The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
15 Points

Raising the minimum wage

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/20/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 5,401 times Debate No: 56930
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (4)




I am against raising the minimum wage, and believe it will not help our economy or even the workers getting higher pay in the long run. The following is my initial argument. I look forward to reading the opposing argument.
1)Raising the minimum wage is not efficient, if companies have to pay their workers more money, then they will have to either cut back on everyone"s hours or lay some people off. Less workers means less production which does not help the growth of an economy.
2)Now that people are making more money, they will naturally be able to afford more things (in the short run) making demand for generally every product go up. According to the law of supply and demand, when demand goes up the price must go up (because of limited amount of supply). This causes inflation.
3)Now let"s put a very simple example with this" say a worker makes $7.50 an hour and a given item costs $1" but minimum wage is raised to $15 an hour so now every worker who bought one of that given item a week can now afford to buy 2 a week and at least half of them do, so demand goes up for that item. Because the producers of this given item can only produce so much of this item a week (let"s keep the example small and simple and say they can produce 100 units a week) but now there is a demand for 200 a week, because there is a high demand they raise the price to $2" now that is the same fraction of the worker"s wage before minimum wage was raised, so now again, they can only afford one of that item a week, therefore making their raise pointless.


I accept and will be arguing in favor of raising the minimum wage. CON has instigated this debate, but nevertheless I feel it is customary that we share the BOP. I would advise our audience to vote for the person who most successfully evidences their position.

I will begin by rebutting CON's opening arguments, within which I will provide my own contentions, and then move on to cover why I believe we should raise the federal minimum wage.

I. Inefficiency vs. Efficiency

CON asserts that raising the minimum wage will lead to companies laying workers off or cutting back on hours, which would lead to falling output. Of course, he provides no evidence for this claim whatsoever. I will demonstrate that it is false.

First, it is simply wrong to say that raising the minimum wage, ipso facto, would shed jobs. Indeed there may be a point where this is so -- a "Laffer Curve," if you will -- but this does not mean that any modest increase (say, to $10.10 an hour) would lead to job losses. The basic logic behind this, which I will prove later on when I begin my contentions, is that employers will look to ways to become more productive, will employ more efficient technologies, or will reduce their own profits, which isn't exactly difficult given the massive disparity in CEO: pay of the average worker, another point that I will touch on later. The point is, there are and have been aways to circumvent rising labor costs brought on by raising the minimum wage. In fact, CON disregards that people earning the minimum wage have a higher MPC than people who aren't, meaning that they will consume with most if not all of their income. Therefore, the additional labor costs would simply go right back into the circular flow of the macroeconomy, increasing economic activity and leading employers to increase hiring, for they cannot hire without customers.

What CON refuses to realize is that employing workers below their marginal product of labor -- that is, paying poverty level wages -- this is in fact inefficient. They would be much more loyal and much more productive, and companies would more likely succeed, with higher wages.

II. Law of Supply and Demand

I believe that CON meant to say the "law of demand," as he has not referenced the law of supply in this initial argument.

I would like to note that this is a concession on CON's case that people actually WILL be making more money, so much so that it will result in a net increase in demand. If employers laid off workers and reduced their hours because they were unable to afford their labor, that would led to a net decline in aggregate demand and less consumption, which would drive prices down and lead to a death spiral of layoffs, as lack of demand begets lack of demand. If CON concedes that raising the minimum wage would lead to a net increase in demand, it is safe to say that this debate is largely over.

The point is, CON cannot have his cake and eat it, too. He cannot say that the minimum wage will kill jobs and depress wages, which would lead to a deflationary spiral, and at the same time be inflationary because people are earning more and spending more. He needs to choose which argument he would like to stick to.

III. Does the Minimum Wage Create Inflation?

There are two kinds of inflation: demand-pull and cost-push. For the minimum wage to create inflation, there would either need to be a wage-price-spiral on a large scale or an intense shock to supply comparable to the oil crisis of the 70s. Is the minimum wage remotely comparable to that?

