The Instigator
Pluto2493
Pro (for)
Losing
13 Points
The Contender
LaSalle
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points

10. While under moral conflict, increasing benefits ought to be preferred to decreasing costs.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,333 times Debate No: 4116
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (5)
Votes (7)

 

Pluto2493

Pro

This is a debate for the Debate.org/Facebook tournament, Round 4, #10, to be judged by Jayant Tripathy, Danielle Limberg, and Drew Slagle.

I wish my opponent luck.

First, I'd like to define some key terms.

Moral- of, pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong; ethical.

Conflict- to come into collision or disagreement; be contradictory, at variance, or in opposition; clash.

Increasing- to become larger or greater in quantity.

Benefits- Something that promotes or enhances well-being; an advantage.

Ought- should.

Preferred- to set or hold before or above other persons or things in estimation; like better; choose rather than. In this case, benefits vs. costs.

Decreasing- becoming less; to become lesser in quantity.

RESOLUTIONAL ANALYSIS:

This resolution is asking us to look at a MORAL conflict. Then it asks us which is preferable- lower cost or higher benefit? Judges, you must look at which side is more MORALLY justified and not what is either good for business, makes things easier, etc.

I affirm the resolution. I will seek to prove this affirmation through 4 contentions.

CONTENTION I: Benefits help more people directly.

When we look at morals and cost vs. benefit together, we can clearly see that benefits are preferable, as they help more people. In other words, lowering a cost does not help anyone directly, while raising benefits does. Lower costs simply allow more people to have it. Therefore, under a MORAL circumstance, benefits are clearly preferable.
Think about this situation: you see a blind man lying in the road. He appears to be unconscious. It is a pretty busy street. You could either pull him to the sidewalk, or you could call 9-1-1 and wait for them to help him. Obviously, you should pull him to the side of the road. It's the same in this case. It is better to help someone directly and provide the assistance they need than indirectly help them with a ‘middle-man' helper (as in money).
I would also like to add that lowering costs does not assure that anyone will even be helped. Because it is indirect, something along the way could limit a person's ability to receive help, while a benefit is treating specific needs. Look at my example: pulling him to the sidewalk would be quick and easy. Calling 9-1-1 takes a long time and there is chance your cell phone could die or you gave them the wrong address.

CONTENTION II: This is not cause and effect.

Just because benefits are increased, prices and costs do not have to go up also. However, lowering costs cannot lead to higher benefits, as they would have even less money to provide services. Furthermore, lowering costs would REDUCE productivity if anything and would be less morally preferable.

CONTENTION III: Benefits help society as a whole.

Say a college is contemplating this resolution. If they cut costs, more people would get in. But we must ask ourselves- are these the kids we want? Sure, more people could get degrees, but if they don't do anything with that degree, lowering the cost and allowing them to get in would be useless.
Now, say they increase benefits, such as new facilities, new classes, new ‘life-programs', and/or new sports and clubs. The people that are smart enough to get into that college could use the proverbial computer club to be the next Bill Gates. The new Albert Einstein. The next President of the United States. If you take away funding from these students, they will not become these things, and society as a whole will become worse.
Examples like these are ridden throughout the world.

CONTENTION IV: Benefits have been historically better (examples).

Think about the U.S. They are capitalist, and the average cost of health care per capita is $7,600 (http://www.nchc.org...). They are ranked 39th on the World Health Organization's list of quality of care (http://www.photius.com...). Now look at China. They are communist, meaning that they want everyone to have the same amount of money and be equal. They also have a type of universal health care, which seeks to cut costs. Their GDP per capita is around $5,000, and they still rank at 144 in health care.
We can clearly see that, in this case and most, cutting costs and taking a hands-off approach simply does not work. It did not improve anything, even the thing it was trying to improve.
Now, if China were to improve medical technology, add more specialized doctors, and/or get more health programs (benefits), it would be more like the U.S. and more Chinese people would be saved.

Just think about an average nursing home. The more people you let in, the more you must spend. Now you need to buy more workers. A bigger facility. A nicer guest area. You have to focus on so many people, little old Phyllis, a long-time customer, is now not getting the attention she needs. Had there been more benefits, her life could've been extended much longer.

In short, it would erupt in chaos.

All in all, I have reasonably proved, through several examples, that increasing benefits is morally preferable to lowering costs. Benefits help everyone in the industry, as well as society as a whole. I now patiently await my opponent's rebuttal.
LaSalle

Con

We cannot accept the resolution as truth unless PRO proves that it is true with facts and examples. If I can counter his examples, or show how his facts do not hold any weight in comparison to mine, you must vote CON. I will agree with PRO's definitions, so let us proceed to the actual debate. Good luck!!!

