The Instigator
lannan13
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
thett3
Con (against)
Winning
25 Points

'Adoption of the Populist Party's ideals would/is beneficial for the United States of America."

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
thett3
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/5/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,384 times Debate No: 40022
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (42)
Votes (6)

 

lannan13

Pro

This is the first round debate of Subutai's Revive DDO Tourney, Thett3 vs. Lannan13. For more information see the fallowing link. http://www.debate.org...
resolution is that of which is posted above, but before we head to the debate let me lay down some simple rules.

Rules
Round 1 is for acceptance and definitions.
Round 2-4 are for the debating.
No new arguements shall be brought up in round 4.
No swearing shall be allowed.
No trolling.


Now on to the definitions.

Populist Party-U.S. political party that represented the farmers and laborers. Also called People's Party.http://www.thefreedictionary.com...+(United+States)

Beneficial- producing a favorable results http://www.thefreedictionary.com...;

thett3

Con

I accept the debate.
Debate Round No. 1
lannan13

Pro

I like to thank my opponent for accepting. I will now be going over the Populist party's platform as created in 1896 (http://projects.vassar.edu...) piece by piece and explain how it is either needed now or how it has benfitted this nation.

Money

As stated in principle number one, states that the US should adopt a uniform currency that is legal tender for all debts and payments. As you see in this link here, http://www.oanda.com..., the US dollar, though not the world's most valable, is still rank as one of the most valable currencies. You see the reason that this was a large issue back then is that the 'Greenbacks' were starting to fail and the poor had only the 'Greenbacks' while the Big Buisness wanted to switch to the Gold standard. http://ecclesia.org...

They also demanded the Progressive Tax as in the Income Tax. They stated this to show that the poor could not take the burden for taxes as the farmers, who only got paid once a year, were having a hard time. The rich, however had plenty of money to spare and this would keep the same profit for the government, but the poor would not be burderned. http://blogs.reuters.com...

Transportation/ Buisness Regulations.

Much of the people in the Midwest were having their money robbed from them by railroad companies. The railroads would do crazy things, like rate wars, charging more for a short hall then a long hall, and would charge industries less and farmers more. The Populists demanded that the government takes control of the Transportation Industry so that the Railroads would not get out of control. The Populists movement caused the Interstate Commerse Act to be passed, though it really did not solve their problems. http://www.ourdocuments.gov...;

You might ask yourself is, why is this even relivant today? Rate Wars still happen, look at what the major gas buisnesses did after Katrina. They raised prised rediquiously and many people suffered. http://www.nbcnews.com... shows why the Populist Party regulations are still required.

Direct Legislation

The Populists demanded that Senators and many office members were elected by the people. You may ask why is this important, but you see here that in the 1800s the Senators were choosen by the State Legislature, not the people. http://www.cliffsnotes.com... 2000, we saw the Presidential election between Bush and Gore occur with Bush winning electorial and Gore winning popular. The Populist wanted the elections to be decided on the Popular vote not the electorial.

They demanded pensions for disabled US troops. You see here is that many Americans looked down on troops after many war, like Vietnam (modern day refference), treated terribly. Back then the troops would be dumped on the streats left to fend for themselves. So the Populists were looking after their fellow heros.

They also demanded homerule for territories. The reason that this is important is that the US government would send representatives to rule the territories instead of the people living their be in charge. For example, Taft was governor of the Phillipeans.
thett3

Con

Thanks, Lannan.

Recognize that the resolution is a generality. It demands a cost benefit analysis on the effects of populist ideology on American society. I will not argue that the populists were devoid of good ideas, indeed some of their proposals made all the sense in the world. My argument will instead be that the bad policies they advocated or implemented outweigh the good. I'll do an analysis not only on the policies they effectively passed, but also those they failed to and what their effects likely would've been.

==My case==

First, don't define populism solely by the policies suggested by the Omaha platform. While this provides a good overview of some of the issues a populist would support, populism itself can be generally defined as an anti-elite, anti-corporate economically liberal, ideology that tries to align itself with the "common man" by increasing the power of the state.

Populism can basically be considered as synonymous with the progressive movement of its era save for populisms close link with agrarian society and progressivism's link with the urban centers.

I. Corporate and income taxes

A. Corporate taxes

The positions of populists on corporations are best summed up by populist idol William Jennings Bryan's statement that "No one can earn a million dollars honestly." From the very beginning the populists were steadfastly against the power and wealth of the nations corporations. This contempt for those who contributed to the economy most led to advocacy of bad economic policy.

These anti-corporate beliefs held by the populists and their allies on capital hill led to the passage of the first corporate tax in 1894. Since then, the proliferation of populist ideals steeped into our modern political culture has culminated in the US having the highest corporate tax in the world. A great article from Forbes explains why corporate taxes are such a bad idea[1], in it the author points out that the money taken from corporations does not exist in a vacuum, rather it comes from capital that would be invested by companies to grow the economy elsewhere. The author poses the hypothetical dichotomy of "Who do you think would do more for the overall economy with $250 billion a year, business or government?". Clearly while the government has its place in society, the private sector could invest that money far more efficiently and benefit us all.

