The Instigator
pcmbrown
Con (against)
Winning
24 Points
The Contender
wjmelements
Pro (for)
Losing
19 Points

DDO TOC Round 1: Economics

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
pcmbrown
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/14/2009 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,496 times Debate No: 8964
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (26)
Votes (8)

 

pcmbrown

Con

Resolved: Grand Canyon National Park should be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

My opponent has requested that, in the spirit of traditional forensics, he ought to argue first and last. Further, neither of us may present new arguments in the 5th round, it being a crystallization round. If the debate is still rather heated at that point, we may mutually decide to extend new arguments into the 5th round. My opponent has also accepted the burden of proof.

I give the floor, and the definitions, to my opponent. However, I reserve the right to challenge any definitions that are non-resolutional, or that limit the resolution's scope.
wjmelements

Pro

I thank my opponent for agreeing to this topic. Definitions will not be necessary unless my opponent tries to manipulate this topic.

Milton Friedman has recieved the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a Nobel Prize in Economics, and the National Medal of Science. http://www.achievement.org...
In Capitalism and Freedom, a book in which Milton Friedman detailed the purpose of government in a free society, Milton Friedman said of the government's ownership of the Grand Canyon:
"I cannot myself conjure up any neighborhood effects or important monopoly effects that would justify governmental activity in this area." (Capitalism and Freedom, Chapter II: Government in a Free Society).

If government is to be limited in order to maximize liberty, and government ownership of the Grand Canyon is unwarranted and undesirable, then the federal government ought to privatize the Grand Canyon.
The best means of doing this would be to auction it off to the highest bidder.

I will now outline a case as to why private ownership of the grand canyon is preferable to ownership by the federal government.

1. The Grand Canyon would be most profitably utilized as a tourist attraction.

"Today the park sees more than 5-million visitors each year." http://www.travelwest.net...

"Overall, travel party size averaged 3.4 persons" http://www.nau.edu...

"Grand Canyon visitor expenditures averaged $536 per travel party in the park and $595 per travel party within 90 miles of the park." http://www.nau.edu...

It is then easy to calculate that the Grand Canyon already attracts almost $800 million a year just into the Park itself.

This number could easily be increased to over a billion dollars annually with marketing and more efficient management, etc. http://hcsmsd.com...

Besides, "market trends also suggest that privatizing public land would move land away from resource extraction and toward preservation and conservation." http://www.cato.org...

2. Companies naturally make decisions to maximize profits.

This is common knowledge to the majority of the population. But what does this mean? It means that the Grand Canyon will continue to be used as a tourist attraction, even after it is privatized.

Just as tourism companies that own beaches keep their beaches clean, the company that owns the Grand Canyon would naturally protect it and its serenity.

So, with people voluntarily preserving the environment, there is no justification of government owning the Grand Canyon for this purpose.

3. Therefore, government ownership of the Grand Canyon is unnecessary and undesirable.

The federal government could sell the Grand Canyon easily for tens if not hundreds of billions of dollars. Assuming that the two scenarios of the government owning the Grand Canyon and the people owning the Grand Canyon are equal, then this revenue should be sufficient enough to make the latter option preferable.

However, the two options are not equally preferable. It would also be better for a corporation to own the Grand Canyon for many reasons, including:
-Public demand for the Grand Canyon would be more effectively met
-More revenue would be attracted into the Unted States from foreign countries

CONCLUSION
The Grand Canyon should be privatized by auctioning it off to the highest bidder.

Thank you. I now await my opponent's case.
Debate Round No. 1
pcmbrown

Con

Con:
1. The Grand Canyon is a National Park of vast geologic, cultural and ecological significance.
a. "Well known for its geologic significance, the Grand Canyon is one of the most studied geologic landscapes in the world." http://www.nps.gov...
The Grand Canyon is a vast scientific resource which would no longer be available were it to be privatized. As my opponent stated, a company's primary interest is profit, not non-profit scientific research. Further, the ecological harms to the Grand Canyon which would result would degrade its scientific value. Ultimately, we would certainly lose a scientific resource.
b. "During prehistory, the area was inhabited by Native Americans who built settlements within the canyon and its many caves." http://www.talismancoins.com...
The Canyon presents varied Indian settlements which are available for study. http://www.scenic.com... Limited scientific access to, and degradation of these sites (from tourism, industrialization, etc.) would be a great scientific loss.
c. "The Park contains several major ecosystems. Its great biological diversity can be attributed to the presence of five of the seven life zones and three of the four desert types in North America...This is equivalent to traveling from Mexico to Canada. The Park also serves as an ecological refuge, with relatively undisturbed remnants of dwindling ecosystems...It is home to numerous rare, endemic (found only at Grand Canyon), and specially protected (threatened/endangered) plant and animal species." http://www.nps.gov... The Grand Canyon is also home to a California Condor reintroduction program. http://www.nps.gov... It is quite evident that we cannot allow such a valuable natural resource to be compromised, as would occur following privatization. It would be another loss to the scientific community and to the biodiversity of our nation. The detrimental effects of biodiversity loss are widely known. http://www.greenfacts.org...

2. The sale would compromise U.S. homeland security.
a. My opponent makes the repeated assumption that the highest bidder would necessarily be a tourism company. However, this is patently false. Foreign countries would hold a vast military advantage by acquiring the Grand Canyon. Numerous wealthy nations, e.g. China, would more than welcome a vast tract of inland U.S. property. Noting the location of the Grand Canyon, it becomes apparent that the large cities of California would be hugely vulnerable to military assault. http://www.world-guides.com... Further, it would increase the ease with which China could gather military intelligence. China, along with many other nations, has the power to outbid any corporation. http://english.peopledaily.com.cn...

