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

Raising Minimum Wage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/1/2016 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 856 times Debate No: 95138
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (4)
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There is a lot of talk these days about raising the minimum wage to $15/hour. My position is that I am against raising the minimum wage any higher than it already is. There is historical evidence that raising minimum wage is detrimental to companies. I will start off this debate by pointing out three facts:

1. Raising minimum wage causes companies to to either cut employees or cut hours. Most companies either do not have it in their budget to pay the difference when minimum wage is increased, or they refuse to increase their budgets. Therefore, many companies will hire fewer people to compensate for the higher wages. Other companies have a tendency to cut hours. Just because someone is making $10/hour instead of $7, it doesn't mean that they will be offered the hours desired to see a difference.

2. Raising minimum wage increases costs. For companies that do not cut employees or hours, they are forced to raise prices to compensate for the extra money being spent on payroll. There is a reason that prices have soared for many consumer products in recent is because minimum wage keeps increasing. In order to balance their budget, most companies have to charge higher prices to compensate.

3. Raising minimum wage kills competition for jobs. There are two possible consequences if minimum wage reaches the desired $15/hour that many cities and states are fighting for. Most of these jobs require very little skill and/or little to no education. Therefore, this is either going to cause other careers to raise their wages or many will pass by college to get a job that will pay close to the same without the student loan debt. Why would someone go to college for 4 or 5 years and be put $100,000 in debt to work a job that pays just a little more than a career with no education experience required. Either way, it will start a ripple effect across the entire economy.


Proponents of a higher minimum wage state that the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour is too low for anyone to live on; that a higher minimum wage will help create jobs and grow the economy; that the declining value of the minimum wage is one of the primary causes of wage inequality between low- and middle-income workers; and that a majority of Americans, including a slim majority of self-described conservatives, support increasing the minimum wage.

As an American who works on minimum wage, I can tell you, there is nothing sadder than working hard all week and only being given $58 a day. That's $406 a week, and this is not enough to live on.

A minimum wage increase from the current rate of $7.25 an hour to $10.10 would inject $22.1 billion net into the economy and create about 85,000 new jobs over a three-year phase-in period. [1] It would help businesses and people alike, not hurt either.

After New Jersey raised its minimum wage by 80 cents, while Pennsylvania did not. Economists, Krueger and Card, observed that job growth in the fast food industry was similar in both states, and found "no indication that the rise in the minimum wage reduced employment." [2] So saying that people would fire others because of a minimum wage increase is preposterous.

According to a 2014 Congressional Budget Office report, increasing the minimum wage to $9 would lift 300,000 people out of poverty, and an increase to $10.10 would lift 900,000 people out of poverty. [3] According to a 2013 poll by Oxfam America, 66% of US workers earning less than $10 an hour report that they "just meet" or "don't even have enough to meet" their basic living expenses, and 50% say that they are frequently worried about affording basic necessities such as food.

In the next 7 years California's minimum wage will rise from $10.00 to $15.00. The state's minimum wage will increase from $9.00 per hour to $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2016. This measure increases the minimum wage to $11.00 per hour, effective January 1, 2017, and by $1.00 each of the next four years, to $15.00 per hour on January 1, 2021. Thereafter, adjusts the minimum wage annually based on the rate of inflation for the previous year, using the California Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers. [3]

California had a pay increase of $3.50 over the past year, and they have not had any huge closure of business, nor did their employment rate drop.

I doubt you are on minimum wage because if you were, you wouldn't be fighting against it, but for all of us who are, and for those of us who can't even support our families, it's people who are willfully ignorant and refuse to see the facts that are ruining us.