The National Bureau of Economic Research[2] compiled a cross section of 85 countries to see how corporate taxes affect investment. They conclude that, controlling for other tax rates and a myriad of other economic variables: "
effective corporate tax rates have a large and significant adverse effect on corporate investment and entrepreneurship." They estimate that a "10 percent increase in the effective corporate tax rate reduces aggregate investment to GDP ratio by 2 percentage points." The investment to GDP ratio means the percentage of the GDP that is derived from investment in new capital. This is hugely significant. Investment was around 18% of the US GDP in 2012[3], the corporate tax rate was 39.2%[4]. So the corporate tax in the US costs us about 8% of the GDP. Otherwise known as one trillion two hundred fifty-four billion four hundred million dollars (15.68 trillion x .08). Of course the government does *something* with this money, but clearly the private sector can invest it's money more efficiently. Keep in mind also that investments in capital can compound on each other, so the true number could be even greater.

Populist ideas in other countries have led to them having corporate taxes as well. If the US did not have one, we would be more globally competitive and businesses would be more willing to invest in the US.

B. Income tax

Probably the consequential policy advocated by the populists was a *graduated* income tax. This means that the rate of taxation increases as the money made increases--it should be pretty clear why this harms incentive. So fervently did they desire this policy, so far from the status quo that it literally required a Constitutional amendment. We can see from the effects of the income tax the desirability of populist economic recommendations. A century old, we have plenty of evidence to look to to see how the income tax affects the US. The tax code is so confusing and byzantine that even the IRS chief has someone else do his taxes[5] and Americans spend an incredible amount of time on their taxes leading the economist to report[6]: "Americans now spend 7.6 billion hours a year grappling with an incomprehensible tangle of deductions, loopholes and arcane reporting requirements. That is the equivalent of 3.8 million skilled workers toiling full-time, year-round, just to handle the paperwork. By this measure, the tax-compliance industry is six times larger than car-making."

Imagine what people might be able to do with the time that's wasted on our labyrinth tax system. This is obviously just the tip of the iceberg. The income tax, originally a small sliver of an individuals income, has now reached up to nearly 40% for the most productive people in the economy[7] allowing for the vast over reaches in federal power that have occurred over this century.

Even if we need an income tax to compete in the modern world, a flat tax, not the graduated one the anti-wealthy populists wanted, would be superior. The National Center for Policy Analysis[8] studied the effects of a 17% flat rate income tax using a highly credible economic model, and found that:

"...under a flat tax, every production sector would grow faster than otherwise except for subsidized agricultural crops, which would lose their tax subsidies. The only consumption sector to contract would be consumer financial services, which would be affected because so much of available capital would go to the rapidly growing production sectors."

Thus a flat tax would better allow for the growth of key economic sectors, furthering the economy.


II. State control of industry

A. Railroads

The populists called for the Federal government to own and operate the railroads, which during the time was the primary means of interstate transportation. Plenty of other countries have had government controlled railways, let's see the effects it had on them. Japan had a mix of privately and publicly owned railways, and predictably, the privately owned ones were more efficient. The Atlantic Cities explains that[9]: "As the post-war years marched on, the private railways proved to be more efficient than those run by the state, which were hemorrhaging cash." The railroad in the US demonstrates where the government actually acted intelligently, doing what governments do most efficiently: giving subsidies (in the form of loans and land grants) to private companies to invest in projects that benefited the public good, like the railroad. This is where the governments role is ideal, not in owning and running things.

Even as far back as the 1890's the US government was as incompetent as it is today, and even more corrupt. Rail was vital to the economy of the day (and still is today), and the federal government couldn't be trusted with it. Thankfully this is a populist policy that didn't happen so we can't analyze how bad it was, but it can be safely assumed that this policy would've been horrible for American industry and transportation.

B. Communication

The populists also called for government ownership of the telegraphs. They even compared it's place in American communication to the postal service. This is a great comparison to see how wasteful a telegraph service owned by the government would've been. The telephone soon rendered the telegraph, if not obsolete, a more archaic form of technology, similar to what the Internet has done to paper mail. Today the postal service loses about $25 million dollars every single day[10]. By contrast, companies that used to offer telegraphs like Western Union have moved on and are still quite successful. Private companies are almost always superior to government attempts at making a profit. How much money would have been wasted had this policy been enacted?


Populism is bad economically in extremely devastating and quantifiable ways. This outweighs my opponents case easily, thus you must vote con.