3. The sale violates the rights of Indian reservations.
a. Multiple reservations have been established along the Grand Canyon. http://z.about.com... These reservations have substantial water rights, which could easily grow exponentially in size. http://ag.arizona.edu... "Still unquantified and conceded to be potentially huge, the Navajo Tribe's water rights claim could cut into the Colorado River apportionment of four states: Arizona in the Lower Basin and New Mexico, Colorado and Utah in the Upper Basin, with the major burden on Arizona. " Obviously, an increased tourist burden would result in an increase burden on the Colorado River, which could easily violate the water rights of Native Americans.
b. Increased pollution in the area would further violate these rights, and prevent Native Americans from practicing traditional customs and lifestyles.

4. Grand Canyon National Park is a U.S. asset.
a. "Grand Canyon National Park is a designated Federal Recreation Fee Area. Fees collected directly benefit the park, and the National Park Service. This program allows the park to keep eighty percent of the revenue from most fees charged." http://www.nps.gov... As my opponent stated, the amount of tourism traffic in the Grand Canyon results in a great deal of revenue. Ergo, the Grand Canyon has historically been, and will continue to be a strong U.S. asset. Its sale would deprive the U.S. of such.

Pro:
1. "The Grand Canyon would be most profitably utilized as a tourist attraction."
a. My opponents statement is entirely false. The Grand Canyon contains vast mineral resources. http://www.suite101.com... As these resources were mined up until the nationalization of the Grand Canyon, they would naturally continue following privatization. This would have severe ecological repercussions. Also, cross-apply my second contention.
b. An increased tourist load would negatively affect the Grand Canyon, e.g. further damage to the water supply, the impacts of transportation. http://www.rff.org...
c. My opponent does not warrant his claim of increased revenue, in fact, his link leads to a marketing company's home page. This hardly warrants the increase in revenue which he estimates.
d. The quote, for one, is unwarranted. Further, it merely "suggests" that public land will be preserved to some extent. This is certainly not a point in favor of Pro, as the government already uses the Grand Canyon in an environmentally conscientious manner.

2. "Companies naturally make decisions to maximize profits."
a. This is quite true. However, tourism is not necessarily the most profitable path, as I have stated. Even if it were utilized as a tourist attraction, industrialization, and possibly tourist traffic would increase. Both would have negative environmental consequences.
b. "Just as tourism companies that own beaches keep their beaches clean, the company that owns the Grand Canyon would naturally protect it and its serenity." The tourism company would only protect those areas readily accessible by tourists. The most profitable route would be to industrialize and mine other areas. Ergo, this point is essentially a turn.

3. "Therefore, government ownership of the Grand Canyon is unnecessary and undesirable."
a. My opponent has warranted this nowhere in his case. The above contentions only attempt to explain away the impacts of private ownership.
b. My opponent does not warrant the sale price of the Grand Canyon. He then further states that much of his case is a wash. It will occur with or without the resolution's application.
c. Finally, my opponent's last two statements are simply that...statements. They are fully unwarranted, and as such, should not be weighed in this round. Hence, my opponent has no warranted impacts, and his burden of proof is, thus far, not met.

Thanks for the interesting topic idea. Back to you.
wjmelements

Pro

I thank my opponent for presenting his case.

1. The Economic Utlilization of the Grand Canyon
a. My opponent asserts that the Grand Canyon would be mined following its privatization. What he does not say is that it is already being mined for limestone and uranium. http://www.suite101.com... The government has obviously allowed for the abuse of the Grand Canyon for military purposes. Further, the process of mining would most likely be done underground, as the minerals can still be extracted while preserving the beauty of the Grand Canyon. http://minerals.state.nv.us... (pg 50) The underground method would most likely be used so that the minerals would still be extracted while preserving the beauty of the Grand Canyon.
b. My opponent also asserts that an increased tourist load would negatively affect the Grand Canyon by damage to the water supply, and the impacts of transportation. However, transportation in the Grand Canyon will be mostly mass transit (busses, light rail, etc.) http://www.cyberwest.com..., and an increase in tourism would not have a significant effect. Further, private companies would be more likely to install the proposed mass transit systems than the government, as the government has debated mass transit in the Grand Canyon for over a decade http://www.grandcanyontreks.org..., and shows no signs of being adopted. http://www.mindbird.com... The private sector would certainly meet new demand much more quickly and efficiently, for it would be in the interest of profit.
Also, my opponent claims that further damage would happen to the water supply. According to my opponent's source, however, tourism has a very minor effect on water consumption http://www.rff.org... (page 6), and a 20% increase in just the Grand Canyon, therefore, would not be something to worry about.
c. My opponent claims that my source does not justify an increase in income due to marketing. This claim is unwarranted, as my source states: "Every business benefits from a professional, strategic marketing plan to act as a guideline for their marketing and sales strategies." http://hcsmsd.com...
d. My opponent makes the largely unwarranted claim that the Cato Institute makes unwarranted claims. Not only is this statement by Cato warranted, it is referring to the privatization of the Grand Canyon in particular.

