The Instigator
zak61099
Con (against)
Losing
7 Points
The Contender
airmax1227
Pro (for)
Winning
32 Points

Is America number 1 anymore?

Do you like this debate?NoYes+4
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Vote Here
Con Tied Pro
Who did you agree with before the debate?
Who did you agree with after the debate?
Who had better conduct?
Who had better spelling and grammar?
Who made more convincing arguments?
Who used the most reliable sources?
Reasons for your voting decision - Required
1,000 Characters Remaining
The voting period for this debate does not end.
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/17/2011 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,390 times Debate No: 16560
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (7)

 

zak61099

Con

I and Pro will argue if America is still ranked as number 1 in a variety of categories. I will mostly be arguing my case about China.

FYI I am not Chinese, but American if you are wondering.
airmax1227

Pro

I thank my opponent for this debate and would just like to state some things for clarification:

I assume my opponent is going to be arguing that America is no longer "number 1" and that China (or anyone), is now, "number 1". I'll be taking the position, as Pro, that America is still "number 1".
Since no mention was made of what "number 1' specifies, I'll leave it up to my opponent to be specific in his opening argument, while assuming that we can leave it open to any interpretation and arguments within reasonable limits. (i.e. not things like still #1 in awesomeness, or epicosity, though America still clearly is). Naturally, we'll want to stick to quantifiable criteria, unless a reasonable argument can be made.
Please clarify or correct me if need be, otherwise good luck.
Debate Round No. 1
zak61099

Con

Thank you for accepting the role of playing Pro. I will now specify what "number 1" means as I should of already stated, and I apologize for that.

We will be arguing over whatever you think makes America number 1, although population, economy, education, etc. will be the main subjects.

China currently has ABOUT 95 cities with a population over one million. America only has 9. China has a population of 1.4 billion. The world population is about 6.7 billion. China represents a full 20% of the world's population so one in every five people on the planet is a resident of China. American population is only 307,006,550. Population of course helps taxes, labor forces, and further creates a strong developing country. Only 4.2 percent of the Chinese is unemployed. 9 percent of America is unemployed. 93 percent of America's GDP is in debt. China's debt is only 17 5 percent of it's GDP.

The United States has a much higher migration rate and urbanization percentage. It also has a higher human development index. However, it also has a higher homicide and suicide rate, and a higher percentage of people with HIV/AIDS. In contrast, even though China has a lower urbanization percentage, this is quickly changing and is reflected by it having a superior urbanization rate.

The life expectancy rate in China is slightly lower than in the United States, but its literacy rate in non-rural areas completely surpasses the United States' education percentages.

By manpower and active personnel in the military, China far outranks the United States.

This is my current debate of why China has outranked America
airmax1227

Pro

To prove that China is #1, and no longer America, my opponent makes the following arguments:

1) China has a larger population than America
2) China has a superior urbanization rate
3) China has superior literacy rates in non-rural areas
4) China has a superior military due to numbers

Before refuting each, I'd like to frame the current stage of the debate. In an effort to makes the case that America is no longer number 1, my opponent contends that instead China is number 1. My opponent will therefore have the burden of proof to prove that while America once was #1, it is no longer, as China now holds that distinction.
I will refute each of my opponents contentions, then offer reasons why America still remains #1.

1) China has a larger population

My opponent points out that China has a larger population, however, since China has always had a larger population than the US it cannot effect the relative rankings of the two countries. China is number 1 in population and has always been so, thus it cannot be part of any argument worded 'Is America number 1 'anymore?', being that it was never number 1 in this category. The voters must strike from their memory anything pertaining to it or be in violation of arbitrary ethics in perpetuity throughout the universe.
An interesting look at China's demographic history can be seen here [1]

My opponent then makes several legitimate points, which I will address following this sentence.
They are that China has:
1) 4.2% unemployment
2) 17.5 % of debt to GDP compared to America's 93

