The Instigator
Maggie37
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Illegalcombatant
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Free Education

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Illegalcombatant
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 26,047 times Debate No: 20749
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (15)
Votes (1)

 

Maggie37

Con

In dealing with Education, what is the meaning of free? Does that mean our educators get paid? Do the buildings get maintained for free, what about the property taxes of the land that the buildings sit on? What about the books? The point is someone is paying for what you would call "free education", most likely the inference is the tax payer. Now if you agree that free education is a good things than do you agree that the taxes on long island and New York State in general are affordable, and conducive to a thriving economic environment? Nobody can afford the taxes on long island and New York right now, which is why we are in such a depressed economic situation right now. Point being nothing in life is free. Most of the countries are going broke right now except western Germany, because in the E.U. health care is "free" retirement benefits are "free", the whole E.U. is on the verge of collapse bc of the free benefits from the government.
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Maggie for creating this debate.

The resolution

The resolution seems to be some what ill defined, "free education" is just thrown out there. As such I think it will help to better define as the Pro what I will seek to argue for. I will argue that a society should have some sort of "free education" available. As such its my understanding that Con is arguing that free education should not exist.

What does "free education" mean ?

As Con notes, nothing is free, by free education it is meant that the one receiving the education either does not pay for it or pays only a small amount of their education cost, hence from their point of view the education is "free". I propose that we define small amount up to 25% of their education cost.

So where does the other 100% - 75% of the funds come from ? tax revenue, in other words government funded.

I think its also worth noting that I am not arguing that every possible instance of education should be free, just that some sort of free education should be available to all, at the very least what is considered the fundamental basics of reading, writing, comprehension, maths, and what ever else is deemed necessary to function in that society.

Countering Cons arguments

Con says..."Now if you agree that free education is a good things than do you agree that the taxes on long island and New York State in general are affordable, and conducive to a thriving economic environment? "

Even if we grant Con that taxes are unaffordable in long island and Newyork state how does this even remotely suggest that this means that no free education should be made available ? it doesn't, its a complete non sequitur.

Con says..."Point being nothing in life is free. Most of the countries are going broke right now except western Germany, because in the E.U. health care is "free" retirement benefits are "free", the whole E.U. is on the verge of collapse bc of the free benefits from the government."

Even if its the case that the EU is broke because of retirement benefits and health care benefits this isn't relevant to the debate. It seems to me what Con is really taking a swipe out is any form of government funded benefits for people. I would point out there is an issue of if a society should have some kind of welfare safety net.

I think its also worth mentioning there are other factors involved here like, are the rich getting out of paying their fair share of tax ? are there issues of wealth distribution, for example is only a small percentage of the people getting the majoirty of the economic gains ? Does the society have unnecessary obstacles in being producitve ? etc, etc.

Arguments for "free education"

1) Economic

A better educated population will be able to do things that a lesser educated can't. This has consequences for both individual and societal economic outcomes.

2) Civic

If we accept modern democracy for all its flaws is the least worst form of government, then a government can only be as good as the majority will allow it. An educated population has a better chance at better government, but of course not guaranteed.

3) Fairness

No one asks to be born, nor asks to be born into the circumstances they are born into. Without free education some people will be denied basic education just because they were born into bad circumstances. Education basics aren't just educational basic, they are life basic, as education basics allow further learning and opportunities into other area's.

I look forward to Cons response.
Debate Round No. 1
Maggie37

Con

1)Economic

No one is arguing the benefits of an educated populous. Con agrees that an educated populous has major societal impacts, one of which is that a" free education" will be taken for granted by many and therefor diminished in its value.

2)Civic

In our democracy, arguably the most efficient and benevolent in human history, happiness as inferred by the promise of a "free" education is not guaranteed. Only the pursuit of happiness is guaranteed under our constitution, the cost of which is to be born by the individual and not the state.

3)Fairness

While the pursuit of "fairness" is inherently noble in virtue it can be argued that nature in itself is not fair, but beautifully efficient.

In terms of PROS proposal to define "free" as only paying 25% of the costs of education, why should those individuals who are not receiving a so-called "free" education be forced to subsidized the remaining 75% of the cost?

Finally, in the European Union so-called "free" benefits are subsidized by what we would consider to be exorbitant taxes throughout the entire economic spectrum.
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Con for their reply.

Arguments for "free education"

1)Economic

If the worst thing that happens in society that people take "advantage" of free education, I think we can live with it.

2) Civic

Con doesn't refute my point here, just gives an interpretation of the American Constitution.

3) Fairness

I don't think the cruelty of nature is a good guide to morality or public policy. It's a good thing Cons parents don't share Con's guide to morality here, cause you know, some animals have been known to eat their young.

It doesn't follow that the taxes for free education are mostly paid by those who don't get a free education. In places where some sort of school is mandatory everyone is a user of free education so no one is a non user. In regards to a question as to why people should fund free education then I refer Con to my points on economic, civic and fairness.

