The Instigator
simplex
Pro (for)
Tied
52 Points
The Contender
Danielle
Con (against)
Tied
52 Points

Obese customers should pay more for flights.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/30/2008 Category: Health
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 8,900 times Debate No: 4835
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (20)
Votes (28)

 

simplex

Pro

With the rising price of gas and the growing costs of airfare, some airlines are starting to opt in programs that charge fees for passengers who are visibly over a certain weight.

The reason for this is simple:

1) Obese customers cost more to insure. Those who are obese are more prone to high-altitudes medical situations, thus airline insurance for such scenarios go up. Since they currently don't charge insurance based on individual fliers, it seems unfair to charge everyone for the lifestyle choices of a select few. This is greatly different from those who are medically unsound by nature, such as seniors, since except in VERY rare instances, being overweight is a choice people make.

2) Obese customers take up more room. The current trend in flight engineering is to maximize the seating space to have as many people sit comfortably as possible. When a customer is obviously taking up more than his or her chair space and has in fact occupied half of other people's, it seems logical to require them to purchase extra space.

3) Obese customers weigh more. A study concluded that the 10 pounds Americans gained on average during the 1990s required an additional 350 million gallons of fuel a year. With the rising price of gas, there's no question that people should pay their own fair share. It's already common practice that those who want to bring heavier luggage or extra luggage must pay extra, it would only be common sense to charge for weight as well. With oil at an outrageous price-per-gallon as it is, does it seem just that you have to pay more because someone else chooses to not exercise?

Of course, I'm talking only about those who are overweight based on their choices to overeat or not exercise. There are only a handful of people in the world who are actually obese genetically (less than 1%), and they can apply with proper documentation from trained doctors to have the extra fees waived. In this modern day and age it's quite easy to find resources that help people lose weight, and until they do it's unfair that the rest of society should pay to support their unfortunate habits.
Danielle

Con

:: REBUTTAL ::

1. Cost of Insurance

This contention is highly flawed. While obese customers may cost more to insure (as they pose a higher risk of becoming ill during flights), so do the elderly, those with allergies, those with asthma, those with mental illness, pregnant women, children in general, those who use/abuse drugs, those taking medication, etc. Because airlines do not require a background check before booking a flight, it would be extremely unjust to require specifically obese people to pay extra under the premise of an insurance issue, and not charge other potential 'threats' for the same substantial risk.

Additionally, my opponent indicates that in only 1% of cases involving obesity is the condition genetic. I ask that statistics like this only be taken into account if they are cited/sourced, as it would be very easy for either side to draw up random stats that may or may not be true. Furthermore, I disagree with that figure on the basis of psychology alone -- I'm sure that even if 99% of obese individuals "choose" that lifestyle, there are some deep-rooted depression and self-esteem issues, which cause obesity to lean towards a medical (mental) condition rather than just a choice.

Now even if you buy into the fact that overweight people choose that condition, you cannot deny my previous point that there are all kinds of conditions or circumstances which would increase the cost of insurance for certain flyers. To make this call for higher prices legit, you would have to agree upon charging a superior price for ALL flyers with medical conditions/situations that would cause insurnace to increase. Otherwise, a great deal of discrimination lawsuits would be on your hands, in which cases the airlines would be forced to charge migh higher prices for tickets than they already do in order to sustain legal fees.

Plus, consider the fact that in order to regulate this kind of additional fee, new jobs would have to be created that deal specifically with insurance and charging passengers the right amount of money as designated for their flight. This would cause airline disruption, inevitably draw upon negative publicity, and most importantly cause the airline to shell out more money to pay the salaries of these new jobs and deal with other legal issues. In essence, the money that you are trying to 'save' is actually not profitable at all (it may even be an added expense), as new jobs would have to be compensated.

And finally on this matter, you must take into account how many times one's obesity actually causes a MEDICAL EMERGENCY on a flight, to the point where insurance is actually even necessary. If the figures are low (and Pro hasn't given us any proof to indicate otherwise), you must find this contention to be entirely unnecessary and completely in my favor.

