The Instigator
SportsGuru
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
Brik
Con (against)
Losing
21 Points

Limiting economic inequality should be a more important social goal than maximizing (cont.)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/6/2008 Category: Society
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 5,420 times Debate No: 3922
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (6)
Votes (12)

 

SportsGuru

Pro

Round 3: FIGHT!

The definition I have for this debate are as follows:

Justice: Giving an individual his or her fair due (Black's Law)

Observation 1: The title is not the actual topic

The title spot did not allow for the whole topic to fit. The topic that we will debate is "Limiting economic inequality should be a more important social goal than maximizing economic freedom"

Observation 2: What is best for the society should be the more important goal.

This follows simple logic. What most beneficial must be held as a more important goal. Thus, I just need to prove that limiting economic inequality is better for the society than maximizing economic freedom.

Observation 3: The society that must debated is the United States

SA- We must narrow the field of debate to one society/nation. Otherwise, this would be abusive to Pro as Con could simply spend the whole debate bringing up societies (including those without economies) and challenging Pro to fulfill his burden of proof. This would, in fact, the destroy the purpose of debate

SB- The U.S. must be the nation/society of choice. This is the fairest and most logical conclusion as both debaters, all 3 judges, and the creator of the topic all live in the U.S.

Contention 1 - Maximizing economic freedom leads to world-wide poverty.
Hardt and NegrI, Professor of Comp. Lit. at Duke and Anarchist Intellectual, 2004
"Global capital since its movement and reach extend well beyond the limits of mational space, cannot be effectively controlled by states. Many labor unions protest the fact the mere thereat of the mobility of capital- the threat of moving production and jobs to another country where state regulations and/or labor cost are lower and more favorable- can convince states to abandon or temper their own regulatory powers. States conform to and even anticipate the needs of capital for fear of being subordinated in the global economic system. This creates a sort of race to the bottom among the nation states in which the interests of labor and society as a whole take a backseat to those of capital. Neo liberalism is generally the name given to this form of state economic policy. Neo liberalism is not really a regimen of unregulated capital but rather a form of state regulation that best facilitates the global movements and profit of capital"

Contention 2 - Freedom is bad

Human nature is to be lazy and accept things as they are, meaning they cannot be trusted to bring about change. The amount of choices freedom gives makes it impossible to effectively choose the best choice. Thus, because of laziness, people do nothing or go to the mob effect. Hence, whoever controls the societal norms, controls society. Allowing the illusion of democracy and freedom of choice and the ability to be different from the norm re-enforces that the people must be making the right choice because they have the choice not to do it, therefore it must be right. The freedom that is advocated in the topic is not good for society has it brings society deeper into this salvery, while continuing to re-enforce that they are free.

Contention 3- Economic equality = justice

The whole point of the U.S. is to create a just society. Thus, what creates more justice is held as a more important goal than those that do not create justice. As all citizens need to be valued equally in order for justice to occur, limiting inequality achieves justice, while the counter-plan of maximizing economic freedom does not.

Hence, we can see that limiting economic inequality is better for society than maximizing economic freedom, meaning that it should be a more important social goal.
Brik

Con

Because I value the economic freedom (and the economic inequality) that a $100 cash prize would provide to me, I must negate the resolution.

Before I begin, I offer the following DEFINITIONS to clarify the round:

ECONOMIC INEQUALITY: disparities in the distribution of economic assets and income (Wikipedia.org)
OUGHT: should (Dictionary.com)
SOCIETAL GOAL: an aim or end of or pertaining to human society (Dictionary.com)
ECONOMIC FREEDOM: freedom to produce, trade and consume…goods and services acquired without the use of force, fraud or theft (Wikipedia.org)

Move with me now to the RESOLUTION ANALYSIS, an explanation and evaluation of the topic:

OBSERVATION 1: The resolution asks us to evaluate economic equality and economic freedom as social goals. A social goal is a goal that is pursued by a society, and thus it must be beneficial to a society to be pursued. Therefore, we must view the round from the point of view of a society, and decide which priority – limiting economic equality, or maximizing economic freedom – is most beneficial to the society.