Oh look at Europe therefore lets get rid of free education

Con mentions Europe once again, but their comments is only relevant to OVERALL BENEFITS, we are only talking about one area here, that being free education. Seems to me Con is throwing out an anti goverment spending net and public education has just been caught within this net. As I alluded too before, before you start cutting education, how about addressing issues such as tax avoidance/minimization by the rich, income from assets vs income from work, wealth distribution etc before you start cutting a public good.


Debate Round No. 2
Maggie37

Con

Thank you for your response Pro

Civic
Pro is trivializing the importance of the "American Constitution". It's the United States Constitution, a unique document that just happens to be the foundation of the most successful and benevolent society in the history of mankind.

Economic
Taking advantage of "free"� education would not necessarily be a bad thing if it were truly free. Taking so-called "free" education for granted because it's "free" is the problem because a diploma should be a treasured document and not a common piece of paper.

Fairness
Seems to me Pro is throwing out an anti-parent and anti-nature net. Pro obviously believes in the supremacy of government over all.

Con does not believe in cutting education, just modifying its source of revenue. As an example of the voracious appetite of the educational system, and government in general one only has to look at the history of the New York State lottery, the brainchild of those who thought it would be the answer to the funding needs of the aforementioned entities. Turn on any radio station or television station and you will be deluged with adds for this panacea of proficiency, always begging at the public trough for more money. As far as tax avoidance/ minimization by the rich maybe pro should do some research on the percentage of tax revenue generated by the top 10% of earners. Sounds like Pro would love to live in a "WORKERS PARADISE"�. It is only a ninety-mile trip on the yacht of your choice to Cuba from Key West.
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Con for their response............kind of.

Civic

Me pointing out that Con is making an interpretation of the American constitution hardly warrants the accusation from Con that I am trivializationing the constitution. The main point here is that Cons own interpretation of the constitution is just that, their OWN interpretation. The pursuit of happiness does not equate to therefore thou shall not have public education.

As far as Cons comment about the USA democracy/society been the most benevolent good luck justifying that. If the USA was to get rid of public education would that make the USA more or less benevolent ? it would make it less.

Ironically, Con here gives another reason to justify public education, that been a society or government seeking to be benevolent and public education is a good way to go about it.

Economic

Con says..."Taking so-called "free" education for granted because it's "free" is the problem because a diploma should be a treasured document and not a common piece of paper."

Con wrongly conflates that if something is common then it must be of less value or even worthless. Maybe we should make more people blind so the value of seeing is worth more ? hardly, something can be common yet still be of high value.

Public education should not exist, and if disagree with me you are a communist who loves Fidel Castro

After showing the errors in Cons logic to justify no public education should exist, Con has resorted to ad homien attacks such as..."Pro obviously believes in the supremacy of government over all." & ..."Sounds like Pro would love to live in a "WORKERS PARADISE"�. It is only a ninety-mile trip on the yacht of your choice to Cuba from Key West."

This ends my argument for round 3.
Debate Round No. 3
Maggie37

Con

Thank you for your response.

Everyone loves "free" stuff. The amusing thing is, some people are willing to pay more for it then others - or, in this case let others pay more for it. Bottom line, is anything ever really "free"?

People believe that the duty of the government is to provide children with free education. The constant rise in our tax dollars pay for that free education. In fact as defined by Frederic Bastiat, the purpose of law, rejects the public school systems. To support that argument it was said that " education is not the purpose of the government and that government education is socialistic."

Con obviously has a hard time justifying the premise that our society as it currently exists without so-called universally free education, is the most benevolently in the history of mankind. I can not help him with his deep seeded cynicism. But again I propose the argument/fact that nothing is really free and only the naive would believe otherwise.
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Con for their reply, in the last round they managed not to insinuate that some one who dis agree with their position is a communist, this is progress.........of a kind.

Public education & taxation

Public education is not the sole reason for taxation or tax rises that's why I find it deceptive for Con to say..." The constant rise in our tax dollars pay for that free education." as this implies that all taxation and tax rises are caused by the existence of public education.

Seeing that Con likes to remind us that nothing is "free", does Con think the military or police should be eliminated too ? I hear those stealth bombers are quite expensive. If Con doesn't think the army or police should be eliminated this shows that the fact that something is funded by taxation doesn't mean it should be eliminated such as public education.

Benevolence

Its an interesting how one can argue for the elimination of public education (affecting the poor, the have nots the most) while also reffering to benevolence. I merely repeat my question, would getting rid of public education in the USA or any other society make it more or less benevolent ? Seeing that Con is so concerned with the USA being benelovant cause as Con tells us..."It's the United States Constitution, a unique document that just happens to be the foundation of the most successful and benevolent society in the history of mankind." then the USA should have some form of public education in the pursuit of this benelvolence.

That its for me for round 4.
Debate Round No. 4
Maggie37

Con

No need for Pro to thank Con regarding implied accusations of communist leanings. So-called "free" education is merely one part of a "slippery slope" towards the western European socialist style of government. Con does not make the argument that "free" education would be the sole reason for onerous rates of taxation, but rather another building block towards it. Regarding military and police funding relative to the public tax burden, this debate centers on "free" education, not a "free" police or military force.

