The Instigator
kasmic
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
TommyB12
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

President Obama is not a Socialist

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
kasmic
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/11/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 457 times Debate No: 78587
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (9)
Votes (2)

 

kasmic

Pro

Resolved: President Obama is not a Socialist.

Clarification: This debate is not about support for or criticism of the President, just as the resolve states this debate is about whether or not President Obama fits the definition of a Socialist.

Definition of terms:

Socialism: A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned and regulated by the community as a whole.

Socialist: "A person who believes in socialism"(1)

Format: 6,000 characters/4 rounds/72hrs.

Round 1: Acceptance and definitions
Round 2: Opening arguments, no rebuttals
Round 3: Rebuttals and new arguments
Round 4: closing statements, No new arguments.


Comment if interested.

Sources:

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
TommyB12

Con

I accept and agree to the definitions and terms here and what we had previously discussed in the comment area. I look forward to a vigorous and lively discussion of the issue.
Debate Round No. 1
kasmic

Pro

Thank you for accepting and good luck!

President Obama has made no attempt to establish " A political and economic organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned and regulated by the community as a whole. " and is therefore not a socialist.

From the mouth of the President

President Obama while commenting on the economy of the U.S. said this, "Yes, business, and not government, will always be the primary generator of good jobs with incomes that lift people into the middle class and keep them there. But as a nation, we’ve always come together, through our government, to help create the conditions where both workers and businesses can succeed."(1)

This quote is very telling of the President’s personal views, especially when compared to socialism. He references business as being the primary generator of jobs, not the government. Remember, the structure of socialism is to have the means of production, or in other words, the business, owned by the government. Why would President Obama talk about or promote a system where business' are separate from the government if as a socialist he would oppose this separation. It is simple, the ideals he is sharing are not socialistic.

President Obama once said "People call me a socialist sometimes. But no, you've got to meet real socialists. (Laughter.) You'll have a sense of what a socialist is. (Laughter.) I'm talking about lowering the corporate tax rate. My health care reform is based on the private marketplace. The stock market is looking pretty good last time I checked."(2)

Do Socialists think Obama is a socialist?

Billy Wharton the Co-Chairperson of the Socialist Party USA had this to say. "The funny thing is, of course, that socialists know that Barack Obama is not one of us. Not only is he not a socialist, he may in fact not even be a liberal. Socialists understand him more as a hedge-fund Democrat -- one of a generation of neoliberal politicians firmly committed to free-market policies."(3)

The misconception of the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is often viewed by some as a socialistic program, but when observed it becomes clear that it is not a socialist program. The ACA includes provisions that "are intended to expand access to insurance, increase consumer protections, emphasize prevention and wellness, improve quality and system performance, expand the health workforce, and curb rising healthcare costs"(4) The ACA does not however promote government ownership of the healthcare industry. In fact the ACA largely supports and relies on private ownership of the healthcare industry.

"The ACA program relies on private health insurance companies to manage health services" Under the ACA, health insurance in America is still being delivered by private practitioners and paid for by private insurers. In fact, the vast majority of Americans who receive their health insurance from employer-paid plans will see no discernible change in their coverage or delivery, and need not access the exchanges."(5)

What do socialist think of the ACA?

Greg Parsons, the national secretary of the Socialist Party USA had this to say: "Obamacare cannot be considered socialist in any way, The ACA program relies on private health insurance companies to manage health services," Pason said. "A socialized system would not include 'health insurance,' but would be an actual national health-care system which would be publicly funded through progressive taxation and controlled by democratically elected assemblies of health-care workers and patients."(6)

Clearly the ACA is not only not a socialist program but relies heavily on private ownership of the healthcare industry.

Concluding my opening argument.

President Obama's signature work (ACA) nicknamed "Obamacare" demonstrates that the President has not made any attempt to take a major private industry and put it under government ownership. In his own words the President has demonstrated a belief in private business, not public ownership as well as does not self-identify as a socialist. Socialists also do not claim President Obama as part of their group.

Terrance Ball, political science professor at Arizona State University who has a Ph.D. in political science, has this to say on the subject.(7)

"I grow weary of Obama and the Democrats being called socialist," said Ball, who has written about ideologies. "If you talk to any real socialist, they disown them very, very quickly."(8)

President Obama is not a socialist.

The ninth link provided is to an article I wrote for infobarrel. I used a lot of the content that I put up on infobarrel for this debate and wanted it to be clear that this was not plagiarized, it is my own work that I am using. (9)


Sources:

(1) www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/12/06/remarks-president-economy-osawatomie-kansas
(2) http://socialistworker.org...
(3) http://www.washingtonpost.com...
(4) http://www.ncsl.org...
(5) http://www.newsday.com...
(6) http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
(7) https://webapp4.asu.edu...
(8) http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
(9) http://www.infobarrel.com...

TommyB12

Con

TommyB12 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
TommyB12

Con

TommyB12 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
kasmic

Pro

This is my fourth time doing this debate. I have never had someone make it to the end.

In anycase,

Socialists dont call President Obama a socialist. President Obama does not Identify as one, and Political science experts find such a lable on the President to be a misnomer.

President Obama is not a socialist.
TommyB12

Con

TommyB12 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
Well considering that you just sated that state socialism= state capitalism and he said that state capitalism is not socialism, then it seems the two of you do not agree. Either you are right, he is right, or we are all wrong haha.
Posted by Theunkown 1 year ago
Theunkown
Socialism is basically anti-private ownership of means of production. Of this you, obviously, have many varieties. You have worker control, community ownership (decentralization/anarchy) and of course, state socialism/state capitalism. All of the above fit within dictionary definitions of socialism and is part of the socialist philosophy.

So what Independent says is not entirely false.
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
All five of the dictionary definition linked in the comments disagree with you.
Posted by IndependentTruth 1 year ago
IndependentTruth
Socialism is not government ownership of business -- that's state capitalism.
Posted by TommyB12 1 year ago
TommyB12
I could work with that. Sounds good
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
So I put your first proposed definition in just changing the word to and. Is that reasonable?
Posted by TommyB12 1 year ago
TommyB12
This is more specific yet:

Socialism is a political and economic theory that emphasizes common ownership and cooperative management of production and resources. Modern socialism arose in the 18th century from dissatisfaction with industrialization and the inequities caused by unbridled private ownership. Socialists generally share the view that capitalism is inherently exploitative; thus, they advocate cooperative efforts and social service. Socialism differs from communism in that it is based on ethical and democratic values, and it permits both individual and state ownership of property and business. Sweden and Denmark are examples of non-communist socialist systems, in which the government controls the majority of public utilities and directs the economy.

https://www.chegg.com...
Posted by kasmic 1 year ago
kasmic
The issue I have with that definition is the word "or."

From several dictionaries all include the concept of ownership, not just mere regulation. Thus if we changed the word or to and I would be good with it. Otherwise we are not talking about socialism.

(1) http://www.merriam-webster.com...
(2) http://dictionary.cambridge.org...
(3) http://dictionary.reference.com...
(4) http://www.britannica.com...
(5) http://socialistparty-usa.net...
Posted by TommyB12 1 year ago
TommyB12
I am interested but would propose an alternative definition of socialism:

A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

Its a slight distinction but one that I think is more refined.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 1 year ago
dsjpk5
kasmicTommyB12Tied
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Con ff several times, so conduct to Pro.
Vote Placed by Kozu 1 year ago
Kozu
kasmicTommyB12Tied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Full FF