The Instigator
debater409
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
purpleduck
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Income Equality in America Solutions. Should government solve inequality?

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Post Voting Period
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after 1 vote the winner is...
purpleduck
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/2/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 914 times Debate No: 67759
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

debater409

Con

Doesn't seem wrong that the rich in America are just getting richer? Doesn't it seem unjust that business CEO's are making millions and billions? While the poor get seven to nine dollars an hour?

Income inequality is huge. This needs to be fixed, but I don't think government is the way. I believe the free market is the solution. My opponent must show that government is the solution. That government should just slim that gap between poor and rich.

Rules.
1) No foul language.
2) No trolling.
3) Silence is consent. If you fail to respond to and argument, it goes to the other team. There is no, "I will respond in next speech to that argument."

I know time can be a hazard in these debates. So if you can't respond in time, post a comment and say so.

Pro will speak first, and I shall speak last. So Pro, leave your last speech empty. Thank-you. I look forward to this debate.
purpleduck

Pro

There are a number of problems with this topic as a whole, as it suggests that income inequality is a terrible thing that must be fixed or else something bad will happen. However, I agree that income inequality in America is massive; however, it will not lead to any economic issues, but social issues, as many people, like my opponent, have a problem with other people succeeding without them (no offense intended). As such, my opponent contends to use the free market to solve this problem and not the government. The issue with this is that without the government, closing the income gap is impossible. Here is why.

Income inequality is a fundamental and direct consequence of capitalism. No amount of free market will fix that, in fact, more free market will make it worse, because free market is also an integral part of capitalism. Without the government putting some sort of cap on income or creating some sort of anti-poverty program, the gap between the rich and poor will be impossible to close.

For those of you who don't understand how capitalism works, here it is in a rather bulky nutshell:
1. Bob comes invents an innovative new product
2. Bob markets his new product
3. Bob sells 50 units and makes some money
4. Bob hires Joe and Susan to help him make more of his product
5. Bob makes even more money. Demand rises.
6. Bob decides use his money to build a factory and hire workers for low wages to help assemble his products and meet the demand
7. Bob makes huge amount of money. Demand skyrockets.
8. Bob sells product rights to several large retailers across the country
9. Bob finds money pouring in from all corners of the country
10. To maximise profit, Bob cuts worker wages and lays off extraneous branches of his factory
11. Bob builds headquarters in his hometown and hires white collar workers to help market and improve his product
12. Employee Rob comes up with innovative upgrade to product.
13. Bob makes billions, gives Rob a 5% income raise.
14. Bob buys himself expensive beer, high quality hookers, and builds and indoor zoo in his Beverly Hills mansion

This is essentially the pure capitalist model. Every billionaire's success story in a capitalist setting follows this path. Now Bob's success story is in an absolute free market setting. There are no government restrictions to how much income he can cut from his workers, or what safety features he has to install in his company buildings and factories. That is what free market is. No government intervention, just capitalism. In Bob's success story, his income became massive, and it is quite obvious that there is a huge difference between his income and his factory workers' income. That is what income inequality is. Without government restrictions, Bob can continue to give himself generous wages and cut his workers' wages to maximise personal profit. Or he can do what Steve Jobs did and reduce and income to 1$ a year and then invest in his own company. Whatever he wants to do. Now these actions will make him richer and richer and his workers poorer and poorer. Thus is free market. Thus is capitalism. Now multiply Bob's story by however many billionaires alive in this country, and POOF, you have the income inequality situation in modern America. Except you have to throw in a whole crap load of government regulations and workers unions. NOW you have America.

Another question I have for my opponent is by how much he/she wishes to close the income gap. If we somehow close the gap completely, the result will be communism because communism, by definition, is complete economic and social equality. If we close it too much, we risk de-incentivizing innovation because the smart and talented will be punished for being smart and talented. If we close it too little, nothing meaningful will happen. However, all of this requires some sort of government intervention, as literally nothing else can naturally adjust the income gap in such a precise way.

"Doesn't seem wrong that the rich in America are just getting richer? Doesn't it seem unjust that business CEO's are making millions and billions? While the poor get seven to nine dollars an hour?"

This is actually my key problem with this topic as a whole, as it makes it seem that income inequality is a bad thing. It really is quite simply a moral issue, but on the moral playing field, it boils down to this: Which is more immoral, the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, or the punishment of the rich for being rich?

My opponent's assertion that free market can somehow close the income gap is both naive and quite frankly ignorant. In order to close the income gap, the government is both INDESPENSIBLE and REQUIRED. Without the government, income inequality will and cannot end.
Debate Round No. 1
debater409

Con

First off, I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate. However debate has been slightly altered. I originally intended for this debate to be about how so solve poverty in America, however I didn't make that clear. After talking with Con, we have agreed that solving poverty is a better topic. So basically, the debate starts now. With that in mind, let us begin.

As Pro I shall attempt to prove: In the pursuit of solving poverty in America, the Free Market us more effective Government Assistance.

However before we dive in, I would like to give a bit of context for this debate.

1.) Understanding Poverty in America

This is an article entitled, "The State of Poverty in America" from the American Prospect. Published June 22, 2012 by Peter Edelman. [1]

"We have two basic poverty problems in the United States. One is the prevalence of low-wage work. The other concerns those who have almost no work.

The two overlap.

Most people who are poor work as much as they can and go in and out of poverty. Fewer people have little or no work on a continuing basis, but they are in much worse straits and tend to stay poor from one generation to the next.

The numbers in both categories are stunning.

Low-wage work encompasses people with incomes below twice the poverty lineâ€"not poor but struggling all the time to make ends meet. They now total 103 million, which means that fully one-third of the population has an income below what would be $36,000 for a family of three.

In the bottom tier are 20.5 million peopleâ€"6.7 percent of the populationâ€"who are in deep poverty, with an income less than half the poverty line (below $9,000 for a family of three). Some 6 million people out of those 20.5 million have no income at all other than food stamps."

