The Instigator
voxprojectus
Pro (for)
Losing
4 Points
The Contender
Contra
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Austerity is a poor way to help an economy.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Contra
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/28/2013 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,017 times Debate No: 35135
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (3)

 

voxprojectus

Pro

Austerity, the practice of attempting to limit government spending in order to reign in debt, is a strategy pursued by many countries in the midst of recession. It is Pro's contention that while these policies may seem wise in the short term, they have a demonstrably poor track record at actually helping an economy to recover overall.

First round is for acceptance.
Contra

Con

I accept this debate as Con. I asume that Pro will argue for either the status quo or increased gov't spending in the form of "stimulus packages".

On the contrary, my arguments will be for more laissez-faire economic policies. We need more capital accumulation, business expansion, and individual economic freedom for an economic recovery.

Present your case!
Debate Round No. 1
voxprojectus

Pro

My thanks to my opponent for accepting the debate.

I would like to open, by drawing out attention to the country of Iceland. In 2008, Iceland's recession, --part of string of countries that ended up in hot water due to their reliance on horrendous banking policies-- was not only the worst Iceland had ever seen, but also the deepest in terms of debt versus anywhere else on the planet.

Austerity had its advocates there. "Cut our social programs! End our welfare! reign in our universal health care coverage!" they cried.

But the Icelandic people wisely chose to reject this 'race-to-the-bottom' style of thinking. Paradoxically, by going into MORE debt briefly in order to stimulate their economy and salvage their social safety net, Iceland has bounced back stronger than ever into a position of economic leadership in the region.

http://www.bloomberg.com...

By contrast, let us look to Greece, who, unlike Iceland, has been dragged kicking and screaming through austerity measures by the IMF (who loaned money Austerity-Anchor free to Iceland) and is still in horrific depression as a result. The complete lack of consumer spending has not magically resulted in the generation of new savings, nor have the deep cuts in social spending somehow translated to a strong and balanced budget. Rather these measures have utterly demolished both the prospects and morale of the Greek people.

https://www.commondreams.org...

Both these cases underscore the argument I laid out in my opening statement: Trying to focus an economy on being debt-free in the short-term in the hopes of boosting loan-confidence and savings, while it may bring debt down in the short term, does nothing to actually fuel economic growth or end recession.

By contrast, a focus on stimulus, while raising debt in the short term, allows for enough financial gain in the long term to reduce or eliminate debt with the extra money that will eventually be generated.

To break the whole thing down in very simplistic terms, stimulus can function as the kick-start to get an economic motor running, and once running, that motor will eventually cover its own motion. Austerity generates nothing but moralistic, self-righteous smarm.
Contra

Con


Thanks Pro for presenting your arguments.


Background


Recently the world was plunged into a deep economic recession, mostly the result of a large housing bubble.


Government intervention in the real estate and financial markets (Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, The Community Reinvestment Act) put houses and thus trillions of dollars of capital in the wrong hands -- into the hands of people who couldn't afford those houses.


The economy is weak because of the vast malinvestment and overconsumption associated with the wide availability of credit. When people defaulted on their mortgages, trillions in real estate value vanished, and thus the economy crashed.


Arguments


We need to cut government expenditures, taxation, and general economic intervention, and instead opt for a more laissez faire, free market economy.


It is true that cutting government expenditures will reduce spending and thus total consumption. However, government doesn't have any money that it doesn't first print or take.


If we reduced government spending to 2008 levels,the budget would immediately be balanced. [1] [2] I chose these figures out of simplicity, so let us not worry about the details.


[1] http://www.cbo.gov...


[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...


[3] http://mises.org...


Balancing the budget (austerity) would thus leave financial institutions with more savings and capital available for more valuable purchases.


These savings could then be utilized for investment in production, and expensive purchases.


By expensive purchases I generally mean that consumers could purchase more expensive consumers goods like houses and automobiles which are beyond the scope of a single paycheck.


Also important, these savings could be borrowed by businesses for the purpose of expanding business facilities, investing in productivity, and for the purposes of running general business operations (to pay employees and purchase the goods necessary for production, etc).


The National Bureau of Economic Research has found that "policies to foster physical capital accumulation will translate to a higher marginal products of labor, and thus improved real wages for the states' workers."


[4] NBER Working Paper Series; "Solow and the States: Capital Accumulation, Productivity, and Economic Growth", PDF.


