A flat minimum wage
The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.
After not so many votes...
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My position will actually be EITHER a tiered minimum wage or no minimum wage. As long as I prove to voters one is better than a flat minimum wage, that will suffice for my burden of proof. I actually hold the position either one would be better than flat minimum wages.
My opponent has the burden of proof that a flat minimum wage is ideal.
Flat minimum wage: compensation all employers, regardless of any factor, must give to their employees, regardless of any factors, set at a specific rate that the employer must meet or raise.
Round 1: We each will clearly state a thesis-like opening, like one would in an English paper. So, you, as my opponent, should state something like "I support a flat minimum wage because of X, Y and Z."(where x y and z are your real reasons of course). We will not present supporting evidence or logic for those reasons this round, that's reserved for later rounds. You may also define any terms you think will be necessary to define.
Round 2: Each of us will present our opening arguments where we present our evidence and logic for the reasons supporting our position that we stated in round 1.
Round 3: Each of us will rebut the opening arguments presented in round 2 of the other.
Round 4: Each of us will defend against the rebuttals in round 3.
Round 5: Concluding statements that, again, should be akin to English papers. We restate our position and argue why the pros and cons of our own position outweigh the pros and cons of the opponent's position. (So, stating why one's pros are better and why one can ignore the cons of one's position, for example, in a way that compares and contrasts with the opponent's pros and cons of their position.)
As my opponent, you accept these terms and the definition provided.
A flat minimum wage is a bad idea due to that it is detrimental on sectors of the economy and/or businesses with lower revenue-to-expenses ratios, likely is a barrier to younger and inexperienced workers to get their first jobs, is unnecessary for those same workers since often they do not need a living or otherwise high wage given teenagers and young adults are more likely to be dependent on someone still, and causes employers to expect a very high standard many people can't meet for that job. Having either a minimum wage tiered to age, experience, and the revenue-to-expenses ratio of the business would be better for both smaller businesses and first-time job seeker, OR having no minimum wage in favor of a universal basic income to solve poverty problems would be a better idea for similar reasons.
I look forward to what contentions my opponent will mention in their thesis and turn this over to them.
A 10 percent increase in the minimum wage reduces employment by about 0.10 percent(see column 4 of Table 3)...even if this adverse employment effect were true, it would be of no practical relevance. An elasticity of-0.01 has no meaningful policy implications. If correct, the minimum wage could be doubled and cause only a 1 percent decrease in teenage employment.
As mentioned previously, the labor force is made up of the employed and the unemployed. The remainder—those who have no job and are not looking for one—are counted as not in the labor force. Many who are not in the labor force are going to school or are retired. Family responsibilities keep others out of the labor force. Since the mid-1990s, typically fewer than 1 in 10 people not in the labor force reported that they want a job.
Teens with greater skills and experience tend to work, while those with fewer skills and less experience work less. Since work by teenagers has been shown to have beneficial long-term consequences on their subsequent labor force success,the study concludes that higher minimum wages reduce the future economic well-being of those who are displaced from work and discouraged from seeking work when they are teens.
As Faces of 15 shows, which is a website that chronicles stories from small business owners who have low revenue, there are hundreds of stories of such employers who say they would have to cut back massively on other benefits or cut back on what kind of people they employ. That includes teenagers since, as one study points out, worker productivity by age starts out low in early years, and increases until about the mid-40s, were going into the 50s, it begins to drop. Thus, one way employers can make up the difference in having to pay more per employee is to hire the most productive employees, in the 30-45 age bracket. While I originally made this about being detrimental to businesses, one can see again how it's detrimental to young workers too. Not all businesses will make this decision though. Particularly if people start to pass more laws banning age discrimination, then there are fewer ways of these lower-revenue businesses to be able to afford a living minimum wage. Even the state of California, recognizes that raising the minimum wage, though "economic justice" has unintended negative consequences, thus they have a small fix where they are having their raise tiered and implemented slowly according to how many employees the business has. However, I would argue even that was not enough, given dozens of those businesses on faces of 15-which I linked to at the beginning of this paragraph-which went out of business or had to do other measures we would not like in general as employees, were in California.
