The Instigator
Vantrigar
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Hardcore.Pwnography
Con (against)
Winning
15 Points

200,000 pounds (400,000 USD) to every child at birth, good or bad idea?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
Hardcore.Pwnography
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/12/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,006 times Debate No: 21090
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

Vantrigar

Pro

I will be arguing for the following position: A one-time lump sum payment of 200,000 pounds to every child born in Britain (or 400,000 USD in America), would help to create a fairer, more productive, more creative, more sustainable and ultimately happier society. It will be Con's job to convince me that this would be a destructive policy. Round one for acceptance, then I'll make my opening remarks.
Hardcore.Pwnography

Con

I accept this debate and await PRO's opening arguments.

As CON, I will argue that this resolution is a bad idea.

To you, PRO.
Debate Round No. 1
Vantrigar

Pro

I'll begin with a straight description of what would happen under the system I propose, then move on to why I think it would work.

At birth, a bank account is created for each citizen on Nation X, into which is deposited $200,000 (I've used the dollar sign instead of the pound due to keyboard limitations). This is roughly equivalent to 60 years of the British Jobseekers allowance, an entitlement of all unemployed people. The money would be controlled by the child's parents until the age of 18, whereupon it would be transferred to that person's current/savings account. That person would then be able to spend or save the remainder of the money as he or she saw fit. The government would encourage wise investment and use of the money; I imagine the majority of young people would use most of the money to purchase property early on in life.
The full cost of this 'Lifetime Entitlement' would be around 140 billion pounds per year (200,000 x 700,000 births per year). This would represent somewhere in the region of a fifth of total government spending in Britain at present. In reality, of course, such a radical alteration in the economic status-quo would require long-term, staged phasing-in. Taking the figures as-is for the moment however, it is clear that an additional 140 billion would need to come from somewhere, and so I assume a considerably higher rate of tax. Taxes would be raised across the board with a strong bias towards the lower and middle-income brackets and a steep upward curve as wealth increases.
The Lifetime Entitlement would replace all state benefits with the exception of those given to people with disabilities or other special requirements. The only exception to this would be a modest state pension in the unlikely event that anyone was to reach retirement age with an empty bank account.
The Entitlement would not affect anyone's ability to work and there would be no cap on earnings (only higher taxes). Substantial pensions could still be offered by companies. I should also point out that this system still assumes all of the social institutions that we enjoy today, including the NHS, free education, social programmes etc.

So, now that I've outlined the basic world-view on offer here, I'll attempt to expound its benefits. I'm coming from the ideological perspective that fairness is a paramount concern in human society, and that it should be fostered by a responsible state made up of elected officials. At the present time the gap between the haves and the have-nots is equivalent to that between the aristocracy and the peasant classes in feudal societies. Granted, the general standard of living is higher, but I believe that when the opportunity is there for everyone to have their fair share of an ever-expanding pie, for a fattened few to gorge themselves on the largest slices is deeply immoral. The system I propose is designed to mitigate the effects of being born, by pure happenstance, into a situation that either advantages or handicaps you. Those born to wealthy parents are far more likely to be educated to postgraduate level than those from poor backgrounds, and to enjoy a high standard of living in their adult lives. The reasons are exactly as economic as they sound.
To the point, then. Here are the benefits of the Lifetime Entitlement, as I see them:

Nobody is born poor: All people, regardless of their background have an extremely sturdy safety net beneath them, allowing them to pursue their real passions and interests without the ever-present fear of poverty. This would result in people focusing all of their energies on those things they are best at, and which are most likely to hold their interests for many years, meaning greater general mastery of skills and proficiencies. Equally, it could not be argued by the rich that while they worked hard for their money, the poor are receiving something for nothing, as the rich too would receive the entitlement.
Increased independence: All young people would have the legitimate option of moving out at the age of 18, as banks would be in little doubt that their investment could be repaid. I expect that there would various clauses in mortgage contracts to limit how much of the buyer's Lifetime Entitlement they would be allowed to spend on things other than repayment until completion, which would fine. We would be free of the current culture of young people living at home well into their twenties, sacrificing valuable life experience, due to economic restraint. Alternatively, young people could choose to live at home, either working or living of their entitlement. In this scenario, shrewd persons would also work, quickly saving enough money to purchase a mortgage or fund higher degrees, making them more attractive to employers.
A freely chosen path through life: I believe that if a person wishes not to dedicate the majority of their lives to an occupation they may dislike, making money simply to live to make more money, they should have the freedom to do so. It would be possible, living off the Lifetime Entitlement, to never work. Though this would mean being frugal and probably living in an inherited property of with parents, it would be a legitimate choice, one that is utterly unavailable to anyone living now besides the rich. Skills and passions could be cultivated for many years, and I imagine many people in their thirties, having dedicated themselves to the pursuit and mastery of some craft, would enter the world of business eventually if only to share their skills with the wider world, or to leave a greater inheritance for their children.
Anybody who wished for more than the frugal existence of some living entirely off their Entitlement (which I strongly believe would be the overwhelming majority), would be free to make as much money as they liked through private enterprise. Not only would they be able to pursue their private careers free of the constant burden of high economic risk, but they would also be free from the relentless pursuit of job security (over satisfaction and, in many cases, long-term profitability) for the sake of dependents. The entire concept of a 'dependent' would be radically altered by the lifetime Entitlement, almost ceasing to exist in the economic sense we mean it today.
An equally productive society: The way we think about people's motivation to create and produce is deeply flawed, focusing far too heavily on the idea that people only strive an innovate in order to acquire wealth. While it is true that many low earners only get up to go to work in the morning to earn money, this is the case only because out economy is built around a perceived necessity to have millions of ungratifying jobs available for the poor. Corporations, the economic entities least likely to foster any kind of love or enjoyment for work, have thoroughly cornered the jobs market. They have been able to do so because they have taken advantage of the fact that out current economic models cannot sustain us without extremely high levels of employment. The reason that unemployment over a relatively low level is so disastrous is not because it indicates a lack of good ideas or market dynamism, but because it means that millions of people are unable to support themselves. Corporations know that the government, rigidly budgeted, cannot at any one time afford to dole out benefits to a 'surprise' hailstorm of the unemployed during a time of recession. This is how they become 'too big to fail'.
The secret to economic growth, I believe, lies not in employment, but in spending. If people have money in their pockets (as everyone under the Lifetime Entitlement scheme most assuredly would), they fuel the economy by making purchases. A person earning minimum wage in Britain is limited to being only the smallest spark of economic productivity, as he has no capital to inject into anything.

There's more to say but I'll leave it there for now and invite some initial responses.
Hardcore.Pwnography

Con

Thanks for the reply PRO.

Now, PRO has devised a system where very child will be set up with a fund at birth. He has provided a plan for his system.
First, I will go into a refutation about why the system does not work, then negating the case through refutation and arguments as to why the system is a bad idea.

The System

1.

Now, PRO says that each citizen will have a bank account with $200,000 at birth. Now, there are two significant problems with this action alone.

a) Not enough money.

Using the number PRO provided, of 700,000 births a year (or 700,000/12 = 58333 births a month) we can easily see that this resolution would prove too costly.

The money, based on PRO's system, must be immediately deposited into the child's account, it cannot be paid into the account over time. At $200,000 per child, the government must therefore spend (58,333*200,000=11,666,600,000) nearly $12 billion dollars a month. This is way too much money for the government to handle. I realize that the number is similar to the welfare payments, however, those payments are done over time unlike this payment. Therefore, it is obvious that this system would not work.

b) People already born

Now, the system PRO proposes gives money to people who are just being born. But what about the people who were born before the new bill? These people would not get the benefit of 200 grand, and would therefore be put at a disadvantage in life, as this new bill would eliminate all other state benefits, as PRO says. Now those people born before the resolution now have no state benefits and no lifetime entitlement.

PRO says that he's "coming from the ideological perspective that fairness is a paramount concern in human society", however, this resolution is not achieving fairness because people born before the resolution would not be entitled to this money.

Therefore, this resolution clearly clashes with PRO's ideals, and it seems that PRO himself is unsure of his exact stance on this issue. Because of the distribution problem with this resolution, this system would not work.

2. Parental Control

Pro suggests that the money entitled to each person would be controlled by the parent or guardian until the age of 18, and be used how "they saw fit."

However, not all parents are responsible guardians. This is a dangerous action because there is no guarantee that the parent or guardian will keep this money for the child's best interests. It is very likely that they would blow the money on gambling or vacations, because large sums of money can influence people to do things that they would never normally do.

Now, PRO might say that we would monitor these people through the government and arrest them if they use the money for themselves. Again, two problems with this issue.

a) Too Many

There is every likihood that alot of parents will misuse the money. As humans, the government cannot monitor and arrest every single one. There are always going to be parents falling through the cracks and getting away with misusing the money. Furthermore, another sub issue arises here. How would the money that the parents misuse get replaced?

Because of some parents falling through the cracks, some children will have much less or no money at all, by the time they turn 18. This compromises the fair society that PRO really dreams and strives for. Therefore, this money must be replaced to "remain fair". The government cannot, as I calculated in 1a), it would simply cost too much. It is unlikely that the parents (as they use their child's lifetime entitlement money) are financially stable, and therefore, it would be difficult for them to pay back the money too. As a result, such children would be put at risk and at a disadvantage, essentially rendering the bill useless.

b) Totalitarian Society

Through constant monitoring of parents (to see if they mis use the money) we develop into a society where we can have no privacy. We are a democratic society, and this essentially, infringes on our constitution as well as what we stand for as a society.