Conclusion


Government is currently taking money from the productive private sector, where it otherwise would be used in capital investment to produce real wealth. Gov't is using savings to destroy wealth by spending it on short term consumption and redistributing capital.


Economic recovery will require more capital investment and a balanced budget. The private sector can utilize the savings (capital) for more investment in production, which will increase productivity and thus the real wealth and strengthen a nation's economy.


Debate Round No. 2
voxprojectus

Pro

First to rebut, I think there are a great many gaps and a lack of correlation in many of your arguments. Let's go through it, shall we?

1. You assert that balancing the budget would result in financial institutions having more savings.

Rebuttal: A government indulging in Austerity in order to meet the goal of a balanced budget takes away both savings AND spending power from the poorer segments of the population. With less money in food stamps or subsidized housing, the impoverished citizen is forced to withdraw money from Financial institutions in order to make these ends meet. Either that or rely on yet more credit to cover the gaps. On top of that, these individuals would have less money to spend on goods and services, and the providers of those goods and services in turn have less to save.

Thus, with less savings from both the upper and lower end of the economy, financial institutions would have less saved and less to invest in production.

2. Savings could be utilized for expensive purchases, such as cars and houses.

Rebuttal: Again, how does balancing a budget result in people having more money to save? We're talking about funds that government uses to typically subsidize people's lives so they don't have to spend money. If, in the course of austerity, people suddenly have to live without public transportation, food or housing help, where does their extra money come from?

3. The NBER's statement on the benefits of Capital Accumulation are not partnered with Austerity. In fact a recent article by the same group very much argues the opposite of that:

http://www.nber.org... "The Austerity Myth: Gain without Pain".

4. Your conclusion rings hollow in the face of both examples I have provided. Please address them.

In the meantime, I extend all arguments.

And my thanks for your response.
Contra

Con

Thanks for your swift response Pro!

-----Rebuttals-----

R1: Austerity Harms the Poor/ Reduces Savings

"A government indulging in austerity... takes savings and spending power from the poorer segments of the population."

You underestimate earnings of the poor. Most of the earnings of the poor have come from their labor, not transfer payments.



Average Earnings (Males) Based on Educational Attainment (2010):
[1]

High School and Equivalency: $46,203

Associate's Degree: $44,732

Bachelor's Degree: $79,779

Master's Degree: $99,519

The value of total production equals the value of incomes received because what is paid for goods and services produced exactly equals what is received as income by someone else. A nation's output thus constitutes its real income.

  • Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is thus the total income earned by a society.

Therefore, we should be focusing on how to improve productivity of a society to increase real incomes (output). Increasing marginal productivity will thus improve the incomes and therefore wealth of society.

And the arguments that Pro is offering, that redistribution transfer payments are necessary to improve savings, is simply false. The redistribution payments of the type we are talking about usually subsidize the incomes of the poor at the expense of the rich, the latter whom save and invest more of their income, because they have a "higher propensity to save". [3]

So, taxation or borrowing required to finance redistributive programs reduce savings and thus financial capital, leaving less to be invested in production.

"how does balancing a budget result in people having more money to save?"

The federal government pays for its programs through taxation, printing money (inflation), or borrowing (debt). Borrowing puts money in government's hands and ensures that the same money is not available for private investment. Thus investment capital is taken from the private sector to be put in the hands of government. This "crowding out" of private investment and the enlargening of the generally less efficient government thus destroys capital that could be productively put to use (business expansion for example). [4]

"If, in the course of austerity, people suddenly have to live without public transportation, food or housing help, where does their extra money come from?"

People would instead expect services such as transportation from the private sector. And as stated earlier, capital accumulation, a result of savings (which occurs when gov't stops borrowing funds) will lead to higher incomes.

The NBER, as I cited last round, provided empirical evidence and analysis showing that "policies to foster physical capital accumulation will translate to a higher marginal products of labor, and thus improved real wages for the states' workers."

The source that my opponent cites concerns monetary policy, about nation's floating their currencies. So this argument isn't really relevant to our debate. The source Pro cites does not contradict my earlier empirical evidence.

"Stimulus can function as the kick-start to get an economic motor running"

This is simply not true though. I will provide a simple analogy.

Say a nation has a GDP of $1 trillion.

If the government decides to borrow $100 billion from the nation's economy, it is taking out cash wealth and putting it back elsewhere, after administrative costs.

