The Instigator
Torvald
Pro (for)
Winning
8 Points
The Contender
InVinoVeritas
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Government is sociopolitically motivated toward socialism.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Torvald
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/9/2012 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,206 times Debate No: 27053
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

Torvald

Pro

As the Pro, I will be arguing the following thesis:

It is sociopolitically advisable, if not obligatory, for a government to provide at least some degree of socialistic benefit to its citizens.

Burden of proof is split, and no strictures otherwise applied. I like to leave the rules flexible; if there's anything you feel should be added, speak your mind.
InVinoVeritas

Con

I accept, although I am not 100% sure what the resolution entails. I guess I'll figure that out based on the opponent's first argument.
Debate Round No. 1
Torvald

Pro

Ah, InVino, so good of you to accept, and nice to engage you once more upon the civil battlefield of rhetoric! I apologize for leaving the resolution somewhat ambiguous; it was purposeful, to allow the debate to be somewhat formed as it progresses, since, far too often, arguments may drift from the topic (this title has lots of room to maneuver, so as to avoid tangents).

As you may recall from our last debate, I perform better as a rebuttal debater than as an opening debater, so I shall keep my opening argument short and simple, and let you make one of those fabulously eccentric cases of yours.

Definitions
Here are a couple of pertinent definitions, because a definition looks good at the beginning of the debate:

Government (noun)
1. the political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states; direction of the affairs of a state, community, etc.; political administration: Government is necessary to the existence of civilized society.
2. the form or system of rule by which a state, community, etc., is governed: monarchical government; episcopal government.
3. the governing body of persons in a state, community, etc.; administration.
4. a branch or service of the supreme authority of a state or nation, taken as representing the whole: a dam built by the government. [1]

Socialism (noun)
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles. [2]

In government, socialism is essentially the monopoly of industry by the government, or the care by the government, for the citizens, as opposed to privatized care. An example of a socialistic benefit would be social security, a government program to care for the elderly and disabled.

Teach a Man to Fish...
I imagine most people have heard at some time or another the expression "Give a man a fish, and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime." There are variations upon the proverb, but the applicable gist is that government should hand care for the people to the people. This is a foundation of Capitalism, and is part of most Libertarian ideology. In the words of Karl Marx, however, "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and you ruin a wonderful business opportunity." Marxism is often associated with socialism, and frowned upon. I am not championing Marxism, though it certainly has some relevant points, but I feel that the words of Karl Marx give me the opportunity to list an alternative and opposed applicable gist for the fish proverb: government should supply the people who are unable to take care of themselves with the care they need. True, Marx likely intended his quote to refer to his political theory, that government was there to exploit the ignorant and helpless masses of citizens. In this instance, however, we shall dismiss Marx's perspective, because I only quoted him to list a fashionable degree of discord. To return to topic, the political theory of teaching a man to fish works fine in a society that is truly capable of caring for itself. However, in a world so weighted by overpopulation, limited resources, and accelerating strife as a result of the two, there are many, many people who are unable either to learn to fish, or to implement the practice (metaphorically speaking, of course), and it should be, I posit, the responsibility of the government to continue supplying them with metaphorical fish: socialism. Not to say that capitalism with a dash of socialism, or vise versa, can't work, though it's currently failing in the United States.

Over to you now.

Sources:
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://dictionary.reference.com...
InVinoVeritas

Con

First off, here is a very important definition that is central to the resolution:

Sociopolitical: (adj) Combining social and political factors. [1]

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A Review of the Prior Definitions

What does it mean to be "sociopolitically advisable"? Well, "political" alone means "of or relating to government." [2] Obviously, it is redundant to call the government "politically advised," since we would be basically saying the equivalent of "the government is advised by the government." Hence, one cannot contest that, by its being a government, a government is advised politically.

What one can strongly contest, however, is the idea that a government is socially advised to engage in socialism. (We are now discussing the "social" facet of "sociopolitical advisability.") "Social" means "of or pertaining to human society." [3] Do the interests of human society uphold the idea that the government should provie socialist benefits to citizens?

