if CON thinks that that's what they're mean to be.

But the idea that minimum wage jobs should be "treated" as temporary is belied by the realities of long-term earning potential for anyone who holds a minimum wage job. Oxfam explains: "The likelihood of leaving low pay decreases dramatically as tenure in a low-paying job increases," as "the characteristics associated with low-wage employment lead to greater rates of permanently low earnings," concluded researchers Brett Theodos of the Urban Institute and Robert Bednarzlk at the Georgetown Public Policy Institute." (Source: https://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org...)

So, on both counts CON is wrong. It is empirically false that minimum wage jobs are temporary, so CON's proposition that minimum wage jobs are "meant to be temporary" is contradicted by the reality of minimum wage work.The evidence and empirical research out there suggests that CON fundamentally misunderstands how minimum wage labor works. As a result, CON's unfounded opinion that "A minimum wage job is a starting point not a career." is also negated by the same. This is confirmed by FiveThirtyEight blog. (Source:https://fivethirtyeight.com...).

CON further argues: "if the rates are too low it will also discourage illegal immigration which we all know is a problem."

Once again, CON has no evidence to support this claim. In order for this claim to have bearing on the outcome of this debate, it would need something to support that it is true. But, the broader point is that the minimum wage has no application to illegal immigrant labor because illegals work is under the table. (Refer for general explanation to: https://en.wikipedia.org...).

CON further claims: "And continuously increasing that wage only raises the costs of all goods and those earning that minimum wage will have their income gone sooner."

This is negated by my evidence above, from Robert Reich, discussing economic outcomes post 1996, and Liu, discussing improvements in standard of living. The bottom line is that raising the minimum wage raises the standard of living for working Americans, which negates the claim that "increasing [the minimum wage] only raises the costs of all goods". However, the broader point here is that like everything else, CON has no evidence to support this claim and there's a lot of evidence out there against it.

CON once more without evidence claims: "Also raising minimum wage will raise taxes "

This is wrong because there is no indication that raising the minimum wage will raise taxes. Taxes on companies and the minimum wage are totally different things entirely. (Obvious source is obvious: https://en.wikipedia.org...)

Con's point about "A higher minimum wage would be a heavier burden on employers especially small business owners.", as well as the point about the impact to small businesses (" If a business has three people working for it and it is a very small business but the people want to be payed more. So they start getting people to protest and then the minimum wage gets raised.") and the like are all negated by the evidence I've cited above, which is still not rebutted by CON. Rather, con is just restating this point.

Once again, Reich and Liu explain that this is false because of increased economic activity as a result of higher disposable income.

The sort of final gesture at an argument CON makes reduces to this: 'the minimum wage ruined Detroit, which was once known for "having amazing cars" but because people wanted "the wage to be higher ... in the end companies could not afford to pay them, so after laying thousands of people off they eventually moved to a place where the minimum wage was lower to prevent shutting down" and this "completely crashed the economy".

Basically everything about CON's argument here is wrong. (https://en.wikipedia.org...) First, Detroit auto workers were not minimum wage workers, they were unionized factory workers. Raising the minimum wage would have no impact on them whatsoever because they were already making more than the minimum wage was to begin with, and they were making more than other minimum wage workers would have made even if the wage would have been raised.

Second, Detroit's decline was due to many factors beyond labor costs. They are explained in the article I cited, but the bottom line is that CON has illustrated no evidentiary link between the minimum wage and Detroit's decline. CON's points fall in totality.

I have won this debate because I proved that (1) the minimum wage should be raised because it does not pay a livable wage which creates an unfair burden on taxpayers and charities; and (2) raising the minimum wage will stimulate economic growth. CON makes no effort to rebut either my first or second contentions. My first contention holds, totally unaddressed by CON. My second contention holds, for the same reason. Moreover, my evidence regarding my second contention negates every single claim that CON has made about economic harms. Finally, I have rebutted above every single claim that CON made WITHOUT EVIDENCE and provided sufficient evidence to the contrary. I am winning this debate and CON is losing.