I. PRO's first contention claims that increasing benefits helps more people directly than decreasing costs. That is simply not always the case. To counter PRO's example, I will provide one of my own. Say a cable company offers 500 premium channels a month for $100. This company has the option of increasing that amount to 600 channels a month, however, it would result in a $20 cost increase making the total come out to 600 channels for $120 (instead of 500 channels for $100). Now in increasing the benefits (more channels) and the cost, equal or LESS people (who cannot afford that $20 increase in their budget) will be able to enjoy the premium cable channels. However if we kept the SAME benefits but decreased the cost to $80/month, MORE people will be able to enjoy the same 500 premium channels.

Now Pro has pointed out that we must be careful to decide which is more MORALLY favorable in a given situation, instead of just more lucrative. Clearly from this example, it is morally preferable to keep the benefits the same and reduce the cost, instead of increasing the benefits and the price. By increasing the benefits and the price, less people would be able to enjoy the premium cable channels, but by decreasing the price, more people would be able to reap these benefits. Thus it is morally favorable to decrease costs instead of increase benefits. I have a feeling that people will still get by just fine with 500 channels to choose from instead of 600.

Also at this time I would like to address a problem with my opponent's previous example in reference to contention 1. He mentioned a situation in which a blind man was lying unconscious in the middle of the street and needed help. He recognized it was more favorable (morally sound) for one to move this man in need themself instead of calling 911 and waiting for help. I agree with this logic. However this logic would favor my side of the resolution, not PROs. You see by me helping to move the guy instead of waiting for an ambulence, the blind man is reaping the benefits of my immediate action for FREE. But if we were to reap the increased benefits of trained medical personnel, that would cost either the man, his insurance company of the govt some money. Thus in this example, it is not only more logical but also more moral AND less expensive for me to just help the blind man instead of calling for help (increased benefits for a higher cost).

II. So in my opponent's second contention, that not everything is cause and effect, PRO notes that just because benefits are increased, prices do not have to go up. This is true. However by this SAME logic, just because prices are decreased, does not mean that benefits have to go down. Therefore again my position in this debate is morally preferable. On one hand, people can receive the SAME benefits for a lower price (meaning more people get to reap the rewards). On the other hand, one can receive HIGHER benefits, but even if the price remains the same, not as many people get to enjoy those benefits- only the same people who enjoyed the original benefits. But why should benefits be excluded only to the wealthy? What about the lower and MIDDLE class, who make up a majority of the population?

III. My opponent's third contention is that benefits help society as a whole. I disagree, and feel that benefits only help the PEOPLE WHO CAN AFFORD THEM. His example of a university deciding whether to let in more or less students does not really make any sense. By his logic, if the university cuts costs on tuition, more people will be able to get in. That logic is flawed. First of all, a college can still make a profit by lowering tuition if enough people attend the school. Think of it this way: If college costs $100 per semester and 10 people attend, or if they lower their costs to $80 per semester and 13 people attend, the college actually makes MORE money had only 10 students attended. Except in this example, MORE people are able to attend college for LESS money, and the school's revenue and profit STILL increases!

My example would be better for society (and more moral) all around: it would allow more students to earn degrees for a lower price, and for the school to earn even MORE money for new technology then it would had it been very exclusive and expensive admission. The school could also invest some of this profit on expansion... just a thought.

IV. Next my opponent introduces healthcare into the mix by pointing out that China spends less money than the United States on healthcare per capita, yet ranks 144 in terms of the best/worst healthcare policies while the U.S. ranks as the 39th. This logic and this example does NOT help my opponent's argument. Why? Because France, which is ranked #1 in terms of health care, ALSO spends less money than the United States per capita by about $2,000 (http://www.kff.org...). So all this means is that it's possible to have more benefits with lower costs, and it's a first hand and very relevent example that proves just because you lower costs, it does not lower benefits or even keep benefits the same. In this case, and many others, lowering costs actually increases benefits!

And finally the same logic that can be applied to the university can be applies to my opponent's example about a nursing home. If you allow 5 people into the nursing home and charge $20 per patient, that's $100 to spend on workers. If you charge $15 per patient and let 10 people in, that's $150 to spend on workers... meaning you can hire more workers to make up for the 5 extra people, meaning more people reap the benefits of being in the nursing home and nobody suffers! The amount of workers to the amount of patients is equal, and thus more people are helped while nobody is harmed.