Basically millions and millions of people in America are struggling to make it to the next month. Some millions don't even get a paycheck. Whatever the cause, poverty certainly has a hold in this country.

2.) The War on Poverty

The article and graphs below are from an article entitled, "The War on Poverty After 50 Years". Published September 15, 2014 byRobert RectorandRachel Sheffield. [2]

"In his January 1964 State of the Union address, Johnson proclaimed, “This administration today, here and now, declares unconditional war on poverty in America.”
Since that time, U.S. taxpayers have spent over $22 trillion on anti-poverty programs (in constant 2012 dollars). Adjusted for inflation, this spending (which does not include Social Security or Medicare) is three times the cost of all military wars in U.S. history since the American Revolution. Despite this mountain of spending, progress against poverty, at least as measured by the government, has been minimal."





The article continues to say,


"The static nature of poverty is especially surprising because (as Chart 1 also shows) poverty fell dramatically during the period before the War on Poverty began. In 1950, the poverty rate was 32.2 percent. By 1965 (the first year during which any War on Poverty programs began to operate), the rate had been cut nearly in half to 17.3 percent.[2]
The unchanging poverty rate for the past 45 years is perplexing because anti-poverty or welfare spending during that period has simply exploded. As Chart 2 shows, means-tested welfare spending has soared since the start of the War on Poverty. In fiscal year 2013, the federal government ran over 80 means-tested welfare programs that provided cash, food, housing, medical care, and targeted social services to poor and low-income Americans."


The war on poverty, was probably the biggest step our government has taken towards fighting poverty. However, 22 trillion dollars later, all the government managed to do was stop the decline in poverty, and spend taxpayer's dollars.[3]

President Lyndon Johnson said that the goal of this war was to get people off government assistance and on their feet. But all it has done is prolonged poverty and create dependency.

The bottom line is this: Government assitance has prolonged poverty and created a nation that has millions of citizens dependant upon welafare. Hardly a healthy economy or job market. So what is the solution to this? The free market.

3.) The Free Market

A.) Economic Freedom leads to More Jobs

In 1938, the federal government established the Minimum Wage. (Fair Labor Standards Act) This puts a restriction on employers as to how much they can pay their employers. The minimum wage sets a base floor on wages. This directly limits employers and looses jobs. It's no wonder we have nobody to fill up our car with gas anymore. People are not willing to hire somebody to do that job for minimum wage.

If employers have the ability to hire at whatever wage they can choose, there will be more jobs. Based upon the employees skills and the task at hand, the employer can hire a worker. By limiting employers and the free market, government has cut off the lowest rungs of the economic ladder.

Now some people think that the minimum wage law stops employers from taking advantage of their employees. Protects the worker from being ripped off. This is rubbish.

When people work at a job and do a decent job, they become a valuable worker. They know the ropes of the bisuness. In fact, once an employee becomes so good at his job, the employer must raise his wage to keep him at his bisuness. Soon people are being hired at wages based on their skills and on the task at hand. Rather than what the government deems, "fair." Competition thrives.


B.) Economic Freedom Decreases Poverty

When there are more jobs and competition is thriving, the ecnomy will grow and poverty will decrease. This is a fact.

These statistics are from an article titled, "Government Intervention: A Threat to Economic Recovery". Published Jine 10, 2009 by Ambassador Terry Miller. [4]

"Some criticize the free market system as good for the rich but not for the poor. The data show otherwise. When we compare economic freedom scores with poverty levels as measured in the United Nations Human Poverty Index, we find that countries that gained at least 5 points of economic freedom in the decade between 1997 and 2007 moved almost 6 percent of their populations out of poverty on average. Countries that lost at least 5 points of economic freedom, by contrast, saw poverty levels increase."

In 1979, Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman stated, “no economic system in history has been as successful at lifting people out of poverty as that of capitalism and free trade, based on principles of economic freedom.” [6]



Conclusion,

As we can see, government cannot solve poverty, it can only prolong it. To solve poverty in America, we must allow the free market and competition to thrive. As Thomas Jefferson once said, "A wise and frugal government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned." [7]


I apologize for the spelling and poor grammer. I typed this out at the last minute. Back to Con.







[1] http://www.npc.umich.edu...
[2] http://www.heritage.org...
[3] http://www.heritage.org...
[4] http://www.brainyquote.com...
[5] http://www.heritage.org...
[6] http://thf_media.s3.amazonaws.com...
[7] http://www.brainyquote.com...
purpleduck

Pro

My opponent based on his/her arguments heavily supports lassiez-faire economics, that is, complete and total free enterprise. After all, capitalism is the way to go right? Capitalism, unfortunately, is now associated with "good economic structure" by the general public and everything is seen as bad, such as socialism and communism. However, upon closer inspection, capitalism isn't all rainbows and sunshine. To see an example of pure capitalism, we only have to look back to the Industrial Revolution. The Industrial Revolution was an age of a progress, as a plethora of new, innovate technology was invented, most of which we still use today. However, economically speaking, only a select group progressed, namely the billionaires like Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller. Everyone else was extremely poor and very often miserable, worker and consumer alike. This is what it looked like:
1. No minimum wage laws meant wages could be cut to ridiculously low amounts
2. No safety laws meant workers were forced to work in extremely hazardous conditions, often for very low pay
3. No child labor laws, as such child labor is rampant, especially in hazardous factories
4. A massive amount of pollution, making water, air, and soil extremely toxic in industrial areas
5. No worker protection laws meant millions upon millions of workers could be easily exploited
6. No product inspection laws meant products could have no to little safety features.
7. Incredibly high amounts of greed meant that whatever could be cut was cut to maximize profits at the expense of low wage workers.
This is why things such as the Romantic movement, Luddite movement, Progressivism, and Marxism were so prevalent during this time. People saw the horror and poverty resulting from the Industrial Revolution and decided to act against it. People like Jacob Riis brought the horror of the poverty back then into mainstream media, which was one of the things that started the Progressive Era. Upton Sinclair in his book "The Jungle" revealed to the country the abominable practices of the meat packing industry, which included the extremely unsanitary processing plants and the morbidly dangerous conditions of the industrialized slaughterhouse. Karl Marx wrote the Communist Manifesto because he saw how workers were being exploited and then predicted a class war/revolution that would overthrow the business owners. The bottom line is that free market doesn't fight poverty. It strengthens it. The data proves this. During the Industrial Revolution the poverty rate in London was 30%, in York it was 28%, and in the US it was 20%.