OBSERVATION 2: Economic freedom and economic equality are on a spectrum. An increase in economic freedom will lead (and empirically has led) to a decrease in economic equality. An increase in economic equality will lead (and empirically has led) to a decrease in economic freedom. The resolution asks us to which side of the spectrum we ought to lean to.

OBSERVATION 3: Neither side is obligated to uphold the extreme of their position. Absolutely limited economic equality would mean that every person had the same amount of money down to the last penny. Absolutely maximized economic freedom would create an ultimately laissez-faire economic anarchy. Neither of these extremes are beneficial or practical for a society. We must therefore evaluate the two priorities on the spectrum as intimated in Observation 2.

With these standards for debate set, we can now move on to CONTENTIONS, the meat and potatoes of the case. My position will be split up into three points:

CONTENTION 1: ECONOMICALLY FREE SOCIETIES FARE BETTER COMPARATIVELY

The Wall Street Journal and The Heritage Foundation cooperate each year to compile an "Index of Economic Freedom" measuring many different factors. One look at the Index shows the benefits of economic freedom. The "most free" nations are places like Hong Kong, Australia, the United States, Canada, and Switzerland: what we would consider prosperous first-world countries.

By contrast, the bottom of the scale includes nations like North Korea, Cuba, and Zimbabwe – nations with notoriously low standards of living (Zimbabwe is rated last on the U.N. Quality of Life Scale; North Korea and Cuba have no rating). In addition, the most economically powerful nations tend to land closer to the "most free" side of the spectrum rather than the "least free" side of the spectrum.

CONTENTION 2: CITIZENS IN ECONOMICALLY FREE SOCIETIES FARE BETTER COMPARATIVELY

Some would look at Contention 1 and say, "Well, that doesn't consider how the people in those countries feel about it." Think again. According to the Buckeye Institute in 2002, citizens in countries that make up the top 20% of the IEF have an average income of $23,450, while citizens in countries that make up the bottom 20% have an average income of $2,556 – slightly more than one tenth of their freer counterparts.

But what about the poor? When the same source measured the average income of the poorest 10% in each country, the disparity remained – in the least free countries, the average income of the poorest tenth is $728; in the most free countries it is over $7000; again, the freer nations enjoy about ten times as much income as the less-free.

But the benefits of economic freedom are not limited to monetary advantages. The average life expectancy in free nations is 20 years longer than in less free nations. Thus, maximizing economic freedom is beneficial both for the country as a whole and for the individuals inside it.

CONTENTION 3: MAXIMIZING ECONOMIC FREEDOM OUGHT TO BE A MORE IMPORTANT SOCIAL GOAL THAN LIMITING ECONOMIC INEQUALITY

As Observation 1 stated, we must view the round from the point of view of a society. Let us now consider which of these priorities is the most practical:

True economic equality can never be achieved. If I have one cent more than my opponent does, that is still one cent more economic power than he does. And if my opponent lives in an inner-city slum while I live in a mansion in Grosse Pointe, I will still have more economic opportunity.

The only possible method for achieving economic equality would be to create an enormously progressive income tax nationwide – and even this would not solve the disparity. Some citizens would violently rebel. Others would quit their formerly high-paying job and flip burgers because of how much less work it is. Doctors, lawyers, and every other high-paid and necessary profession would experience massive reductions and leave the nation crippled.

By contrast, maximizing economic freedom is very possible. A lessening of government regulations is a simple task, and would promote competition amongst citizens. This has been empirically proven by the collapse of many socialistic nations and the continued rise of capitalistic ones.

CONCLUSION

Economic freedom promotes better health, wealth, and welfare amongst citizens; whereas a limitation on this freedom (what limiting economic inequality would do) reduces these benefits. For this reason, I support the CON side of this resolution.

