The Instigator
Xerographica
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
PowerPikachu21
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Replace Voting With Spending

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
PowerPikachu21
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/22/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 10 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 835 times Debate No: 103636
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

Xerographica

Pro

1. People are unequally informed.
2. Voting gives people equal influence.
3. It's a problem when unequally informed people have equal influence.
4. The solution is to replace voting with spending.

Have you ever been to a dog show? I haven't. My interest in dogs is less than the cost (time/effort/ticket) of the show. But if Samantha offered me $100 to accompany her to a dog show, then I'd accept it.

Dogs at shows are judged by a small handful of experts. They might also have a people's choice award. Everybody can vote for their favorite dog. I might vote for my favorite dog. The cost would be less than my interest. But if voting was replaced with spending, I probably wouldn't be willing to spend more than 25 cents. This amount would roughly equal my interest/information.

The majority of people at the show are going to be far less informed/interested than the minority.

voting (democracy) = tyranny of the majority/ignorant
spending (markets) = tyranny of the minority/informed

In terms of dogs, I'm in the majority. But in terms of economics, I'm in the minority. I've purchased far more books about economics because I'm far more interested in economics. Information and interest go hand in hand.

Based on my info, Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations is far more important than Thomas Piketty's Capital. Yet, unlike Piketty's book, Smith's book has never made the NY Times bestseller list. So Smith's book is less important than Piketty's book? The "minor" detail is that Smith's book is freely available online. Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?

It might seem like market failure, but the failure was the market design. Fully appreciating the failure of market design depends on fully understanding markets.

Say you spend your money on Piketty's book. It's easy to see that you exchanged your money in order to acquire the book. You wanted it, so you bought it. But the act of buying his book has consequences. The most obvious is that you now own a copy. Less obviously, your money helped increase the importance of his book, which changed the allocation of society's limited resources.

The basic economic problem is...

Society's resources: limited
Society's wants: unlimited

Society's limited resources (ie attention) must be divided somehow among society's unlimited wants (ie books).

When you spent your money on Piketty's book, you...

1. acquired it
2. divided society's resources

Which is more important, acquiring or dividing? Dividing is more important because it determines what's available to acquire. Everything that's currently available to acquire is the result of how society's resources have been divided. The quantity/quality of economics books that are now available is the result of how society's resources have been divided.

When we focus on the acquiring, it seems great that Smith's book is freely available. But when we focus on the dividing, then the problem should be clear. If you appreciate Smith's book, but you don't spend any money on it, then you're failing to help improve the division of society's limited resources. As a result, the future supply (what will be available to acquire) will provide you with less benefit.

So how much money should you spend on Smith's book? The amount that you spend on it should correctly reflect/signal your perception of its importance. With this in mind, the standard market design (SMD) didn't just fail for Smith's book, it also failed for Piketty's book. Most people who purchased it paid the same price even though they unequally value it.

Imagine that we use this website to help improve our understanding of the social importance of the two books. Should we simply vote to determine their importance? Nope. Again, the problem is that the majority is less informed than the minority. Tyranny of the ignorant produces untrustworthy results.

In order to minimize fake news, spending must replace voting. People wouldn't spend their money to buy the books. Instead, they would spend their money to help determine the importance of the books. More economic interest/info, more willingness to spend. Spending money would filter out economic ignorance. The results would embody/broadcast economic knowledge, which would help reduce economic ignorance.

If $100 was spent on Piketty's book, and $1000 was spent on Smith's book, then the spending disparity would accurately reflect the importance disparity. Correctly ranking the books would improve the division of society's limited resources, which would improve the supply of books.

I refer to this design as the bee market design (BMD). Bees sacrifice their precious calories dancing in order to signal the importance of flower patches. Their goal, in this case, isn't for the bees to spend their calories in order to acquire the pollen/nectar, it's to improve the division of the hive's foragers among the different flower patches. By improving the division of resources, the spenders help to improve the supply of nectar, pollen and honey.

An alternative design is the pragmatarian market design (PMD). For example, people who subscribe to Amazon Kindle Unlimited (AKU) would have the option to use their monthly fees to help determine the importance of the books. Each month I could allocate some, or even all, of my monthly fee to Smith's book. Since Smith is long dead, I would not be trying to encourage him to write an even better book. Instead, I'd be trying to encourage...

1. other economists to write a better book
2. more people to read Smith's book

With the PMD, consumers would use their fees to help determine the relative importance of all the books. This information would help consumers/producers make far better informed resource allocation decisions.

The goal of both the PMD and BMD is not to spend money to acquire the books. The goal is to spend money to improve the division of society's resources among the different books/topics. Improving the division of resources would improve the supply of books.

