Essential services should be socialized, and privatized services should be regulated.
1. Most essential services that all human beings are entitled to as members of society should be socialized. Socialized, meaning owned and operated by the community as a whole, whether that means through the Government, or by general worker consensus. Essential services include healthcare, education, food/housing for the poor, roads, public transit, etc.
I am now ready to hear from my opponent.
2. Other services (As in, cell phones, TV, internet, food/housing for the well-off, cars, computers, etc.) should be run in a Capitalist manner. Capitalism, meaning private individuals and businesses own the means of production, and they compete within a marketplace.
3. The Government must regulate the services described in premise #2. Regulate, as in ensure the businesses providing those services do not defraud their workers, do not harm the environment, do not form monopolies, etc.
To begin with your first premise, I must disagree with what you consider essential services. Essential services should be services which protect the individual rights of personal property, choice, and justice thus meaning that essential government services would be those of the police (domestic protection), courts (justice), and military (protection from foreign invasion). This definition of essential services should not be extended to services which can and should be provided by private industry such as healthcare, education, food/housing, and transportation.
There are plenty of private healthcare companies in the U.S. that not only provide good healthcare but can also profit from it including Cleveland Clinic (http://en.wikipedia.org...), Mayo Clinic, and others (http://www.forbes.com...). The reason that this should be handled by private industry and free markets rather than the government is that the free market system encourages competition for the patronage of the market thanks to profit incentive and self interest. This competition results in private industry trying to provide the best possible good or service for the lowest possible price. This is why people in the U.S. today are much healthier and live much longer than we did in the 1700s, it has not been because of big government, if government could realistically and effectively provide socialized healthcare, it would have happened by now and vast numbers of people in the U.S. would be flying to places like Cuba and Canada for healthcare. As it is, at least in Canada"s case, they"re coming here for their healthcare (http://www.forbes.com... page 3).
Private industry can also cheaply cover education. Of course, currently, private schools are very expensive while public schools(K-12) are not from an out of pocket point of view. However, the reason for this is that public education exists. Because the government has set up a public education system which from an out of pocket perspective is virtually free, that has driven the lower cost private schools off the market leaving only the high rate private institutions. Now one would tend to wonder, "If it"s so cheaply provided by government then why shouldn't"t it stay public?" The answer is that it is not really as cheap as it appears. For public schooling, you don"t have to pay out of pocket for the education of your children, it is paid for by taxes. These taxes however don"t just come from the individuals who send their children to school, but also from those who do not have children, or whose children are not old enough to attend school. Also, just to get a sense of the cost on U.S. citizens from the federal level, the DoE spent about $72.8 billion on K-12 education (http://www.downsizinggovernment.org...) and when factoring in dead weight losses, or the taxman"s fee as I call it, which range between 20 cents to 1 dollar more taxed for every dollar spent (http://www.downsizinggovernment.org...), then the actual cost in terms of money taxed is between $87.36 billion and $145.6 billion which figures out to about $276.46 per person at the low end, and $460.76 at the high end (http://www.census.gov...). Of course, not all of this comes from taxes because quite a large portion of all federal spending comes from deficit spending which can also be harmful as explained by Salim Furth of the Heritage Foundation (http://www.heritage.org...).
As to food and housing, it should be quite obvious as to how private industry can provide those as this area of the market has likely been privately run since the founding of the U.S. and when we compare nations in which the free market is allowed to produce and distribute food and housing to those where it isn't, we find that the free market societies have more higher quality of both than socialist societies, the U.S. when compared with the USSR is a perfect example of this.
Transportation also belongs in the free market. Examples of successful privately run transportation systems include Heathrow Airport in London, air traffic control in Canada, and some highways in France (http://www.cato.org...). Another reason that free markets should run transportation is because if the government can control transportation, or any market really, it acts like a permanent monopoly on the good or service and when someone has a permanent monopoly, then competition disappears and inefficient production and distribution as well as poor quality products result and the monopolist can use its power to control people as a quote from Leon Trotsky revealed
In a country where the sole employer is the state, opposition means death by slow starvation. The old principle, who does not work shall not eat, has been replaced by a new one: who does not obey shall not eat.
As to my opponent"s second premise, I agree in that the mentioned services should be part of the free market.
As to the third premise, legal regulation is not necessary because it is not in the best interest of a business to defraud its employees or customers because of competition. By defrauding them, the employees and customers will begin to look for another more competitive source of work and products leaving the business who defrauded them to fail. Also, environmental regulation would not be necessary in a free market society because there is still the court service, which I mentioned above in my answer to premise 1, to help to determine if property damage was incurred and how much compensation must be provided for the damage. This is one of the beauties of the capitalist system, property rights. As long as a business continues to do property damage by harming the environment, it will continue to face lawsuits which even if not all successful, will still raise operating costs by having to divert capital to corporate lawyers and court fees thus creating an incentive for the business to look into ways of preventing environmental damage and creating a new market in more efficient and more environmentally sound producer and consumer goods. The last regulation you mention is regulation against monopolies which also is not necessary because monopolies are unlikely in a free market where little other regulation exists and taxes are low because of the constantly growing wealth and the changing face of the market due to new innovations and investments. This changing market thus results in frequent destruction of old industries and markets and creation of new ones forcing businesses to continue to adapt and keeping competition alive thus preventing monopolies naturally. Also, even in the unlikely event of a monopoly forming naturally on the free market, it is not certain to last for too long because of this changing market. This monopoly of the old market will still be threatened by the potential competition of the current one and the innovations of tomorrow"s market making it difficult to sustain a monopoly and if they can sustain it through producing innovations which make their products better or cheaper, then there is no need to worry about the monopoly.