So for all of these reasons and rebuttals, a CON vote is so far in order.
Debate Round No. 1
Pluto2493

Pro

First I'd like to point out that there is little to no offense on my opponent's side. Although she can win this way, if I prove one contention true, there is reason enough to affirm.

With that said, let's look at the arguments made in the last round.

CONTENTION I: First, the cable example is flawed. For starters, the people that are buying the cable are paying FOR CABLE. More channels will always be a plus, because that's what they want out of a cable company: a good experience. Furthermore, people that are paying $100 for TV are well enough off to afford $20 a month. Otherwise, if they could not afford that, they would not be paying $100 for TV, and they would go back to the bunny ears.
Also, we don't know what these channels are. We all know about the DTV transition. This extra $20 could be going to make more channels in HD for an easier transition or simply better viewing pleasure, which is the point of watching TV. They could also be in a sports package for a sports fan, an HBO package for a movie-watcher; the list goes on.
Finally, this ties into my other example. Let's just say, some people MAY not be able to pay for it. How much would that be? Maybe 10%? Let's take 100 people:
Company currently receives $10,000/month.
-10 people without extra price= $9,000/month
Add in extra $20 per person= $10,800/month.
See, everyone's happy. Company makes more, people get more channels. And 10% is being pretty liberal.

Next, CON makes a general statement, using the example, that cost is preferable. But, as I said, people are looking for a TV experience when they pay for a cable provider. Thus, it is better that the cable provider give the best experience possible, while keeping the price within reason. The people that can pay for the cable get a great experience, and the company fulfilled its moral goal.

My opponent then tries to steal my example about a blind man and the ambulance. Her logic is just plain wrong. Calling 9-1-1 would be like cutting costs because it creates a middle man. Cutting costs doesn't help anyone directly- it only allows more people to have the proverbial service. Like I said, while cutting costs could maybe help someone way down the road, just like calling 9-1-1 could help someone down the road, it does not provide the assistance (benefits) that that blind man needs.
There is also something misunderstood by my opponent. This did not compare the prices- for say, the medical personnel- it compared the direct-indirect relationship between the two: something that benefits clearly win. I was merely pointing out cutting costs' ineffectiveness because of its indirection.
My opponent drops the argument about the problems with indirection.

CONTENTION II: My opponent says my logic can be applied to her case. This is untrue, however. First she states that people can have the same benefits for a lower price. I fail to see any example of where this could be true. All I must say is, ‘no it can't,' and this argument is a wash, as CON presented no argument why.
Next she states this: "One can receive HIGHER benefits, but even if the price remains the same, not as many people get to enjoy those benefits- only the same people who enjoyed the original benefits."
Assuming I know what CON is even talking about, I have yet to see why those people cannot receive the extra benefits. As she said, the price is the same. Thus, I see no logical reason why the extra benefits are limited to those whom have the original benefits.
Finally, as I said in R1, lowering costs would bring in less money, since there is being less money being put into the company. It would reduce overall production, and said company would be working worse. Then they would not be able to provide any benefits at all, becoming morally wrong.
JUST TO CLARIFY: my opponent agrees that raising benefits does not always lower costs. If I disprove that cutting costs does not lower benefits, I win this argument and the debate.

CONTENTION III: My opponent argues that benefits only help the people that get those benefits. Then she argues about how my logic is wrong. However, there is one fatal flaw: I was not arguing my example from an educational nor a personal point of view, I was arguing from a societal point of view. To clarify, like I said in R1, if there hadn't been the Homebrew Computer Club, Steve Jobs would've never met Steve Wozniak, there would've never been the game Breakout, and Apple would've never been created. Likewise, if the University of Southern Mississippi did not have a football team, we wouldn't know the name Brett Favre. I was not arguing from Brett Favre's nor USM's financial point of view, I was arguing from society as a whole's point of view.

Again, benefits are preferable because they help society more. While allowing more people into colleges would be great, allowing great students to succeed would be better. That way, those ‘A+' students can go onto do great things and improve life for society's people.