With the AKU PMD, every subscriber would pay the same monthly fee. However, as I've established, unequally informed people shouldn't have equal influence. But once AKU subscribers grasp the benefit of using their fees to help determine the social importance of books, then more interested/informed subscribers are going to be willing to pay more than their fair share in order to improve the division of resources.

Let's say that the PMD was applied to the government. "Subscribers" (taxpayers) would have the option of using their own tax dollars to help determine the relative importance of defense, healthcare, environmental protection and all the other goods supplied by the government. Improving the division of resources would improve the supply of public goods. Since taxpayers would pay different amounts of tax dollars, they would have different amounts of influence.

One common concern is that markets give too much influence to the wealthy. J.K. Rowling has lots of money/influence because lots of people bought her book. But as I endeavored to explain, the SMD is problematic because the focus is on acquiring rather than on dividing. Imagine AKU PMD with Harry Potter versus Adam Smith, Isaac Newton and Charles Darwin. Lots of subscribers would still be happy to read Harry Potter. But when subscribers decide how to divide their fees (and any additional money) between Potter, Smith, Newton and Darwin, then voila! Real magic!

Rowling would still be rich, but not as rich. Her wealth/influence would more accurately/correctly reflect the importance of her contributions compared to the importance of other people's contributions. She would still be able to exert a lot more influence than most people at a BMD dog show. But would she be willing to spend a million dollars to help determine the winner? Would she also be willing to spend a million dollars to help determine the winner at a BMD orchid show, and a BMD car show, and a BMD quilt show, and...? She definitely wouldn't exert considerable influence at every show in the world. How she divided her money/influence among all the different shows would roughly correspond to her interests/information. This would be a good thing.

In terms of a PMD government, if Rowling allocates half her tax dollars to the environment, we can reasonably conclude that the significant division of her tax dollars reflects that she has considerable interest/information concerning the environment.

The challenge for those of you who disagree that spending should replace voting is to explain why, exactly, voting should not replace spending in the non-profit sector. Rowling probably makes plenty of big donations to various charitable organizations. She uses her money to help determine the importance of the different causes. Would it be better if the importance of causes was determined by voting? Would it be better if the importance of books was determined by voting? Is voting truly the best way to divide society's limited resources and facilitate the most beneficial supply?

Nearly everybody perceives that voting works. But where's the proof/evidence that it works better than spending? Why aren't dog shows judged by spending? Is there proof/evidence that spending is less effective than voting at determining the importance of things? If such proof/evidence existed, then it really wouldn't be only applicable to dog shows. It would also be applicable to the non-profit sector and the for-profit sector. We should use voting to determine the importance of everything from computers to soup-kitchens.

The fact that spending and voting are both used to divide society's limited resources is evidence that there's little evidence regarding the effectiveness of either method. We need much more evidence which is why Debate.org should replace voting with spending.
PowerPikachu21

Con

By voting, do you mean deciding the presidents? Bias does exist in this world. If a rich man really liked one president, he'd spend lots of money on that president to heavily support that one, and if the president has ties to many rich people (such as Trump), he'd be winning the election by a landslide just because this president had $50,000,000 on him and only maybe $4,000 for the other guy.

You could replace voting with anything, like a business. If Building A has more money than Building B, must Building A be the better one? Another possibility is that rich people were asked to fund Building A and asked to not fund Building B. If I wanted to, I could extend it to they were forced to fund Building A, or deceived into thinking Building A is good but turns out to be really horrible.
Debate Round No. 1
Xerographica

Pro

Thanks for responding to my argument. If you get a chance, check out the thread I posted in the economics forum.

My argument is that spending is always better than voting. Presidents should be chosen by spending rather than by voting. Here are three ways that this could be done...

1. coasian market design (CMD)
2. bee market design (BMD)
3. pragmatarian market design (PMD)

For CMD we will consider Clinton VS Trump. For a fixed amount of time, spenders would have the opportunity to spend as much money as they wanted on their preferred candidate. After the window of participation closed, the totals would be calculated and revealed. Whichever candidate had the biggest total would be the winner. Let's say that Trump was the winner. All the spenders for Clinton would receive a full refund. Plus, they'd proportionally receive all the money that had been spent for Trump. Unlike voting, CMD is a win-win situation. You either get your preferred candidate, or you get compensated.

BMD would be a better option if we wanted to choose the president from a larger list of candidates...

Bernie Sanders
Chris Christie
Darrell Castle
Donald Trump
Evan McMullin
Gary Johnson
Hillary Clinton
James Hedges
Jeb Bush
Jill Stein
Marco Rubio
Mimi Soltysik
Ted Cruz
Tom Hoefling
Rand Paul
Rocky De La Fuente

Spenders could use their donations to determine the best order of the candidates. Whichever candidate was at the top when the window of participation had closed would be the winner. The government would keep all the money. So BMD essentially kills two birds with one stone...

