The Instigator
Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Steve221
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

Newt Gingrich is engaging in class warfare when he suggests poor kids work as janitors

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Steve221
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/18/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,641 times Debate No: 19947
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (16)
Votes (3)

 

Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good

Pro

First round is for acceptance and/or refining debate parameters. Second round is for opening arguments, and Third round is for rebuttal and closing arguments. I'm a novice and would prefer a novice to debate with as well, but that is not a restriction. All experience levels are welcome. Thanks for considering this debate.
Steve221

Con

I accept this debate and would like to start off by inviting my opponent to define "class warfare" in his opening arguments in round two. Seeing as how this is ambiguous and can be taken in several different ways I would like to give my opponent the opportunity to define what his definition of "class warfare" is first.

I would also like to ask my opponent in advance that we do not derail off this subject. This debate is about one speech giving December 01, 2011 At a campaign stop in Des Moines, Iowa where Mr. Gingrich suggested job opportunity's for poverty stricken kids. All other views and/or any other political believes that Mr. Gingrich hold are off subject and should not be part of this debate.
Debate Round No. 1
Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good

Pro

I First wish to thank Steve221 for accepting this debate. and for his willingness to allow me to set the definition of "Class Warfare" for the purpose of this debate.
My general understanding of the term "Class Warfare" is when one declares or proclaims a particular segment of society (By Class ie. Affluent, Middle Class, The Poor) as being a detriment to society as a whole.
Example: It's the greed of the 1 %r's that are responsible for the economic collapse"

I accept the perimeters my opponent has set for this debate but do wish to point out that these perimeters place "Con" at a disadvantage by limiting the use of Mr. Gingrich's statements to those of Dec. 1st 2011, and not allowing into the discussion statements he made on Nov. 18th,2011 that were the catalyst for his "clarification" statements made on Dec. 1st (for which my opponent is referring) and on Dec.5th, 2011.
I am confident that my opponent Steve221 has sound justification for such a move and have faith in his ability to present his arguments within these perimeters.
With that being said: Let the debate begin

Class warfare is when one declares or proclaims a particular segment of society (By Class, ie. Affluent, Middle Class, The Poor) as being a detriment to society as a whole.

On Dec. 1st, 2011 in Des Moines, Iowa, Newt Gingrich was asked by an audience member to clarify the comments he made last month in which he called the current child labor laws "stupid" and would replace janitors with schoolchildren to work in the community school. Source #1
Mr. Gingrich responded with "children born into poverty aren't accustomed to working unless it involves crime.,"
And,
"Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday," Source #2
Followed by
"They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal,"
Source #2
Mr. Gingrich also said that successful people he knows started work early by doing small jobs like babysitting and shoveling snow. Source #2

Contention #1
"children born into poverty aren't accustomed to working unless it involves crime."
This suggests that poor children are not "accustomed" to working and are criminals because of their family's economic status. For this to be true would mean that ones economic status would dictate ones personal integrity and every poor child in the world would by default be a criminal just because they were born into poverty.
This clearly is not the case, every person is an individual, and has individual tendencies and values.
Ones values and proclivities do not change with economic status. If one lacks integrity while they are in poverty, they will still lack that integrity once financially secure. If one has personal integrity while being financially secure, they will still have personal integrity if they were to lose it all. (or never acquire financial security in the first place.)
Nor does being "born into poverty" prevent one from being accustomed to working. many children of poor parent(s) have to take an active part in maintaining the household (cooking, cleaning, babysitting, etc.) as a part of their household responsibilities.


Contention #2

"Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday,"
This issue of "not having work habits" was touched upon in Contention #1 but to address the claim that "The Poor" "have nobody around them that works" casts a pretty wide net. This assumes that because one is poor nobody around "the children" works or ever has worked.
This may not settle to well with entire communities who have lost their jobs due to the local plant, coal mine, steel mill, fill in the blank, closing down.
This also assumes that "a child born into poverty" does not have the free will to strive to do more than those around him/her, or to look disdainfully at those who do not do more to overcome their obstacles.