It is obvious that through this resolution, monitoring will inevitably occur, either on the bank account or on the parent themselves. This creates a big brother like society, and that is obviously a detriment to our society, and not what we aim for.

3. Entrusted Money to Child

PRO says that once 18, this money would be transferred to the child's bank account, to use as he/she saw fit. PRO also says that the government would encourage this money to be spent on assets and invested.

However, the reality is, that very few people will do this. This is because these people are still young (18) and still have not understood the full world yet. At 18, it is unlikely that you would spend the money investing or purchasing housing. It is much more likely that this money would be going towards vacations, partying, etc.

It is obvious that this money cannot be entrusted to these teenagers, as they have not fully matured to be able to use this money properly. Essentially then, when we have this resolution, we would simply be funding college kids to party and go on vacation, and that is not the goal of this bill.

Before we pass this bill, we must make sure this money is used properly, however, that is very difficult to ensure. Therefore, this resolution shall not pass, at least for the time being.

Additional Notes:

I must remind PRO that this system he has proposed would remove other state benefits. If Points 2a) or 3 ever occur, then many children would be without any state benefit, as they have no more money left in their account. At this rate, we would have a large majority of our working force without benefits, which is very dangerous for our country.

At the end of the proposed system, PRO also says "The system I propose is designed to mitigate the effects of being born, by pure happenstance, into a situation that either advantages or handicaps you. Those born to wealthy parents are far more likely to be educated to postgraduate level than those from poor backgrounds, and to enjoy a high standard of living in their adult lives."

However, this has not been mitigated at all, if anything, this problem would expound. Those born to a wealthy family would have no need for this $200,000 benefit, and the government has basically given them $200,000 and made them richer without cause.

Those born into poorer families will always face the temptation of using the $200,00 for their own desires. Say, the family cannot afford to pay rent for a month. The first solution they would turn to is the $200,000 sitting in the bank. Therefore, little by little, this money would be more or less used up by the time the child reaches 18 years old. This would put him at a severe disadvantage against others who still have the full $200,000 because of wealthier backgrounds.

Furthermore, PRO thinks that this system will close the gap between the have and have-nots. However, that is blatantly false. As I said before, poorer families will still be have-nots as they use up the money for other neccessities and wealthy families will still be the haves. This system also creates another class of have-nots, those born before the resolution was passed. These people would not have the benefit of the $200,000 and would then therefore become have-nots.

Conclusion

I have more or less refuted all my opponents points and shown why the system is hugely flawed. As I am running short of space, I will end soon.

PRO believes in fairness and equality in society, and proposed this system to create this fairness in society. I, too, stand for fairness and equality.

However, this system is not the solution. This system does not fix the problems that PRO stated it would fix, and if anything, it makes them much worse as I have proven.

Therefore, this system does not work, and indeed, is a bad idea.
Another solution must be proposed to fix these problems prevalent in society.
Debate Round No. 2
Vantrigar

Pro

Thanks to Con for some thoughtful criticisms. I'll begin Round Three by responding to each criticism in turn, then suggest some more advantages if I have the word count.

Con began by criticizing the basic cost of the Lifetime Entitlement, arguing that while the 12 billion per month figure is roughly equal to the current cost of benefits, the fact that it would need to be paid out immediately renders it non-viable. Firstly, I stated in Round 2 that the Lifetime Entitlement would need to be introduced in stage due to the difficulty of changing the current system so radically. For a certain length of time persons already born would perhaps be paid a yearly sum, eventually amounting to the promised amount, while the remunerative effects of higher taxation kicked in (I believe this also constitutes a response to Con's second point about those already born, and vindicates my initial statements about the importance of fairness). Persons born after the implementation of the system could, for a time, receive payments bi-annually, or even every 5 or 10 years until the system became fully integrated. I believe that it would eventually be possible to provide the full 200,000 at birth. However, I am willing to accept that, were this not possible, the money could at least be paid out gradually within the first twenty or thirty years of the person's life, retaining all or most of the advantages of the single lump-sum payment.

Con's next criticism of the Lifetime Entitlement was that misuse of funds by parents before the recipients are 18 would jeopardize the system. Con split this criticism into two parts, which I'll respond to in turn:

a) Con suggested that there is a high likelihood of a good portion of parents misusing their children's entitlement, either due to greed or to being financially unstable themselves. This misses the central point of the Entitlement, which is that no-one needs to be financially unstable in the first place. Parents would have their own entitlements, and would almost certainly have used it (particularly if the mother and father pooled their resources), to purchase a mortgage-free property. The chances of them being unable to pay rent is highly unlikely under this system, and for them to be so completely destitute that they feel it necessary to take money from their children's Entitlement seems unlikely given this fact. It would probably be the case, I'll grant, that families would plan how best to provide for their future and take their children's entitlements into account when doing so. But this is a very different situation from the way people currently on benefits abuse the system, which occurs due to genuine financial stress and the emotionally straining awareness that they may never be able to climb out of the low-income abyss.

