Instigator / Con
Points: 0

A flat minimum wage

Finished

The voting period has ended

After not so many votes, surprise surprise...
It's a tie!
Debate details
Publication date
Last update
Category
Economics
Time for argument
Three days
Voting system
Open voting
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Four points
Rating mode
Rated
Characters per argument
15,000
Contender / Pro
Points: 0
Description
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.
Definitions:
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.
Debate format:
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.
Round 1
Published:
As stipulated in the rules, this round is to include an English-paper-like thesis with the reasons stating why we have our position without any evidence, as that will be included in the following rounds.


Thesis:
 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.

Published:
Thesis:
 A flat minimum wage is a good idea because it provides a living for all workers in the U.S. Without a flat minimum wage, companies could pay absurdly low wages to workers for long hours, knowing that the impoverished, young adults, and immigrants will all eat them up regardless. The flat minimum wage makes it so that these people can actually afford to pay for their own expenses without having to work absurd hours simultaneously in terrible living conditions. While a universal basic income is certainly helpful, where would such money come from? How would we guarantee that it would be sustainable? The flat minimum wage has no such hindrance and, therefore, is the optimum choice.

Over to Con! :)

(I'm a he by the way lol)
Round 2
Published:
I shall now organize my arguments as contentions, indicated by C1-Cx, matching that of which I've stated in my thesis in the previous round. Due to that some of my other contentions depend on the data of my first one, I am organizing my contentions in a different order than presented in my thesis. Apologies that it doesn't match up, I hadn't given specific thought to that specifically until after I posted argument 1.

C1: Flat minimum wages likely impact the difficulty for teenagers and inexperienced workers to get a job

Let's first discuss the possible effects the minimum wage has on unemployment. It is all but solidly established that minimum wage generally has no impact on unemployment as a whole, or even teenage unemployment, as this meta-analysis and this one indicate The first one claims that of the studies which looked at
specifically teenage unemployment:

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.
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.

So, let's do that. First, these studies and the two meta-analyses analyzing the studies, as most studies would be, are looking at the official unemployment rates as reported by the government. Something of rather importance to note is that the Bureau of Labor Statistics specifically lays out how they derive the unemployment rate. Something of importance to note from that page, after the question of "Who is not in the labor force?", the BLS states:

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.
As it states, people who claim they are not looking for work due to being a student are not counted as part of the labor force, thus they don't make up the official unemployment rates that meta-analyses and studies above would be using. I would posit that more students want to work than who are indicating and that they choose to give the excuse of "I'm in school and don't want to work" because they don't think they can get a job. Of course, I have evidence to back up that this may be the case. 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. It aligns with that claim since before the increases in the minimum wage in 1978 and beyond, the minimum wage was $2.00 and increased to $6.15 by the end of the study by Wessels. The important findings of Wessel's study, however, is that,


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.


Thus the labor force participation rate of teenagers declines with minimum wage increases, as numerous other and more modern studies also indicate, such as this one by researchers David Neumark and Cortnie Shupe, and this one points out what I'm saying here, that majority of the literature on this topic uses the pre-approved measurement from the government of unemployment, rather than labor force participation, and also found that "there is robust evidence that immediately following a minimum wage increase, labor force participation decreases". So, I argue for a mere technicality of how the state defines "unemployment rate" that's the only reason most evidence so far indicates no to little impact on unemployment, even unemployment for teenagers and young adults. For further evidence to clearly indicate there is a trend here, the labor force participation of those 16-19, as the BLS reports has dropped from 52.3% in 1996 to 35.2% in 2016. Additionally, the BLS reports the 16-19 age group for those who are in the labor force participation rate, has the highest unemployment rate of any age group at any given month.

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. Now, while the EPI there is reporting these figures as a reason to raise the minimum wage as they're arguing we need to help older adults, I would argue this is not the right way of thinking or the correct way to interpret this. They're reporting in a positive light that a minimum wage increase would benefit older workers, and they are right, it does, but at the detriment of younger workers. 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. As an employer, think about it: if you were a manager or employer, would you rather have a 16 year old, with no experience, prone to make errors in judgment, or someone in their 30s or 40s, the prime years of working age, when both would merely be receiving the same mandated minimum wage? They both "cost" the same in the employer's eyes, except the 16-year-old is much riskier. So we get into a problem where young adults end up having nothing on their resumes and can't get a minimum wage job to build it, and then they end up being those same 30-year-old and 40-year-olds who take the minimum wage jobs the next new generation should have, while those 30-year-olds should have something much better than a minimum wage job. It's a feedback loop essentially.