My opponent accurately pointed out China's superior stats to America's in these areas. However when it comes unemployment China isn't #1 in the world. Countries like Bahrain(3.7%), Cuba(1.6), Ghana(3.6), among others have lower rates. While this is just one factor in my opponents attempt at pointing to China's supremacy, low unemployment rates (while historically comparable, and favorable, to world rates) is never what made America number 1. Or is it? No, it's not. [2][3]

The statistics my opponent cites regarding the US's debt are accurate, however he doesn't argue whether or not it's a good thing, a bad thing, or how we should view the complex issue of a country's debt in an ever changing global economy. He points out that China's debt is only 17.5% of GDP while America's is 97%, the numbers speak for themselves, showing clearly, who is still #1 in the debt category.

2) China has a superior urbanization rate.

This is how I summarized my opponents second paragraph knowing there is more to it that I may not be understanding, so bare with me while I attempt to respond as best I can.

My opponent states, "The United States has a much higher migration rate and urbanization percentage"

Though this may be factually accurate, I am uncertain whether or not my opponent considers this to be a good or bad thing, or whether America could ever be considered #1 when it comes to its migration rates and urbanization percentage.

My opponent continues, "It (America) also has a higher human development index".

This was the crux of my argument for the third round, so I thank my opponent for presenting it for me and now making it unnecessary.

"However, it (America) also has a higher homicide and suicide rate, and a higher percentage of people with HIV/AIDS"

My opponent and I agree that Americans may need to reconsider whether it's still worth being the #1 country for weapons, tall buildings and regrettable sexual encounters.

"In contrast, even though China has a lower urbanization percentage, this is quickly changing and is reflected by it having a superior urbanization rate".

My opponent concludes this by conceding to China's lower urbanization percentage, but arguing that it is changing as is reflected by the superiority in its urbanization rate.

For this argument to have any meaning my opponent needs to explain why urbanization is good or bad, what its benefits are and how urbanization, or lack thereof, helps or harms, China or America (and its relation to being #1). Until my opponent can argue his view, America will still remain #1 in urbanization, (or lack thereof, wherever the case may be, void where prohibited).

3) China has superior literacy rates in non-rural areas

My opponent states: "The life expectancy rate in China is slightly lower than in the United States, but its literacy rate in non-rural areas completely surpasses the United States' education percentages".

I'm not sure I understand the juxtaposition of these issues. Is my opponent implying a correlation between life expectancy and non-rural literacy? It's unclear. My opponent may simply be stating that while America does have a slightly higher life expectancy, China's non-rural literacy rate makes it a wash.

While I fail to see the direct connection, I can concede that, for many, having a slightly longer life would not be worth the cost, if it meant never being able to read. Though, until my opponent can explain the importance of non-rural literacy rates, I'll have to consider this argument merely an incidental philosophical insight, without any bearing on America's status as #1.

4) China has a superior military due to numbers

My opponent states:
"By manpower and active personnel in the military, China far outranks the United States".

My opponent contends that by sheer numbers alone, China has a superior military to America.

Obviously there are exceptions where a smaller force beats a larger force (Battle of Thermopylae and Israel's war for independence immediately come to mind), but my opponent has a valid point regarding the importance of numbers in a fighting force.

However this point would be far greater if made 50 years ago. Today, with modern warfare the way it is, any conflict that sees China utilizing that amount of manpower in a war of attrition with America, would negate any possibility that either of these two countries would be ranked #1 in anything but irradiated acreage.

Nonetheless, when ranking world military forces, China's cannot be over looked. Based on manpower alone they are a formidable force comparable to any other on the planet. Though wars once would usually be won by the side with the most men, today, I would first look at the side that has the most nukes, and in that category, America is still by far #1.[4]

I will point to things relating to freedom for the first couple of Pro 'America is #1' items.
America/U.S. is #1 because:
1) Citizens of the U.S. have the freedom to irresponsibly overpopulate the planet to the extent they feel necessary with minimal government intervention.
(This is in contrast to China's population control laws.)

