The Instigator
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

College students should have access to free public transportation at taxpayers expense.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Danielle
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/21/2011 Category: Society
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 11,601 times Debate No: 17995
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Pro

Definitions

Public Transportation: Buses, trolleys and trains that are operated by the federal, state, county, or city authorities in the United States. Most people have to pay a fee to use them but seniors, disabled, and in some counties, college students can ride for free on one or all of the public transport provided.

College student: A human being enrolled in a Bachelor's degree program in a four year institution or enrolled in a community college in the US. No semantics please! Everyone knows what a college is (I hope).

Free: Requiring no pay.

Taxpayer: A human being who lives in the United States and pays the government a part of his/her income.



Rules

Round 1: Pro covers defintions and rules, Con accepts and clarifies definitions
Round 2: Pro - opening argument ONLY, Con - opening argument and rebuttal
Round 3: Pro - rebuttal and defence, Con - defense ONLY
Danielle

Con

I'd like to thank my opponent for instigating this challenge and wish him luck in this debate.

I accept the proposed definitions and terms.
Debate Round No. 1
F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Pro

I thank Danielle for accepting this debate. It is great to finally get a chance to match wits with the #1 ranked debater on this site. I'll keep this short since my opponent is both refuting and opening in her turn. Here is why college students should get free transportation:

1) College students have very little money
Most college students have taken student loans or had their parents take mortagages on their house to pay for college tuition, rent, food and textbooks. There is an enormous amount of money required for college and most students are in debt. They cannot afford to buy a car or pay extra for public transportation.

2) They have a huge requirement for transportation
When college students go for a job interview, need to buy groceries or just need to go to class and back, they need transportation. Cars are expensive, as are parking permits for those who stay in the dorm. It is also difficult to find parking spots close to student's classes.

3) College students would pay for it after graduation
After college students graduate, most will get a job and pay taxes. A miniscule amount of these taxes would go to support public transport for the next generation of college students who would enjoy the benefits provided by their predecessors. This way, people who have money would be paying for public transport as opposed to people that don't. It is a great system of "passing it forward".

4) The university owes them
Students pay universities an obscene amount of money for attending. The university owes it to them to make their life as easy as possible financially. In many counties, the local university makes a deal with the local public transport agency so that students can just swipe their university ID and ride for free. This is a great service and must be implemented nationwide.
Danielle

Con

-- REBUTTAL --

1. College students have very little money.

Pro explains, "Most college students have taken student loans or had their parents take mortgages on their house to pay for college tuition, rent, food and textbooks." This is factually inaccurate and misleading. First, 1/3 of college students have their costs completely covered by their parents' income and savings. An additional 45% cover costs via their own savings, assistance from relatives, grants, scholarships and with help from parent borrowing [1]. While 23% do take out loans, the student is not obligated to pay back those loans until they are finished with school. As such, it doesn't make sense to reference student debt (which is obsolete until graduation) as a reason for them being financially challenged, because it hasn't affected them yet.

Moreover, college students are not the only demographic with "very little money." People who work low-income jobs or who are unemployed have little to no money -- why should transportation not be free for them? This is especially true once you consider the following: people with low-income jobs ARE tax payers, therefore Pro is suggesting that these people (often far less well off than college students) pay for other people's rides despite being similarly or even more disadvantaged. Additionally, many college students in fact hold jobs, meaning they are not necessarily struggling more than others. In fact, almost 80% of college students work on average 30 hours per week - almost full time [2]! Therefore, it makes no sense to suggest that college students deserve this special privilege based on how much money they have in comparison with other demographics.

2. Students have a huge requirement for transportation.

Many transportation services already provide discounts, but most importantly, it would be Pro's burden to explain why students have a higher need than anyone else, particularly others with or who are looking for jobs. Additionally, many colleges already provide methods of free transportation for students. My school provides buses that take students not only through the campuses to get to class, but even through the city where the school is located to various other convenient checkpoints. There are also free shuttles that essentially act as cabs in some instances [3].

3. Students would pay for it after graduation.

That is not a fair exchange; people will likely pay a disproportionate amount to what they "owe" based on use. A fair financial transaction is one based on a mutual agreement. It should be up to the person paying whether or not they accept a service or good in exchange for payment. Some students with cars will not need this "free" transportation, yet wind up paying for others to use the service through taxes. That is equivalent to theft.

4. The university owes them.

This contention is irrelevant considering Pro wants the tax payers and not the school to fund the transportation. I also disagree with Pro's bare assertion that it is up to the university to alleviate financial burdens for the student as much as possible; they have their own agenda.

-- ARGUMENTS --

In addition to what I've already argued above in my rebuttal,

1. There are more important or useful things we could put tax payer money toward than free transportation; i.e., our debt, social security or other flailing aspects of our economy. Additionally, many people would still find a way to get places such as carpooling or walking and biking places, which contributes toward good personal and environmental health.

2. Free transportation would increase use, thereby necessarily drastically increase the cost of providing the service (i.e., more buses, trains, drivers, gas, electricity, etc.) to alleviate demand. It would be FAR too expensive to maintain, and create another huge tax payer drain.