It is like a leaky bucket and a pool. A bucket of water is taken out at one end, and poured at the other end of the pool. There is no net growth.

You cannot grow an economy this way. If you take $100 billion from the private sector (debt borrowing) and spend it on say stimulus packages, and in the hypothetical scenario that the private sector gains say $90 billion after administrative costs are factored in --- there is no economic benefit.

Contrast

A nation must balance their budget, and have an efficient, competitive, and low-tax system.

Policies should foster capital accumulation. With greater and more advanced capital, workers will have higher marginal productivities. Output, and thus the real wealth of a society will rise! If we want a stronger economy, we need to improve the wealth that society has, not redistribute and move it around in a way that is unconstitutional and economically unsound.

If people are earning higher incomes, they will save and invest more, leading to more production and thus the employment of labor and goods and services (more employment and higher take home pay).

To break it down in very simplistic terms, we need make sure the engine has the right filters, and can run properly. Then perhaps replacing the parts with more advanced technology will improve its performance.

On to you Pro!

Sources

[1] U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, Annual Social and Economic Supplements, (www.census.gov/apsd/techdoc/cps/cpsmar11.pdf[PDF].)

[2] Browning, Edgar. Stealing From Each Other. 2008. 4. Print.

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org...

[4] http://www.learnliberty.org...

Debate Round No. 3
voxprojectus

Pro

You underestimate earnings of the poor. Most of the earnings of the poor have come from their labor, not transfer payments.

Absolutely, but the poor rely on a greater number of subsidies to survive. I never meant to suggest that all or even most of lower-income money came from transfer payments, only that these are the people who are hurt when these things diminish.
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is thus the total income earned by a society.
Therefore, we should be focusing on how to improve productivity of a society to increase real incomes (output). Increasing marginal productivity will thus improve the incomes and therefore wealth of society.

Here in many ways, is the crux of the whole discussion. Using small numbers, if you take ten people, 9 of whom are scraping by on 40,000 a year and 1 of whom makes 40 million, you get to say, "Oh look! Our GDP is 40,000,040,000! We"re winning! If you redistribute income amongst the same ten people so that one is making 20 million and the rest make varying multi-millions, yet the overall total is more like 38 million, the new GDP may be lower, but you"d be hard-pressed to argue that just because of this all the people are suffering more as a result.
But that"s a huge and separate argument. For the purposes of this debate, my point is only that GDP is a false metric for the success of a system.

The redistribution payments of the type we are talking about usually subsidize the incomes of the poor at the expense of the rich, the latter whom save and invest more of their income, because they have a "higher propensity to save".

It"s surprisingly easy to save when you already have enough to live on and some left over, isn"t it?

The problem here is a confusion of correlation and cause. Richer individuals and countries DO tend to have greater savings, but the savings are not the cause for their wealth; rather because they have abundance in productivity or income they are able to save, not the other way around. In fact hording larger and larger stockpiles of keep that money out of circulation, and with no circulation, economic stagnation sets in.

The federal government pays for its programs through taxation, printing money (inflation), or borrowing (debt). Borrowing puts money in government's hands and ensures that the same money is not available for private investment. Thus investment capital is taken from the private sector to be put in the hands of government. This "crowding out" of private investment and the enlargening of the generally less efficient government thus destroys capital that could be productively put to use (business expansion for example). [4]

The misconception in this perspective is rooted in the assumptions about what gets done with money otherwise. If businesses were always constantly re-investing and expanding and hiring, everything you say above would be completely true. The problem is that this is not what businesses typically do. In our current recession for example, more and more money is being pocketed as profit (itself a representation of inefficiency that isn't ending up back in the business or back into the economy as a whole) and not going into hiring or opening more domestic factories or anything else beneficial.

In other words, if it's a question of taxation-stimulus-cash flow-recovery VS. Tax cuts-cash flow-recovery the latter option, lasses-faire private-sector wins out.

But that isn't the reality of the situation. It is tax cuts-profit-hoarding-outsourcing with no recovery in sight.

The bottom line is that Austerity does nothing to encourage or coerce businesses to do anything to hire more people or invest back in the country more in the form of infrastructure or manufacturing. Yes, in theory it gives them the option, but our economic policies have only bent over backwards to give them that option for decades and the end result has not been economic improvement.

