The Instigator
ToasterMinistry
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
WrickItRalph
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

Income Inequality is Good

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/13/2019 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 844 times Debate No: 120789
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (11)
Votes (0)

 

ToasterMinistry

Pro

First round can be acceptance or opponent's argument, I don't care. But opponent must state their position as clarification so that we are all on the same page. Failure to do so will mean that opponent loses.
WrickItRalph

Con

Your floor
Debate Round No. 1
ToasterMinistry

Pro

There had been a lot said about income inequlity, About how "unfair" it was, And how only a few people were rich, Or how the rest aren't. How the income gap between the rich the middle class, Let alone the poor, Was so large. But this is a bit wrong.

Income inequality is a good thing when it is the product of a free market economy like America. In such an economy, Each individual can make decisions about their own lives; about where and when they want to work, About what they buy, What they sell, Or who they will get engaged to. You are(hopefully) one of these individuals, And so am I. In a country like the US, You are free to pursue a path in life that you believe best suits your talents. Whether it be teaching, Or sailing, Or banking or making music. Whatever it is, This freedom helps make life enjoyable, Meaningful, And exciting. But this freedom is also an expression of inequality. This is simply because everyone has their own talents and everyone is different. We all have different talents and ambitions. Some put more into the society than others, And so they get more in return. Because we can all play to our personal strengths that distinguish us from others. If you find what you are really good at, You can make a lot of money and be rich. If you're a really good athlete, People will come to see you play. If you're a smart investor, People will give you some of their money for you to invest. You don't even need to be some millionare or billionare to be happy. Having forced equality means that this freedom is taken away, And that everyone gets the same. I would like to know from Con how a un-capitalistic society would work out.

Another point of having income inequality is making rare things more common. In 1983, The first telephone was invented. It was the size of a brick, Had a 30 minute battery life, Calls were very expensive, And the thing itself cost $4000! Only the rich could and did afford them. If nobody had bought that 4000 dollar phone, There wouldn't be a $700 Iphone right now that is tens of thousands of times better than the first telephone. Income inequality is what turns rare and expensive things that only the rich could afford into cheaper and better ones for the others. In the 1960s a computer cost over a million dollars and some filled entire rooms. However, The computer could only do the simplist of functions. Now, Thanks to billionares like Michael Dell, We are able to get great laptops for just a few hundred bucks. Income inequality is what turns scarcity into abundance, The few to many. And it is solely because of wealth inequality.
WrickItRalph

Con

So it seems the crux of your argument is that income inequality gives people freedom and it helps drive prices down.

I'm going to argue that income inequality is not the cause of these things and we could have these same qualities in a society without it.

First of all. I would like to say that I'm not advocating for everybody having exactly equal incomes. That would just be extreme socialism. However, We CAN have fair wages within capitalism while still reaping it's benefits. You say that people have the freedom to choose in our system, But that's not entirely true. One person might be born into higher societal standing and gets more opportunities. Whereas somebody born poor has a severe limit on how fast they can climb. Sure, Some poor people get rich over night, But this has nothing to do with special skills, As you say. Most of the time, Poor people get windfalls to pull themselves out of their income class. It's not really freedom if one's only choices are dirt poor and not quit poor. It would be very easy to fix this problem in capitalist society, All we would have to do is raise the minimum wage and close the income gap in America, However, The conservative mindset keeps people from doing this and it's a shame because they're really hurting themselves as well. Closing the gap in inequality benefits the upper middle class as well do to increase in consumerism and productivity. People become so greedy that they prioritize their short term gain on a check over the long term gain they could receive throughout their entire life. It's shortsighted. CEO's want to maximize their profits without realizing their profits would skyrocket if they have a stronger consumer base. Instead, They suck the consumers dry and they end up having to jump lilypads going from one sinking market to another. Why do you think a new iPhone comes out so often? The iPhone market is small cause most people have to get generic phones, So they have to jump from one model to another. If minimum wage went up. IPhone sales would skyrocket and they wouldn't have to put out anew phone so often to keep selling to the same people.

Income inequality has no apparent benefits. At best, You could argue that it's a necessary evil, But I've pointed out that it might be evil, But it's not necessary.
Debate Round No. 2
ToasterMinistry

Pro

ToasterMinistry forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
ToasterMinistry

Pro

Shoot I didn't see that you replied, My bad. . .



So, You say that all we need to do is to close the income gap in America, Which gives everyone a decent income while keeping the benefits of capitalism. Do you really want to try that in real life? There will always be the upper class. Take Bill Gates and compare them with someone working at minimum wage. Even if we increased the minimum wage 10 fold, It will not be even close to Bill Gate's income. Raising it so much will also cause massive inflation, Which as we all know, Isn't very good for any economy in the long run. If the minimum wage goes up so much, Then it is only normal for the mid-upper class' income to skyrocket at the same rate as minimum wage, So in the end, There will be no difference. All it will cause is inflation. The upper class is also the biggest donaters for organizations like the Red Cross, Who help struggling nations worldwide to help the world as a whole. I want to see exactly how such a society that you suggest will work.



"The iPhone market is small cause most people have to get generic phones, So they have to jump from one model to another. If minimum wage went up. IPhone sales would skyrocket and they wouldn't have to put out anew phone so often to keep selling to the same people. "


What? Do you know anything about economics? In places like Canada, An Iphone is common. Also, If the minimum wage goes up, That doesn't mean the IPhone prices won't. Apple is a company that focuses on few products, But strive to make them good. Their goal is to make technology that is light, Simple, And smart. They dream that in the future, People wouldn't be "reading off a computer screen" or "watching TV". They will simply be reading, Or watching a race. They want their products to be light, Thin, And as simple as possible to control, While also having many features. Therefore, IPhones are only meant for the mid-upper classes. If it is so that everyone can buy their phones, They will also increase in price.