Contention #3

They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash unless it is illegal.
Once again, this is casting a rather wide net. it supposes that by the nature of ones economic status that they have no concept of of capitalism. loyalty, Integrity, or personal responsibility. These concepts are not mutually exclusive to the middle and affluent classes. Also, even if one were not to have a habit of "staying all day", what's to say that one couldn't learn the habit as one learns the habit of getting up and going to school and staying there all day once kindergarten begins for them. Once again, being poor does not effect ones values and proclivities, and not being in the habit of something does not mean you could not get into the habit of something.


Contention #4

successful people he knows started work early by doing small jobs like babysitting and shoveling snow.

Correlation is not causation, Period! I find it doubtful that any of the "unnamed" "successful people" Mr. Gingrich refers to built their empires on babysitting or shoveling driveways.



In response to my opponents claim that "Mr. Gingrich suggested job opportunity's for poverty stricken kids"
I feel that taken as a whole, the message that can be brought away from Mr. Gingrich is "Look, we got a lot of lazy criminals in the in the poor areas of this country, Lets make 'em work so they won't be lazy, or criminals any more"
This implies that if someone is in a poor area they lack integrity, and that somehow their values will change once they get a job. The response to this assertion is these concepts sound great in a sound byte, but the underlying facts do not hold up to scrutiny.

I look forward to my opponents response.

Source #1 http://abcnews.go.com...

Source #2 http://politics.blogs.foxnews.com...
Steve221

Con

I accept my opponents definition of "class warfare" as being "Class warfare: is when one declares or proclaims a particular segment of society (By Class, ie. Affluent, Middle Class, The Poor) as being a detriment to society as a whole"
lets look what the word detriment means
detriment: Noun: 1) The state of being harmed or damaged. 2) A cause of harm or damage.

Argument 1.
Newt Gingrich is not engaging in class warfare, he is trying to ensure that it will not happen. How is suggesting job opportunity's for poverty stricken family's a cause of harm or damage? Perhaps they are not the most glamours jobs in the world however looking for a realistic solution to decrease crime rates and provide an income for family's that may not have one is not engaging class warfare at all.

argument 2.
Lets take a look at some of what Mr. Gingrich actually said that night in question.
first quote by Mr. Gingrich:

"Really poor children in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works, So they literally have no habit of showing up on Monday. They have no habit of staying all day. They have no habit of 'I do this and you give me cash,' unless it's illegal."

Well statistically poverty stricken neighborhoods due in fact have a very low job rate. Further more they statistically also have a much higher crime rate. So if the majority of people living in these areas do not have jobs nor a steady income and live in an area with a high crime rate, and need money to survive then yes statistically more then less create their own income by doing something illegel. It should also be noted as well that the majority of these crimes or misdemeanor drug charges. Which means the majority are not serious crimes but a quick way to make a buck. However it is still in fact illegel to do so.

Quote number 2:

"You have a very poor neighborhood. You have kids who are required under law to go to school, They have no money. They have no habit of work. What if you paid them part-time in the afternoon to sit at the clerical office and greet people when they came in? What if you paid them to work as the assistant librarian? And I'd pay them as early as is reasonable and practical. I am prepared to find something that works, that breaks us out of the cycles we're involved in right now, and finding a way for poor children to learn how to work and learning how to have money that they've earned honestly is an integral part of that."

From this quote alone I would like to point out that Newt was not being ignorant when he said underprivileged kids should work as janitors. He also suggest other jobs such as assistant librarian, clerical office greeter. He was suggesting a solution to the staggering amount over criminal activity in these extremely underprivileged neighborhoods.
and once again trying to find a solution to a problem is not engaging in class warfare.

While you might not agree with what Mr. Gingrich had said I think it is easy enough to prove that he was not trying to create conflict between economic classes, but rather find practical solutions to improve these underprivileged areas as a whole.
Debate Round No. 2
Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good

Pro

I wish to thank my opponent Mr.steve221 for his well thought out and reasoned arguments..
I trust that his efforts will be recognized in the voting process.

Refutation of argument #1

A. "Newt Gingrich is not engaging in class warfare, he is trying to ensure that it will not happen"
See Definition of "Class warfare"
Unless Mr. Gingrich were to included other classes of society (into the "program") other than just the poor for his proposal, he has singled out one segment (the poor) as being a detriment by excluding the others.