2. Companies maximize profits
-My opponent has essentially conceded my contention; however, he has tried to steer it in a different direction.
a. I have also already argued how tourist traffic will have minimal negative impact, and how industrialization is likely to happen in a way that most preserves the Grand Canyon.
b. My opponent concedes that the tourism company that owns the Grand Canyon will protect all of the areas accessible to tourists. Because the entire Grand Canyon is accessible to tourists, my opponent has conceded that the Grand Canyon would be protected by a tourism company in the interest of profits.

3.
a. My opponent asserts that my case did not warrant my conclusion. This assertion is unwarranted, as my case shows how government ownership of the Grand Canyon is unnecessary and even undesirable.
b. My opponent claims that I stated that my case was a wash. Upon examination of my statement, I was stating that IF the situation was a wash, the auctioning of the GC would still be preferable. Further, the sale price I mentioned was an estimate. The exact value is irrelevant.
c. My opponent claims that my two statements are not warranted. However, they are (upon examination):

-Public demand for the Grand Canyon would be more effectively met
I am sorry: I was assuming that my opponent had a grasp of economics. Contention 2 outlined how a company would naturally make decisions to increase profit. In order to do this in a capitalist society, demand must be met.

-More revenue would be attracted into the Unted States from foreign countries
I incorrectly assumed that my opponent was capable of deductive logic.
17% of tourists are foreign. http://www.nau.edu...
Adding marketing would increase visitors. (Contention 1)
So, more tourists would come into America.
These tourists bring money. http://www.nau.edu...
Therefore, more money enters the country.

So, my claims were not unwarranted; my opponent just found that saying that they were was the quickest way to brush them under the rug.

My case still stands.

1."The Grand Canyon is a National Park of vast geologic, cultural and ecological significance."
-The problem with this statement is that it does not call for government to intervene. Disney World has vast cultural significance. The Mississippi River has vast geological and ecological significance. So, should the government be put in charge of them?

a. My opponent implies that scientific research in the Grand Canyon can not occur if the Grand Canyon is privately owned. In the same manner, one might say that research cannot be done in private universities. The logic is simply flawed.
b. My opponent then repeats his same point.
c. My opponent's third point assumes that a privatized GC would not protect wildlife. In the interest of maximizing tourism and therefore profits, every aspect of the nature would be desirable to preserve. Further, underground mines pose little threat to wildlife. Underground mines can not even cause subsidence to the surface. http://www.ens-newswire.com...

2. A foreign sale?
Just as one cannot decide that all of their land is governed by one country or another, the privatization of the Grand Canyon can not lead to another country owning it.

I now actually have to define a word:
bidder- someone who makes an offer http://www.thefreedictionary.com...
Government is not a "someone"; it is a "something".

Further, when an individual purchases land in the United States, he can not turn it over to a foreign government, for it is still under the jurisdiction of the US Gov't.
Source: Senate Document 43 of the 73rd Congress http://www.supremelaw.org...

3. "The sale violates the rights of Indian reservations."
-GCNP exists entirely separate of Indian reservations. http://www.americansouthwest.net...
-Water rights would be respected with or without government ownership. An increased tourist population, again, will only cause a relatively small increase in water use. http://www.rff.org...
-My opponent makes the unwarranted claim that underground mining causes pollution.

4. "Grand Canyon National Park is a U.S. asset."
-Government has many other means of collecting revenue.
-Government currently collects less than $800 million from GCNP (my first contention).
-The USFG's budget's revenue is $2.7 trillion http://en.wikipedia.org...
Therefore, the Grand Canyon is not necessary as a means of collecting revenue.

I would like to thank my opponent and open the floor for his response.
Debate Round No. 2
pcmbrown

Con

Pro:

1a. The mining occurring in the Grand Canyon is minimal, and quite possibly non-existent. The article details instances of past mining, and indicates that only one mine is currently in operation, the 'Nelson Mine'. http://www.suite101.com... Though said mine was active 12 years ago (the publication date of the article is 1997), a Google search yields little evidence of its existence. http://www.google.de... mine. Uranium mining occurred in the past, but has been discontinued. http://www.grandcanyontreks.org... Further, the mining of uranium causes substantial contamination. Mining would increase exponentially, were the mine privatized. The underground point is unwarranted, as my opponents source is an elementary school lesson plan, utilizing iron filings and a plastic swimming pool. http://minerals.state.nv.us... Also, underground mining is a contributor to pollution. http://www.google.de...= (1st link)
1b. First, the institution of mass transit would be a expansion of infrastructure, which would have negative ecological implications. In fact, the furtherance of mass transit has been opposed partially due to this. http://www.grandcanyontreks.org... The source further states that the cost is prohibitive, suggesting that the endeavour is unprofitable. As for water consumption, the source refers to the industry as a whole. The Grand Canyon is likely to be afflicted by tourists to a greater extent. Further, my opponents 20% figure is unfounded.
1c. The source is fairly biased, as any marketing company would espouse the virtues of their product. Using this warrant is akin to using statements by McDonald's to support the claim that McDonald's food is 'high quality'. http://www.mcdonalds.com...
1d. Terribly sorry, I did indeed overlook the warrant. However, the warrant refers to purchases made by environmentalists. http://www.cato.org... Of course, environmentalists would lessen access to the Grand Canyon, negating my opponents advocacy. Further, it does not refer to the Grand Canyon.

