The Instigator
spongessuck
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
imabench
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Government intervention in the economy does more harm than good

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
imabench
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/6/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 10,902 times Debate No: 19702
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

spongessuck

Pro

Governments can intervene in the economy in several ways. I've pared down the forms in which governments affect the market to the following:

1.Regulations
2.Price Controls
3.Property Controls

I will argue that these measures don't necessarily increase prosperity or standard of living while negatively affecting the market as a whole by:

1.Limiting competition
2.Limiting consumer choice
3.Increasing costs and prices
4.Increasing uncertainty of the future
5.Creating artificial surpluses/shortages
6.Diverting resources from their most efficient (consumer-demanded) employment

Regulations that governments enforce are usually enacted under the pretense that they either make the market fairer, or they protect the consumer. However, even when there are no nefarious intentions of the government or the companies lobbying for the new regulations, regulation inherently limits competition by increasing the cost of entry into the market and reducing the ways in which a new business can satisfy consumer demand.

One example is business licensing. Many municipalities require some kind of license to operate a business in a certain industry, i.e. food service. The licensing may require a fee, an inspection, paperwork, etc., all of which deter new businesses from forming. In addition, there may be a quota on how many businesses can operate in an industry for a certain area. These regulations increase the start-up costs of businesses, which protect existing businesses from new competition and raise the cost of the goods and services sold because of the additional overhead of complying with the regulations. The prices of goods and services trend upward while quality trends downward due to lack of competition, and because the money used to comply with regulations isn't going to improve the operation of the business. In addition, it is a fallacy to assume causation between more regulation and increase consumer safety; it is in the best interest of businesses to attract customers by providing safe and high-quality goods and services.

Regulations also limit consumer choice. I will use health insurance as an example. Each state has its own set of required health care services that insurance companies must cover. Citizens in the state are required to purchase policies that comply with that state's regulations. Each service that the insurance is required to cover increases the premiums policy holders must pay. However, the consumer may not have purchased coverage for a service required by the state given the choice, and would have preferred a lower premium. The state has taken that choice away from the consumer. It has also increased the cost of health insurance for everyone in the state.

Finally, regulations increase uncertainty in the future. The Dodd-Frank financial regulation bill and Obamacare are two good examples of how this affects the market. Many businesses, especially small ones, are reluctant to invest because they don't know what the costs of these regulations will be, first because they are both enormous and confounding, and second because many of the details have not yet been written by the agencies charged with enforcing the new rules. Because businesses can't predict their future costs, they refrain from taking new risks, hiring labor, buying capital, etc.

Another way government negatively affects the economy is through price controls. This can be in the form of explicit price ceilings or floors on goods/services, or through subsidization. I won't argue that price floors create surpluses and price ceilings create shortages, since this is self-evident and beyond doubt. I will discuss, however, two particularly egregious price controls that governments engage in.

The first is minimum wage, which is a price floor on labor. While minimum wage is enacted under the guise of requiring a livable income for workers, what it actually does is make anyone whose labor is valued at less than minimum wage unemployable. In addition, because businesses may suddenly have to pay workers more because of a new minimum wage, they must make up for this additional cost either by increasing prices, decreasing quality, or laying off marginal workers.

A second price that governments control is interest rates, or the price of money. When a bank is low on assets, it raises interest rates to encourage saving over borrowing, so it can replenish its asset reserves. When reserves are high, the bank lowers interest rates to encourage borrowing. However, when the government sets interest rates lower than the free market rate, borrowing outpaces savings. While the idea is that cheap money begets business investment and growth, a lot of this borrowed money goes into the hot investment of the day, like stocks in the 1920s or housing in the 2000s. Since demand for these assets spike because of cheap money, prices skyrocket and supply moves to match demand. As supply catches up, or when investors realize that their assets are overvalued, the asset prices plummet, banks and consumers go bankrupt, and all the resources put toward building up these assets are revealed to be a waste. Artificially low interest rates are a primary cause of the business cycle.