Food/housing should only be provided to those who are in need. Not to those who have the means of acquiring them. I agree with Con that universal distribution of these services would not be good. The State would not ration this. Neither would they be the "sole employer".
Transportation is a natural monopoly. One business could control the entire network of the city's roads/transit. So it would be ideal to place that power in an organization that answers to, and only to the public.
The support for the second premise is affirmed.
In his rebuttal to my third premise, my opponent claims that competition would cause businesses to not pay their workers pennies a day. Historical evidence shows that this is false. If all businesses pay their workers very low wages, the worker will not have much a "choice". In the late 1800's, this is especially prevalent. And if it is true that environmental laws are not needed, why did society start advocating for it? Because the notion that property rights could protect the environment didn't work, and doesn't work. Why go through the trouble of lawsuits and diverting capital to lawyers/courts when just outlawing it would be much easier and effective?
If monopolies are unlikely in a free market, how come Theodore Roosevelt and many other Americans fought for anti-trust legislation during the Progressive era? Monopolies/Trusts were not taken down by market forces, instead, they were broken up by Government regulation.
First, to correct my opponent on his understanding of my essential services argument, I stated that “essential government services would be those of the police (domestic protection), courts (justice), and military (protection from foreign invasion).” Not that these were the only services that would be necessary for a long and happy life. Also, I agree that currently in the U.S. the really poor (meaning no income) are not able to afford extensive healthcare, this problem can only be solved with wealth generation and private employment growth only possible through capitalism. I would now like to point out that my opponent has neglected to answer my argument that competition in the healthcare sector drives service quality up, and prices down in order to win the patronage of the market so that the business may profit. Pro also ignores the fact that rather than U.S. citizens going to countries with socialized healthcare for their healthcare needs, it is the other way around. Also, I agree that people should have a basic understanding of the world and while very few people did have access to education prior to public schooling, we have to remember that at the time, public schools had lower attendance rates than the “backward” private ones in places like Indiana and Illinois (http://mises.org...). Also, this lack of availability my opponent mentioned was likely due to the low population density at the time as displayed by this map (http://etc.usf.edu...). Finally, my argument that private industry can provide education at lower overall economic cost still stands as this argument from round one has remained un-countered. The cost of public education is still unreasonably expensive for all those who pay taxes and private industry can still provide better, cheaper education because of competition and profit incentive.
While only partial socialization of food/housing is certainly better than total socialization it is still bad because you still create a drain on the economy by taxing the productive people in society to pay to support those who produce little to nothing. My argument that private industry does a better job of production and distribution of food and housing from round 1 has also not been contended and so still stands.
My opponent’s basic argument for his first premise is that only the needy should get government help and not those who can pay for it. The problems with this is the creation of a disincentive to work. The logic here is simple, “If you don’t have to work to eat, get healthcare, transportation, education and housing, while I have to work in order to have those things for myself and you, why should I work? Why not let someone else pay for both of us?” Thus, the welfare state spirals out of control where more and more people become dependent on the socialized “essential services” for living. The result is a country like Greece or Portugal where people are protesting having to pay the now outrageous bill for their socialized industries.
In my opponent’s attack on my third premise arguments, he is essentially implying that all the businesses are going to underpay their employees when possible. However if this were historically proven, then Microsoft and Apple would be paying their employees at precisely the regulated minimum wage. Instead computer programmers earned $72,630 each in 2011 (http://money.usnews.com...). Why is this? Part of it is competition as I mentioned in my rebuttal, the other part is the fact that businesses pay employees by how much the business values them. It is very similar to renting an apartment, you pay what it is valued overall by the market except in the case of employees, they are renting their services to employers who make up the market that purchases labor and they purchase it at what it is valued by the market. My opponent also brings up the 1800s as an example of employee defrauding, however the reason that wages were so low was because this was essentially the birth of industrial capitalism and so wealth generation initially of course was slow. However, despite the slow initial wealth growth non-farm income between 1865 and 1900 actually grew by 75% contrary to what my opponent would have you believe (http://en.wikipedia.org...(1865%E2%80%931918)). As to environmental regulation. Yes the property rights system works, the only reason that people pushed for regulation was the same reason that people pushed for other regulation of free markets. Impatience for social change and the contrast between the improved and the yet to catch up (http://mises.org..., and The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek). Also, when private property rights are not respected but are part of a vast government regulation system for purposes including the environment or socialization of industry, you get something like Zimbabwe (http://www.cgdev.org..., http://www.cgdev.org...). And the reason for the lawsuits is that then you get a case by case analysis of property damage and not simply an overarching regulation and an unelected board that has the authority to stop you from building a home on a piece of land that is owned by you simply because they think it’s a wetland (http://online.wsj.com...). Environmental regulation of the sort my opponent proposes only opens the way to bureaucracy and oppressive government. Finally, as to antitrust, the reason that antitrust laws were passed was a misunderstanding of the market by the majority who also happened to be the impatient and slow to catch up ones mentioned earlier in this rebuttal. Despite what my opponent would like you to think, antitrust is not good because of the fact that it reduces the incentive for businesses to compete by ensuring that the government will protect them from being out competed by a more efficient business in the same industry (http://mises.org...). Further, just because a group of people think that businesses have too much power and that antitrust legislation doesn’t make it so. That people voted for antitrust was my opponent’s only answer to my explanation of the rarity, short life, and relative harmlessness of natural monopolies in a completely free market system thus my argument still stands. I would also like to point out that my opponent made a similar answer to my explanation of the environment and property rights.