2) The freedom of expression and enterprise provided by the U.S. has facilitated some of the greatest achievements of the modern era.
Only through the creation of the Internet, social networking, and viral public message initiatives, could the following commentary on the human condition be filmed, for the whole world to view and be touched deeply by the hope that it brings upon adequate public awareness of all the worlds ills: (video, top right corner)

Bonus contention of U.S. excellence in the field of number oneness: Geral Fauss

In 1978 the former teacher from Texas created the now iconic giant foam finger, it has become an iconic sight at major sporting events and accompanies many chants of "we're number 1"
Perhaps without Fauss's foam hand insisting on an individual's number oneness, being number one may have gone out of style, negating the entire issue.[5][6]

[1]http://afe.easia.columbia.edu...
[2]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[4]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5]http://www.designboom.com...
[6]http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 2
zak61099

Con


Im am terribly sorry, but I must forfit this debate as I am getting way too busy. Again, I am VERY sorry!!!

airmax1227

Pro

Not many can handle the 'sneezing panda' argument. Thus, my opponent's forfeit is understandable.. America remains #1 Hooray for freedom!!

Vote Pro
Debate Round No. 3
zak61099

Con

zak61099 forfeited this round.
airmax1227

Pro

For those voters still on the fence about how to cast their vote on this debate, I will try to reiterate my position to guarantee a proper Pro vote. Simultaneously, I will reinforce any doubts pertaining to the lack of substance in my arguments. Enjoy.

5 random reasons (in no particular order) that prove America is #1!

1. The NFL [1]

There is no greater spectacle in the universe than that of the savage ballet that is pro football [2]. The athleticism, skill, and 30 second breaks between plays to discuss strategy and replays all combine to create the greatest sports entertainment package since court side seats were available at the Roman coliseum.

2. Jackie Chan [3]

Anyone who dislikes Jackie Chan hates freedom.

3. Discount brain surgery

No brain should go unfixed simply because the procedure is better left done to professionals trained at doing brain surgeries. Or should it?

4. Imperial units of measurement [4]

The metric system is an inferior system of measurement X 10. The imperial system has a cooler name, while the confusion between the two standards has only cost America, and the world, many billions of dollars.

http://www.thefreelibrary.com...

5. Inexpensive labor provided by proximity to Mexico.

Some countries aren't lucky enough to have a large group of people nearby willing to work for less than the average citizen.

[1] http://www.nfl.com...
[2] Lisa Simpson quote: "What could be better than the ‘savage ballet' that is professional football?"
[3] http://jackiechan.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...

…Irrefutable evidence of U.S./America #1-ness…
Vote Pro.
Debate Round No. 4
zak61099

Con

zak61099 forfeited this round.
airmax1227

Pro

Everyone knows all of the great things the US has done, landing on the moon [1], invention of the pill [2], saving the world [3] etc., so I thought it would be more interesting to concentrate on things that the US has not done.

Top 4 things (in no particular order) that the US has not done (Or been proven to have done)

1. Declared war on Australia.

While the dream of fighting wave after wave of boxing kangaroos has been the dream of many US generals over the years, the truth is, a coherent strategy to deal with the front line marsupial menace has not yet been formulated. It's unclear how much, if any, resources are being spent to formulate a plan, as high ranking unnamed US sources deep within the Pentagon have refused to comment.

While the military may pursue other ventures before the US flag can be raised at the Sydney Opera house, I strongly recommend attending if one is in the proper hemisphere. Until then, it is still a marvel to behold, even under Australian rule. (Sydney Opera House propaganda)→[4][5][6]

2. Given children the right to vote.

Take that, MTV lobbying power. [7]

3. Built a statue of ‘The Fonz' in Washington D.C.

I can think of no greater oversight by our federal government than the lack of recognition for America's greatest icon. While things like the budget, foreign policy, and national security take our representatives time, important things, like remembering the contributions of American hero's goes untended to.
Fortunately, the city of Milwaukee has it covered.

http://en.wikipedia.org... [8]

4. Expelled the Jews.

And yet, the night is young.