Subsidization has several negative effects as well. First, this subsidy must be extracted from the people either through taxation, reducing the people's wealth now, or by borrowing or money creation, reducing their wealth later. Second, the subsidy rewards businesses for producing things that consumers aren't demanding, at least not at the price required to cover business costs. The resources that the business could be using to produce things that consumers would demand at a market-clearing prices are instead being used to make things the government incentivizes them to produce, with market losses involuntarily covered by the consumer, who may not benefit from the subsidized good/service, or may benefit more from an alternative that wouldn't require a subsidy.

A third way in which governments interfere with the economy is through property controls. This can take the form of taxation, prohibition, or seizure. Taxation, particularly of wages and income, implies that the government is the primary owner of the product of labor, and that the people are entitled only to what the government allows them to keep. Disregarding the moral implications, both the tax itself and the costs of tax compliance reduce taxpayer wealth. Much of this wealth is then wasted on unproductive endeavors, such as paying for the labor and capital required to collect and allocate the tax revenue, instead of being distributed as entitlements or satisfying consumer demands.

Through prohibition, governments determine what you are and are not allowed to own. This limits consumer choice by banning products such as incandescent light bulbs, and creates future uncertainty, since the government can ban anything at any time, which may include an important resource for a business. Governments can also prohibit the use of owned property. If you buy land and the EPA determines that there is endangered species on it, you are prohibited from developing the land. The government can at any time prohibit ownership, or otherwise destroy the value, of your property.

Through seizure, government can extract wealth from the people directly, such as through civil asset forfeiture, or force the people to sell their property to the government, as through eminent domain. Not only does this reduce the wealth of the people, it creates uncertainty for the future, since the government can demand a person's property at any time and leave him in a state where he cannot easily, if at all, get it back through legal action if the seizure was unjustified.

Government intervention in the economy is both unpredictable and coercive. It undermines free association and property rights, and incentivizes businesses to please government agents over consumers.

http://bit.ly...
imabench

Con

1) regulations
Government regulations have been shown to increase consumer safety, it isnt a pretense the government acts under it has been proven to increase consumer safety. Regulations such as these do cost businesses more money because now they are forced to spend more on the same product to sell to people, but companies always work around this by simply raising the costs of goods in order to make a profit. Also the regulations dont often add significantly to the cost of the product being regulated in the first place. In car industries for example the cost of putting an airbag in the steering wheel might cost only a couple hundred dollars for a car that could easily cost thousands.

Such regulations may spur entirely new businesses completely. When the government back in the 1800's to 1900's regulated coal mining one regulation was the installation of proper ventilation for the workers, of course coal mining companies dont know a thing about air conditioning so they would have to hire a company that does to install the safety standards. So even if one industry is regulated the costs may only be a fraction of the final product and the regulations themselves may encourage other industries to sprout in order to help meet those regulations.

2) business licensing
These regulations deter the formation of evil companies that would try to sacrifice consumer safety for their own profit. Legit companies that know how to make a good profit while complying with the standards would have no problem with licensing at all. Such licenses are also used to see if the business is engaged in shady or illegal trading practices or not, whether it is even active or not, how many people they employ to see if they qualify for tax write-offs or not, how many new people they hired, etc. these licenses only discourage shady companies from entering the market.

3) uncertainty
The two examples you used are the two examples that havent even been enacted yet. If you look back in history to any other remotely similar regulations then by observing how the market responds afterward can give you a good idea of what will happen in the future. Obamacare meanwhile is in an entirely different field of regulations but there have been many other laws that regulated fields of business that had a positive effect. One example is the law that created National Parks to prevent certain areas from being exploited by people or businesses. It was revolutionary at the time and today we can see these parks as sanctuaries for animals which on their own generate thousands, even millions, from tourism.

