The Instigator
Pro (for)
7 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Rapacious greed paired w/ constructed inequalities are the root causes for the decline of America.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+1
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/5/2013 Category: Society
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 628 times Debate No: 41771
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Debate round rules
Round 1: Acceptance & Opening arguments (no rebuttals by con)
Round 2: Refutation of opponent's arguments (no new arguments)
Round 3: Defending your original arguments and conclusion (no new arguments)

My argument begins with:
I contend that rapacious greedy plutocrats, oligarchs, legalized corruption in the form of lobbying and dark money campaign contributions, paired with constructed political, socioeconomic, education, and judicial inequalities are the root causes for the decline of the American middle class, productivity, and our standing in the world. (1) The author Stan Moore claims that "...instead of promoting equality and fairness, democracy in America has been hijacked by the wealthy and powerful to further their own interests..." I further assert that the interests of the plutocrat resides solely in personal power and prestige, and not for national or social interests. Furthermore, the rich power elites have rigged the systems of America by corrupting capitalism to create massive profits by working against the productivity of the American middle class.

To be clear, I am for democracy, capitalism, and fair competition, and profiting from a good idea. Making a legit profit from hard work and dedication is a privilege that can't be understated. Fair profits are good, healthy and promote competition, while abject and rapacious greed is bad for everyone, especially the middle class. It's also bad for productivity and innovation. (2) Richard Cooper points out that "...individuals can become fabulously wealthy at the expense of other citizens, by securing privileges from powerful government officials--sometimes through influencing the decision-making process, sometimes through outright bribes or offers of lucrative future employment." One should never come to the false conclusion that wealthy people are simply really smart, blessed, lucky.

(1) Moore, Stan. "American Democracy Is a Charade." American Values. Ed. David M. Haugen. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2009. Opposing Viewpoints. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.

(2) Cooper, Richard N. "Plutocrats: The Rise of the New Global Super-Rich and the Fall of Everyone Else." Foreign Affairs 92.3 (2013). Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.


Thanks to Pro for the fascinating topic.

As requested, I will offer no rebuttals.

I only ask that "the decline of America" be taken liberally, so as not to fall prey to semantics. As it is, I am understanding the "decline" to represent an abstract sense of moral, economic, and declination of other values that may be deemed relevant rather than decline in a specific category, such as "jobs" for instance.

That said, I look forward to presenting my rebuttals on the 2nd round.
Debate Round No. 1


bsoten forfeited this round.


It is disappointing that the instigator had to forfeit his round.

I will, however, explain as to why I accepted the position of Con.

It seems that while rapacious greed paired w/ constructed inequalities are, indeed, problematic and do not help the greater cause or humanitarian efforts, I must ask what keeps this rapacious greed in power to begin with. There can be no absolute or literal equality in a world of inherent diversity, humans do all share the biological condition of being human, but all the abstract things like our memory and experiences, which arguably makes our lives meaningful, can never be equal. At best, we can ask for similar rights, which we have to a certain extent. The socioeconomic inequalities, however, are self-imposed to a certain degree. If the supposed 99% wanted to start a revolution, such a thing is within the realm of possibility. History shows, however, that revolutions only instill different tyrants. For all our supposed technological progress and success, we solved so little problems than we have actually solved. Indeed, it seems we have only improved human conveniences, while introducing new inconveniences.

But what of the progress of the soul? You name the root causes for the decline of America, but what of the root causes of rapacious greed and constructed inequalities? We fail to transcend the human condition, because we fail to tame our own nature. I would argue that most people are not even aware of their own ignorance; indeed, most do not know why Socrates was the wisest man in the world. The reason why every revolution fails is because people cannot transcend their own nature to revolt against even what is good, most cannot see beyond the radius of their own eyes, they fail to feel beyond their own heart, and they live as if the entirety of existence revolves around them.

In short, it is the death of philosophy, the rampant ignorance and unawareness of the majority, the lack of desire to think and learn partly as a result of economic slavery, the banishment of critical thought in schools while pandering to standardized tests, the inability to empathize beyond their own condition, and ultimately, the fear of challenging the superstructure.

I believe that while Pro raises good point that I mostly agree with, I do not think rapacious greed and constructed inequalities are the root causes of the decline of America. For the root cause of rapacious greed and constructed inequalities, as well as the general declination of human society, is ignorance. People are too busy trying to get by to think about why they are in such a position to begin with. And when they do have free time, most people are trying to rest, pursue hobbies and pleasure, try to share some time with families and friends. For instance, most people that call themselves democrats and republicans do not even know the current policies of either parties, except for some rudimentary skit they come across on the news.
Debate Round No. 2


bsoten forfeited this round.


A shame this had to end this way.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by whatledge 2 years ago

My refutation was that "Rapacious greed and constructed inequalities" are just mere products of a greater problem, which is the ignorance of the general population. Rapacious greed and constructed inequalities are powerless if the people chose to transcend these things and choose not to be bound by money or power (ie the superstructure). "Rapacious greed and constructed inequalities" is not a CAUSE it is an EFFECT that is enabled by the ignorance of the masses that continue to elect incompetent leaders and lead a life that binds themselves to economic slavery. That said, I don't see how I lost conduct points or grammar, as Pro forfeited all of his rounds.
Posted by Josh_b 2 years ago
I thought about debating you on this based on cause, but my cause was lack of religious morality. And after I read your first round, I felt like my opinions would be pretty much the same as yours.
Posted by Romanii 2 years ago
IKR. Why do rich people make such a fuss about paying high taxes!? Why do we have to burden the poor with so many taxes? And by "rich" I don't mean those guys earning $200,000 a year. Those guys are just upper middle class. I mean the people who are reaping millions of dollars a year! Why does anyone need that much money, and how can they still possibly be so greedy when they know there are billions of people out there who need the money infinitely more then they could ever need it?
Posted by Multi-Wargasm 2 years ago
Wonder what will happen when you got a load of angry, conservative, poor people, separated by social divisions, armed with a lot of guns and a whole lotta freedom...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Josh_b 2 years ago
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: completely winning for pro on the grounds that con forfeited the debate and did not present any refutation for the arguments presented by pro.