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Minimum Wage RFD: Lord Helm v. Romanii

YYW
Posts: 36,271
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9/29/2015 1:58:58 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
Debate:

http://www.debate.org...

Resolution:

"The US minimum wage should not be raised to $15.00 per hour."

This is a bad resolution, because even though the burdens are equal in the sense that PRO must argue that "the US minimum wage should not be raised to $15.00/hr" CON may argue literally anything else, that is not that. Con may argue that, for example, the minimum wage may be raised to $14.99, lowered to $0.25, raised to $25.00/hr. etc. The impact, as such, is that PRO is acutely constrained in what he must argue; CON has a vast array of stuff to play with.

BOP:

As I have stated before, and will say again here because so many incompetent judges and debaters screw this incredibly simple concept up... the resolution defines the BOP, not the debaters. If the resolution is normative, the burden is equal. If the resolution is positive, the BOP is only on he who makes the claim. There are no other kinds of claims; this is the only way that BOP's work. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong, and I will be happy to explain why at any length necessary to illustrate that.

Arguments:

PRO argues a raise in the minimum wage would (1) hurt corporations economically, (2) cause small businesses would suffer, (3) hurt the economy, (4) hurt employees. PRO says that large corporations suffer because it increases the costs of labor, but he supports this with very weak evidence based on profit. He does not show evidence that an increase in the minimum wage would necessarily reduce profits, but rather simply alludes to it. No evidence. It's almost a warrantless claim. This problem was apparent with regard to the claim about reduced growth. More or less, PRO assumed at all times that the minimum wage hike would happen *tomorrow*. This is evident implicitly in the fact that the preponderance of his arguments charted relative impacts with contemporary revenues, and statements like "a sudden increase to $15.00 an hour, even over five years...". The effect remains the same. PRO makes a reasonable argument ONLY that the minimum wage's being raised to $15.00 per hour within the timeframe he stated would result in some bad things therefore the minimum wage should never be raised. The problem is that this is NOT the resolution. The resolution does not talk about timeframes. It just says "should not be raised" and that's it. This is yet another dimension along which poor resolution writing aversely affects PRO, because even though he is moving in the general direction of advancing his burden, he's not actually meeting it. This is the consistent and essential flaw in each one of his arguments: he does not actually meet his burden.

CON, in the alternative, correctly indicates the fact that the harms PRO articulates are basically nonsense, but he doesn't get the reasons why. Increased consumption, higher work productivity and lower corporate taxes are all certainly factors to consider, but they are not dispositive areas of PRO's deficiency. However, this is not really damaging to CON, who just has to show "not $15.00 raise" -meaning, in essence, virtually anything else as it relates to the min. wage, will advance his argument. CON argues that increasing the minimum wage will increase consumption which will result in economic stimulus overall (negating the major aggregate economic harms that PRO articulated), that workers will be more productive if they are paid more (this is not a persuasive argument), and that an increase of the minimum wage would allow the government to cut corporate taxes (this is also weak).

CON's latter contentions fall, but his first contention directly advances his burden while most of PRO's contentions were later rebutted with some degree of efficacy by CON and none of them directly advance his burden. This debate comes down to who screwed up less. As a note... there was an egregious misuse of numbers and statistics by both sides at all relevant times in this debate. Don't do that. The arguments/rebuttals were not nearly as strong as they could have been, in the sense that they should have addressed the resolution.

Let me be clear: the only arguments that matter in a normative resolution are those that advance the burden of persuasion a debater bears; and arguments only matter to the extent that they advance such burden. CON came closer to doing that, only because he screwed up less. I could elaborate more, but it's not necessary.

The key to getting this vote right is to read the resolution. Read the resolution. Read it. Read it carefully. Do not not read it. You must read it, and know both what it is saying and what it is NOT saying in order to be able to adjudicate this debate. Judging the debate with any burden other than what I said is to misread it, and of necessity incorrectly apply the burden. CON's victory is nevertheless clear.
Tsar of DDO
Romanii
Posts: 4,851
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9/29/2015 2:09:07 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/29/2015 1:58:58 AM, YYW wrote:

As a note... there was an egregious misuse of numbers and statistics by both sides at all relevant times in this debate. Don't do that.

Could you provide an example of such a misuse on my part?
YYW
Posts: 36,271
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9/29/2015 2:13:04 AM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/29/2015 2:09:07 AM, Romanii wrote:
At 9/29/2015 1:58:58 AM, YYW wrote:

As a note... there was an egregious misuse of numbers and statistics by both sides at all relevant times in this debate. Don't do that.

Could you provide an example of such a misuse on my part?

Maybe eventually, but tonight I am tired.
Tsar of DDO
donald.keller
Posts: 3,709
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9/29/2015 10:13:48 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/29/2015 1:58:58 AM, YYW wrote:

BOP:

As I have stated before, and will say again here because so many incompetent judges and debaters screw this incredibly simple concept up... the resolution defines the BOP, not the debaters.

^ This.
I wrote a short article on this very topic once, because Bluesteel didn't like my theory on BOP.
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