The Instigator
mongeese
Pro (for)
Losing
5 Points
The Contender
wjmelements
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Many of the following government aspects help the economy.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
wjmelements
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/2/2009 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,501 times Debate No: 8356
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (12)
Votes (3)

 

mongeese

Pro

On one of my opponent's favorite websites (http://judelfoir.wordpress.com...), it is said:
"There are only three aspects of government that help the economy. These are the liscence and copyright system, the justice system, and the education system. Innovative protection must be global; education must be local; justice must be spread out. All other government has a negative effect on the private sector and society as a whole."

I disagree. I think that there are more, such as the following:
Infrastructure (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
Warfare (http://en.wikipedia.org...)
Currency (http://en.wikipedia.org...)

If I win two or three of these contentions, I win. If I lose only one or zero, my opponent wins.

Thank you for reading, and I hope that you will now accept.
wjmelements

Con

I thank my opponent for this challenge.
My opponent is correct in defining the resolution as "many" means "more than one". Any other definition would be abusive.

I expect to win Warfare and Currency, though I probably have a good chance at Infrastructure.
It is important that we are not debating the United States, but government and society in general.

I am not argueing that these aspects of society hurt the economy; rather, I believe that it is best that these aspects be privatised.

INFRASTRUCTURE
...could be effectively privatised. Farms, for example, would have demand for roads to be built. A company would then be paid to look around and find property to buy, buy it, and place the road in. In this way, the confiscation of property is voluntary, and the amount of money paid to uproot that business is agreed upon by both sides (making it fair).

Property would often be relinquished easily in some cases as having a road near land would make the property more valuable than when it was large with no access to transportation.

The question would remain as to who would own these roads after they were built. These roads would either be owned by the roading companies or by the individuals that funded the road's construction. Individuals would probably only own roads if they had owned the property that they had built on. Roading companies would probably either keep the roads that they had owned or sell them to other companies that would own them, maintain them, and make profits with them.

So, roads could be privately built, owned, and maintained.
This would be more effective than the current system in which roads are publicly built, owned, and maintained in that all transactions are voluntary, maintinence occurs at the necessary times, and roads are only built when demand forthem exists.

WARFARE
...is the point in which I will NOT argue about I understand exactly what about warfare my opponent believes helps the economy.

Warfare:
-threatens security, leading to market stress
-removes workers from the job pool
-employs workers in jobs that do not produce wealth

I await my opponent's argument that warfare can help the economy and how.

CURRENCY
...could be effectively privatised.
First, the current monetary system is a monopoly that has abused itself throughout history. For example, 1923 Germany printed money to the point where the mark was worth one sevenhundred twenty-six billionth of its value less than ten years ago. http://www.usagold.com...
When a currency inflates to where the consumer price index is 726,000,000,000 times what it used to be, the people cannot escape to another currency.

Currency is a monopoly when government controls it, and when the government abuses it, everyone suffers EVEN MORE than when a private monopoly overprices something like software. People don't need software as much as they need currency.

Second, if a private company tries to overmint its currency (which would have to be something besides paper to have value), then it will lose to its competitors. If people believe that a currency might inflate, then they'll trade to another.

Third, because currency will have real value (silver coins, etc.), it will be much less likely to inflate, as their value will be determined by something other than demand for money.

Government could fine companies that they find to have falsified the weight of their coins, etc., as is done with other companies of different industries. Also, government could hold silver to a certain degree of fineness before it could be minted.

Governments could collect taxes in the form of bullion. Currency would not have to uniform throughout.

So, currency would be better off privatised, as it cannot be abused AND inflation cannot occur.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
I await my opponent's case.
Debate Round No. 1
mongeese

Pro

Alright, then, my case.

"I am not argueing that these aspects of society hurt the economy; rather, I believe that it is best that these aspects be privatised."
That's funny, because that's not the resolution. The resolution is that when these actions are performed by government, they help the economy, and you are supposed to be saying that when these actions are performed by government, they lead to either a negative or a neutral effect on the economy.

I think a definition for government is necessary:
Government - the complex of political institutions, laws, and customs through which the function of governing is carried out (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)

INFRASTRUCTURE
For this contention, my opponent only talks about how infrastructure could be privatized, but says nothing about how government runs it.

The government that controls a part of infrastructure depends on the level of infrastructure: local streets and roads would be local, intrastate highways would be done by the state, and interstate highways would be done by many states, being overseen by national government.

Infrastructure by government helps the economy because it allows for improved, efficient transportation, which allows for cities to expand beyond walking distance from downtown to suburbs. It also allows for cheaper shipping of goods, which is very important for the economy.

When a neighborhood decides that it needs roads, and it needs to build roads, they set up a neighborhood government to build the road together.
When two cities decide that they need a road connecting them, the two governments should be used to cooperate in building the road.
Whenever large groups of people want a road to be built for their general welfare, government is the obvious answer.

What would happen if there were five homes in a neighborhood, and they all decided that they needed a road to connect themselves? They would play chicken until someone finally decided to pay for the road. Or, of course, they could turn to government.

WARFARE
My opponent points out some negative effects of war. However, war often stimulates the economy.
http://www.americaslibrary.gov...
http://eh.net...
"For the United States, World War II and the Great Depression constituted the most important economic event of the twentieth century. The war's effects were varied and far-reaching. The war decisively ended the depression itself."
The Great Depression ended with WWII.

Now, the one major positive effect of having a government actively ready to engage in warfare: it keeps the economy alive.
http://en.wikipedia.org...
This article talks about how Europeans who could not defend themselves properly were enslaved by other Europeans. If a country wants to have an economy, it needs to have people. In order to prevent another country from charging in and taking over, killing and enslaving the country's citizens, it needs to be prepared to fight back against that country. In order to fight back, it needs to be prepared for war, with an army and equipment necessary to run an army.

Now, it would be very foolish to try to privatize warfare. If all of the people are going to benefit, all of the people should have to pay something. This is answered with taxes. Additionally, if one corporation runs the entire army of a government, that corporation could easily conquer the government, and then we wouldn't even have government to run the "three government aspects that help the economy."

CURRENCY
My opponent only attacks paper-money currency. I suggest a metal-based currency.
As the value of the currency is controlled by the economy, the only governmental function with currency would be to mint coins to standard units so as to help in monetary transactions. For example, it helps shoppers if they have gold coins that the government regulates to be worth $1 rather than having to weigh the gold every time they want to buy something. This is a positive effect.

If the government is going to regulate the private companies in their coin minting to prevent the falsifying of coin weight, and guarantee degrees of fineness in their metals, it might as well fund those private companies. And then it might as well take over the private companies.
How would privatizing the production of metal-based currency be any better than allowing it to be run by government?

"So, currency would be better off privatized, as it cannot be abused AND inflation cannot occur."
To do this, the company would HAVE to use a metal-based currency.
Metal-based currencies can be neither abused nor inflated, so there really is no difference between government and the private sector here. Therefore, if my opponent thinks that privatized currency is good, then governmental currency can't be that much worse, which doesn't help him in negating the resolution.

Anyways, thanks for accepting. I look forward to your rebuttals.
wjmelements

Con

I thank my opponent for a timely response.

My opponent claims that privatization is not a way to approach the resolution. However, by claiming that the government assuming an aspect makes it worse-off and less-beneficial, this government aspect indirectly hurts the economy.

An example would be nationalizing the credit industry. While this would not help the economy, PRO would argue that credit does help the economy though even slightly while under government control. However, because this aspect of government is in existence, it is making the economy worse off than it would be (therefore: hurting it). http://www.mises.org...

INFRASTUCTURE
My opponent claims that government-control of the infrastructure industry is beneficial in several ways:
-improved, efficient transportation
-easy shipping of goods
-people cannot share expenses as government can

There are three problems with my opponent's arguments. First, only the third is truly against my alternative. The first two occur regardless of government (see unrefuted first round case). The third is an obvious falsehood, as people often share in expenses, and the community would simply meet and agree to split the costs of building a road. No government is necessary.

My points still stand unrefuted, that privatization of infrastructure has the following benefits:
-competition for building
-competition for use
-privately owned and maintained
-all transactions voluntary
-demand allows for efficiency

So, it is clearly better for infrastructure to be privatized.

WARFARE
I thank my opponent for clarification.

My opponent has claimed that war can be used to stimulate the economy.
The second thing my opponent said is how having a defense can protect an economy.
Thirdly, my opponent refutes the argument that warfare should be privatized (which I wasn't going to make...).

So, a rebuttal is in order.
My opponent's second point is irrelevant, as defense and war are two different things.
defense- the act or action of defending http://www.merriam-webster.com...
warfare- military operations between enemies http://www.merriam-webster.com...
They are different in that warfare intended to boost the economy is never defensive.

My opponent's first point claims that government should actively engage in war with other countries to help their economy. While this may allow for war-related industries to boom, it destroys a nations ability to trade with other nations. http://www.independent.org... http://www.nber.org...

By eliminating the exporting and importing markets of goods, the economy is weakened. Therefore, warfare should be limited. Defense is not warfare either, though my opponent may try to play it that way.

War weakens trade relations, ultimately causing more harm than good. Therefore, warfare harms the economy.

CURRENCY
My opponent makes a volley of false assumptions regarding currency:

I change my case for government oversight of currency companies so that fineness is not regulated, but overseen as to not be falsified.

I claim that government may want keep currency companies from falsifying weights. Then my opponent writes:
"If the government is going to regulate the private companies in their coin minting to prevent the falsifying of coin weight, and guarantee degrees of fineness in their metals, it might as well fund those private companies. And then it might as well take over the private companies."

This is obviously false. Governments keep commercials from falsifying information in marketing their products, but government does not fund those companies and shows no signs of truly taking them over. My opponent's logic is clearly flawed.

Otherwise, my opponent's arguments are truly that it doesn't make a difference whether or not currency is government-controlled or not. However, he drops the point that governments have abused currency before. They have also done this by reducing the fineness and thus the value of their coin, as noted by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations. http://www.readprint.com...
Competing currency companies would not be able to do this, as they are competing. In this manner, they cannot get lazy and inflate their currency as governments can.

Competition is the key element that makes currency best privatized.

So, currency is also best privatized.

I await my opponent's arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
mongeese

Pro

Okay, then; we are arguing about government vs. privatization.

INFRASTRUCTURE

"The third is an obvious falsehood, as people often share in expenses, and the community would simply meet and agree to split the costs of building a road. No government is necessary."
However, what if the entire town wants to build roads? The easiest way would be to have it run by the town government. The easiest way to collect the money would be through government taxes.
Let's say we have a town way back in Ohio. The roads are becoming poor, so the people press for the roads to be fixed. The local government already represents the town, so they collect road taxes from the people, and use the money to hire a road-building contractor to get the roads built for the town. People in Texas don't have to pay for these roads in Ohio.
If an entire community is meeting to determine things, then they are actually their own local government.

"-competition for building"
The government could easily pay the cheapest contractor to build, so that would still be competition.
"-competition for use"
You didn't even explain this aspect in Round 1. However, it could probably also occur with government.
"-privately owned and maintained"
If the people decide that their road is poor, then the government fixes it. It remains maintained.
"-all transactions voluntary"
The government only fixes road that the people decide need fixing.
"-demand allows for efficiency"
The people still demand roads from the government.

So, many of your points are equally beneficial with government. However, government allows for easier payment among large amounts of people, such as an entire town, city, state, or country. Try to get every city along a highway to pay for the highway without some help from a government of some sort. Therefore, vote PRO on this contention.

WARFARE

"My opponent's second point is irrelevant, as defense and war are two different things...."
A country has to be prepared to engage in warfare to engage in defense. A country that cannot defend itself is doomed. However, a country needs military defense to defeat invading militaries. This military defense is a key part of warfare.
Additionally, claiming new land and/or slaves from other countries can be a great thing for an economy. People go out and populate the land, and plantations have cheaper labor, allowing for lowered prices.
"For years the Khanates of Kazan and Astrakhan routinely made raids on Russian principalities for slaves and to plunder towns."
http://en.wikipedia.org...

"They are different in that warfare intended to boost the economy is never defensive."
And so, there are two different types of warfare that government can engage in:
1. Defensive - The country is under attack, and the government sends out a military to stop them. This keeps the economy alive, as a country that has its entire ex-population enslaved and all of its land taken over really doesn't have much of an economy. The government is supposed to protect its people, and to do that, it needs the ability to react to invasion with protective warfare.
2. Offensive - The country invades another country, either because relations between the two countries are at an all-time low, or because the other country is defenseless, and a new addition of land and slaves helps the economy and reduces overpopulation.

"My opponent's first point claims that government should actively engage in war with other countries to help their economy. While this may allow for war-related industries to boom, it destroys a nation's ability to trade with other nations."
The U.S. did not enter WWII just with the economy in mind. You have to recall that they joined the war after the attack on Pearl Harbor, making WWII a defensive war for the United States.
http://www.dummies.com...

"By eliminating the exporting and importing markets of goods, the economy is weakened."
True, but a weakened economy is preferable to a non-existent one.

"Therefore, warfare should be limited."
However, the government should still be prepared to engage in warfare.

"Defense is not warfare either, though my opponent may try to play it that way."
And I will.
A military operation between enemies (warfare), such as sending troops to repel an incoming invasion, is an act of defending the country from said invasion (defense). Therefore, warfare can be defense, and it could also be an invasion with the intention of helping the country and the economy.

"War weakens trade relations, ultimately causing more harm than good. Therefore, warfare harms the economy."
However, if steps of war are not taken, the economy ends up in an even worse state.
If the government declares war against an invading country, or the invading country declares war, then the countries fight, and preferably, the country wins, then the economy only ends up with a minor dent. However, if the country doesn't even bother to take any steps of war, or their army is too weak, then the country is overrun by foreigners, and the land belongs to the other country, and the economy of slaves is never a good one. A weakened economy is preferable to no economy. Therefore, warfare ended up having a positive effect on the economy.
(If you take a 0 (economy), and subtract 5 (overrun by foreigners), and end up with -5 (current economy), but then manage to add 4 (taking steps in warfare, to protect the economy), you'd have -1 (better current economy). Therefore, it helps the economy to lessen the impact of an invading country.
Because warfare overall helps the economy, vote PRO on this contention as well.

CURRENCY

"This is obviously false. Governments keep commercials from falsifying information in marketing their products, but government does not fund those companies and shows no signs of truly taking them over. My opponent's logic is clearly flawed."
However, how would such private companies make a profit? They are selling metal-value coins for their established price, so this leaves no profit, and instead leaves expenses in the management of the company. You can't sell money for more than the money is worth. Nobody would buy four nickels with a quarter. Such companies could therefore not exist without some alternative revenue, such as government taxes.

"However, he drops the point that governments have abused currency before. They have also done this by reducing the fineness and thus the value of their coin, as noted by Adam Smith in The Wealth of Nations."
Well, your first examples were with governments that used paper money, which becomes irrelevant if a government uses metal-based currency.
Anyways, in searching your link for "fineness," I only come up with one paragraph about how a guinea of some established fineness would be worth twenty-one shillings. Additionally, you say that government cannot be trusted running money, because they abuse the fineness, but they can be trusted to regulate other companies in their production? This also becomes impossible if the companies cannot ever maintain a profit, and must be attached to government.

"Competition is the key element that makes currency best privatized."
Competition only occurs with a profit.

"So, currency is also best privatized."
Sadly, currency CAN'T be privatized. Thus, government is the only solution. Therefore, vote PRO on this contention.

"I await my opponent's arguments."
This has been a good debate. Thanks.

Don't forget, I win if I win two or three contentions, but I lose if I only win one or zero contentions.
Thanks again, and vote PRO.
wjmelements

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate and for responding timely so that I might not forfeit while on vacation.

IFRASTRUCTURE

My opponent cites a town in Ohio (as a non-realistic example). His claim is irrelevant, as roads in Ohio are already owned and maintained by the government. http://www.dot.state.oh.us... So, it would be ridiculous to apply my case to it, as in my proposition, companies would own and maintain roads.

(building competition)
"The government could easily pay the cheapest contractor to build, so that would still be competition."
If privatized, citizens would be able to directly choose where their money goes. This has a much greater effect on the forcing of competition than when government does so (because government did not work to get this wealth as citizens have).

(roads competing for use)
"You didn't even explain this aspect in Round 1. However, it could probably also occur with government."
I actually did, you just didn't look hard:
"Roading companies would probably either keep the roads that they had owned or sell them to other companies that would own them, maintain them, and make profits with them."
When roads are owned privately, many different companies compete for use. This keeps the potential tolls to a minimum (only to the cost of maintenance, probably about a penny per car). This cannot occur with government, as the roads are owned by a monopoly.

(voluntary relinquishing of property)
"The government only fixes road that the people decide need fixing."
Irrelevant and not contending my point. When government controls roading, property is relinquished involuntarily. This allows government to cheat land owners out of the land that they own and have developed.

(more efficient demand)
"The people still demand roads from the government."
But government is not the people, and the people are better at knowing their needs than a government most often elected on party lines.
Government often does not meet demand as fully as the people need (http://www.artba.org...).

"Try to get every city along a highway to pay for the highway without some help from a government of some sort."
It becomes necessary to remind my opponent that cities are also government. So, cities would not be paying for highways at all.
Highways are needed for developed manufacturing (http://www.fhwa.dot.gov...), tourism (http://www.transportationvision.org...), general transportation, and shipping. For these reasons, large companies would probably invest in highways, as they are necessary (http://www.transportation1.org...) for most of their business.
Highways also help the environment (http://answers.yahoo.com...), so environmental groups may contribute as well.

The summary of my opponent's arguments is that it makes no difference whether or not government controls infrastructure. I have shown how it is much more efficient otherwise.

This point goes to CON.

WARFARE

My opponent claims that warfare includes defense because they both involve the military. To attack this, I will use an analogy:
Airplanes involve tires. They need them to land. Cars involve tires. They need them to move. So, an airplane is only a type of car, because it needs tires.
This is obviously foolish. Defense is not warfare merely because it involves the military. Defense is most often the construction of defenses so that other governments will not damage, just as airplanes are most often moving in the air and not using tires.

My opponent has a misconception of the warfare point. The warfare point claims that governments should engage in warfare merely to help the economy. My opponent concedes that this just leads to a lesser market for goods to be exported. He also concedes that this effect is greater than the effect of warfare on the economy.

My opponent then adds another point to the jumble, claiming that the spoils of winning a war are worth the war itself. This is foolish, as all spoils gained are just as easily lost. Slaves do not often make good workers, as they are not voluntary. Because they are not paid, and only maintained, they are no better off for the economy than making all McDonalds in the country mechanical. Because no workers are paid and have any surplus with which to engage in market activities, they create no aggregate demand (http://www.wordiq.com...).

Without a large domestic aggregate demand, a greater strain is needed to sell goods produced to other countries (or at least in order to avoid destructive deflation (http://www.frbsf.org...) or a generally weak economy). The only problem is that they don't have those countries that they can export to because they've harmed their trade relations.

While defense will maintain an active economy, warfare does not. This point also goes to CON.

CURRENCY

My opponent questions how the minting industry will be able to make a profit. So, I must make this into a visual thing:
Metals are mined------>Metals are minted----->Metals are used to purchase goods
MINING INDUSTRY----->MINTING INDUSTRY
The mining industry makes a profit by gathering resources and selling them to the minting industry for minted currency. The minting industry makes mint and pays their employees and the mining companies in these coins. What is left over is kept as minted coins for the employer.
The workers take these coins and spend them elsewhere.

So, these coins are NOT sold like conventional goods. They are used in the marketplace. The profits of these companies would directly be the coinage produced.

My opponent could not find what I was referring to in my source, The Wealth of Nations. Adam Smith claimed that for centuries, governments had reduced the silver content (value) of their currency and that they would continue to do so for generations.
In this way, government can even inflate metal coins, which could not be done with privatized coins.

My opponent's counter-argument in this contention is that potential currency companies could never make a profit. I have shown you how they would. Therefore, this point also goes to CON.

SUMMARY
Infrastructure should be privatized because, as I have shown, it is much more efficiently done while in the private sector.
Currency should be privatized, as governments tend to devalue their currency over time. Further, a new industry could arise from a privatized minting industry.
Based on your interpretation of the place of defense in warfare, you may either go PRO or CON on this one.

However, either way I have 2 or 3 points. Because my opponent has only potentially won 1 contention, he has lost.
I again thank my opponent for this debate.
RESOLUTION NEGATED. VOTE CON.
Debate Round No. 3
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Odd. I specifically remember having it 10-5 then 15-5. Perhaps someone gave me 5 points and you 1 making your 4 into a total of 5 (if and only if that makes sense).
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
My vote was four points.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
What is interesting is that all votes have been 5 points.
Posted by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
Eminent domain is an abused system...
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Don't worry.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
Oh, yes. It should. I apologize. It's too late to fix it, though...

Will, please don't try to use that in some twisted, sematical way.
Posted by Maikuru 7 years ago
Maikuru
"If I win two or three of these contentions, I win. If I lose only one or zero, my opponent wins."

That should probably read "If I win only one or zero, my opponent wins."
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
I'll accept this after finals week. I promise.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
What would be even better would be if you simply changed the resolution to: "The following government aspects help the economy". You'd be Pro, and I'd be CON. That would be much cleaner.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Just wondering.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
mongeesewjmelementsTied
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Vote Placed by mongoose 7 years ago
mongoose
mongeesewjmelementsTied
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Vote Placed by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
mongeesewjmelementsTied
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