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Some Clarifications and a Continuation Fish Analogy

The opponent suggests that the idea of "[the] government should hand care for the people to people" is "a foundation for Capitalism and is part of most Libertarian ideology." Capitalism is founded on private ownership of the means of production; the concept of Capitalism is not founded on government invervention, and if anything, it veers away from it. And Libertarian ideology is founded on the idea that government intervention should be minimized, for social and economic purposes. The doctrines of Capitalism and Libertarianism do not even vaguely reinforce the point that it is the government has the responsibility to provide direct care for people.

A continuation of the fish analogy: Let us say that you know how to fish, but the man next to you does not. A fishing trainer walks up to you and steals money from you to fund the other man's fishing lessons. "Well, it's only fair," you might say. "He doesn't know how to fish, after all, and I do." But let us say that you live in a society where the ability to fish is of little to no value. Now you are being mandated to pay for a service for another person, even though you are against the provision of that service. In this analogy, in case you didn't guess, you and the other man are common citizens and the fishing trainer is the government.

What it shows is that taxation is not an act that directly enforces societal good, as people often think; rather, taxation is a forced payment out of your pocket to fund the activities that the government believes are in society's (and your) interest.

Are these obligatory payments necessary for a functioning society? Let us explore the free market ideology.

---

The Free Market: An Alternative

If we ask an average American citizen, "Do you think social and economic intervention by the government is necessary?", he or she will most likely respond with a "yes."

But if we ask, "Would you be opposed to lower taxes?" or, better yet, "Do you want some of the things you buy to be chosen for you by someone else?", then the answer will almost always be a resounding "no."

Clearly, the former and the latter are in conflict with one another. While they hate to give up their hard-earned money, they can't picture a world without heavy government intervention. There is, to some extent, a socially upheld notion that government intervention is the default means of solving economic and social dilemmas. And through upholding this notion, we all pay through what we go to work every day for: the cash in our pockets.

The alternative is a free market society. The private sector, through natural competition, would be able to regulate the system and many social and fiscal problems would be mended. For example, the social issue of employment discrimination would mend itself, since businesses that choose to not employ talented minorities will work against their interest and ultimately lose against competition. Economic problems such as monopolies would be naturally destroyed; if we look back, virtually all instances of monopolization have been cause by government influence, throughout history.

---

The Resolved

Should the government be able to take over means of production? Through our fish analogy earlier, we see that when the government performs a service, it is taking money out of our pockets, regardless of whether or not we believe in the service. This conflicts with the rights of an individual to choose what to do with the wage he or she receives from his or her contribution to society. Those who cannot take care of themselves can be upheld through private, non-profit funds; most, however, would be able to succeed in a market without a minimum wage imposed upon them and without a system of welfare that often incentivizes not working over working through offering benefits that come with more fiscal benefits than many job and with "security" that many jobs cannot provide, due to the risk of losing the job.

Moreover, I believe "socialistic benefit," a term my opponent uses, is contradictory. Socialism, a doctrine that contradicts natural human rights, cannot be beneficial as opposed to a free market when introduced into a large-scale society with a large economy.

---

It is not advisable, pragmatically or ethically, to enable the government to benefit citizens through socialist practices, nor is a government obligated to benefit citizens through such a means.



[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[3] http://dictionary.reference.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Torvald

Pro

A Review of the Prior Definitions
Thank you for providing a definition: I would have done so, had I thought everyone was not already familiar with the general denotation of sociopolitical. You'll pardon, I hope, the slight redundancy of the resolution, yet I posit that it is not a weakening redundancy. After all, saying that government is motivated, as government, to do something, is explaining that government's motivation toward the action in question (in this case, socialism) as a characteristic of its state of being.

Some Clarifications
Thank you for making your clarifications: now time for mine. I believe you have simply misunderstood my meaning. When I refer to 'handing care of the people to the people,' I mean bestowing the responsibility of care for the people upon the people, the opposite of the meaning you indicate having interpreted. I apologize for the ambiguity, which I now see. It had never crossed my mind.

A Continuation on the Fish Analogy
Ah, but now you are describing communism! Forcefully paying for one man's thing with another man's money is a communist approach. In socialism, everyone would contribute enough, and equally, to offer fishing lessons. The government would not be nearly so aggressive. Let us also remember that, technically speaking, all of the money is the property of the government, and the government is the property of the people. Currency belongs to the citizenry only by extension. Anyhow, in my ideal, there would be no currency at all. Since that is, however, unlikely to happen any time soon, we shall envision remember, hopefully, to distinguish between moderate socialism, and right-wing communism.