People would instead expect services such as transportation from the private sector. And as stated earlier, capital accumulation, a result of savings (which occurs when gov't stops borrowing funds) will lead to higher incomes.

My above argument covers this as well. Businesses don't invest in infrastructure without short-term gain reasoning. Building or improving a road is something that WILL pay off for a company, but not in the short-term. Beholden to their stockholders who depend on reports of improvement with literally every quarter, the private sector is in no place to do anything that doesn't enhance share value within the next six months. Some things simply take longer than that.

Take the depression. Conservatives frequently like to argue that New Deal policies did nothing to help the country get out of the Great Depression and that it was all World War II and the private sector that made recovery possible.

But they leave out an important factor: Those businesses would have been in NO position to adroitly and rapidly manufacture tanks and planes and bombs without roads to move them on. That army would not have been in a position to contribute the manpower we did if the previous generation they recruited from had nothing to eat. And those businesses would not have had unadulterated access to foreign markets in post-war reconstruction without a government capable of stepping in and making these things possible.

Long-term improvements pay off in the long term and lend greater prosperity. Short-sighted profit-seeking, while amazingly good for a very small handful of individuals who get to reap those profits, is not actually a sustainable model on which to base a national economy.

If the government decides to borrow $100 billion from the nation's economy, it is taking out cash wealth and putting it back elsewhere, after administrative costs.

It is like a leaky bucket and a pool. A bucket of water is taken out at one end, and poured at the other end of the pool. There is no net growth.

You cannot grow an economy this way. If you take $100 billion from the private sector (debt borrowing) and spend it on say stimulus packages, and in the hypothetical scenario that the private sector gains say $90 billion after administrative costs are factored in --- there is no economic benefit.

You're leaving out long-term gains. If only 90-billion comes back in the short term, but leads to a gain of 50-billion in the long term, the economy over all has in fact seen great benefit. You can only arrive at the conclusion that the money is wasted if you don't look at the long term.

In closing, I would respectfully ask that my opponent address my opening examples. Right now, I feel as though I've given two real-world examples of where the opposite of what my opponent says should happen has happened, and CON has completely ignored these examples.

It reminds me of the old Reagan joke (yes, levied against my way of thinking I'll grant) "An economist is someone who sees something that works in practice and wonders if it would work in theory"

Iceland works in practice on my ideas. Greece is failing in practice on my opponent's. All CON has done is discuss theory about what *should* happen, not what does.

I look forward to your response.

(My time is shorter than I'd like, I will try to do more sourcing in my conclusion)
Contra

Con

Thanks for a great debate Pro. I will focus on rebuttals than on concluding remarks.

-----Rebuttals-----

R1: What About the Poor?

"The poor rely on a greater number of subsidies to survive. I never meant to suggest that all or even most of lower-income money came from transfer payments, only that these are the people who are hurt when these things diminish."

Transfer payments are basically theft. Government steals from some citizens to give to others. This is also unconstitutional, in addition to being morally incorrect.

Voluntary institutions, mutual aid societies, and charity are much better alternatives than government redistributive schemes. The private operations are ran by fully consenting parties. They also have the built in incentives to help the poor become self-reliant and live productive, fulfilling, and rewarding lives.

"My point is only that GDP is a false metric for the success of a system."

Economists believe that each worker's wage is linked to their marginal productivity. Workers "contribute to the output of the companies that employ them, and it is the additional (marginal) contribution to the value of output that will be reflected in the worker's wage". [1]

So individual earnings are about equivalent to their productivities.


This has various beneficial consequences: employees are rewarded by having the right productive behavior, investing in their human capital, and gaining experience and on-the-job training.

It is the basic essence of the free market system: pursuing one's self interest (in the form of gaining higher wages through higher productivity) benefits the whole society (more goods and services).

Society's wealth is equal to its production though. We need to create all the goods we have and enjoy. Austerity facilitates production by leaving investment capital in the private sector.

R2: Savings and Output

"In fact hording larger and larger stockpiles of keep that money out of circulation, and with no circulation, economic stagnation sets in."

Hoarding =/= saving.

Saving makes possible equivalent investment in production or the availability of credit.

"A country's saving rate and its economic growth are closely connected". [2] Economic growth is basically the "increase in the capacity of an economy to produce goods and services, compared from one period of time to another". [3]

Increased production is the prerequisite for higher incomes. Incomes serve the end of being able to consume already produced goods.