No, not even close. Jeannette Wik-Lims explains (1):

"This fear of inflation from the minimum wage is not based on any reasonable description of how these minimum wage hikes will likely impact businesses, or the economy more generally. The potential impact of minimum wage hikes on the overall price level is simply too small to have any appreciable impact on inflation...Past research on how business costs rise with minimum wage hikes indicates that a 10-percent minimum wage hike can be expected to produce a cost increase for the average business of less than one-tenth of one percent of their sales revenue...If the average businesses wanted to completely cover the cost increase from a 10-percent minimum wage hike through higher prices, they would need to raise their prices by less than 0.1 percent."

Sara Lemos addresses this same point, as well as some of CON's other concerns regading possible reductions in employment (2):

"The overall reading of the above evidence on price effects, together with the evidence in the literature on wages and employment effects is that the minimum wage increases the wages of the poor, does not destroy too many jobs, and does not raise prices by too much..This suggests that firms respond to minimum wage increases not by reducing production and employment, but by raising prices."

Converse et al. came to a similar conclusion in 2008 (3):

"The most common types of responses to the increase in the minimum wage were price increases and wage ripples. No single type of disemployment response was reported with nearly the frequency of these."

Of course, we have already covered that those prince increases will be minute, hardly worthy of being called "inflation."

IV. Con's Hypothetical

Obviously CON's numbers are not rooted in reality, but I assume that he knows this and is merely offering a hypothetical scenario. Of course, there are a number of problems with it right off the bat: he is admitting that raising the minimum wage will lead to a net increase in demand, rendering the "job loss" narrative in his first contention null.

Next, he appeals to the "inflation" narrative which I have already debunked.

Third, his view of the market's reaction to a minimum wage is highly flawed. If demand for a product were to rise, the employer would be able to provide more of that product and would want to provide more of that product to meet the rise in demand. Because there are more customers and thus higher profits, the business now has the ability to expand its investment in inventory, meaning that an increase in the quantity supplied of the product offsets the increase in the quantity demanded for the product. Again, changes in prices are negligible, and wages adjust even in the case of inflationary pressures, of which of course, this isn't one.

I run low on characters, but I'm going to present some preliminary arguments in favor of a minimum wage increase and then pass this back to CON.

V. Does the Minimum Wage Cause Job Losses?

There's a wide body of empirical literature on this, and the answer on balance is "no." I pointed to some studies earlier, and now I'll point to a few more.

John Schmitt says the minimum wage has "no discernible effect on employment" (4):

"[T]wo recent meta-studies analyzing the research conducted since the early 1990s concludes that the minimum wage has little or no discernible effect on the employment prospects of low-wage workers. The most likely reason for this outcome is that the cost shock of the minimum wage is small relative to most firms' overall costs and only modest relative to the wages paid to low-wage workers."

There were also a study conducted by UC Berkeley economists which revealed that increasing the minimum wage up to $13 per hour has no "measurable effect on employment" (5). Lynn Thompson of the Seattle Times summarizes (5):

"Businesses absorbed the costs through lower turnover, small price increases at restaurants, which have a high concentration of low-wage workers, and higher worker productivity, the researchers found."

Obviously I have more contentions that I would like to make, including the addition of a philosophical component to this discussion on the minimum wage, but I am short on characters.

(3) Converse at al.: "The Minimum Wage: An Employer Survey," Report of the Minimum Wage Study Commission, 6, 241-341.