The Free Market
The problem with sampling the average American citizen is that, no offense, the average American citizen is a little stupid. Most of them don't seem to be able to think for themselves, or even think at all. Judging how socialism is to be valued in comparison with the free market by what the average American citizen thinks will merely result in an economic model that looks just like the modern American economy. I recognize that I am making this judgement on a stereotype, but certain statistics are hard to ignore (for example, in Detroit, Michigan, an estimated 47% of the population is functionally illiterate [3]).
Free market is not a bad idea, when there are few enough people, with great enough constitution, to behave fairly. However, with so many people, and such a dichotomy between the strong minds (which are often bent toward playing around the rules, rather than by them) and the mediocre minds, that the end result would simply be a mob-controlled market, corrupt and unscrupulous. I know that this is all conjecture, but it is no less supported, I think, than your argument in favor of free market. I will not argue that monopolization by a legally sanctioned company or organization is prone to occur as a product of government intervention. However, look at what happened in the 1780s, when the government was prevented from interfering with the economy: the United States became disunified and estranged, with such corruptness and unbalance in the market, that a dichotomy formed between the northern states and the southern ones, eventually resulting in a war [4]. This may not have been caused entirely by the economic policies of the Articles of Confederation, but the economy was largely involved.

The Resolved
Are you seriously suggesting that minimum wage, which prevents people from being payed less than a certain amount, prevents people from succeeding? Okay, let's give an example: say you've a disability that won't be covered by insurance, and you need the job, however, you cannot work as well as the healthy employees. Minimum wage guarantees that you are payed no less than a certain amount, no matter how difficult it may be for you to work. If that restriction were not enforced, then you could be payed only $.01/hr., while other people with the same workload are payed $10.00/hr., just because you have a disability. To get back on track, however (minimum wage is not strictly relevant), let us examine a few scenarios in which socialism is preferable to capitalism:

A) A disabled veteran lacks the finance to stay afloat, yet is unable to find work, due to disability.

B) An elderly widow is left no inheritance, since her husband struggled to keep his job, and she, being elderly, is unable to support herself.

C) A teen mother is kicked out by her parents, and must work to support both herself and her child (no easy task), and is unable to stay afloat.

Now, obviously in these scenarios, capitalism, the economic practice of privatized industry and economy, is obviously a poor friend to the less privileged group (the 47% that Romney claimed were below his attention). With no help from the government, any of these individuals would be unable to support themselves in a free market economy of capitalism, since in a free market, the people who would be hired are the people who are most fit. In this case, social Darwinism is an undesirable product of capitalism to be avoided.

Socialistic Benefit
My opponent makes an unfounded strike at socialism by claiming that it is a doctrine in conflict with natural human rights. Let us take a moment or two to analyze this: there has yet to be any evidence submitted that socialism is opposed or contradictory to human rights, my opponent has yet to explain how an economic philosophy that the government should care for those in need is not beneficial, and my opponent has attempted to cover his failure (pardon my use of a harsh word) to refute the resolution, by making a petty and dogmatic insult against socialism.
My opponent claims that a free market is more beneficial than a government-controlled one. Let us not interpret a free market as a positive one simply because it contains the word 'free.' A market with no governmental interference is free to be as unjust and immoral as it wants, provided it violates no laws. This allows people to violate others' rights, as long as this violation has not been labelled illegal. This seems to me much more of a contradiction of 'natural human rights' (in which I do not, incidentally, believe) than a government that provides financial and social assistance to the citizens who need it.

It is yet advisable, pragmatically and ethically, to enable, and encourage, the government to regulate the economy of its constituency, so that all who are governed receive benefits that they would otherwise be denied by the greedy masses.

Sources:
[3] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[4] http://ushistory.ncee.net...
InVinoVeritas

Con

A Continuation of the Fish Analogy

Whether or not the man being taught how to fish pays for the lessons is not the center of the problem. The problem is that his neighbor, who has no vested interest in fishing (and especially his neighbor's ability to fish) is forced to contribute to payments for another man's fishing lessons.

Taxation is coercive in nature. Those who engage in tax evasion are criminally charged and fined. Simply by not paying the government for services that they may or may not support, people are sent to prison; paying taxes, in other words, assures a person the ability to maintain his full rights.