b) Con suggests that the monitoring of parents' responsible spending of their children's entitlements would make for an increasingly totalitarian state. Firstly, I think my statements above show that little monitoring would in fact be required, but I accept that there would need to be some limitations in place. If, for instance, a parent with a gambling addiction decided to bet the entire amount at the blackjack table, I think it would be perfectly acceptable for the state to step in and take control o that money. Parents with good credit records and a history of financial responsibility would be given greater degrees of control, and I think this is all part of fostering the kind of responsible, fair and just economic situation that I'm calling for. A totalitarian state is one in which freedoms are so thoroughly curtailed that it seriously damages the well-being of its people. I think discouraging irresponsibility with regard to your children's livelihoods is the very opposite of that situation.

As regards to Con's lack of faith in the financial common sense of young people, I completely disagree. I'm in my early twenties and I know a fair few people who are 18 or 19. Every single one of them would immediately purchase property if they had the means. It would instantly increase their independence and give them a sense of moving up in the world and becoming their own person. I think there are very few young people who would fritter it all away, knowing that their chance of owning property would be frittered away along with it. The financial irresponsibility of young people at present is due to a) them not having much money to begin with and b) uncertainty as to future income and financial security. Few young people save religiously at present because they're afraid of wasting the opportunity to live care-free lifestyles while the threat of serious debt and long working hours for the bare minimum of security are still somewhat distant. Financial security for life would be elevated almost to the position of a 'right' in the system I propose, and few young people would be eager to have that right jeopardized.

Lastly, Con argues that the Lifetime Entitlement would in fact be counter-productive, or at least ineffective, in producing a fairer society. To Con's claim that it is unfair to give the 200,000 to the rich, I suggest that it is actually an almost negligible factor. Firstly, the rich are necessarily few in number, so that actual cost, relative to the entire cost of the programme, is minimal. The suggestion that the Entitlement fails to close the gap between the haves and have-nots suffers from a misunderstanding of what the money would actually mean to the concrete lives of the people receiving it. In terms of raw capital, I concede that the gap stays the same; everyone becomes better-off by the same amount. In terms of the quality of people's lives however, the gap is shrunk to a fraction of its former size. The poor cease to live lives of poverty, lacking none of the necessities of life and few of those things we have a tendency to consider, at the present time, common luxuries (higher education, 2/3 cars, regular holidays etc). The middle class (if it didn't simply come to incorporate the poor, creating a large 'base' class beneath the very rich), would benefit enormously from their position being fully secure. The rich would simply continue to be rich, the extra money having little effect on their day to day lives.

I believe that I have so far refuted all of Con's criticisms of the Lifetime Entitlement. I have shown that the effect of the Entitlement would be to dramatically reduce the lifestyle gap, empower the poor and encourage a climate of economic responsibility lacking at the present time. To briefly respond to the question of affordability, in the financial year 2009-2010, the UK government spent 188 billion on benefits. The 140 billion I propose is considerably less, leaving 48 billion to tackle unforeseen circumstances and costs. Given these figures, I don't actually think that taxes would need to be raised by much, if at all, to cover the costs of the Lifetime Entitlement. What the entitlement really amounts to is a redistribution of social security from the length and breadth of a person's life to their youth, providing far greater security from the outset.

I invite Con's next round of arguments.
Hardcore.Pwnography

Con

I apologize but I will have to forfeit this round due to time restraints. PRO obviously put a lot of effort into his arguments, and I apologize for that.
I have been busy with school work.

Perhaps we could debate this another time? I would be very interested.
Debate Round No. 3
Vantrigar

Pro

Thanks to Con for some thoughtful criticisms. I'll begin Round Three by responding to each criticism in turn, then suggest some more advantages if I have the word count.

Con began by criticizing the basic cost of the Lifetime Entitlement, arguing that while the 12 billion per month figure is roughly equal to the current cost of benefits, the fact that it would need to be paid out immediately renders it non-viable. Firstly, I stated in Round 2 that the Lifetime Entitlement would need to be introduced in stage due to the difficulty of changing the current system so radically. For a certain length of time persons already born would perhaps be paid a yearly sum, eventually amounting to the promised amount, while the remunerative effects of higher taxation kicked in (I believe this also constitutes a response to Con's second point about those already born, and vindicates my initial statements about the importance of fairness). Persons born after the implementation of the system could, for a time, receive payments bi-annually, or even every 5 or 10 years until the system became fully integrated. I believe that it would eventually be possible to provide the full 200,000 at birth. However, I am willing to accept that, were this not possible, the money could at least be paid out gradually within the first twenty or thirty years of the person's life, retaining all or most of the advantages of the single lump-sum payment.