To understand why these numbers are the way they are, we must understand social mentality and why the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. In terms of investing, poor people tend to be ignorant of how the system works, and thus cannot exploit the loopholes. Rich people on the other hand, completely understand whatever they are investing in and know all the tricks to exploit the market. That's why people like Warren Buffett are so filthy rich; they intensly study what they are investing and know when to invest and when to pull out. Poor people, on the other hand, do not know how to invest like Warren Buffett and follow a very simple yet terrible rule: Buy when the market is high, sell when the market is low. People following this rule end up selling at a loss, and also heavily upset the economy. Investing is the main reason why things like the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Housing Market Crash of 2008 occured; once the bubble got too big, it popped, and the market started going down. Everyone saw this, so literally all the shareholders sold their stocks, leaving the companies they invested in out to hang. This resulted in a massive market crash and a huge loss of money on both the poor and rich. The thing is though, rich people, especially rich business owners, don't like it when they lose money. They would rather sell out their clients than lose money, which is exaclty what Wall Street did in 2008. Banks and insurance companies charged their former investors to make up for the loss. Houses everywhere were foreclosed on so the big banks could keep their money. In other words, low income people were screwed.

Another big part of the free market is power. Obviously the rich have more power than the poor. This makes the government represent the rich more than it does the poor, because everyone wants money. These are the reasons why:
1. Rich people pay less taxes because they will move their business elsewhere if they don't get tax cuts
2. Rich people have money
3. Rich people can hire lobbyists to get a politician to support a law they want passed
4. Rich people have more connections and more strings to pull if they want something done
5. Banks trust rich people more than poorer people to return loans, so they give the rich lower interest rates
6. Insurance companies trust rich people not to break stuff, so they get lower rates
7. Rich people have money
8. Rich people can hire top lawyers if they are in trouble or get sued
9. Rich people know how to manage money better than poor people because they have a lot of it
10. Rich people are generally more educated about social and economic situations, and can therefore exploit them very easily
11. Rich people have access to better education and more resources for their kids, giving their kids a higher chance at succeeding in life

All in all, pure capitalism doesn't fight poverty, it breeds it. Without the government to instate any kind of regulation, business owners can continue to squeeze every dime out of their worker's pockets and use that money to control the politcal climate, making themselves even richer. On the other hand, the less educated and less intelligent poor continue to have their wages cut again and again until they are entirely replaced by machinery. They will have no benefits, no workplace saftey, and no representation. Pure capitalism is ugly, and while it facilitates a huge amount of progress, it does no favors to the poor.

Without government intervention, poverty will not end. Poverty is part of capitalsm, and you cannot expect capitalism to fix something that facilitates.

(By the way, this wasn't meant to be a rebuttal, it was more of an opening statement)
Debate Round No. 2
debater409

Con

Alright. I'm gonna break Pro's speech into a couple points.

Point 1 Pure Capitilism

"My opponent based on his/her arguments heavily supports lassiez-faire economics, that is, complete and total free enterprise."

Not quite. My point was this, overall the free market is a better sollution to poverty. I do think government is nescessary, but overall the government should stay out. In the real world, there is no such thing as absolute freedom. I am not advocating for a society with no government and all freedom. That is anarchy. Nor do I believe my opponent is advocating from Communism. Basically no freedom whatsoever. I do think some regulations are nescessary: No stealing, no slavery, etc...

There are some basic laws that people whould follow even in a free market, but overall, government should stay out.

Point 2 Flaws in Capitilism Job Laws

Pro listed some unfair results of capitlism and the free market.

"1. No minimum wage laws meant wages could be cut to ridiculously low amounts
2. No safety laws meant workers were forced to work in extremely hazardous conditions, often for very low pay
3. No child labor laws, as such child labor is rampant, especially in hazardous factories
4. A massive amount of pollution, making water, air, and soil extremely toxic in industrial areas
5. No worker protection laws meant millions upon millions of workers could be easily exploited
6. No product inspection laws meant products could have no to little safety features.
7. Incredibly high amounts of greed meant that whatever could be cut was cut to maximize profits at the expense of low wage workers."


1.) Minimum wage laws are not a good idea. Minimum wage laws cut off the bottom of the economic ladder and lose jobs. It is only reasonable that if something costs more, there will be less of it. If I am an employer and I must pay my worker nine dollars an hour, I'm not gonna hire a kid to do gas fill up. Or wash a car's windows.

But doesn't this still leave us with the problem of people being ripped off? No.

Let's say I just hire Tom at my restaurant. Now Tom is new and inexperienced, so I pay him 5 dollars an hour. Not very much right? But come a month later, Tom has proved himself to be a valuable worker. He is fast and likable. I need to keep him at my restaurant,so i raise his pay to 9 dollars an hour. You see where this is going.

Where there is competition, wages will rise.

2.) No safety laws at certain places meant dangerous work. First off, the employer understands that since this is dangerous work, he needs to pay more. It makes sense. Second, if the employee doesn't like his job, who's forcing him? He can go somewhere else.

Now Pro may say that he doesn't have somewhere else to go. Well first I've never heard of there never being some other wort of job. The man could do yardwork. Second, I would need to see an example in history of this.