(Please site your sources... I'd be nice to see work that is from actual sources and is reliable. I don't know if what you are saying is fact, or if you're pulling this information out of nowhere, so please cite sources. Thanks)

1. David Cooper, "Raising the Federal Minimum Wage to $10.10 Would Lift Wages for Millions and Provide a Modest Economic Boost," Economic Policy Institute website, Dec. 19, 2013

2. David Card and Alan B. Krueger, "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," The American Economic Review, Sep. 1994

Debate Round No. 1


First of all, you say that you are one of these minimum wage employees who are fighting for a better life with your family...let me say that I understand your frustration and whatever our economy decides, I hope that great opportunities find you and your family. With that being said, I , too, once felt your frustration. I worked full time during a large chunk of my college days. There were times that I worked 16 hours straight and then had to spend 8 hours in school, only to return to work immediately after. To tie this in with what my competitor has stated in their last argument, I am speaking from my own experiences when talking about the cons of raising minimum wage. I have seen the effects first hand and have felt the effects in regards to my own pay checks. My comments also comes from my studies in economics and history classes, as I have a degree in social sciences. History has proven that most of the time these drastic changes does not provide the results that many expected. Basic economics will tell you that if when you put that much money into consumers' pockets, you will usually get inflation. If you do not believe me, just look at our economy over the last 50 years. Prices are drastically risen though the years. A 5 cent loaf of break now costs $2.99....why? Because the people that make that bread are paying their employees more money than they did 50 years ago. This coincides with something called COLA (cost of living adjustment). As people begin to make more money, companies are forced to raise the prices of their products to compensate for the extra expense. A perfect example of this would be Germany in the 1920s. Germany had to pay an unbelievable amount of money to the Allied nations for "causing" World War I. Germany was not able to keep up with their payments, so they began to print more money. More money means that you can pay your bills easier, right? Wrong...when Germany began to increase the money supply, the value of that money decreased (the basics of supply and demand). Eventually, there was so much money in the German economy that the money was worthless. It was literally cheaper to burn a pile of money in the winter to stay warm and it was to buy kerosene or oil for a lamp or furnace. Whenever you put more money into the economy, you will usually get inflation.

Let me use another historical example that proves that putting more money into people's pockets will solve all of our problems: when the recession hit in 2008, President Bush wanted to find a way to put more money into people's pockets. More money meant that people would spend more, which would kick start the economy. Therefore, most every worker received an additional income tax return (basically it doubled the amount that each person received on their returns). Families received hundreds and thousands of unexpected dollars to add to their pockets, but did it end the recession? Absolutely not. If nothing else, it prolonged the recession. These are actually historical events that proves that things such as raising minimum wage, printing more money, etc. hinders the very people it is supposed to help.

Nevertheless, I have dug up other sources as well, as my opponent has suggested, to back up my comments. Forbes printed an article two years ago from economist Jeffrey Dorfman, who is a professor of economics that the University of Georgia and is a consultant for various companies and local governments. Dorfman analyzed a set of polls that were given to the public on the basis of raising minimum wage. When asked the question whether they supported raising minimum wage, 67% of the people said yes. As the question was re-phrased, the results changed. Applying real-world effects of raising the minimum wage, the next question was "What if minimum wage caused some employers to lay off workers or hire fewer workers?" The support dropped to 39%. When re-phrasing the question again to ask "What about if raising the minimum wage caused some employers to raise prices?", the results were split to 51% voting yes. Dorfman's article is not completely based on a poll. He states the issue of "where would this extra money come from?" In order to pay employees a higher wage, how would businesses get that money? It is true that some businesses would be able to afford the higher wages with little effect, but most do not. So I will ask the question, how do these businesses compensate for paying the higher wages. In my experience, either they hire fewer workers or they cut hours...which is what happened to me. [1]

I can provide other sources in the next round, as I am running out of text. To conclude this round, I would like to respond to a couple of accusations: I am not ignorant on the matter nor am I looking to hurt anyone. Competition and a free market has ALWAYS been the best solution to these issues.

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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by realpheonix 2 years ago
Then would you debate me with this topic?
Posted by Overhead 2 years ago
Well senshred19, if you fancy having another challenge on this topic then feel free to throw a challenge my way.
Posted by Radical_Spaghetti2 2 years ago
Sorry 'bout that XD
Posted by Overhead 2 years ago
Damn, beat me to accepting the challenge by like 10 seconds. Have a good debate!
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