Con's next criticism of the Lifetime Entitlement was that misuse of funds by parents before the recipients are 18 would jeopardize the system. Con split this criticism into two parts, which I'll respond to in turn:

a) Con suggested that there is a high likelihood of a good portion of parents misusing their children's entitlement, either due to greed or to being financially unstable themselves. This misses the central point of the Entitlement, which is that no-one needs to be financially unstable in the first place. Parents would have their own entitlements, and would almost certainly have used it (particularly if the mother and father pooled their resources), to purchase a mortgage-free property. The chances of them being unable to pay rent is highly unlikely under this system, and for them to be so completely destitute that they feel it necessary to take money from their children's Entitlement seems unlikely given this fact. It would probably be the case, I'll grant, that families would plan how best to provide for their future and take their children's entitlements into account when doing so. But this is a very different situation from the way people currently on benefits abuse the system, which occurs due to genuine financial stress and the emotionally straining awareness that they may never be able to climb out of the low-income abyss.

b) Con suggests that the monitoring of parents' responsible spending of their children's entitlements would make for an increasingly totalitarian state. Firstly, I think my statements above show that little monitoring would in fact be required, but I accept that there would need to be some limitations in place. If, for instance, a parent with a gambling addiction decided to bet the entire amount at the blackjack table, I think it would be perfectly acceptable for the state to step in and take control o that money. Parents with good credit records and a history of financial responsibility would be given greater degrees of control, and I think this is all part of fostering the kind of responsible, fair and just economic situation that I'm calling for. A totalitarian state is one in which freedoms are so thoroughly curtailed that it seriously damages the well-being of its people. I think discouraging irresponsibility with regard to your children's livelihoods is the very opposite of that situation.

As regards to Con's lack of faith in the financial common sense of young people, I completely disagree. I'm in my early twenties and I know a fair few people who are 18 or 19. Every single one of them would immediately purchase property if they had the means. It would instantly increase their independence and give them a sense of moving up in the world and becoming their own person. I think there are very few young people who would fritter it all away, knowing that their chance of owning property would be frittered away along with it. The financial irresponsibility of young people at present is due to a) them not having much money to begin with and b) uncertainty as to future income and financial security. Few young people save religiously at present because they're afraid of wasting the opportunity to live care-free lifestyles while the threat of serious debt and long working hours for the bare minimum of security are still somewhat distant. Financial security for life would be elevated almost to the position of a 'right' in the system I propose, and few young people would be eager to have that right jeopardized.

Lastly, Con argues that the Lifetime Entitlement would in fact be counter-productive, or at least ineffective, in producing a fairer society. To Con's claim that it is unfair to give the 200,000 to the rich, I suggest that it is actually an almost negligible factor. Firstly, the rich are necessarily few in number, so that actual cost, relative to the entire cost of the programme, is minimal. The suggestion that the Entitlement fails to close the gap between the haves and have-nots suffers from a misunderstanding of what the money would actually mean to the concrete lives of the people receiving it. In terms of raw capital, I concede that the gap stays the same; everyone becomes better-off by the same amount. In terms of the quality of people's lives however, the gap is shrunk to a fraction of its former size. The poor cease to live lives of poverty, lacking none of the necessities of life and few of those things we have a tendency to consider, at the present time, common luxuries (higher education, 2/3 cars, regular holidays etc). The middle class (if it didn't simply come to incorporate the poor, creating a large 'base' class beneath the very rich), would benefit enormously from their position being fully secure. The rich would simply continue to be rich, the extra money having little effect on their day to day lives.

I believe that I have so far refuted all of Con's criticisms of the Lifetime Entitlement. I have shown that the effect of the Entitlement would be to dramatically reduce the lifestyle gap, empower the poor and encourage a climate of economic responsibility lacking at the present time. To briefly respond to the question of affordability, in the financial year 2009-2010, the UK government spent 188 billion on benefits. The 140 billion I propose is considerably less, leaving 48 billion to tackle unforeseen circumstances and costs. Given these figures, I don't actually think that taxes would need to be raised by much, if at all, to cover the costs of the Lifetime Entitlement. What the entitlement really amounts to is a redistribution of social security from the length and breadth of a person's life to their youth, providing far greater security from the outset.

I invite Con's next round of arguments.
Hardcore.Pwnography

Con

1 Cost

Here is where PRO makes a fatal contradiction. PRO makes an ammendment to his system by saying that the sum of money would be paid periodically, rather than all at once, because I pointed out that it would be impossible to do so.

However, the previous round, PRO stated: "At birth, a bank account is created for each citizen on Nation X, into which is deposited $200,000"

This means that each child born must have a lump sum payment, because $200,000 will be deposited (not paid periodically). Therefore, what PRO says this round about periodic payments is invalid.