3.) Child laws. Same thing applies here. Also, if the kid wants to work, let him work. Let him gain that experience for future jobs.

4.) Pollution and such things. Here is a fuzzy line. I think government should intervene here if there is solid evidence that this is causing death. Remember, I do think there are some basic rule of law that companies should follow. Such as no murder. This would be murder.

Also I would need to see some specific examples of this to give a better judgment.

5.) No protection laws. Basically the same as point 2.

6.) No product inspection. This is solved by competition. If I want my business to succede, so you think it would be wise to cause my products to explode? No, competition would drive me to produce the best product in order to succede.

7.) This is basically the argument that employees get ripped off. However, if I want to keep a valuable employee, I must pay him more. Otherwise, he might go to my rival and shift the tide of business in his favor.

Point 3 Horrible Capitlism

"This is why things such as the Romantic movement, Luddite movement, Progressivism, and Marxism were so prevalent during this time. People saw the horror and poverty resulting from the Industrial Revolution and decided to act against it. People like Jacob Riis brought the horror of the poverty back then into mainstream media, which was one of the things that started the Progressive Era."

Pro's argument says basically that the free market caused poverty, disease, and in some cases death. I have three responses.

1.) Now first things first, Pro didn't bring any real specifics to the table here. He talked about some men and the injustice. However injustice to people can be the result of many things, natural disasters, deaths in the family, stolen propery, etc... He hasn't directly proven the link between the economic freedom and these injustices. The closest thing he said was this,

" The bottom line is that free market doesn't fight poverty. It strengthens it. The data proves this. During the Industrial Revolution the poverty rate in London was 30%, in York it was 28%, and in the US it was 20%."

Now I didn't see any source for this. But also, like I said, we need to see more evidence than just that poverty existed, we need to see that the free market was the cause. The only thing Pro said as the connection between these number and the free market is that the rich know how this system works. They know how to exploit it. However I still didn't see any real evidence pointing to the fact that during this era people were that poor because of the free market. If there had been evidence, this would have been excellent explaing of why. Also evidence has been presented the opposite is true. Greater economic freedom equals less poverty.

2.) Second, the free market is not without some restrictions. if the free market is killing people, not allowed. That is a basic rule of law in society. I'm not talking about anarchy.

3.) Third, the free market has been shown to remove poverty and improve the quality of life. IN my first speech, I referenced an economic worldwide report. Countries that gained economic freedom, moved out of poverty as a whole. Nations that lost economic poverty, moved into poverty. I know Pro said this was an opening speech. However if he wished to have this point, he really should have said something about that report. Because it directly relates to his point here. The evidence is from Ambassodor Terry Miller, it was the last evidence I read in my first speech.


Summary of point 3.

First, no direct links between economic freedom causing huge injustices. The only possible way injustice could result is through low wages, however competition solves this.

Second, economic freedom should follow certain basic rules of justice. NO steal, slavery, and murder. Things like these. The real debate is how much should government be invovled in solving poverty beyond that.

Third, evidence exists and was presented that economic freedom helps deter poverty. Here is another piece of evidence.

Dr. Gerald W. Sculy, “Economic Fredom and the Trade-Of betwen Inequality and Growth,” National Center for Policy Analysis. March 31, 2008. Dr. Sculy was a profesor at he University of Texas at Dalas. He was also formerly a profesor at Southern Methodist University, and was an economic adviser to the Shah of Iran while a researcher at Harvard University. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Rutgers University in 1968. Brackets added. [1]

“The higher income brought about by economic growth ultimately raises the incomes of low-income households more than an increase in the equality of incomes brought about by a redistribution of income.”


Point 4 Stock Market Crash in 1929

Pro mentioned this, however again no evidence showing the link to the free market.

Point 5 Housing Market Collapse 2008

The housing market collapse was actually cause by the federal government. Not the Free Market. This is from article entitled "How Government Created the Financial Crisis"the Wall Street Journal. Published Feb 9, 2009 by John B. Taylor. [2]

"Many are calling for a 9/11-type commission to investigate the financial crisis. Any such investigation should not rule out government itself as a major culprit. My research shows that government actions and interventions -- not any inherent failure or instability of the private economy -- caused, prolonged and dramatically worsened the crisis.

The classic explanation of financial crises is that they are caused by excesses -- frequently monetary excesses -- which lead to a boom and an inevitable bust. This crisis was no different: A housing boom followed by a bust led to defaults, the implosion of mortgages and mortgage-related securities at financial institutions, and resulting financial turmoil."

Basically in the 1970’s, the government began enacting legislation that directed banks to extend more home loans to low income and minority familes who would not otherwise qualify. So long as the housing market continued to expand, the market could suport he rapid increase of subprime mortgages. In 2007, however, the housing market buble burst, leaving lenders holding over $1.5 trilion in toxic subprime loans. The collapse was a result of governmental interference. It seemed fair to lower prices for low wage families.

Point 5 Unbalanced Society

Pro goes on to mention a list of unfair advantages the rich get. Now I won't go through them one by one. However, the Free Market is the best way to get those poor people back on their feet and proper education. Education, loans, lawyers, etc.... all these require money. Free market fights poverty.

Also if you cetralize the power in government. There is huge room for corruption and manipulation.


This was Pro's opening speech, however my points in the first peech do need to be adressed. I gave several pieces of evidence showing that having more government regulation the free market, is bad for poverty and the economy.

Conclusion. Free Market is not the perfect way, but it is better than government regulation. Back to Pro!





[1] htp:/www.ncpa.org/pub/st309.
[2] http://www.wsj.com...

purpleduck

Pro

I forgot to cite my sources in my last argument, my apologies. I will make sure to do so in this argument.