- A flat minimum wage provides a living salary to people that they can survive off of.
- Without a flat minimum wage, companies can pay low amounts of money for a lot of work just because job demand is high.
- A universal basic income is not currently sustainable.
First, I think there's some mistake in my opponent's math and/or diction. They said:
A flat minimum wage is set as a standard that companies must follow in order for their employees to be able to live from the work. It is set specifically so the money provided can allow an average person to live off of that. Most people work about 260 hours a day , multiplied by 8 hours a day and $7.25 an hour gives you a $15,080 annual salary. Take 10% of the first $9,525, and 12% of the other $5,555.5, and you get $1,690.10 in taxes. That leaves you with $13,460.90, which is more than a universal basic income would give ($13,000). Not a posh lifestyle, but not bad either.
So, I want to point out first, even my opponent recognizes that likely the lowest pay jobs would drop to is 2 dollars an hour, much better than the 2 dollars a day I brought up in my previous rebuttal. Given they've conceded that idea, it seems my opponent has helped argue against their first contention since 2 dollars an hour with that 13k a year UBI would be much better than the $13,460.90 they suggested a minimum wage job would yield, and the $12,948.50 from my calculations. Assuming someone works the 1,786 hours each year I brought up previously, 2 dollars an hour amounts to $3,572. Add that to the $13k, and that's quite a bit more than either the estimate I gave or the one my opponent gave. This is assuming, of course, that wages would drop as low as 2 dollars an hour, which, in my opinion, is doubtful.
A study from 2001 by Dr. Walter J. Wessels found from analyzing trends from 1978 to 1999, a 1-3% decrease in teen unemployment occurred, just as the meta-analyses above confirmed that doubling the unemployment could result in a 1% decrease in teen employment.
As a final piece of evidence to support my contention here, the Economic Policy Institute reports that 89 percent of minimum wage earners are 20 years old or older, and even 37 percent are 40 or older.
If we as a society want people to not be working fast food and minimum wage jobs in their 30s and 40s, it would be best if they can get them in their teens so they can build a resume. I would posit that the reason we see, and I'm sure all of us has our own anecdotal evidence where we've seen middle-aged people working fast food and that report confirms our anecdotes, I say the reason we see this is because of a flat minimum wage.
So, the solution to incentivize employers to hire younger workers would be to have a tiered minimum wage by age.
Another possibility is to have a universal basic income instead, and no minimum wage.
Firstly, the first study my opponent gives shows that the minimum wage has barely any impact on teenage employment.
Again, a 1%-3% decrease is hardly anything, and certainly not something to base a national policy off of.
Now, wait, the audience and my opponent are probably thinking, why would I provide evidence to the contrary position I hold and am arguing for? Well, it is a debating strategy. First, I could be accused of cherry-picking evidence I liked if I didn't do this. Second, I can address any evidence and concerns my opponent brings up before they even bring them up.
My opponent tries to counter this by saying that not everyone is included in the labor force. However, as this study shows, only about 94,000 people are not included in the labor force, and only about 14,000 of those people are 16-24 years of age. Secondly, of those 14,000, only a little less than 2,000 want a job. Obviously, the people not included in the labor force would hardly make an impact on the first study presented by my opponent, so those results stand.
No evidence was given that a flat minimum wage keeps people from getting better jobs as they get older. This conclusion was something reached by my opponent, but it is not backed up by any real evidence.
To summarize, as I don't want to quote directly my opponent due to the character limit, they're arguing teens need extra income to support their families. You do realize the reason that's the case is that their 30-40-year-old parents are working minimum wage jobs due to not having jobs as a teen, right? You're making my argument for me. Your argument here wouldn't be the case if all teens got their resume built up so that when they are parents, they could earn enough money that they don't need to rely on an income the teenager makes. Just always remember to turn logic around like this. At first glance, these facts my opponent presented support their position, but they don't.