Sources:

1. http://www.forbes.com...
2. http://www.nber.org...
3. https://www.cia.gov...
4. http://taxfoundation.org...
5. http://www.usnews.com...
6. Ibid
7. http://www.bankrate.com...
8. http://www.ncpa.org...
9. http://www.theatlanticcities.com...
10. http://www.economicfreedom.org...
Debate Round No. 2
lannan13

Pro

Corprate and State Taxes

a.
My opponent goes off and states how corprate taxes are a bad thing, but this is flawed based on the conclusion is that big corperations were not taxed back then and the corperations only pay 13% of their profits in taxes. Which when you are making millions of dollars isn't much. http://www.forbes.com... opponent goes to argue that this is a bad idea, but she fails to recognize the fact that we use this tax money for tons of things like Medicare, the military, vetrans benefits, agriculture, education, energy, science, transportation, and paying off our great national debt. http://nationalpriorities.org...;

These thing are essential for the US economy and the nation as a whole, because what would we do without roads, a military to protect our freedom, food to feed the world, and energy to drive us. We fund education through these tax dollars and it shows that these things are key. Just type in any amount in the last link I provided for you and you can see that the taxes get spread out and our nation needs these things. You see with a corperate tax we can improve our nation as a whole and when we put money into the average American's pocket they can spend money on goods creating a supply and demand, thus creating jobs, so we can see we come a full circle with Corprate Taxes.

B. In the late 1800s, the United States had a large number of growing divide between rich and poor. In Andrew Carneigie's Gospal of Wealth, he states that the rich shouldn't keep all of the profit and they should spread around the wealth for all Americans. Bryan showed that the rich can pick up were the poor left off. My opponent claims that we are the most taxed nation in the world, but this statement is flawed! http://www.aei.org... can see here the tax rates for the rich have been growing and thus showing that the rich is paying more. As debated in point a) I showed how these taxes are spread around thus showing you that the rich paying more taxes is overall good for the economy and the average joe.

State control of Industries

A. Railroads

My opponent her looks at efficientcy, but what my opponent here is failing to see is that how 'evil' the private industry was and is. The railroads committed Stock Watering, http://www.aei.org... was a pratice where the owner would destroy their company's stock and once it hit a low price, would buy it up and then raise it's value in order to make a profit! This hurt investors and caused people to lose millions of dollars. Railroads also compeeted in rate wars in where a Trust would lower prices to try to undercut another buisness, thus driving worker wages down, and once the other company looses to the trust then the Trust would sky rocket their prices. This would leed to the Pullmen Car Company Strike. http://www.lib.niu.edu... see her Railroads that were uncontroled were terrible on the average joe.

B. Communication

My opponent is sadly wrong about the US postal service. According to a Brittish Study the US postal service is actually number one in the world. http://money.cnn.com... survay found that the US's to be the best in the world in efficientcy! Another key thing my opponent is not looking at is that if the US potal service hits all areas of the US compared to the private industry which would not include the rual areas which are indeed where most of the Populist live and reside.

Direct Legislation

My opponent has dropped this last contention and I would to extend all points here. This Contention is too important to skip over, because it includes things like homerule, popular vote, and now I'll explain one things that I seemed to have left out of last round.

a. Term Limits and a Refferndum

They requested that the people surving the government has term limits, because if you serve an extensive amount of time in DC you stop being a citizen of the state your from and start being a citizen of DC and start caring more about what the people in DC want compared to your state. The referndum went with this because people would talk about this, but wouldn't get this done so they state that they would send a patition around and if it had enough signatures then it would get voted upon in the next election and get made into a law if it passed.
thett3

Con

Thanks again Lannan

I'll go over my opponents case first, then go back and defend my own. Note that I didn't drop my opponents arguments as he claimed, rather I just constructed my own case.


==Opponents case==

I. Money

My opponent shouldn't gain much ground here because a) he didn't impact the point and b) the populist demand for a national currency culminated in the creation of the Federal Reserve, which is ultimately a flawed system. The populist call in the Omaha platform for a national currency stemmed from the deflation that was occurring in during that decade and the one before it. Banks were required to back their banknotes in government bonds, and decreasing levels of federal debt restricted the number of bonds available. There was a whole host of regulations that led to the pre-federal reserve system being unworkable. As economics professor Donald Wells puts it[1]: "it was only government interference into banking before 1914 that prevented the U.S. from having a stable monetary system. Restrictions on banknote issuance, severe limits on branching, and regulations forcing banks to hold useless, idle cash reserves made the American banking system vulnerable to panics while other nations, such as Canada, avoided these crises."

Wells points out that the Federal Reserve failed to prevent the Great Depression and has whittled away the value of the Dollar to the point that a Dollar today has about the same buying power as 4 cents a mere century ago[2]. A solution with fewer regulations would've solved the problem. All the populist proposal got us was a worthless Dollar.

Pro says that big business wanted to switch to the Gold standard, which was true. While a Gold standard carries with it it's own issues, the bimetallic standard the populists wanted was even worse as it would've led to massive inflation--that was the point of the Free Silver movement, to establish a bimetallic standard that would inflate the Dollar so that the real (as opposed to nominal) interest rate went down for debtors. In a world where every nation was on the Gold standard few scenarios could've been less desirable for international trade. We needed a sound currency.

My rebuttal to the progressive tax can be seen in my case and will be defended later on.