"In the real world, there is no such thing as absolute freedom. I am not advocating for a society with no government and all freedom. That is anarchy. Nor do I believe my opponent is advocating from Communism. Basically no freedom whatsoever. I do think some regulations are necessary: No stealing, no slavery, etc... "

Capitalism is an economic system, not a system of government. For example, America runs on a Socialist-Capitalist system, and at the same time has a Representative Democracy as it's form of government. Also, Communism is not "no freedom whatsoever", it is actually the abolition of currency and private property. It's just that this Communism is so unrealistic that countries that attempt to be Communist end up becoming dictatorships.

"Minimum wage laws are not a good idea. Minimum wage laws cut off the bottom of the economic ladder and lose jobs. It is only reasonable that if something costs more, there will be less of it. If I am an employer and I must pay my worker nine dollars an hour, I'm not going to hire a kid to do gas fill up. Or wash a car's windows."

Lowering unemployment and eliminating poverty are two different things. If I decide to hire 1 million additional workers for my factory but only pay them a penny a day, they are still in poverty. Are they employed? Yes, of course they are. But they are not much better off than when they were unemployed. The reason why the minimum wage is in place is so that employers cannot pay their workers ridiculously low wages for hazardous or difficult jobs, which is exactly what was going on in the Industrial Revolution.

"Let's say I just hire Tom at my restaurant. Now Tom is new and inexperienced, so I pay him 5 dollars an hour. Not very much right? But come a month later, Tom has proved himself to be a valuable worker. He is fast and likable. I need to keep him at my restaurant,so I raise his pay to 9 dollars an hour. You see where this is going.

Where there is competition, wages will rise."

The situation with Tom only really applies to white collar workers, where it actually takes some skill to do the job. Blue collar workers do unskilled labor, which makes up the majority of all jobs. And unfortunately for blue collar workers, they are expendable. Assembly line worker injured? Replace him. Factory worker needs family time? Replace him. Shopkeeper is sick? Replace him. Waiter wants higher pay? Replace him. This is exactly why big companies like Apple and HP outsource factory production to different countries where the minimum wage is lower or non existent. Why use expensive American labor when you can use cheap Chinese labor and achieve the same results? You may ask, why don't we do the same thing here by abolishing the minimum wage? Because the Chinese workers are literally dirt poor. At Foxconn, the average worker makes $112.70 a month. That's about $3.76 a day for a 30 day month. Not even a Chinese worker can live off that, much less an American worker, as living expense in America is much higher than in China.

Another thing is that companies compete for customers. They don't compete for unskilled workers, as unskilled workers are literally everywhere. Skilled labor is a subject of competition, but if you have a useful and relevant skill, you most likely won't be in poverty. It's the unskilled labor we have to worry about, and it's the unskilled labor that is replaceable and is not a field for competition.

"No safety laws at certain places meant dangerous work. First off, the employer understands that since this is dangerous work, he needs to pay more. It makes sense. Second, if the employee doesn't like his job, who's forcing him? He can go somewhere else. "

The thing is, employers aren't the most decent and kind people out there. People are greedy, and will do anything to squeeze out the maximum profit. For evidence of this, I recommend you read the book "The Jungle". In fact, read up on the Industrial Revolution. Back then, if someone lost a limb, they were replaced. See the previous paragraph as for why. And if the employee doesn't like his job, sure he can quit, but it doesn't mean he can find a better job. Industrial work is out of the question for obvious reasons, and all the safer jobs are most likely going to be all occupied. There is supply and demand for jobs, and there is not an infinite amount of job slots for say yard work or truck driving. If all the factory work came back to the US, there would be an extremely high demand for those jobs, and without safety laws, they would all be extremely hazardous.

"Child laws. Same thing applies here. Also, if the kid wants to work, let him work. Let him gain that experience for future jobs."

The thing about child labor is that the child doesn't necessarily want to work, it's the parents who make him/her work for that extra income. And children are subject to the same hazards as everyone else, and can lose limbs as easily as adults can. This situation leads to the child getting limited to no education, as the parents need the child to be working and making money as often as possible. This in turn gives the child a much lower chance of making it big in the world, as all of the competition is extremely well educated, and hence the child is more likely to be stuck in poverty. For evidence of this, just read up on the Industrial Revolution, the prime example of pure capitalism.

"Pollution and such things. Here is a fuzzy line. I think government should intervene here if there is solid evidence that this is causing death. Remember, I do think there are some basic rule of law that companies should follow. Such as no murder. This would be murder."

I don't think you understand the legal definition of murder. Murder in terms of the law requires malice aforethought or intent to harm/kill. The factory owners have no such malicious intent, the consequences of their making a profit just happened to result in someone's death. The worst they will be charged with is negligence, but because they are filthy rich, they can get some really awesome lawyers, while the people affected probably won't be able to get really awesome lawyers. Besides, if the government intervened here, it would no longer be a free market, would it? This is a form of regulation.

"No product inspection. This is solved by competition. If I want my business to succeed, so you think it would be wise to cause my products to explode? No, competition would drive me to produce the best product in order to succeed."

This was true for the food industry, especially the meat industry, in the Industrial Revolution. In the book, The Jungle, Upton Sinclair describes a large pile of meat in an unsanitary dark room where the rats would come out and eat the meat. The workers would leave out poisoned bread to kill the rats, and when the meat was ready to be processed, the meat, the dead rats, and the poisoned bread all went down together into the grinder. Yummy.

A more modern practice of this is putting sawdust in hot dogs and sausages as filler or putting mystery slime, or "pink slime" in beef, like what Taco Bell did.

"This is basically the argument that employees get ripped off. However, if I want to keep a valuable employee, I must pay him more. Otherwise, he might go to my rival and shift the tide of business in his favor. "

Only applies to white collar workers. Reason are above.