While our debate has centered on the relative merits of a so-called "free" education ( the term free being somewhat subjective), the meaning of education can also be somewhat expansive. Does education in the quasi-utopian world of Pro also include various forms of apprenticeship and other vocational training or do only the "elites" blessed with college level high IQ qualify for "free" education?

Finally, since when does getting something for "free" equate to benevolence? In a world of "tough love" where very few things were "free" the desired end result could be considered the very essence of benevolence.

Con would like to thank Pro for a lively, and stimulating debate.
Illegalcombatant

Pro

I thank Con for their response.

I don't think that in this debate Con gave any good reason to not have public education.

Con tried to justify no public education using everything from affordability issues in or around Newyork, to Europe, to taxation, to implying that if you disagree with their proposition you are a communist. Trouble is there were no real explicitly clear arguments here that resulted in the conclusion that therefore public education should not exist.

It seems to me Con had an over-reaching theme of trying to tie in taxation to eradication of public education, but I showed that the argument that something is funded by taxation should be eliminated as an untenable line of reasoning, as this would also mean the elimination of police, military etc etc.

As such I maintain we heard no good arguments to support the conclusion that public education should not exist.

So moving onto the arguments for public education which included...

Economic

Con I think did agree there are positive gains for having public education, but tried to refute this argument implying that a diploma and/or education that would be more common with the existence of public education makes it worthless. But as I showed in the eyesight example, something being common doesn't equate to it being worthless.

Civic

I argued for public education in support of modern democracy, Con cites the US constitution, but the US constitution does not equate to thou shalt not have public education.

Fairness

I argued for the existence of public education in support of addressing the unfairness that some people would have in not having access to edcuation because they were born into bad circumstances. Con made reference to the cruelty of nature, I showed that the cruelty of nature is not a good guide as to what we should and shouldn't do, lest Con parents eat Con as some animals have been known to do.

Benevolence

Ironically the benevolence point came as a result of Cons claim and concern for the USA being the most benevolent. As I argued public education is a good way for the pursuit of this Benevolence that Con is so concerned for, and I don't think they refuted this.

I think there have been better arguments for the existence of public education than arguments for its elimination. As such I ask the vote go to the Pro.

Thanks for the debate.



Debate Round No. 5
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Icehawk_1995 3 years ago
Icehawk_1995
PS: Pro, thank you for your points. It's really helpful, now that I'm doing last minute revision for my (November) A level exams.
Touch", Pro. (Illegalcombatant sounds awfully like last-decade-C&C-coding ;))
Posted by Icehawk_1995 3 years ago
Icehawk_1995
Helping Con out a year late ;)
Possible unsustainability of taxation that damages the economy, e.g. down the slippery slope of cradle-to-grave welfare states in EU; Resulting instability is damaging to society and governance alike. The slippery slope is a real threat since concessions in even basic education would empower other more questionable luxuries to be made free.
Under democracy, which advocates the freedom and power of the masses, compulsory education is a qualified infringement of one"s right to choose not to be educated.
Under capitalist grounds, free education seems to be intervening with the free market"s operations. As long as credit for education, ie. loans for the underprivileged students, are readily available, it allows an accurate representation of the true costs of education, with the positive side-effect of burning the bridges to push less well-off students forward in their willingness to work hard and do better to justify the cost.
The fairness of widely available education for everyone coupled with the true costs being paid by the consumer of education, immediately or later on, allows fairness to the well-off in terms of not having to sponsor the less well-off, thus preventing brain drain, and also allows the poor to have access to education without being entitled to it freely, thus increasing their perception of the costs of education, thereby preventing underutilization of benefits of consumption of education.
Jokes about people who study until they are past 40 years old in European welfare states reflect a serious problem: these people exist. The state often offers them free education with subsidies for school-related supplies"some states even give out free, relatively high end personal computers to students. Since being a student is so desirable, more people are unwilling to begin working"to the detriment of society.
My personal view is with Pro, that basic education (e.g. first 10 years) should be free. Just throwing out another v
Posted by Maggie37 5 years ago
Maggie37
how do i increase the voting period?
Posted by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
@The_Fool

Not really...you should try reading some European working laws haha
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
There could be about thousands of factor at play where the variation is widely distribuded through out. Some being more of less.. I could even be the democratic system there are some serious logical problems with it.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
more.
Posted by The_Fool_on_the_hill 5 years ago
The_Fool_on_the_hill
@Hardcore.Pwnography @The BOMB

I am sure its a little complicated then that
Posted by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
if you really want to go ahead.....it's an interesting topic...
Posted by Illegalcombatant 5 years ago
Illegalcombatant
Well I am bored...........think I will accept.
Posted by Hardcore.Pwnography 5 years ago
Hardcore.Pwnography
Hmm, should I accept this debate then?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Yarely 5 years ago
Yarely
Maggie37IllegalcombatantTied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's arguments were a lot more logical and cohesive. Con's in the first round were scattered everywhere. Pro also refuted most/all of Con's arguments