My opponent argues that competition in the healthcare sector drives quality up and prices down. While this maybe true in the general marketplace, the United States (before and after the Affordable Care Act was passed) still spends more for healthcare per person as shown above. It is true that the US uses a lot of expensive equipment for health care, but the price discrepancy is still a problem.
It is important to make the distinction between total spending, and spending per person. Total spending does go up with higher population, but the same is not necessarily true with spending per person.
My opponent makes the common claim that people in countries with universal health care sometimes go to the United States for care. While this may be true for people with a lot of money that can afford our system, they are the exceptions, and not the rules. Many Americans have actually been going to countries with universal health care, such as Canada, and the United Kingdom (http://www.nytimes.com...) due to the problems with the American system. Almost nobody in Canada or Europe advocate free market healthcare, and many advise the US to adopt a single-payer system.
My opponent affirms that very few people had access to education before public schools were widespread. However, I would like to point out that a very likely reason why attendance to private schools outmatches those of public school, is because many kids were working in farms, or in factories. Many times, only kids born into rich families had the time to go to school.
The argument that private industry can provide schooling for lower overall economic cost seems legitimate until you consider the social conditions of many people in the working class. Some families can't afford education at all, and there will be few charity schools that would provide education for free. As it stands, even various Church groups who pride themselves on assistance for the poor have tuition rates at thousands of dollars a year (http://www.ncea.org...) There is no such thing as a free lunch, but sometimes it is better to use taxes in order to pay that lunch off for somebody in need.
Private industry has a tendency to distribute wealth from bottom to top if left unregulated. Soup kitchens will still exist, but the millions of Americans who currently depend off of food stamps (http://www.nbcnews.com...) will be cut off. While it is ideal to help these people get back to high-paying work, it is not ideal to end the food stamp program.
Regarding monopolies, my opponent still affirms the positions that Government regulation is unneeded because of the nature of the marketplace. However, the nature of businesses who are big/powerful enough to monopolize is to make profit. So businesses will collaborate with each other in order to provide people the illusion of competition, when in reality they are dealing with a hidden monopoly.
While the Government may not always answer to the public, every country that my opponent mentions (DPRK, USSR, Nazi Germany, the Philippines under Marcos, PRC, Iraq) did not allow the people to have a voice in their Government. Canada, the UK, Modern Germany, the US, Japan, South Korea, etc. all have representative democracies/republics, with the people having a say in their Government.
I only claimed that the Government should help only the needy with regards to food and housing, everything else should be universal. The reason why food/housing are the exceptions is the private industry has been proven to work well providing those services to those well-off (not the poor).
The second premise remains affirmed.
My opponent claims that I am arguing that "all businesses will underpay their employees when possible." I have never said nor implied that. I was simply referring to the working class have a strong tendency to be underpaid, as evidenced during pre-Progressive Era time period. The law should protect these workers. Of course computer programmers won't earn minimum wage due to value and competition. They are not of the low-wage professions.
My opponent claims that the reason for employees making low wages during the industrial revolution is because of slow initial wealth creation. However, the fact still stands that during the early 1900's, most Americans lived in relative (not absolute) poverty. After the Progressive Era, and especially AFTER (not during) the New Deal of the 1930's-1940's, poverty took a dramatic turn downward. Government regulation was one of the main reasons for this. While the New Deal did not fix the Depression, it provided many Americans with poverty relief.
While the property rights system may work, it would be a financial burden to both corporations and the people due to the hassles of the legal process. Too much money would be spent on lawsuits. It is best to instate a universal law to let businesses beforehand they are not allowed to harm the environment.
I affirm my opponents stance that you should be able to build a house on your own property if it is a wetland, as it is a danger only to yourself, and not universally to others.
If regulation of the kind I am proposing were to lead to oppressive Government, wouldn't that same standard apply to other countries with environmental regulation? Many nations that score high on the economic freedom index (http://www.heritage.org...) have proper regulations in place.
The ever changing force of the marketplace doesn't always protect against monopolies. Legislation meant to break trusts up actually encourages business because it gives them the assurance that monopolies/trusts will not harm their business, providing the people who run it with relief.
Pro says, I am incorrect with regards to quality education & healthcare being provided by governments and bases this on a spending to GDP ratio. Simply using a healthcare spending to GDP ratio is not an accurate way to measure how well one country provides healthcare as compared with another because in wealthier countries people will tend to spend more on whatever they think will make their lives better, including healthcare. Next, pro implies we have more expensive healthcare because we spend more but use doctors and hospitals less. When one analyzes the situation though, it indicates that people in the U.S. on average are much healthier than those in countries with socialized healthcare because they don’t have to see doctors as often, nor do they have to go to hospitals as often or stay there as long. So perhaps it is more expensive for certain services but it is because they are higher quality services than in nations with national healthcare. Also, pro has agreed that in marketplaces, competition will cause quality to increase and prices to fall thus affirming my central premise for free markets.