1. Valuating
2. Fundraising

With PMD, people would use their tax dollars to determine the best order of the candidates. The candidates would keep all the tax dollars that had been allocated to them.

Your concern with replacing voting with spending is that bias exists in the world. Let's say that right now everybody is biased against robot candidates. In this case, no matter whether we used voting or spending, a robot candidate would not be elected. The next decade 90% of the citizens are biased against robot candidates. If voting was used, it's definitely going to be tyranny of the biased majority and the robot candidate will not be elected. If we used spending though, there's some chance that the robot candidate will be elected.

It took over 200 years to elect our first black president. We still haven't had a woman president, or an (openly) gay president, or an (openly) atheist president, or... it's a long list. I really don't think that voting in any way, shape or form helps to overcome detrimental biases held by the majority of the citizens. Spending, on the other hand, would facilitate the elimination of detrimental biases.

Think about backpacking. Before you go backpacking you have to decide whether things you want to take are worth the effort of carrying them. Sure, you'd love to take a big bottle of Tequila, but is it worth the effort of carrying it? Knowing, considering and comparing the carrying costs/benefits of different things allows you to make more rational decisions. In the absence of knowing, or paying, the carrying costs... it's impossible for your carrying decisions to be maximally rational.

Replacing voting with spending would allow everyone to consider and compare the actual costs of the things they want. Then, and only then, will people make maximally rational decisions.

"As was noted in Chapter 3, expressions of malice and/or envy no less than expressions of altruism are cheaper in the voting booth than in the market. A German voter who in 1933 cast a ballot for Hitler was able to indulge his antisemitic sentiments at much less cost than she would have borne by organizing a pogrom." - Loren Lomasky, Democracy and Decision
PowerPikachu21

Con

Sorry, completely forgot this was a thing.

"For CMD we will consider Clinton VS Trump. For a fixed amount of time, spenders would have the opportunity to spend as much money as they wanted on their preferred candidate. After the window of participation closed, the totals would be calculated and revealed. Whichever candidate had the biggest total would be the winner."

Like I said, the system is biased for the people who're friends with rich people, or they're forcing the rich to spend on them.

"You either get your preferred candidate, or you get compensated."

The problem is that it wouldn't matter much what your reasons for being president are, it's the money that matters. Just force rich people and you abuse the system. I mea, I'd probably do such.

"[For BMD] Spenders could use their donations to determine the best order of the candidates. Whichever candidate was at the top when the window of participation had closed would be the winner. The government would keep all the money. So BMD essentially kills two birds with one stone..."

But this system could also be abused by blackmailing rich people, right? As long as I've gotten the most funds, I'd be president. Doesn't matter how.

"With PMD, people would use their tax dollars to determine the best order of the candidates. The candidates would keep all the tax dollars that had been allocated to them."

A little different, but it's still possible to trick the system by affilating with people who spend lots of taxes, friendship or otherwise.

"Your concern with replacing voting with spending is that bias exists in the world. Let's say that right now everybody is biased against robot candidates. In this case, no matter whether we used voting or spending, a robot candidate would not be elected. The next decade 90% of the citizens are biased against robot candidates. If voting was used, it's definitely going to be tyranny of the biased majority and the robot candidate will not be elected. If we used spending though, there's some chance that the robot candidate will be elected."

If the robot was tyranical, I'd consider not funding them; boycotting if you will. Though if they tried to kill me, the fear would make me fund a bit for them.

"It took over 200 years to elect our first black president. We still haven't had a woman president, or an (openly) gay president, or an (openly) atheist president, or... it's a long list. I really don't think that voting in any way, shape or form helps to overcome detrimental biases held by the majority of the citizens. Spending, on the other hand, would facilitate the elimination of detrimental biases."

Let's look at it like this. Right now, everyone can vote once for the man/woman of their choosing. You propose we can spend money, let's say $1 = 1 vote. Looking at it like this, $1,000 means 1,000 votes for that man/woman. Therefore, richer people can "vote" much more than the average person. Hopefully the problem is obvious now. People's individual preference doesn't count as much as those who have lots of money and close to the corrupt politician.

My point still stands. The funding system can be abused easily.
Debate Round No. 2
Xerographica

Pro

"People's individual preference doesn't count as much as those who have lots of money and close to the corrupt politician."

It's true that, if voting is replaced by spending, a rich person will have more influence than a poor person. But if it's truly beneficial for everyone to have the same influence, then why have any spending at all? Why not replace all spending with voting?

Right now a rich person can donate more money to the Red Cross than a poor person can. Right now a rich person can buy a bigger house than a poor person can. Right now a rich person can buy more food than a poor person can.

You seem to think it's harmful that some people can spend more money than other people. But you haven't argued that we should entirely replace spending with voting. Why is that?