II. Transportation and regulation

My opponent provides no evidence of people being "robbed" by railroad companies. He just cites the Interstate Commerce Act. I have two responses:

a) According to Lannan's own source: "In practice, the law was not very effective. The most successful provisions of the law were the requirement that railroads submit annual reports to the ICC and the ban on special rates the railroads would arrange among themselves, although determining which rates were discriminatory was technically and politically difficult." This shows that his impact doesn't actually exist.

b) TURN: Again straight from his source,"Years later the ICC would become the model for many other regulatory agencies...The Interstate Commerce Act challenged the philosophy of laissez-faire economics by clearly providing the right of Congress to regulate private corporations engaged in interstate commerce"

For why laissez-faire is good, look to my case when I talk about how money taken by the government would've been invested more efficiently in the private market. This law also set the stage for the regulatory state that now stifles the economy with it's 160,000 pages of rules which according to Small Business Administration costs 1.75 trillion in compliance costs alone[3].

To emphasize his point on why corporations are bad, Lannan claims that the Oil companies tried to gouge people after Katrina. Except that the reason for the price rise wasn't Oil companies being greedy, it was the fact that Katrina knocked out 95% of the Oil production in the Gulf according to my opponents own source[4], which accounted for 25% of domestic production. It's basic supply and demand, not a conspiracy.

III. Direct legislation

My opponent is right that it was a populist/progressive reform to have senators elected by the people. First this is vastly outweighed by my case, but secondly has this been a good thing? For democracy it certainly has, but at what price? The former "worlds greatest deliberative body" has become a smaller house of representatives. The Henry Clay's and Stephen Douglas's have been replaced by the Strom Thurmonds and the Ted Cruz's of the world. My opponent doesn't really cite any impact coming off this so it's pretty ambiguous. Does the increase in democracy outweigh the cost's of ruining parts of the Senate? Absent analysis from my opponent, there's no way to weigh this point so you can't vote on it. Lannan cites without evidence populist opposition to the electoral college, but it wasn't an issue then so he gains no impact. Lannan also gives no evidence of veterans being "dumped on the streets". He argues that the populists got pensions for veterans. They sure did, and we're still paying for them (literally--2 children of Civil War veterans are still receiving government pensions[5]). This is not to say that pensions for people who serve our country are a bad idea, but rather that at some point it gets ridiculous. Thanks to populist legislation, we'll be paying for Iraq and Afghanistan a century and a half after their conclusion as well, especially given increasing lifespans and troops filing for benefits at record rates[6].

Lannan's argument that the progressives wanted home rule for the territories is one of the few good policies advocated by the populists. However he doesn't impact it, and even if he did, it would be minuscule compared to my case.

In R3 he argues that populists wanted term limits and referendum--these aren't in the platform and he's offered no reason why a populist would support them, not to mention the extremely limited impacts he offers.


==My case==


Framework

Dropped. This means you weigh the round on a cost-benefit analysis, and decide what is a populist policy based off more than just the Omaha platform.

I. Taxes

A. Corporate tax

Lannan cites a card arguing that the effective tax rate is only 13%. The problem is that analysis was derived by taking the total income of US corporations and comparing it to what was taxed--the problem is this includes foreign income that would be taxed in different countries. Taking this into account the effective tax rate is about 25%[7]. Considering that Lannan completely drops the Forbes analysis that the private sector could spend this money better and the card from the National Bureau of Economic Research that shows the damaging effect of the corporate tax rate. While the effective rate is smaller than the figure I cited, the impact still stands, albeit slightly mitigated. At 25% the impact is still a whopping 5% of the GDP, or seven hundred eighty-four billion dollars.

Lannan argues that this money is used for roads and education, but transportation and education together account for 5% of the federal budget[8]. He argues that we use this money for other things like welfare and the military but a) he hasn't explained why the welfare state is good and why the military couldn't be funded without the corporate tax and b) a larger GDP means a larger taxable base for income taxes, so the federal government would probably have more money in the end.

B. Income tax

All Lannan argues is that the US had lots of income inequality but he doesn't explain why this is bad or how to progressive tax fixes it (considering current income inequality, it probably doesn't do much). He drops the costs of the system in both time and money, the logic that this harms incentive and most critically he drops the analysis that a flat tax would grow almost every single sector of the economy. This is huge--I help the economy significantly, while my opponent harms it. Even if we need an income tax, a flat tax is better.

II. Industry

I'll go over these more in my final round, but for some quick replies:

A. Railroads

My opponent argues that the railroads engaged in some sleazy business practices. Stock watering involves lying about assets to inflate stock prices, which only happened because governments didn't allow for the policies that would solve the issue ("no par stocks")[9].

As for the other abuses, the free market solved them. We can see from Japan that government control would only cripple vital industry. My case outweighs and my opponent doesn't show how federal control would be better.

B. Postal service

It doesn't matter if the USPS is the richest man in the poor house, it still loses 25 million per day due to outdated technology and inefficiency. He also falsely claims the private industry doesn't ship everywhere, which is outright false.

Vote Con.


Sources:

1.http://tinyurl.com...
2. http://tinyurl.com...
3. http://tinyurl.com...
4. http://tinyurl.com...
5. http://tinyurl.com...
6. Ibid
7. http://tinyurl.com...
8. http://tinyurl.com...
9. http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 3
lannan13

Pro

My case.