Thus we need to expand production to increase the gross income (GDP) of society.

Savings and investment are the fuel for the engine of economic growth. With more capital accumulation and investment, business expansion, and ultimately more production -- the real wealth and incomes of society rise.

"Richer individuals and countries DO tend to have greater savings... because they have abundance in productivity or income they are able to save, not the other way around."

Richer nations are wealthier because of capital per worker, technology, and human capital.

Capital are "the productive resources that are employed in conjunction with labor effort to produce goods and services. Capital includes things like buildings, equipment, power lines, computers, roads, and vehicles."

Rich nations are rich because their citizens produce a lot of goods and services; and poor nations are poor because they produce little. [4]

Pro basically assumes that government expenditures are necessary because they "drive demand". In places like Ethiopia and North Korea, there is plenty of demand for food. But this hasn't created wealth.

Demand doesn't create anything. Production does, and is responsible for meeting the needs of demand.

Saving (deferring consumption) allows capital formation, which increases productivity and thus output, overall making society wealthier and improving its economy.

R3: Profits

"The problem is that this is not what businesses typically do... more and more money is being pocketed as profit."

Businesses typically wish to maximize their profits. This requires re-investment and expanding business operations.

I'd argue that their is a lack of confidence in the current economic environment, especially from what government legislation will take effect in the near future. Obamacare, Dodd-Frank, rising entitlement costs are all threatening to businesses.

In the 1930s, empirical evidence shows us that "private investment remained at depths never plumbed in any decade for which data exist... only in 1946 and the following years did private investment reach and remain at levels consistent with a prosperous and growing economy." [5]

If McDonald's followed the argument you are using, they would have consumed and enjoyed the profits that flowed in from its first business. But McDonald's reinvested in its operations and expanded its facilities to maximize profits.

"Yes, in theory it gives them the option... the end result has not been economic improvement."

If we are talking about America, our economic policies have been messed up for a long time.

Worker wages have risen over time as productivity has increased.

Health insurance costs have absorbed these benefits though -- the consequence I'd argue as a result of our third party payer system.

Regulations hinder competitiveness in the economy and economic growth, as do taxes and spending.

R4: Stimulus/ Infrastructure

It is the last round of the debate, so new arguments in the form of "infrastructure spending" and "World War II" ought to be dismissed, though I briefly touched the latter earlier in this round.

"Long-term improvements pay off in the long term and lend greater prosperity."

The private sector has greater incentives (the profit motive) to provide better goods and services. Infrastructure, in the form of roads and highways, is included.

This is why government roads and schools generally are of a lower quality than private institutions.

"In closing, I would respectfully ask that my opponent address my opening examples."

Iceland is a small, very homogenous nation. It would be difficult to emulate its results with such a large and diverse country as America.

In contrast, Canada did undertake "austerity".

"In the 1990s, Canada suffered from the same economic malaise that plagues the U.S. today: slow economic growth, heavy government spending and a rising national debt... [Canada's] federal program spending was cut by nearly 10 percent ... to restore its budget to balance... leading to a decade of strong growth in employment, gross domestic product and investments". [6]

Shovel-ready jobs don't create anything. If government employed the whole citizenry, and paid them wages, society would be poor. There would be no wealth -- no valuable goods or services.

Conclusion

The private sector has to provide people with valuable and affordable goods that they demand. A nation's income (GDP) is the result of its production of various goods and services.

Saving allows for more production by financing capital investment. I have proven this with empirical evidence from the National Bureau of Economic Statistics [6], and other sources.

Stimulus spending will just suck up investment capital from the private sector, destroying possible private sector investment and growth.

Society needs to allocate savings to productive uses, as efficiently determined by the private sector. If we just consume our savings, we will never recover.

Austerity is necessary so that savings can remain in the private economy, so production and thus real incomes rise.

So, austerity will facilitate savings and is thus necessary. The resolution is refuted.

Sources:

[1] Browning, Edgar. Stealing From Each Other. 2008. 5. Print.

[2] http://www.econlib.org...

[3] http://www.investopedia.com...

[4] Browning, Edgar. Stealing From Each Other. 2008. 59. Print.

[5] http://www.independent.org...

[6] NBER Working Paper Series; "Solow and the States: Capital Accumulation, Productivity, and Economic Growth", PDF.

Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
IF I am mistaken, I am willing to reconsider my vote. However, I am not wrong. I will quote directly from R1:

"It is Pro's contention that while these policies may seem wise in the short term, they have a demonstrably poor track record at actually helping an economy to recover"

This is, to me, very clear. I cannot read it in any way that would allow "What would happen if we use these policies in the US" to be relevant. Perhaps I can be corrected.

This debate was proposed to cover the "demonstrable track record" of austerity. Not it's potential effects - but it's demonstrated effects.

There is no way that this can be misunderstood without mention or penalization.
Posted by 1Historygenius 3 years ago
1Historygenius
@subutai yeah defool makes some crazy votes some times, I vote on what I see.
Posted by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
The argument here to be resolved (as per R1) is clear. As worded, the contest is not to discover directly whether or not austerity works, or will work in the future - but whether or not its track record indicates (or does not indicate) that it wise overall. (It is Pro's contention that while these policies may seem wise in the short term, they have a demonstrably poor track record at actually helping an economy to recover overall.)

Con responds to this resolution by, in his words, arguing "for more laissez-faire economic policies. We need more capital accumulation, business expansion, and individual economic freedom for an economic recovery."

Con presents an interesting topic - but one that is entirely off-subject.

Pro goes on to provide germane examples that supported the resolution (that the track record of austerity measures in Europe are demonstrably poor methods of improving economies.)

Con seemed to misinterpret the resolution again in R2, and ignored almost all of the examples presented by Pro. He offers instead a prediction of the future impact of austerity in the US - seemingly unaware that he was involved in an analysis of specifically past tense examples in Europe. I equated the nature of this debate thus:

"Pro: We should discuss what happened when we chopped down that tree."
"Con: This is what might happen if we chop down that tree."
"Pro: The tree has already been removed; let's discuss how well that worked out."
"Con: If we keep growing trees, instead of chopping them down, we will live in a forest."

Pro, expressing frustration, repeatedly reminds Con that this was supposed to be a past tense analysis of how well austerity has worked. (All CON has done is discuss theory about what *should* happen, not what does.)

Ignoring fully the clear parameters set out in R1, Con never really engaged in any such analysis. I feel more or less certain that he was aware of the resolution, and so will award a conduct point as well as argument
Posted by voxprojectus 3 years ago
voxprojectus
Wonderful debate overall, Contra, and I thank you very much for responding to the badly garbled 4th round.

While I have many responses to new points raised, they shall have to wait for another debate (which I may challenge you to later today if I have the time.)
Posted by voxprojectus 3 years ago
voxprojectus
((GAH! The site stripped away my formatting which is going to make that a nightmare to read. I am so sorry!))
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by 1Historygenius 3 years ago
1Historygenius
voxprojectusContraTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con did address Iceland in the final round, had he not confronted some of these past examples then he would be in big trouble. As said here: "Iceland is a small, very homogenous nation. It would be difficult to emulate its results with such a large and diverse country as America." The examples the Pro gave are not good examples and he covers little in the opening rounds. I would give Pro conduct, but the fact that Pro did engage and refute Con's refutations and so these arguments are involved in the debate.
Vote Placed by Subutai 3 years ago
Subutai
voxprojectusContraTied
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Reasons for voting decision: I don't understand DeFool's vote. Con stayed on-topic. If he was addressing any irrelevant topics, such as entitlements, it was because pro brought that up, trying to explain why cutting government spending would be bad. Overall, though, pro didn't really go in depth about what he was talking about, and his arguments were sparsely sourced, which is why I awarded con the source points. The arguments basically revolved around economic stimulus vs. private investment as a way to boost the economy, as it should. Con won this argument by one, using more sources, two, going more in depth, and three, by using better logic - he proved that austerity would leave more money in the hands of the people, which would facilitate more investment, whereas stimulus spending will take it away. Private saving allows for more investment into the future. All stimulus spending does is drive away saving. Con's main Greece/Iceland arguments relies too much on improper examples (see con's refutations).
Vote Placed by DeFool 3 years ago
DeFool
voxprojectusContraTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Con could not have been unaware of the R1 statement, detailing the parameters of this contest. (An analysis of the past tense effects of austerity measures.) He went on to discuss an entirely separate subject, that had little to do with this debate. Although he argued his off-topic very well, I cannot score it's performance very highly here. I felt that this behavior requires a reminder to discuss the subject at hand. I award conduct and arguments.