Furthermore, PRO also constituates that people born before the resolution will also be paid periodically. To be fair, these people must also be paid in a lump sum, because having a lump sum is much more valuable than having periodic payments. This is because inflation decreases the value of money over time, and this money can earn interest in banks.

Therefore, people already born must also be paid in a lump sum manner, otherwise this would ruin the equal society PRO envisions. However, we simply do not have enough money.

The population in Britain is 62,218,761
http://www.google.ca...

With 200,000 pounds each, we must therefore pay $10,244,375,220,000 off right away, as we must pay lump sum to be fair. PRO in the beginning also said a lump sum would be deposited, not paid periodically.

Simply put, we do not have 10 quadrillion dollars. Therefore, this idea that PRO has is not feasible at all.

2a) Too many

Now, PRO says: "Parents would have their own entitlements"

That is not true. The likihood of this is impossible. We must pay a lump sum of $200,00 to every citizen, as I pointed out last round, it would be unfair to pay periodically when we pay new borns with a lump sum.

It would not be possible to pay every citizen, and therefore, parents would not have their own entitlements. We could afford new borns, but not people already born. This presents another issue, that then, people already born would not have any access to welfare, as this lifetime entitlement would replace that.

b) Totalitarian Society

PRO here tries to prove that the resolution would not entail a totalitarian state, by giving a few examples:

"If, for instance, a parent with a gambling addiction decided to bet the entire amount at the blackjack table, I think it would be perfectly acceptable for the state to step in and take control o that money"

"Parents with good credit records and a history of financial responsibility would be given greater degrees of control"

What PRO suggests doing to prevent parents from misusing the money, is to allow the government to step in to control the money.

This is exactly what a totalitarian state is. The lifetime entitlement, is essentially, your life savings. Your entire life, welfare, future life, depends on this sum of cash. No one would want anyone to touch this cash, as it is extremely important.

Essentially, PRO wants to give the government control of people's life savings. This is exactly what a totalitarian state would do, not a democracy. This is just the beginning, and as time goes on, there is no telling what else the government would want to control. This goes against our very constitution and ideal of democracy. Therefore, this resolution shall not pass.

3 Entrusted Money to Child

Now PRO says he knows a few people who are 18 or 19, and everyone he knows would purchase property if they had the means. Thus, everyone else 18 or 19 would also do so.

This is only a selection of the population. Just because a few people would buy property, does not convey logically that most 18 or 19 year olds would also buy property if they had the means.

In fact, teenage gambling is on the rise.http://problemgamblingaddiction.com...

More and more young adults are gambling, and this can only cause more people to choose gambling through peer influence. In fact, I disagree with what PRO says.

I would say that when young people have more money, they would be more inclined to gamble, as they have more money and the opportunity to win much more. They would be more inclined to party and buy luxury BMWs when in reality, there is no need. This is because they do not have a fully mature view of the world, and thus, we cannot entrust this money to these young adults.

4 Counter Productive

Now, PRO fails in the forsight of what this money can cause.

I argued previously that this money will not close the gap, as is the intention of this resolution.
However, PRO says: "The poor cease to live lives of poverty, lacking none of the necessities of life and few of those things we have a tendency to consider, at the present time, common luxuries (higher education, 2/3 cars, regular holidays etc). The middle class (if it didn't simply come to incorporate the poor, creating a large 'base' class beneath the very rich), would benefit enormously from their position being fully secure. The rich would simply continue to be rich, the extra money having little effect on their day to day lives."

Essentially, PRO says that the poor can now buy luxuries.That is false.

There is a basic economic idea of supply and demand. We can logically assume that the poor, because of the money given, will demand more products, will buy more.

This, will drive up the prices of those products, as there is more demand for it. As a result, the market prices of basic items like food to luxury items like cars, will increase. Essentially, in the British economy, because of this huge influx in money flowing in the economy, more people will demand products, thus driving the prices higher.

This will cause an unnoticeable difference in the lives of poor people. The money will be worth much less, as everyone has it now, and the poor will still be poor.

This point is vital. Just to make sure PRO understands it, I will give an example.

Imagine an auction. If more people desire an item, they will bid to drive the price higher, and the item will be sold to the highest bidder.

Now, imagine everyone being given $200,000. With more money, they are able to bid the price much higher than previously, essentially, the item still goes to the person with the most money, and this increase in cash will not affect the lives of the poorer people.

ALso, PRO sums up by saying "The 140 billion I propose is considerably less, leaving 48 billion to tackle unforeseen circumstances and costs."

However, he excludes the people who are already born before the resolution, and at the beginning of the round, PRO said that those people will be paid (which I refuted). Therefore, it would be much more than 140 billion.

Now let's try some arguments.

