In the United States, wealth inequality is detrimental to democratic ideals.
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Please debate Lincoln-Douglas style(Value,criterion,definitions,contentions...etc)
Please be respectful when debating. (Don't get personal.)
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I look forward to debating. :)
I also want to make sure that you are taking the position of that wealth inequality is NOT detrimental to democratic ideals. This is your position, correct?
For clarification on my position I offer the following definitions:
Ideal-existing only in the imagination; perfect but not likely to become a reality
Imperfect Government-Governments that can fully fulfill it"s obligations.
Detrimental-causing harm or damage
Wealth inequality-the unequal distribution of assets within a population( also known as the wealth gap)
To show how my value negates the resolution I give my criterion imperfect people. Imperfect people cannot create a perfect thing. Like Alexander Hamilton, a founding father, once said," I never see perfect work from an imperfect man."
Contention one:The Democratic "Ideals"
The true meaning of our democratic "Ideals"
How can we base our government on the democratic ideals if we already don"t uphold them at all?
Contention two: The wealth gap and our democratic ideals
The Wealth gap was caused by the people
The wealth gap does not go against our democratic "ideals"
The true meaning of our democratic "Ideals":
Ideals are perfect but not likely to become a reality. Yes, we all want equality, justice, the common good, etc" But where in any circumstance is both sides happy, or where no one is hurt or didn't get what they truly want. For example, President Lincoln abolished slavery, yet after he died they still weren't considered equal. Then after they got the same rights whites had and were considered equal in the government"s eyes, may you remind imperfect government. In today"s society we still racism. Whites against blacks, blacks against Hispanics, etc. Where is the common good in society, and you can not blame it on wealth inequality. Our society today is already detrimental to our democratic "ideals." So how do we look towards our ideals when we don"t already uphold them.
B. How can we base our government on the democratic ideals if we already don"t uphold them at all.:
Our government is not perfect, so how can we base it on impossible democratic "ideals"? We can"t have all of them at the same time. For example, we have same-sex marriage equality. Well in Rowan county Kentucky, a marriage clerk named Kim Davis denied a gay couple a marriage license. She claimed it was against her religious views in which only man and woman can marry, not same sex. Yes, we all have equal rights in religious views, but there is also a same-sex marriage equality. Which right is more important? Which person do we deny their right? In the end, the county office did give marriage licenses to same-sex couples. So her right was denied even though they say it wasn't. Because really do you believe everything the newspapers say. The same-sex couple was given justice and equality, yet she received no justice and her freedom of religious view was denied. That is two democratic ideals that were not upheld. So the real question is how can we base our government off them if we can"t uphold them.
Contention two:The wealth gap and our democratic ideals
The Wealth gap was caused by the people:Many people try to blame the government for the wealth gap. Saying things like "Well they should have prevented it, they should do more for the lower class, or it"s their fault that we don"t have jobs because our boss lets us go." Well as citizens we are responsible for the wealth gap. America has become lazy. Those who worked hard can provide for their families, but those who think I can"t do this or I don"t have enough time are the ones that struggle. They can"t blame the government for their failure. We have an education to high school diploma, it's up to us to fight for what we want to be, not to settle for a job at McDonald's. They encourage education and many scholarships are out there. Better education means better-paying jobs. Yes, the wealthy have money and own a lot of property, but they have worked for that by going to college so that they can inherit what their founding family members have fought and worked for. It is up to the American citizen to decide their future. They don"t want this extreme wealth gap, well work for it. The harder you work the more we as a community can grow. If everyone worked to provide for their families and not settle for government pay out, we could get rid of the wealth gap.
The wealth gap does not go against our democratic "ideals":The wealth gap does not go against our democratic ideals. The ideals are perfect but unlikely in reality. The wealth gap was caused by the people"s use of justice, equality, the pursuit of happiness, liberty, etc. It was caused by our democratic "ideals". But the wealth gap is not detrimental to the democratic ideals. It"s not doing anything to the people. The people are the ones running it. We give them equality do what they want. We let them go for what makes them happy. It's up to what the American citizens want to do. Are you going to fight for what you think you deserve? No one is stopping you. The wealth gap isn't stopping you it"s you. The wealth gap has done nothing against equality, pursuit of happiness, or justice
Like Mr. Tommy Hilfiger once said," The road to success is not easy to navigate, but with hard work, drive and passion, it"s possible to achieve the American dream." The wealth gap isn't detrimental to our democratic ideals. It hasn't done anything to prevent us from achieving our democratic ideals. It's imperfect people that created an imperfect government that is based on perfect ideals. We imperfect people created the wealth gap and it did nothing against the democratic ideals. It"s up to us to try to continue to uphold the democratic ideals because we are the threat of being detrimental to the democratic ideals.