Pro agrees that, people who can afford U.S. healthcare will come. As to Americans travelling to countries with national healthcare, this is simply a way of gaming the system so that people who care a little less about the quality of their healthcare can get it for free. For those who actually live in these nations, the service is definitely not free, it comes from taxes paid by their citizens. Pro also indicated another problem with socialized healthcare, it encourages people to scam the system. If it were simply market based, then those who use the service pay and if they don’t pay, they either take on debt or don’t get served. Another problem with socialized healthcare is that there is no incentive to compete to improve operations. Also if capitalism is allowed to work unburdened, it creates wealth, employment, and low cost products which allows those who currently can't afford care, to be treated with high quality care in the future.
On education, pro still ignores the fact that private education for lower income people would have become more affordable because of growing wealth and household income at the time (see comments for actual source) and because of an incentive for businesses to reach more of the growing education market. This also applies to pro’s argument regarding families who can’t afford education. Pro says that taxes are good to pay for someone in need. To answer this I point out an argument I made in the first round, public education is not cost effective and is detrimental. I would also like to quote here Ayn Rand, “Do not ever say that the desire to “do good” by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust nor stupidity are good motives.”
Also, the free market doesn't distribute wealth from the bottom up. The likely reason that pro thinks this is that he assumes a zero sum game. If economics were always a zero sum game of shared scarcity, then GDP would never grow, instead, GDP can grow and shrink. Also, under free market systems, like the U.S. during the industrial revolution, incomes of the “working class” grow (see comments for figures). Also, it is a good thing for these people dependent on the government to be cut off because if they aren’t, then they will likely go on being dependent. Cutting them off gives them an incentive to find work.
Regarding monopolies, pro is incorrect when he says businesses will collaborate when unregulated to produce an oligopoly. If this happened in an unregulated market and the oligopoly became abusive of its power, all it would take to topple the oligopoly would be someone who could provide the same service at a reasonable cost. Even if this person began as a small business, he/she would begin to gain more customers and the profits would grow along with business thus re-introducing competition to the market. I explained this process in the very first round.
Pro agrees that government will not always answer to the public but counters by saying that my examples of oppressive government never gave people a voice. While it is true that the DPRK, Iraq, and the USSR never had democracy to give people a voice, they still helped sweep their later oppressive leaders into power in these countries as well as in the PRC. Also, Hitler was made chancellor by the Weimar Republic, and Marcos was elected. The Roman Republic also saw public representation through the Senate, Tribunes, and popular election of proconsuls yet, by Caesar’s time, the state had so much power that he was able to start a chain of events leading to emperors such as Nero, Caligula, and Caracalla. Representative democracies and republics can clearly go awry if too much power is ceded to them.
Even if my pro supports socialization of food and housing only for the needy, the problem still remains that it is a disincentive to work for your own food and housing (see con premise 1 round 2). Pro also claims that free markets are unable to provide food for the poor, yet lacks any evidence or logic to support this claim and, as mentioned earlier, agrees with my central free market premise (above).
On wages, pro says I have misrepresented his argument to mean that businesses will underpay employees when possible but as this quote from his second round rebuttal reveals, I have not misrepresented it at all:
“In his rebuttal to my third premise, my opponent claims that competition would cause businesses to not pay their workers pennies a day.”
Thus implying that businesses will pay workers pennies a day absent regulation. Also, pro uses the pre-Progressive Era as an example of underpayment of workers but still forgets that income rose during that time by 75%(see comments). Thus pro’s claim that these people need protection against their employers falls. Pro also attacked the labor value argument by trying to say that low-wage professions are not subject to the same market forces as high-wage ones. This is simply illogical, supply and demand and the value of a product govern all free markets regardless of the industry. Also, pro did not actually counter that wages were initially low because of the initially slow growth of wealth. Neither the New Deal nor the Progressive era created more wealth or wealth creating jobs, they only served to take it from hard working Americans and business owners and run it through dead weight losses to wind up with less value than earlier in the pocket of someone digging a useless ditch or of someone who was not working at all. This does not end poverty, it only spreads it by punishing success, rewarding failure and bleeding wealth creators dry.
Pro now affirms that the property rights system works to punish but fails to understand that it also serves as a deterrent because of the money that would have to be spent on lawsuits. It also creates an incentive to produce more efficiently. This means that environmental regulation would be unnecessary and as per my arguments from round 2, detrimental. In the next round, I would like pro to provide specific examples of the free nations referenced in his last rebuttal on this issue so that I may provide a proper answer. That being said, the development of oppressive government doesn’t happen instantly. It takes time for this to happen but to avoid unnecessary risk, government must be limited to the three tasks from my arguments on the first premise.
While the market won't always prevent trusts, it will most of the time and when a natural monopoly occurs, it either does not last long or is nothing to worry about (first round). Antitrust legislation doesn't encourage competition by protecting businesses from more successful businesses, the very idea of protecting one business from another is antithetical to competition. If a business knew that it didn’t need to improve itself because all its competitors would be cut down by legislation, then there would be no incentive to do so.
My opponent also claims that wealthy nations will tend to spend more on healthcare. This does not explain why wealthy countries with universal healthcare spend less per person, than the one wealthy country without universal healthcare, the United States.