So, the solution to incentivize employers to hire younger workers would be to have a tiered minimum wage by age.  If they can pay people under 20, who by the way are often dependent on their parents or guardians, as most state laws mandate that they be provided for in some way: from Obamacare mandating health insurance for them until 26, to it being a crime to neglect those under 18, they don't need a living wage. What they need is experience. Perhaps at 26, since by then everyone has all expenses they have to pay for, that's when we'd have the living minimum wage, and then smaller tiers could further be progressively decreased below that age.

Another possibility is to have a universal basic income instead, and no minimum wage. This may be preferable since the tiered minimum wage idea may end up being a detriment to older workers, I'm not sure given I know of no example of a tiered minimum wage by age being in existence anywhere. If that is the more pressing concern, then a UBI may be the answer to poverty issues while also solving this issue. Given the character limit, I'll likely respond to the idea my opponent brought up about UBI asking where the money could come from in the next round since it seems like that will be part of their contentions, given their thesis.

C2: Those same teenagers and young Adults do not need a living or high wage
I've already stated some of my reasoning in C1 for this, but I will now offer a few source materials to go with it. Numberous[1] [2] [3] [4] sources confirm that parents are required by law to provide for their minor children under 18. Of course, we also know that until 26, health insurance plans are to include for children 26 or younger under the Affordable Care Act. In either case, younger adults and teenagers do not have the same expenses as middle-aged adults and elderly adults. I see no conceivable reason they should receive the same minimum wage as someone in their 40s. For potential arguments against it:

1) what about if they're an orphan?
Answer: They are usually put in the foster care programs in their states, where they will also have state-funded living expenses until they are 18, as well as state-funded healthcare until 26. Should anyone require sources, I can provide, but I think this is common knowledge as well. Though this is for the US, many other nations have some sort of similar program.
2) What if their family needs additional income?
Well, this is where we can have a living wage for those who tend to be the age of a parent, as I mentioned a living wage can be given at the age of 26, and everyone else has a lower minimum wage below that. In the case of teenage parents and young adult parents, well, that is another issue, and I wouldn't encourage irresponsibility of someone to have a child when they're not ready.


C3:  A flat minimum wage is a detriment to businesses with lower revenue-to-expense ratios.
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.




C4: Employers would have a higher standard expected of their employees

In my thesis, I mentioned employers would have a higher standard expected of their employees, but that theme is actually interspersed throughout my three contentions above, and I feel is already sufficiently addressed. Should my opponent find issues with it, I will respond with evidence more specifically on that topic.

This concludes my opening arguments.

Published:
  • 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.
P1: A flat minimum wage provides a living salary to people that they can survive off of.

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 [1], 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.

P2: Without a flat minimum wage, companies can pay low amounts of money for a lot of work just because job demand is high.

Not much explanation is needed. Companies can go as low as a couple of dollars an hour for any work. These will be gobbled up by immigrants, mainly, and that demand will give the companies the leverage they need to continue that cycle.

P3: A universal basic income is not currently sustainable.

This is just math. A UBI would give all people 21 and up $13,000 in monthly installments. There are currently 196,899,193 [2] people fitting that age requirement. Multiply that by $13,000 and you get a whopping 2,559,689,509,000. Tha's 2.5 TRILLION dollars spent on it. In comparison, welfare programs cost a little over a trillion dollars [3], and that is our BIGGEST spending right now. So, obviously, even while getting rid of welfare programs, a UBI would be completely unsustainable.

Sources

Round 3
Published:
My rebuttals will be named R1-Rx, corresponding with the premises my opponent has numbered. 


R1: A UBI or Tiered minimum wage can do the same thing my opponent suggests a flat minimum wage would do, and more efficiently presumably. 
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 [1], 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. Given the points I raised about how they may be disadvantaged due to being younger and inexperienced but still "costing the same" in the eyes of the employer(if not more so due to being riskier and less productive on average), this harms them later in life due to that they can't build a resume since many will remain unemployed. A non-living wage, especially for those still dependent, is preferable to no wage due to being unemployed. 