You think it's detrimental to have inequality in the public sector, so shouldn't you also think it's detrimental to have inequality in the private sector as well?

The reason that inequality happens is that people don't spend their money equally. Imagine you harvest some poison oak and take it to the farmer's market to sell. Are people going to give you any money? Are people going to equally divide their limited money with you and the vendors selling artichokes, corn, tomatoes and other beneficial, delicious, nutritious and useful things? Of course not. People aren't crazy.

In a market, we all use our money to rank/judge/valuate how other people are using society's limited resources. If people think you are stupidly using (aka "wasting") society's limited resources... then they won't give you any money. This logically and naturally limits the amount of resources that are wasted.

Everyday everybody judges how well everybody else is using society's limited resources. You want to disregard the results of this powerful process and give everyone equal influence in the public sector. But if you're so willing to disregard people's evaluations of each other's uses of society's limited resources, then why not do so entirely? Why not replace all markets with democracy?

My challenge to you is to supply a coherent story. Supply a story that makes sense.
PowerPikachu21

Con

I believe my opponent's committing a strawman fallacy; a misinterpretation of my stance then proceeding to refute said misinterpretation.

Defense:

"It's true that, if voting is replaced by spending, a rich person will have more influence than a poor person. But if it's truly beneficial for everyone to have the same influence, then why have any spending at all?"

Money's made to be profit. Big companies like Nintendo need money to make video games, which they sell video games to make money.

"Why not replace all spending with voting?"

Because that would be ridiculous. Who would be voting that I should get a new video game? Money's a thing because profit. If it's whoever gets the most funding becomes president, the system can be abused. For buying groceries, then money would become obsolete.

"Right now a rich person can donate more money to the Red Cross than a poor person can. Right now a rich person can buy a bigger house than a poor person can. Right now a rich person can buy more food than a poor person can."

Common sense. Your point is?

"You seem to think it's harmful that some people can spend more money than other people. But you haven't argued that we should entirely replace spending with voting. Why is that?"

Because technically buying groceries is irrelevant to this debate, which is soley about whether we should fund for presidents or vote. This is a strawman and a red herring.

"You think it's detrimental to have inequality in the public sector, so shouldn't you also think it's detrimental to have inequality in the private sector as well?"

Not sure what you mean by that, but I don't know if it's relevant. You're starting to ask me questions about why I think funding in general is bad, which is 1) outside of the scope of the debate, and 2) avoiding my arguments altogether.

"The reason that inequality happens is that people don't spend their money equally."

I mean, yeah. My family isn't Donald Trump or anything. But this inequality is exactly where my argument is coming from, but specifically in terms of rich people would spend more on their favorites.

"Imagine you harvest some poison oak and take it to the farmer's market to sell. Are people going to give you any money? Are people going to equally divide their limited money with you and the vendors selling artichokes, corn, tomatoes and other beneficial, delicious, nutritious and useful things? Of course not. People aren't crazy."

1) Why would I be touching and selling poison oak? That's an awful idea, since it makes you itch. 2) I'd rather be making video games, which would be at a set price. If they can't afford it, they don't get it. That's how economy works, even with groceries. 3) You aren't proposing that politicians sell things to make money, you're proposing we spend on them; funding. 4) If I was a politician and I knew some rich people, I'd get them to fund me $10,000 or maybe more. (If I wanted to be president that badly, anyways.) [After looking through this again, I see where you're going. Most politicians wouldn't outright say they're evil, since that's a poor move. Doesn't mean they can't go to their rich friends to fund.]

"In a market, we all use our money to rank/judge/valuate how other people are using society's limited resources. If people think you are stupidly using (aka "wasting") society's limited resources... then they won't give you any money. This logically and naturally limits the amount of resources that are wasted."

I'm not following. What resources get wasted? If anything, it's the customers who waste their money if they buy an Iphone just to break it. (there's a few videos on Youtube for this)

"Everyday everybody judges how well everybody else is using society's limited resources. You want to disregard the results of this powerful process and give everyone equal influence in the public sector. But if you're so willing to disregard people's evaluations of each other's uses of society's limited resources, then why not do so entirely? Why not replace all markets with democracy?"

I never said spending is bad. Because how society works, money is very important. Resources cost money, which is why charities ask for funding. A politician doesn't really need resources, unless they're redirecting the funding into charity (which the original spender could do themself).

Money isn't a way to judge whether something's better than another thing. It can also mean lots of rich people funded for Person A because they're friends. Unless thousands of people's funds can outweigh a few $10,000 from the rich people, the voices of the poorer people are irrelevant in this system. To make sure rich people don't make an election one sided, we instead let the people have 1 vote each, then judge based on popular preference instead of "Who can afford to spend $10,000 on this politician?".