4) minimum wage
It is debateable whether or not minimum wage serves a purpose today (I think it does) however the debate is whether or not government intervention is beneficial or not, and it can be argued that the minimum wage can be beneficial to the market under certain conditions
http://www.amosweb.com...

5) Interest rates are used by the governments monetary policy, which uses interest rates to try to fight against any trends in inflation and unemployment. Lowering such rates may give the economy a short term boost by encouraging economic activity without directly causing inflation, the interest rate can also be adjusted against inflation so that the buying power of a dollar is not diminished. Those giving out the loan can adjust interest rates so that if the loan fails the lender does not suffer a complete loss. interest rates can be used to cause all of these to happen (in rare cases all at the same time) and thus it is a good tool for a healthy economy.

6) subsidization
During the Great Depression the government subsidized farming products grown in the Midwest to prevent farmers from losing their jobs (although many still did). But the subsidy today is still used to provide protection to vital industries (like agriculture) to make sure under hard times the entire sector does not go belly up. Sometimes these goods are purchased by the government to then distribute overseas as foreign aid. Subsidies literally exist to prevent the decline of businesses which goes directly against the Pro's theory that they do more harm than good to the market.

7) property seizure
The government holds the right to collect taxes, what they spend it on is up to their discretion.

8) banning stuff
The Pro seems to have forgotten that such government bans can be reversed, thats what happened in the biggest case of the government banning a product in history, Prohibition. That was eventually repealed though which shows that there is never certainty that something that is banned will eventually be overturned. Also any ban on any item must first go through the House, the Senate, and then the President, and then may be challenged in the Supreme Court, so the Pro may think that anything could be banned at any time, but the truth is it cannot. as for the development of owned property, I find it reasonable to see why the government would stop someone from building a house or a factory in an area home to an endangered species (ever see the movie Hoot?)
http://en.wikipedia.org...(film)

9) seizure of property
The concept of Eminent Domain provides for monetary compensation to people for the government to build highways, railroads, etc. on lands already owned by people, and these developments can do a great deal of good for the economy through job creation. Sometimes the land seizures are justified, if say a company that operates through shady practices causes a chemical spill in a town that causes it to be uninhabitable because the spill caused something that now posed a great risk to the health of those living there, then those people cant just sell their homes and get out. The government though can quickly offer monetary compensation and allow people to get out before any harm is done to them because of the mistake from the shady business...

These government interventions can be shown to do good for the economy because these laws help fight poverty, protects consumers, mandates that businesses compete fairly and dont gain an edge by trying to exploit workers or safety of the product they are selling. The uncertainty the Pro claims exists only exists on a far smaller scale then what he implies, and the government uses these measures to protect both businesses and consumers without putting a huge cap limit on how much money corporations can make...
Debate Round No. 1
spongessuck

Pro

I thank the Con for engaging in this debate.

The Con's first point is that "government regulations have been shown to increase consumer safety, it isnt [sic] a pretense the government acts under it has been proven to increase consumer safety." However, the Con offers no sources for 'proof,' and I can think of a good example of how this is absolutely not true. Despite USDA regulations regarding food safety, several widespread food-borne illness outbreaks have occurred in the recent past, leading to several deaths:

Listeria in cantaloupes: http://1.usa.gov...

Salmonella in alfalfa sprouts: http://1.usa.gov...

E. coli in spinach: http://1.usa.gov...

While I cannot prove that these outbreaks wouldn't have happened without the USDA, the Con cannot prove that more outbreaks would occur without it.

The Con then states that "regulations such as these do cost businesses more money because now they are forced to spend more on the same product to sell to people, but companies always work around this by simply raising the costs of goods in order to make a profit." The Con thus confirms my point that regulations lead to higher prices for the consumer.

The Con continues, stating that "such regulations may spur entirely new businesses completely." This is a variation of the broken window fallacy, which states that when someone breaks a shop's window, they spur the glass-making industry, which helps the economy. In reality, the money used to pay the glass-maker COULD have been used to buy something else that the shopkeeper wanted, or to make his business better, or the savings from NOT having to fix the window could be transferred to the consumer as lower prices.

http://en.wikipedia.org...

