The Instigator
resolutionsmasher
Con (against)
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The Contender
Floid
Pro (for)
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14 Points

Keynsian economics is a legitamite economic plan.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/24/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,857 times Debate No: 9323
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (6)
Votes (2)

 

resolutionsmasher

Con

I will defer to my opponent.
Floid

Pro

le�git�i�mate adj
3. Based on logical reasoning; reasonable: a legitimate solution to the problem.

The American Heritage� Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition by way of http://dictionary.reference.com...

The above definition of legitimate was selected because the debate topic implies Keynesian economics as a method or solution of solving economic issues.

Clearly Keynesian economics is a legitimate economic plan for several reasons:

1.) Reasonable. Keynesian economics was based on a study of historical economic trends. (1) This is certainly a reasonable approach as historical evidence the primary sources of information for formulation and evaluation of economic theories. Given that Keynesian economic theory fit with historical evidence makes it a reasonable and therefore a legitimate economic theory.

2.) Acceptance. Since the publication of " The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money", Keynesian economics has become one of a few dominant theories studied and taught in economics. If this was not a legitimate economic theory or was unreasonable, its study would have long been abandoned. Unreasonable theories do not become the dominant ideas studied and taught in academia.

3.) Influence. Keynesian economics was a major changing force for the study of economic theory. In fact, it has been stated that Keynesian economics has "more influence in a shorter time than any other book ever written on economics, including Smith's The Wealth of Nations and Marx's Das Kapital." (1) Simple being ranked in the likes of such key economic hallmarks demonstrated Keynesian economics legitimacy.

4.) Usability. It has served as a guiding force in economics since its inception. It was used by FDR and Richard Nixon was quoted as saying ""we are all Keynesians now" (2). Plans implemented in the largest economy in the world and stated by one of the most powerful leaders in the world inherently become legitimate, whether their actually effect is for better or worse.

5.) Keynesian ecomonics makes legitimate economic predictions. For example, Phillip's curves reinforce the Keynesian principle that: "changes in aggregate demand, whether anticipated or unanticipated, have their greatest short-run effect on real output and employment, not on prices." (3) Successful predictions and useful principles make a theory legitimate.

For the above reasons I think it is clear that Keynesian economics is a legitimate economic plan. Please keep in mind we are not debating whether Keynesian economics is the best economic plan or even a good economic plan. The statement I am supporting only requires me to demonstrate it a legitimate economic plan.

(1) http://www.time.com...
(2) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(3) http://www.econlib.org...
Debate Round No. 1
resolutionsmasher

Con

I'll accept my opponent's definition of legitimate.

I would like to make one key observation before I begin today. My opponent has not once in his post put forth a single defense of the actual theory of Keynesian economics. He has discussed the background and responses of the theory, all very circumstantial evidence.

In a nutshell, Keynesian economics is a theory that deficit spending on a national scale can improve an economy. I will provide points to refute that theory.

1. The government is an entity just like an individual. Thus we can treat it the same. When a person incurs a large amount of debt they do so to accomplish or attain what they wish. This brings them short lived satisfaction seeing as how they then spend an obscene amount of time and money repaying that debt. The national government is the same. Over the past century we have been incurring an incredible amount of debt. While this deficit spending has brought us to a powerful point in the global arena, we now are suffering the consequences of our actions. The national debt is now higher than the amount of money that the government brings in each year (before spending it on US programs). Keynesian economics and its followers are responsible. This debt based economy looked good for 50 years and now it's crashing all around us. It will not help us escape the current financial crisis either.

2. All original arguments for Keynesian economics are false. The theory was invented by an economist of that name. He believed that his theory would put America out of the Great Depression. After 8 years of attempting to convince FDR of its legitimacy (before FDR was president), FDR finally gave in. Simultaneously WWII began. The war economy of WWII brought the US out of the depression and Keynesian economics took the glory. This is the origin of the false foundation of Keynesian economics.

On this link...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
We can see some very specific arguments against Keynesian economics and I urge voters to look at them.
The same article provides a very brief and insufficient rebuttal to these allegations further proving its illegitimacy as an economic theory.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

some other readings
http://www.mises.org...
http://mises.org...
Floid

Pro

I did not put forth a defense of the actual theory of Keynesian economics because we aren't debating the merits or harms of such a plan. We are merely debating whether or not it is legitimate or reasonable under the definition you accepted. If you had wished to debate the relative merits of Keynesian economics or compare Keynesian economics versus "classical" economics or some other theory/plan then you should have made that the topic of the debate instead.

"In a nutshell, Keynesian economics is a theory that deficit spending on a national scale can improve an economy."

More accurately it is the theory that the private sector, if allowed to solely run the economy, will lead to inefficiency and boom bust cycles (with one of Keynes main goals being full employment of the population). To solve this, Keynesian economics suggests that the government can control monetary supplies through a central bank (such as the Federal Reserve settings the interest rates) and through fiscal policy actions by the government (spending). Now you state deficit spending, but this is not necessarily the case... it could also be the case that the government has a surplus of funds at its disposal. Obviously this isn't the case in the United States, but we are discussing Keynesian economics in the abstract and not it applied to a particular economy.