So I'll restate my stance: If we change the system to funding, this asbically means richer people can 'vote' many times by spending $2,000, whereas some can only afford to spend $50, which quickly becomes irrelevant when the rich people spend a collective $5,000,000 on Person A, and Person B only has $1,000 of funding. The system can be abused too easily. Economy doesn't care about popularity or rich people as long as they can afford the product so the creator makes profit.
Debate Round No. 3
Xerographica

Pro

Your argument is that it's bad for rich people to have more influence than poor people. But, for some reason, you seem to believe that your argument is only applicable to the public sector. I don't see any logical explanation for your double standard. I asked you to provide one but you failed to do so.

Earlier this year the Libertarian Party used the BMD to choose its convention theme...

$6,327.00 - I"m That Libertarian!
$5,200.00 - Building Bridges, Not Walls
$1,620.00 - Pro Choice on Everything
$1,377.77 - Empowering the Individual
$395.00 - The Power of Principle
$150.00 - Future of Freedom
$135.00 - Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness
$105.00 - Rise of the Libertarians
$75.00 - Free Lives Matter
$42.00 - Be Me, Be Free
$17.76 - Make Taxation Theft Again
$15.42 - Taxation is Theft
$15.00 - Jazzed About Liberty
$15.00 - All of Your Freedoms, All of the Time
$5.00 - Am I Being Detained!
$5.00 - Liberty Here and Now

Donors used their donations to rank the potential themes. Obviously a rich donor would be able to have more influence on the order of the themes than a poor donor. Is this a bad thing? Well, according to you, it isn't. Why isn't it? It's because this ranking didn't take place in the public sector, it took place in the private sector. But it makes absolutely no sense for everyone to be helped by inequality in the private sector but hurt by it in the public sector.

Consider this list of things...

food
cars
clothes
video games
furniture
computers

Let's say that you want a video game. You exchange your money for it. Now you have it. Now you own it. But your money didn't just allow you to acquire the video game, it also helped to improve the ranking of the video game. The more money that's spent on video games, the higher their ranking. The higher their ranking, the more of society's limited resources (ie brainpower) that's used to produce them. The more of society's limited resources used to produce video games, the less resources available to produce everything else.

In the private sector consumers use their money to rank things. That's what we all do when we spend our money. We rank things. We don't perceive that we do so, but this doesn't change the fact that we do so.

It's a logical fact that a rich person can buy more video games than a poor person. Therefore, a rich person has more influence over the ranking of video games, and everything else in the private sector, than a poor person. You seem to think this is a GOOD thing. You seem to think that we all BENEFIT from the massive disparity in their influence over the ranking of video games and everything else in the private sector.

Even though you think it's a GOOD and BENEFICIAL thing for a rich person to have more influence than a poor person over the ranking of video games and everything else in the private sector, you also think it's a BAD and DETRIMENTAL thing for a rich person to have more influence than a poor person over the ranking of environmental protection and everything else in the public sector.

Your double standard is entirely illogical. There is absolutely no logical justification for our dual system. Kings used to have sole influence over the ranking of things like wars and infrastructure. Why? It's because people believed that kings had divine authority. People believed that God gave kings the sole authority to rank public goods. This belief began to die, and some barons decided that they didn't want all "their" money to be spent on unnecessary wars. So they took the power of the purse from kings. Then the people were given the opportunity to use voting to choose their representatives. This is how we ended up with our current system.

Our current system has absolutely nothing to do with science. There aren't any experiments that prove that politicians chosen by voting are better at ranking wars, infrastructure, healthcare and education than politicians chosen by spending.

When you believe something, despite the complete absence of any scientific evidence, it's called faith.

You perceive that using voting works to rank things like wars and healthcare. Maybe you can also perceive that we use spending to rank things like video games and food. The question is... would voting work better than spending to rank things like video games and food? If so, then we should replace spending with voting.

Nobody benefits when we incorrectly rank things. Nobody benefits when too many resources are used to produce video games and too few resources are used to produce food. So it's absolutely imperative that we scientifically determine whether spending or voting is the best way to rank things.

In my opening argument I made the case that this website, Debate.org, should replace voting with spending. If it did so, it would be the only sizable social website using spending rather than voting to rank things. All other websites... Reddit, Youtube, Netflix, Facebook and Twitter use voting to rank things. What would happen if Debate.org used spending, rather than voting, to rank the debates? Would the ranking by spending be inferior to the ranking by voting? If so, HOW COULD THIS ONLY BE TRUE FOR DEBATES? Why wouldn't it also be true for computers, food and video games?

I challenged you to come up with a coherent story to explain our dual system. But the fact of the matter is that it's an impossible mission. There can't be two best systems for ranking things. There can only be one best system. I'm sure that spending is an incredibly better way to rank things than voting. But maybe I'm wrong? This is where and why we need science. We need experiments. We need tests. Debate.org replacing voting with spending wouldn't be a perfect test, but it would be a test. It would provide some evidence regarding the effectiveness of using spending to rank things.
PowerPikachu21

Con

"Your argument is that it's bad for rich people to have more influence than poor people."