2. Comfort

In order for this point to be validated, you must extend this argument to all forms of public transportation - not just airplanes. Therefore my opponent has the burden of affirming this resolution in terms of trains, subways, public buses, etc... in which case it would be easy to oppose for economic reasons. Further, a counter-attack may conclude that the airline be responsible for administering more comfortable seating for larger passengers; that is to say that bigger seats can/should be implented for comfort. You may charge passengers more money for this type of seating; you may even force a larger passenger to purchase a ticket for this kind of seating. However, you may NOT charge them extra for sitting in the same size seat as everyone else.

Thirty percent of Americans are obese [1]. Statistics show that the highest demographic of obesity occurs amongst those of a lower class; in other words, the fattest people tend to also be the poorest [2]. Thus the likelihood of an obese person being able to afford a plane ticket is much lower -- say 10% (and that may be a generous figure). Now knowing that there is a 10% chance that an obese individual may cause you discomfort on a plane, a consumer has the option to buy THEMSELF an extra plane ticket, which would ensure them extra room for comfort even if an overweight person sat beside them.

Sometimes, life is unfair and you make purchases hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. If you book a vacation in Aruba and it rains the whole time (causing you to have a disappoting experience), you won't find your hotel or airline refunding you any money for your misfortune. Similarly, airlines don't give you lower rates for the possibility of sitting next to a particularly foul-smelling passenger, or for being subjected to crying children. Better luck next time, mate.

3. Weight & Money --> The Real Issue

There have been a lot of changes since the 1990s that have made things more expensive, specifically THE COST OF GASOLINE IN GENERAL. Many people blame George W. Bush for the rise in prices -- does that mean we get to charge all Republicans an added fee for contributing to our economic situation by voting for GWB? Certainly not. The truth be told, America has been looking for ways to promote healthy life choices by making it more expensive to lead an unhealthy lifestyle. For instance, we place high taxes on cigarettes partly because of their health cost. Similarly, ideas about making fast food drive-thrus more expensive have been discussed; Dr. Schmidt (an economist at the college of William & Mary) said people would expend more calories if they had to get out of their cars to pick up their food.

The bottom line is, you cannot realistically blame overweight people for society's troubles, such as high gasoline prices. "'This is like, let's find another reason to scapegoat fat people,' Dr. Oliver (a political scientist at the University of Chicago) says." -- "Katherine Flegal of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also wryly cautions against being quick to link cause and effect. 'Yes, obesity is to blame for all the evils of modern life, except somehow, weirdly, it is not killing people enough,' she said. 'In fact that's why there are all these fat people around. They just won't die'" [3].

:: CONCLUSION ::

Based on my arguments, it is clear why obese customers should NOT pay more money for plane tickets at the present time. It is neither cost effective nor fair, and the incentive for people to lose weight in order to save money just doesn't work. Countless studies prove that instead of helping, the stigmatization of being obese just leads to more over-eating and a higher rate/weight for those who are over-weight. This in turn leads to more fat people, meaning more sociological and economic issues in the United States and beyond.

:: SOURCES ::

[1] http://www.breitbart.com...
[2] http://www.philly.com...
[3] http://www.nytimes.com...
Debate Round No. 1
simplex

Pro

First of all, I'd like to thank my opponent for joining this debate with interesting and intelligent opinions. I hope to be as enjoyable an opponent to have.

1. Cost of Insurance

While there's without a reasonable doubt that obesity is linked to similiarly potential medical issues in comparison to old age, allergies, asathma, mental illnesses, pregnancies, etc, obesity is by far the most preventable one. As such, my opponent's suggestion that airlines be required to perform invasive background checks for all medical issues is unnecessary and without ground.

Let us take smoking for instance. It has a negative influence on one's health, and as such heavy taxes are required on any purchases of tobacco. The same goes for alcohol. Most of these taxes placed on the products go to pay for medical insurance and costs, since smokers have a higher chance of falling ill from their habits. The taxes increase each year based on specific calculations for how much it costs to house patients with tobacco (or alcohol) related diseases, and it's balanced out.

Those who choose to use tobacco pays this tax as insurance. Those who don't smoke, don't pay this tax. It's quite a simple situation.

