The Instigator
tylergraham95
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points
The Contender
Macar0ni
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

F.D.R. Was a good president.

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
tylergraham95
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,359 times Debate No: 47938
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (2)

 

tylergraham95

Pro

My Standard Boilerplate

Rules
Round 1- Acceptance, Historical Background, and Definitions only.
Round 2- Constructive Arguments only.
Round 3- Free choice.
Round 4- Rebuttals/Defences only.
Round 5- Closing Remarks. No new rebuttals/defences/responses/arguments may be made in this round. You may, however, make fresh cross examinations of points, using your own points.

Any rule violation constitutes an immediate loss of conduct points.

Forfeiting more than 1 round constitutes a full 7 point loss.

The BOP is shared.

Please, do not accept this challenge if you merely plan to challenge the premise of this debate.


As the pro, I will argue that overall, Franklin Delano Roosevelt garnered net benefits for the United States of America that were above average.

Con must argue that overall, FDR garnered net benefits for the USA that were well below average.
Macar0ni

Con

Leggggoooo I accept
Debate Round No. 1
tylergraham95

Pro

Pros Case

I. Domestic Policy

A) Rebuilding Jobs

When the great depression struck in 1929, unemployment was at an all-time high. Workers were losing jobs left and right, and no-one knew what to do to stop it. That was, of course, until FDR stepped in. Roosevelt created countless jobs with his "Alphabet Soup" organizations. The Civilian Conservation Corp alone employed over 250,000 workers (1).

FDR helped the US economy immensely simply by creating countless new jobs for American Workers. The economy got back on its feet in no time. This is an excellent example of Keynesianism in aciton.


B) Protecting the Worker

Roosevelt also created many programs to help protect the worker, as well as keep him employed. FDR established the minimum wage, and maximum work hours. FDR also abolished child labor laws. (2) With these new laws in place, the American worker was protected from abusive bosses, and were each guaranteed a fair deal for their labor. FDR also insured the banks, to protect the average citizen from bank failures


C) Developing Infrastructure

With programs such as the CCC, FDR helped massively increase infrastucture development. The money spent by the government under FDRs was well spent. The infrastructure improvements not only created jobs, but also helped provide many more services for America. Roads were improved, schools constructed, and National Parks were greatly improved.



II. Foreign Policy

A) Diplomacy

FDR did a great job of remaining fairly neutral towards the beginning of WWII, in order to allow America to recover its economy and militarize, before becoming involved in 1942. He established lasting alliances with countires such as the UK, and France.


B) War

At war, FDR was pragmatic and practical. He attacked immediately after Japan attacked, and fought decisively. His expert command allowed us to quickly take care of Americas enemies.


III. Lasting Effects

To this day, America is stronger for the great advancements in workers rights and economic power established by FDR.

After all, there's a reason he was elected four terms in a row (But he knew this was wrong, and established law to prevent more than two terms as president).


Sources
1. Robert Allen Ermentrout, "Forgotten Men: The Civilian Conservation Corps," (1982)
2. http://www.ushistory.org...
Macar0ni

Con

Cons Case

One important quote to keep in mind as this debate goes on is "No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expedience." - Theodore Roosevelt


I. Immorality


A) Japanese Internment

President Roosevelt authorized the internment of tens of thousands of American citizens of Japanese ancestry and resident aliens from Japan. Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066, dated February 19, 1942, gave the military broad powers to ban any citizen from a fifty- to sixty-mile-wide coastal area stretching from Washington state to California and extending inland into southern Arizona. The order also authorized transporting these citizens to assembly centers hastily set up and governed by the military in California, Arizona, Washington state, and Oregon. Although it is not well known, the same executive order (and other war-time orders and restrictions) were also applied to smaller numbers of residents of the United States who were of Italian or German descent. For example, 3,200 resident aliens of Italian background were arrested and more than 300 of them were interned. About 11,000 German residents—including some naturalized citizens—were arrested and more than 5000 were interned. Yet while these individuals (and others from those groups) suffered grievous violations of their civil liberties, the war-time measures applied to Japanese Americans were worse and more sweeping, uprooting entire communities and targeting citizens as well as resident aliens.

According to the International Criminal Court imprisoning humans, in this case Germans, Japanese, and Italians, is a crime against humanity. The mass transporting and imprisonment of these people based on race is wrong and caused them to live lesser lives with many negative health effects. Not only that, but the cost of these camps to the federal government alone in 1942-43 was $9,503,905 and when this abomination was finished $20,000 was paid to each Japanese internment camp survivor. This is just one reason as to why FDR cannot be considered a "good" president.


B) Affair

A good president is someone that the youth of America can look up to and have as a role model. Not someone who isn't mature enough to be faithful and honorable to his own wife. For this reason and many others FDR was not a good president.
The words "Sex scandal" are enough to plague the minds of young children.

A passage about Eleanor, FDR's wife.

"Only lately had [her] confidence returned with her recognized contributions to the war effort. Now, in an instant, a packet of letters had swept [it] away (letters sent from Lucy, FDR's "second" wife). Because of her lack of interest in sex, she had not grasped what an overpowering force it was. Now, faced with incontrovertible evidence that her husband had found satisfaction elsewhere, sexual failure was added to her inadequacies."