My opponent moves on to say that people in the United States are on average much healthier in countries with socialized medicine. However, an investigation into health statistics prove this to be untrue. Japan, Australia, Canada, France, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland (which by the way, provides universal healthcare without socializing insurance), and New Zeland are among the top 10 in life expectancy. What is the ranking for the United States? 30th. (http://www.worldlifeexpectancy.com...)
Also, people in the US don't get preventative care as often, thus leading to diseases that are diagnosed late. These can be diseases like cancer, in which early diagnosis is essential.
High quality services are fine, but they mean nothing to the people who don't have access to healthcare. It is better for everyone to have access to good healthcare than for some to have access to great healthcare, while others don't have access at all.
My opponent makes the correct assertion that national health systems are not free, they are paid for by taxes. However, when the pubic spends taxes on something, that means everyone in society will get it. It is 100% coverage for all citizens in that nation. When paying for healthcare in the free market, insurance companies commonly drop people with pre-existing conditions, put caps on the amount of care you get, raise premiums (thus making it inaccessible for poor people who don't qualify for Medicaid), etc. The marketplace in the healthcare regard may be good for the producer, but it is certainly not good for the consumer.
With regards to education, my opponent claims that growing household income makes private schools more affordable. Again, when a private school costs thousands of dollars a year, (See my arguments during Round 3 for a link) it won't help those at the very end of the spectrum. If a family can afford private school, they have the right to send, but for those that can't, public schools should be open to serve them, and for others that want their taxes to mean something.
Public education may have problems in the United States, but it is doing remarkably well in other countries. Western Europe, Canada, Australia, etc. It is cost-effective there. And many countries even have free universities, while maintaining a strong economy with professional workers. You can have the best education quality, but that means nothing when some people can't access it. Like healthcare, better good for all than great for some/bad for others.
The free market has a strong tendency to distribute wealth from bottom to top. My opponent argues that the likely reason I believe this is because I "assume a zero sum game". I have never implied that all gains by the rich are balanced by the losses of others. All I am asserting is that some (not all) people who control wealth do a lot in their power to keep it, distributing it among themselves.
While gradually weaning people off of welfare might give incentives to work, to end the system completely and to allow people who are laid off in the future to go without assistance would be undesirable. Yes, charity groups will step in, but unless you have a universal public welfare system, some people will not have access to these services. I am not saying the welfare system can't be reformed. We can reform it entirely to get the people who defraud the system off. But to get rid of it would not be fair to those in need.
My opponent says that oligopolies will always fall because of market forces. This is not the case. There will be, and there have been numerous cases of oligopolies that have stayed up for a long time, having power over the unregulated market. They are so powerful, as to successfully shut down any competition. That's why we need Government regulation to keep this from happening.
I affirm that Governments will not always answer to the public. However, when the people are well-informed, the Governments are able to exercise power without abuse. John F. Kennedy once said that a well-informed people must work together with a progressive Government. And today, many Americans do not even know who the Vice President is. If the people are well-informed and keep the Government in check, it makes sense to delegate services to them. The 2 examples given by my opponent both used propaganda and misinformation in order to with election to the office.
Socialization of food and housing for the poor does provide a disincentive to work. It shouldn't be brand name food, and it shouldn't be luxury shelter, but it should be enough to ensure that all men, women, and children have food to eat and a rood over their head in our society. You still have the incentive of working to get a more decent shelter and more food for your family, and the sense of security you get can aid you in the effort.
Please note, I am not talking about people who can work but choose not to. I am talking about the people who want to work, but don't currently have the means of doing so. The ones who were just laid off. The parents who have to be at home with their kids, etc.
Markets only provide services to those that can pay. In general, that is a good thing (You need to work to get a computer and TV), but for food, water, shelter, education, etc., you need everyone to have access. And people who can't pay will not have access. That's the evidenve that my opponent asked for in the previous round.
Allow me to say that I have never meant to imply that business will pay workers pennies a day. But even as incomes rose, businesses still refused to pay their workers a living wage. Even today, the minimum wage isn't enough for young adults who are establishing themselves from life.
Allow me to move away from wages for a bit, and talk about working conditions. The working conditions for people before labor laws were passed were horrible. Children were forced to work, cut off from educational opportunities. The factories and mines were crowded, the machinery dangerous. And the developed world still exploits the people who make products for them. The only difference now, is that low working conditions are prevalent outside our borders.
The New Deal and Progressive Era may not have create jobs, but they did provide relief to Americans. Sometimes, what's good for the economy isn't always good for the public at large. While the welfare system we have today is full of fraud, to say that we need to end instead of just reform temporary assistance to the needy is undesirable.
If the property rights system worked, how come people didn't sue companies for harming the environment? I did happen before, yet nobody when to court over property. It's because of the hassle involved. Very few people have the time/money to settle a court case, thus making a universal law more efficient and easy to handle.
As I said before, as long as the citizens are well-informed, and keep watch on the Government, the Government can play an active role in society. My opponent claims otherwise, however, the social market model is working well from Germany, Scandinavia, etc. They are very rich places in the developed world, and Australia, New Zeland, Switzerland, and Canada all rank higher in terms of economic freedom, than the United States! All of these countries have excellent public education, universal healthcare, Government regulation of the economy, etc. Yet they retain economic freedom.