However, since my opponents insists on an argument of statistics and precise percentages, I'll consider the argument here as moot, and as such I'll move on.

2. Comfort

My opponent has suggested that perhaps all modes of transportation should raise fees for the obese, and I don't disagree. In fact the system currently already has this in mind: buses do not charge for individual seats, cars are personal purchases allowing consumers to purchase larger cars, and trains typically are pre-designed with much larger space already; however, if obese passengers are indeed causing problems for the remaining passengers, perhaps extra fare is necessary. That said, the debate topic is that the obese should be charged extra for FLIGHTS, so I'll return to our original topic.

The argument that since obese individuals are statistically likelier to to be from a less wealthy background, and therefore should not be required to purchase airfare would have been an interesting one if our political system was socialist. However, airlines are not governmental institution, and flight isn't a human right. If a customer from a low-income bracket cannot afford the price of the flight, it would be advisable that they seek alternate forms of transportation. It would, however, be unfair that others who have the income or capacity to live healthier pay for their flights.

My opponent suggests that when you sit next to an obese individual who is taking up much of your seat, perhaps you should be required to purchase yourself another ticket. This is the exact unfairness I referred to. Why would those who chose a healthy and balanced lifestyle, who already pay FAR too much in taxes to pay for the medical fees of those who choose this lifestyle?

Keep in mind, transportation through flight is NOT an inherent right. No one should have to pay extra so the obese can travel faster or more comfortably.

In regards to my opponent's statement: "Sometimes, life is unfair...", I disagree. Is this the same as sitting next to a crying child or foul-smelling passenger? Absolutely not. A crying child one may mute by putting on airline-provided headphones. Foul smelling passengers one may endure by simply turning on the airline-provided air conditioning. They do not lessen the product you purchased (the flight itself), even if they do make it slightly less desirable.

The product one purchases is a full seat, and a small one at that. When another passenger demands a part of the seat YOU paid for and refuses to reimburse you in any way, this is robbery. One preventable by having the passenger pay their fair share.

3. Weight & Money

"Many people blame George W. Bush for the rise in prices -- does that mean we get to charge all Republicans an added fee for contributing to our economic situation by voting for GWB? Certainly not."

You cannot be seriously attempting to compare the two. I'm going to chalk this up as humor and move on to your actual point.

"you cannot realistically blame overweight people for society's troubles, such as high gasoline prices."

And I didn't. Please read my previous argument, it's difficult to debate when one's arguments are misinterpreted. I realistically blame overweight people for raising the costs of FLIGHTS since their weight requires planes to burn more fuel. There's no question that the greatest increase in flight costs involves the increase in gas prices. As such, most airlines are starting to "redesign" their pricing for carry-on luggage as well as check-in luggage. Whereas previously most airlines allow 2 pieces of luggage at check-in, now the industry standard is one, with extra fees attached to the second.

Current passengers are charged extra for overweight luggage for this reason, why are they not charged extra for overweight physique?

:: CONCLUSION ::

There's no question that a flight with mostly overweight passengers will cost the airline more than a flight with mostly underweight passengers. This is simple common sense. The question here lies in whether it'll be more beneficial to charge consumers who are obese more than those who are not.

If traveling by flights is a human right, and airlines are government controlled, perhaps it would make sense to maintain the status quo. However, since air travel is still considered a convenience rather than a right, it seems unfair to lump the excess fees from the excess weight to the innocent consumers who strive to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Perhaps, when our technology advances to a point when simple physics no longer factor in the costs of our travel, it would not matter if our fares are justly proportioned. However, with our current situation, it remains unfair for all of us to carry the weight of a few.
Danielle

Con

- OBESITY IS PREVENTABLE -

I have a few problems with this rebuttal. First, we have already established that obesity is not always preventable! Genetics and other factors (including mental health) contribute to the disease. Further, sometimes the medications that people are on have a side effect of weight gain. If my opponent concedes that people cannot prevent all forms of sickness, than he concedes that people have no choice but to take medicine... medicine which can lead to obesity, therefore my point is upheld. Regardless, while obesity may very well be preventable in many cases, consider the fact that my opponent completely neglected health risks attained from things like smoking in his rebuttal.