That's not what I'm saying. It's not that rich people are bad or their influence is too great, but they can easily be abused to win an election if we replace voting with spending. Whether because the rich are friends with the person, or that the person forced the rich to fund. A system where everyone gets 1 vote is harder to abuse.

"But, for some reason, you seem to believe that your argument is only applicable to the public sector. I don't see any logical explanation for your double standard. I asked you to provide one but you failed to do so."

I don't know what a public or private sector is... but I've said already that a funding system can be abused.

"Earlier this year the Libertarian Party used the BMD to choose its convention theme..."

Alright, but did this system get abused by rich people?

"Donors used their donations to rank the potential themes. Obviously a rich donor would be able to have more influence on the order of the themes than a poor donor. Is this a bad thing? Well, according to you, it isn't. Why isn't it?"

Did I? Well anyways, it's not the influence itself that's what's bad, it's the ability to get said influence via blackmailing or ransom. You're trying to strawman my argument, avoiding the actual problem at hand (at least that's what it feel like).

"Let's say that you want a video game. You exchange your money for it. Now you have it. Now you own it. But your money didn't just allow you to acquire the video game, it also helped to improve the ranking of the video game. The more money that's spent on video games, the higher their ranking."

Could you provide a link that says good products gain more profit? If it takes lots of resources to make, it's usually more expensive. Also, sometimes bad products get money.

"The higher their ranking, the more of society's limited resources (ie brainpower) that's used to produce them. The more of society's limited resources used to produce video games, the less resources available to produce everything else."

So because they're high rank, they use resourses? Using the resourses must come first so the product could even be judged to begin with. And what does resources have to do with electing a president anyways, let alone any voting? We don't use resources for elections.

"In the private sector consumers use their money to rank things. That's what we all do when we spend our money. We rank things. We don't perceive that we do so, but this doesn't change the fact that we do so."

People can pay for things, but end up not liking it. Heck, The Emoji Movie made lots of money, despite everyone hating it Day 1! http://www.boxofficemojo.com... think they even made a profit!

"It's a logical fact that a rich person can buy more video games than a poor person. Therefore, a rich person has more influence over the ranking of video games, and everything else in the private sector, than a poor person."

Why would someone buy 5 copies of Super Smash Bros? That doesn't mean it's amazing (though it is), it just means this one guy really likes this one game (or planning on a giveaway). And all products can vary in price. A watermelon could sell for $5, whereas an apple can cost $7. The apple costs more, does this mean the apple's better? It also makes more profit, must the apple be better? In general, it's all a matter of opinion. Money or profit does not necessitate higher quality.

"You seem to think this is a GOOD thing. You seem to think that we all BENEFIT from the massive disparity in their influence over the ranking of video games and everything else in the private sector."

Could you quote me? Like I keep saying, products are irrelevant to the debate. What's important is that people can abuse rich people to get a high score in a funding system instead of a voting system.

"Even though you think it's a GOOD and BENEFICIAL thing for a rich person to have more influence than a poor person over the ranking of video games and everything else in the private sector, you also think it's a BAD and DETRIMENTAL thing for a rich person to have more influence than a poor person over the ranking of environmental protection and everything else in the public sector."

You could also say apples or hotels or movies, I really don't mind. But you're completely avoiding my argument. The system can get abused, and likely would if it were to take effect. It doesn't matter what I think about rich people and influence, what matters is the fact that if I wanted to be president using the funding system, I'd kidnap the wife of a rich man and ask for a $1,000,000 deposit for me. (okay, I wouldn't, but someone probably would if they're desperate/evil enough)

"Our current system has absolutely nothing to do with science. There aren't any experiments that prove that politicians chosen by voting are better at ranking wars, infrastructure, healthcare and education than politicians chosen by spending."

But would the spending make them better at said subjects? Not really, spending just has greater influence that can be abused.

"You perceive that using voting works to rank things like wars and healthcare. Maybe you can also perceive that we use spending to rank things like video games and food. The question is... would voting work better than spending to rank things like video games and food? If so, then we should replace spending with voting."

Spending does not mean good. If something is voted as good, then people believe it's good. Profit isn't a measurement of what's good or not. If it made profit, that's what matters in the economy. If I set up a shop, if they don't like it, they probably wouldn't come, but if I manage to make profit, that's enough. You're acting like it has to be either all voting or all spending. If money was no object, then that'd mean we get everything for free. If we get things for free, then resources get used just for enjoyment. That's another debate, though. Let's stay away from the subject of whether money should be a thing.