-- SOURCES --

http://www.debate.org...
Debate Round No. 2
F-16_Fighting_Falcon

Pro

Thanks Con.

DEFENSE

1) Students have no money
Con misrepresents her source's statistics. While her source[3] says that a typical student gets 23% of their college fee from loans, she misrepresents it and says that 23% of students take loans. There is a huge difference. 47% of all families reported borrowing to pay for college. So, we know free transport would benefit at least half the college students because they are in debt. The average college graudate has a debt of $19,000 [4]. The already high price of tuition continues to increase [5]. Con says the debt hasn't affected them yet but it will. Students cannot increase their debt by buying cars or paying full price for public transport every day because it will snowball once they graduate. They need every sort of free service they can get.

Unemployed people might have low money as well but their requirement for transportation is lower than that of college student as I show in point 2. Lower income people are able to work full time so despite their hourly wage being lower, they can earn more cash than college students and also don't have a staggering amount of debt. Paying for a car or transportation necessitates that students work longer hours. College students working more than 20 hours a week on campus or off negatively affects students' academic performance [6]. College students should be allowed to focus on their academics by having transportation taken care of.

2) Requirement
People who have jobs will be able to afford cars or at least be able to afford public transport by paying the full price. College students have a large amount of debt and limited time to work and so have a higher need for free transportation. They also need to travel far more frequently to class and back than someone who is just unemployed. My opponent says her school provides free transportation. My school on the other hand just cancelled the service[1]. Instead they work with the county's public transport agency to provide free transport to students. The ability of a University to provide transport is unreliable but if they work with their state, it is far more reliable as it is funded by the government.

3) Pay after graduation
Taxes are used for many purposes, not all of which benefit the person paying the taxes. For example, if part of your taxes are being used to construct freeways, but you don't have a car and never use the freeways, can you legitimately complain that it is an "unfair financial transaction" or that it is "theft"? Taxes are meant to benefit society as a whole and this is a great way to give benefits to people who need them.

4) University owes them
Part of the reason students pay such a large amount of money to Universities is not just for tuition but for the facilities the University offers. My school [1] works with the public transport agancy and makes a deal with them for students to be allowed to ride free at taxpayer's expense. Universities should be doing this in all counties because this is a facility that is really needed.


REBUTTAL

1) Other uses
Con would rather use taxpayers money for Social Security and debt. Carpooling, she says, is good for the evironment. Public transport is actually better since more people will use a bus than can fit into a car. Public transportation also saves 1.4 billion gallons of gas a year [2]. This would actually help pay the US debt on oil. Walking may be good for health but people cannot realistically walk long distances to class.

2) Increased use
Con says free transportation would increase use to the point of being too expensive. Not the case if only college students are given free transportation. The same number of buses need to be run and they only need to accept enough people until they are full. In Riverside, California, college students ride for free [1] and there is no problem of overloading as the public transport is still running (though University operated transport closed for unrelated budget reasons).

Sources
http://bit.ly...

Danielle

Con

Many thanks to my opponent for engaging with me in this debate.

Before I get into my defense, I'd like to suggest that this structure NOT be used again in the future. Most debates that utilize Round 1 for acceptance-only consist of four rounds. I didn't notice that this debate was only three. As such, the fact that I cannot respond to Pro's rebuttal of the first group of arguments is highly frustrating. It essentially becomes a 1-round debate considering we are not able to engage in a back and forth, but merely try and predict what our opponent's arguments would be and address them before they are even made. Hopefully the audience is capable of assessing which points of mine were not adequately refuted or completely dropped without me having to point them out...

Though I will respect the rules and not respond to the arguments, I would like to point out Pro's mistake in saying I have misrepresented my statistics. I do not trust the audience to check the link, so for their convenience I will post exactly what I said and what the link says in order to prove that it is Pro who is in fact mistaken. I'll copy and paste exactly what I said and exactly what the source says verbatim to demonstrate that my numbers were correct.

In R1, I wrote "While 23% do take out loans..." and Pro says that this is not true. He writes, "While her source says that a typical student gets 23% of their college fee from loans, she misrepresents it and says that 23% of students take loans." Of course I did not misrepresent anything considering the source says, "On average, the money to pay for the typical student's college costs came from the following sources: parents' income and savings (32 percent), student borrowing (23 percent)..." As you can see, I did not misrepresent anything -- student borrowing refers to student loans.

That said, I'll address the final 2 arguments that I am allowed to defend.

1. I've argued that tax payer money can be put towards better use, including (but not limited to) our massive debt. Pro completely dropped this argument and instead talked about how public transportation can save us money on oil specifically. While overall less gas might be consumed, that doesn't mean that the money will belong to the government who can therefore put it toward other things (like social security, etc.), therefore this point was not actually refuted. Furthermore, while it's true that people cannot walk or bike everywhere necessary, it's also true that public transportation is not always convenient. Therefore there are pros and cons to both means of transport, but this doesn't explain why college students in particular should get "free" rides at tax payer's expense.