C.1 Inflation

This is a major problem with this resolution. As a nation, we are handing out billions of dollars to people if we pass this resolution. Therefore, the money would be less valuable, as we would then be injecting lots of money into the system without increasing our output. Historically, this has also happened to the economy of Germany after World War 2, where they were billions of dollars in debt and printed money to cover this. This would cause hyperinflation, where prices would rise by nearly 1000%.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
This is a result of the unchecked addition of money into the economy. Think about it this way: If everyone suddenly had $200,000, your $200,000 would not be worth as much, as everyone else has it. Therefore, this would not decrease the gap, which is the intention of this resolution. Therefore, this resolution is useless and should not pass.

Conclusion

Most of my arguments I have included within my refutations.
This plan is not feasible at all, and it does not achieve what it was made to achieve. On top of that, this plan causes social and economic harm.
Therefore, as this plan does not accomplish anything, nor bring any benefits, it should not be passed.
Therefore, this plan is a bad idea.

Therefore, vote CON.
Debate Round No. 4
Vantrigar

Pro

As this is the final round, I'll respond to Con's last set of arguments then conclude.

Firstly, a contradiction and an amendment are not the same thing. Amendment of a policy to make it work is the very OPPOSITE of contradiction, as any conflicts inherent in the initial idea are worked out. Secondly, it is not at all the case that when the full force of a policy cannot be brought into effect instantaneously and without compromise, it must be viewed as a bad policy. The endgame of the Lifetime Entitlement is indeed a world in which each child receives 200,00 pounds at birth, but it should be clear to anyone that such a radical alteration of the current system would take time to implement. To say that it would be unfair to give only incremental payments to those born before the policy takes effect fails to take into account how enormously useful that money would be. Before social security for the unemployed, people starved. This is a painful state of affairs to be sure, but we can all unproblematically agree that it would not have been possible to give a lifetime of social security payments to everyone born for fifty years before social security came into being. Persons born after the policy took effect would indeed benefit from interest and inflation, but there's no avoiding that. The point of the Lifetime Entitlement is not to eradicate all inequality; it is to deal it a crippling blow.

Those born before the policy:

Con asserts that parents born before the Entitlement would not have lump sums, and would therefore be perfectly likely to abuse their children's entitlements. This misses the fact that the parent's incremental payments would still be very substantial and that there is no reason to think that they wouldn't be working. As regards welfare, incremental payments would at the very least equal any welfare they would be liable to receive, and almost certainly exceed it, particularly if they were working anyway. If Con is going to argue that just because a person doesn't get 200,000 pounds immediately they will be in financial straits, he/she is going to have to admit that the system as it stands is in even more of a crisis than I think it is.

Totalitarian State:

The Lifetime Entitlement is exactly NOT a person's life savings. It is a government payout, funded by the tax payer. The state has every right to try and ensure the money is used properly. A totalitarian state would be one that did the same with a person's private earnings or inherited wealth. The only reason the government doesn't currently monitor how things like Jobseeker's allowance is spent is because it amounts to so little. The word democracy has nothing to do with whether or not the government exercise control over people's money. A democracy is a state in which the polity can ensure that the government is acting in its best interests, which it most certainly would be in the proposed system. The increase in freedom that the Entitlement would enable for all people would so vastly outweigh the minimal infringement of consumer preference as to render the latter effect negligible.

Entrusting money to children:

Firstly, I take Con's point that my experience with 18 and 19 years old's is not necessarily representative of the rest of the country. But I still believe that the many of the root causes of problems like gambling addiction stem from the current economic system. The thrill of gambling lies in the possibility of 'getting rich quick', and often relies on the relative poverty of the gambler, the difference between his current predicament and his imagined, 'post-jackpot' life, as its fuel. This need not be so in the proposed system, or at least not to anything like the same extent. Even if I am wrong on this account, and gambling would be an equally common and addicting activity under the proposed system, it as at least better to gamble when you can AFFORD to do so than when you can't and your livelihood depends on it. That gambling addiction may not be a problem that the Lifetime Entitlement could surmount (though I strongly suspect that it would be) is not a refutation in itself, as the current system has failed to the same degree.

Counter productive:

To begin with, I did not claim that the poor would be able to afford luxuries, full stop. I said that they would be able to afford the kinds of common luxuries (2/3cars, holidays etc), that many cannot afford currently.
Now, I'm not an economics expert so if this counts against be in the voting, so be it: I believe that increased demand LOWERS prices as opposed to increasing them. If more people are buying cars, the price of cars will decrease because companies will be able to afford to sell them at cheaper prices and still turn an ever-increasing profit.
Con seems to be suggesting that the Lifetime Entitlement would involve printing more money, devaluing the pound in the process. The Entitlement is paid for using money that WOULD HAVE been used to pay for benefits, as stated earlier, so no printing of extra money would be necessary.
Con's auction analogy suffers from a misunderstanding of WHY people are willing to bid high amounts for items at auction. Is it not simply because they can afford it, it is because auctioned items are necessarily rare, and therefore more valuable. Cars and other luxury items would become less rare in a world in which demand is higher (companies will produce more to meet demand), and therefore less valuable, not more. A greater degree of spending amongst the population will NEVER have harmful economic effects. Everyone benefits from a high-spending, low-borrowing consumer base. Con seems to believe that there would be a 'sudden' injection of now worthless cash into the economy. This is not true, as the Entitlement represents a redistribution of social security, not a dramatic increase in it.

