I'd like to thank my opponent for engaging me in this short, quick debate.
I would have the government's treasury set the pay for all full time politicians in the following year, equal to the median income from working plus benefits earned by adults willing to work. Where treasuries are not independently audited, this should further be put into place.
I have two main arguments.
Where politicians are paid above the median, a "political class" has a tendency to emerge with different levels of money to the average person in society. This has two harms - first, politicians are removed from the day-to-day problems faced perhaps by most of their constituents. Second, other people become disengaged from the political process, giving an "ivory towers" impression.
The result of this is that policy starts to cater more to the political elite than ordinary people, who become increasingly apathetic. Indeed we have witnessed both a political disengagement and the emergence of political classes in most countries around the world, the result of which has been increased inequality and social injustice. As a further benefit, it also engenders trust in the executive branch of government by extension, reducing overall crime and lawlessness.
Having a consistent standard determined not by politicians setting their own pay rates means that politicians' pay is directly tied to their performance. Politicians are there to ensure that their constituency as a whole succeeds, and when they don't follow that mandate, they should not be compensated in a matter unfitting of their actual achievement. In particular, setting your own pay with no accountability creates an issue of conflict of interest, which is an abuse of power, costing the poor workers.
It also emphasizes the value of rational argument and debate to the political process, in providing government and non-government elected politicians with the same level of pay.
We should not pay politicians the median wage in their country. This will only lead to corruption; along with the salary being unfair for the call of "social justice".
Case 1: Salary Based Off Importance
The average median wage in the USA is around $28 an hour. (1) The wages in jobs should be centered around the relevance it has to the country. This is why a person with a diploma in a lucrative field tends to earn more than someone flipping burgers. You may be thinking a $28 an hour wage is fine. However, I find it hard to swallow that our president would be paid more than $10 and hour less compared to this:
"1. Post-secondary communications teachers teach courses on different types of communications (journalism and advertising, for example) at universities and colleges.
Hourly pay: $39.96"
The leader of our country would approves or vetoes bills that determine college's funding are now being paid less than someone who actually works there. That's ridiculous. (2)
On top of that, it would be ridiculous to pay someone on the Board of Education or an insignificant position more than they are already paid.
Case 2: Corruption
Corruption in the government can easily be caused by low wages. Pro's point is not correct as studies show that corruption and money laundering grows as the politician's wages start sinking. An abuse in power and inequality along with policies that are skewed all brew from countries which pay their head politicians less. (3)
Being in a high-level government job as an elected official is a rather demanding job. It requires a lot of time and effort. For such high level jobs such as the presidency, it is the highest and most important job; as every other field (medical, education, law) would crash without it. One can not reasonably expect someone of such importance to simply receive the average salary.
It is because of this that the resolution is firmly negated. Arigatou!
| Speak Roundadmin(PRO) I'd like to thank my opponent for opening their contentions.
Con has done nothing to substantively refute any of my contentions. Before he can build his own case he must first dismiss mine. I addressed a number of points regarding the emergence of a political class and wage equality that have not been answered at all.
On a common sense level this point makes little sense - politicians regulate business executives, yet such executives are often paid more. College football coaches are paid more than politicians. I think the majority would agree politicians do the more important job.
The point fails on a more substantive level though. Con fails to substantiate either of his two most important causal links - first, that politicians are more important than teachers. Reality check - teachers are one of the most integral professions, without whom all those top executives would never be reading, writing or doing math. And second, that pay is linked to value. Con's link was degrees... I knew a guy who worked in a supermarket for minimum wage despite having a PhD in chemistry. So many graduates are out of work that the link just becomes insanely tenuous. Conversely, Bill Gates never finished his degree. Pay has nothing to do with value to the economy and everything to do with value to the person paying you. Virtually the only group who can set their own salaries are politicians, and that's not a fair representation of value any way you look at it.
Corruption is already a crime, and frankly is already solved by my specific model, since I require independent auditing. Corruption tends to become a problem when you fail to protect against it. On the other hand, admitting that corruption would otherwise be a problem proves that politicians are greedy, which is a harm. By taking the financial motive out of politics, in the long term, it makes the profession more about public service and less about personal gain.
I don't see any proof for what you're saying. Neither do I see how getting paid more would make politicians more apathetic. My 3rd source in my first round contradicts your argument. It says that where politicians are paid more than the average wage, there is less corruption; and they are able to focus on what they promised to the people.
If they set it too high for certain areas, people have the right to assemble and petition. This was guaranteed with the amendments. A business owner can set his/her own pay; and the pay for his employees. Does that make what he's doing wrong? Should we force him/her to take a specific pay? These people determine what funding goes where which influences wages. My third source even shows why politicians being paid more is good.
