Living wage ld brief



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A just government ought to require that employers pay a living wage.”

Table of Contents


Resolutional Analysis 4

Affirmative Case 5

Contention One: Living Wage Reduces Social Ills 6

Contention Two: A Just Government Must Require Employers to take Care of Their Employees 8

Extensions 10

Capitalism Good 11

Living Wage is Not Harmful 14

Inflation Does Not Counter Living Wage 15

No Living Wage is Bad 16

Living Wage is Good 17

SO MANY BENEFITS!!! 18

Minimum Wage is Insufficient 19

Solves Poverty 22

Societal Welfare 26

Sustainable 29

Economy 31

Business 34

Consumers 37

Families 39

Globalization 41



Negative 45

Negative Constructive 46

Top of Case 47

Observation One: “Ensuring Employers Pay” is a Mask for Exploitation 48

Contention Two: A Just Governments Provides an Income to All 50



Extensions 53

Guaranteed Minimum Income Solves 54

Solutions are Processual 56

Survival Depends on Solving Poverty 58

A2: Private Employment can Solve 59

A2: Overpopulation 60

A2: Self-Interest Key 61


Produced by 2014 BFI Students

Editor: Kyle Cheesewright



Resolutional Analysis


“A just government ought to require that employers pay a living wage.”

This resolution asks debaters to examine the responsibilities of a just government. In particular, this resolution suggests that in order for a government to operate in accords with the dictates of justice, they should require businesses operating inside their country to pay a living wage. This topic has been pushed to the forefront of our political discussions recently because of the abuse of social services by major corporations, who require folks to work for them, without providing full time employment, and then pay poverty level wages that mean in order for their employees to survive they much take-out food stamps or other similar public services.



We spent a substantial amount of time researching and discussing this topic during camp labs and debating this topic at the camp tournament. I trust that students in attendance at the camp have a good starting point on this resolution, and are prepared to further explore this topic if it is chosen during the next academic session.

Affirmative Case


I stand in Affirmation of the following resolution:

Resolved: A Just Government Ought to Require Employers to Pay a Living Wage

Value: Quality of Life: This is defined as having the ability or access to things that make your life worth living. This needs to be the paramount value in the round.

Neeley, 1994 (Steven. 1994. Professor, Xavier University. THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO SUICIDE, THE QUALITY OF LIFE, AND THE "SLIPPERY-SLOPE. Akron Law Review. Accessed 8/13/10.)

It is good that men should feel a horror of taking human life, but in a rational judgment the quality of the life must be considered. The absolute interdiction of suicide and euthanasia involves the impossible assertion that every life, no matter what its quality or circumstances, is worth living and obligatory to be lived. This assertion of the value of mere existence, in the absence of all the activities that give meaning to life, and in the face of the disintegration of personality that so often follows from prolonged agony, will not stand scrutiny. On any rationally acceptable philosophy there is no ethical value in living any sort of life: the only life that is worth living is the good life.

Criterion: Reducing Social Ills: This is because in order to best achieve quality of life we need to reduce social ills, such as: Homelessness, starvation, crime, stereotyping, and discrimination. These are basic rights that must be met.

Contention One: Living Wage Reduces Social Ills



A. Homelessness and Starvation Would be Corrected Through a Living Wage


("2013 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics." Hunger Notes. World Hunger Education Service, n.d. Web.)("World Food Programme Fighting Hunger Worldwide." Hunger Statistics. World Food Programme, n.d. Web.) (NUNEZ, R. and FOX, C. (1999), A Snapshot of Family Homelessness Across America. Political Science Quarterly, 114: 289–307. doi: 10.2307/2657740 (Heather, December 31, 2013)

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that nearly 870 million people of the 7.1 billion people in the world, or one in eight, were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2010-2012. Almost all the hungry people, 852 million, live in developing countries, representing 15 percent of the population of developing counties. There are 16 million people undernourished in developed countries (FAO 2012).