Although this is not directly related to this debate, your ideal incorporates the idea that "there would be no currency at all"? What would the alternative be? How would this be pragmatic, even hypothetically?

The Free Market

The opponent's claim that "the average American citizen is a little stupid" works against his case. Rather than focusing on market forces such as profitability, price, and consumers' purchasing power, socialism would depend on the unintelligence of the common man to determine the distribution of wealth and handle all industry, which would be run socially.

How would a free market become "mob-controlled"? That more accurately describes socialism. Under the free market, the system is very organized, driven by the "invisible hand," as Adam Smith called it. [1] The marketplace would be self-regulating through competition and supply/demand principles. When the government regulates industry, then less successful business models can be upheld over successful ones and natural supply/demand are misrepresented.

The Resolved

Minimum wage is an unsuccessful policy that oppresses the poor. The unemployment rate among teenagers in the US is twice as high as regular unemployment, and it has increased ever since stricter minimum wage laws were passed. [2] People whose work contribution deserves less than minimum wage are not employed, because if businesses were to employ them, they would simply be engaging in charity. And without minimum wage laws, people would not be paid "only $.01/hr," as opposed to $10.00/hr. Rather, people will be paid as much as their labor costs. If an employer dropped someone's salary to one penny an hour, the employee will just be employed by another business that actually compensates better. The "invisible hand" will determine appropriate salaries, due to competition among businesses to hire the most skilled laborers through appropriate compensation.

A) Three words: Private disability insurance.

B) "The government can help ensure the security of the elderly by reducing the tax burden on individual citizens, especially in retirement accounts, capital gains, and estate taxes." [3]

C) In a free market society, the distribution of wealth is more favorable and the standard of life will rise, even for this teenage mother. Other alternatives would be to turn to private charities or private orphanages.

Through government intervention, not only would the entire system suffer, but all of the people mentioned in these hypotheticals would suffer.

Socialism

Ascribing a benefit or right to a group can only be done (as a shorthand) if that group is defined by the criterion of holding the benefit or right. Socialism holds the rights of the fictional collective above the rights of an individual just as theocracies place the rights of their proclaimed divine above that of individuals.

In other words, "Collective Good" is a category error.

On the other hand, the free market is run by the individual. In any functional free market, a government would have to exist; I am not proposing an anarchist agenda. However, the government would solely exist to uphold legal contracts and uphold the framework of the justice system. Laws would exist, but they would not interfere with competition and autonomy of the private sector. Businesses that are "immoral" simply would die out due to competition that the public views as moral. Services provided by a business with a flawed model will die when put into a competition against a business with an ideal model, as perceived by the public (i.e., those who determine "demand.")

---

Free market capitalism > Socialism

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[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://web.archive.org...
[3] http://www.libertarianism.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Torvald

Pro

A Continued Continuation of the Fish Analogy
The problem with your conclusion is that it assumes the analogy is set in a comprehensive background of professions. I would suggest that it refers to a hypothetical community in which fishing is the staple industry, and not knowing how to fish is not knowing how to survive. Fishing can be viewed as representative of profession, and the teacher as the government. In this scenario, it is fully justifiable for the government to teach the man to fish, and if the neighbor doesn't endorse the man's learning to fish, that then becomes ethically questionable, since he is analogously wishing that not all members of the community are educated to the standard of eligibility to work. Given his ethically questionable stinginess, I think it is safe to say that whether he wishes to help pay for the other man's education or not is beside the point; he received his own education by governmental tax spending, and whether he wants to or not, he is obligated to help pay for others' education as well. Ideally speaking, a common proverb doesn't need an extraneous Ebeneezer Scrooge, but thank you for playing devil's advocate; it simply gave me the opportunity to further explain my point.

The Free Market
As I believe I have said, I will not deny that fully-realized Laissez Faire economics have the potential to work, in an ideal world, just as fully-realized socialism has the potential to work in an ideal world. However, since the world is not ideal, neither economic ideology works successfully in full realization, and we are, I believe, at an impass on the subject.

To answer how a free market can become mob-controlled, it's simple: without government regulation of the market, robber-barons, who control the economy privately, and run a monopoly on business, simply because competition stands no chance, rise to power. As long as they violate no laws, said robber-barons would have free reign to do just that: reign over the economy, and the government would be helpless to interfere, unless it were to suddenly start regulating the market. Such is the end product of Laissez Faire, if not executed in its foremost ideal, which is not possible. If my opponent can give an example in which complete Laissez Faire has functioned successfully, I welcome it.