So not only did FDR authorize the imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of people based on their race, but also had no respect for his wife.

C) Racist Policies

A good president is one that looks at all the aspects of their nation and instantiates policies that have an overall beneficial effect for all groups of people. In many cases FDR "accidently" created policies that had a negative effect for all the black people in the United States.

The flagship of the New Deal was the National Industrial Recovery Act, passed in June 1933. It authorized the president to issue executive orders establishing some 700 industrial cartels, which restricted output and forced wages and prices above market levels. The minimum wage regulations made it illegal for employers to hire people who weren’t worth the minimum because they lacked skills. As a result, some 500,000 blacks, particularly in the South, were estimated to have lost their jobs.

Marginal workers, like unskilled blacks, desperately needed an expanding economy to create more jobs. Yet New Deal policies made it harder for employers to hire people. FDR tripled federal taxes between 1933 and 1940. Social Security excise taxes on payrolls discouraged employers from hiring. New Deal securities laws made it harder for employers to raise capital. New Deal antitrust lawsuits harassed some 150 employers and whole industries. Whatever the merits of such policies might have been, it was bizarre to disrupt private sector employment when the median unemployment rate was 17 percent.

The Agricultural Adjustment Act (1933) aimed to help farmers by cutting farm production and forcing up food prices. Less production meant less work for thousands of poor black sharecroppers. In addition, blacks were among the 100 million consumers forced to pay higher food prices because of the AAA.

The Wagner Act (1935) harmed blacks by making labor union monopolies legal. Economists Thomas E. Hall and J. David Ferguson explained: “By encouraging unionization, the Wagner Act raised the number of insiders (those with jobs) who had the incentive and ability to exclude outsiders (those without jobs). Once high wages have been negotiated, employers are less likely to hire outsiders, and thus the insiders could protect their own interest.”

By giving labor unions the monopoly power to exclusively represent employees in a workplace, the Wagner Act had the effect of excluding blacks, since the dominant unions discriminated against blacks. The Wagner Act had originally been drafted with a provision prohibiting racial discrimination. But the American Federation of Labor successfully lobbied against it, and it was dropped. AFL unions used their new power, granted by the Wagner Act, to exclude blacks on a large scale. Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and Marcus Garvey were all critical of compulsory unionism.

The Tennessee Valley Authority — FDR’s government-power-generating monopoly funded by the 98 percent of American taxpayers who didn’t live in the Tennessee Valley — was touted as a bold social experiment. But, among other things, the TVA flooded an estimated 730,000 acres of land behind its dams, and 15,654 people were forced out of their homes. Farm owners received cash settlements for their condemned property. But tenant farmers — a substantial number of whom were black — got nothing. After chronicling victims of the TVA “population removal program,” historians Michael J. McDonald and John Muldowny reported: “TVA’s social experiment was a failure.”


II. Economic Policy

A) Negative Effects

The New Deal was a failure as it has protected the trusts more than the American people. Today, the poor are poorer, and the trusts are richer. Another reason: this is a county that is controlled by the trusts. When one stands on the street, and closes his eyes for a moment, and then opens them and looks; everything, absolutely all that one sees is made by the trusts. The automobile that passes by, the street car, the trucks, everything that one wears: shoes, clothes, ets. When one enters a restaurant, he sees the plates, the tables, the spoons, all is made by the trusts. 95% of what one eats is controlled by the trusts. The trusts for more than 200 years have been controlling all the industries, and killing the small business men. We have reached a state in which the trusts dominate all, as they are the owners of the money, or nearly all the money that there is in the United States.

The war can already be seen between one trust and others; the strongest will dominate the weaker trusts, and the capital will be reduced to a few men who will control everything.

It's inarguably true that in the very short-term, the New Deal did not fix the economy. Roosevelt's programs were first passed in 1933 but economists generally agree that the Great Depression did not end until 1939, when the country began preparing for World War II. Unemployment rates, which reached as high as 25%, took several years to recover and did not get below 9% until 1940.


It was obvious to people even then that the NRA was seriously flawed; in 1935, the Supreme Court ruled the program unconstitutional.

"Anytime you put in price and wage controls, you are more likely than not to make the economy worse off," says Valerie Ramey, professor of economics at University of California, San Diego. "That's the lesson of all economic history."

Economists differ, though, in their estimates of how badly the NRA's bad policies damaged the economy. On the more dire end of the scale, Harold L. Cole and Lee E. Ohanian, economics professors at the University of Pennsylvania and UCLA respectively, estimate the New Deal's labor and industrial policies caused the Depression to last seven years longer than otherwise.




III. Foreign Policy

A) He refused to propose entering the war even after hearing that millions of jews were being imprisoned. Although, it isn't that surprising considering he allowed the Japanese to be imprisoned in his own country.



IV. Conclusion

As one can see FDR was not the best president nor a good president, he is not the nice man in the wheel chair that single handly beat Hitler as everyone thinks that he was. Instead he is a president that was a sheep. He followed others even if they were morally wrong and worsened America's economy to this day.