My opponent said:
This was a result of raising the minimum wage, not a minimum wage in general. I'm not arguing for raising the minimum wage, simply for a minimum wage period. What happens to it beyond that has no impact on my case.
First, as I pointed out this theme is spread throughout my previous contentions. The fact alone that they would be less likely to hire teenagers(that's the central theme of my argument) means they have higher expectations, as in their expectation becomes one of their potential employees being a minimum age. And I already provided studies for that, among other ways an employer would be pickier throughout my previous contentions. So, no, this can't simply be dismissed. But, sure, I'll offer further evidence of employers being pickier over time:
A flat minimum wage is set as a standard that companies must follow in order for their employees to be able to live from the work. It is set specifically so the money provided can allow an average person to live off of that. Most people work about 260 hours a day , multiplied by 8 hours a day and $7.25 an hour gives you a $15,080 annual salary. Take 10% of the first $9,525, and 12% of the other $5,555.5, and you get $1,690.10 in taxes. That leaves you with $13,460.90, which is more than a universal basic income would give ($13,000). Not a posh lifestyle, but not bad either.260 hours a day is not possible given only 24 hours in a day exists. Given this error, I'll try to correct it and make a comparison based on the facts without this error. Assuming my opponent meant to find how many hours a year is worked, according to the OECD, the average American worker did 1,786 hours of work in 2018. So, if we multiplied that by $7.25, that is $12,948.50 per year, before taxes. This alone is less than the $13,000 my opponent is trying to say the UBI would give to each person. I'm not sure where the $13,000 comes from since a UBI could be decided to be any amount we agree to, but I'll go ahead and use it since my opponent argued it.
Now, an additional point I want to bring up, while yes, a flat minimum wage could provide a sustainable lifestyle for everyone(provided it's high enough), it would be giving too much to people who don't need it, such as those under 18 who are required by law to be provided for either by guardians or the state.
So, a UBI would increase the poor's income quite a bit.
2 dollars an hour with that 13k a year UBI would be much better than the $13,460.90 they suggested a minimum wage job would yield, and the $12,948.50 from my calculations. Assuming someone works the 1,786 hours each year I brought up previously, 2 dollars an hour amounts to $3,572. Add that to the $13k, and that's quite a bit more than either the estimate I gave or the one my opponent gave.
According to this study by the Roosevelt Institute, a UBI where $1000 a month is given to each adult 18+ would, in 3 years, increase the Real GDP of the nation by ~20%(see page 12 of that study) due to that it would increase the consumption of the majority of Americans.
The US can easily begin starting to sell, slowly, its assets to private individuals to begin paying off its debt, given it owns well over 5 times its own debt in assets.
I'll provide a quick and short analysis, however. I believe the arguments I've presented to outweigh my opponent's due to that they had focused on arguing against a few points that I was arguing were irrelevant. For example, they argued that a flat minimum wage has no impact on unemployment when I was already pointing that out and provided reasons for the labor force participation rate to be the better figure to look at here. With the negative impacts a flat minimum wage can have on young workers and businesses, I believe it is justified to attempt new ideas that may fix this. While a UBI has not properly been attempted, a flat minimum wage has and I believe I've shown it does enough damage to justify new ideas such as a UBI or tiered minimum wages. Keep in mind, since neither has been fully attempted properly, as I talked about how the one in Finland had issues that don't quite make it a full experiment with UBI, and tiered minimum wages on the degree I'm talking about, have no examples, the argument that they would be worse is not as strong, given we do not have strong examples to look at. Meanwhile, flat minimum wages have plenty of examples and evidence to suggest negative effects such as those I've talked about.
I thank my opponent for the opportunity for this debate, and I turn this over to them.