The Con continues to the topic of licensing: "These regulations deter the formation of evil companies that would try to sacrifice consumer safety for their own profit." It is not licensing or even industry regulations that deter companies from sacrificing consumer safety, but already existing product liability and fraud laws. If a company is liable for damages to someone, they can be sued. The Con then describes licenses as some kind of auditing mechanism for governments to 'check in' on businesses. The Con will have to elaborate on what is meant by this, as the description doesn't describe licenses the way I understand them.

The Con finishes with "these licenses only discourage shady companies from entering the market." Licenses discourage ALL new businesses from forming, especially those with very little money to start out with. Requiring a license to operate a business serves two purposes: to transfer money to the government through fees and required services, and to protect existing businesses from new competitors.

The Con goes on to discuss uncertainty: "The two examples you used are the two examples that havent [sic] even been enacted yet." This is precisely why they create uncertainty: businesses don't know what the new rules will be and cannot predict the cost of complying with them. The Con suggests I look to history to find how similar regulations have positively affected the market, but the burden of proof lies on the Con.

The Con mentions National Parks as a successful set of regulations that protect natural resources from exploitation and generate revenue for the government. While I would classify this as a property control instead of regulation, the idea that companies would 'exploit' these resources given the chance is unfounded. Property owners have a vested interest in keeping the value of their land, and wouldn't 'destroy' the resources on it. In addition, if the parks are so profitable as nature reserves, a private company could do the same thing with the land if the government sold it to them. However, if they are not profitable, the government can make consumers involuntarily cover the losses, while a private company could not.

Turning to minimum wage, the Con cites (but doesn't summarize) an article that makes the case that where there is a sole employer, there is no competition for jobs in an certain industry, and so the company can pay workers less then 'fair' wages. Disregarding the idea of a 'fair' wage and who has the knowledge to make that decision, without a minimum wage in place, the low cost of labor would encourage other businesses to start up competitors to the 'monopsony.' In addition, no one is forcing workers to work for that industry. Low labor wages send a signal to workers; there is a surplus of labor in this industry, and they would be more profitable in a different industry. With less workers available to the 'monopsony,' wages would rise because of decreased supply.

On the topic of interest rates, the Con states that reducing rates "may give the economy a short term boost by encouraging economic activity without directly causing inflation," but "can also be adjusted against inflation so that the buying power of a dollar is not diminished." You cannot simultaneously inflate and deflate. Either rates go down, the money supply is inflated and prices go up, or vice versa. In addition, this theory doesn't always work in practice. Loan rates are basically as low as they could be, and the economy is still struggling. However, the low interest rates of late are causing quite a bit of inflation (not according to the government, of course, since they don't take food and energy prices into account when calculating inflation), and when you get <1% interest on your savings account, you basically lose money when you keep it in a bank, since when you use it later it will buy you less. By setting rates artificially low, the government protects borrowers (specifically the government) at the expense of savers.

The Con then talks about adjusting interest rates to protect lenders. I don't see the logic here. When a borrower defaults, the lender can go after the borrower's assets to make up losses. Only if the borrower's assets can't cover the loan does the bank lose out. Higher default risks are given higher interest rates to reflect the risk of losses to the bank. Interest rates have little to do with asset values.

Turning to subsidies, the Con asserts that farm subsidies during the depression prevented farmers from going out of business. Yes, these subsidies may have protected farmers, but at the expense of everyone else. If people aren't buying the farmer's products, they should change the produce they grow, or go out of business and enter a different industry. Protecting certain industries from job loss negatively affects all other industries, and cannot be considered a net plus for the economy.

The Con then asserts that governments have a right to collect taxes and spend them how they wish. First, a government doesn't have 'rights,' since it is not an individual. Second, saying "it's the law, so you're wrong" is not an argument. Taxes transfer wealth from the people to the government, who inherently waste it on unproductive endeavors.