Justice-the condition of being morally correct or fair:(Cambridge)
Equality-the right of different groups of people to R03;receive the same R03;treatment:(Cambridge)
Pursuit of Happiness-a fundamental right mentioned in the Declaration of Independence to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy, as long as you don't do anything illegal or violate the rights of others.(yourdictionary.com)
Life-the R03;period between R03;birth and R03;death, or the R03;state of being R03;alive:(Cambridge)
Liberty- the quality or state of being free: the power to do as one pleases: freedom from physical restraint: freedom from arbitrary or despotic control: the positive enjoyment of various social, political, or economic rights and privileges: the power of choice(Merriam)
Common Good-the advantage or benefit of all people in society or in a group:(Dictionary.com)
Diversity-It means understanding that each individual is unique, and recognizing our individual differences. These can be along. the dimensions of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or other ideologies.(Galdstone.uorgeon.edu)
Truth- beliefs, thoughts, or propositions that are said, in ordinary discourse, to agree with the facts or to state what is the case.(Philosophy-Britannica)
Popular Sovereignty-Popular sovereignty is a basic idea of democracy. Popular sovereignty means that the people are the ultimate source of the authority of their government." Popular sovereignty means that democratic government is BY THE PEOPLE AND FOR THE PEOPLE"for the benefit of the people, not for the benefit of those who govern in their name.(http://govinfo.library.unt.edu...)
Patriotism- devoted love, support, and defense of one's country; national loyalty.(http://dictionary.reference.com...)
Interestingly enough, I'm going to quote Lincoln in this Lincoln-Douglas style debate. Like Lincoln, I also believe that "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the Earth." I believe in democracy and that no other form of government can be a legitimate government, for in order for a government to derive power over a group of people, that people must consent to such a government.
Opponent failed to sufficiently argue their point thus far
I would like to point out that my opponent has brought up many points about how no government can be perfect, and that we already don't live up to democratic ideals, however neither of these contentions support their claim that wealth inequality isn't detrimental to democratic ideals. My opponent seems to be arguing for something entirely different.
Political contributions primarily control the direction of the government, voting does not.
The primary way in which wealth inequality ruins democratic ideals is that it gives some people more of a say in government than others. How does it do that, one may ask? Well, let us look into the effect voting, interest groups, and donation has on policy. In a study conducted by Princeton University, looking into the effects each of those three things have on policy, it was found that average voting and the average American has little to no effect on policy decisions in the government of the United States.  Furthermore, the groups with the most influence over policy decisions were economic elites and interest groups . Of the four political theories, electoral democracy, economic-elite domination, interest group majoritarian pluralism, and interest group biased pluralism, economic-elite domination and biased pluralism are most present in the American system. 
Political donations are almost unregulated in the United States
Ever since the disastrous Citizens United v. FEC supreme court ruling, non-profit corporations can donate unlimited funds to political campaigns. This gives these corporations much more control over policy control, for a politician can not easily reject giving favors to such corporations for donating to their campaign in the form of passing a bill that would be in the interest of the corporation.
The fact that corporations and economic elites are the ones with the most influence over American policies, and that political donations are nearly unregulated, this puts the average American at a huge disadvantage in influencing the government the way they would want. This inherently limits democracy, and the fact that the elites have so much more money than the rest of us, they have much more influence and say over the government since we can't donate to a politician as much as they can, so the politician will be more interested in helping the one who donated to them the most. We are essentially a plutocracy and not a democracy.
Electoral Democracy: Political theory in which the electorate, the people, average people, have the most influence over policy making 
Economic-Elite Domination: Political theory in which economic elites, the most wealthy, have the most influence over policy making 
Interest Group Majoritarian Pluralism: A political theory in which interests of all people are generally represented 
Interest Group Biased Pluralism: A political theory in which corporations, business associations and professional groups dominate 
Plutocracy: A government ruled by the wealthy
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