B. How is suggesting job opportunity's for poverty stricken family's a cause of harm or damage?
Non sequitur .
This argument was not made, the argument that was made was that Class Warfare was being waged being as Mr. Gingrich only singled out the poor for these so called "Job opportunities" which were not framed as job opportunities but rather programs designed to teach poor children to "get accustomed to work"

C. "looking for a realistic solution to decrease crime rates and provide an income for family's that may not have one is not engaging class warfare at all."

Reducing the crime rate is a commendable endeavor to partake, but to suggest that only one economic class of people are responsible for crime by excluding other classes of people from the same sort of "program" is implying that the other classes (middle class and affluent) have more integrity and don't commit crimes and therefore do not need the "program".
Also, the focus of Mr. Gingrich's proposal is not to bring "income for family's that may not have one" but to "find a way for poor children to learn how to work and learn how to have money that they've earned honestly" (along with "stay all day", 'I do this and you give me cash,'etc.)

Refutation of argument #2

A. "Well statistically poverty stricken neighborhoods due in fact have a very low job rate. Further more they statistically also have a much higher crime rate."

Once again, correlation is not causation. There are places in this world where the per capita income is under $200 and their communities are virtually crime free.

B. "So if the majority of people living in these areas do not have jobs nor a steady income and live in an area with a high crime rate, and need money to survive then yes statistically more then less create their own income by doing something illegal."

This suggests that if you do not have a job or steady income and others around you do not have integrity, that by default, you are statistically likely to have less integrity than you would if you had a job and steady income with neighbors that are not criminals.
This is a false assumption, one's values, integrity, and sense of personal responsibility do not change with economic status or one's surroundings. The position that the criminal behavior in question is a result of "survival" strategies is not evident. Lets just face the facts, there are safety nets both private and public in place to insure children are able to survive. (Salvation Army, United way, church based groups, section 8 housing, food stamps, etc.)

C. "It should also be noted as well that the majority of these crimes or[sic] misdemeanor drug charges."

This argument alone clearly shows that the individuals in question do indeed know the principle of 'I do this and you give me cash,' and do not need the government to show them how this principle works. The fact that the product they are selling is illegal is a result of the government stepping in between two people who wish to engage in a business transaction and saying "no, you can't do that". Neither party steals, forces, or coerces the other into the transactions, leaving no rights violated. This is a case of the government stepping in to solve a problem it created.
By this logic, if one were to remove the criminality of drugs, they would instantly solve the "majority of the misdemeanor" crime problem, and save the taxpayers untold millions (or Billions) in a government program designed to cut down crime in poor neighborhoods.

D. "What if you paid them part-time in the afternoon to sit at the clerical office and greet people when they came in? What if you paid them to work as the assistant librarian?"

My opponent argues "Newt was not being ignorant when he said underprivileged kids should work as janitors. He also suggest other jobs such as assistant librarian, clerical office greeter. He was suggesting a solution to the staggering amount over criminal activity in these extremely underprivileged neighborhoods.'

My esteemed colleague steve221 has failed to address that the solution of finding "a way for poor children to learn how to work and learn how to have money that they've earned honestly" in an effort to reduce crime, is one that is aimed at "poor children" and not all children. as if it were only the poor that (in his own words) don't understand the concept of 'I do this and you give me cash,' and not any child that hasn't had the value of integrity ingrained upon him/her from within the family.

Rebutal:

Lack of integrity is not a product of economic status. It is just as likely that a child of affluence has as little clue about the value of work as a child born and raised in poverty.
Whats the likelihood that Paris Hilton has ever broken a sweat in the labor of scrubbing a toilet for $5.75 an hour? The simple truth is there are thousands (perhaps tens of thousands) or more Paris Hilton's (or male equivalent) out there and the likelihood that they have the foggiest notion of what its like to have to endure physical labor and sweat to "earn money by working" and then have to survive only on the money they have worked for is a foreign concept to them.
Nor does being born in a middle class or affluent family insure one will have integrity. Source #1
Take for instance Morgan Grams, son of Senator Rod Grams who has a history of stealing cars, Silver, antique coins,(all while toting around a stolen firearm), forging checks, fraudulent use of credit cards, and marijuana possession (10 bags, which for me or you would warrant a felony charge of possession with intent to distribute, but somehow he got out with a misdemeanor).
Mr. Grams is not an isolated incident. the children of the middle class and affluent commit crimes as well. And don't get me started on the Bernie Madoff's, Ivan Boesky's , Ken Lay's [source #2], and long list of others in this world who's crimes have caused tens of thousands of people their jobs and/or life savings, (unlike the poor who only manage to rack up one victim at a time If there even is a victim in a drug crime) These are people that do not have poverty as an excuse for their lack of integrity. Nor did they gain any integrity by delivering newspapers and mowing lawns as Ken lay claims to of done.
There is nothing to suggest that the affluent are any less likely to be criminals than poor people, they just commit different kinds of crimes, the kinds of crimes where it is less likely to get caught at, and the kind of crimes that destroy hopes and dreams of innocent victims on a grand scale.
An Affluent neighborhood like the Hamptons is not immune from having any of its citizenry engage in insider trading, fraud, money laundering , fill in the financial crime of your choice here. The difference is the type of crime the affluent are more likely to commit is done behind closed doors.
"White Collar" crime is no less harmful to society as a whole than street crime. and the the little old lady who gets shot in a robbery is just as dead as she is when she starves to death after her late husbands pension disappears into an overseas bank account of a white collar criminal.

