The Instigator
Con (against)
3 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
0 Points

Do Welfare Programs improve poverty and in general help the economy?

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/27/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 624 times Debate No: 78184
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




The First round is for the start of the debate. I am looking for a challenge. No rules other than no personal insults since if someone resorts to personal attacks it is because they are not able to control their emotions.

Good luck to anyone who accepts my challenge and I look forward to a friendly debate.


1) Welfare improves quality of life

Contrary to common beliefs , a majority of aid received through welfare goes to helping pay for basic necessities. These are items such as food, housing, and transportation. These necessities take up on ,on average, 77 percent of the budget.

2) Welfare / economy

Welfare does not affect the economy as much as the economy affects it. Welfare takes up a mere 9% of federal budget, therefore even major revisions would not significantly help or hurt the economy economy.
Debate Round No. 1


dan40000000 forfeited this round.


extend my arguments
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to apologize for the previous round. I was on vacation with my family and time slipped away from me.

Primary point:

The goal has always been to help poor people. Now poor people are poor for 1 of 2 reasons.

The first: They don't work smart or work hard. Or like a couple friends of mine they would rather party and "enjoy" life than work. These people have the skills to get decent jobs but just don't want to.

The second ( and I think most glaring problem): They lack the proper skills to acquire a decent paying job and even worse they don't have the chance to gain such skills because minimum wage pushes them out of work.

Milton Friedman once said "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results". This is the case with food stamps, medicare, etc.

Medical care is very expensive and I definitely see how without medicare patients would be in big trouble. But one question comes to mind. Before medicare how much was medical costs?
This graph should help you:

Here are some better graphs :

Now as you notice health care costs have just surged in the recent years. And interestingly enough so have profits medical companies and doctors salaries have just gone through the roof. When did this all happen? 1966 was the date that this crazy increase started. Medicare was introduced. So ironically the government is the reason why health care costs have just gone through the roof. Before that doctors where there because they actually cared about people and money wasn't an issue so we had better doctors (not that doctors don't still do this but their is a big trend that more and more are joining for the money and not to be a good person). Read this by Ron Paul :

As you can see Medicare shut down these free market hospitals and drove costs up. So clearly these programs have not helped.

I could dive into every program this way but their isn't enough space so I am forced to stay surface deep. Long term food stamps don't improve poverty they actually allow people to stay in poverty and not worry. I have seen it personally where people refuse a 10k pay raise because they will be poorer without government programs.

So these programs that are intended to help people actually hurt them.
This shows who the people are that are really hurting those people.

I was involved in a few projects where we provided automatic wells for communities in Africa. Our mantra was we never set it up ourselves but would only provide the supplies and training and let the Africans themselves do it. Amazingly every once in a while communities would refuse our help because they wanted us to do it. It blew my mind that people really would refuse running water because they didn't want to do it. Eventually they came to us and took us up on our offer and not only did we supply them with water but a couple people now picked up skills that allowed them to go to bigger cities and get jobs. This solves the skills problem. Food stamps is the same way we need to let people gain skills otherwise they will be stuck in food stamps forever.


Iif you get your information from than you are in serious trouble. Anyone website on any side that is blatantly bias like that can't be trusted. I have seen first hand how they misrepresent truth. Either way it doesn't matter what they spend their money on. If you have time go through some of this data you will see that the percentage of poor people have been largely unchanged in the last 15 years. So these programs obviously don't work because they haven't gotten people out of poverty which is the real solution. What is interesting is this ( I typically don't like wikipedia but it can we useful when the matter of information is data and not opinions) Example the number of extreme poverty in the world has been cut in half since the early 90's. But how? They have taken away price setting, higher corporate taxes, etc basically everything liberals think help poor. Yet the result has been extremely clear. Free markets help the poor people the most by giving them the option to work and gain skills and get better paying jobs.

Sorry healthcare is considered as welfare. But either way it is not the solution. Clearly the sources I showed above have proven extensively that people leave poverty by skills and jobs and not with food stamps. How can food stamps help some one improve their job opportunities? They don't teach skills or anything.

The evidence is clear we need to teach people to get jobs and train them to get skills which we do through schools if the students don't take advantage of that whose fault is that really? And don't say schools don't have money. If I remember learning and growing skills doesn't come from teachers it comes from within.


No worries, it's summer.