Poor nutrition causes nearly half (45%) of deaths in children under five - 3.1 million children each year.

Today there are 400,000 homeless families in shelter, representing 1.1 million homeless children across America.
As humans we have an obligation to stop the deaths of other humans. 1.1 million homeless children is a crime, a crime that we, members of society, are responsible for and have the power to change. By the government requiring employers to pay a living wage, we are ensuring that citizens have the means necessary to provide for themselves and their families.

B. Living Wage Decreases Crime


(Ronald C. Kramer, professor of sociology and director of the Criminal Justice Program at Western Michigan University, Poverty, Inequality, and Youth Violence, July 13 2014 )

Sustainability is a human need that demands to be met. When the legal methods of obtaining food and shelter have been exhausted, citizens have no choice but to turn to criminal means.



The links between extreme deprivation, delinquency, and violence, then, are strong, consistent, and compelling. There is little question that growing up in extreme poverty exerts powerful pressures toward crime. The fact that those pressures are overcome by some individuals is testimony to human strength and resiliency, but does not diminish the importance of the link between social exclusion and violence.

The impacts of violence in a country are numerous. The intimate relationship between poverty and crime create a cycle of instability. A living wage must be required by the government in order to stop this perpetuating cycle.

C. Lower Crime Rate Decreases Stereotyping and Discrimination


Krieger, 2000 (Linda Hamilton, Professor of Law at University of Berkley, California, The Regents of the University of California on behalf of Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, 21 Berkeley J. Emp. & Lab. L. 1,Foreword--Backlash Against the ADA: Interdisciplinary Perspectives and Implications for Social Justice Strategies) 

(Ronald C. Kramer, professor of sociology and director of the Criminal Justice Program at Western Michigan University, Poverty, Inequality, and Youth Violence, July 13 2014 )


In Backlash, the Political Economy, and Structural Exclusion, Marta Russell argues that public hostility toward the ADA is driven in large measure by the high levels of job instability and worker displacement characterizing American labor markets. These, she contends, breed insecurity, fear, and resentment toward employment protections extended to members of disadvantaged groups. Russell suggests that hostility toward identity group-based employment protections will persist until employment at a living wage and access to health care are[is] treated as [a] fundamental rights attending membership in society, rather than as incidents of increasingly unstable employment status.

Finally, Currie notes the research of Krivo and Peterson (1996), who suggest that it is the link between extreme disadvantage and violence that underlies much of the association between race and violent crime in the United States. After reviewing these and other studies, Currie (1998) concludes, the links between extreme deprivation, delinquency, and violence, then, are strong, consistent, and compelling. There is little question that growing up in extreme poverty exerts powerful pressures toward crime. The fact that those pressures are overcome by some individuals is testimony to human strength and resiliency, but does not diminish the importance of the link between social exclusion and violence. The effects are compounded by the absence of public supports to buffer economic insecurity and deprivation, and they are even more potent when [*126] racial subordination is added to the mix.

Stereotyping and discrimination leads to racism, sexism, ageism, and classism. Prejudices against groups of individuals leads to violence, divide, and instability. People need to be united and accepting of one another. Government required living wage will decrease the gap between demographics, and can, in the long term, decrease stereotyping and discrimination.

LIVING WAGES BENEFIT A CERTAIN DEMOGRAPHIC

CHAPMAN AND THOMPSON, 2006 ( Researching at Washington state budget and policy center, Assistant Research Professor at Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts Amherst, he Economic Policy Institute, The Economic Impact of Living Wages) 

Brenner and Luce surveyed 97 low-wage workers employed in the industries most affected by Boston’s living wage policy.10 The survey of this group of covered workers reveals a generally similar profile as Los Angeles: Workers were predominantly adult, full-time workers, who were disproportionately people of color11. The average age of covered workers in Boston was 32, with 95% age 20 or older (Brenner and Luce 2005, 51-52). 40% of covered workers were African American, and 79% were female. 

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