CONTENTION IV: My opponent mentions France's health-care system. I am actually glad she did that. Why? France has benefits like you wouldn't believe. If you've seen Michael Moore's Sicko, you would know what they do. They allow mothers to take off a year of work after a baby is born, they allow for a government-hired nanny to come do your laundry and tend your children, and they allow you to pick any doctor you wish. It is simply riddled with benefits- China is not. That is why they are 144th.
But, that is not to say it does not come at a price. The French are RIDDLED with taxes. According to (http://www.france-property-and-information.com...), they have more than 8 types of taxes. They even have a taxes on garbage and television. According to MSN (http://moneycentral.msn.com...), the tax burden in France is 50.1% for a single person, 41.9% for a married person with two kids. In the US, the numbers are 29.1% and 11.9%, respectively. It doesn't cost less- you pay it a different way.

Going back to China, the reason they do so poorly in health care is that they pay too much for health care without increasing benefits. As I have said, if China were to get better doctors, newer technologies, and more house nannies, they would start seeing their people live longer, healthier lives.

Lastly, let's look at what my opponent said: "If you allow 5 people into the nursing home and charge $20 per patient, that's $100 to spend on workers. If you charge $15 per patient and let 10 people in, that's $150 to spend on workers... meaning you can hire more workers to make up for the 5 extra people, meaning more people reap the benefits of being in the nursing home and nobody suffers!"

Woah, woah, woah… If you're going to .25 reduce the price, you must .25 reduce the people. Then, 5 * 20 = $100, 15 * 7.5 = 112.5. Doesn't seem that drastic now, does it? I don't know anyone that wants to work on a salary of $12!!!

But that doesn't even matter. If you took those benefits away from somebody, they may not be able to get the medicine they need. Furthermore, those people could die, or at least live worse lives, than if they had those programs. Thus, you would not be helping anyone- more people would actually die.

Thank you, I await my opponent's R2 rebuttal.
LaSalle

Con

LaSalle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
Pluto2493

Pro

Please extend all of my arguments from the last round into this one. All of them still stand, and they haven't been negated by my opponent.

I have won this debate because I effectivly built offense in my favor, which still stands, and responded to the claims made by my opponent. I would also like to cross-refrence my statement from R2, when I said that my opponent has little to no offense. I have proved several reasons why increasing benefits is preferable to lowering costs. Thus, as there is no reason not to that was presented by my opponent, you have no choice but to vote PRO.

Finally, I find it unfair that my opponent will be able to respond to my arguments without my response. She was given the same amount of time as I was, and she forfeited. Now, I have to waste a round like she did. Although, she gets the final say without me being able to respond to it. I ask that you neglect any new arguments in the last round what-so-ever, as I could've responed to them had she not forfeited.

Thank you for judging this debate, and I thank my opponent for debating me on this issue.
LaSalle

Con

LaSalle forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by tremendoustie 9 years ago
tremendoustie
And yes, I'm aware that it's a "moral quandry" but I don't see how that helps anything, and it's unclear how that part of the resolution applies. Does "moral quandry" mean that one has a moral obligation to spend the money? Or could there be moral benefits to saving the money as well (helping other people perhaps).

The fact remains, PRO is effectively required here to prove a universal negative -- there can be no situation where saving money is preferable -- which is an undue burden.
Posted by tremendoustie 9 years ago
tremendoustie
I think the resolution here is poor -- I'm aware that neither contender chose this resolution. The resolution places an undue burden on PRO, because he/she must show that increasing benefits is always preferable, when there are clearly examples where the increased benefits would be insubstantial, but saved costs would be huge.

For example, I could pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for industrial quality fiber optics cables to be run to my house, so as to obtain the same bandwidth as the city of Phoenix, but it would be foolish, since I would not need it.

I'm not going to vote, becuase while I think PRO probably did the better job, I really think the resolution made his position unwinnable.
Posted by Pluto2493 9 years ago
Pluto2493
Sorry for your emergency; good luck in future debates.
Posted by LaSalle 9 years ago
LaSalle
I have a few hours left to post my argument, but unfortunately life got in the way of this debate. A family emergency got in the way of posting Round 2 in time, and today I have to visit a family member in the hospital because of said emergency. Therefore unfortunately I must forfeit this debate. It's very sad too because I had quite a lot to say. Anyway good luck, Pluto.
Posted by LaSalle 9 years ago
LaSalle
"Think of it this way: If college costs $100 per semester and 10 people attend, or if they lower their costs to $80 per semester and 13 people attend, the college actually makes MORE money had only 10 students attended. Except in this example, MORE people are able to attend college for LESS money, and the school's revenue and profit STILL increases!"

OK this was a typo here on my part. I meant to say that a college makes MORE money from admitting 13 people for a lower price than admitting 10 people for a higher price.
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