The Instigator
ForSerious
Pro (for)
Losing
3 Points
The Contender
Raymond_Reddington
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

Parents should be licensed.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
Raymond_Reddington
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/2/2014 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 699 times Debate No: 58491
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (15)
Votes (2)

 

ForSerious

Pro

Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Standard
Round 3: Standard
Round 4: No New Arguments

Time to Argue: 24 hours
Argument Max: 1,000 Characters

Interpretation of the Resolution:
"Parents should be licensed" means that any adult seeking guardianship of a minor (including a minor they just gave birth to) would need to be licensed by an organization, likely the state.

Do not accept this debate if you are going to deviate significantly from the interpretation.

Sources may be included in the comment section to save characters. Be sure to label which speech your sources are referring to if you do.
Raymond_Reddington

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
ForSerious

Pro

Parents should be licensed based on the principle of the greater good.
The adoption process is precedent that the resolution is feasible.

Licensing parents would reduce traumatic childhoods. Four children die daily in the US due to child abuse [1]. 30% of abused and neglected children go on to abuse their own children [1]. We can end this cycle by licensing parents.
Preparation for licensing would promote parenting standards. Now parents, who would have been mediocre, will have learned the skills to guide their child through growing up.
Licensing poses a question of cost. However, "every $1 spent on home visiting yields a $5.70 return" [2].
In addition, child abuse and neglect directly costs the US $124 billion a year [
2].

Licensing parents would create better childhoods for their children, would lead to better functioning adults, would lead to a better future.
Raymond_Reddington

Con

For any type of licensing to be effective would require some background checks, a lot of information, new government offices, and huge amounts of money.

In 2010 alone there were at least 4 million births in the US [1]. Assuming the average American family has 3 children that means about 1 million of these kids are the first child. If the US checks both parents that comes out to about two million people to do background checks on every year! If you don't do background checks, that raises the question of why bother? It achieves nothing to give away free licenses to have children.

What if you find someone who was severely abused as a child? Tell him or her they could never have children? That is practically eugenics! What about the poor? Will we refuse them the right to have children since they might not be able to feed them? Are we seriously going to discriminate against the poor, or victims of abuse and tell them they can't have kids? This is absurdity in the highest degree. The government does not have the right to say who can and cannot have kids. The licensing system would be ineffective. Humans are occasionally spontaneous, which raises the problem of what to do when an unlicensed couple has a child. What if the couple are both 16 years old?

There is no economically realistic and ethically right way to go about doing this. Attempting it would result in discrimination against the poor, against victims of abuse, and people with unplanned pregnancies. All of this at a huge cost to the taxpayers for millions of background checks every year.
Debate Round No. 2
ForSerious

Pro

Licensing parents would reduce traumatic childhoods, promote parenting standards, and be cost effective.


CON is worried about tax payer dollars. See in PRO's round 2 speech the evidence for how spending the money to prevent child abuse saves tax dollars in the long run.


CON suspects eugenics. However, licensing would be based on ability to raise a child, not any physical trait. Therefore, it is not eugenics.


CON worries about discrimination for the poor and others. Precedent for this is states where child neglect is determined by the “condition of the child resulting from parental actions or fault” [1]. This means that if a child malnourished or left unattended due to the parent's poverty, this is not child neglect. Additional support from the state is needed, not disciplinary action. The abused and those unintentionally pregnant would be granted licenses, if they are fit parents.


Licensing parents is best for the child, is cost effective, is NOT eugenics, and does NOT discriminate.

Raymond_Reddington

Con

Pro's arguments fail in two different ways.

1. Not cost effective (Get out your calculators!)
Pro gives a fair statistic that the average home visit produces $5.70 for every $1 spent. This return; however, is only applicable in households where child abuse occurs, and the benefit comes from reducing abuse according to Pro's second source. We would not see a return on families where abuse does not occur. Let's take a look at the math behind it. In 2005 there were 899,000 cases of confirmed abuse [1]. Household's with children average 1.86 children [2]. 37,147,503 households with children [3].This produces a total number of 69,094,355 children living in households. Assuming 1 abused child per household (which is favorable to Pro), we get 899,000 households producing $5.70 for every $1 spent on a home visit= +$4,225,300 to the US. Now we look at the rest of the 68,195,355 households where we spend $1 and get no return= -$68,195,355. Total cost to taxpayers is $63,970,055. Now let's be more realistic. Average house hold visit is two professionals making minimum 10.10 (because they're government employees) and 1 hour. We'll round it to $20 spent per house visit with a $114 dollar return on abused children= +84,506,000. Money lost= $1,363,907,100. Total cost to tax payers= $1,279,401,100 per year. That's not even taking into account the enormous amount of money needed to spend on background checks. Hardly cost effective. The exorbitant price alone should win me this debate.