2a. Tourist traffic certainly has a negative impact. http://www.rff.org... Also, any industrialization will be harmful to the local environment, as well as scientific and cultural resources.
2b. Not all of the park is accessible. "Much of the Canyons 1.2 million acres is inaccessible to vacationers..." http://www.papillon.com...

3a. How does your case show that government ownership is inherently negative?
3b. Alright. Sale price is significant, as it determines the Grand Canyon's value at sale, versus its long-term value.
3c. Public demand is currently being met. How is this not so? Again, my opponent assumes that increased tourism is inherently good (the harms are present in my case). He further assumes that the highest bidder would be a tourism company, as opposed to a mining company, or a foreign government.

1. Of course the government ought not acquire Disney World. Its cultural resources are being built rather than being put at risk. Further, it is private property. The Mississippi River is arguable. At any rate, the government owns the Grand Canyon as status quo. The burden of proof lies with my opponent.
1a. My opponent fails to address the ecological harms, and therefore concedes them. Research is unlikely to continue at its current level under a private company. While the purpose of a private university is education and research, a company is directed toward profit.
1b. Essentially, same argument, in regards to culture.
1c. Of course, species like the California Condor would be protected in the interests of tourism. http://www.nps.gov... However, other, less tourist-pleasing organisms would lack protection. A decline in biodiversity would result, with terrible consequences. http://www.greenfacts.org... My opponent's warrant on subsidence is invalid, as the legislation applies only to coal mines. http://www.ens-newswire.com...

2. I am referring to a direct bid by a government, not a forfeiture of property by an individual. My opponent's definition abusively narrows the scope of the resolution. A bidder is any entity that places a bid, as implied by the addition of the suffix -er to bid. My opponent's definition would further exclude corporations.

3. I never stated that land claims were violated. My opponent's warrant, once again, is not specific, or applicable to the Grand Canyon. http://www.rff.org... My claims of pollution are indeed valid. http://www.idrc.ca...

4. The Grand Canyon remains a net asset. http://www.idrc.ca... This is conceded. Ergo, this point still holds weight for Con.

My opponent's case hinges on the assumption that a tourism company would purchase the Grand Canyon, as opposed to some other entity. He has not proven this assumption.

Your turn to debate sir.
wjmelements

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for waiting until Saturday to post.
First, the affirmative case:

1a. Underground mining would most likely be utilized because it can be done without harming the beauty of the Grand Canyon. The best of both worlds, it would be. My opponent has not proposed another way that mining would likely occur, and has essentially conceded this point.
Further, the United States government regulates mining activity from causing surface subsidence http://www.onemine.org..., and air and water pollution http://www.idrc.ca.... My opponent's source regarding underground mining causing pollution was referring to the vastly unregulated South African mining industry http://soer.deat.gov.za.... Assuming that the GC is privatized, more regulation would likely follow to further limit the effects of mining on the environment, because environmentalists don't want harm to come to the GC http://arizona.sierraclub.org... http://www.gp.org..., and would certainly begin advocating even stricter environmental regulations. So, there is little to no real environmental concern with privatizing the Grand Canyon.
1b. First, my opponent's source does not claim, as he says it does, that the cost is prohibitive http://www.grandcanyontreks.org.... Second, the 20% estimate refers to the increase in tourism that my opponent has now both complained as too low and too high. Third, my opponent's claim of the Grand Canyon's especial vulnerability in water consumption is unwarranted.
1c. My opponent has conceded that marketing would likely increase the tourist population. My opponent's [unwarranted] simile is like comparing a dandelion to a scorpion. Using similes in rebuttals is like sweeping dust under the rug.
1d. Cato's article http://www.cato.org... is indeed referring to the Grand Canyon. Also, my opponent's claim that environmentalists would lessen the access to the GC is unwarranted.

2a. All of the impacts of tourism listed are minor http://www.rff.org..., and a slight increase would not be harmful.
2b. The source is likely referring to the Indian Reservations, which are off-limits to vacationers either way http://www.papillon.com.... Also, even if there was an area that wasn't accessible, it would still be visible to the tourists, which would be enough to keep tourism companies from mining the area.

3a. It shows that it just isn't as good as it could be, like a 7-minute mile.
3b. My opponent's concern of sale price is also insignificant, as the government isn't some stock broker. The U.S government's purpose has been established http://www.archives.gov..., and government's purpose is obviously not to make some investment or profit.
3c. Public demand is not being met as well as a company would. A good example would be the skywalk http://www.grandcanyonskywalk.com..., which had to be privately built.
3d. I have done research concerning potential buyers of the Grand Canyon.
The world's largest mining company http://www.miningmx.com..., BHP Billiton, would most definitely buy up the Grand Canyon. BHP Billiton has said, "[We will] Respect national conservation strategies and work with host governments regarding the protection of areas of high conservation value." http://www.bhpbilliton.com... So, BHP Billiton is certainly a company that can be trusted with the Grand Canyon, as this phrase "areas of high conservation value" certainly refers to areas of lesser conservation value than the Grand Canyon.
BHP works to reduce pollution in its economic activities http://www.bhpbilliton.com....
BHP also has other high environmental standards when mining. It also has to comply with government regulations. For these reasons and the profitability of tourism, there is no true environmental concern.

[4] My opponent has conceded that privatizing the Grand Canyon would bring more revenue into the United States.