Contrary to pro's assertion, nations with universal healthcare are not nearly as wealthy as the US whose free market system has made it possible. The 2nd wealthiest nation is the PRC whose GDP is only half of the US. Also, average amounts/person are inaccurate because they don't include individual data that accounts for the actual amount spent by each individual (http://epianalysis.wordpress.com...). The US ranks 30 on life expectancy because nations with socialized healthcare have other “progressive” policies such as working limits. People in the EU are limited to 48 hours/week (http://en.wikipedia.org...) meaning that the time spent in stressful work settings is smaller in the EU and stress is a common cause of coronaries (http://www.mindbodygreen.com...) and the US has a higher occurrence of coronary deaths than any of pro's examples (same as pro's source). The US is also good at preventive care in terms of cancer and senior vaccinations (http://www.urban.org...). Its treatment of diabetes is superior to Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, and its cancer treatment is superior to 17 other European nations. On access, even someone who makes minimum wage can afford a visit to the doctor ($180) and one prescription ($161) (http://www.dailyfinance.com...) a year if they are sanitary and frugal. In the long run they may save the excess money to invest, increasing income further. Savings, investments, and wages also grow more quickly when free markets are allowed to work unimpeded (cross apply to living wage argument). Also, if the government controls healthcare, the industry ceases to answer to the market and doesn't have to improve and can even use its power to choose who is served and who isn't based on anything. While this doesn't happen the instant a service is socialized, it should not be risked. On insurance, the reason that companies don’t pay for preexisting conditions, cap the care, and raise rates for those with health risks is that otherwise, the business would pay more money than it brought in and fail. Meaning that payment would have to be out of pocket again which is usually more difficult and costly than using insurance.
Income growth, competition, and an incentive to provide low cost education to more of the market will make private education more affordable. Pro has also forgotten that the reason that private schools in the US are high rate is that public schools (everyone pays) have driven the low cost private schools (users pay) off the market while the actual economic cost of public education is enormous (round 1). When looking at public education in other nations and its effect on the economy, we have to analyze the GDP of these nations and their landmasses (https://www.cia.gov...). When comparing the three largest examples pro gave, we find that, put together, Australia and Canada have almost twice the land of the US but only 1/5 of its GDP, showing that public education systems may not serve economies well. Also quality access would be available to most if public education ended allowing cheaper schools back onto the market and giving the current expensive private schools competition.
Hoarding wealth isn't theft. Everyone owns wealth if they choose to hoard it, that’s their business, they cease to act in the market and do not benefit from it. This leaves everyone else to exchange their wealth for a different kind of wealth and to generate more. Thus, wealth doesn't move bottom up, or even necessarily up down, it grows in free markets.
The oligopolies to which pro refers were likely the cronies of government during the 1800s (http://mises.org...). Business is not as powerful as pro says, it must always answer to the market. If the market doesn’t like the product, the market won't buy it. This is why an oligopoly can't kill competition. If a new competitor appears that has better products, the market will shift to the competitor.
I agree that in order to participate in government, people should be informed but if the government is the doing the informing, this power could be as easily abused as power over socialized healthcare. Examples of governments abusing their power over children include the HJ (http://en.wikipedia.org...) and various communist nations where public education was used for brainwashing.
Ending welfare creates an incentive to find productive work but the incentive to work is reduced when you are provided with government assistance. With regards to layoffs, fewer people would be laid off if the government didn’t hinder business with heavy taxes, regulations, and monetary stimulus which causes recessions (http://mises.org...) according to Misesian Theory. Also, there is no evidence or logic that says a sense of security helps find jobs. Also, almost anyone has the means to work if they have a big enough incentive to.
Pro’s argument on payment & access doesn't constitute evidence or logic, it's just an attempt to appeal to emotion and should not be considered over logic and examples.
Yes working conditions were bad by today’s standards but again only because this was the birth of industrial capitalism. Also, the reason that children worked was because otherwise they and their families would have starved or returned to their lives as subsistence farmers with much lower standards of living. Yes the machinery was dangerous and the factories crowded, but that’s what hazard pay is for and again, from 1865 to 1900, income grew by 2.14%/year whereas in the last century it has grown by only 0.85%/year (http://usinfo.org...). This same argument applies to developing nations.
Pro affirms that progressivism didn't create wealth or jobs. Also you can’t have a good economy but harm the public overall because the economy is the public. The economy is composed of every individual and business that operates. You harm the economy, you harm the public and vice versa.
Pro has stepped back on his statement that the property rights system works (round 3). The reason that some people didn’t sue for damage is partly because of initially slow wealth generation. Another reason is that much land was still publicly owned, it wasn’t until 1862 that the government began to privatize this (http://en.wikipedia.org...). Even then only 10% of it was sold and was distributed throughout not just around factories. Further, environmental damage can't necessarily be prevented by government regulation, the waterways in the US are an example. These aren't privately owned but publicly owned and regulated (http://mises.org...). The government in this instance is one of the biggest polluters because of the publicly run sewage system, there already exist viable and nonpolluting chemical toilets but why buy one when you'll still have to pay for everyone else to pump it into the river.
The social market doesn't work well. Correlation is not causation. Scandinavia may seem rich but what does it happen to be sitting on top of? North Sea oil. Similarly, because Saudi Arabia is a rich monarchy doesn't mean that monarchies are the best governments. Also, if we do another analysis regarding land and GDP, with pro's examples here, the combined landmass is still about twice that of the US and yet their total GDP is 3/5 of the US. If one were to graph the Heritage data, you would see that the overall rating for the US fell after the implementation of anti-free market policies which I openly oppose in this debate. Pro again ignores the effect of time on governments with too much power. "Trusts" remains unanswered.