A UBI, while could be less than a minimum wage, full-time job, we must remember that someone can still work to make up the difference. Since they would be receiving this 13k my opponent brought up. That's 13k a year before even working. Remember: a flat minimum wage will be money given to the person due to working, but a UBI isn't taking into account the income one would get from working. While there wouldn't be a minimum wage if we had a UBI replace it, people who are working and receiving a UBI will have both the income from work and the income from a UBI be additive. So, this makes the income even greater than the $12,948.50(before taxes) someone would earn. I don't think anyone would work for less than 2 dollars a day, even immigrants since that's worse than what they'd be paid in their own country. So, a UBI would increase the poor's income quite a bit.

R2: While I concede that not having a flat minimum wage could result in what my opponent said here, I don't consider it convincing enough. 
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.

R3: It's not as expensive as my opponent thinks and we could always cut back on unnecessary spending for the difference
I won't challenge the numbers my opponent gave, as that's not too important in my opinion, so I'll cater to the numbers my opponent gave for the cost of such a UBI. So, assuming it costs 2.5 trillion, and that we spend a little over 1 trillion on current welfare, that, of course, means it's increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion per year since we're replacing the current welfare system with the UBI. Sounds like a lot. 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 current GDP of the US is about 19.3 trillion, so to increase it by 20% would mean nearly a $4 trillion increase to the GDP. Since 2-3% per year is typical for increases each year in GDP, this is a much larger increase than normal. Given the US's tax revenue stays at roughly 16-17% of the GDP that $4 trillion increase in GDP would mean ~680 billion increase in tax revenue without actually increasing taxes. That brings the cost down to about $820 billion per year, but keep in mind, that study looked at $12,000 a year per person for UBI, while my opponent argued $13,000, so that would further bring down the cost if we adjusted for that, presumably as it would further increase consumption.

I would argue the rest can be made up for by making cuts to spending in various areas. First, I'd argue military spending is too high, given that the military spends billions of dollars overseas where they aren't even defending America. So, if we got rid of all overseas bases, and just kept a defensive role for the military for our homeland, that could easily reduce the deficit. It's a different debate to argue whether we need the military overseas, but my point is still there that we could cut spending in areas someone agrees is frivolous to be spending on. Additionally, if we begin to pay off our debt, that would bring down the deficit too in that we no longer would be paying interest on that debt. How would we bring down the debt? Well, the US owns more than $100 trillion in oil assets alone, before counting for any of its other assets. 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. Of course, I recognize the argument that doing so quickly will result in the devaluation of those products it owns, so it does need to be done slowly. Indeed, it may take some time before the UBI can pay for itself, but I believe it can, eventually, so, in the long-term, it ought not to be worried how it's going to be paid for. We currently spend over $300 billion on interest, and in 10 years, that is predicted to be nearly $1 trillion per year. So, paying off the debt will go a long way to help afford a UBI.


I believe I have sufficiently rebutted my opponent's premises/contentions, and turn this over to them now.

Published:
C1: Flat minimum wages likely impact the difficulty for teenagers and inexperienced workers to get a job

Firstly, the first study my opponent gives shows that the minimum wage has barely any impact on teenage employment. 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.

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.
Again, a 1%-3% decrease is hardly anything, and certainly not something to base a national policy off of.

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.
According to this census, only about 20 million people are 16-20 years of age. That is only about 13 percent of the US population, and here, only about 11% of minimum wage earners are 16, 17, 18, or 19. And NOTE, that demographic includes 20 year-olds, so it is actually lower. So the amount of teens in the US lines up with how many are part of the minimum wage earners, and therefore this statistic proves nothing. 

 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.
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.

So, the solution to incentivize employers to hire younger workers would be to have a tiered minimum wage by age.
The problem with this is that many teens actually need as much money as possible to support themselves or their families, as you'll see below.\

Another possibility is to have a universal basic income instead, and no minimum wage.
The U.S. cannot afford this, as shown in my first round.

C2: Those same teenagers and young Adults do not need a living or high wage

This is really not true. Firstly, many teenagers must work to support their families. This study shows that a third of high school dropouts are doing so to make money to support their families. The minimum wage is obviously needed to make sure that they are paid enough to support themselves and their families.