1. Money

My opponent goes to point out how the dollar is continuely loosing value, but before we judge the dollar this way we need to look at it from the eyes of the poor and yourself. In yesterday's and today's world the farmer gets paid a very minisual amount for what they produce, eventhough they feed 155 Americans per farmer and they employ 17.6% of the US population. http://www.farmersfeedus.org... Since the farmer's pay on average is so low the farmers barely made a living after farm equipment, seeds, etc... and this led to massive debt which it made it harder for farmers. Let me show you an example, say I loan you $100 dollars to buy farm equipment, with inflation that number will drop in value to about $60 dollars making it easier to pay off.

This helps out the poor and if we help out the poor the standards of living will increase for the middle class causing people to have more money and thus stimulating the economy http://www.slate.com... note the date on the link of March of this year, this holds water in this debate showing how it is up to date for the most part. As you see here that this overall helps the poor and increases the standard of living for even you. You can see on average this helps you and the general good for all Americans more than harm.

2. Transportation and Regulation

We can actually see here that the ICC was actually helpful, because it was the legislature's attempt to attack the Railroad industry, though I admitt it was a major fail! This was because of their agenda's that the legislature's wanted to appease their voters and they can go back to having the money pot, the Super PAC of the day, the Railroad companies. You see back then the government was expanding in ways that it has never been before and this opened up chances for corruption and this happend a lot. http://www.apstudynotes.org...

My opponent brings up how grand the Laissez-faire economy is, but she fails to see how, as I brought up in earlier rounds, how corrupt the private industries are. As I showed how the railroads discriminated against it's custamors and how they as a whole were corrupt. In a Laissez-faire economy the US government could not be able to regulate the industries, which means no OSHA, no envirnmental protection, and to many trusts that stomp out the small buisness. You can see here that if we want this economy it means things like stated above and that the US would not be as smart, because kids would still be going to school and would be dying at a very young age. In Katrina the companies cared more about their profits then their custamers who suffered. You can see here that this point affects everyone in a very positive way and helps improve your health.

3. Direct Legislation

For the Senate my opponent says that we have lost great leaders by giving the vote to the average American, but this is false concidering that today we don't have Washington, FDR, or Lincoln as president we have Obama. We don't have Calhoun, Clay, and Webster, we have Thurmonds and Cruz. This is just what has happend to America. Our greatness has declined over the years, but not to democracy. Democracy is what this nation was founded on and that We the People have fought for it and have deserved it. Just because we have a few people screwing up the system does not mean that the whole barrel of Apples is ruined. Just look at Eugene V. Debs, he was a Socialist, but ran well and worked hard for the welfare of America.

My opponent said that Term Limits were not part of the platform, but take a look at the initial link that I provided and you can see that it is indeed one of the key points. My opponent also says there is no impact, but I explained how it is helpful to America. There does not have to be a great impact like nuclear war, but as long as the result is good then it still works.

Taxes

My opponent is still ignoring my link that I provided you and showed how the taxes went to good uses for both income and corrperate and it shows you were it goes. We use this tax money for tons of things like Medicare, the military, vetrans benefits, agriculture, education, energy, science, transportation, and paying off our great national debt. This affects you and your community very much. You see that the positive affects here outweigh the negative by far.

Industries

My opponent does not provide a lot of arguement for me to refute here so please bare with me.

Railroads

My opponent is clearly failing to see the impacts that I brought up. Things like this caused people to loose millions and go into debt. You see that if we didn't delay the economic crisis by the ICC, the economic crisis of 1893 would have happend a whole lot sooner and would have been more painful for the average American and we would not have the GreenBack today.

Postal Services

Though the USPS is loosing money it is still the best in efficentcy and is number one in the world there is still nothing to debate here.

A vote for Pro means funding for the community, the military, controlling buisnesses, a safer work place, no child labor (in the US), a vote, and the US helping the average joe. A vote for Con means increased Global Warming, child death, less votes, and you with less money. Please vote Pro.

thett3

Con

Thanks for the debate, Lannan.

==My case==

Framework

Completely dropped throughout the entire debate and therefore conceded. Weigh the round on a cost-benefit analysis. My opponent hasn't offered any way to weigh his impacts on this scale, so presume a negative vote.

I. Taxation


A. Corporate tax

Pro has dropped throughout the entire debate the card from the National Bureau of Economic Research showing why corporate taxes are a really, really bad idea. I don't really know what else to say here. Pro's only response is that the government provides services with the tax money but: a) he's dropped the warrant from the Forbes card and the sheer common sense of the matter that the private sector is more efficient, b) he's failed to impact *any* of this. Why is the welfare state good? And c) he dropped my counter that even if you buy the need for lots of government revenue we still don't need the corporate tax because the income tax exists and the removal of the corporate tax increases the taxable base vastly. Keep in mind how vastly the corporate tax harms incentive, to the point of destroying what would've been an extra 5% of our GDP. Along with the obvious societal benefits of a huge increase in wealth, this would create a larger national income for the government to draw from. Obviously my position has been against the income tax, but to tax personal income and then corporate income is just redundant and harms the economy vastly.