2. Pro's case fails with this quote "Additional support from the state is needed, not disciplinary action. The abused and those unintentionally pregnant would be granted licenses, if they are fit parents." If this is not about disciplinary action then we should rely on parents going to the government for assistance, not forcing parents to be licensed. Pro's solution is unnecessary and impractical.
Debate Round No. 3
ForSerious

Pro

1. CON's math contains many false assumptions. The assumption that the $5.70 return for every dollar spent is “only applicable in households where child abuse occurs” is untrue. “Every $1 spent on a home visit” includes both households with and without child abuse. Another assumption is that every single family would need a home visit. Background checks and an assessment would generally suffice.

2. CON quotes me out of context. The sentence about “not disciplinary action” links back to the previous sentence about child neglect due to poverty. The sentence about “the abused and unintentionally pregnant” is a separate point. I am offended CON resorted to blatantly misconstrued my argument.

In conclusion, parents should be licensed. This would reduce traumatic childhoods. This would promote parenting standards. This would both save the lives of children and ease the burden abuse survivors statistically add to health care, crime, mental illness, etc. [1].

Raymond_Reddington

Con


Pro makes several mistakes in his argument which I will elaborate on here.

"The assumption that the $5.70 return for every dollar spent is "only applicable in households where child abuse occurs" is untrue. "Every $1 spent on a home visit" includes both households with and without child abuse."
The source where Pro got his $5 for $1 statistic (Pro's Round 2 source 2) is titled "Long-Term Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect". Non abusive homes don't get government visits. This $5.70 return is in the form of "reduced confirmed reports of abuse, reduced family enrollment in Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, decreased visits to emergency rooms, decreased arrest rates for mothers, and increased monthly earnings." These returns are not applicable to non abusive homes. Remember, the purpose of the home visits is to stop abuse and ensure that it doesn't happen again, if abuse is not going on, then the home visits are just wasted time.

Pro brings up the point that not all houses would need to be visited. Fine. Let's see what happens when we only visit abusive homes (out of pure luck). Pro's argument ignores the very thing he is proposing. "Background checks and an assessment would generally suffice." It's fair to say that a background check by the government would cost at least as much as a house visit. Remember, for my example I charitably put $20 as the cost of a home visit, and it cost taxpayers over a BILLION dollars per year. Let's substitute that for the cost of a background check. The Office of Personnel Management handles background checks for other agencies and the cost rose from 2005 to 2011 from $521 to $882 per person. Let's be generous and say that the licensing company only charged taxpayers $100 per person. Remember the number of households with children is 37,147,503. Now, I'll give Pro, and myself a huge break here. I don't want to factor in for all variables so I will undershoot it by a long shot. Pro will get a smaller figure. Each household has just 1 parent. Total cost to taxpayers: $3,714,750,300. That's undershooting it. This is incredibly impractical, and it's not even calculating price for "assessments".

I would go further into detail about other problems, but the impossible cost alone should win me this argument. The only way to vote is Con.
Debate Round No. 4
15 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Raymond_Reddington 2 years ago
Raymond_Reddington
Government background check cost: http://www.federaltimes.com...
Posted by ForSerious 2 years ago
ForSerious
Round 4 PRO speech
1. https://www.childwelfare.gov...
Posted by ForSerious 2 years ago
ForSerious
Ah. I didn't comment in time. To be fair I also won't post math in the comments, not that I was planning to...
Posted by ForSerious 2 years ago
ForSerious
Sorry for not responding right away. I wanted to give it some thought.

I strongly prefer you don't. The point of the 1000 character max is to force us to make concise arguments and digestible explanations .
I can see why math might belong in the comments since sources are, but if I allow math then what else would I have to allow in the future?

mmmmmmm Go for it. Depending on how far you take it I may or may not adjust the rules in future 'mini' debates.
Posted by Raymond_Reddington 2 years ago
Raymond_Reddington
Can I show my math in the comments section?
Posted by ForSerious 2 years ago
ForSerious
Round 3 PRO speech
1. 1. https://www.childwelfare.gov...
Posted by Raymond_Reddington 2 years ago
Raymond_Reddington
You're welcome.
Posted by ForSerious 2 years ago
ForSerious
Thank you :)
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by FuzzyCatPotato 2 years ago
FuzzyCatPotato
ForSeriousRaymond_ReddingtonTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Con proved cost-ineffective.
Vote Placed by NathanDuclos 2 years ago
NathanDuclos
ForSeriousRaymond_ReddingtonTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: I disagree with Pro, for a variety of reasons, but PRO made a far more compelling argument the Con. The argument got sidetracked rather then staying on point and that is where Pro won.