1) I would first like to address your argument that says the poor" don't work smart or work hard. Or like a couple friends of mine they would rather party and "enjoy" life than work. These people have the skills to get decent jobs but just don't want to." Please provide more concrete evidence to support this claim " a couple of your friends", don't represent minimum wage workers as a whole.
a. Education
My opponents claims that the poor have the skills to get a decent job.
K-12 Public education in the US is free; however, The cost of college has increased 1,120% from 1978.
Most "decent" paying jobs require one kind of degree or another, so because the poor do not have access to this level of education they are forced into low paying job in order to survive.
This lack of necessary education prevents the poor from moving up financially, not welfare.

We never defined welfare, so allow me

Welfare: statutory procedure or social effort designed to promote the basic physical and material well-being of people in need; social assistance.

Welfare's purpose is to keep people from to dying due to their lack of ability to provide themselves with basic necessities.
Welfare does lift the poor out of poverty, and it keeps them from dying.

Welfare-to-work programs: denoting government policies that encourage those receiving welfare benefits to find a job, for example by providing job training.

The primary goal of welfare-to-work programs is to increase the income of welfare recipients; get them out of poverty.
From 2010-2013 79% percent of participants had either temporary or permanent jobs. 45 participants earned an average of 3,320 a month. They exceeded the San Francisco minimum wage by 1,491.

Graph of SF success rates

The rising cost of health care in the US can be attributed to three main causes

1. The administrative costs of running our health care system are extremely high
One example: Duke university has 9000 beds and about 1,300 billing clerks, the average Canadian hospital has a handful of billing clerks.
2. In health care the US doesn't utilize leverage as much as other countries do.

The lowest prices for pharmaceuticals are in government plans, this gives the buyer more leverage. People with Medicare and medicaid have greater leverage than those with private insurance, and therefore those with private insurance pay more.

3. American receive more medical care than their foreign counterparts, which increases the cost of insurance.

Medicare has nothing to with high medical care costs in this country.

Hospitals that accept medicare receive payments for doing so.

SNAP benefits are limited to three months within a three year period how can my opponent call that "long term". Food stamps are not making anyone any richer or poorer, they are keeping people alive.

Your next argument is just a smear campaign against liberals and should be counted as biased by voters.
Prager University is not an accredited academic institution
and does not offer certifications or diplomas.( This is from the website) They have no authority on the matter of which they are speaking.

Your next argument I find a little offensive "the Africans" is not a politically correct term, as Africa is not a country.

Moving on to your actual argument. Once again personal experience cannot be used as your only evidence to support a claim; my opponent is not everybody and therefore this argument has no sufficient evidence to back it up. In addition, building wells in Africa is an admirable thing, but it has nothing to do with this debate.

Explain how you have proven anything other the fact that you clearly don't like liberals ,and you have been to Africa.

You have a plan clearly, but you haven't shown how you intend to enact this plan.

I repeat again solely using personal experience should not be counted as evidence.
Debate Round No. 3



"Please provide more concrete evidence to support this claim". I didn't think I needed to do this since it is common knowledge. It is just basic Economics here is the official government report:
Here is where all the numbers are broken down and you will find there is currently a big group of people who are able to work but don't for whatever reason. Some have good reasons others don't when you go to college take an Econ class and you will learn all about this. These are people who have skills to get a job but don't
here it breaks it down to make it more understandable for those who have little knowledge in Economics. . (also a side not is when I say skills to get a job I mean an entry level job). Entry level jobs don't pay well but they give valuable experience to gain better jobs. This is shown in any industry outside of athletics.

Ah college costs have gone up that is very true. Ironically the government caused this as well if you notice in this graph

They show the dramatic increase in tuition ironically around the same time when pell grants were introduced. Going back to Milton Friedman a well respected economist "One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results". Now it seems like Pell grants would help but it doesn't at all. Now this is higher level economics now I know you are 19 and I know many college students or any 19 year olds aren't ever exposed to Economics so I will try my best to explain this and I will give you plenty of sources where you can research and learn for yourself.
In case you think the website is biased here is the author of the article that was published.
He is a well known economist and one of the top experts in his field. Basically what he is saying is if the Government pumps a ton of money into education it causes inflation. Simple term but it is 100% accurate the more money you pump into anything the prices will go up. So in the end the cost to the consumer won't change. What will change is the Government will tax people a lot of money that could be used to help create jobs and instead just cause prices to go up.