B. Income tax

Pro drops in his final round my counter proposal--even if we need an income tax, a flat tax is preferable. Keep in mind that Pro has never justified why we need an income tax other than vague references to services the government provides that he presumes to be good. However even if you buy the need for an income tax, I gain his advocacy because the card from the National Center for Policy Analysis has gone completely dropped throughout the entire debate and shows us that a flat tax, not the progressive tax the populists wanted, would let the economy grow more. This allows for the government to increase revenues as well because of a larger taxable base. Literally the only advantage of a progressive tax Pro cites is income inequality but he's failed to establish: a) Why inequality is bad, b) how this outweighs literally hundreds of billions of dollars and c) if a progressive tax actually helps inequality in a noticeable way. Pro has also dropped the logical warrant on why increasing taxation as wealth increases harms incentive.

From my economic impacts alone I outweigh everything Pro has brought up. Vote Con.

II. Government control of industry

A. Railroads

Pro makes no response whatsoever to state run railroads being a terrible idea economically. You can extend that through every round, even in his rebuttal Lannan prefaced it with me focusing on efficiency over some other ideals, which is an implicit concession. It's pretty obvious that handing over such a vital part of the economy, then and now, to the government would've been a terrible idea. Lannans only impacts come from the Railroads practicing sleazy business tactics that were only possible due to government regulation (stock watering), a populist ideal if there ever was one. Pro argues that the ICC was good but he dropped my argument on how his own source said it was useless, and my turn on how it helped set the framework for the regulatory state that's killing the economy today. Pro tries to argue that the ICC was good because it "delayed" the panic of 1893, but not only does he provide no warrant at all for how this happened or why these two things are linked, the panic of 1893 happening anyway should be good enough evidence that any impact Pro manages to have at this point is irrelevant.

B. Communication

This is the most confused point of the round (partly my fault). My point was that the populists wanted a state run telegraph service. The telegraph was soon obsolete due to the telephone. I compared what this service would've been like to the postal service in the US today that loses $25 million per day because its outdated and inefficient, and compared this with companies that used to offer telegraphs that have moved on to show why the private sector is better. Lannan's response was just that the US has the best postal system, but if "best" means "loses only $25 million per day" than this shows only the sorry state of postal services abroad. A state telegraph service would've been even worse. Vote Con here.

==Opponents case==

I. Money

Pro drops that the federal reserve isn't a good system and that the previous system would've been superior with less government regulations that rendered the banks helpless. Pro also drops that the value of the Dollar has dropped exponentially, losing 96% of its value in 100 years. Pro argues that this will help the poor because it erases the debt of the farmer. First, he doesn't quantify this, secondly while it's true that inflation helps farmers and other debtors in the short term, in the long term it harms us all by destroying the value of our savings. Recall also that the Federal Reserve system witnessed and failed to alleviate the worst economic depression in United States history. Maybe a few farmers got to keep their farms, but a lot more lost theirs during the depression. The Federal Reserve was at least just as bad, but more likely worse than the previous system. Another populist economic suggestion that's led to disaster.

II. Transportation and regulation

Pro admits that the ICC was a failed act, his only impact coming from it "attacking" the railroad industry--the sole link allowing for meaningful commerce and travel between many parts of the country in the populists day. Lannan attributes the bills failure to an uncommitted legislature, and whatever the reason this shows how Populist demands and expectations were inconsistent with political and economic reality. My opponent argues against the laissez faire economy by saying companies were corrupt and bringing up a few new arguments. First don't let him get away with this in the last round, but his arguments are pretty poorly impacted. Never mind the fact that I wasn't advocating a totally free market (just less stifling red tape--remember compliance costs alone are around $1.76 trillion), he fails to explain why these arguments, things like OSHA and anti-trust legislation should supersede my impacts. As for companies being corrupt, corporations are not the only entities that can be corrupt, but more importantly since the only major legislative achievement he cites, the ICC, was a complete failure this means that we have no government action to look to that solved the corruption. His impact simply doesn't exist.

III. Direct legislation

Pro drops that populist demands led to sloppily written legislation. We're still paying for the civil war, not metaphorically or figuratively, but literally.

Pro attributes the adulteration of the Senate to the Americans people's "greatness" declining. This is an argument against democracy and direct elections. Honestly there just isn't much argument here. He never showed any difference in policy actions based upon the method of selection of Senators, nor has he explained how this small increase in democracy outweigh every other bad thing the populists did.

Pro says that populists would've supported term limits. Fine, even if we grant this he doesn't explain why this is good. Term limits are a huge debate by themselves. There is just a lack of positive tangible results coming off of Pro's case.


Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
42 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
----------------------------VOTING RFD-------------------------------
SOURCES: Pro, one of the best reasons for sourcing in a last at the end is links tend to break if there's text after them, like your R3 forbes link. Con you used the style I massively prefer, but in R3 you lost some of the edge by concealing if each was trustworthy (such as the Wikipedia use). Overall I feel con did better in this, but not by a large enough margin to take the point...