It's easy to say that obesity is more preventable than asthma; however, medical problems associated with contributing factors such as tobacco, marijuana and other drugs, alcohol, etc. all contribute to an additional increase health risks... yet we don't charge SMOKERS extra for "insurance purposes." So clearly the cost of insurance cannot be a contention in favor of my opponent. What's good for the goose is good for the gander -- if this ideology does not cross apply to other flyer demographics, than obesity should not be singled out. Not without a law suit anyway (more about this later).

- STATISTICS -

My opponent has written "since my opponent insists on an argument of statistics and precise percentages..." which is completely false. I'd just like to clear the air and say that I do not want nor expect this to be a debate revolving solely around percentages. However, for my opponent to make an incredible, highly exaggerated claim in his favor without supporting sources is extremely abusive. No one is saying that you have to provide statistics for all of your reasoning, but what I AM saying is that it wouldn't be right for either one of us to just make stuff up on a whim and present it as factual evidence.

- OTHER TRANSPORTATION -

My opponent has noted that buses do not charge for individual seats. That is correct. They charge per passenger. My opponent then says, "however, if obese passengers are indeed causing problems for the remaining passengers, perhaps extra fare is necessary." Right here it becomes apparent that a primary contention for Pro is the comfort of other passengers. The problem with this is that transportation's primary purpose is just that: transport. Comfortable circumstances are a LUXURY - not a necessity. If a customer deemed comfortable seating a priority, he or she would have several options: upgrading his ticket to first/business class; choosing an airline that specifically accomadates for larger seating; finding other ways of transport (car, boat, etc.) and so on. Personally I'm from NYC and have taken many forms of transportation. I cannot tell you how many times people ride the bus/subway and HAVE NO SEATING AT ALL, regardless of the fact that they paid for the ride.

- FLIGHT ISN'T A RIGHT -

Nope. It's not. But here my opponent is trying to straw man my argument and completely turn my point around. He said, "If a customer from a low-income bracket cannot afford the price of the flight, it would be advisable that they seek alternate forms of transportation." I agree. So what's the point? Nothing. There isn't one here. MY point, however (supported with cited factual information), was pointing out the fact that there is probably a 10% chance that your neighbor on an airplane flight will be obese, due to statistics regarding obesity and its link to poverty, etc. Therefore if one is so concerned about this HORROR, they have the option of buying an additional plane ticket just in case. Otherwise they can just take their chances and 90% of the time be a-ok anyway.

So here my opponent is trying to make you believe that I have suggested that healthy people buy additional seating on airplanes. I have done no such thing. My point was that if it is a huge concern to them, then they can. If they can just deal with it - or accept the fact that they have a 90% chance of being in the clear - then they DON'T have to buy an extra plane ticket. Simple as that. But my point here is why should an obese person have to buy an extra plane ticket to make someone else more comfortable? If it's about common courtesy and respect, then people should respect the obese too, by doing things such as 1) not smelling bad, 2) not bringing a crying baby on board, 3) not stinking up the bathroom, 4) not smoking as to up insurance, etc. However nobody has to pay for these inconveniences, so WHY SHOULD THE OBESE? Singling them out is wrong, and even if you disagree, my opponent has yet to prove otherwise.

For instance, in response to the above, Pro has said, "A crying child one may mute by putting on airline-provided headphones. Foul smelling passengers one may endure by simply turning on the airline-provided air conditioning. They do not lessen the product you purchased (the flight itself), even if they do make it slightly less desirable" ... which is my exact point, except in reverse, obviously. That exact logic proves my case to be true -- having an obese passenger sitting next to you may make your flight less desirable; however, it is not lessening the product. Cramped space, smelly areas and other disruptions are inconveniences that ALL travelers face and deal with as a consequence of not being rich enough to afford their own private jets.