This is simple to refute. It simply takes a bachelor's degree and certification to become a teacher.(1) Meanwhile, it takes a whole political career along with extensive education and record of success to become an important politician. There are 3.1 million teachers. (2) and over 30% of people have a bachelor's degree that are over 25. (3)Thus, the field is easy to get into. If it was very high paying, many people would flock to it as many people meet the requirement. However, there is only one president; and, I don't see many people with a successful political record. The "I know a guy" argument doesn't work in a debate.
These deals are done under-the-table and are delivered straight to the politicians' pocket. These deals won't show up in auditing. Increased pay decreases corruption as proved by my source. It's shown there is less corruption with high wages for politicians in my source. There isn't a financial incentive in your model and it has been implemented in countries in which it failed miserably. There was more corruption than ever. (refer to my source) Your speculations fall to facts.
I provided my links in the first round - higher pay is one means of setting apart politicians from society among the economic elite, whose interests they serve. There is no need to bribe people to serve people, and this should not be the basis for politics. Pro's source proves that a political class exists (ie politicians are interested in pay not votes) and that politicians are relatively corruptible by their own selfish desires. I deal with corruption in rebuttal - pro also entirely ignores political apathy, which was the majority of my point - the political class point stands.
That con advocates assembling/petitioning against his own position is evidence wage equality is important. Business owners are limited by what customers give them - politicians set the tax rates and force people to pay them. Pro ignores performance-based pay and the value of rational argument. The point stands.
Importance Based Pay
Con claims we should pay people based on how many others are doing the same job. He does not link this to the value the job actually provides, which was my counter-analysis. Only a handful of people run debate websites and I'm not making a killing. Pro drops his lines regarding regulation and ignores my rebuttal about professions being interrelated. Likewise with degrees, con asserts their value, and doesn't show it. Prefer my analysis that not everyone with a better job necessarily has a better degree.
It's true that some corruption won't be caught. Some tax evasion etc isn't caught either but that's no reason to abolish taxes on the assumption it will happen. Same with murder etc. We need to actively fight corruption, not assume it will happen. The difference is that my model provides a financial incentive to raise the median wage. That may not be enough for corrupt politicians and his source proves they were caught, helping remove corruption.
You don't provide any sort of evidence for your claims. You said your points without any specific evidence. You simply said something would happen because you said so, without backing it up with study.I addressed political apathy with my 3rd source in R1; claiming that with higher pay, politicians won't be corrupted and sympathize with the people more often. You ignore this! My 3rd source in R1 shows that politicians can easily be corrupted if not paid higher than the median wage.
I don't know if you neglect to read my case. Two factors come in to determining wages. Importance of job and amount of people in the field. We can see why teaching is the middle as, while it is important, so many people can get into it. Not many people can become president; it's also the most important job. Thus, we can reasonably pay politicians more. Hate to break it to you, but running a debate website isn't that important to the vast majority of people (evident by the low amount of users on debate sites). Business owners aren't limited! Just as politicians set taxes based on the field, a business owner sets prices that are good for profit. Degrees are required for the majority of high paying jobs. People without a degree may sometimes make it big; but this is not common.
Admin is missing the point entirely. His model was tested in many countries (R1 Source 3) and generated more corruption than simply paying politicians more. Politicians being paid higher does indeed fight corruption; as it gives politicians less of a reason to take bribes (again, my model was tested and succeeded; while yours failed miserably). In those countries Pro's model affects, new corrupt politicians replaced the old ones as marked by my souce.
Pro provides no evidence what so ever. I provide evidence. My model is shown to work while his failed. Vote Con. Facts provided by me trumps Pro's faulty speculation
Feedback: Admin, I believe your arguments were fair, but I think cooldudebro raised a fair point in that you didn't provide much reference for your points. Also, whilst I can see what you were saying, you didn't ACTUALLY provide evidence as to how median wage correlates with a politician's empathy. I felt like they rested well on your reasoning alone, but I think references would be beneficial, since to me this was a very close debate.
However, cooldudebro, the reason I vote in admin's favour is because I read your third reference paper - upon which a GREAT deal of your argument was resting - and it does not actually say that "higher politician's wages prevents corruption". The paper explains that the wage of the CIVIL SERVICE is an *indirect factor* that affects corruption, but the only issue with the pay of politicians is bribery, which as the paper explains, is not directly affects by wage. Also, as admin points out in his rebuttal, corruption and bribery is already unlawful.1 user rated this judgement as biased 1 user rated this judgement as good 1 user rated this judgement as constructive
2 comments on this judgement
cooldudebro However, you failed to read further where the paper explained that with lower wages the politicians are more likely to accept bribes. :/ Posted 2016-09-23 22:39:17
cooldudebro It went on to say that in countries where wages are high, while some politicians would be corrupted, there would be less of a number of corrupt politicians; due to them now being harder to bribe which I pointed out in my case. Posted 2016-09-23 22:43:04