S&G: However pro's links eating some of his arguments, does affect the grammar enough to cost him that point (con gained 1 point instead of 2).

CONDUCT: I nearly gave conduct to con for pro talking about child deaths as a pathos appeal to encourage blind voting... Before of course con claimed that pro conceded part of the debate (to say he failed or dropped it would have been fine, but a claimed concession after they can't respond can be highly misleading to the voters).

ARGUMENT: Both did very well. Overall I ended up agreeing with pro, including from some of cons arguments (minor inflation tends to be positive for a nation, as it encourages investment instead of wealth hording); and I did like pro's national security and social security points; yet these things were not flushed out enough in the debate itself. My education is not what I can vote on, merely what points each brought up in the debate, without my prior knowledge pro wins by a strong margin even if wrong.

Note: It really seems a decent number of their ideals have been adopted, and mostly to the betterment of the majority. However it's ideals we're talking about, not exact laws that were written based on the times they were in (we have different situations to respond to).
Posted by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
To begin, I agree with con making the debate an on balance comparison " that makes the most sense when determining the beneficiality of something. Also, pro really needs to clean up his S/G " I easily awarded con that point because I found pro's at times horrendous. Anyway, on to judging actual arguments.

Pro committed fallacies throughout his case, especially on explaining the consequences of a policy without going into how those consequences are beneficial. He also committed the broken window fallacy numerous times.

To elaborate on the former, he foremost assumed that the government redistributing money and capital would be more efficient that private industry doing so, and con adequately showed how this was false, but he also assumed that progressive taxes, the welfare state, state-run institutions, and other things are good, which he never explained why. Con makes a good case with how taxes are detrimental to the economy, but especially on the corporate taxes reducing the base of taxable capital, and also on how state-run institutions are less efficient than privately-owned ones, as regulation costs increase and efficiency decrease under state-run institutions.

To elaborate on the latter, pro assumed that inflation is a net benefit. While of course it benefits certain groups of people, mainly debtors, it is a net cost, especially to savings and accumulated capital. It can even be argued that inflation hurts the poor more than the rich, making pro's case fall in on itself, and it can also be argued that inflation discourages efficiency and sound business practices. Inflation is a mirage.

Even assuming pro's legislation argument is correct, I feel that it would not contribute enough to balance the negative effects of the economic policy, and con pretty much dismantled this argument too.

Overall, this was a pretty good debate with a stellar performance by con, but pro could have done better arguing for what he did.
Posted by thett3 3 years ago
thett3
First, I don't care about the conduct point, or any points but will point out it's total BS to change it over something that happened in the comments (and not the debate). In fact I wouldn't even care about your vote at all if it wasn't so ridiculous. That's why I started asking you about it to begin with.

Wrichriw, I didn't want you to vote on my debates because your voting style is ridiculously interventionist. The fact that you even had to ask (and then ignored my response) why you shouldn't be allowed to weigh last round arguments is one of the reasons I'm not comfortable with your judging. I'm sorry if that's offensive, and I probably could've found a nicer way to say it, but bad voting really is one of my pet peeves. Notice that I asked you not to vote on my debates, I didn't "demand" anything.

I also don't think you understand what framework is. It's not telling anyone to "go fvck themselves". Framework is an attempt to provide a weighing mechanism for the round or to put some framing to the resolution. I argued "vote on a cost benefit analysis", and Lannan dropped that so that means the judge has to weigh the round on that standard because he conceded to it. Again, this is one of the reasons I'm not comfortable with your voting, you just ignore the weighing mechanism that came from the round and decided that welfare outweighs all despite no one making that argument. And really I don't have to define a cost-benefit analysis since the meaning is literally within the words.

You accuse me of having a "penchant for dishonestly" and make a pretty obvious threat to vote me down in the future. The problem is, Pro truly *didn't* make an argument about welfare, his argument was under the header "money" (talking about a unified currency) and didn't even mention welfare. Welfare was only mentioned in his source, and again, it was in the last round so you can't vote on it.

Sorry for pissing you off, I just don't like this kind of thing.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"(including actually mentioning cash transfers)"

Now you're just fabricating random crap. I will note this penchant for dishonesty as this tournament progresses.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
Lastly I will point out that it does not benefit you to antagonize the judges.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"wricrhiw, I know you dont mean any harm but your voting style is so ridiculously interventionist that I'd really appreciate it if you just refrained from voting on any of my debates in the future"

I will be scoring your debates for the rest of this tournament.

If you are serious about the above, I will demand that you also refrain from voting or even commenting on any of my debates. Now here's the kicker...is anyone going to care? And the answer is, of course not.

---

"Pro in your vote gets everything his sources say (including actually mentioning cash transfers) but I only get what I said in round."

Welfare policy "helps out the poor". You are really trying my patience with ridiculously stupid arguments, thinking that if something is not explicitly stated, then it did not exist for the purpose of the debate. In which case, I would be able to say that since you did not define "cost-benefit analysis" I have no reason to consider such framework valid as you used a phrase without clear meaning. That's ridiculous, as is your continual bitching about welfare when it is right there in front of your face.
Posted by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
"And if those are the arguments the debaters choose to weigh, than that's what the judge votes on."