2. The more important argument is this: I've contended that free transportation services would increase use. This is seemingly obvious. Consider when Oprah partnered with KFC to give away free grilled chicken. Obviously a LOT of people capitalized on that offer, though when it's not free, there is nowhere near the same demand for the product when people have to pay for it themselves. However, Pro writes that this is "Not the case if only college students are given free transportation." I don't see how that makes any sense; obviously if something is free it's going to be more appealing and thus have more demand (so you'd need more supply to meet it) - even if it's just college students. Over 18 million people are in college [4], which means you'd have to accommodate a lot more people seeking "free" rides. Pro also writes, "The same number of buses need to be run and they only need to accept enough people until they are full." In that case, I don't even see the point of implementing this considering most would not even be able to utilize the free ride if it's a first-come, first-serve basis and supply stays the same.

[4] http://howtoedu.org...
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Danielle 5 years ago
Danielle
Ahh, okay. I see. The source does say how many people take out loans though upon further examination (47%), though this doesn't strengthen your argument or hurt mine. I would have still pointed out that this is obsolete until graduation and the rest of my arguments would have extended.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Con said, "A fair financial transaction is one based on a mutual agreement." But provided no reason why that should be desired. The two reasons it could be desired is because 1) it leads to better results, or 2) it is morally superior (or both).
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Your Source says:
On average, the money to pay for the typical student's college costs came from the following sources: parents' income and savings (32 percent), student borrowing (23 percent), parent borrowing (16 percent), grants and scholarships (15 percent) student income and savings (10 percent), and support from friends and relatives (3 percent).

You say:
While 23% do take out loans, the student is not obligated to pay back those loans until they are finished with school.

The issue is not whether student borrowing = student loans as you say in the final round. I agree that student borrowing - student loans.'

The source says that a typical student gets 23% of their college costs from student loans. For instance, according to the study, statistically speaking, if you needed $100,000 for your college costs, you got $23,000 from student loans. If there are 100 students in your class, all of them got 23% of their college costs from student loans. So this means that all or most students take student loans though your source never gives the actual percentage of people who take loans.

The way you put it, only 23 of the 100 students in your class got any of their college costs from student loans. So, definitely a difference.
Posted by Danielle 5 years ago
Danielle
All of Brian's debates are joke debates; it's hard to think of a good debate topic when you've done over 330 (and many of the same topics several times over). If you'd like to debate again with me as instigator, I'll easily challenge you to one of the topics we disagree on (gun rights, euthanasia, minimum wage, patriotism or the United Nations). In fact we can even debate all of those one at a time if you'd like -- it's been awhile since I've engaged in debate (before this).

As for your source accusation, if I did misrepresent anything it was 100% unintentional as I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about... maybe you can show me? Fortunately it's not too relevant to the argument(s), but I looked it over again and - to me - the source CLEARLY says that 23% of students borrow (i.e., take out loans) for college. If I misunderstood something please copy and paste my mistake here.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
@Danielle, you did misrepresent your source as can clearly be seen by anyone who reads it.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
@Ore_Ele, thanks for the feedback. It is rare to get such detailed feedback and I appreciate it. Could you clarify though what you meant by:

"And unless Con can show that the "fair exchange" will result in more revenue/profit for parties involved, she would have to turn to a moral argument, which are pretty much always easy to refute."

I didn't really understand that bit.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
@000ike, thanks for the advice, but when was the last time you saw a top debater besides Brian actually posting anything in the challenge section?
Posted by 000ike 5 years ago
000ike
Letting Danielle have the last word, is like giving a terrorist a machine gun. I don't know if it makes a real difference on voters, but just to be safe, always contend against top debaters.
Posted by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
Regarding argument #3, that is probably the only argument I would have made, or at least been the primary focus. About the counters that people that drive cars would not use the free transportation, this is not accurate, by making it free, that will convince some to sell their cars and use that transportation, while for the rest that aren't swayed, it will result in less cars on the roads (probably not much, unless it is a major college town). So everyone still benefits from it.

Regarding the "fair exchange," it is a moral argument that "fair exchange" is what should be used. And unless Con can show that the "fair exchange" will result in more revenue/profit for parties involved, she would have to turn to a moral argument, which are pretty much always easy to refute.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
Only an hour and a half left, Danielle!
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by marcuscato 5 years ago
marcuscato
F-16_Fighting_FalconDanielleTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Con effectively rebutted points 1,2,4(round 2 pro). Pro should not have made point 4. Conduct:Pro is right regarding misrepresentation of facts regarding 23% loans.I checked the source. Pro could have done a better job rebutting point 2(round 2 con). Good debate.
Vote Placed by Ore_Ele 5 years ago
Ore_Ele
F-16_Fighting_FalconDanielleTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Many of Pro's arguments were flawed from the beginning. While his points 1, 2, and 4 were all moral based, he did nothing to establish or argue that those morals ought be considered. So by dismissing morals, those arguments become meaningless. Point 3 was the only non-moral argument, in that it could be viewed as an investment (college grads make more money, and so pay more taxes, and hopefully pay more than they took). This wasn't argued enough IMO. more in comments.