Debate Round No. 2
tylergraham95

Pro

Rebuttals

I. Immorality


A) Japanese Internment

Obviously, no president is perfect. Sometimes, mistakes are made. Though it is true that Japanese internment was not a good policy, Con grossly over-represents FDRs involvement in this policy. After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US was incredibly paranoid and Xenophobic. Only 62% of the interned people were actual US citizens, and the internment was called for by members of congress and the public at large. (1) (2)

Obviously, FDR shouldn't have allowed this policy to pass, but he was by no means an advocate of the policy.


B) Affair

The point the Con is making here is merely an appeal to pathos. Con asserts that somehow, infidelity to his wife weakened FDRs skills as a president. Cheating on his wife did not make his policies any less effective. The affair was also more than understandable, as FDR likely was not sexually active with his wife, as she was likely a lesbian. (3) (4)


C) Racist Policies

Although this point may seem compelling at first glance, it is ultimately not a valid case against FDR. Simply because a policy affects a certain race negatively, does not mean that it's racist. For something to be racist, it must be giving a certain race higher benefit than another, and be designed specifically for that. If FDR had created a policy that directly barred blacks from working, that would be a different case.

My opponents point boils down to this "FDR put many tenant farmers (among others) out of work." 500,000 people may seem like a lot of people, but it was less than half a percent of the total population at the time. (5)

Essentially, my opponent is trying to say that FDR put people out of jobs. Wrong. FDR significantly lowered the unemployment rate under his presidency.




As you can see, when FDR was initially elected, unemployment was at an all time high (1933). When he left office in 1945, the unemployment rate was lower than ever!



II. Economic Policy

A) Negative Effects

My opponent accuses FDR of allowing trusts to dominate the market. He spends the majority of this argument telling you why trusts are bad, but fails to articulate explicitly how FDR allowed trusts to thrive. Furthermore, my opponent fails to consider that since FDR was in office, we have experienced a major shift away from Keynesian economics. Under the Reagan presidency and subsequent Republican presidencies, Anti-trust regulation has been severely loosened, and regulation in general has been loosened as well. My opponent states, "Today, the poor are poorer, and the trusts are richer." Let's have a look at the modern disparity my opponent has been talking so much about.



Up until 1970, FDRs policies were in effect, and up until 1970, average CEO income and the average worker income increased at relatively the same rate. It wasn't until after the policies made by FDR were reversed that trusts began to monopolize once again over the industry.



As far as my opponents point on foreign policy goes, we can see clearly that FDR did not sanction the actions that the Nazi party was taking in Germany. FDR supported the allies and condemned the axis diplomatically and economically, until Americas eventual involvement in WWII.


Economic Policy


My opponent doesn't see validity in my points regarding FDRs economic policy.

Let's take a look at empirical evidence.

A) Unemployment



Look familiar? We've already seen this graph, and I've already commented on the obvious beneficial effects of the policies made under FDR.

B) GDP



After the massive drop in 1930 due to the great depression, we can see that under FDR, the GDP grew very quickly. The average growth rate even began to accelerate due to his economic success.

We know this is due to FDRs keynesian economic styling, which is demonstrated in the following graph.







Summary

I have proved here that FDR was clearly a good president, as my opponent has only been able to nitpick at FDRs policies, without attacking him as a whole. Essentially, my opponent argues grains of sand, while I argue the beach. My opponent cherry picks failed policies by FDR without being able to fully prove that FDR was overall a net bad president. I have argued for his actions as a whole, and proved that, overall, FDR was a good president.




Sources

1. http://www.trumanlibrary.org...
2. http://www.trumanlibrary.org...
3. http://www.uis.edu...
4. http://en.wikipedia.org...
5. US Census
Macar0ni

Con

Macar0ni forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
tylergraham95

Pro

Forward all points.
Macar0ni

Con

Macar0ni forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
tylergraham95

Pro

Per the rules of this debate, as set forth in R1, I claim victory.

Macar0ni

Con

Rebuttals

I. Immorality


A) Japanese Internment

Let this contention stand for my opponent has merely tried to justify and downplay FDR's actions. To say that it was even decently okay to imprison children and adults on the basis of racial fears is absurd. I do agree that no president is perfect and that sometimes mistakes are made but this is a rather large mistake. So instead of trying to justifying his actions we should instead be putting him down as one of the most immoral presidents and definatly not as a good president.

C) Racist Policies

This point is a valid case against FDR. My opponent stated that "Simply because a policy affects a certain race negatively, does not mean that it's racist." and this by no means is not true. As I showed a fair portion of FDR's policies explicitly targeted the black community. Not to say that it was intended but it should still be noted that it wasn't equal for all races.

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Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 2 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
tylergraham95Macar0niTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: According to the rules of the debate I should give Pro a full seven points. Also Con plagiarized multiple parts of the arguments.
Vote Placed by Actionsspeak 2 years ago
Actionsspeak
tylergraham95Macar0niTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Round one rule: Forfeiting more than 1 round constitutes a full 7 point loss.