Speaking of prohibition, the Con cites alcohol prohibition as an example of how prohibition isn't always permanent, revealing how these constantly changing laws create FURTHER uncertainty in the future. The Con doesn't argue about how prohibition or protecting endangered species benefits the economy.

The Con then talks about how forcing people to sell their property so that the government can build things benefits the economy. This assumes that whatever the government uses the land for will be productive.

The Con also states that the government can protect people from a dangerous spill by forcing them to relocate. If something like a dangerous spill occurs, the company responsible should be liable for damages to property, plus the costs of relocating. Insurance would provide the funds immediately while settlements are negotiated.

The Con asserts that "government interventions can be shown to do good for the economy" but fails to do so.
imabench

Con

1) "the Con cannot prove that more outbreaks would occur without it."
After the passage of the Meat inspection Act and the Food and Drug Safety Act in 1906, the government had created an agency to
Prevent meat companies from killing ailing or sickly animals for meat,
Inspect carcasses so that diseased animals are not ground into meat,
Creates sanitary standards at meat processing plants (no letting mice nibble on the meat then killing them and putting them into the meat)

All of these things have prevented countless ailments for people, and a considerable number of deaths as well.
http://www.foxnews.com...
http://www.questia.com...
http://www.scientificamerican.com...
http://www.fda.gov...
http://www.cancer.gov...

"The Con thus confirms my point that regulations lead to higher prices for the consumer."
I am saying this, however such regulations still benefit the consumers by improving their safety. Businesses dont lose as much money and consumers have their safety improved regarding the same products they use. Nobody loses.

The Broken Glass Fallacy may be applied to economic benefit, however it still does not deny the fact that money is distributed between companies. Also when the Con claims that businesses could use that money to consumers by lowering prices, really now name one company that wouldnt pocket that cash for themselves....

" The Con then describes licenses as some kind of auditing mechanism for governments to 'check in' on businesses. The Con will have to elaborate on what is meant by this, as the description doesn't describe licenses the way I understand them."

2) Business licenses serve a purpose because the government uses these licenses to
- Track and monitor businesses for tax purposes and are required for businesses to operate lawfully in the state
- Tax registrations
http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com...

"Licenses discourage ALL new businesses from forming"
Number of new businesses has remained almost constant for years now despite these licensing laws.
http://www.kauffman.org...

3) "the burden of proof lies on the Con."
In order for me to address the Con's examples, there has to be definite proof that the laws he has mentioned will even become laws. The Republicans have been viciously trying to eliminate Obama's health care law and if they succeed by 2013 before the law takes effect, then it would be impossible for me to show why they would not create uncertainty because they are not yet known to even become laws...

4) "the idea that companies would 'exploit' these resources given the chance is unfounded"
Companies exploit almost every kind of territory imaginable for profit. Tundra in the arctic is mined in Canada for diamonds and in Alaska for oil. The Oceans and the Gulf is also drilled for oil, Swamplands like the everglades are drained for housing projects, Forests are logged for wood, sometimes deserts like the southwest US are used for agriculture. All lands are vulnerable to corporate exploitation.

As for the minimum wage, the Con fails to realize that the minimum wage when implemented help improve the quality of living among lower and middle class citizens. Even though today that is debatable, back then it was proven to have helped improve the lives of millions of people who could now be paid a livable wage, which shows how government intervention in the past has proven to have benefits.
http://www.localhistories.org...

5) " You cannot simultaneously inflate and deflate"
That is agreed, however i was showing that the government can raise or lower interest rates to improve the economy or to fight growing inflation. this monetary policy can be used by the government to lessen the impact that inflation has on wages, spending power, and incomes.