Let's move on to my opponent's case:

Definition: I'm down with that.

Obs 1: Can't really argue this.

Obs 2: Yeah, man.

Obs 3: WHOA! Just wait a minute. Here's why this argument fails:

1. The resolution does not say we must only look at the U.S.

2. It's not abusive to either side. There is a whole lot of information out there on almost every nation in the world in terms of economic equality and freedom. It took me about five minutes to find the article I needed for my case, and I found one for PRO in another five. Narrowing the field is what's really abusive here.

3. Yes, we all live in the U.S., but that doesn't mean we don't know (or can't intelligently talk about) other nations.

Cont 1:

1. The only disadvantage of economic freedom brought up by the PRO is outsourcing. However, the increase in freedom does not harm the society in question, which is still getting more income and a better general welfare. Cross-apply my Contention 2.

2. If the nation being outsourced to were to maximize its economic freedom, they could reap the same benefits while simultaneously driving business back to the outsourcer's shores and improving their economic situation as well.

3. If a nation were to ban all foreign production, the economy of the banner would suffer. The Embargo Act of 1807 is a prime example of why this would be bad.

Cont 2:

This human laziness is exactly the reason that previous experiments in economic equality failed. The will to work was diminished under a socialistic society, because everyone would get the same outcome anyway. But on the capitalist side of the fence, people are forced to "work hard for the money," and drive themselves towards economic prosperity. That's why the USA is still standing and the USSR is not.

Cont 3:

1. Economic equality is an unfeasible goal. Cross-apply Contention 3 in my case.

2. If we lose our economic freedom, we will lower our average income and life expectancy. I don't think anyone deserves this; hence it is not just by the PRO's definition.

3. Now the flipside of the coin: maximizing economic freedom will increase average income and life expectancy, as well as economic prosperity. Thus, from a society's standpoint, it is the most just and most important goal.

That's all for now, folks!
Debate Round No. 1
SportsGuru

Pro

SportsGuru forfeited this round.
Brik

Con

I will tackle my opponent's argument in chunks for clarity. I will give the beginning and ending statements of each chunk in capital letters before my responses. Please reference my opponent's Round 1 speech in order to understand all argumentation.

THIS WILL BE…OBSERVATION IS UNNEEDED

That's fine.

CONTENTION 1…LESS MONEY FROM

1. I am not contending that the act of outsourcing will intrinsically get more income. What I am contending is that, following the Buckeye Institute Evidence from my Contention 3, the economically free nation is still reaping more income than the economically not free nation, regardless of whether outsourcing takes place. If steps were made to equalize citizens economically to stop the outsourcing, the nation's income and general welfare would suffer. Regardless of outsourcing, the free nation still ends up better.

B- IF THIS…END HURT IT

2. False. If Bangladesh, for example, raised its economic freedom, its citizens would benefit. The shirt-making jobs which go back to the United States will not be any more expensive to pay wages for than they were before the outsourcing. The outsourcing society would neither be helped nor hurt by the process; they would come out neutral. But they would still have better wealth and health than a non-free nation.

C- THIS VIOLATES…SHOULD BE IGNORED

3. I did treat your case as supporting a ban on foreign production, yes. But a ban on foreign production is not the extreme of economic equality. I evaluated the effects of outsourcing, but nowhere in my three attacks on your first contention did I insinuate that a ban was the extreme of economic equality – and it is not. Therefore, this argument still stands: limiting economic inequality by stopping outsourcing would be detrimental to the society and thus not a valuable societal goal.

CONT. 2…TO UPHOLD EXTREMES.

4. This cross-application does not disprove my analysis. What I am saying here is that ANY equalizing program that applies reward to those who do nothing to earn it promotes idleness. By contrast, merit-based rewards that are present in economically free societies promote competition and hard work. "Extremes" have nothing to do with this.

