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Should the Minimum Wage be abolished in the United States?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/24/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,226 times Debate No: 100279
Debate Rounds (4)
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Be somewhat polite. This does not mean that you have to tip-toe around disproving my points, if you find yourself in a position to disprove them; merely, do not resort to insults and general degradation.

As to my position, I am a firm believer that an abolishment of a minimum wage would be beneficial for the economy of the United States.


Yes, we need a minimum wage.

We cannot trust the cooperations to enforce a minimum wage. The government needs to step in and enforce a minimum wage. Without it, cooperations will lower their workers wages and they will have lower standards of life. There should always be a minimum wage, because there is a minimum cost to stay alive in the country, you need a certain amount of money to afford housing, food, education, etc. Without the minimum wage, the government will have to step in for the businesses to give subsidies to the impoverished. Who should pay the people? The government in loads of debt, or the businesses that are making thousands of dollars every second, and all that money will go to the executives owning mansions, yachts, etc.

Also, a minimum wage is a fool proof way to get the discriminated people a good standard of life. For example, if a 17 year old wanted a job, the cooperation cannot pay him less because he is young. This way the 17 year old will have a sufficient amount of money.
Debate Round No. 1


You are right in saying that yes, corporations would lower their workers wages, and that yes, there is a certain cost to living in this nation. However, you assume the two are connected, and that is just not the case. A minimum wage, if it is to exist, is not suppose to be used as a living wage; it is merely a learning one. As you can see, most minimum wage jobs are ones where you need no prior experience, which shows that needing to live off a minimum wage is futile. Also, minimum wages are shown to be, on a macroeconomic scale, job destroyers, as employees try to find funds to pay those people who just received a mandatory pay raise. If the minimum wage was abolished, employers could afford to employ more people, and unions would still have the ability to bargain with those corporations for better wages and more benefits, just like in today's world.

You also mention that the minimum wage is a good way to avoid discrimination, and yet the minimum wage finds it roots in the most common of discrimination's; racism. The minimum wage was established so that employers in the North could not ship their jobs South, where there was an abundant supply of black labor willing to work. Establishing a minimum wage insured that it would be beneficial to leave the jobs up North, with white workers.

A 17 year old does not need to make money; he needs experience, which jobs that need no experience can provide. It is harder for those jobs to exist, however, if it is mandated that the employee is provided with a certain amount of money for work that amounts to doing chores for the business.


You have mentioned that the minimum wage is a job destroyer. Yes, it does, but that's not the way to look at it. Which would you rather have: many very low-paying jobs, or some high-paying jobs? In developing countries, that is the case. Sweatshops full of people, in China factories full of people. They all are treated horribly, and have horrible standards of life. And let's be fair. They are putting more energy into their work than the average American does.
Even so, the minimum wage might not even cut that many jobs. A factory needs 500 employees to function. They have a bunch of people working with horrible conditions. Then, the minimum wage is dropped. What will the billionaire owner of the factory do? Close down the factory? No! He will fork over the cash to keep his 500 employees, and keep his factory running.
You also talk about the minimum wage's roots. I do not think that that is a good argument. The time has changed. Is the minimum wage right now employed because of people afraid that their jobs will go to the South? No! Therefore, that argument is completely invalid. Times have changed, and you cannot use an example from a century ago to prove your point.
A 17 year old needs to make money. Too many times we have seen teenagers having no time to study, go to college, go to high school, because their family needs money. Their parent has to take care of their children, and cannot go to work. The teen is forced to drop out of school, to make a meager amount of money. Even so, he barely has enough to feed his family. Imagine if there was no minimum wage. The 17 year old's family would completely collapse and they would be living out in the streets.
Debate Round No. 2


You mention China as an example of a place where no minimum wage has results. While that is true that they have horrible conditions and low pay, that is not solely due to a lack of a minimum wage; a lack of private, worker-created labor unions plays a large part in that. The United States was once like China; our workers began to unionize, however, and in large part due to the power of those unions the average American worker was able to increase his standard of living and of working. Assuming that all faults in a working system is due to a lack of minimum wage is a fallacy.
You mention there are cases where 17 year old's need to make money. While I acknowledge that is indeed true in some cases, the number of cases compared to the total amount of teenagers working just to do so is extremely low. Establishing something so monumental for the sake of such a vast minority is fallacious; a minority of cases does not justify a change to the majority of circumstances.


A union pushes for higher wages.
A minimum wage pushes for higher wages.
Both result to the same thing.
Why do you believe that a union is beneficial, while a minimum wage is not?
You have also acknowledged both of my arguments and said that they are partially true. For the 17 year old needing to make money, that is just an example of an impoverished person. People who are not in poverty will not be affected at all by a minimum wage. Their wages are already way higher than the minimum. The people who will benefit from a minimum wage are the impoverished, and that is not a minority. The people who will be affected by a minimum wage consist of a very high portion of people. The rest of that portion are the extreme rich and CEOs.
You also have not put an argument about the fact that it does not destroy jobs and that the minimum wage is no longer related to racism.
Debate Round No. 3


I say that unions are beneficial, whereas a minimum wage is not, because unions are voluntary private organizations of workers in in a free market, whereas minimum wage is a forced wage spike by the government. There is a difference between the free will of workers and the force of the bureaucracy of large government. I digress, however.
You say that people not in poverty are not going to be affected by a minimum wage spike, because they already get paid more than minimum wage. This is idealistic. If there is a factory with 500 workers paid minimum wage owned by someone making millions, and the minimum wage is raised, where are the extra funds for wages going to come from? Will the millionaire reduce his own paycheck? No! He will raise prices, or reduce the number of workers, or both, thereby hurting those who do not pay minimum wage, and destroying jobs. CEOs and the extreme rich will pass along those extra expenses to their consumers, the middle class, which in turns drives the middle class farther into poverty. People are impoverished due to increased prices, caused in large part by increased regulations on what businesses can and cannot do, which includes having a minimum wage.
Poverty as defined by government is a relative term, and as such is subjective to the wielder. For this exercise, however, I will assume you are referring to the government's official recognition of relative poverty, which in 2016 was measured at 43.1 million people, or 13.5% of the population. This is a small percentage of the population, and to paraphrase your logic from earlier, is it better to have everybody be just above poverty, or for some to fall below poverty and the rest to live far above it?
The Congressional Budget Office estimated a loss of 500,000 jobs the last time a minimum wage hike was suggested. Other studies have made estimates upwards of 1.5 million jobs; in an economy that is growing abnormally slow for a recovery, such a job loss would be extremely detrimental.
The racism argument was flawed, I do admit, and I retract that statement; the rest of my argument still stands.


Even if you say poverty is a small percentage of the population, the government is still spending millions if not billions of dollars on supporting these people with welfare. Why should the government have to pay this price? Shouldn't the companies that are actually hiring them pay this price? Someone has to step in to pay to keep that 43 million people of the streets. Also according to this source, 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, the minimum wage would increase the number of jobs. Huh? When people earn more, they can spend more. Instead of having the money all sitting in some hedge fund owned by a millionaire, the money flows in a circuit. The study says that a minimum wage increase from 7.25 to 10.10 would inject 22.1 billion dollars into the economy and generate 85,000 new jobs in a three year period.
To recap, a minimum wage would:
-prevent discrimination
-reduce poverty
-get money flowing
-put the bill on billionaires, instead of the billion dollar in debt government
-give better living conditions
I also congratulate the opponent for a great debate, and I think that both sides had great arguments.
Debate Round No. 4
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