To the NEG case:

1. My opponent drops his argument here.
1a-b. The ecological arguments were acknowledged earlier. I had not dropped them. My opponent does not warrant his claim that scientific research would be hindered. My opponent acknowledges that companies are directed towards profit. This is not a concern that would cause the owner of the Grand Canyon to limit or restrain research.
1c. The source regarding subsidence does not say that the law ONLY applies to coal mines, but that it affects coal mines. The regulation applies to ALL underground mining http://www.onemine.org....
My opponent's biodiversity argument defies its own premise. If destroying biodiversity has negative effects, especially on the environment http://www.greenfacts.org..., then biodiversity will be preserved in private interest. My opponent has already conceded this. See PRO Contention 2.

2. My opponent's definition is unwarranted, so mine stands.
Corporations have a chief executive officer that can bid on their behalf. http://economics.about.com...
Also, should a government decide to buy the Grand Canyon [through an individual, like a president], the land would still be part of the United States (my opponent has conceded this); therefore, there is no threat to national security, just as there is no threat to national security when foreign investors buy property.

3. My opponent has conceded this point: water rights will be respected with or without government ownership. Pollution concerns are already addressed elsewhere, as the federal government regulates water pollution http://www.pollutionissues.com....

4. I conceded no such thing. Further, my opponent's source does not warrant his claim. Also, my opponent has conceded that the United States has no need for the Grand Canyon as an asset.
Another challenge to this point is that governments should not own assets and the means of production, a.k.a. capital http://dictionary.reference.com.... Communism, when the government owns capital http://www.businessdictionary.com..., is not warranted in the United States Constitution http://www.archives.gov....
My opponent provides no justification for government owning capital, not even for a source of revenue, Which I have already argued against.

BHP will buy up the Grand Canyon, mine from it with minimal environmental impact, and still ensure, if not increase the benefits of tourism to our nation. The economic benefits (increased revenue, increased accessible mineral quantity, increased employment) are significant, and the concerns, when examined, are insignificant, if not non-existent.

Thank you, and I will now open the floor for my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
pcmbrown

Con

1a. Mining can occur in multiple ways, surface, and underground being two of the more common methods. http://en.wikipedia.org... http://en.wikipedia.org...(soft_rock) Historically, the two most valuable, mined resources in the Grand Canyon are limestone and uranium. http://www.suite101.com... Limestone is mined via "open-pit", a surface method. This presents a number of hazards, including the introduction of toxic sulphides and acidic groundwater. http://en.wikipedia.org... Acid runoff degrades local geological features, along with harming the local ecology. In this circumstance, subsidence is inapplicable. My opponent's source contains no mention of sulphides, and only mentions acid runoff in order to imply that it is of secondary priority to the United States government, as quoted from a scholarly source. http://www.idrc.ca... With the problem of limestone surface mining unsolved, we move to that of uranium, mined typically from an open-pit. Thus, the above harms also apply to uranium mining. My opponent has further failed to address the specific harms of mining uranium, via open-pit, or underground methods. The contamination resultant from uranium mining has been cited as one of the greatest risks to Grand Canyon National Park, and that's simply within the local watershed, let alone mining within the park itself. http://www.ens-newswire.com... My opponent cannot prove increased regulation, nor can I disprove it, as the matter is one of speculation. However, the mining industry, being rather large, has a competing lobby. http://en.wikipedia.org... Ergo, current mining regulation is likely the ultimate compromise reached between the two groups. As for the Green Party no currently elected members of the Legislature. Mining would undoubtedly increase, given the potential profit, and the harms which I've demonstrated would be present to a significant extent.
1b. It indeed states that cost is prohibitive: "The legislators said the park may have overestimated the number of tourists expected over the next decade and noted that light rail might be too expensive." http://www.grandcanyontreks.org... My opponent still fails to warrant his 20% figure, and thus, it carries no weight in this round. In regards to water consumption, the Grand Canyon is a massive tourist attraction. Ergo, its concentration of tourists is relatively large in comparison to other areas of the United States, and has a proportional amount of water usage.
1c. My opponent's warrant is entirely illegitimate, as it is, simply, a marketing company stating that marketing has a positive impact. There is clear bias present. At any rate, the Grand Canyon is already marketed by the National Parks Service. http://www.grandcanyon.com...
1d. The specific statement that is under consideration does not refer directly to the Grand Canyon. http://www.cato.org... Obviously, environmentalists act in the interest of the environment, not that of profit. This negates my opponent's entire advocacy, though it is unlikely that environmentalists would be the high bidders. http://www.sierragrouponline.com...

2a. Neither air nor water pollution are 'minor' problems. http://www.rff.org... A slight increase would certainly be harmful.
2b. Much of the Grand Canyon is "inaccessible by foot", and only a single tour company provides visibility of the entire canyon. http://www.papillon.com... Thus, it is apparent that mining certain areas will yield more profit than failing to do so.

3a. Alright, this is more a impact of your case than a separate point, so I essentially address it by addressing your other points.
3b. The government's responsibility is to provide necessary services. Any policy which serves to bring the government revenue without further taxation is positive, as it helps to uphold these programs without burdening the citizens.
3c. If the government can meet public demand via private contractors, how is the status quo flawed?
3d. My opponent has conceded that a likely victor would be a mining company. BHP Billiton certainly seems like a probable candidate. As my opponent stated, BHP has taken steps to reduce environmental impact. However, they concede that substantial risk remains. http://www.bhpbilliton.com... They admit that challenges exist in reducing their environmental impact. Among those are the harms of mining which I've already mentioned. Note that my BHP can easily outbid any tourism company, and therefore, all 'positive' impacts relating to tourism are irrelevant.