CONT 3 –…ABSOLUTE EQUALITY

5. The "extreme" of economic equality is everybody having the same amount of cents. A progressive tax would not lead to the extreme; it would be the only way to effectively limit economic inequality. And that still links to the harms I stated in Round 1 of this debate. If you can propose a practical method for limiting economic inequality that does not lead to these harms, I'd love to hear it.

POINTS 2 & 3…THESE ATTACKS FALL.

I'll hit ‘em when he hits ‘em.

2. MY OPPONENT…INVALIDATING THIS OBSERVATION

6. I didn't think this was so far-fetched, but I'll provide a historical example. When the Soviet Union was formed, its founders attempted to achieve economic equality (among other equalities). The way they did this was to nationalize many industries and control the flow of capital – which both limited economic freedom. Also, the United States has worked to support a free economy; this striving has led to economic inequality. There's my evidence. I'm very interested to how you will prove that last sentence.

CONTENTION 1 – MY…OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM

7. First of all, let's look at the examples. The nation I mentioned was not China but Hong Kong, which does still administer its own economy and laws. Switzerland runs a market economy. Also, The Heritage Foundation rankings for economic freedom are still based on various conditions that DO accurately measure economic freedom. Mali, ranked at 104th for economic freedom, does not qualify as a paradigm of economic freedom, so disregard this example. Mexico, according to Wikipedia, is an upper middle-income economy, and has seen dramatic reductions in its poverty level recently, a reduced national debt, low inflation, and a high national credit rating, which I consider economic prosperity.

8. I assume my opponent is stating that China and Mali kill their people, but I am not sure which of the other two examples (Mexico or Switzerland) is run by a murderous dictator. In either case, the general correlation between economic freedom and economic prosperity, as reported by the Buckeye Institute, still stands. Unless my opponent can point to another factor that accurately sorts all of the worlds economic prosperity the same way that economic freedom does, this evidence holds.

CONTENTION 2…IT IS DEFEATED

9. Cross-apply the above arguments. Economic freedom does lead to a longer life expectancy; give me some other criterion that follows the same correlation for all the world's nations, and I will consider it.

CONTENTION 3…NOT AN ADVANTAGE

10. Even a non-extreme amount of economic inequality is not feasible. A generally equal situation provided by a progressive income tax would not be sustainable and collapse back to inequality very quickly.

11. The feasibility of maximizing economic freedom as opposed to limiting economic inequality IS an important issue in this round. If the resolution were "Creating unicorns ought to be a more important social goal than building national parks," the CON would win, because the PRO would be unfeasible.

TURN- MOREOVER…SOCIAL GOAL

12. This turn is absolutely balderdash. If economic freedom were COMPLETELY maximized (to the extreme level), all equalizing programs would cease. However, poor people would not magically be granted an amount of cash that would give them equal purchasing power to the rich. If I have two dollars and my opponent has four dollars, and we were suddenly free from restrictions on spending (i.e. given economic freedom), my fourth dollar would not teleport to his billfold. Economic freedom does not equal economic opportunity; it entails a lack of restriction on economic activities.

Let's rock round 3!
Debate Round No. 2
SportsGuru

Pro

I am sorry, but count this as a forfieted round. I currently do not have the time, nor the mental resources to continue this debate as I have a World History AP test tommorrow. To my opponent, congratulations on getting a free win and good luck. To everyone else in the tournament, I am sorry for giving an unfair win. However, I was probably going to lose this debate anyway. I assure you though, I will come with full force the rest of the tournament as I do not have more AP tests. Hey, at least this will diprove Nitpelk as I doubt Yraelz, L-M, or bemm0r would forfiet a debate. :)

I end with a George Carlin quip: "The most unfair thing about life is the way it ends. I mean, life is tough. It takes up a lot of your time. What do you get at the end of it? A Death! What's that, a bonus? I think the life cycle is all backwards. You should die first, get it out of the way. Then you live in an old age home. You get kicked out when you're too young, you get a gold watch, you go to work. You work forty years until you're young enough to enjoy your retirement. You do drugs, alcohol, you party, you get ready for high school. You go to grade school, you become a kid, you play, you have no responsibilities, you become a little baby, you go back into the womb, you spend your last nine months floating...and you finish off as an orgasm. "
Brik

Con

Those darned AP tests! Well, Sportsguru, I enjoyed our round, and I look forward to facing off against you in another battle of wits in the future!
Debate Round No. 3
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
This will be readable going from top to bottom.

To provide a road-map, I will defend my case and then attack my opponent's case

Round 3.2- COUNTERATTACK!

Observations 1&2- we agree

3- I will drop this observation. However, this must not be seen as detrimental to my case. It was simply meant to prevent arguments concerning arguments about societies without economies, such as early Mesopotamia. As my opponent has not made such arguments, this observation is unneeded

Contention 1

A-The society in question does NOT get more income. When a job is outsourced, it does not follow the original societies tax laws. As a company would only outsource if it were advantageous, the society would get less money from

B-If this were to happen, the society that initiated the outsourcing (which is what the debate is about) would be hurt. Thus, this maximization of economic freedom by the first society would in the end hurt it.

C-This violates your observation 3. You are saying I have uphold a outright ban, which you established I do not. Hence you contradicted your self and this should be ignored.

Cont. 2 - Cross-apply your observation 3 and me not having to uphold extremes.

Cont. 3-

1.Once again, cross-apply your observation 3 and me not having to uphold the extreme of absolute equality.

Points 2 & 3 come from his contentions which I will later attack. Hence one those contentions fall, these attacks fall

Opponents case-

Definitions- those are all good

Observations- 1. same as my ob. 2

2. My opponent claims that his claim is empirically proven. Hence, I challenge him to provide this evidence. Moreover, I will prove later how an achievement of maximized economic freedom will lead to economic equality, thus invalidating this observation.

3- Great.
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Contention 1- My opponent attempts to make a connection between economic freedom and economic prosperity. However, this is not the case. It must be seen that two of is examples (China, Switzerland) are either communist or socialist, which affirm the Pro side of the resolution. Moreover, we can see that there are many countries that have economic freedom but not economic prosperity (i.e. Mexico, Mali). My opponent then tries to connect less economic freedom, with less economic prosperity. However, look at the 3 sample countries. They all have dictators that kill their people. Thus, I contend that it is the killing of the population that causes the economic failure, not the lack of economic freedom.

Contention 2 - My opponent then tries the same with quality of living. All that is needed is to cross-apply my arguments here, and it is defeated.
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Contention 3- My opponent states that economic equality is impossible. However, this violates his observation 3. I do not need to uphold the extreme of the spectrum called achieving economic equality. Thus, this should be ignored. The fact that it is possible to maximize economic freedom is hence not an advantage.

TURN- Moreover, lets assume that this maximization was achieved. Everyone would be on an even plain when it comes to trading and the like. This means that economic equality would be achieved. This means that even if you buy into all of my opponents case, the vote should still go to Pro. Through the maximization of economic freedom, the higher (and more important) goal of limiting economic equality is achieved. This can be seen as analogous the battle of Yorktown and the winning of the Revolutionary War. The winning of Yorktown was an important goal because it achieved the higher goal of winning the war. Thus, limiting economic inequality is (and should be) the more important social goal.

Now, I await a counter-counter-attack.
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
AARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT AGAIN!!!!!

It seems that the server for the site has glitched once again and left me with no option to repost an argument with 30 minutes left. I will post my argument ASAP and hope the judges and my opponent will accept it
Posted by Brik 9 years ago
Brik
Totally fine, dude. I'll put my response up as soon as it's ready.
Posted by SportsGuru 9 years ago
SportsGuru
Sorry if I was a few minutes late. According to my computer clock, I made it
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