The Resolved
My opponent makes a valid point when he claims that without minimum wage, people would be payed as much as their labor earns. This is certainly true, in an ideal world. However, in the non-ideal world that is, without government regulation, there is nothing to stop an employer from paying as outrageous a salary as he or she wishes, and nothing would stop him or her from continuing to do so indefinitely, provided that jobs were needed enough.

To answer my opponent's claim regarding the harm of the minimum wage, the reason minimum wage has increased the amount of unemployment in teenagers is that it sets a sort of minimum quota for qualification to work, and, accordingly, presses the people to meet at least that quota in qualification. Teenagers are accordingly somewhat excluded from such employment because they do not meet that qualification (Krumm, 1981) [5]. That may seem a cynical approach to economics, but only on a superficial level; if one examines the implications of this system, one may find that this forces people to obtain a certain level of education. I surely hope my opponent does not wish to argue the value of education.

A) The problem with private disability insurance is that private insurance, as being unregulated by the government, would have no obligation to accept anyone at all, let alone provide fair insurance, returning that poor veteran to the same sinking boat from which he started.

B) Even by reducing taxes, that does not change that the elderly still cannot find a job with which to support themselves, since no employer who did not have charity on his/her mind would hire someone less fit (such as an elderly widow) as opposed to one of the vastly more populous highly fit youth qualified for the same job.

C) My opponent has a fair point when he suggests that in this scenario, the victim would do best to turn to private charities. I would point out, however, that private charities are often simply ploys by the wealthy to write off some taxes, and are less beneficial to the needy than would like to be believed. Even if we do assume that charity is a good alternative, is charity, whether privatized or government-operated, not a form of socialism?

I see we are also at an impass for these scenarios, for, just as my opponent claims that government intervention causes the suffering of the sample individuals, I claim that government intervention mends it.

Socialism
My opponent refutes socialism by claiming that it benefits a hypothetical collective, yet then commits the fallacy of claiming that free market capitalism benefits a non-hypothetical individual. What makes the collective of socialism any less real than the individual of capitalism? My opponent may be correct that Laissez Faire benefits the few who have the ambition, ability, or unearned privilege to rise in wealth above the others, but capitalism is hardest on the common man, for whom socialism is the ideal economic plan.

"The super-rich demanded, and got, trillions of dollars from the government to shore up their banks and other financial instruments.

But for millions of workers and dispossessed, the bottom has dropped out of their lives. More and more they are realizing this is the product of capitalism." Workers World [6]

Free market is greater than socialism, if free market is ideally executed (which is not possible) and socialism is not. If not ideally executed, free market is only greater for the privileged, and socialism is better for the commoner.

Sources:
[5] http://web.archive.org...
[6] http://www.workers.org...
InVinoVeritas

Con

Fish Analogy

It is the government's call about whether or not fishin is a stable industry... Maybe the government wishes to make it a stable industry. But the government, in order to do this, forces you to pay money for the schooling of another man. Basically, in order to get even partially refunded on the money stolen from him by the teacher, he HAS to get an education from the teacher... Because if he got it in the private sector, he woud have to pay an extra sum. This can be called the coercive, self-interested influence of the government. And let us remember that without competition, the teacher (or government) has little incentive to provide high quality service--and certainly the services will be of lesser quality than those of the private sector... but we are forced to pay for them.

Free Market

My pal Milton Friedman has a response to your baseless claim. See attached video.



The Resolved

No. In our non-ideal world, employers would not be able to pay slave wages, because there is competition among businesses to pay fitting salaries to productive, effective employees.

Indeed, minimum wage laws do cause an increase in teenage unemployment. This is because their labor often tends to be worth less than minimum wage; this is because it is unskilled labor and because they lack experience, so they are uncompetitive applicants in the hiring pool. My opponent argues that this incentivizes education, and this is valuable. We have seen what happens when unrealistic emphasis is put on higher education. Today, our higher education industry is a bubble that is preparing to burst. As tuition prices skyrocket, the value of a degree goes down. 53% of recent college grads are jobless or unemployed. [1] Artificially incentivizing higher education through minimum wage laws is an abysmal idea.