"The Con then talks about adjusting interest rates to protect lenders. I don't see the logic here"
When banks give out loans, they charge interest rates on those loans so that those people who take out the loan repay the loan over time, along with a little extra money too. This is an insurance policy for the banks so that 1) if the loan fails they still get back a larger proportion of the loan they originally would have, or 2) if the loan is successful then the individual has benefited from the loan and the bank now has more money they started with. Banks are guaranteed a greater portion of their loans back while individuals still benefit from the loans.

6) "Turning to subsidies, the Con asserts that farm subsidies during the depression prevented farmers from going out of business. Yes, these subsidies may have protected farmers, but at the expense of everyone else. If people aren't buying the farmer's products, they should change the produce they grow, or go out of business and enter a different industry."

This sounds easy enough but 1) Its not as easy as you make it sound because changing industries means changing one's expertise in the job market which is no easy task. 2) During the Great Depression there were millions of other people already looking for jobs, and without the government subsidies the farmers would be forced into the unemployment lines looking for jobs like millions of other Americans.

Subsidies protect jobs during times of crisis, and during the Great Depression farmers were greatly protected from becoming unemployed because of government intervention.

7) The government has the right to tax people, all governments do because governments are the governing body of a nation, state, or community that is designated authoritative powers by the people. One of such powers includes the right to collect taxes, whether it be on income, property, inheritance (even though I am against that), etc. This is really a whole different debate though.

8) When talking about banned items, the Pro stated that "...and creates future uncertainty, since the government can ban anything at any time..." meaning the uncertainty that he was originally referring too was how any item could suddenly be outlawed by the government, I offered evidence against this idea. Instead of responding to these points the Pro now focused on how it is uncertain whether items banned by the government will always be banned, and that the fact that they could be un-banned is bad somehow....

"The Con doesn't argue about how prohibition or protecting endangered species benefits the economy."

When prohibition was enacted, it was the result of a conservative movement from concerned wives and mothers about the drinking habits of men and the anti-saloon league. Prohibition was not a result of government intervention it was the result of pressure on the government by the people who wanted them to intervene. There were few benefits of Prohibition which was why it was ultimately repealed. As for protecting endangered species, that falls under animal rights not economic benefit. Not all government laws are enacted solely for economic benefit...

9) The government does use land for productive reasons, ever drive on an interstate highway Pro? The government builds schools and parks, are they useless to you too? As for chemical accidents the companies are responsible for the financial damage done, however they are not the ones who immediately come in and provide the funds because any company that has had a spill will argue in court how they were not at fault. The government steps in and handles the immediate accident while the courts sort out who is to blame (those hearing take weeks though)

I have shown that government acts establish agencies to protect businesses, jobs, and people
Debate Round No. 2
spongessuck

Pro

The Con claims that the Meat inspection Act and the Food and Drug Safety Act improved food safety by simply assuming that because these regulations are in place that they were both necessary and effective at preventing sickness and death. He then cites several articles about new FDA regulations.

Yes, there are regulations, and they're adding more all the time. But that doesn't prove that they are necessary, nor does it prove that they help anyone. It also supports my argument about government intervention creating uncertainty in the future. Because new regulations are enacted all the time, businesses can't predict their future costs.

The Con then claims that nobody loses when regulations cause prices to rise, since the consumer is safer with them. Again, the Con is presenting assumptions as facts, and confirms that this government intervention has removed the choice of the consumer to purchase cheaper products at their own risk.

On licensing: just because the number of new businesses has remained constant doesn't mean licensing isn't keeping even more businesses from entering the market. Maybe the constant number of new businesses would be 20% more without all the hoops they must jump through- we don't know. But it certainly wouldn't be less.

The Con then talks about how the Republicans have been trying to repeal Obamacare, further supporting my claim that these laws create future uncertainty, because not only do businesses have to worry about the new health care rules, they don't even know if they will ever have to comply with them! Think of all the wasted time and effort preparing to comply with a bill that may never take effect.