Debate Round No. 1


First of all, I do recognize that statement 1 and 2 contradict each other, so please allow me to make myself clearer, these are two separate scenarios that could happen. 1 of which is bound to happen if the other doesn"t, but no, both scenarios would not co-exist. Next I have numbered each category to correspond with the title PRO has given it.
I. I would first like to note the Pro does not specify what the original minimum wage was when he mentioned a modest increase to $10.10 an hour. I will assume however, being that he said modest, and using the closest rounded number, he meant from $10 an hour therefore talking about a ten cent increase in the minimum wage. Please note otherwise if I have assumed wrong. But seeing as this is all I have to go off for now, I will. If the purpose of raising the minimum wage is to provide workers with more money (which is why many people are in favor of raising the minimum wage) what is the point of such a small increase? Now I do understand that over a very large period of time an extra 10 cents an hour does become a significant amount, but it would take a long time (we"re talking years). Therefore making it pointless to raise the minimum wage and quite frankly a waste of time. But if it is raised a significant amount (with a goal to provide the workers more money), I stand when I say that it could result in the laying off of some workers. You see, con has failed to take something very important into account here: human nature. Yes employers CAN reduce their own profits in order to be more efficient, but let"s face it the majority of people wouldn"t want to do that, they would rather look out for themselves then take a pay cut so that they can afford to keep their employees. Now I understand I said more employees means more efficiency which means more product- which means more money in the long run, however most people don"t look at the long run, they look at the short run. Therefore, while not all of them will, many employers will probably sooner lay off employees than reduce their profits. Now lets move on to Pro"s second solution: more efficient technologies. This would cost money just as keeping employees would. I understand it would cost less money, but it would still cost some money resulting in the loss of even more employees.
From what I understand, PRO is saying that because people earning minimum wage tend to spend all or most of their income, earning more means they will spend more meaning more money in the employers will eventually get the money back, however this is a long term effect (and as I said before, most people look in the short run) therefore Employers are still likely to lay off employees. Even if there is a higher minimum wage, there are now less people earning it because there are now more unemployed, meaning that there is no boost in the economy because there isn"t extra money circulating the economy, because basically worker A is just earning their own wage plus part of worker B"s wage. The only difference being that less people are spending the money.
-In response to what Pro said about paying poverty level wages: Pro refuses to realize something here: Setting a minimum wage in order to assure people get paid the right amount for their labor is difficult" why? Because every type of labor is different" therefore if this was really the problem minimum wage was trying to solve then each specific job would require a different minimum wage than others. Therefore we must recognize that minimum wage is not going to keep workers from being employed below their marginal product of labor. Therefore we must conclude that the point of minimum wage is not what PRO has stated it is (to keep people from being employed below their marginal product of labor). Therefore, if we raised the minimum wage with PRO"s reasoning in mind, it would be impossible to achieve such a goal as I have stated because you would have to look at each job individually.
-In regards to what pro said about employees being more productive if minimum wage was increased, what makes employees productive is incentive, not what has already been given them. If they are given a raise just because their employers are required to they are not going to be more productive, just like a child won"t clean their room just because their parents got them a new toy, however the child would be more likely to clean their room if the parents told them they would get them a new toy AFTER it was clean. In the same way, if a worker wants to be paid more they will be more productive, they however will not just decide to be more productive because they are being paid more- after all they can"t be threatened to be paid less because their "raise" (which is actually a raise in minimum wage) can"t be taken away.
II. I would like to point out that I did indeed mean the law of supply and demand, because they go hand in hand, and I actually did refer to the law of supply (if you will note I said "if the demand goes up, price must go up because of the limited amount of supply") This is why it is called the law of supply and demand because it refers to how the demand has affected the supply (requiring a change in price in order to reach equilibrium).
As you will note if you look back to my first statement in round 2, I have cleared up the contradiction so I will now move to the next section.
III.I would like to take a moment to point everyone"s attention back to the topic of the argument. The topic was about Increasing Minimum wage, not having a minimum wage itself, so the question which is the third point presented by PRO is irrelevant. My statement was not the minimum wage creates inflation, it was that increasing it will.
Reading on though, PRO does seem to address my original statement that INCREASING the minimum wage creates inflation. However the statement that PRO used from Sara Lemos in his argument only proves my point (please refer back to it at this point as I do not have enough characters to repeat it). The very definition of inflation according to is: "The rate at which the general level of prices for goods and services is rising, and, subsequently, purchasing power is falling." I understand, however, that PRO mentioned they were referring to my concern of reduction in employment, therefore, that statement should have been mentioned in the first category and is irrelevant to this category.
Taking that statement, however, and disregarding that it was put in the wrong category, PRO has basically just admitted that one of my two theories of what would happen should we increase the minimum wage is correct (the inflation theory.).
PRO is correct, I am merely offering a hypothetical scenario, and am using small numbers (that aren"t realistic) in order to make the scenario easier to comprehend. However the scenario has been set up in such a manner to project what would indeed happen in reality so it steal stands applicable. I understand Pro has brought up the contradiction again, therefore I again point you to the first statement I made in round 2 in order to solve this dilemma (in case you have forgotten, otherwise please continue). Next I stand my ground on inflation which I previously defended.
Third, Pro is refusing here to recognize the law of supply and demand which is when demand goes up price must go up, there is a limited amount of supply, therefore you cannot not always increase supply to meet demand, therefore you must increase the price.
V.First of all, I would again like to point out we are not arguing minimum wage itself, just raising it. So I would like to deem the part of his argument that address minimum wage itself irrelevant. As for the part addressing minimum wage INCREASE, if you refer to pro"s last quotation it only proves my point. You see as I cleared up in my first statement, either employment or inflation would happen in the case of minimum wage increase,which PRO proves through his quotes.