A) But a private insurance company will act in its own interest against insurance companies that compete with it. As opposed to government-run social security functions, transactions with private insurance companies are voluntary rather than forced.

B) Some jobs require experience that an elderly person can have a lot of... Accounting, for example. If you're talking about physical labor, then businesses should work in their interest, rather than be obligated to hire specific people. That is what, in the end, leads to overall economic prosperity and efficiency.

C) Socialists uphold government welfare, and they believe that charity undermines the platform of socialism by privatizing charity. And the reason private charities are superior is that they receive capital voluntarily, not through government force. And in a society with a free market and little government intervention, people would far more money to give to charity.

Socialism

Capitalism and the free market emphasize the individual; they are based on free choice and the ability to propel oneself to the top or bottom of the society through free will and work. Socialism keeps social order at a standstill and uses coercion and force to maintain societal functions.

My opponent proceeds to cite a pro-socialism website as a source, which presents no hard data or justified claim.

Again, free market > Socialism

Vote Con

[1] http://www.theatlantic.com...





Debate Round No. 4
Torvald

Pro

Since this is the 'endgame,' I shall address most arguments point-by-point, divided into proper sections. Because it is the final round, and because I did not make an argument until Round 2, I shall present no new arguments here, but ask that my opponent present no new arguments this round either, since he has the final word.

Fish Analogy
P1S1, 2: You may have misunderstood; I said 'staple' industry, not 'stable' industry. The two are drastically different.
P1S3: You're missing the point, I think; the point is that in the analogy, fishing refers to profession of any kind, or self support. I don't think anyone will argue that jobs and the ability to support oneself are important.
P1S4: Taxation by the government to fund certain programs is not theft. Technically speaking the government owns all currency; demanding that a person pay to live in a country and receive such services as the government may provide is completely fair.
P1S7: I imagine that to some, it may seem that teachers have little or no competition. Most people have no idea what goes on in a teacher's life. There are so many people qualified to teach at some level that only the highest level professors do not need to fear for their jobs. If a teacher has any flaw, they can be easily replaced by someone else that does not have it. Teaching may be one of the most competitive jobs in any field.

Free Market
P1S1: This is an entire other debate in itself, and Milton Freedman certainly makes a very good argument for you. I'm not sure which claim you're calling baseless (perhaps you should have enumerated this).

The Resolved
Okay, so one of two things happens. Either people are basically good, and the business(es) that offer(s) fair pay for its(their) workers prosper(s) (which, by the way, in the case of the singular, is a monopoly), or people are basically bad, and companies all pay as low as they want, and people need jobs enough that they are unwilling to leave (because the grass is not greener in the other company). All you have successfully determined is that companies that do not pay roughly the same wages and benefits as others get weeded out. You have successfully explained minimum wage in a free market.

Is my opponent suggesting that higher education is somehow a negative thing? Tuition prices skyrocket because of inflation. Degree value is lowered not because of skyrocketing tuition, but because of overpopulation; there are too many people and too few jobs, because (this is at least true in America) people have yet to come to terms with the serious dangers posed by overconcentrated population. Such concentration of population provides too many candidates for jobs in industry that is unprepared to grow (this is why stimulus spending is important). I will not focus any more on this topic, for it is also an entire new debate.

A) Okay, so private insurance has competition. As long as a company offers a deal that seems a little better, even if it is only subliminal advertising, it doesn't need to worry about competition, and the individuals who really need the insurance, but are less profitable, can be rejected as brokers see fit.

B) With great age does not come only physical frailty, but mental dilapidation as well. No company is going to hire someone as an accountant who is unable to crunch numbers or keep up with memos. What's more is that someone unable to financially support themselves is not going to be accepted by any insurance company (where's the profit), so they're up the creek with neither paddle nor boat. They're sure to sink, without government financial aid (unless of course somebody decides to provide them with a little charity).

C) So what you're saying is that in an unregulated market, the few who are able to prosper and become the power elite would have enough money to voluntarily provide charity to those who are not so fortunate? Is this not a privatized microcosm of socialism?

Socialism
Capitalism and the free market emphasize the hypothetical individual; they are based on hypothetical free choice and hypothetical ability to propel oneself to the top or bottom of the society through free will and work. Socialism promotes financial equality, so that people lack the ability to either become socially superior to each other, or inferior. If my opponent wishes to discuss coercion and force, perhaps he would like to discuss forced imposition of capitalism and democracy upon other countries, resulting in fruitless bloodshed, such as the Vietnam War.