I believe that I have more than shown that the Lifetime Entitlement would be beneficial to society. Everyone would have access to economic freedom when they really need it, when the choices they make can mean the difference between a life worth living, and a life simply lived. At the very least, I have refuted all of Con's claims against the Entitlement.

Vote Pro.
Hardcore.Pwnography

Con

In order to win this debate, I really need to only point out one thing, one flaw, as to this resolution and prove that it is a bad idea.

Now, this resolution is: "200,000 pounds (400,000 USD) to every child at birth, good or bad idea?"

Nowhere in this resolution does it suggest that we would pay other people, that we would pay people born before the resolution payments as well. However, PRO keeps hitting on this fact for some reason.

PRO has changed the resolution completely, which I must say, is extremely unfair. Therefore, as CON, I would say that $200,000 to every child at birth, is indeed a bad idea.

Why?

Because we are not paying those born before the resolution. New borns would receive a $200,00 grant while others would not. I know this because this was not outlined in the resolution nor in the model that PRO provided in the first and second rounds.

Therefore, as this resolution would supercede welfare payments, people born before the resolution would be doubly screwed - no welfare for them, and no $200,000 grant. This would create a rift in society and ultimately, create unfairness.

Therefore, this resolution is a bad idea.

Vote CON, as I have outlined explicitly, through the resolution and PRO's model, that this plan is a bad idea and fails on several fronts. This plan does not pay people born before the resolution, therefore, a bad idea.

I must remind all viewers that the topic of this debate is: "200,000 pounds (400,000 USD) to every child at birth, good or bad idea?" not "200,000 pounds (400,000 USD) to everyone, good or bad idea?"

PRO deviates greatly from the topic. PRO deserves to lose. PRO's model has a loophole, that people born before would not be paid. I pointed this out. PRO suddenly changes the plan. This is unfair.

Vote CON.
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by BloodRedSkies 5 years ago
BloodRedSkies
Why bother giving every newborn this sum. If you raise the bar for everyone, nothing's really changed. Nonetheless, this money will eventually be spent, this increases tax income...
I strive for equality, but this is not the way to reach this. This would be a huge waste of money. I also think the economic impact of everyone become 'rich' is something you can't foresee and seems dangerous to me. The lower class of society is the one that needs help, but simply handing over a large amount of money is simply stupid. This is only going to create more problems. You've all heard of lottery winners who turned there money into a massive debt. This is what will happen.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
why does it go like 15 feet to the left?
Posted by Hardcore.Pwnography 5 years ago
Hardcore.Pwnography
I apologize for the font.
Posted by Hardcore.Pwnography 5 years ago
Hardcore.Pwnography
Sure that would work. Thanks (:
Posted by Vantrigar 5 years ago
Vantrigar
I'm happy to repeat my previous argument next round and have you respond to that? If I wait until the last moment to post mine you'll have about 6 days to do yours, otherwise I'd repost and perhaps debate this with you again :)
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 1dustpelt 5 years ago
1dustpelt
VantrigarHardcore.PwnographyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con showed that this would be a bad idea, with the economy, etc. and rebutted all of Pro's arguments.
Vote Placed by RougeFox 5 years ago
RougeFox
VantrigarHardcore.PwnographyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct goes pro- there may have been changes to the initial plan but I think a forfeit is worse because everyone who accepts a debate sees what time limits are and agrees to follow them. S/G- I give that to pro - con's 4th round was really hard to read Arg- I give that to con, b/c pro showed how fairness would not be achieved- pro never responded to what happens to existing people, besides changing the plan-an unfair response. PM or comment w/ questions and I will be happy to answer
Vote Placed by TUF 5 years ago
TUF
VantrigarHardcore.PwnographyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: At the beginning of this debate I thought Pro had a really good case, But Con slowly started changing my mind. I think by granting citizens money at birth we are in fact destroying fairness because before this law is implicated, people had to work hard for their money and had every same oppertunity to success as anyone else did. Con succesfully proves this in the debate.
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
VantrigarHardcore.PwnographyTied
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Reasons for voting decision: con showed all the bad ramifications such a policy would have on Britain and how the funds may be misused and what-not, overall his arguments were more convincing. However he did ff a round and put another in all italics making it impossible to read, so i gave conduct to the Pro