- WEIGHT & FLIGHT -

Pro acknowledges that an increase in gas prices is the #1 reason that the cost of flights has significantly increased. Another reason is that less people are flying due to the troubled economy. As a result, airlines are looking for every excuse to charge a little extra. They're pinching pennies at every opportunity. Thus, the charge for extra baggage is obviously going to increase. Now according to Pro, people pay for their seat... never did he mention that people ALSO pay for CARGO space. When people bring luggage on a plane, they are costing the airline money for things like, oh, the electric that powers the baggage claim area, the employees who transport the luggage, etc. Additionally, just as flying on a plane isn't an inherent right, neither is bringing luggage on a plane. Thus assuming that one does in fact pay for a seat on the plane, airlines have also agreed to say - okay - you can bring up to 100 lbs of luggage (for example). If you bring more than that, you pay. Those extra charges pay for increasing expenses in every aspect of flight, including gas. Similarly, an airline can charge you for things like soda on a plane. But to charge you extra per pound of body weight is discriminatory...

- RESPECT FOR PASSENGERS -

Obese people are not the only individuals who fit uncomfortably on a plane. Tall or larger people in general (not necessarily obese) may also be the cause of some discomfort. To discriminate against them could lead to a few things. First, it could upset customers so much that they choose not to fly at all... meaning that airlines are selling less tickets, meaning the 'skinny' people will face *INCREASED COST* to compensate for those lost sales. Second, while this idea sounds good in theory, putting it into practice would inevitably lead to countless lawsuits (amongst other burdens). This would not only be a waste of airline resources but government ones as well, and again cost others MORE MONEY... be it in taxes, other fees, etc.

- FUEL -

Back to the whole fuel thing, it has been said that 350 million more gallons of fuel are being used per year thanks in part to obese passengers. I don't have a lot of characters left for mathematical reasoning (though I'd be more than happy to explain it further in the next round!), but that comes to about 2.5 more gallons per flight - if that. So 2 gallons of gas is what...? $8 more per flight? So just how much extra should obese passengers be charged? That's it for now...
Debate Round No. 2
simplex

Pro

The average healthy person has a waistline of 33 inches, the average overweight person has a waistline of 45 inches. Planes are designed to accomodate that.

The average obese individual has a waistline of 60 inches. That's nearly TWICE what an average healthy person has. In other words, they need an extra seat. It's time airlines started accomodating that and start treating the obese like people. A good way to start is exchanging specialized seating for a set fee.

Here's an image to illustrate.

http://medicineworld.org...
From medicineworld.org

Or something less scientific, imagine sitting next to this friendly gentlemen on your flight:
http://www.spurgeon.org...

You can choose to donate half your seat to this guy, or you can do as my opponent says and buy yourself an extra seat on EVERY FLIGHT, just in case. However, had the airline intervened and helped the gentlemen get a specialized seat (at a slight increase in expense), neither of you would have had to endure that experience!

But how much should they be charged?

My opponent asks: "$8 more per flight? So just how much extra should obese passengers be charged?"

Good question, perhaps we should have addressed a hypothetical amount before we started the debate. Most people when thinking about obese passengers paying extra fees jump to such thoughts as hundreds of dollars more per ticket. I don't think that's anywhere close to necessary. While $8 is a good start, maybe somewhere in the range of $20-50.

We're not even talking about a class upgrade here, which can often be twice or three times the price of economy. We're talking plus-sized flights, much like plus-sized clothing.

When an obese person walks into a department store to buy plus-sized clothing, does he or she not pay more for the extra fabric? Of course they do. It's only logical. Essentially this small price difference is meant to stay within the same kind of difference.

Of course, the group of people required for this small fee would be small. We're talking about the truly obese here (BMI greater than 3.5), not the common overweight. Just like the fact that tobacco and alcohol use is heavily taxed to discourage their use, this will encourage customers to lose weight.

And of course, this eliminates the need for embarrassing moments that currently plague the obese customers such as having to be asked to switch flights so one with extra seats could be accommodated. The obese are people too.

--

Let's take a moment and imagine how this would work. When a customer calls an airline (or go online or meet a travel agent), they'll be asked whether they perfer plus-sized seating. This would obviously be quite popular (who doesn't like a little extra space on flights?) but the seats would be reserved for only those who NEED it first, and then those who prefer it. If an obese passenger opts not to take the seat (I have a hard time imagining they don't, it'd be MUCH more comfortable), airline employees would try to establish if the passenger is disrupting others before asking if they could upgrade.