PRO chose wisely, you did not. Seriously, the longer this conversation continues, the more I feel obliged to give arguments to PRO.

I'm not going to give you arguments if you gave a laundry list of insignificant crap and said it was significant. Sorry, I do use my brain when I read these debates, I don't just mindlessly vote for people I like or dislike.

---

"Unless Pro argued specifically that the benefits of welfare not only benefited all of us, but *outweighed* my costs, he loses the debate. That's the consequence of the dropped framework."

This does not interfere with my abstaining from scoring arguments, so I don't see why you are complaining.

---

"Well IMHO since Pro a) Didnt argue any impact until the last round, and when he did it was an unquantified sentence b) failed even with his last round argument to meet the criteria in the framework..."

You may not like this, but I strongly object to anyone attempting to define the framework of another person. Essentially you're saying that one person has the legitimate right to tell the other person to go fvck themselves. I don't weigh framework nearly as heavily as you probably would, in fact I find the practice somewhat offensive and would only consider it if I found the framework to be necessary for the resolution. Cost-benefit analysis was for this debate, sure, but given how arguments turned out, I found CON ignoring welfare to essentially be ignoring the significance of a populist position. I can't give arguments for that, it's ridiculously irresponsible given this specific resolution.

---

"Pro never made the argument about "why should we help the poor" being the crux of a populist debate."

This is implicit in any debate about advocating a generally populist position. The point does not need to be made explicit.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
Not to mention that Pro's much touted argument on welfare policy didnt even mention welfare. Under his argument about a unified currency he made the argument in R4 that this "helps out the poor and if we help out the poor the standards of living will increase for the middle class causing people to have more money and thus stimulating the economy", and then his source talks about welfare. Pros argument was about a unified currency, so again Pro in your vote gets everything his sources say (including actually mentioning cash transfers) but I only get what I said in round.
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
wricrhiw, I know you dont mean any harm but your voting style is so ridiculously interventionist that I'd really appreciate it if you just refrained from voting on any of my debates in the future
Posted by thett3 4 years ago
thett3
"Please point to where in round #1 this was made a stipulation for this debate, where voters were prohibited from taking new args in the final round into consideration."

New arguments in the last round are prohibited in R1. If you think that means you only score conduct and take them into consideration for arguments, that's like a football referee upon seeing a foul that leads to a touchdown, let the other side keep the points and then give them a 5 yard penalty later.

"It was clear in PRO's argumentation that the "cost" of welfare led to benefits above and beyond welfare recipients.

I could say just as much as PRO dropped your framework, you also dropped PRO's point on welfare."

Doesn't matter. Unless Pro argued specifically that the benefits of welfare not only benefited all of us, but *outweighed* my costs, he loses the debate. That's the consequence of the dropped framework.

"You're certainly free to your opinion on that, and I would expect you to have voted differently from me. Regardless, IMHO any debate about populism where one side wholly drops and ignores welfare policy does not deserve the win."

Well IMHO since Pro a) Didnt argue any impact until the last round, and when he did it was an unquantified sentence b) failed even with his last round argument to meet the criteria in the framework and c) didn't make the argument that welfare policy is more important than everything else, your rational is deeply flawed.

"I respect anyone who has legitimate concerns with my vote, but please do not insult my intelligence."

You misunderstood. Pro never made the argument about "why should we help the poor" being the crux of a populist debate.

"IMHO, a debate about populism centered around corporate taxes would be akin to a debate about environmental policy centered around food stamps."

And if those are the arguments the debaters choose to weigh, than that's what the judge votes on.
6 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
lannan13thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments...
Vote Placed by TUF 3 years ago
TUF
lannan13thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I am going Con here, because ultimately thett3 was way more knowledgable on the subject, pointing out several minor discrepencies overlooked in the Pro's statements, such as the flawed FR system. But even reading lannan's case, I had a hard time finding the impacts, as did the Con in certain links, such as business regs link between Katrina/gas prices and the populist party. Pro's grammar was horrible, and almost embarrassing to see in a professional debate. Not only were half of his sources not working/error founds, but the ones that did work I had a hard time finding exactly the point he was trying to achieve with them. Ultimately I saw major flaws that were adressed by Con severely in the populist direct legislation point, and in his own case which have me convinced that overall with with taxation purposes, the populist party isn't exactly all Pro has it cut out to be. Pro's rebuttal to this was a classic slippery slope fallacy with no real evidence to the contrary.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
lannan13thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by wrichcirw 3 years ago
wrichcirw
lannan13thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:01 
Reasons for voting decision: see comments. - PRO: RUN A SPELL CHECKER. I found CON's libertarian position to be at times extremely convincing, and at times very repugnant. Upon further discussion in the comments, I've decided to revoke conduct for CON and score it neutral.
Vote Placed by LtCmdrData 4 years ago
LtCmdrData
lannan13thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Aloha! RFD in the comments area. Pro - 0; Con - 5. Neat topic!
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
lannan13thett3Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments