Instigator / Pro
Points: 17

The minimum wage should be abolished


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After 4 votes the winner is ...
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Two days
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Contender / Con
Points: 23
The minimum wage was created supposedly to make things better for workers. However, is it actually a bad thing? Bad enough that we should set it to $0?
Round 1
Hello Chris and thanks for accepting. Let's get to it!


If you can only produce $5/h worth of services, but the minimum wage is $10/h, then no one's going to hire you! If they do, they're going to lose $5/h! However, without a minimum wage, then companies could start hiring for $3/h, opening up new opportunities for people of all skill levels.

You can now start at the bottom, making $3/h, and work your way up! In fact, the average number of jobs a person will have is 12, so people can easily work their way up. But, if there was a minimum wage, then some people don't even have a place to start!

This also ties into college. If you didn't go to college for whatever reason, you're value as a employee is very low, most of the time even lower than the minimum wage. But, without the minimum wage, you can sell your labour no matter what. And this becomes very apparent when people with a form of college degree earn $0.8 million more in their lifetime than ones without.
Thanks, DS!

Let's examine this claim. There is virtually no one that is unable to produce minimum wage dollars worth of services to start off working. 90% of Americans over 25 years have finished high school, and the generations that haven't are dying off. In 2016, people with high school degrees earned an average of $35,615 per year. 

What lowering the minimum wage DOES do is two things.

1. Many employees won't be willing to stay if the minimum wage is lowered. But some will. If companies can maintain some amount of employees and lower wages, they will. This hurts mainly immigrants, minorities and non-skilled workers who will be more willing to stay for lower pay because they have never had any alternatives.

Look at India, which has a $0.28/hour rate.  Activists are NOT calling for abolishing that minimum, are they? It is quite the opposite.

2. For those who aren't willing to stay, abolishing the minimum wage then becomes pointless for job growth.

Round 2
Hello! Let's start off with some clash.


no one is unable to produce minimum wage dollars
Instead of looking at the cost, let's but hose numbers into perspective. When people graduate high school, what useful skills do they have? Nearly none. Only 1/4 students have some job experience. The rest? Below minimum wage value.

This hurts mainly immigrants
How? You just said that they are willing to stay.

Look at India
That's because they don't know better.


Does it not bother you that millions of people are unemployed? They have no where to start, and they can't start! Where will they get the needed skills to get a job? If the minimum wage is dropped, then all these people could get a job, even if it's a bad one. Now they have a chance to climb the ladder. They have a place to start. And like I said previously, this will literately drop the unemployment rate down or near 0%.

When people graduate high school, what useful skills do they have? Only 1/4 students have some job experience.
This is an illogical view of things. After high school, the average student will have had 13-14 years of education. That is worth something, and that is why companies currently have absolutely no problem hiring recent high school graduates. 

How? You just said that they are willing to stay.
Precisely. It hurts them because they are willing to accept slave-labor level wages if they have no alternatives. 

That's because they don't know better.
Clearly they do.  Indian's are not trying to reduce the minimum wage, they are trying to increase it after trying precisely what you're advocating for here.

Does it not bother you that millions of people are unemployed?
Within your own source, it gives this graph. There are more available jobs than people to fill them in the US, those that can't find one at this point are drug addicts. 
--> @Christen
Agreed Christen,
Minimum wage is by definition a restriction on the liberty of employee and employer alike, because it only limits the opportunities that can be made available.
To Truth!
--> @oromagi
Thanks for the vote. I did not mean to insult those who have no job, instead I meant that a large percentage of those who can't work struggle to hold a job because of addiction. I should have linked stats.
--> @Christen
What I say in a debate in order to win may be different than what I actually believe. These comments more closely reflect my actual opinion over the debate. I would debate further but Ragnar had a fair point, if we are going to this much trouble we might as well make our own debate
--> @christopher_best
Employers usually pay their workers within a certain range of money per hour. They usually don't pay too little or else they risk losing employees and going out of business, and they don't pay too high or else their profit margins will go down too too much. An employer with a profit margin for 8 dollars an hour for example means they can pay their employees between $0.00 and $7.99 so they have to figure out what the best amount to pay is from there. Raising the minimum wage, or even having one in the first place, means they have less flexibility.
The reason there are places with little job alternatives to begin with is because of minimum wages, and the minimum wage going up. Companies with large profit margins like Walmart love when you raise minimum wage because it drives out competing smaller businesses with smaller profit margins, thus contributing to this lack of job alternatives that you complain about so much.
Like if you and I have a fast food restaurant a few blocks away from each other or something, and I make a lot of money, but you make little money, and we have a minimum wage that you can't afford but I can afford, you risk not being able to pay your employees the minimum wage because you don't have that much money and would go out of business while I stay in business. This leads to less job alternatives as there are now less businesses due to the minimum wage messing up and/or destroying businesses.
Competition should be what drives wages up or down, not the government. It's hard to have lots of competition when you have minimum wages, and it's hard to justify minimum wages when you have lots of competition. Without minimum wage, new businesses can be created to compete with already-existing businesses to offer the best prices to attract employees without having to worry about government interfering with that.
Also, I just noticed something else: in this debate you said "There are more available jobs than people to fill them in the US" but now, here in comments, you admit that not everyone has job alternatives, which contradicts your claim that there are available jobs for everyone to begin with, which actually makes it harder to justify minimum wage since that would lead to even less competition, less new businesses, and less job alternatives.
--> @christopher_best, @Christen
You two have already gone more in depth on this than the debate. You should probably have a formal debate on it.
--> @Christen
That does not make sense. If a company mass produces mud pies, then is my wage based on how much a single mud pie is worth? Clearly not. Apple does not pay all their factory workers 500 dollars an hour despite their phones being worth upwards of $1000 each. Wages are not determined by how much a single product is worth, it is determined based on how companies can maximize profit while managing to keep enough employees. Supply and demand does not determine wages as much as living cost and profit. In that sense, a lower wage would be useless to most companies. Too few workers would be willing to work for that. But there are places in which there are little job alternatives, especially for unskilled, minority laborers. This hurts them and brings no net benefit to the rest of the country.
That is not to say that supply and demand does not have a role. Again, I believe virtually any employee is able to produce minimum wages' worth. If jobs need to be filled for less value, then minimum wage actually serves a positive role in technological innovation. Companies would be forced to innovate new robotic production lines rather than have minority slave armies.
--> @christopher_best
How much your labor is worth depends on what exactly you do with your labor.
If you work for, let's say, a car company and your job is to build cars for people to use for getting around faster, your labor is going to be far more valuable than if you invest your labor into creating mud pies that have little to no value.
If mud pies are worth only 1 or 2 dollars, and we have a minimum wage of let's say 3 dollars, then it's not fair to the employer to pay you that much for such cheap service.
If you work at like a fast food restaurant and a hamburger is only worth 4 to 5 dollars, and the minimum wage goes to 6 dollars, then it's going to cost too much to the owner of the restaurant, and they will have to cut costs somewhere or raise prices.
But with minimum wage going to 6, 7, 10, 15, or whatever dollars you think it should go to, you assume that all goods and services are worth that much, and you artificially make all goods and services worth that much, often ignoring supply and demand, which is the main factor that determines prices and costs.
--> @christopher_best
--> @Speedrace
Thanks for taking the time to vote Speed!
--> @Christen
As I said, there is virtually no one incapable of producing above minimum wage labor.
--> @christopher_best
What do you mean by taking "advantage of workers who have no alternatives"?
If an employer pays you less than what you think you deserve, how can you prove that they are being malicious and taking advantage of you? What if they have to pay you that low not because they are evil or something but simply because costs are too high for them and they just can't afford to pay you that high?
So the government steps in and forces an employer whose costs are already high to pay you more even though your work isn't really worth that much, thus increasing their costs, which would now mean that you are taking advantage of them, wouldn't it?
--> @Ragnar
Thanks for the vote!
--> @Virtuoso, @SupaDudz, @Speedrace
If you guys have the time, a quick vote would be appreciated.