Think of it like reserved parking for air planes.

--

My opponent says: "Medical problems associated with contributing factors such as tobacco, marijuana and other drugs, alcohol, etc. all contribute to an additional increase health risks..."

And that's why marijuana and other drugs are illegal, at least where I come from. Tobacco and alcohol ARE already being heavily taxed, and why taxes are going up by millions per year to DISCOURAGE tobacco and alcohol use. These taxes are used as insurance so that in the case when they require extra medical treatment, it's already been paid for.

Now my opponent has derailed from the previous 3 arguments to start a new format, most of which I have already answered in my previous post. Regardless, I'll address them quickly again.

--

"Obesity is preventable."

In most cases, absolutely. There are rare instances where it's a genetic issue, but until my opponent can bring up specific proof that unpreventable obesity is the norm, there's really no argument here.

Because it's preventable, they should cover all the things that come with their choices. Including paying set fees for flights.

--

Other transportation.

People don't pay for subway seats. I'm not sure about New York, but here in Canada our subway tickets don't have assigned seats! I'm hoping my opponent isn't suggesting that Airlines operate the same way as subways, having to stand on a flight for 10 hours sure would be an uncomfortable flight.

--

"Therefore if one is so concerned about this HORROR, they have the option of buying an additional plane ticket just in case. Otherwise they can just take their chances and 90% of the time be a-ok anyway."

You're suggesting that everyone buy an extra ticket just in case they get assigned a bad seat? That's the reasonable solution to the problem?

Again, my opponent has simply skipped over my arguments to form his own. An obese person is not a discomfort (like a crying child), it's someone who has taken up much of what you've purchased, an airline seat.

--

"Obese people are not the only individuals who fit uncomfortably on a plane. Tall or larger people in general (not necessarily obese) may also be the cause of some discomfort. "

True, at the moment I pay an extra 14 dollars when I book my tickets so that I can request emergency exit seating (for the legroom).

So... you're proving my point for what again?

--

lawsuits

Could you cite one lawsuit involving an obese passenger suing an airline? Or anything like it? Or anything to suggest that something like this MIGHT happen?

I'd hate to accuse you of making up random facts or something.

--

At the end of the day, all this is just rhetoric. Because North Americans in general will be gaining weight as a population, the airlines will be there to fill that need, expanding programs such as plus-sized seating that obese passengers may opt to purchase. No matter what, this is an inevitability.

Heck, it's the American way.
Danielle

Con

First, my opponent's exaggerated picture of an obese individual was abusive and entirely unnecessary. In fact, its only "point" was to raise the question of whether or not you would like to sit next to the individual in the photo. My opponent says, "You can choose to donate half your seat to this guy..." however, you have about a 1 in 6+ billion chance that you would ever have to sit next to that guy. So, if those odds are enough to get you to vote for my opponent, by all means...

The reality is, however, that not all obese people are extraordinarily overweight by society's standards. In the past few years, the average waist line has expanded by 2 inches. Seeing thicker people is now more common, and you yourself may be obese or even have a family member who is considered obese without you even knowing it. For instance, if you are 5'5" and weigh 180 lbs, you are obese. If you are 5'8" and weigh 198 lbs, you are obese. Not all obese people are as massive as the one represented in the picture, and my opponent made no differentiation between that guy and the masses. Thus you must disregard the image and actually hold it against my opponent for stooping to that level (desperate times call for desperate measures, I guess).

Next some $$ issues come into play. Pro says, "However, had the airline intervened and helped the gentlemen get a specialized seat (at a slight increase in expense), neither of you would have had to endure that experience!" What BS! Apparently he hasn't been paying attention throughout this debate where a huge focus has been the decline of airline resources, and how airlines are on INCREDIBLY tight budgets would eliminate any opportunity to implement new seating. If this were to actually happen, it would cost A LOT more than a "slight increase" of cost. I've noticed that Pro exaggerates quite a bit, hmm? Also, if this extra cost were applied to everyone, then it would not just be obese people paying extra for flights but EVERYONE. This contradicts the resolution.