CON begins by conceding that his statements contradict each other; he states than an increase in the minimum wage will either reduce employment or lead to inflation. Note that he provides absolutley no empriical data to substantiate his claim, whereas I have provided several studies showing how employers tend to react to minimum wage increases, and that price increases are extremely negligible. My point, though, is that for prices to increase at all, we would either be dealing with demand-pull inflation -- meaning that there is more overall demand in the economy, meaning that more jobs wre created -- or cost-push inflation. The only way for CON to be consistent with his remarks is to argue that any increase in the minimum wage is a supply shock on par with staglation on par with the oil crisis of the 70s. As the evidence I have brought up thus far bears out, this is hardly the case. The second we begin to consider this issue in terms of demand rather than supply, the evidence is heavily favored toward increasing the minimum wage.

No, I wasn't speaking of an increase in the minimum wage from $10 an hour because the federal minmum wage right now is $7.25 per hour. Why would I introduce an unrealistic hypothetical scenario that suggests that the minimum wage is higher than it is? The first study piece of evidence I provided from Jeannette Wik-Lims speaks of a ten percent increase in the minimum wage, and the negligible impact on prices. The further evidence I provided, consistent with this premise, comes from John Schmitt, Lynn Thompson, Sara Lemos a UC Berkeley study, and Converse et al. Note that CON does dispute the emirical data that I have provided, nor does he provide any of his own to balance against the weight of evidence I have provided. Note that I am not defining a "modest' increase as 10 cents an hour, but in order to win this debate, I must only show that any increase in the minimum wage would not have the time of negative impacts that CON is suggesting. Therefore, CON's argument about a ten-cent rise in the minimum wage being virtually negligible is irrelevant to the resolution we are discussing. Granted, he admits that "over a very large period of time an extra ten cents an hour does become a significant anount." Note that this is a concession on his part that there is a conceivable increase in the minimum wage which he accepts would in fact be economically beneficial.

CON claims that he "stands that it could result in the laying of some workers." Note that this is nothing more than a bare-assertion fallacy by CON. He has provided us with no evidence bearing out this claim, and in fact has made conflicting statements on the impact of the minimum wage, a contradiction to which he admits. This argument, as of now, can be discarded.

CON suggests that I have failed to account for human nature; he claims that the majority of people would "want to look out for themselves then [sic] than take a pay cut so they can afford to keep their employees." This remark is fallacious for a number of reasons. First, not only is his account of radical self-interest -- and, mind you, I accept that this is more likely than not at least among the central forces driving people, though there are indeed others (e.g., commitment to altruism) -- a bare-assertion fallacy as to how he believes people will act, which is nothing more than egocentric, but he again contends that it would actually be necessary for employers to lay people off in order to afford their employees. He has provided no evidence for this, so we have to at ths point discard this claim. If the minimum wage has "no discernible effect on employment," which is the case I have made and that my evidence has borne out, then we know a few things: first, there is no need for radical action by employers, and it simply doesn't occur, as we already know how they respond to increases in the minimum wage, as the UC Berkeley study discusses, and much more than simply reducing profits acts as a check against negligibly rising labor costs. At the same time, CON refuses to account for the fact that increases in the minimum wage increase worker productivity and decrease turnover. At the same time, if employers were to lay off workers, they would actually be producing less and therefore profiting less; this is contrary to radical self-interest that CON contends is at the heart of human nature.