"Nobody benefits when we incorrectly rank things. Nobody benefits when too many resources are used to produce video games and too few resources are used to produce food."

1) There's no such thing as an incorrect rating. It's all opinions. Spending money just overshadows the lesser's opinions even more. 2) As long as people keep the necessities in mind, people will live. Economy only cares about profit. Buy low, sell high.

"In my opening argument I made the case that this website, Debate.org, should replace voting with spending. If it did so, it would be the only sizable social website using spending rather than voting to rank things. All other websites... Reddit, Youtube, Netflix, Facebook and Twitter use voting to rank things."

Well, there's no one really to fund on debate.org. The parent company, Juggle, abandoned this place long ago. But the system can still be abused, even with a website.

"What would happen if Debate.org used spending, rather than voting, to rank the debates? Would the ranking by spending be inferior to the ranking by voting? If so, HOW COULD THIS ONLY BE TRUE FOR DEBATES? Why wouldn't it also be true for computers, food and video games?"

I mean, it would be interesting if this was a real job, but people would probably spend money on more important matters, like an electric bill. It also takes no resources to speak, other than maybe time. Video games spend lots of time, as well as technology. I don't know the specifics, but making games is hard, so companies want compensation for all the work, so they sell the games for money.

"I challenged you to come up with a coherent story to explain our dual system. But the fact of the matter is that it's an impossible mission."

Not really. This debate is just about whether we sahould replace voting with spending. I already said the system can be abused, and even the worst products can still make profit, therefore it's not an infallible way to determine quality. Ultimately, people have different opinions, so we have to judge whether a product is "good" by saying what the community thinks of it. Of course, this doesn't mean it's better, but it might as well be.


But I think that's enough for tonight. To repeat my argument, a funding system can be abused not only by rich people, but people who are willing to blackmail or ransom for a higher ranking. Money isn't a way to determine if something's better (or one that I've actively heard), as sometimes bad products can get profit. So why is it alright that we have a system that can get abused?
Debate Round No. 4
Xerographica

Pro

"To repeat my argument, a funding system can be abused not only by rich people, but people who are willing to blackmail or ransom for a higher ranking. Money isn't a way to determine if something's better (or one that I've actively heard), as sometimes bad products can get profit. So why is it alright that we have a system that can get abused?"

If we use money, rather than votes, to rank politicians, then the ranking is going to be wrong because...

1. Rich people are going to abuse the system
2. Rich people are going to be blackmailed
3. Rich people are going to be ransomed
4. Money isn't a way to rank things

Again, so why don't we entirely replace spending with voting? If you truly believe that spending will wrongly rank politicians, why don't you also believe that spending will wrongly rank video games, food and computers?

Let's say that you want video games to be more highly ranked. Why don't you just ransom or blackmail Bill Gates into spending all his money on video games? Maybe nobody wants video games to be more highly ranked? What about all the people who make video games? Clearly they would be really hurt if nobody bought any video games. So surely they would be really helped if rich people spent a lot more money on video games. Yet, I've never heard of any rich person being ransomed or blackmailed into spending more money on video games.

I've certainly heard of people being ransomed/blackmailed, but it's so the criminal can get more money. Which is the same thing as the criminal improving his own ranking by cheating. If I steal all of Bill Gates' money, then my own ranking would greatly increase, which would allow me to greatly improve the ranking of the things that I care about. For example I'd buy a gazillion epiphytes. This would greatly improve the ranking of the people that produce epiphytes. This would encourage more people to produce epiphytes.

Of course people want to cheat. But if you think the cheating and abuse prevents spending from correctly ranking epiphytes, video games, food and clothes, then why haven't you argued that spending should be entirely replaced by voting?

Think about this website. Here's a fact...

1. Debates aren't equally important

Here's another fact...

2. People's attention is limited

Do we want to equally divide people's limited attention among unequally important debates? Of course not. We want the relative importance of a debate to determine how much attention it receives.

So how do we determine the importance of a debate? By voting? Is voting really the best way to determine the importance of a debate? If so, then how can this only be true for debates and politicians? It can't be.

Voting either is, or isn't, the best way to determine the importance of things. So please make up your mind. Sit down and decide whether voting truly is the best way to determine the importance of things. Figure out whether society would truly improve if the importance of epiphytes, video games, food and computers was determined by voting.

Personally, I've sat down and figured out that society would immensely improve if voting was entirely replaced by spending. Voting is an incredibly stupid way to determine the importance of anything. Voting to determine the importance of video games would be just as moronic as voting to determine the importance of politicians. The importance of video games can't be correctly determined simply by counting the number of people that would vote for them. Just because a lot of people "Like" video games tells us absolutely nothing about how important video games truly are to society. The only way we can figure out the true social importance of video games is by giving people the opportunity to decide the amount of other things that they are willing to sacrifice for video games.