My opponent points out that parents are required to provide for their children, but not all of them can, or at least not on the level that is needed. Why would we change something that impacts a third of teenagers?

Secondly, as this study shows, the lowest wage a single person can live comfortably off of is $20,000 a year! The current minimum wage, $7.25 per hour, multiplied by an average of 260 days of working a year, multiplied by 8 hours a day, gives you just $15,080. Anything lower than that would virtually make someone homeless! This is the wage that young adults moving out of their parent's home need, and it may even be higher depending on the state that you live in.

C3:  A flat minimum wage is a detriment to businesses with lower revenue-to-expense ratios. 

For this, I would simply argue that it is a burden that those businesses must take. They need to make sure that they can afford such expenses before starting up. If it is between the impact on businesses and making sure that the people in this country can actually live and work to make money that they can afford, the latter is the obvious choice.

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
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.

C4: Employers would have a higher standard expected of their employees

I would like my opponent to elaborate on this with studies so that I may counter it. Barring that, I would ask voters to dismiss it for now until my opponent gives evidence for such a position.
Round 4
Published:
Defense 1:
My opponent said:

Firstly, the first study my opponent gives shows that the minimum wage has barely any impact on teenage employment.
and later said:


Again, a 1%-3% decrease is hardly anything, and certainly not something to base a national policy off of.


I would ask the audience to dismiss this on the grounds that I've already pointed this fact out in my Contention 1 clearly when I said:


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.

And I continue on to show why it's a problem or even misleading to go by the official unemployment rate(which remains uncontested by my opponent. They seem to have no qualms over the basis that the LFPR is a better indicator in this instance). So, both of these arguments are already arguments I pre-addressed, thus I have no idea why my opponent chose to point this fact out when I already did so and have shown why the unemployment rate is the wrong statistic to be looking at here and we should be looking at the Labor Force Participation Rate. Now, my opponent either made an extreme error or is flat out lying, though I don't know which so I'll refrain from accusing them of that since it would be a possible ad hominem anyways. So I'll assume they made an error. They said:
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.
I know it's much to ask the audience to read through the entire two meta-analyses I provided. But I will ask you to please open them up, here they are again from my first contention, this is the first one, and this is the second one I presented. What I will ask of you is to "Ctrl+F", so press the control(ctrl) button on your keyboard, hold it, and while holding it press the letter "F". In the search bar that appears in the lower-right, type in "94,000", "94000", "Labor force" etc, any term you can think of that should be in either of these meta-analyses that would make my opponent's claim above true. None of them show up. Not a single time. If my opponent is arguing this, I would ask they provide the exact page number in those two studies that it even mentions the labor force participation rate of teens and the general population, since I read these studies and do not recall the LFPR even being mentioned. Keep in mind, unemployment is not the same as the labor force participation rate(LFPR) as I've already pointed out previously. Furthermore, a simple searching for these numbers on the bureau of labor statistics' own website, further shows these numbers my opponent is claiming to be true are actually false. In fact, the source I provided later in the second round, I'll present yet again, and it will show you what my opponent said here is simply not true, from the BLS  it clearly indicates for those under 20 since 1996, the LFPR has been 52.6% and declining until modern-day to less than 32%. No matter which of those percentages one uses, as my opponent pointed out "about 20 million people are 16-20 years of age". Simple math would tell one that 52.6% or 32% of 20 million doesn't add up to this claim of 14,000 - not even close.  And that's actually those only under 20 years of age since my opponent mentioned 16-24, that number would be much larger as it's a larger range of people.

My opponent then said:

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.
It was a logical conclusion. If someone can't get a job when they are young, which the evidence I've presented indicates the majority of people can't, without anything on their resume, I should be asking you: Why do you think they would be able to get a decent job when they have hardly anything on their resume? Why would any employer providing higher-end jobs hire someone with little to no job experience? This is basic deductive reasoning. Here are the premises if they weren't clear:
Premise 1) Flat minimum wage increases are followed by a decrease in labor force participation in young adults and teenagers. My entire C1 is evidence for this.
Premise 2) A decrease in labor force participation would naturally mean a higher likelihood of young adults to not have any or very little job experience, and may not even be relevant job experience to the career they want that pays better. This should be common sense. To indicate this is the case that teens have fewer jobs, Pew did a study on this indicating that from 2000 to today, the percentage of teens having a job when not in school dropped from nearly half to about a third.
Premise 3) Having more job experience looks more appealing to employers providing better jobs(this is an argument I've already made, so I'm not presenting a new one). Sure, I've not provided evidence for this premise, but I would think no one would question it. It's basic common sense, but sure, if you're really challenging common sense, The NACE's Job Outlook 2017 survey of employers indicated that "Nearly 91 percent of employers...prefer that their candidates have work experience, and 65 percent of the total group indicate that they prefer their candidates to have relevant work experience.". So, I would say this premise is true too. Sure there's that 9 percent who don't care, but having job experience will certainly increase one's chance of getting those jobs since far more want experience. Another study, as reported here by the EPI,(that very same group I mentioned earlier that painted it in a good light that more adults work minimum wage jobs than teenagers) finds that teens who have early job experience have a long-lasting positive effect on their career goals. The converse is true too logically: not having that experience means they will have a long-lasting negative effect on their career goals.
Conclusion: since a flat minimum wage increase is followed by a decrease in LFPR of young adults and teenagers, and that decrease in LFPR means less likelihood of job experience, especially relevant job experience, and employers prefer candidates with job experience, even the majority prefer them with relevant job experience, it naturally follows that the minimum wage increase would mean employers are less likely to hire those teenagers and young adults with less, no or irrelevant job experience.

I have no idea how you can argue there is simply "no evidence". It's pretty much half of my entire first contention where I'm presenting supporting evidence of this, and the other two premises above(2 and 3) should have been common knowledge/sense. Perhaps because I didn't organize it in this manner it wasn't clear to you. But hopefully, in this organization it is. I wouldn't think I'd need to provide studies for common sense and knowledge stuff like this, but here where are, I did. It would be like as if I needed to provide evidence that the sky is blue during the specific hours it is... what? There's no evidence for that? How? But alright. I'll move on.


Defense 2:
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 position is that Teens should not have to work for their family to get by, and somehow my opponent is arguing that because of the reason parents' don't make enough(possibly since they lacked a strong resume when they were young adults) that this then disputes my position. It doesn't at all when you look at it from a different interpretation as I've presented here. It supports my position in fact. Indeed, we shouldn't make those family suffer during the process that we undo the fact that teens have been unable to build up their resumes due to a flat minimum wage. So, we could find a temporary solution to this issue of their parents not making enough. Oh yeah, like that UBI I suggested.. or the fact that they are required by law to provide for their family, so if they don't, well, the kids can be taken away and the state can provide for them. Granted the latter kind of sucks, but since that is what happens as well, my opponent's argument is not necessarily applicable. Fact is, it's the responsibility of the parents to provide. If they fail to do so, this should not be seen as an argument to raise the minimum wage, but to take their kids from them due to their own responsibility issues of voting for a minimum wage that caused them and future generations to not be able to get a strong resume, which led to their situation of working minimum wage jobs. But of course, that terrible reality shouldn't happen either, thus a UBI can help make up the difference.


Defense 3:
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.

It was a result of the wage employers offer being raised. Switch the thinking around. A minimum wage, of any amount, also increases wages of certain employers having to provide. Going from no minimum wage, or $0 an hour to any amount above that can impact it to some degree, certainly. Even unpaid internships help build an individual's resume if they do it while they are of the age they are legally required to be provided for.

Furthermore, yes it does. Having any minimum wage above 0 would basically be raising the minimum wage from 0 to whatever it is you propose it to be. Having a minimum wage at all raises the minimum wage that was previously 0 dollars an hour. So yes, it is raising the minimum wage by having one at all, so my argument still stands.


Defense 4:
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:


This will primarily follow deduction again. I've already provided evidence that minimum wage increases the number of people who are outside the labor force, so my first and second premises are already supported by what I've presented. (see C1, which lines out how teenagers are exiting the labor force overtime)
P1: Minimum wages lead to less people working
P2: There are less people working
P3: Due to less people working, there is a larger amount of applicants per job position.
P4: More applicants per job position means more pickiness from employers.
Conclusion: Minimum wage leads to more pickiness from employers.

