The Instigator
Con (against)
The Contender
Pro (for)

Large federal government

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WaywardSon has forfeited round #2.
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/6/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 345 times Debate No: 96759
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)




The primary reason I oppose a large federal government, is because it provides the least amount of satisfaction among the people. When local governments are empowered, and federal government is weak, there is more happiness among the people.

I'll demonstrate why through this example:

Suppose country A has 20% of the people who are extremely right-wing, then 15% of people who are moderately right-wing, 20% who are slightly right-wing, 10% who are moderate, 25% who are slightly left-wing, 5% who are moderately left-wing, and 5% who are extremely left-wing. For a republic, if the federal government is doing all of the important policies, you will have more or less a slightly right-wing government based on those percentages. In other words, only 20% of the people are satisfied with the government. However, since demographics are often different among each city, and it tends to be the case that cities tend to be much more conservative or liberal(and rarely have the same ideological make-up of the nation as a whole), they can implement the same policies, and with each city doing their own policies, more people will be satisfied. It's just natural for people to be more satisfied with local government.

A statistic that is also worth mentioning is that 72% of Americans trust their local(city) governments, while only 62% trust state government( ) and 19% trust the federal government ( ) I would argue the reason they trust their local governments more is because they are more likely to know the people in office. Therefore, since you're more likely to know the person in office, they are more likely to know each individuals' needs and desires and better fulfill them than someone in the federal government would.

I suppose I will leave it at that for now.


Hello, and thank you for the debate! In the interest of word management, I'll go right to arguments. I will first discuss an overarching question for the debate, then address my opponent"s arguments and finally move to my own.
I would like to ask for what specific parts of the USFG you believe holds too much power. This information would allow the debate to continue in a more organized manner. With this distinction unclear, I will move forward arguing that A large federal government is preferable overall.
My opponent argued that A large federal government is not preferable because the majority will be unhappy. While approval ratings are low, it is still preferable to have the federal government in place because of the effects.
An example of this is OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Admin.). OSHA, implemented by the USFG under Richard Nixon, increased worker safety regulations by requiring standards for safety for workers. This benefits the entirety of the population.
Therefore, A large federal government is preferable because it passes favorable legislature.
I will now introduce two arguments.
1.A large federal government is preferable because it is able to effectively implement social programs.
A.The USFG, while it has power, is able to implement programs such as welfare, social security, housing programs, and food stamps programs. According to Forbes[1] 1 in 5 Americans rely on one of such programs. Decreasing the federal government"s power would remove access to these programs to those that use them, therefore A large federal government is preferable because it is needed by Americans.
2.A large federal government is preferable because it provides A unified international front.
A.The USFG allows the nation to effectively bargain, negotiate, and take action on the international scale. When this power is taken, it severely inhibits any action. This can be seen in the example of the Articles of confederation. When the federal government is under powered, the nation is unable to act. It has been shown as empirically false that A system with A weak federal government is preferable
Debate Round No. 1


I consider all of the USFG to hold too much power. Some examples include how the supreme court essentially can over-ride precedent and essentially write law themselves. One example is with the Obergefell V. Hodges case which is in conflict with the Baker V Nelson case in which same-sex marriage was brought up to the supreme court and they said it lacked a federal question, which implies marriage is a state issue. No law was passed federally to allow gay marriages, and the supreme court had to use an amendment which was originally intended to grant rights to slaves, and essentially wrote their own law. While I am someone who supports the legalization of gay marriage, I still don't consider it to be a federal issue.

Then another example of how the federal government has gotten too large is with all the many departments and programs we now have. The beginning of our nation had very few programs and departments. While, again, I would support majority of them, I don't think many of them should be up to the federal government.

1. Now my opponent says that the federal government can effectively implement social programs. However, I would ask how can a government that governs over so many people know the needs of every single individual? It is much more likely that a local government will know the specific needs of the community than the federal government would. In addition, when the federal government passes blanket items, such as the Affordable Care Act, it may not actually be the best for everyone and only benefits some. For example, there are still millions who are uninsured and can't afford insurance despite this program ( )
So, I really wonder how such a broad government can possibly meet all the needs of each individual when there is so much diversity.

In addition, most politicians on the federal level appear to care more about gridlock and partisanship than solving people's problems. One just needs to look at how we've almost had the federal government shut down twice because republicans and democrats could not agree on a budget. What will happen if we rely too much on the federal government for all of these social programs, but the government shuts down due to partisanship? This partisanship does not exist among the local government, and they can and do get things done. I would like to refer you to this TED talk on why mayors should rule the world, it make great points:
The federal government can't even agree to pass legislation to deal with global warming, due to partisanship. Many cities, however, are already working together to deal with global warming.

2. I agree that the articles of confederation were problematic, however that problem was solved as soon as we had the constitution. We didn't have nearly as many social programs, departments of the government, and growing bureaucracy back in the early days of the constitution. I would not suggest to go back to the articles of confederation, but rather to something similar to how it was in the early days of the constitution.
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Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 3
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Debate Round No. 4
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Debate Round No. 5
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by oracle1 1 year ago
If it's still available, I will accept after my debate on the big bang.
Posted by Hayd 1 year ago
Good debate, I don't have time to do it though. Hopefully someone else accepts it that will be a good debater.
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