The Con goes on to talk about how companies affect the environment in order to make money. Yes, that's what businesses do- they take resources and turn them into something people want. I confess 'exploit' was the wrong word - I meant destroy, which is what the Con is implying companies would do. However, it's their property, and if they want to drain swamps and cut down forests, that's their prerogative, and it's not your or the government's right to force them not to. They would be foolhardy, however, to slash the forest to the ground and not replant; they would be left with a wasteland worth nothing. In addition, if it is revealed that a company is engaged in horrible environmental destruction, consumers have the option of not buying their products, sending a powerful signal to companies who would try to do so without undermining private property.

The Con then claims, or rather assumes since he offers no citations, that minimum wage improved quality of living for low and middle class citizens. He fails, however, to realize that there are people whose work is not valued at minimum wage, and are forced to live unemployed. The result of minimum wage is that if someone can't get a job that pays $X an hour, he can't work, at least not legally. Minimum wage is a horrible price control that hurts the poorest people the most by cutting off their access to paid work because government decided that they wouldn't earn enough and are better off with nothing.

On interest rates, the Con claims "this monetary policy can be used by the government to lessen the impact that inflation has on wages, spending power, and incomes." Again, the government can either inflate or deflate. Inflation hurts spending power via reduced value of income. If they want to counter this, they must deflate, i.e. increase interest rates. And again, manipulation of interest rates distorts the signals that reveal the amount of assets banks have as collateral for their loans. Through a policy of long-term easy credit fueled by low interest rates, government enables bad investments to compound, leading to an inevitable economic crash like the one we face today. In addition, any government engaged in massive borrowing will always support artificially low interest rates a) to reduce the amount of interest it must pay to lenders and b) so they can pay back lenders with devalued currency.

The Con then clarifies his explanation of 'adjusting interest rates to protect lenders' by describing what a loan is. I still don't understand what the point of the original argument was.

Regarding subsidies, the Con talks about how switching industries is hard. Sure it's hard. And yes they'd have to look for a new job like everyone else. And they should. That's not a burden to be foisted on the taxpayer. Certain industries should not get special privileges at the taxpayers' expense. He also repeats his claim that these subsidies protected farmers but fails to address the negative effect on the rest of the economy because of the subsidy.

The Con then repeats his claim that governments have the 'right' to tax, which, again, is incorrect- governments have the POWER to tax. Governments do not have rights. Only individuals do. And again the Con fails to counter the claim that taxes are a burden on the economy.

Regarding banned items, the Con continues to not understand that the ability of government to ban items creates uncertainty. I agreed in round 2 that yes, this banning doesn't happen immediately, but a week or even a month is a very short time, especially if you are a business. Being able to un-ban items creates uncertainty, too. The laws cannot be predicted. Unbanning items is not bad. The fact that they can be banned and unbanned in a short period of time is the problem.

The Con then says that it wasn't politicians, but special interests that pushed for alcohol prohibition, ending with "Not all government laws are enacted solely for economic benefit..." Again, he fails to address the negative economic impact of prohibition, instead trying to explain why it happens. It also doesn't matter if it's the people or the politicians who enact government intervention. It's still government intervention.

The Con moves on to claim that because interstate highways, schools, and parks can be built through eminent domain, government seizure of property can be a boon to the economy. However, the government could also seize property and build a military base, which doesn't produce anything that makes people's lives better. In addition, unless these highways, schools, and parks are paid for ONLY by those who use them, they represent a burden on the taxpayer who may not benefit from them. And NO, the idea that those who don't use these structures can still benefit because they are served by those who do is a fallacy. The DIRECT costs of using these structures would be reflected in the cost of the goods and services produced because of them.

"As for chemical accidents the companies are responsible for the financial damage done, however they are not the ones who immediately come in and provide the funds because any company that has had a spill will argue in court how they were not at fault." Again, it's called insurance. Insurance companies willingly bear the risk of compensating its policy holders in the case of an accident. To put this task on government is to FORCE the taxpayer to bear this risk instead.

