Debate Info

Underpaid Not paid
Debate Score:13
Total Votes:13
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 Underpaid (7)
 Not paid (2)

Debate Creator

logicaljoe(529) pic

Is it better to be UNDERPAID or NOT PAID AT ALL?

Most people will use the argument for someone that complains they are not getting paid enough, "Hey! At least you're making 10 bucks an hour! Or would you rather be making ZERO and live on the streets?"  I hate that argument because of course people would rather get some money than nothing, but it seems to be committing an injustice.  So some people may choose simply not to get paid at all then because they don't want to perpetuate or let this somebody get away with underpaying.   What are your thoughts?


Side Score: 10

Not paid

Side Score: 3
2 points

Yep, half a loaf is better than no bread.

Those on low wages always have the option to seek higher paid alternative employment.

In the meantime bide your time and cut your coat according to your cloth.

Side: Underpaid
2 points

I'd rather have a little money than none at all. It's a matter of eating and providing for my family even just a little versus not providing for them period.

Side: Underpaid
2 points

I have had about 30 jobs in 6 different industries (and for city, state, and federal government agencies) all across the country.

There are two things I have observed to be consistent from sea to shining sea:

- 1 - Almost everybody thinks their bosses are overpaid.

- 2 - Almost everybody, including the bosses, thinks they themselves are underpaid.

If you don't want to be "underpaid", then your only other choice is to be not paid at all.

That is why you need to negotiate for your wage/salary, and be a valuable enough worker (and hard to replace) that you have an advantage in the negotiations.

At least that way you will be at a higher level of "underpaid".

Side: Underpaid
1 point

I agree with you, especially from your line: "I hate that argument...".

I was underpaid for years. For 40 of those years I lived in an underpaid state (Maine). I was sitting in a construction trailer in Wisconsin doing paperwork one day when I heard the fax power up. Thinking it might be for me, I checked it out. It was the next years pay scale for those that I was in charge of, along with a few $million in equipment. I made a copy and took it back to my boss when I finally returned. He read it and said "I agree, this is ridiculous. Let me take this." Two weeks later my salary (and the salary of maybe 30 others in the department was doubled. Thank you union people in WI! Being paid IS necessary, being paid fairly is important.

Side: Underpaid
1 point

Something is better than nothing. But it varies with the situation. If the "not paid at all" scenario is happening because a bunch of working stiffs are standing up to an abusive and exploitive employer then maybe the no pay scenario can bring a change.

Side: Underpaid
1 point

Thanks for all the responses. Good points.

In dire circumstances, I would definitely accept getting something (even if underpaid) than nothing. But if one has other options available to them, then I would not settle for being underpaid, at least until you have explored the other options that may get you more of what you are worth. I've often heard the saying, "you get what you are worth". If you believe you are only worth $10 bucks an hour, then that is your worth. If you believe you are worth more than that, with persistence and perseverance, your worth will definitely be more (no guarantees how high, but definitely more than what you are currently getting underpaid for).

Side: Underpaid

I'd rather be underpaid. It's better to have a terrible source of income than have no income whatsoever. But what is the definition of 'underpaid' here? Is it like your opinion of being underpaid or because you're working 60+ hours a week for like 9.78 an hour?

Side: Underpaid
1 point

This is a reasonably open prompt, so I am going to drift slightly into the advantages of entrepreneurship.

One of the alternatives to working for someone else for less than you are worth is to start your own business.

Entrepreneurship has the advantages of self-determination, and the possibility, though slim, of making you rich.

It has the disadvantage of being harder work and, at least at the beginning, of making you even more underpaid than were you when working for someone else.

My in-laws owned a restaurant for 15 years, and worked 60 hours/per week. (You don't own a business; it owns you.) Usually they made a decent living, but often one or both did not get paid, because they paid their employees first.

There is actually a strong argument for not being paid at all for working a 60hour week, when it is your business that is not paying you. They built something worthwhile that provided jobs for 20 people. Those people all thought they were underpaid, but they had jobs because my in-laws were willing to risk being unpaid.

They were happy and proud of what that restaurant did for the community, and they had fun.

Side: Not paid
2 points

thanks for that good insight. Yes, the spirit of entrepreneurship is a wonderful thing but it is a lot harder than people think (at least in the beginning). To build something that is your very own probably brings about more satisfaction and fulfillment in life than always working for someone else.

Side: Not paid