So to your points:

1.) You apply this to the United States which isn't what we are debating. You could have framed the debate "Keynesian economics will not work for the United States". But that isn't what we are debating. We are merely debating whether it is a legitimate economic theory. So your point 1.) is mute as it is irrelevant to what we are discussing.

2.) "The war economy of WWII brought the US"

So you are saying that government spending by FDR didn't bring the US out of the Great Depression, but instead government spending during WWII brought the US out of the Great Depression. Hmmm... seems like you are still saying government spending and government employment of the population solved the Great Depression. You are aware that the largest ever spike in government deficit spending relative to GDP happened during WWII, aren't you?

But again, you still don't address the legitimacy of Keynesian economics.

So what are we left with? It appears the debate you wanted was not the debate you suggested in the resolution. You ask to debate whether Keynesian economics is legitimate but you really want to debate the merits of Keynesian economics plus deficit spending relative to the United States, which is a completely different topic.

Are there arguments against Keynesian economics? Sure. But that doesn't mean it is illegitimate. There are arguments against every single economic plan, so would you claim they are all illegitimate?

We can clearly see that Keynesian economics is a legitimate economic plan for the reasons I outlined previously and that you fail to answer:

1.) It is reasonable. Can it be applied to every single country and every single situation? Of course not. No economic plan can. But that doesn't mean it isn't legitimate or reasonable.

2.) Acceptance. Every university course on macroeconomics will include a discussion of Keynesian economics. If it were illegitimate would these be the case? Of course not.

3.) Influence. It has influenced economic policy since its inception.

4.) Usability. It can be used to predict and explain economic trends. A clear sign it is legitimate.

So we can clearly see Keynesian economics is a legitimate economic theory. If you wish to debate its relative merits as applied to the United States economy, I suggest starting another debate with a topic that reflects what you want to discuss.
Debate Round No. 2
resolutionsmasher

Con

resolutionsmasher forfeited this round.
Floid

Pro

The definition agreed to by both sides of the debate was that for Keynesian economics to be legitimate it must be a reasonable economic plan. It is clear that Keynesian economics easily meets this criteria. Keynesian economics is rooted in a study of historical economic trends and the application of basic logic on how to solve the problems observed in the past. This is a reasonable approach to formulating an economic theory. Keynesian economics has and can be used to explain economic trends, which lends credibility to its legitimacy. It is also one of the primary economic theories studied, used, and applied today.

There certainly are arguments against Keynesian economics and it isn't universally accepted as the best economic plan, but that is true of every economic plan and does not make it illegitimate. This is the only case that con has made against the legitimacy of Keynesian economics and it clearly doesn't apply to the topic of the debate.
Debate Round No. 3
resolutionsmasher

Con

resolutionsmasher forfeited this round.
Floid

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for the debate.

It is clear through the debate that Keynesian economics is a legitimate economic plan. It may not be the best, and it may not even be a good one, but it is based on legitimate reasoning, is influential, and is a cornerstone of economic study. There is no option but to vote 'pro' for this resolution.
Debate Round No. 4
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by KeithKnight13 2 years ago
KeithKnight13
If the problem economies faced was job creation the middle ages where everyone had a job would be considered prosperous. Wealth is not created by taking more time to produce a product or service, but by doing it more efficiently then lowering the cost then allowing more individuals to access the good. The problem with the Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Romans, and USSR is the fact that they had resources misallocated by the state towards war and pyramid building rather than creating value in a marketplace for society to consume. If they had lowered their interest rates or printed more of their currency, they still would have had a low life expectancy and been dirt poor because of Keynesian economics before that British illiterate devised a convincing case for people who know nothing about economics and how wealth is created
Posted by Panzersharkcat 7 years ago
Panzersharkcat
As would I. In any case, the claim that World War II ended the Great Depression is simply the broken window fallacy grown bloated.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
If PRO wins this, I would like to request debating this with him.
Posted by Cerebral_Narcissist 7 years ago
Cerebral_Narcissist
"My opponent has not once in his post put forth a single defense of the actual theory of Keynesian economics"

There is no call under the terms of the debate for him to do so!
Posted by resolutionsmasher 7 years ago
resolutionsmasher
We both have a burden of proof. You should know by now that I believe both debaters have one.

please don't cuss here. I might not be allowed in at my school if you do.
Posted by I-am-a-panda 7 years ago
I-am-a-panda
"Keynsian economics isn't a legitamite economic plan." - Fix'd. Take the BOP, b^£ch
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by ccooper084 6 years ago
ccooper084
resolutionsmasherFloidTied
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Vote Placed by Floid 7 years ago
Floid
resolutionsmasherFloidTied
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