4. I concede that purchase by a tourism company would lead to increased tourism (which is a negative impact), if only to a slight degree. However, BHP, which my opponent believes to be the likely victor, is a mining company. http://www.bhpbilliton.com... Mining companies are built to mine, and do not have the bureaucratic infrastructure to run the Grand Canyon as a tourist attraction.

1. The argument has not been dropped. My opponent posed hypothetical questions, and I answered them. "1" is merely a tagline, supported by the following subpoints.
1a-b. Okay, in that case, the arguments have already been addressed in attacking your own case.
1c. Actually, after searching "subsidence" on that article, I found that it fails to make note of any regulation regarding subsidence. http://www.onemine.org...
I conceded that a tourism company might protect wildlife like the California Condor. However, the company in question focuses exclusively on mining. My opponent wishes to have his cake, and eat it too. However, he has already conceded that BHP would outbid a tourism company. http://www.greenfacts.org...

2. My opponent's definition is absurdly limiting and abusive. CEO's are not bidders who turn their winnings over to the company. CEO's never purchase the land, the company does so. Bidder: One who submits a response to an invitation for bid (IFB). Bid: An offer submitted by a prospective vendor in response to an invitation for bid (IFB) issued by a purchasing authority. A bid becomes a contract upon acceptance by the buyer. http://www.rfpmd.com... A vendor is a collaboration of persons, not a single person. Ergo, the definition of 'bidder' is not limited to a single person. Obviously, the definition does not consist entirely of vendors either. I'm merely showing that the correct definition is far broader.

3. Water rights will be violated in that heavier water use upstream will limit downstream water use. Further, water pollution is still present. The level which the government finds to be "acceptable" is, in fact, harmful. http://www.usnews.com...

4. Oops, here's the right link. http://www.nau.edu... My opponent has not refuted government ownership of capital. The ownership of capital has not been determined to be unconstitutional. Again, recall that my opponent must justify privatization, as the burden of proof is his.

Note that my opponent's advocacy centers around a purchase by BHP, which negates any tourism points. There is no reason why a mining company would have, or develop, the necessary organizational infrastructure to support a tourism enterprise. The economic benefits in the BHP purchase scenario, are outweighed by the harms I've detailed.
wjmelements

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for another well-researched rebuttal.

1a. My opponent's arguments rely on the assumption that Uranium would be mined in an open pit. In 1990, 55% of world uranium production was the result of underground mining http://www.world-nuclear.org.... This number has recently dropped due to the rising Uranium mining trend, ISL http://www.world-nuclear.org.... ISL, or ISR, is the most common Uranium mining method in the United States http://www.world-nuclear.org.... The process of ISL does not remove Uranium ore from the ground http://www.wise-uranium.org... and does not cause the radiation leaks that my opponent's case worries about http://www.wise-uranium.org.... Further, it is one of the most cost-effective method of Uranium mining http://www.wise-uranium.org.... Regulations would be more than sufficient to make sure that ISL has little to no environmental impact.
My opponent's unwarranted claim that "limestone is mined via 'open-pit' " is false. Limestone had been effectively mined underground http://www.igsb.uiowa.edu..., and due to the tourism and profit benefits of doing so, limestone would be mined underground, where it doesn't have the environmental hazards that my opponent claims.
1b. The cost of a light rail system is considerably less than $350 million http://www.grandcanyontreks.org..., a drop in the bucket for BHP Billiton, which made $15 billion in profits in 2008 http://www.bhpbilliton.com....
I still think that it is funny that my opponent thinks that 20% is too high (1c) and too low (1b, 2). Again, it is irrelevant, though.
If a water dispute became anything, it would be settled by the courts. It is not a reason for the government to own the GC.
1c. My opponent's source saying that the NPS markets the Grand Canyon linked to a private tourism company http://www.grandcanyon.com.... It is evident that the government does not market the Grand Canyon and if a private company were to do this, more revenue would be produced and more money would be brought into the United States.
1d. While Cato is not directly referring to the Grand Canyon when it warrants its claim, its claim is obviously aimed at the Grand Canyon http://www.cato.org.... This entire point is irrelevant though, because BHP will buy the Grand Canyon, not an environmentalist.

2a. Air pollution concerns in the tourism industry in my opponent's source relate to air plane and car emissions http://www.rff.org..., which occur whether the government owns the GC or not. My opponent also makes the claim that an increase in tourism would cause water pollution; however, his source makes no mention of it http://www.rff.org....
2b. My opponent's argument here is void, because mining would be done underground and through ISL. Also, there is no reason why helicopter tours would no longer be profitable; so my opponent's argument is also irrelevant.

3a. My opponent has dropped this subpoint.
3b. My opponent claims that government ownership of the Grand Canyon is good because it lessens taxation. First, my opponent has already conceded that this revenue is insignificant to the budget of the federal government. Second, my opponent's argument can be used to justify the government owning all capital (which is communism). My opponent has conceded that communism would not be beneficial.
He has therefore conceded that his point is irrelevant and harmful if applied to a level of relevancy.
3c. Government is historically less efficient at running businesses than the private sector. For example, the post office is ran so inefficiently, it is possible for private companies (the United Parcel Service, for example http://www.ups.com...)to compete with it. Because private companies can meet public demand more efficiently than government, it would be preferable to privatize the Grand Canyon.
3d. As I've already noted, the Grand Canyon could be owned privately and mined with little or no environmental impact.