In conclusion, the Con has failed to rebuff a single one of my arguments that government intervention does more harm than good, instead trying to justify the negative economic effects by claiming "that government acts establish agencies to protect businesses, jobs, and people." However, the basis of Con's arguments are assumptions, all of which I have shown to be inconsistently true if not false altogether. Rather than making an economic justification for government intervention, the Con defers to stating the intended consequences of intervention while ignoring the unintended consequences.

While its intentions may be good, government intervention in the economy inevitably leads to reduced competition, less consumer choice, higher prices, greater uncertainty, and wasted resources. The only groups who benefit are the politically well-connected and the government itself.
imabench

Con

The pro has forfeited that government regulations like new FDA standards can protect people,

The pro has forfeited the argument that regulations do not harm businesses and protect consumers

The pro has forfeited that the number of new businesses created before and after licensing laws were established
remained unchanged implying that licensing laws do not prevent new businesses from forming

The pro has forfeited the fact that business licenses are used by the government to help businesses with tax breaks

The pro has forfeited that companies do not harm the environment and goes on to claim its their right to "drain swamps and cut down forests"

The pro has forfeited that companies try to exploit every type of environment

The pro has forfeited that government intervention in establishing national parks has prevented these parks from otherwise being abused and exploited by corporations

The pro claims that "Minimum wage is a horrible price control that hurts the poorest people the most" when I have shown that there are numerous cases of how the minimum wage has helped many people

The pro has forfeited that the government can use interest rates to both curb inflation and encourage economic growth

The pro has forfeited how interest rates that banks put on loans help insure and benefit the lenders

The pro has forfeited how past subsidies on farming products established by the government helped protect thousands of farmers from losing their jobs

The pro has forfeited that any items that can be banned by the government is something that would take weeks to actually sign ito law and even then such bas could be repealed in the future

The pro has forfeited the fact that the government intervention in Prohibition of alcohol was a result of public pressure, not the will of the government itself

The pro has forfeited that the government can use the principle of eminent domain to benefit the economy by building highways, schools, etc.

The pro has forfeited the fact that if a chemical spill were to occur it is the government who steps in and helps relocate the people while the courts (a part of the government) determine whether or not the company is liable to financially compensate those affected by the spill.

So other than all that, let me finish by stating these things.
1) There are many cases where government intervention does help people, businesses, or jobs (Pro has simply ignored all of my examples)
2) There are many cases where the government intervenes in an industry to create an agency to regulate it to protect consumers (Pro has claimed these are not necessary even though without them they surely would cause people to become ill or even die)
3) Not all government interventions are done for economic benefit such as the endangered species act (Pro argues that since they do not benefit the economy they should all be removed)

Most importantly of all though
4) Corporations in the past, when regulations were non-existent, had a long history of making profit by selling unsafe products to consumers, giving obscenely low wages to workers so that the corporations could profit more, did not invest in safe working conditions for the workers because that would cost them money, and corporations exploit the system as much as possible in order to make money. Since the days of Teddy Roosevelt, the government has begun to intervene in the economy and to protect consumers, to increase the living standards of the lower class, to protect jobs during times of crisis, to protect nature's wonders form being exploited and destroyed by corporations wanting to make money, and holding corporations liable for any damage they do to communities. At the same time though the government has also intervened in the economy by enacting laws to help businesses apply for tax breaks, un-banning products that can create entire industries, and by allowing corporations to donate large sums of money to politicians (even though i think thats bullsh**)

Government intervention does more good for the economy than harm, and the when such interventions backfire (such as prohibition) the government steps in again to remedy the problem.

I would like to thank the Pro for a very enjoyable debate and I would like to thank the voters for reading :D
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by vmpire321 5 years ago
vmpire321
spongessuckimabenchTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Hmm. Very good debate guys. However CON seemed to use superior and more sources, so i gave sources to him. His points also seemed just a bit better than PRO's.. Close debate. :)