The Instigator
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
36 Points
The Contender
scissorhands7
Pro (for)
Losing
26 Points

Government exists to help the poor.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 10 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/21/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 8,932 times Debate No: 5491
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (56)
Votes (10)

 

wjmelements

Con

Let's start by reading the purpose of our own government according to our constitution:
"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

By establishing the constitution, the founders established our government. The only reason named that could possibly suggest that our government exists only to help the poor is "promote the general Welfare", which meant (when our government was established) to promote the common good, not to help the poor, thich is a more modern definition.

In other situations, the government was never created to help the poor. Instead, the government exists to protect the people. That was the purpose of the Roman Empire, which never existed to help the poor. They never even did much of anything to help the poor.

So, to assume that government exists to help the poor is a rash and radical assumption, that has historic examples that continue to disprove it.

Instead, it is the church's job to help the poor. The church has always existed to help the poor and unify humble people to help others and worship in the way they please.

I enjoy the prospect of this debate. Let's keep it clean.

In order for you to win this debate, you must prove that "Government exists to help the poor."
scissorhands7

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for a refreshingly unique debate topic.

First to give this debate the proper character it needs, I would like to ask my opponent some specifics about the debate topic.

1. Could you please define "poor" so we have a proper parameter to argue.
2. Could you also let me know whether you mean the concept of government in general, or the United States government. The reason I asked is because you brought up both the US government and the old Roman government.
3. Also do you mean that government solely exists to help the poor, or do you mean that governments existence in no way to help the poor?

I apologize if the following does not suit the parameter of the debate and will make the necessary changes to my argument upon my opponents clarification of the three above points.

Poor is a very relative term,
Poor can mean having a lower income than average
poor can mean having a lower intelligence than average
poor can mean having a lower amount of protection than average... etc.

Government (at least in the United States) has a number of jobs

1. Defense of the country
2. Welfare programs and programs for those who cant afford health care
3. Enforcing minimum wage
4. Homeless shelters
5. School Systems
6. Other Public services
7. Carrying out justice.

So really when you do consider it, government (at least the US government) exists to help the poor, whether it be those who are poor in money, poor in education, poor in defense, poor in health, poor in justice.

I'm sorry if was not the correct debate you wanted, if you could clarify exactly what you meant, I will argue from there.

Really, in the United States, people pay taxes. The government then uses that tax money to fund programs that help the poor. Therefore the United States government exists to help the poor.

I would like to thank my opponent for his debate subject, and look forward to further clarification so we can begin a factual debate.
Debate Round No. 1
wjmelements

Con

At the request of my opponent, I will clarify this debate. This is a debate about all government. I opened with the preamble to the United States constitution because the preamble says everything that our current government was created for.

Obviously, government was created by the people to improve the people, or there would be no government. The topic concerns the less affluent.

Government was not created to help the poor.

The United States government as an example was not created to help the poor. It was decided by the Supreme Court about a hundred years later that the government could even create programs that idd that.

For future reference, my internet connection sometimes has issues. That explains anytime that I might not respond in time.

Government was created for defense. The Roman Empire grew because of it's ability to conquer people without organised government. The Roman Government was military-based, and it lacked any sort of programs to help the poor, as did most early governments. It became futile to not have a country with government. The idea that the government had a duty to take from the rich and give to the poor was worded by a few people recently, such as Marx, Lenin, Roosevelt, and Castro. This was a new idea, and the governments that used it had already been created.

Therefore, government was not created to help the less-affluent.

I will allow you to redo your argument as requested because my parameters were hardly defined.
scissorhands7

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for his clarification of the debate subject. I will now proceed to negate my opponents point

Definitions (which should have been done by the Con)

Poor - A definition generalized for the context of this debate to mean not having the same amount of money or possesions as another.

1. My opponents main point in this debate is that not one government throughout history has been created in any way to help people who have less money denoted by my oppponent as poor.
His main arguments backing such are that the United States was not created for this reason (because it was not stated in the preamble of the constitutions) and because the Roman government did not help the poor.
To start off refuting my opponents points, I would first like to bring up the preamble of the United States Constitution as stated by my opponent.

I would like to call to my opponents as well as the readers of this debate's attentions that in the preamble is the phrase "We the People"

This includes the people with less possesions than others. Furthermore it goes onto state it promotes the welfare of those people including the less affluent.

Welfare under the constitutions meaning means:
welfare n. 1. health, happiness, or prosperity; well-being.

Therefore you can interpret the constitution to mean that our government was founded to promote the health, happiness, and prosperity of all people, including the poor. This includes everyones descendents which may or may not be poor denoted as "posterity" or descendants

Reguarding communism and socialism. When a new form of government arises such as communism, it does not simply become integrated into the previous government. This is obvious because in china when the communist party took power there was a revolution. Similar to when the US government was started there was a revolution.

Since you acknowledge that the US is a new government, you must acknowledge the Chinese - communist govt.
Debate Round No. 2
wjmelements

Con

The poor is the lower class, not the non-rich. The middle-class is not considered to be poor in this debate.

My opponent is correct that our constitution as an example was created to help the people, which obviously includes the poor, but our government was not created specifically to help the poor. Historically, government was not created to help the poor.

You have not disagreed with the fact that early governments existed for protection and not to help the poor, so my oppenent must agree with this statement.

Red China as an example, my opponent has noted that government was created to help the poor. There was a revolution that destroyed the other government (which did not exist to help the poor) and replaced it with one that did. However, this is a rare example. In other instances, the government was made to help the less-affluent.

Never did the government exist solely or specifically to help the poor. Even with socialism, communism, and marxism, the new system of government was established to help everyone (not jsut the poor) that the people viewed as victims of the rich.