4. My opponent actually conceded in an earlier round that any private ownership would lead to an increase in a flow of revenue into the United States.
CON argues here that a mining company could not run the Grand Canyon as a tourist attraction. This is inherently false. The Walt Disney company was originally a Hollywood Animation Studio http://corporate.disney.go.com...; however, it opened the world famous Disney World and Disney Land as tourist locations http://corporate.disney.go.com.... BHP would want to tap into potential tourism income and maximize it, just like a tourism company.

Now, for my opponent's case:
1a-b. This point was addressed earlier.
1c. " I found that it fails to make note of any regulation regarding subsidence." Look harder:
"The development of the regulation of subsidence under Public Law 95-87, the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 (SMCRA or the Act) are also discussed, including the new regulations being developed under the regulatory reform program." http://www.onemine.org...
My opponent's argument that a mining company would not tap into tourism is again unwarranted and contradicts history.

2. My opponent's definition is again unwarranted, and even under it, my opponent has conceded that a foreign nation would not be able to manage a military base, etc. The United States Government would still hold ultimate authority over its land.

3. My opponent's source here does not warrant his claims. Therefore, disregard them. Again, water rights would be followed with or without government ownership, as the same regulations and contracts apply either way.

4. The argument that government should own assets and capital has not been made. Contrary to my opponent's statement, capitalism is the status quo, not communism; therefore, my opponent was required to make an argument as to why government should own capital.
Regarding my constitutional argument against the ownership of the GC: The Constitution does not grant federal power to own capital or even landmarks http://www.archives.gov.... The 10th Ammendment claims that "the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people" http://www.archives.gov...; therefore, government ownership of the Grand Canyon is unconstitutional.

In conclusion, government ownership of the Grand Canyon is unconstitutional, undesirable, and economically limiting; therefore, Grand Canyon National Park should be privatized. Because my opponent has conceded that auctioning this property is the best way to privatize it, the United States should be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

The 5th Round has been reserved for addressing the voters briefly.

Thanks again to my opponent for this debate.
Debate Round No. 4
pcmbrown

Con

The final round will be reserved for the presentation of voting issues, as previously agreed. I will be providing an analysis of the arguments presented regarding each contention, and the impacts thereof. I will not post sources in this round, and will ask that my opponent do the same.

1a. I have demonstrated the vast environmental impacts of every applicable form of mining upon the Grand Canyon. Though my opponent has presented alternatives which "minimize" the environmental impact, the harms are still quite significant. As mining currently has negative environmental impacts wherever it takes place, it is clear that regulations may decrease, but certainly will not eliminate environmental damage.
1b. The addition of a light-rail remains an unprofitable, if not cost-prohibitive endeavour, as concluded by the U.S. government. Ergo, a company which acts in the most profitable manner will fail to institute such infrastructure. My opponent makes entirely unwarranted claims regarding a tourist increase in the Grand Canyon, and therefore, all his points relating to increased tourist activity are mere conjecture. The possible harms regarding water usage and tourist traffic still stand as reasons to negate.
1c. My opponent has failed to warrant his claim that the Grand Canyon would be marketed more effectively. Were that even the case, of course, the environmental harms of tourism would certainly apply.
1d. Conceded, this is irrelevant to the debate. This point carries no weight for the affirmation, as my opponent's advocacy has shifted away from it entirely.

2a. I have demonstrated that air and water (included in my source) pollution are consequences of tourist activity. Ergo, any increased tourist activity, which my opponent claims as a certainty, would increase said pollution. Thus, the environmental harms increase.
2b. I have clearly shown that the economic benefits of mining outweigh the value of exposing all areas of the park to tourism. There is little incentive against degrading the beauty and geological value of the Grand Canyon.

3a. This was not a subpoint, but a tagline, which is negated by addressing the following subpoints.
3b. My opponent states that I have made several concessions here. This is patently false. I have not stated that the Grand Canyon's revenue is insignificant, merely that the government does not "need" it, just as it does not "need" many other sources of revenue. It remains a positive asset. My claims cannot be used to justify communism, they simply state that the government ought to retain its current capital, rather than forfeiting it. I have further conceded no harms of communism. The government ought not sell the Grand Canyon simply because it profits from it.
3c. My opponent has not demonstrated how public demand is not being met. The status quo provides perfectly adequate access to the Grand Canyon.
3d. In earlier points, I have clearly outlined the inherent environmental harms of mining.

4. Added revenue would only be present if tourism were continued, which I do not concede will occur. There is simply no plausible logic, or precedent behind a mining company purchasing a tourist attraction. The construction of a tourist attraction by an entertainment company bears no resemblance to the proposed circumstance.

1a-b. Again, my opponent has failed to negate the harms which would apply to the extensive resources of the Grand Canyon.
1c. Obviously, some harms will be present to the local ecology. Further, my opponent's case here hinges upon the continuation of tourist activities, which is unlikely.

2. My opponent never negated this point, stating that my definition was "invalid". However, I have shown that a nation can indeed be a 'bidder'. The impacts of this are tremendous, as a nation can indeed construct a military base within another nation, and own the land as their own territory. The Louisiana Purchase and Guantanamo Bay demonstrate this. Obviously, the implications of such a sale are massive, and alone negates the resolution.