Then Pro suggests that obese people should have to pay between $20 - 50 extra per flight. I'm sure you can figure out that this small cost would not be enough to cover the cost of ripping out already existing airline seating and replacing it in terms of man power, cost of products, cost of supplies, etc on EVERY flight. Further, if the original goal was to have obese people buy an extra seat, we all know that a plane ticket costs well over $20. Thus, the airline would lose a lot of money here... and this doesn't even include the fact that by implementing more, larger seating, the airline would lose money in the sense that it reduces the amount of available seating per flight. This inconvenience could wind up costing airlines big time in the end, meaning it would cost money for ALL flyers as well. Considering that the odds are HIGHLY AGAINST you sitting next to an obese individual (10%!), well, you do the math.

Next Pro tries to use the logic of, "When an obese person walks into a department store to buy plus-sized clothing, does he or she not pay more for the extra fabric?" Um, actually no - they don't. If Jen buys a pair of jeans in a size 4 and Jess buys the same pair in a size 16, they will both pay the same price for the jeans. And yes, at size 16, Jess is considered to be obese. Thus this logic does not stand here.

Pro says, "Of course, the group of people required for this small fee would be small. We're talking about the truly obese here (BMI greater than 3.5), not the common overweight." Well okay, you actually need a BMI greater than 30 to be over-weight, but nevertheless, this would actually include a lot of people. See some examples of weight statistics above (i.e. if your dad is 5'10" and weighs 210 lbs, he would have to pay extra for a flight, AND - according to Pro - not be able to sit with you or his family due to the necessity of him having to sit in "specialized seating"). Speaking of which, this kind of "specialized seating" is degrading to those who are forced to endure such an experience against their will. Things like this are NOT TOLERATED. So indeed my opponent's claim that "this eliminates the need for embarrassing moments" because the "obese are people too" is BS.

Then Pro tries to portray a happy-go-lucky scenario of someone buying a ticket and being asked whether or not they prefer plus sized seating. While I agree that a little extra room would be preferable, I also acknowledge that paying extra for it is NOT. Some people wouldn't want to or wouldn't be able to afford it, but Pro is suggesting that it's mandatory. If it's not mandatory, or if obese people wouldn't have to pay extra for this seating, than that completely negates the resolution in and of itself (because obese people are not paying more).

Going back to old contentions, Pro asserts that taxation on things like cigarettes are so high because the government is essentially taxing for insurance. Uh, that's not true -- I cannot believe that Pro is actually naive enough to believe that high taxes are for INSURANCE purposes...?! Alright, I'm dumbfounded, so I'll let a quick cited source do the talking for a moment... "The legislative controls in this case, which are represented by higher tobacco taxes, were not intended to cause people to quit smoking but rather to increase revenue. The state's claim that these punishment-style taxes are to encourage people to quit smoking for health reasons has only a smidgen of truth, just enough to become the facade... Since unequal taxation is inequitable, it is a human rights violation, more specifically an equal rights violation. The higher tax rate on tobacco is inequitable because it doesn't affect all citizens equally, only smokers. Targeting a minority is inequitable." The source for this information is the Bureau of International Information Programs (U.S. Dept of State) which can be found here --> [1]. Thus my opponent's propositions are not only morally wrong, but unconstitutional as well... at least via the current interpretation by government.

In terms of my other contentions, Pro has merely brushed the surface on a defense. He says that I must prove genetics to be the #1 cause of obesity, but that is untrue -- After researching the main causes for the disease, what I came up with was clear across the board: factors include genetics, lifestyle and psychological disorders. Stress was considered to be in the top 3-5 causes as well. However if we take a look at these causes, almost none of them are preventable. Genetics - obviously not. Lifestyle - nope. Because you are born into it. If a child is raised in a household where parents/people over-eat, they will imitate the same behavior. People also cannot choose their culture (another huge factor) or necessarily control the stress in their life, etc.