Merechriolus and Slrubenstein of Wikipedia wrote:
"As in the case of the Roman Republic, or later the Ashanti Empire, the transition from a tribal society to a confederacy of tribes and finally to a full-fledged urban civilization with central government is a gradual process and lacks any clear definition." http://en.wikipedia.org...

Government was created for many reasons. It originates in the local commmunities, villages, and tribes of prehistoric times. They banded together for protection from wild animals and other tribes. They hunted together. Law was probably started when ethics emerged within the community and crime (like murder) was to be discouraged. Over time, communities, tribes, and villages joined together to form larger governing bodies, like the Greek and Roman Empires.

The origin of government was not to help the poor, but for defense.

Thank you!
scissorhands7

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for his prompt response.

To start off I would like to remind the viewers of this debate that it is impossible for me to go into much depth on my points or cover all points due to the character restrictions strictly imposed by my opponent.

Below I would like to refute the further arguments my opponent has made.

1. My opponent provided the definition for "poor" in the last round of this debate. His resolution clearly included the word "poor". "poor" is a relative word which has many definitions. Thus it was impossible to refute his resolution until the last round.

2. My opponent (as far as he has defined) has made his resolution "Government exists to help the poor."

NOT: that government solely exists to help the poor. By proving that government in any way was created to help the poor, I have refuted my opponents resolution.

3. I do not have refute that all governments existed to help the poor (As defined by my opponents resolution) I simply have to show that some governments were created in some way to help the poor.

4. My opponent has conceded that Red China (a country with a population of over 1.3 trillion) was created to help the poor.

"However, this is a rare example."

5. Wikipedia is not a valid source. Even if it was and I accepted your information as valid I would like to state that it says:

"Government was created for many reasons."

To Sum up the debate:

My opponent has conceded:
1. That more than one government was created to help the poor.
2. That China was created to help the poor.
3. That the United States (that was cited in his example as having never been created in any way to help the poor)
4. In his definition of government that the poor can be included.

I have disproved my opponents resolution that "government was created to help the poor" by showing that governments have been created to help the poor including the US and China.

Thank you for this debate
Debate Round No. 3
56 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
Yes, these RFDs own the heck out of vote bombing.
Posted by Lightkeeper 8 years ago
Lightkeeper
Cleaner number 2 reporting for duty.

This is not an easy debate to consider. The parties appeared to be at cross purposes at times.

Con's contention is that government does not exist to help the poor. He does not define "poor". Pro then attempts to import a definition of the word. He chooses to use the wide definition of "poor" which encompasses a number of meanings of poverty. However, this does little to support his side, for reasons outlined below.

Pro contends that governments exist, inter alia, to help the poor. This would be a sound argument, had it not been for Con's clear statement in R1 that his resolution is that governments do not exist ONLY to help the poor. Despite a clever appraoch, Pro failed to disprove this and that is of no surprise given the resolution and how it was put in R1.

Conduct: Tied
Argument: Con
Language: Tied
Sources: Con (Pro did not use any sources)
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
RFD is a reason to support the 'clearners'. I think that's just about teh only reason.
Posted by scissorhands7 8 years ago
scissorhands7
I just wish everyone would review every debate on this site and post a reason for their decision. I think the reason for decision improves debating skills for the future.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
I'm still unsure whether I support a debate cleaner society, but I think that was a decent interpretation. I like that they post a reason for decision, but not the feeling of elitism that is often associated with their name, cleaners. Though they can clean up voting blocks partially, they do not fix or claen the system.
Posted by Logical-Master 8 years ago
Logical-Master
CLEANERS VOTER REPORTING FOR DUTY.

Conduct: Nothing noticeable or out of the ordinary. This was going to be a tie until I saw CON confess that he poorly set up the parameters. Thus, this goes to PRO.

Spelling and Grammar: Tie.

Convincing arguments: This debate got a little bit murky. However, for me, it came down to whether or not PRO could successfully show CON's stance to be in error. Unfortunately, he could not. How? Basically, CON's position is that the government doesn't exist SOLELY to help the poor. PRO's only defense against this is to rely on the wording of the topic title as shown in the last round, but this is futile as CON defined how HIS resolution was to be interpreted in the first round.

This can be seen here: "The only reason named that could possibly suggest that our government exists only to help the poor is "promote the general Welfare", which meant (when our government was established) to promote the common good, not to help the poor, this is a more modern definition."

PRO made some good arguments, but none of them can be used to suggest that he won this debate, thus, I vote CON. Abusive topic, but nevertheless, PRO accepted the challenge on CON's terms.

Reliable Sources: CON cited wikipedia. PRO never proved wikipedia to be an unreliable source. Given how debatable this matter is, he should have done this rather than simply state that it was unreliable.
Posted by jason_hendirx 8 years ago
jason_hendirx
I was sarcastic when I was saying that they were being Christian by not wanting the government. I know the saying "Christian charity" exists for a reason.
Posted by HandsOff 8 years ago
HandsOff
I think most would agree a quarter of ones earnings should go to help society as a whole. But that would need to include all taxation, not just the feds. So federal would have to be somewhere around 12% to accomodate that.
Posted by scissorhands7 8 years ago
scissorhands7
I do not think that the government should tax the crap out of citizens simply because they "can afford it"

I call that punishing success.
Posted by wjmelements 8 years ago
wjmelements
All the insiders that we used to have in the CWO have already spoken up and were kicked out. But we can hunt them down and make a big deal about them and maybe they'll be pressured to stop.

j_h, some Christians believe that helping the poor is most moral when it is voluntary.

handsoff, you should be the secratary of the treasury.
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