My opponent claims that nations with universal healthcare are not nearly as wealthy as the United States, and that the 2nd most richest nation on Earth (People's Republic of China) has only half the GDP of the US. For starters, this is incorrect. The PRC has an overall GDP of 12.61 trillion USD (https://www.cia.gov...), with the United States at 15.68 trillion USD.
To offer a rebuttal to my opponent's claims that countries with universal healthcare are not as wealthy as the United States, this maybe true on an overall GDP scale (US is the first in GDP), this is not at all the case per capita, which, because of wealth production increasing with population, is the most reliable GDP measure of wealth. According to the International Monetary Fund (2012), the United States ranks 11th in GDP per capita, ranking behind Norway, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden, and Canada.
My opponent saying that progressive work policies increase life expectancy can be used as a support for regulations of the market.
The United States, as it stands, has the highest healthcare costs as a percentage of GDP (17.9%), and has the lowest accessibility in the developed world. It is for this reason I believe healthcare fits into my first premise of Round 1.
Regarding education, my opponent again uses overall GDP as a measure of civilian wealth. As explained above, this is already a false premise. Also, my opponent doesn't explain how Australia and Canada having only 1/5th of US GDP proves public education may not serve economies well.
Even if private schools were competing to drive to costs, it may still be affordable to some families, and charity schools wouldn't be widespread (See previous rounds).
If people are not receiving adequate amounts of food and healthcare, hoarding wealth would not be the ideal thing to do. This isn't to say that we need to get 50% of everyone's bank accounts, but a percentage of the wealth should be taxed and given to the needy.
The problem with large-scale businesses is that many of them will use their wealth and influence to pressure Government officials, leading to crony Capitalism. This is why Government much regulate businesses to prevent this from happening.
When it comes to public policy, the people should be thinking for themselves. And a decent education helps establish critical thinking skills. My opponent claims that public education has been used to indoctrinate children, and that is true. But in the United States, political beliefs are diverse, and given the freedom of information we have, to indoctrinate all children into a certain set of beliefs would be extremely difficult. The problem with Con's assertion that Communist nations have used public education for indoctrination, is that those nations did not have freedom of information, or freedom of speech. Therefore, parents could not criticize public school systems, and children could not get information for themselves. That is not the case in the developed world (although, given the public apathy of the United States, we need to be extra-wary in this day and age).
What happens when the economy is stagnant (like the Great Depression)? People aren't going to be able to get jobs right away, therefore, temporary Government assistance is needed. While we should wean people off of welfare, we should not end it.
My arguments on the markets only giving services to those who can pay doesn't come from emotion, rather, from the basics of how markets work. You pay, you get a service. You don't pay, no service. As I said in the previous round, this is fine for most services in the economy, but when people can't pay for food, education, or healthcare, it is a problem. A problem that can best be solved at the public level. The people selling products on the market usually only have one incentive: profit. Profit is not a bad thing, it is a great incentive; but it becomes a problem when people lose access to basic services to maximize profit.
The birth of industrial Capitalism was the cause of low working standards, but there is no reason to assume that absent Government regulation, businesses would improve working conditions. If you have no incentive to change them (enormous amounts of wealth were being created, no incentive), and there are no laws, conditions will not change.
Children were working to keep from starving. This is not ideal, for children should be at school, in proper growth conditions.
The PRC has had an industrial economy for a while, yet working conditions are not improving. Large amounts of wealth are being created, but they remain at the top, due to lack of labor laws. Worker's unions are largely stamped out. While this may help people in the developed world buy cheap products, it is not fair to the workers in the world. Regulation and fair trade laws are needed to fix the problem.
Progressvism didn't create wealth, but it spread it around, and provided better working conditions for the working class citizens.
Initially slow wealth generation does not remove the implications of suing a large business in a court of law. In the end, you will have the same result, the business being forced to compensate the people and promise not to harm the environment. So passing one universal law would be more efficient compared to a property rights system.
I will affirm Pro's point that Government run sewage systems pollute rivers. However, businesses would do the same, thus making the argument invalid. The Government should promote the nonpolluting chemical toilets, that would be a much better solution.
The social market provides basic services to all citizens universally in a country, while continuing the marketplace to flourish, provided that they follow laws. Scandinavia provides all citizens with an equal footing, spreading the wealth created around.
The argument my opponent used for Saudi Arabia can be debunked by the statement the preceded it, "correlation is not causation".
There are many countries with universal healthcare and numerous social programs that rank higher than the United States on the economic freedom index. They remain more economically free. To say that regulations in general deny economic freedom would be debunked by the Heritage index. However, the types of regulations that the US does have are less than stellar, I will affirm by opponent's position on that.
The argument my opponent uses in Round 3, that in some cases, trusts would be "nothing to worry about" is an incorrect analysis. The basic theories that both Con and I support (Competition drives down prices) would not apply with a monopoly. Antitrust legislation breaks up monopolies to protect competition. While it may reduce a company's incentive to become a monopoly, it still has them competing in the marketplace.