Conclusion:
Teach the same values to the Affluent as well, their no less likely to be criminals than the poor.

Source #1 : http://abcnews.go.com...
Source #2 : http://wikimedia.org...
Steve221

Con

My opponent had stated
"Unless Mr. Gingrich were to included other classes of society (into the "program") other than just the poor for his proposal, he has singled out one segment (the poor) as being a detriment by excluding the others."
First I would like to point out that never once during that speech did the word Program even come up.
secondly I would like to say that Mr. Gingrich is running for the office of president of the united states. It is his job to ensure the safety of all Americans. and his not suggesting that one class be treated differently then another. However He is right to single out poverty stricken neighbor hoods because areas that do not have these problems obviously are not in need of help. These people need the help, in fact if would be worse if he didn't care enough to even think of a solution to help these people.

I asked my opponent to answer this question "How is suggesting job opportunity's for poverty stricken family's a cause of harm or damage?"
to which he responded: "Non sequitur, This argument was not mad". However this is exactly what the debate is about by your main argument alone was suggesting that Mr. Gingrich engaged in class warfare by suggesting poor kids work as janitors. So the argument made was, and i will ask you again
How is suggesting job opportunity's for poverty stricken family's a cause of harm or damage I.E. how is suggesting a practical solution for a noticeable problem, that may help in repairing these community's an act of class warfare?

my opponent had stated
"Reducing the crime rate is a commendable endeavor to partake, but to suggest that only one economic class of people are responsible for crime by excluding other classes of people from the same sort of "program" is implying that the other classes (middle class and affluent) have more integrity and don't commit crimes and therefore do not need the "program".

Once again I would like to inform my opponent that the word program was not mentioned once during that speech. Secondly, saying that more crime happens in poorer neighborhoods is in fact a true statement. No one is suggesting that rich people or middle class Americans do not commit crimes. However it is specifically more common in cretin areas and it should be noted that if Mr. Gingrich didn't care for these people then he wouldn't be trying to help them.

my opponent goes on to state that: "Once again, correlation is not causation. There are places in this world where the per capita income is under $200 and their communities are virtually crime free"

that's very fortunate for them. however in the united states there are more documented cases of crime and illegel behavior in low income community's and I am sure that the people that do not engage in these kind of acts would truly benefit from a change in the way that their community's function.

my opponent further goes on to say: "The fact that the product they are selling is illegal is a result of the government stepping in between two people who wish to engage in a business transaction and saying "no, you can't do that". Neither party steals, forces, or coerces the other into the transactions, leaving no rights violated. This is a case of the government stepping in to solve a problem it created."

I have to laugh at this and point out that your saying it is okay for people to sell illegel goods just because both party's agreed but just by having these items in their person is an indication that they are involved in some wrong doing.

Conclusion:
as I have already pointed out regardless of if you agree on the type of jobs one suggested for underprivileged areas, Mr. Gingrich is in the very least trying to help not hurt these community's and that my friend is not engaging in class warfare.
by your argument's if I were to say something along the lines of " really poor people should be doctor's" then according to you by merely suggesting something is engaging in class warfare. However that is just not the case. I think my opponent should try to understand the difference between the intent to help vs. an intent to harm.
Debate Round No. 3
16 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good 5 years ago
Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good
Thank you for an excellent debate steve221. Job well done!
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
@MrBig, When you start a debate without defining terms or giving examples that define what you have in mind, you are stuck with the ordinary definitions found in the dictionary. Your opponent can let you off the hook by accepting whatever you had in mind after it's revealed, but he doesn't have to. You seem to suggest that it would be unethical to not conform to your non-dictionary definitions after you later announced them. Not at all. Debates have rules and conventions, and equivocation on the resolution is not part of debate. If the objective is to chat, that's fine, but the place for that is the Forums.
Posted by Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good 5 years ago
Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good
Thanks Skynet and others for your kind advice. I feel that if someone were to abuse the "Tactical Advantage" I offer them, then they'd be exposing themselves as having "Flexible Ethics", lack of integrity, maturity, etc. etc., Not only to me, but the community as well. At the time of this writing it's been close to four days that the invitation has been extended and so far, No takers. Maybe that could be considered a good sign that there is a certain degree of civility in a place specifically designed for "civil discussion". :-D
Posted by Skynet 5 years ago
Skynet
So...you've heard someone say "Newt engaged in class warfare when he said that," and now want someone who knew what they meant to debate you?
Don't get me wrong, your reason for debating; to sharpen your's and your opponent's view of reality, is commendable, but I still think you're leaving yourself open to abuse to let your opponent define the terminology you used, especially if you disagree with a standard definition like RoyLatham puts forward. I wouldn't wait for your opponent, I'd just copy and paste a dictionary definition you find has a "realistic examination of the topic."
Posted by 1Historygenius 5 years ago
1Historygenius
While I am a fan for Gingrich I will have to research this topic more to debate you, but as I had said before this will be a tiring one.
Posted by Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good 5 years ago
Mr.Big_is_Bud_Good
RoyLatham seems to define "Class Warfare" as it appears to me to be presented in the modern political arena (In the west). I do not subscribe to a left or right world view, therefore I don't have a "horse in this race" so to speak, But look at the political theater from an outsiders point of view (to an extent). Nor do I enter debate with the intention of "Winning", I enter debate to question my own assumptions and opinions. If someone can present an argument that gets me to look at a particular subject in a different way, I am better because of it. If I can get someone else to rethink their assumptions and opinions, the world has one less person presenting ideas that may not be thought all the way through.
If one were to enter this debate with a definition of "Class Warfare" that does not include a realistic examination of the topic at hand, they are cheating themselves out of a chance to challenge their own position to see if it holds up to scrutiny. If they just want to "win", thats OK by me, but I'd rather enter into intelligent discourse rather than pick fights to go out and win.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I know but when he doesn't define I can make it up. Or use the urban dictionary.
Posted by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
There are standard definitions:

class warfare - conflict between social or economic classes (especially between the capitalist and proletariat classes) http://www.thefreedictionary.com...

I think that the current sense of the term is that one economic segment of society is responsible for most of the problems of society, so that the economic segment ought to be attacked as a whole. Usually, it's claimed that the rich are responsible for the problems of society because they are not paying enough in taxes.

"Newt Gingrich's proposal [is] to put poor children to work because, he says, they're not learning the "work habit" in public housing projects ..."

Good topic.
Posted by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
I should accept and define class warfare as:

war of the classes, all out war, usually high casualties occur.

and then say when newt gingich said that there was no war. Back to you pro. lol
Posted by 1Historygenius 5 years ago
1Historygenius
A tiring debate anyway.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 5 years ago
RoyLatham
Mr.Big_is_Bud_GoodSteve221Tied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro's idea is that placing special attention on the problems of the underprivileged is class warfare, because it identifies a class as having more problems than the average. To sustain his contention, Pro needed to give data to show that all economic classes have the same problems at the same levels, and he did not.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
Mr.Big_is_Bud_GoodSteve221Tied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Poor arguments on both sides . Both missed the main question. But although both arguments where weak I think con did better. Cons second argument was the only ok one in this debate
Vote Placed by imabench 5 years ago
imabench
Mr.Big_is_Bud_GoodSteve221Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Newt was not engaging in class warfare, he was stereotyping which is slightly different. Pro gave some weakly based arguments but the con's weren't much better since they both ended up going back and forth over their own statements rather than the one in question....