In his opening remarks, my opponent makes claims that poverty has been static since the initial drop after the War on Poverty. When evaluating this claim, we must also consider the constantly changing definition of poverty and the fact that the US population is growing very fast. Moreover, the demographic of people in poverty has also changed. In 2012, 57% of poor Americans were aged 18 to 64, the prime working years, which is a shift from 41.7% in 1959. This is not because of some government screw-up, this is because technology is continuing to replace unskilled labor. Because of that, the majority of American workers, that is, unskilled workers, cannot find jobs because they are being taken over by technology, which was not as advanced in 1959 than it is today. Poverty is also concentrated in the South, sitting at 45.9%. Farm labor is the most prominent there, and with the advent of advanced technology such as seeding planes and fertilizing tractors, there is no longer a high demand for unskilled labor.

One last point, if capitalism was really that good at eliminating poverty, we would see the poverty level during the Industrial Revolution at almost zero. Instead, we a sky-high poverty rate, sitting at around 20% in America. Throw in government regulation, now we have 15.1%. My opponent's entire argument revolves around the fact that capitalism eliminates poverty, and yet we have a prime example in history that contradicts his entire claim. He/she can quote Nobel Laureates and articles all he wants, the fact remains that we have historical precedent that contradicts what he so claims.


http://www.pewresearch.org...
http://www.businessinsider.com...
http://www.eiu.edu...
http://mentalfloss.com...
http://webs.bcp.org...;
http://jimgworld.com...;
Debate Round No. 3
debater409

Con

Alright, round four. Thank-you pro, this debate is turing out to be quite thought provoking. Now to the responses.

For the sake of order, I am going to use point titles like I used in my last speech. Pro, if you could poddibly use these same point when responding, that would be greatly appreciated.

Point 1 Capitalism

I think to really understand capitalism we need to define free market. The reason being is that a free market is one of if not the most dominant trade marks of capitalism.

Free Market: "An economic system with only a small amount ofgovernment control, in which prices and earnings are decidedby the level of demand for, and production of, goods andservices" [1]
The free market means that individuals are free to run their business's as they see fit. However, there are some laws. Such as no murder, robbery, etc...

Pro later on in his speech when talking about pollution, says that if government intervenes it would no longer be a "free" market.

"Besides, if the government intervened here, it would no longer be a free market, would it?"

Wrong, a free market does follow certain basic rules. Freedom is not the same as anarchy. My freedom ends where yours begins.
Now why this is so important is because; Con does not advocate for a economy with no restrictions, simply the restrictions be few.

Point 2 Minimum Wage

"Lowering unemployment and eliminating poverty are two different things...which is exactly what was going on in the Industrial Revolution."


I didn't quote pro's entire point here simply because it took too many characters.

Now basically pro's argument is that just creating new jobs doesn't mean a better economy. I have two responses for this. He also states companies compete for costumers, not employees. I shall respond to that right after.

Response 1: Best Option

Pro says just employing a bunch of men for a penny a day won't help them. However I would like to point out that taking away that opportunity to work is worse. You do not help people by taking away one of their best alternatives; work. You won't solve that poverty, you're simply doing nothing about it.
IF you however shave off those bottom rungs of the economic ladder, you encourage people to be dependant on government.

Response 2: Jobs Bring Growth

"The situation with Tom only really applies to white collar workers, where it actually takes some skill to do the job..."

No, all jobs have a level of skill. Whether physical or mental, jobs do require skill. And where there is skill and learning, there will be competition. Employees try become faster and more effecient, soon they may be promoted to manager. After being manager, an employee may try to start a business. With no minimum wage laws, his business might actually succeed and grow.

Yes these employees may be easier to find, but the fact remains, they can still move up the ladder. To keep a good employee who does his job well, a business will pay more.

This is from an article entitled, "Wages and the Free Market, Part 1" By Professor of Economics, Sandy Ikeda. Published September 18, 2014. [2]

"The historical trend in per-capita real income since the year 1800 has been unambiguous. Per-capita real income around the world has been rising at an accelerating rate, which coincides with the spread of and respect for free-market ideas and practices. Deirdre McCloskey refers to this phenomenon as the “hockey stick” of economic growth.

Imagine a hockey stick lying on its side. For millennia, per-capita real income had been low and stagnant, about $1 to $3 a day for the vast majority of people everywhere. That’s the long handle of the stick. Suddenly, around the year 1800, there was an unprecedented increase in growth—up to a factor of 50 in some parts of the world—with no decrease..."

The data is clear, more jobs, even if low wage, will improve the overall income. Then people will gain skills, and their wages will rise.

Response 3: Companies compete for Costumers

"Another thing is that companies compete for customers. They don't compete for unskilled workers...It's the unskilled labor we have to worry about, and it's the unskilled labor that is replaceable and is not a field for competition."

While it is true that companies ultimately want costumers, they must hire employees. But more than that, the better than employee, the smoother a department will run. I want an employee who I know will be able to do his job. And if he is good, I will promote him.

There is so competition. Both John and Tim are good workers. They are valuable to their company. However, the rival corporation pays more, so away they go. Competition forces employers to pay their employees more.

Point 2 Safety Laws

"The thing is, employers aren't the most decent and kind people out there... and without safety laws, they would all be extremely hazardous."

Pro also mentions many children lost a limb while working in dangerous places. However it is the free market that enabled parents to get better wages and therfore their children our of the work factories.

This evidence is from an article entitled, "Child Labor and the British Industrial Revolution" Published October 23, 2009 by Lawrence W. Reed. [3]


"Child labor was relieved of its worst attributes not by legislative fiat but by the progressive march of an ever more productive capitalist system. Child labor was virtually eliminated when, for the first time in history, the productivity of parents in free labor markets rose to the point where it was no longer economically necessary for children to work to survive. The emancipators and benefactors of children were not legislators or factory inspectors but factory owners and financiers. Their efforts and investments in machinery led to a rise in real wages, to a growing abundance of goods at lower prices, and to an incomparable improvement in the general standard of living."