His remark on more efficient technologies discounts the fact that (1) I have already demonstrated how employers react to the minimukm wage (2) this is a bare-assertion fallacy and (3) he misunderstands the point entirely. More "efficient" means doing more with less, meaning that we're dealing with a decline in costs in this area, not a rise. CON once again fails to account for a net loss of employees, but merely keeps asserting it again and again .

CON admits that, in the long run, wages will rise, which again is a concession that wages will rise. Of course, he provides absolutely no evidence that this effect will only take place in the long run. If the minimum wage were increased tomorrow and people had more money in their pockets, they would begin to increase their spending immediately. When people feel wealthier, they spend more, which is why people spent more during the housing bubble even though their real incomes were declining (their home values continued to increase). CON's contention that employers refuse to look to the long run is not only a bare-assertion, but irrelevant unless he can actually contend that the minimum wage kills job and shrinks wages in the short run, a point which he still has not proven. What's interesting is that he contradicted himself. Earlier he noted, "it will not help our economy or even the workers getting higher pay in the long run." Now he concedes that pay in the long run will rise." The only way this narrative could work is if wage rise proportionally to wage cuts, producing an impact of net zero. But this is flat-out wrong, and we know from empriical data that minimum wage increases impact far more people than only minimum wage workers. An increase in the minimum wage applies upward pressure on wages generally speaking.

Look at this piece from the CBO, for instance:

"The increased earnings for low-wage workers resulting from the higher minimum wage would total $31 billion, by CBO’s estimate. However, those earnings would not go only to low-income families, because many low-wage workers are not members of low-income families. Just 19 percent of the $31 billion would accrue to families with earnings below the poverty threshold, whereas 29 percent would accrue to families earning more than three times the poverty threshold, CBO estimates." (1)

CON completely misunderstands the point of the minimum wage. In arguing that it is difficult to gauge a worker's MPL, not only does he concede that MPL is not the central determinant of wages, but that the notion of workers "earning what they're worth" is merely a crock. For instance, productivity since 1968 has doubled, yet median wages have flat-lined and prosperity hasn't been shared. In fact, the minimum wage in 1968 has more purchasing power than the minimum wage today (2). He contends that we would need a different minimum wage per industry, but refuses to acknowledge that, whilst overall productivity has increased, the vast increase in prosperity has gone to the affluent. The minimum wage merely amelioerates this gap. For instance, if the minimum wage kept pace with inflation since 1968, it'd be $10.52 an hour. If it kept pace with inflation and productivity, it would be $21.72 an hour. Yet that is not my recommendation.

I am out of characters, so I will have to pass back to CON, though I have more contentions to offer. My central point, however, is that CON is dealing with hypotheticals, not reality, and has provided no empirical data to prove his case.

Debate Round No. 2


I understand I have a limited amount of characters, so as this is my last chance to prove my point I am going to keep my rebuttal as short as possible and may not be able to rebuttal every single point but will do my best. By keeping my rebuttal short, I will be able to provide you with a conclusion and the evidence that PRO has called on me to provide.