This debate was clearly not that the minimum wage should be raised to $15. Rather, it was that it should be lowered to $0.
--> @Christen
You again miss the fact that employers will inevitably take advantage of workers who have no alternatives.
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
RESOLVED: The minimum wage should be abolished
PRO as instigator has superior burden of proof here. No specific govt. is id'd although most modern governments implement some form of minimum wage.
R1-PRO argues supply and demand. When labor is not demand the value of labor must drop- minimum wage builds a floor for that drop beneath which job opportunities are lost.
R1-CON argues all human labor is worth at least minimum wage. Abolished minimums creates jobs without fair compensation- so either nobody does them or the disenfranchised are compelled to participate in an unfair system.
R2-PRO counters that 12 years of schooling teaches no useful skills worth compensating.
CON correctly points out that school- literacy, math has value
PRO asks how immigrants are hurt so long as their participation in unfair systems in voluntary. CON counters that voluntary slavery is still slavery.
PRO argues that millions of people are unemployed but takes us to a Wikipedia article that describes full employment at around 5% and current unemployment rate at 3.5%- better than full employment (in spite of major increases in minimum wage in many states and local municipalities). Further the wikipedia article shows that minimum wage is 44% of what it was 50 years ago but employment levels are about the same. PRO argues that abolishing minimum wage will drop unemployment to at or near 0%. CON wisely argues that PRO is contradicted by own source.
SOURCES to CON. Sourcing was scant but PRO contradicted his own argument with his sources and CON capitalized so sources to CON.
I would have awarded CONDUCT to CON in response to PRO's generalization about Indians as ignorant (they don't know better) but CON responded with a generalization regarding the unemployed as "drug addicts." So both sides stepped off the high ground there.
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
Pro's Arguments: (con rebuttal (CR), pro defense (PD), final rebuttal (FR), my ruling (MR))
1. Under the current system, people who produce under the minimum wage won't be getting hired.
CR: 90% of Americans graduated from high school, and they are mostly all producing at or above the minimum wage.
PD: Only a quarter of students have job experience, and the rest are producing at below minimum wage.
FR: The average high school graduate has 13-14 years of education and therefore do have large worth.
MR: Pro never gives evidence that people out of high school produce under the minimum wage, so it is bare assertion. Without seeing the actual evidence that says high school students only produce at below minimum wage when they haven't had job experience, I have to side with Con.
2. By starting at the bottom, workers can work their way up to higher wages. This is apparent because those with college degrees make more money than those without them. The system allows everyone to sell their labor.
CR: A lot of employees won't stay for such low wages, and then wages will stay low because minorities + immigrants will be willing to work low paying jobs, which harms them. Job growth won't happen because a lot of people won't be willing to work. India is an example with a dangerously low average wage that people are (??) working to raise.
PD: Immigrants and minorities aren't harmed because they're willing to stay, and India doesn't know any better.
FR: Immigrants and minorities are harmed precisely because they are willing to take ridiculously low wages. India does know better as cited in the source, and they are trying to raise the minimum wage after having it go dangerously low.
MR: Con consistently showed that lowering wages is dangerous and only takes advantage of people who can't get better jobs. Pro's argument hinges on employees not having minimum wage value, but he never shows a source stating that their value are that low. I have to side with Con.
3. The unemployment rate would dramatically drop.
CR/FR: The source used itself shows that there are more jobs than people trying to work, so everyone should be able to find one.
MR: If there are more jobs than people, then the unemployment rate is really no concern, so I have to side with Con.
Con won all the arguments, so he wins.
Tied on all others.
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
1. selling labor
A decent opening with the idea of someone selling their nearly worthless labor at $3/hour for the company to gain $5/hour in productivity. This of course cross applies to other potential minimum wage levels above that $5 which the company would only break even.
Con counters that too few people are such poor producers for this to be a necessary change.
Pro defends that people fresh out of high school are not worth paying any minimum amount.
Con counters that they have x years training, and indeed get hired (a source for this would have been useful ... the end source showing how low the unemployment rate is, did hold solidify this).
2. Harms of no minimum wage
Con points out the danger that various people would be taken advantage of and paid less than they’re worth.
Pro counters that them being under paid wouldn’t hurt them because they would still be employed…
Con clarifies the point by comparing it to slave labor, which gets across the point he already clearly made.
Pro also says it further harms job growth for skilled laborers.
This is dropped by con.
3. India
Con brings up a very close to pro’s goal minimum wage in India ($0.28), and asserts that activists want it raised.
Pro calls them ignorant to want it raised.
Con defends with a history lesson, and compares the outcome to pro’s proposal as clearly the people are dissatisfied without a minimum wage.
4. Unemployment rate to 0%
Pro adds in his final round that he previously (he did not) said his plan would eliminate unemployment. This really could have used some support (plus “literally” being in the previous round like he claimed).
Con rudely calls everyone unemployed drug addicts. However, his use of pro’s own source was very effective; showing how incredibly low the unemployment rate is according to pro’s own source effectively defanged the argument.
See above review of key points.
So decent harms shown, lack of benefit. The benefit be to make us more like India than even India is… I’m not buying it.
These lean a bit in con’s favor (due to flipping a source), but not by quite enough to claim the point.
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point