VOTE PRO!
Debate Round No. 2
mariagold

Con

what pro fails to mention is that though I don't mention evidence to support my argument but he don't either he doesn't rebut my claims either. Should the U.S. government increase the hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $15? The issue is nuanced: Raising wages would boost employee paychecks, but it could also cause cost-conscious companies to reduce hiring. But with many states taking independent action to increase wages"and with a $15 federal minimum wage "over time" added to the Democratic Party platform last week"we asked three faculty experts to discuss the implications.
Boost jobs through an earned income tax credit, better education, and reduced licensing requirements

Erik Brynjolfsson
We"ve seen median wages stagnate for almost 20 years in the United States. How can we increase them while also boosting jobs?
Here are three ideas: One: expand the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC; Two: reinvent education; and Three: reduce occupational licensing.
Here"s how the EITC works. Suppose that someone is earning $12 per hour, and we"d like to them to earn $15. With an EITC, they"d get an additional $3 per hour worked from the government. The money to pay for this would come from general tax revenue including income taxes, or ideally increased taxes on carbon dioxide"

emissions, congestion, and other things we"d like to discourage. One of the benefits of the EITC is that it encourages employers to hire more workers, unlike increasing the minimum wage. That"s important because I"ve been convinced by sociologists like Bob Putnam that work has value beyond the dollars it provides. It"s good for society to keep people engaged in the workforce, and we should be rewarding entrepreneurs and managers who come up with jobs.
Another way to increase both wages and jobs is by increasing the educational levels of our workforce. The wage gap between the most and least educated workers has grown enormously since the 1980s, and better-educated workers also have much lower unemployment rates and higher rates of workforce participation. But it"s not enough to simply do more of the same. We need to reinvent education for an age where machines are increasingly doing cognitive tasks"the second machine age. That means a greater emphasis on skills like teamwork, project management, persuasion, leadership, coaching, and creativity. I believe these can be fostered in the right educational settings.
Last but not least, we need to reduce unnecessary occupational licensing. Over 25 percent of workers now require a license to do their jobs, a five-fold increase since the 1950s. While some licenses are important for safety or other reasons, research has shown that excessive licensing requirements reduce employment and mobility. Requirements vary widely across states: Michigan requires three years of education and training to become a security guard, while most other states require 11 days or less.
Having more people working and earning good wages is good not just for the people we help, but for all of us: People who work are more engaged in community, creating a virtuous cycle. If we do these three things, we"ll be on track to becoming a richer, more engaged, and more dynamic nation.
-- ErikBrynjolfsson, professor of information technology and director of the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy
A higher minimum wage, by region

Simon Johnson
I"m in favor of an increased minimum wage, but there is a valid question of "by how much?" Would you lose jobs as a consequence of increasing the minimum wage above some level? Labor economists have studied this carefully, and while there is no consensus, it"s not difficult to support an increase to $12 per hour on the basis of the available evidence.
In areas with higher living costs, a higher minimum wage can make sense"and some states are already planning to phase in $15 per hour over several years.
However, especially in less heavily urbanized areas with a lower cost of living, a higher national minimum wage could have unintended consequences, in the sense of reducing hiring and potentially increasing unemployment.
-- Simon Johnson, professor of global economics and management
A modest, stepwise increase over time

Thomas Kochan
It"s clearly beyond time to increase the minimum wage. But it"s a political stalemate: It has less to do with economics than politics. Congress has not acted positively on labor legislation for a long time. They block essentially all changes in labor policy, whether it"s increases in wages, updating hourly wage legislation, or in other areas of labor relations law, all of which badly need to be updated.
The stalemate has led states to take action on their own. Half the states have recognized the need for an increase. It"s time to catch up. We"re at $7.25, which is ridiculous.
My view is that $15 is a reasonable target for the future, but we should raise it in steps at the federal level. An immediate jump to $15 would be too abrupt a change. It could have significant negative employment consequences. If we increased it step-by-step with a goal toward $15 over a period of years, it wouldn"t have significant employment effects. We could start at $10, then go up to $15 over four years.
President Obama has made raising the minimum wage a centerpiece of his campaign against "income inequality." In his most recent State of the Union Address, he called for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over the next 3 years. He also announced plans to unilaterally increase the minimum wage for federal contractors. Meanwhile, numerous governors are also pushing to increase their state minimum as well.