In Pro's opening statements he says that I admit my first two statements contradict, however let me make it clear that they only contradict where they must co-exist, and like I stated, I was not suggesting they co-exist, I was instead suggesting the one of them (either inflation or job loss) would happen should minimum wage be increased. I believe that Pro does understand that, however I wanted to make it clear to the audience. Moving on, Pro states that the price increases which he admitted would happen are negligible. But if you refer back to my definition of inflation in round 2, you will notice that it does not say that any amount of price increase is required for inflation to happen, all it requires is a general price increase no matter how much. However, lets consider the minimum wage increase is what Pro suggests (from $7.25 to $10.10 or a $2.85 increase) which by all means is not a modest increase. (I understand Pro said he new that in the last round, however in the first round he stated $10.10 WAS a modest increase, therefore making him contradict himself. That in fact is why I had assumed he wasn't using the federal wage because an increase to $10.10 from $7.25 is not a modest increase as he had suggested it was. ) Now back to my point, considering the minimum wage increase is from $7.25 to $10.10 in order to balance out for the fact that they are now paying their employees more they must raise the prices by more of a significant amount than what Pro is suggesting.

Now that I have clarified that whether on a large scale or not inflation would to happen (given unemployment does not0 it is important for me to make clear the problem with inflation- it devalues the dollar in comparison to other currencies. I would now like to give an example of why this is bad, I could go on a larger scale ( trade with foreign nations) but because of my limits in characters, I find it simpler to give you an example based on one person in a single foreign nation. Say inflation occurs to such an extent that the dollar is only worth approximately 6.5 pesos instead of approximately 13. Say someone in Mexico is selling a doll for 13 pesos. Before inflation you could by it with $1, now after inflation (keep in mind prices would not go up in Mexico because they would not be affected by the same inflation as us because the minimum wage increase only affects those in the U.S.) you must pay $2 to by a doll. Trade on a large scale with foreign nations is affected in the same manner. Now, I am not suggesting such a drastic devaluation in the dollar WOULD happen. Depending on how much the minimum wage increases it may be less drastic, however inflation does result in the devaluation of money as stated in the definition. And no matter how much the dollar is devalued, that little amount WILL add up over time having a negative effect on our economy and trade (though it may not be seen for a long time).

In regards to Pro's challenge against my statement that most humans look out for their best interest over others, unfortunately I have no concrete proof of that, so I challenge you personally, as the observer of this debate, to answer the call to proof through yourself. Would you take a cut in your own earnings so that you would not have to lay off your employees, or would you look after your own interests first?

Pro again suggests that increase in minimum wage increases worker productivity. But he fails to prove this. Incentive is what increases productivity. Not what has already been given. Ask yourself which is more productive: A donkey dragging a plow who has been given a carrot to eat, or a donkey dragging a plow with a carrot being held in front of him but not yet given to him. I understand this is hypothetical but these conclusions are reached using logic just as you reach the answer to a math problem using logic. But for those who require evidence, despair not, it is coming.
Unfortunately at this time I must cut my rebuttal short so that I can provide the evidence Pro has been asking for, I do believe however I have rebuttal the most important points.
Now for evidence. First of all, evidence has already been provided that inflation will happen, as I stated in the last round, through the research that Pro has brought up (as you will note in the last round I brought up a couple of quotes he used that suggested that prices will indeed rise). And yes while Pro has stated that if the minimum wage increase amount is modest then prices won't rise by much- they will still rise which will still cause inflation which by definition will cause devaluation of the dollar, and even if it's only a fraction of an amount, that devaluation will add up on a large scale (just like 1 penny doesn't seem like much unless you put every penny you have in a jar for years and one day realize you have a few hundred dollars), causing a negative effect. In conclusion, Pro has proved for me that minimum wage increase does cause inflation by proving that it does cause companies to raise their prices- which I have proved by definition is what causes inflation. So the question is not whether inflation is caused by minimum wage increase, but how significant, and as I stated, even the smallest amount of inflation becomes significant over time and accumulation. Now as I stated, inflation can be avoided by the alternative- unemployment, and upon research, I have find evidence that contradicts Pro's belief that more often then not it is inflation that happens as supposed to unemployment. An article on reads: "In a comprehensive, 182-page summary of the research on this subject from the last two decades, economists David Neumark (UC-Irvine) and William Wascher (Federal Reserve Board) determined that 85 percent of the best research points to a loss of jobs following a minimum wage increase." But whether we can agree on the fact that minimum wage increase causes unemployment more often then inflation, we can conclude that it has happened in instances in the past. (Note I do suggest that inflation and unemployment HAVE both been results in the past, but not co-existing so as not to be able to contradict each other, but rather in separate instances whether it be in the economies of separate states having different minimum wages or whether it be in different time periods in the history of the U.S.). According to in 2009 the minimum wage increased from $6.55 an hour to $7.25. According to the unemployment rate went up by .3% the following year, this could be deemed a coincidence, but other research will show that the unemployment rate tends to go up with inflation in more then just a few instances. For example, looking at it from a different angle, in Hawaii, the unemployment rate is 4.4% and in Oregon it is 6.9% according to And minimum wage is lower in Hawaii then in Oregon by $1.85 according to Further examination of the charts on these sites will show that states with higher unemployment rates than others also tend to have higher minimum wages proving that higher minimum wages cause higher unemployment rates. The last thing I would like to do is prove that contrary to what pro says, minimum wage would not be higher today if it had kept up with inflation according to research from "..the argument that, adjusted for inflation, the minimum wage would already be above $9 an hour. But inflation rates can both rise and fall, which means a minimum wage that truly kept up with inflation since its inception in 1938 would only be $4.12 today"not the current $7.25."
*Sources to be listed in comments.