Point 3 Pollution

Pro states that pollution was a horrible thing. He states this is not murder as well. Therefore this is an example of corrup factories.

Not quite, this is from "Market-Based Environmentalism vs. the Free MarketMarket-Based Environmentalism." Published September 1, 1997 by Roy Cordato. [4]


"The standard view of environmental problems is that they are inherent in a free society. If people are left free to pursue their own self-interest—to produce and consume whatever they want, how and when they want it—the result will be polluted air and waterways, littered streets, and depleted natural resources. Pollution and environmental degradation are often cited as evidence that Adam Smith was wrong. People pursuing their own self-interest may not advance the well-being of society.

That view, unfortunately found in many economics texts, misunderstands the nature of both a free society and a free-market economy. Environmental problems occur because property rights, a prerequisite of free markets, are not identified or enforced. Problems of air, river, and ocean pollution are all due to a lack of private property rights or protection. Since clarifying and enforcing property rights is the basic function of government in a free society, environmental problems are an example of government failure, not market failure."

Free markets do have some regulation when it would harm basic human rights. (Refer back to my definition) My freedom ends where yours begins.

Point 4 Product Inspection

Pro states that businesses will put anything into their products to make them cheaper. He mentions the jungle book and talks about "slime" in fast food.

Two brief responses.

1.) No Source

No source means no fact.

2.) Cheap food means cheap Quality

Even if this is true, that is what you expect from fast food. Eat somewhere else. Competition forces companies to make better products. Or make cheaper prices but cheaper quality.

Point 5 War on Poverty

Pro says that the reason poverty didn't decline is because the nation grew and inflation etc... A couple brief responses.

Response 1: No Facts

Pro gives no facts for his last claim that the reason why poverty stopped is because of new technologies. If you take a look at his sources some his last two do not open.

His real only fact is that poverty is centralized in the south. Only source with fact, except for some pictures of the Industrial Revolution.

Response 2: Poverty Stopped
Even if pro had some facts, this could really only explain in the long run. The fact remains; right before the war, poverty dropped. Right after the start, government expands, and poverty stops declining. Coincidence I think not.

Point 6 Capitalism

Pro says that if capitalism is so good, we should have seen that in the Industrial Revolution. Instead of massive poverty.

Response 1: No Source

Again, pro does not have a source for this claim.

Response 2: Free Market Brought wages up.

Look back to my first pece of evidence in point 1. Also refer back to my evidence by Ambassador Terry MIller in my first speech. This evdence directly corrolates to most of the point in pro's speech. Yet it has gone unnadressed. Silence is consent.

Economic freedom brings growth, competition, and higher wages.

Point 7 No Evidence for Government

Throughout this entire debate, pro has given almost no arguments to support the idea of government over the free market.
Again remember, Con's stance in this debate is that there should be a basic rule of law that government enforces. Beyond that though, government should stay out.

Pro's stance is that there should be perhaps some freedom, however mostly government regulation and distibution of income to the poor.

Pro has tried to show flaws in the free market stance, however has failed to show evidence that states government assitance and welfare more effective than economic freedom.

With that, I go to bed. ;) Back to Pro.


[1] http://dictionary.cambridge.org...
[2] http://fee.org...
[3] http://fee.org...
[4] http://fee.org...;
purpleduck

Pro

Before I begin, I would like to ask Con to stop pulling the "no source so not true" thing. It's really annoying, especially since the sources have either been provided or have been made extremely easy to find. It is very easy to look up "The Jungle by Upton Sinclair pdf" on Google, so I felt no need to link it. But if you insist, I will provide links of everything you need so you don't have to go through the trouble of clicking a new tab and searching for something that is very easy to find. Sorry, if I seem rude here, I am just very annoyed.


My opponent's Point 1 reads: "a free market does follow certain basic rules. Freedom is not the same as anarchy. My freedom ends where yours begins."

Con does not seem to understand that pollution is not murder, robbery, etc., as murder requires malice in the eyes of the law. At worst, pollution is negligence. During the Industrial Revolution, there were no environmental protection laws, and there were serious consequences. In 1952 4000 Londoners died over a course of a few days when pollutants from factories and home fireplaces mixed with air condensation. In 1948 in Pennsylvania 20 people were asphyxiated to death by industrial smog and 7000 more became seriously ill. Acid rain was first discovered in the 1850's, which is the result of man-made sulphur and nitrogen compounds. Nobody was punished, because again, rich business owners have money, and money gets you places.

Environmental regulations force business owners to research more environmentally friendly industrial practices, safely dispose industrial waste that doesn't harm the environment, and find different places to construct factories due to forest protection laws. All of this costs money, and cuts into profits. This is a form of government regulation, and invades on the free market. With environmental protection laws in place, the free market cannot exist.

http://www.history.com...


Minimum wage part says:

1. Hiring people for insufficient wages is better than not hiring them at all

2. All jobs require some sort of skill, and competition for competent workers will make income rise


I find the first point rather strange because it gives the worker essentially two options: 1. Don’t work and be unable to support the family 2. Work and still be unable to support the family due to insufficient wages. I really doubt that people would opt for the second options instead of waiting for a more fruitful job opportunity.

In regards to my opponent’s second point, I feel that he/she really doesn’t understand just how replaceable the majority of blue collar workers are. One of the jobs in the car industry involves sticking the company logo onto the car. One of the jobs in Foxconn involves putting IPhones in styrofoam cushions. How much skill do those jobs honestly take? The people who work those kinds of jobs could be replaced in a flash if they dared demand higher wages or screwed up too much. This is why big companies such as Apple and HP outsource to different companies because American workers are much more expensive than Chinese workers. This is why chain supermarkets such as Wal-Mart hire Mexicans because they will work for cheaper wages. As said before, competition for competent workers only exists in the smaller white collar world, but not in the blue collar world.