3. Water claims could easily be violated by an increase in tourists due to decreased flow downstream. Also, water pollution remains a problem that has been unaddressed.

4. My opponent has accepted the burden of proof, and must show that privatization ought to occur. The status quo is government ownership of the Grand Canyon. Ownership of capital is not a "power". Said ownership certainly does not violate the Constitution.

Major points:
A. Auctioning will result in sale to a foreign government. The funds and motive are clearly present. This point was not adequately refuted.
B. Sale to a mining company (unlikely) would result in the degradation of geological, cultural, and ecological resources.
C. Tourism would be discontinued, as neither a foreign government, nor a mining company would prolong it.

Many thanks to my opponent for a well-sourced and entertaining debate. Thanks for reading. Vote Con.
wjmelements

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate.

1a. I have shown that my opponent's environmental concerns were based on open-pit mining, which is not the most efficient method of mining Uranium. I have also shown why limestone mining would occur underground and how underground mining is regulated to the extent where no damage to the Grand Canyon can occur.
1b. A company is certainly the most effective organization for dealing with concerns of an increase in the tourist population. As I have shown, the cost of the light rail system was not "inhibitive", and my opponent's source only claimed a minor cost concern. I have also shown that water concerns occur under public or private ownership, and would be settled by the courts either way. My opponent has repeatedly contradicted himself in his claims regarding an increase in the tourist population resulting from marketing. There are no concerns here.
1c. I have shown that an increase in tourism due to marketing would not even have minor environmental concerns but would reap an economic boost.
1d. Both sides have agreed that this counterpoint to my case is irrelevant, and therefore carries no weight for negation.
My opponent's concerns regarding my first contention were effectively defeated.

2a. My opponent's sources here did not verify his claims regarding pollution resulting from tourism.
2b. My opponent conceded this counterpoint in round 2.
This point has also been affirmed.

3a. My opponent has conceded that his counterpoint carries no weight against my case.
3b. My opponent conceded this subpoint when he dropped my arguments against it in the 4th round. The "asset" argument has not been made and my opponent has conceded that the revenue obtained from the Grand Canyon is irrelevant in the big picture.
3c. I have shown how government is less capable of operating for-profit operations than private companies.
3d. As I've shown, the Grand Canyon could be privately owned and even mined with little to no environmental consequences.
My opponent's points against my case have been defeated. My case stands.

4. My arguments have shown why a mining company would want to reap the benefits of tourism. My opponent's concerns are disproven by history and by science.
My entire case stands.

1a-b. I have shown how no harm can come to the Grand Canyon because of modern mining practices and regulations.
1c. It is evident that a company could effectively mine the Grand Canyon without harming its beauty and without harming tourism.

2. As I have shown, the United States is the ultimate owner of all private property. Therefore, my opponent's concerns here are irrelevant to the debate. There is no motif for the purchase of the Grand Canyon by a foreign government, as there is no military benefit.

2 & 1/2. My opponent introduces a new argument here. This should be disregarded. Further, his new points are based on false premises for the reasons aforementioned. The Louisiana Purchase was an entirely different type of transaction and Guantanemo Bay is the result of a treaty between Cuba and The United States Government.

3. As I have shown, newer mining methods do not contribute to the water pollution my opponent argues. As I aforementioned, water claims could be violated under any ownership and would be settled by the courts.

4. My opponent asserts that I have burden of proof for all of his arguments. This is not true. My opponent must justify his claims just as I must justify mine. He has not justified the government ownership of capital and its constitutionality.

The Constitutional argument seems to have gone something like this:
"It's unconstitutional."
"No it's not."
"Yes it is. The tenth ammendment says the federal government can claim no such power."
"No it's not. And you have BoP."
I have justified why the public ownership of capital is unconstitutional, and my opponent has not justified any argument otherwise.

Overall, my opponent's case carries no weight against mine.

Regarding my opponent's Major points:
A. My opponent dropped his argument that a motif for a foreign government to buy the Grand Canyon exists in the third round.
B. New mining practices and regulations prevent harm from coming to the Grand Canyon.
C. My opponent presented no argument as to why a mining company would not want to reap the benefits of tourism.

PRO Major Points:
1. Minerals would be safely and cleanly extracted from the Grand Canyon. The result is an expanded clean mining industry, which would help the economy, create jobs, and add to standard of living.
2. The current government ownership of the Grand Canyon is unconstitutional. Governments should not violate their own contracts.
3. The Grand Canyon's tourism would increase because of marketing. More money would come into the United States as a result.

I would like to extend a high five to anyone who read this debate in its entirity. I would like to thank my opponent for a great debate. Vote PRO.
Debate Round No. 5
26 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by tribefan011 7 years ago
tribefan011
Fortunately, the Nobel Prize in Economics is no longer a joke.
Posted by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
of course
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
In the 4th round, yes. In the 5th round, we only address the voters.
Posted by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
you can construct refutations, but not arguments
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
I don't understand what you are asking?
Posted by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
okay, can u just post refutations (no new arguments) then?
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Nah, it'll wrap up. It'll be easier on the judges if we have it t only 4 rounds and leave the 5th for addressing the voters.
Posted by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
First character limit reached :D btw, wanna extend refutations (not new arguments) to the 5th round? the debate hasnt slowed down
Posted by pcmbrown 7 years ago
pcmbrown
Not all of it, but there are certaintly some enlightening sections.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
I did that when I was 14. It's rather interesting, is it not?
8 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
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Danielle
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