Summary: My 3 basic premises from round one remain unchanged. Socialism, if done universally, is detrimental, however, if done on certain services, can expand access to all members of society. Capitalism can still work on most services in the economy. Regulations to protect the worker are needed to ensure that no exploitation is done. Quality public education, universal healthcare, low-cost/no-cost universities, and high standards of living are found all across the developed world, and given enough support, the United States can provide the same.
Closing statement: I would again like to thank my opponent for this debate, especially for respectfulness. I would also like to thank Debate.org for allowing us a medium in which to debate. Although I support mixed economies, I can see where Con is coming from due to my former support of Free-Markets and Libertarian ideas. I wish all who read this well.
The assertion that the PRC had 1/2 the nominal GDP is correct. Pro wishes to use a different measuring scale which is perfectly acceptable but the fact still remains that this is the next wealthiest nation and provides a scale of where other nations with universal healthcare are in terms of wealth and why average healthcare spending per person might be different among these nations. While it may be true that the US ranks lower in terms of GDP per capita than some nations with universal healthcare, these nations rank lower in terms of GDP (PPP) per capita than nations with even freer markets such as Luxembourg (http://en.wikipedia.org...), Singapore (http://en.wikipedia.org...), and Hong Kong (http://en.wikipedia.org...) and Luxembourg tops all of pro’s examples here in the nominal GDP per capita. My statement about progressive work policies can’t be used as support for regulations because while life expectancy may increase in the short run, in the long run it slows productivity which can result in economic failure and then much shorter life expectancy. On spending, some people just choose to pay more to use more of different kinds of services. This is the individual data that cannot be seen or assessed by using spending to GDP ratios or average spending per person. The government should not have control over healthcare because as I said last round, it could abuse its power and choose who lives and dies based simply on politics.
The logic on the 1/5 the GDP is that if public education was better at fueling an economy than private education, then the GDP should be higher than that of the US which uses large numbers of private institutions for education rather than the mostly government run system of Canada (http://en.wikipedia.org...) and the highly regulated and subsidized system of Australia(http://en.wikipedia.org...). Also, while in the US we may have freedom of information, this is not guaranteed to last forever particularly if the government controls education. We are not talking about a short term impact but a long term one and to sacrifice our descendants’ freedom for a wasteful public education system is not only impractical but also against the goals of the constitution and the very reason for founding the US (see preamble). Also, if public schooling is eliminated then lower cost private schools would reenter the market, give the current high rate private schools competition, and thus provide quality, cost effective education to most, if not all, who want it.
While it may seem that we should force people who simply want to keep their wealth to sacrifice it, this is both immoral and impractical. It is immoral in that you are essentially stealing from someone who has earned their wealth to give to someone who hasn’t and impractical because it drains the private sector’s wealth which could have been otherwise allocated later to grow the economy and employ the needy. It is better to teach a man to fish than to simply give him one, especially if that fish is stolen.
While large scale business may attempt to use their wealth to lobby for special benefits, the solution to this is not more government, but less. If the power of government is reduced alongside taxes, there will be less of an incentive to lobby for tax breaks, subsidies and special regulations.
It is correct that you are only served if you pay and this is the most fair way of rationing because it rewards people based on what they’ve done, not on need. It is also the most practical because if we rewarded based on need, then the needy would likely just keep getting needier and as Thatcher said, “The problem with socialism is sooner or later you run out of other people’s money.”
There is no problem with a business having to compensate for property damages after settling in court. The existence of property rights will serve as enough of a deterrent to not damage property through pollution that only a few suits would be necessary to set an example. One universal law is not more efficient. Pollution by government is affirmed. Businesses would not necessarily do the same if the waterways were privately owned. The government doesn't need to promote chemical toilets because if businesses have to compensate for polluting waterways they will have an incentive to find more efficient disposal or raise rates thus either causing a shift to chemical toilets or a shift to a less pollution by the sewage provider.
The reason that absent regulation conditions would have improved is the incentive to keep your workforce alive and undamaged. If you have no workforce, you can't produce and if you can't produce, you can't sell or profit. That is the incentive to improve safety. No it is not ideal that children had to work to keep from starving but at the time the only three options were work, starve, or live as a subsistence farmer for the rest of your life, even public school, as pro pointed out, was not a viable option because they either had to work in factories, or on a farm. Mechanization, although progressing rapidly, was not nearly as far along as it is today and if you look to developing nations, you find that they are mechanizing much more quickly than the US did during the industrial revolution because the technology to do so already exists. In the PRC as well, working conditions are actually high when compared to the industrial revolution in the US. Also, the wealth does not simply remain at the top, large amounts of it are making it to a growing middle class () as evidenced by the documentary the “People’s Republic of Capitalism.”
It is correct that trusts would be nothing to worry about because they would still have to worry about potential competition. There would remain an incentive to keep operations efficient and improve products to avoid the possibility of new competitor replacing them. Also, with an unregulated market and a government whose sole purpose is to protect rights, the trust would not be able to simply squash competition by abusing its power otherwise it would infringe upon the rights of others and the government shield would step in for protection. Antitrust legislation diminishes competition as I previously said. If a business knows that its competitor is simply going to get cut down by legislation, then there is less reason to continue to compete. It is also a disincentive for the competitor that knows that its achievement is capped, reducing the incentive to achieve.
I would like to thank Pro for initiating this debate with me and Debate.org for providing the venue for this debate.