My opponent also mentioned some sort of Hockey Stick economic trend that occurred around the year 1800. It would be nice if my opponent specified what exactly happened in the year 1800 that sparked such a growth in income and which countries it was specific to.


My opponent’s Point 2 uses an article to prove that capitalism solved child labor by itself by giving the parents higher wages and removing the need for child labor. My opponent unfortunately by doing this completely ignores all the anti child labor movements in Britain such as the Factory Act of 1833, the Education Act of 1870, and the rise of the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC). All of there forced parents to work harder for more wages, this wasn’t a natural result of capitalism.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk...


My opponent’s Point 3 says that pollution is a government failure, not a market failure because pollution is the result of the failure to enforce property, or private property rights.


Ok, so what this essentially means is that factories are not allowed to pollute private property, but are allowed to pollute everything else. Which includes oceans, forests, air, soil, rivers, and public areas. None of these are privately owned, so what exactly would the government be enforcing here?


My opponent’s Point 4 tells people to eat something else if they don’t like fast food putting weird stuff in their food.


First, here is a link to Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle” for your enjoyment. http://www2.hn.psu.edu...

Stop throwing around no source as an excuse to avoid arguments.

Secondly, fast food is dirt cheap. McDonald’s has an entire dollar menu, and all of the items on said dollar menu are essentially hamburgers and fried chicken sandwiches. The reason why fast food restaurants put mystery meat and meat substitutions/fillers in their food is to make their food cheaper so it is accessible to almost everyone. This is why America is so fat, the fatty foods are the only things they can afford, and they definitely can’t afford any healthier options or competition. They don’t have to luxury of “eating something else”.

Also, the people most of the time are completely ignorant to stuff like this. This is why movies like Food Inc. and news like pink slime were such a shock to people because the public is generally ignorant. Remove government regulation, and factories will make sure that the people stay ignorant, as they will no longer have any obligation to provide ingredients or nutritions facts, both of which were written into law by Progressive presidents like Teddy Roosevelt and Taft.


My opponent’s Point 5: My opponent here decided that my entire paragraph on the War on Poverty had almost no facts despite the fact was filled with purely statistical and factual evidence. How this line: “In 2012, 57% of poor Americans were aged 18 to 64, the prime working years, which is a shift from 41.7% in 1959.” or this line: “we must also consider the constantly changing definition of poverty and the fact that the US population is growing very fast. “ aren’t factual confounds me.

In his second response he repeats a point already addressed by the previous evidence which for whatever reason decided wasn’t factual. I have no response, as I have no idea what the hell is going here.


My opponent’s Point 6: Enjoy the previously linked source. http://jimgworld.com...

If the link doesn't work, highlight the web address and press enter.


My opponent’s Point 7: Says I provided no evidence to support government intervention. I have already demonstrated that without government intervention, the termination of poverty is impossible in my opening remarks. But I will reiterate. Poverty is a fundamental part of capitalism. Capitalism will always contain the haves and the have nots. Without government intervention, the rich can continue to exploit the economic system and the poor by continuing to cut wages and replace workers with machinery as well as receiving tax cuts by threatening to relocate business. The rich are also generally more informed than the poor, so they know better investment opportunities than the poor. Examples include Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. During the 2008 financial crisis, the investment companies charged their clients to make up for losses and Wall Street abandoned their own clients to keep themselves afloat. This is why the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer, because in the end of the day, the rich always win on the economic field.







Debate Round No. 4
debater409

Con

debater409 forfeited this round.
purpleduck

Pro

Oh well, opponent forfeited. I was going to talk monopolies here, but I never got to it. But since opponent has forfeited, I will post no more arguments.
Debate Round No. 5
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by purpleduck 2 years ago
purpleduck
Hey no problem, I take a while too lol.
Posted by debater409 2 years ago
debater409
Hey pro, I'm really busy so it may be a couple days. Nice speech though, my applogies about the source; I may have been overly critical.
Posted by debater409 2 years ago
debater409
hahaha sorry pro. I called you con in my speech.
Posted by debater409 2 years ago
debater409
Hey Con so there were two graphs that i presented in the debate. However when i posted my speech, the website didn't post them. Sorry I kinda knew to this website. But if you could please click on he 2nd footnote when reading, you will find the charts there. I referenced chart 1 and 2. They are extremely important to my speech.
Posted by debater409 2 years ago
debater409
Alright thanks.
Posted by purpleduck 2 years ago
purpleduck
Ok, that's fine. That, I agree, is a much better topic. You can have the first argument.
Posted by debater409 2 years ago
debater409
Also I think this would be a much more relevant topic. How should America deal with poverty. That was my original goal, however it wan't clear. We would have to talk about unemployment, minimum wage laws, competition, etc...
Posted by debater409 2 years ago
debater409
Purpleduck,
So this debate, didn't go quite where i was wanting it to. I agree that income inequality isn't a problem in and of itself. After all, if everyone is making enough to live comfortably even though they don't make as much as others, that's fine. I agree the free market will bring about some measure of inequality, but if people are living comfortably then i don't think people have a problem with it. Americans have a problem with inequality when leaves people without enough money to make it by. Inequality is a problem when it leaves people destitute.

So would you be willing to change this debate slightly. Instead of trying to get rid of inequality, try to get rid of poverty. Should it be government distribution of wealth? Government laws and policies? Government assistance? Or should government play a smaller role and leave it to the free market.

"My opponent's assertion that free market can somehow close the income gap is both naive and quite frankly ignorant. In order to close the income gap, the government is both INDESPENSIBLE and REQUIRED. Without the government, income inequality will and cannot end."

I must agree with you on this. However this really wasn't where I was intending to go with this debate. I don't think either of us want there to be no inequality. Rather the inequality there is should not be resulting in poverty. I realize I didn't make this clear enough.

We could either restart or i just simply speak first and we continue till the end?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by warren42 2 years ago
warren42
debater409purpleduckTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeited final round.