Let me begin by noting, however, that the voters should disregard what he claims he has listed in the comment section, per DDO protocol, as those are outside the parameters of this debate. Voters should take this into account whilst awarding comment points.

I'll begin with R2:

He contends that an increase in the minimum wage will not increase worker productivity, comparing workers to children. This is not only an insulting comparison and a non sequitur, but an unsubstantiated assertion.
A piece from the Harvard Business Review proves that raising the minimum wage not only reduces employee turnover, thus saving businesses money, but increases productivity. Cascio argues that "Costco"s stable, productive workforce more than offsets its higher costs" (1).

Also, 1,000 business owners and executives have signed a statement in favor of raising the minimum wage: "[H]igher wages benefit business by increasing consumer purchasing power, reducing costly employee turnover, raising productivity, and improving product quality, customer satisfaction and company reputation" (2).
CON contends that, if a worker wants to be paid more, he will be more productive. However, this is patently false because, as I have already demonstrated, the minimum wage, if adjusted for productivity, would be $21.72 per hour (3). I have already argued that MPL is not the sole determinant of wages because if it were wages would already be higher. In fact, CEO pay relative to pay of the average worker is up to 380 times from 42 times in 1980 (4). Has CEO productivity changed drastically from this period?
We can see this disparity in the following chart:

And this graph shows us the declining real value of the minimum wage:

CON"s statement regarding an increase in the minimum wage, but not the minimum wage itself, creating inflation is obfuscation. He concedes my point that the minimum wage, ipso facto, will not cause out-of-control inflation, and there is already evidence in my opening piece regarding an increase, but he merely states, "I meant an increase, not the policy itself." Again, the study refers to the impact of employers to minimum wage hikes. Let me provide again the last line I quoted:

"This suggests that firms respond to minimum wage increases not by reducing production and employment, but by raising prices."

CON has misconstrued what my source has said. Note that he has no evidence to balance against this. He claims that I have conceded on inflation, but this is a flat-out distortion. Prices would rise literally by pennies, and plenty of polling suggests that the public ia fully willing to pay this very slight increase (5). If you would like to call this "inflation," so be it, but this is mild by all standards and hardly worthy of a case against a MW hike. Again, if prices were to rise, this means that we"re dealing with a net increase in demand, so CON"s case on employment, again, falls.

On the employment front, again, the EPI looked at this and wrote the following (6):

"[R]aising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 by 2016 would provide an additional $35 billion in wages over the phase-in period to directly and indirectly affected workers, who are likely to then spend that additional income. This projected rise in consumer spending would provide a modest boost to U.S. GDP, even after accounting for the increased labor cost to businesses and the potential for small price increases for consumers...we would expect..[this]..would generate a net increase in economic activity of $22.1 billion over the phase-in period. This additional GDP would support roughly 85,000 new jobs."