Another thing is to ask yourself why these societies that you suggest have never been attempted before(except communism or socialism). Surely, After millions of years of human existance, Someone would attempt such a society?
WrickItRalph

Con

You said:

"Do you really want to try that in real life? There will always be the upper class. Take Bill Gates and compare them with someone working at minimum wage"

We have tried it in real life. We're doing it now and slowly improving it everyday. I agree with you when you say that there will always be an upper class, But that doesn't mean that we can't create income equality. Bill gates is an outlier and does not apply to the average citizen. The point of income equality is to try to create as few income classes as logically possible.

You said:

" If the minimum wage goes up so much, Then it is only normal for the mid-upper class' income to skyrocket at the same rate as minimum wage"

You can't say that, It's a slippery slope fallacy. You can't say that one big action will have a big effect because you have no way to predict that effect. I am logically forced to reject this idea.

You said:

" I want to see exactly how such a society that you suggest will work. "

This is a straw man. I'm not suggesting that we create some special perfect society. I'm saying we keep the society we have and slowly shrink the disparities.

You said:
"Another thing is to ask yourself why these societies that you suggest have never been attempted before"

Straw man. I'm talking about modern society, Which is being attempted now. We're talking about details concerning income equality, This topic transcends any one type of society.

The rest of your points are just reiterations of points I already debunked.

Your floor.
Debate Round No. 4
ToasterMinistry

Pro

Thanks for WirckItRalph for debating with me.

Actually, My opinion on this topic has changed around this time, And now I believe that income equality is in fact good. Unfortunately for you, However, You weren't the one to convince me. Either way, I shall continue this debate, As these types of topics always have two sides that can both make arguments that are reasonable.




Your first refutation about the minimum wage thing, I'll give an example:

At the time of the Great Depression, Many became unemployed, And the minimum wage went down. What else went down in the process? The mid-upper class' income.




About the "perfect" society: Nobody said that we would be making a perfect society. Such a thing probably won't happen. I just ask how a society would function.



Is it being attempted now?



No.

WrickItRalph

Con

Well since you changed your mind, I have no purpose left here.

I yield my statement.

good debate!
Debate Round No. 5
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by imAnonymous 3 years ago
imAnonymous
It's the human thing to do to think that income inequality is bad.

There's always the shortage paradox:

If everybody needs to work, And there are some people unemployed, Employers can lower their wages by quite a bit - and workers can't leave, As employers can hire some more desperate people. Income inequality creates lots of horrible things, Including the coexistence of poverty and prosperity.
However, We haven't found another way to create any economic growth whatsoever - communism requires authoritarianism, Encourages hoarding, And you usually end up in famine.
I believe that most of us would agree that income inequality is, In summary, A necessary evil.
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago
WrickItRalph
@GuitarSlinger. You're committing a part of the whole fallacy. You're only showing the part of inequality that looks good while glazing over the problematic part. You say that all workers get paid fairly (equitably) based off certain factors, But that doesn't account for people who are grossly overpaid and underpaid. There is no actual law that forces the employer to pay based off the standard you mentioned. Employers could pay skilled people with degrees minimum wage and they do it as well. CEOs do not get paid based on any type of standard besides the arbitrary ones set by his company and they never have anything to do with experience or skill. When you look at the big picture, Inequality is not a good thing.
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
@GuitarSlinger: Well stated.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
@GuitarSlinger

"Bottom line, Every individual (at least in this country) has the freedom to seek employment elsewhere. "
Freedom does not mean there are not other restriction in place like economic status.

"You can quit and find a job elsewhere. "
How about the person who lives from paycheck to paycheck? Are you going to tell him/her to quit their jobs?

"There is a key difference between EQUAL and FAIR. "
It is not fair that you are asking more from a poor person compared to someone more privileged.

I agree with your example not your general statements.
Posted by GuitarSlinger 3 years ago
GuitarSlinger
Bottom line, Every individual (at least in this country) has the freedom to seek employment elsewhere.

Don't feel like you're valued (i. E. Paid enough)? You can quit and find a job elsewhere.

There is a key difference between EQUAL and FAIR.

As a hiring manager, I hire people all the time. Two people may be doing exactly the same job, But they are often paid differently, And justifiably so.
- One might have 15 years experience, The other 3 months.
- One might have a degree, The other not.

You pay/value people not only on what they can or ARE doing, But also what you see them potentially being able to do based on their experience. ,

I'll hire an engineer and pay him 105K per year if he has solid experience, If not, I may only pay him $85K. Why? Because I feel his experience will add value to the company (improvements, Efficiencies, Etc)
Posted by WrickItRalph 3 years ago
WrickItRalph
@billsands. Fair assessment.
Posted by billsands 3 years ago
billsands
to a point it is a necessarry evil at an extreme it is a cancer
Posted by Athias 3 years ago
Athias
Nice argument, ToasterMinistry. Income inequality is by no means "unfair. " The assertion (of unfairness) is a circular argument. The argument is usually premised on disparity, Making the conclusion and the premise identical. And usually, The means of production, Resources, And capital will be allocated (absent of any governing institution) to those most productive. The mere idea of equality ignores differentiation among one's talents, Skills, Capacity, And personality.

I'll be looking forward to your rebuttal of WrickItRalph's argument.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
"Income inequality is a good thing when it is the product of a free market economy like America"
Wait what? Free = good?
I can make a such good analogy that Pro would not be for but I have said enough and wait for Con to rebut.
Posted by omar2345 3 years ago
omar2345
I am not seeing the second comment. Where is it?
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