Surely, surely my opponent, who lists "Libertarianism.com" as a source for evidence that the government can best help the unfit elderly support themselves by turning them out into the cold, is not suggesting that Workers World, an organization dedicated to unity and freedom from oppression, is not a reliable or justifiable source. If he were doing that, he would be sinking part of his own argument as well, and I know he wouldn't want to do that.

Conclusion
I see that my opponent and I find each other at a standstill. Our arguments have fallen into a monotonous dance over which social and economic theory is preferable, when in reality, either system can work as an ideal, provided it doesn't have a dash of the other. The problem with the current political system in certain parts of the world is that people are trying to do both, and experiencing the ensuing conflict that right-wing supporters of either policy would assign to subscribers of the other. Socialism is not greater than free market, and free market is not greater than socialism. They are simply differing ideals, each with pros and cons, and each functioning equally poorly or welly when improperly implemented. I will leave the decision as to whether or not my resolution and thesis, that government is sociopolitically motivated toward socialism, and that it is sociopolitically advisable, if not obligatory, for a government to provide at least some degree of socialistic benefit to its citizens, have been refuted/supported or not, rather than advising them how to vote.

As for my opponent, it has been a great pleasure to debate you, InVino (relatively speaking, since I hate debates), and I hope we can do this again some time. You have been an admirably courteous and well-conducted opponent. I hope to engage you once more sometime. Until then, farewell.
InVinoVeritas

Con

InVinoVeritas forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by GorefordMaximillion 4 years ago
GorefordMaximillion
Technically, roads are socialistic.

I wonder how the private sector could create our road system we have today...

I'm open minded and welcome someone to make that argument...

I would re-frame the debate to head in that direction.
Posted by Torvald 4 years ago
Torvald
How rotten!
Posted by InVinoVeritas 4 years ago
InVinoVeritas
I was in the middle of typing an argument and got distracted. Oh, well.
Posted by darkcity 4 years ago
darkcity
At WinterRaven I posted a debate about this being a barrier to participation
http://debate.org...
unfortunately you probably won't be able to vote on ; -)
Posted by Torvald 4 years ago
Torvald
Okay, so it lets you know that you're not qualified after you try to challenge it. You may want to challenge some of the more basic opponents first anyway; this debate is designed to be highly contentious and highly difficult. Since you've participated in no other debates, and don't seem to have consulted the forum either, you would be learning on hard mode.
Posted by WinterRaven 4 years ago
WinterRaven
Thank you. Interestingly, it does not say that on my screen. Instead, it says "This debate challenge is open to the first member that accepts it." However, if I click the link to Accept the Challenge, it then notifies me that I do not meet the requirements. Perhaps this is a bug?

Regardless, thank you for your kind discourse and help. And, if you don't get any other takers and still want to give it a shot, let me know.
Posted by Torvald 4 years ago
Torvald
Right below where it says "Open Debate," there should be a message, somewhat to the tune of "You are not currently qualified to accept this debate challenge," and it may list a reason. It doesn't say that for me, so I can't give you a direct quote without finding a debate for which I'm not qualified.
Posted by WinterRaven 4 years ago
WinterRaven
Ok, thanks. As I am new, would you be so kind as to point me to where I can see that requirement so I don't make the same mistake twice? I apologize for my lack of knowledge.
Posted by Torvald 4 years ago
Torvald
You could utilize that counter-standard, if you were able to participate in the debate. However, I note that you have zero completed debates. This debate is closed to anyone below 60.
Posted by WinterRaven 4 years ago
WinterRaven
Ok, that makes sense. Would you agree to the following definition of socialism from Webster.com?

: any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

Also, "to some degree" still seems like a low bar. I would propose the counter-standard below.

"The government should make all reasonable efforts to minimize socialism."
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Muted 4 years ago
Muted
TorvaldInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct-FF. To Pro. Convincing arguments, Con did not refute the last arguments.
Vote Placed by RyuuKyuzo 4 years ago
RyuuKyuzo
TorvaldInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Last round ff
Vote Placed by Nur-Ab-Sal 4 years ago
Nur-Ab-Sal
TorvaldInVinoVeritasTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro wins through Con's forfeiture.