Then we have a seminal meta-regression analysis looking at 64 studies on the minimum wage, showing that the most precise studies agree that the minimum wage does not hinder job growth. They argue that, as soon as public selection bias is removed from the equation, any negative correlation between minimum wage increases and job growth dissipates (7):

Finally, we have a letter from 600 economists, including 7 Nobel Laureates, urging Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 and index it to inflation, arguing that it would improve the job market, increase the wages of about 28 million workers, and stimulate the economy (8).

CON keeps twisting himself into a pretzel to argue against the inflation-unemployment piece. I have already noted that prices will increase, but very slightly. His numbers were not the least bit realistic, as I have demonstrated that (1) price increases will be slight and (2) employers will supply more after demand rises"per the law of supply. CON has not adequately addressed this point. He claims that the price will go up and accused me of dodging economic laws: this is false, as I have already shown that the increase in prices will be incredibly small, and he has provided no evidence to counter this.

CON claims that my sources prove his point, but he is flat-out wrong. Not only did the Berkeley study show us that we could increase the minimum wage to $13 an hour with negligible economic effects, but it also shows how employers respond to minimum wage increases and how this policy affects the economy. CON cannot oppose a policy in its inception, and then concede that, down the road, it works. He has provided no evidence for his claim and has not properly refuted my points.

Onto Round 3:

CON claims I contradicted myself on a modest increase, but this isn't the case: I said that I wasn't defining a 10 cent hike as my working definition of "modest."

He again makes the claim about "inflation," but this is flat-out wrong, and he has nothing to balance against my asserion that prices increases, while existent, are miniscule.

CON is also wrong on devaluation of the dollar; not only can he not prove that we would devalue the dollar by any measurable amount, but devaluaing the dollar is actually BENEFICIAL to the U.S. economy because it boosts exports, which increases G.D.P. (9). Note that this is an extreme scenario that CON cannot even prove occurs, but even if it did, he cannot connect this to a negative impact on the economy or directly attribute it to the minimum wage.

On human nature, he drops the research I provided in Round 1 -- and even evidence in this round -- as to how employers actually responded to minimum wage increases, which is why many of them support minimum wage hikes.

His claims on productivity are baseless, and I've provided plenty of evidence in this round, even directly from employers, that a minimum wage increase DOES increase worker productivity, reduce turnover, etc.

Pro's analysis on "inflation," which he supposedly got from my studies which tell us that inflation is virtually nonexistant, never mind not a probem in the slightest, is essentially a slippery slope fallacy that propels a self-reinforcing effect of devaluation. Has he proven this? Of course not. If the minimum wage were so high that, by CON's standards, it could cause inflation -- let's, say, $50 an hour -- an reasonable person would oppose it. In fact, that would lead to job losses and cause DEFLATION. I'm not advocating that, and CON provides no evidence at all for his claim.

I'm out of characters so I cannot respond to the rest of his arguments regarding employment, but our voters need only to look at the evidence: I've provided several meta studies proving CON's claim factually inaccurate, whllst he has just now provided unsourced arguments.

Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Debatefan 7 years ago
Here are my sources: I am sorry I ran out of characters to post them, but in all fairness to Pro, he can post his sources in the comments to provide more room for his argument.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Manastacious 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct: Equal. S/G: Numerous errors in the Con that are unforgivable. Sourcing: Absolutely gorgeous and unimpeachable from the Pro. Arguments: The pro demonstrates a vastly superior knowledge of the working of economics and is able to masterfully defeat Con's objections. Arguments clearly go for Pro.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: although both made excellent arguments, pro had far more sources that were more credible than con's
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro had more and better sources. Con contradicted self. Note: $7.50 to $10.10 is 34.667%, so a whole 0.3% cost rise. That's $0.003 cents too much to pay for my dollar menu.
Vote Placed by Mikal 7 years ago
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Reasons for voting decision: The issue behind this debate is that the material presented and how it was sourced. Con made assertions but provided nothing to show that it was true, pro clearly had better sources and the only sources that were used in the debate. I will co me back to this and read the content later but for now sources to pro for obvious reasons.

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