Bottom line, Pro is wrong here. Because he even wants taller/larger people in general to pay extra, and obviously people cannot control their HEIGHT. Again, this is highly discriminatory and WOULD NEVER FLY (no pun intended) without serious legal repercussions. Also, since Pro is once again naive enough to believe that obesity law suits do not exist, he might be surprised at the results of Googling "obesity personal injury law." A tip? IT DEFINITELY EXISTS! [2] So no, unlike Pro, I have not made up any random facts throughout this debate. I don't need to stoop to that in order to be a good debater. Btw - Pro never included citation regarding the # of obese people who require medical attention on flights to prove HIS point, so disregard it. It also does not address other high-risk flyers.

I've noticed that Pro did not respond to my arguments regarding cargo space/weight, costs and other points -- clearly he has not been the better debater in this debate.

Sources:

[1] http://usinfo.state.gov...
[2] http://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 3
20 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 10 months ago
whiteflame
*******************************************************************
>Reported vote: fire_wings// Mod action: Removed<

1 points to Pro (Conduct). Reasons for voting decision:

[*Reason for removal*] Vote placed outside of what is considered to be reasonable expectations for proper voting conduct. Contact head moderator Airmax1227 for details.
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Posted by jason_hendirx 9 years ago
jason_hendirx
EXCELLENT DEBATE TACTIC I AM THOROUGHLY MOVED
Posted by nadine 9 years ago
nadine
NO WAY. THESE PEOPLE NEED HELP AND SHOULD BE FORCED TO DO SOME EXERCISE AND EAT HEALTH BY THE GOV. HOWEVER, ASKING THEM TO PAY MORE MONEY ON FLIGHT IS LIKE SENDING A MENTAL ILL MAN TO PRISON FOR MURDE.ANOTHER FORM OF DISCRIMINATION. FAT PEOPLE NEED TO BE ENCOURAGE TO LOSS WEIGHT.
Posted by simplex 9 years ago
simplex
Just wanted to thank everyone for the support. I enjoyed this debate and despite my previous statements, look forward to the challenge of debating theLwerd again.
Posted by Im_always_right 9 years ago
Im_always_right
You mean Freakin' debate.... I don't know, what I believe for it because, obese people can't always help it, but they do need to pay for resources used.
Posted by jason_hendirx 9 years ago
jason_hendirx
They also consume more resources. In a capitalist system, it's only fair that you pay for resources consumed, especially if you end up taking up part of someone else's share.

Also, read the frakking debate.
Posted by jlholtzapple 9 years ago
jlholtzapple
why should an obese customer have to pay more some times it is medical and they cant help it!
Posted by jason_hendirx 9 years ago
jason_hendirx
I agree with the below's assessment of pro's perceived shortcomings, but I am, at the same time, pleased to see that pro is winning in votes.
Posted by numa 9 years ago
numa
by below i meant im_always_right...
Posted by numa 9 years ago
numa
i agree with the below comment. theLwerd is usually not disrespectful and i bet she was only trying to help you or make friendly competitive comments rather than be mean. that said, all of pro's points were definitely on point BUTTTT con did a better job of debating against them. i voted con because i agreed with pro all along yet con's points really made me scratch my head and second guess myself. also pro's round 3 should have been way better in order to compete with the 2 previous awesome rounds but it was lacking. i think it was a good job for your second debate though!!!!
28 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by Udel 1 year ago
Udel
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Reasons for voting decision: Con argued that it would be a big expense for airlines to create entire new planes and change their whole fleets to implement this rule, which Pro said to just pass onto the customer, but Con said that would be punishing all customers and not just obese ones which isn't fair or practical. Con points out that fat people don't pay more for bigger clothes and more fabric. Pro dropped Con's arguments on cargo and space. Conduct to Con for the vote bombs. Sources to Con for using 5 sources to back up her points vs Pro's 2 sources which were just pictures to make an abusive (hilarious) case against fat people, but the sources didn't contain any information to back up the case.
Vote Placed by Danielle 6 years ago
Danielle
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Vote Placed by nilaij 7 years ago
nilaij
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Vote Placed by Mars 8 years ago
Mars
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Vote Placed by numa 8 years ago
numa
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Vote Placed by nadine 9 years ago
nadine
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