These are economic facts. I encourage you to dive in and research a lot more and you will be amazed to see the correlations between rising costs and government spending. Either way I got through college on student loans are there people in America that can't get student loans? I had kids in college too and loans were more than sufficient to provide me rent, food, school, etc. I even worked part time to just have more money. Ironically I left college with thousands more than I entered with so again the problem is the ability to go to college it's there for anyone who works hard and gets good grades. Not having good grades to get into college is hardly anyone else fault except the individual who didn't put the work in required to get into college. Even then you can still go through community colleges where you get a second chance and can use that as a platform to get into a good school. So I fail to see how the Government or rich people are responsible to the poor since there are several chances to gain the skills for work.
It clearly says right here that welfare is to pay for Medical, housing and food costs so your work programs do not classify as welfare sadly according to webster the most prominent dictionary in the US. Work programs do help people and I agree there should be 3 to 6 months of temporary food stamps, medical care, etc but to be honest charities can accomplish the same goals. Not only that those people that go through work programs are not the ones we should be worried about because they are showing a desire to work and get better which is good for the economy. I am worried about those who don't choose this option.

Healthcare Costs.

Amazingly when I was 18 I had no idea how an economist could be such an expert on healthcare coverage. Here is something you should really read. You made a few errors in your assumptions. First you cannot compare countries that don't share common data. Or How government spending increases the amount of money in healthcare which causes inflation. These are basic economic rules so i hope you read this and increase your knowledge. It is very true that Government involvement has increased prices. There is a strong correlation between spending and rising prices.

With Prager they aren't a school but that doesn't mean they can be discredited. Most of their speakers are experts in their field of study so I caution to discredit them so quickly since after all they are experts. Another example are TED talks which isn't a university but I think have very educational videos. So how are these sources invalid?

How on Earth is Africans offensive?? Is Americans, Europeans offensive?? America isn't a country it is a continent and neither is Europe, Asia, etc yet it's ok to call anyone in central or south american Americans. I lived down there and it is very common to call them Latin Americans or even Americans honestly either way this is way off topic.

Here are sources read these:

here are videos which are easier than reading in my opinion:

In case you doubt that free markets help the poor.
Chile implemented free market policies 20 to 30 years ago and as you can see they are doing very well.

In fact most of the top countries all got the top GDP by free markets

Interesting the facts are there. Government spending is always a disaster just ask Japan. Free markets are what help the Poor make more money and become stronger. Ask India who has dramatically reduced their poverty levels not with government programs but with less government programs the evidence SO clear in that country. It is very obvious. (how can you possible deny this article??)
The above artice clearly shows that we are getting more and more people out of poverty as we move towards free markets. What is interesting is the US hasn't seen this happen because at the same time we have expanded our government. If these programs worked explain this This graph shows that there has been little change the last 25 years while we have had records amount of spending to help the poor? That doesn't make any sense. If you doubt the graph in my previous post I gave you the Government statistics and they are all there.

It is pure economics welfare states are doomed to fail and have been proven to fail time and time again. Just as Argentina, Russia, Greece, and many others.


HaileyL forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by whiteflame 1 year ago
>Reported vote: tlockr// Mod action: Removed<

7 points to Con. Reasons for voting decision: Con won by a landslide!

[*Reason for removal*] Clear vote bomb. Voter does not explain any of his point allocations.
Posted by medv4380 1 year ago
I would have liked a little more to have seen the overall cost of this inflation. After all if wages had inflated with the cost of Health Care, and College then it would have been a wash. However, I'm already aware that wages for the middle class have been stagnant for a few decades now so I'm sure it hasn't been a positive result, but seeing the raw numbers would have been nice.
Posted by dan40000000 1 year ago
I don't hate liberals by the way. But Liberals are big supporters of welfare and it is just a terrible thing. Republicans love going to war (of course apparently Obama loves to war too which is funny) which I don't like either. It is why I am libertarian I don't like government involvement.
Posted by HaileyL 1 year ago
Actually I made a mistake you did not use
my mistake.
Posted by HaileyL 1 year ago
You used is another debate, was it a valid source there?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by medv4380 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm of two mind sets on this. First there is a third group that Con failed to address. My mother is actually a part of this third group. My mother has extensive brain damage, and over the years has degraded. Everyone who has insisted that she can do it her self has only led to expensive mistakes. She's currently on SSI, and that is what SSI is intended for. On the other hand Con has a point. Easy access to money has led to inflation of Health Care, and in the cost of College. I'm not certain that a social program is doomed to fail. After all free public schooling has at least made the majority of the country literate. Other countries also don't implement healthcare in the method that we do. Perhaps if Pro had hammered a little harder on the differences maybe they may have had a better point. Clearly Con's right in that our Public Private Hybrid Welfare Programs in the US is at least flawed by causing inflation of the product it was to provide.