America #1!

At this point, a con vote would be understandable.
But vote Pro anyway.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.pbs.org...
[3] http://www.imdb.com...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://australia.gov.au...
[6] http://www.sydneyoperahouse.com...
[7] That's right, I said it… http://www.rockthevote.org...
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by unlockable 5 years ago
unlockable
For the record, some of the arguments Pro made are silly or just plain wrong.

Nobody who knows about the Chinese economy believes that they actually have just 4.5% unemployment or whatever. Unemployment is one of China's biggest issues because everybody everywhere in China wants a job, but only people in developed areas along China's eastern coast can get jobs. http://www.forbes.com...

China has a greater rate of urbanization because China is mostly rural, whereas USA has been urbanized for decades. At 0% urbanization, a developed country is fully urbanized. Thus as far as USA is concerned, the low rate of urbanization is evidence of USA's economic superiority. The only countries with low rates of urbanization are countries that are already urbanized (USA, Japan, Germany) or countries with awful infrastructure and little economic growth (North Korea, Burma).

China's military might is barely comparable to USA's. Their massive military would only be a threat against an American ground invasion, which USA would not attempt if a war broke out. That massive Army can't get anywhere near American soil because China lacks the naval power to transport it. USA, however, can completely contain china with the US Navy, and can flatten it with the US Air Force.

Regarding economic leverage, USA holds all the cards. China sells goods to USA. USA gets goods, China gets dollars. China spends its dollars to purchase interest-bearing US Treasury bonds, which keeps the supply of dollars on the market low, and thus maintains a cheap RenMinBi relative to the US Dollar, which encourages USA to continue buying Chinese-made goods. If China stopped selling goods to USA, USA would just buy more goods from other developing countries, like those in Latin America or SE Asia. But the only way for China to cheapen its currency is to buy treasury bonds, which are worthless if USA decides to stop paying interest on them.
Posted by headphonegut 5 years ago
headphonegut
OMG he's not Chinese LOL
Posted by Logic_on_rails 5 years ago
Logic_on_rails
'Number 1' ? I'd have utterly ripped this apart, both by semantics and real arguments. Unless the debate isn't actually centred on the present, this is a meaningless topic. Essentially, China has good chances to overtake America at some point, but the USA still is the king currently.

I don't see how GDP, human rights, living standards and technology can be overcome in this debate. Still, I'll be keeping an eye on this one.
Posted by socialpinko 5 years ago
socialpinko
I can only hope that whoever accepts this will enjoy the semantics as much as I would.
Posted by himilkyes 5 years ago
himilkyes
Number 1 in what?
7 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 7 records.
Vote Placed by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
zak61099airmax1227Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture
Vote Placed by Kicker_Swag 3 years ago
Kicker_Swag
zak61099airmax1227Tied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Breh we all know that haiti be on top
Vote Placed by Cowboy0108 3 years ago
Cowboy0108
zak61099airmax1227Tied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: We are still number 1, we just are being caught up to.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 4 years ago
16kadams
zak61099airmax1227Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:--Vote Checkmark2 points
Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: jesus those arguments where funny
Vote Placed by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
zak61099airmax1227Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: I have no idea why Pro continued to argue long after his opponent left the scene. But he did. For this reason, he gets all 7 points instead of just the conduct point.
Vote Placed by aircraftmechgirl 5 years ago
aircraftmechgirl
zak61099airmax1227Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: This entire debate was highly amusing. Pro makes sarcasm an art form, and kicked Con's butt on top of it. No contest. Pro wins.
Vote Placed by xxeightydxx 5 years ago
xxeightydxx
zak61099airmax1227Tied
Agreed with before the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Agreed with after the debate:-Vote Checkmark-0 points
Who had better conduct:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Made more convincing arguments:-Vote Checkmark-3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con conceited, so congrats Pro