Simple reasoning here. Perhaps the one thing that needs further evidence is the number of applicants per job position. As this article by ERE media points out, there are far more job applicants per position than any decade previous, due to way more people complaining about not even getting calls back, due to them being candidate 100+, since employers are much more likely to look at applicant #1 than #100. The fact there are hundreds of applicants per job should be alarming.  That ought to explain why one may have to apply to dozens of jobs before getting one, as is usually my experience and countless others I know. Of course, that anecdote, but that article seems to indicate my anecdote may be true.

Published:
Defense 1:

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 [1], 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. 
My bad! I meant to say 260 days a year.

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.
I would bring up the point that I made in my rebuttal earlier. About 1/3 of high school students are dropping out of school to help their family pay for bills, yet they aren't eligible for a UBI until anywhere between 3-5 years later! A $2 dollar wage will not sustain them in the slightest.

Poor Communities

So, a UBI would increase the poor's income quite a bit.
This isn't true. Another huge disadvantage is that poor communities are the ones being targeted by welfare programs. A UBI applies to all income levels, however, and removes much of the help that poor communities need to survive and make a change in their lives. Studies have also shown that the UBI would not decrease poverty at all [1]. Another thing is that the UBI doesn't give some people welfare programs they need, like healthcare, housing, and other expenses that poor communities might sometimes need more than just cash.

Lazy Workers

Another point is that the economy would suffer because some people would just sit back and relax since they are being paid and do not need to work to live. This would reduce the amount of workers that we have [2] [3]. This is obviously counterproductive.

Defense 2:

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.
Please see my UBI rebuttals above, they address this as well. Those disadvantages outweigh this, especially if the rich or well-to-do are taking money from the government that they do not need.

Defense 3:

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.
This study has many assumptions. Firstly, that Americans would still work the same amount. However, I've already shown that this is not true. Secondly, they assume that people will buy more stuff. However, this is not necessarily true, especially if interest rates go up, which is not unlikely.

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.
This isn't possible in some cases. About $128 trillion of that is in "below-ground" assets, like oil. However, it's hard to sell them because the US doesn't necessarily own the land which those assets are in. Besides that, oil business is very tricky and oil companies have to be very careful about what they buy, so there is no guarantee that this would ever work. [4]

Sources:

[1] Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), "Basic Income as a Policy Option: Technical Background Note Illustrating Cost and Distributional Implications for Selected Countries," oecd.org, May 2017
[2] Alicia H. Munnell, "Lessons from the Income Maintenance Experiments: An Overview," bostonfed.org, Sep. 1986
[3] Elizabeth Anderson, "Forum Response: A Basic Income for All," bostonreview.net, Oct. 1, 2000
Round 5
Published:
Due to some fairly severe health issues I've been experiencing lately, I feel I may not be able to properly respond in time for this round. I apologize for this. Normally I would provide deeper analysis than I am here, but I do not feel I'll be able to, so this will be somewhat simple.

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.

Published:
In conclusion, all I can say is that the evidence strongly supports a flat minimum wage. There are disadvantages, yes, but a UBI is not currently able to be sustained, and barely any evidence for a tiered minimum wage was given. There is not nearly enough evidence to make such a big change when we can see that it likely wouldn't be a good change.

Thank you to voters and my opponent!
Added:
--> @Speedrace
** Without a flat minimum wage, companies could pay absurdly low wages to workers for long hours, knowing that the impoverished, young adults, and immigrants will all eat them up regardless. The flat minimum wage makes it so that these people can actually afford to pay for their own expenses without having to work absurd hours simultaneously in terrible living conditions. **
This is false. THe current national minimum wage is 7.25. You imply that employers are out to pay employees absurdly low wages, or at least the lowest wage possible. If that were true, employers would probably be seeking to pay only waht to they could get away with, namely, the minimum wage. In other words, they would be paying $7.25 for their employees now.
But they dont'. Many jobs pay more then the minimum. If the employers were as money hungry as folkds make them out to be , most jobs would be paying the minimum. But that is not the case because the market wouldn't bear it. My company doesn't have any jobs that pay the minum. Most pay twice and many pay more than 3x the minumum. Why? Because the market dictates what we pay.
#2
Added:
--> @Speedrace
You sure you want to enter a second debate with me? You've yet to post for the acceptance round of the other you accepted with me.
Instigator
#1
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