No doubt such proposals are politically popular. But the overwhelming body of evidence suggests that increasing the minimum wage would do little to reduce poverty or inequality. On the other hand it would almost certainly reduce employment opportunities, especially for those low skilled, entry level workers for whom a job represents the first rungs on the ladder of opportunity.

Over the last several years, Cato scholars have written on the pitfalls of raising the minimum wage.

Studies
Mark Wilson, "The Negative Effects of Minimum Wage Laws," Policy Analysis No. 701, June 21, 2012.
Richard V. Burkhauser and T. Aldrich Finegan, "The Economics of Minimum Wage Legislation Revisited," Cato Journal, Vol. 13, no1 (Spring/Summer 1993). Clifford Thies, "The First Minimum Wage Laws," Cato Journal, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Winter 1991). President Obama has made raising the minimum wage a centerpiece of his campaign against "income inequality." In his most recent State of the Union Address, he called for raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour over the next 3 years. He also announced plans to unilaterally increase the minimum wage for federal contractors. Meanwhile, numerous governors are also pushing to increase their state minimum as well. No doubt such proposals are politically popular. But the overwhelming body of evidence suggests that increasing the minimum wage would do little to reduce poverty or inequality. On the other hand it would almost certainly reduce employment opportunities, especially for those low skilled, entry level workers for whom a job represents the first rungs on the ladder of opportunity. Over the last several years, Cato scholars have written on the pitfalls of raising the minimum wage. The debate over raising the minimum wage has been a hot topic after President Obama explained in his 2014 State of the Union Address that he intends to raise the minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 per hour, an increase of over 40 percent. While the President and his supporters claim that this increase would greatly benefit the economy and result in no loss of jobs, the opposition claims that this would be detrimental to minimum wage employees, resulting in 500,000 fewer jobs. In the following article, we"re outlining the pros and cons of raising the minimum wage.
tenyearsoflight

Pro

We are now at the point where there is no doubt that I have won this debate and CON has lost.

CON concedes that he has no evidence to support his argument in the last round. Therefore, everything he's said so far is out in terms of determining who won this debate. But, worse, CON is wrong that I don't have evidence to support my rebuttals of his claims. Without re-posting a list of links and wasting character space, the judges are encouraged to review the foregoing rounds and see all the evidence I posted.

As a point of consideration here: CON should lose the conduct point and the sources point. He should lose the conduct point for lying about the fact that I posted evidence, and he should lose the sources point because he has no sources. He has no links at all, just citations to articles that may or may not exist.

Now, regarding the stuff he posted in the last round....

CON asked whether the "U.S. government increase the hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $15?" The question here is whether, as I said above, the US should raise the minimum wage at all. The question here IS NOT HOW MUCH should it be raised. So, in talking about raising the minimum wage by a specific amount, CON is making an irrelevant argument.

But there's another problem... and it's much murkier...

CON literally stole his argument, verbatim, from this website: http://mitsloan.mit.edu...

He did not link his argument to this website. He did not cite to this website. He literally plagiarized, and now must lose this debate for cheating. Like, read the article. It is word for word the same thing.

In review, I have proven my side. CON has failed to prove his. I rebutted everything CON said that wasn't plagiarized. CON made no rebuttals at all, and tried to pass off this article (http://mitsloan.mit.edu...) from MIT school of management as his own... as if I wouldn't find it. So, even if you weren't convinced above that I should be winning the conduct point, now you have to be convinced because CON is a cheater.
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