Are you willing to sacrifice a new pair of shoes in order to buy a video game? If so, this tells me that the video game is more important to you than a new pair of shoes. Are you willing to sacrifice 5 hamburgers for a video game? If so, this tells me that the video game is more important to you than 5 hamburgers.

By spending your money on a video game, you're saying that it's more important to you than anything else that you could have spent that money on...

video game > X

If you spend a lot of your money on video games then of course this means that video games are important to you. But if, on the other hand, you simply voted for video games, then this would not at all reveal how important they are to you. It would simply reveal that you like video games.

If you want to live in a truly better world, please take the time and use your brain, and other people's time/brains, to figure out whether spending is truly the best way to determine the importance of things.
PowerPikachu21

Con

My opponent has no direct rebuttal to my point that people would blackmail and such to get more funding.

The debate was never "Should we have only spending or only voting". My opponent never tried to prove that spending is a way to say what's better. The examples he did give aren't immune to my problems. He also never directly refuted my point that everyone getting one vote is a good way to judge popularity.

"Of course people want to cheat. But if you think the cheating and abuse prevents spending from correctly ranking epiphytes, video games, food and clothes, then why haven't you argued that spending should be entirely replaced by voting?"

Because that's not how economy works. Resources cost money, resources are used into making a product, the product gets sold to make profit. You're avoiding this argument, trying to force me to say we should replace spending, therefore profit, with voting. But that's another debate. But I believe the reason why money is an object is fairness. Would you like working hard on something, then putting it on a stand for people to just take it?

I also don't like the thought that video games, or any product, have some which are more "important" than others. The more appropriate term is "popular". If more people like it, that doesn't make it objectively good, as some don't like watermelons.

"Voting either is, or isn't, the best way to determine the importance of things. So please make up your mind. Sit down and decide whether voting truly is the best way to determine the importance of things. Figure out whether society would truly improve if the importance of epiphytes, video games, food and computers was determined by voting."

Voting is the fairer way to determine popularity. But people voting that I should get a game? Money is also used for profit, which you're ignoring.

But anyways, voting gives people an equal stance to say which thing they like most. A funding system allows for multiple votes which deny the opinions of the poorer, while mainly focusing on richer people. If that's not a problem, then the blackmailing to get more funding certainly would be.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by C_e_e 10 months ago
C_e_e
I'm afraid Mr. Xerographica is so infatuated with economic theory at this time in his life, that it has clouded his reasoning on other matters. Let me remind him briefly of the distinction between "rights" and "privileges": A right is something that all members of society are given, simply for being members, regardless of their ability to pay. A privilege is something that only a select group of people enjoy. Usually, that group is determined by those with the ability to pay to enjoy the privilege. Why isn't everyone escorted to their jobs driven in a limousine? Because, that is a privilege. Only those with the funds to enjoy such a luxury can do so. It used to be the case that the only people who had legal representation were those with the ability to pay. The same could be said for education. Now, we utilize part of our tax funds to ensure that all members of society are provided with legal counsel and K-12 education. They are "rights" in our society. Mr. Xerographica is advocating that voting be changed from something provided freely to all members regardless of their ability to pay, to some form of a privilege. This would disenfranchise the poorest among us. For, if one of them had a dollar to choose either to buy something to eat or to vote, such a person would choose to eat. Mr. Xerographica can change voting back into a right, by making the following changes to his advocated idea: (1) make a separate type of currency/dollar for voting. (2) give all citizens the a voting dollar to vote (3) limit one voting dollar per person per voting matter. These changes would ensure against the risk of independently wealthy individuals having unequal influence and still serve as a medium to restrain unlimited wants.
Posted by PowerPikachu21 10 months ago
PowerPikachu21
@TheLifeOfPies Combine that with the fact that people sometimes blackmail and threaten, this idea becomes worse.
Posted by TheLifeOfPies 10 months ago
TheLifeOfPies
I think this system would make sense if everyone had the same amount of money. However, this is not the case in the real world. For example, a billionaire may have a few millions to spare on the election. However, a pauper may only have a few pennies. In this case, the system would value the word of the rich man over the poor man. In the end, the election would be decided by a handful of millionaires and billionaires and the voices of the lower and middle class would be almost entirely ignored.
Posted by TheLifeOfPies 10 months ago
TheLifeOfPies
I think this system would make sense if everyone had the same amount of money. However, this is not the case in the real world. For example, a billionaire may have a few millions to spare on the election. However, a pauper may only have a few pennies. In this case, the system would value the word of the rich man over the poor man. In the end, the election would be decided by a handful of millionaires and billionaires and the voices of the lower and middle class would be almost entirely ignored.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2 7 months ago
BryanMullinsNOCHRISTMAS2
XerographicaPowerPikachu21Tied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Con by default!