The Instigator
adealornodeal
Pro (for)
Losing
6 Points
The Contender
xStyles
Con (against)
Winning
28 Points

Resolved: Alcohol should be prohibited in the United States.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 8 votes the winner is...
xStyles
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/7/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,082 times Debate No: 13298
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (17)
Votes (8)

 

adealornodeal

Pro

Contention 1: No legittimate need exists for the consumption for alcohol.

Much like how hard drugs such as crack or cocaine are illegal because of the harms they impose on the user, alcohol should also be prohibited. No medical use exists for the consumption of alcohol; the only thing alcohol can do is impair one's ability to make logical decisions.

Contention 2: Alcohol related deaths.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving has prevented thousands of DUI-related deaths from occurring. Making it illegal is a much simpler solution. The only dangerous abusers of alcohol are those who inflict harm on others. After a new prohibition, if alcohol abusers inflict harm on others, it will be obvious.

Contention 3: Today's America is different than the America during the Prohibition

My opponents will likely use the Prohibition as their prime example of why alcohol should remain legal within the United States. However, today's scene in the United States is much different than that of the Prohibition era. Much like how drug use is fairly minimal within the United States, alcohol use will be the same. It won't be a perfect system; people will get away with sneaking it into the US, producing it at home, and abusing it, but like drug-abusers, these incidents will be both rare and obvious. Unlike other drugs, alcohol cannot be snuck in small packages in clothing or hidden in other baggage, making it much harder to sneak through air travel.

Contention 4: Any Prohibition Era-like backlash will eventually dissipate

Even if Prohibition Era-like backlash occurs, it will eventually dissipate. Alcoholism is passed down from one generation to the next; children who are around parents or peers who abuse alcohol are more likely to drink in the future. By prohibition alcohol, the number of adults consuming alcohol will decrease. A black market will inevitably be created, and a few wealthy who can afford to purchase alcohol illegal may continue. However, the overwhelming majority of alcohol abusers tend to be from low-income areas, thus removing them from the picture. Holistically, few adults will continue to consume alcohol after a prohibition; consequently, the number of children growing up to consume alcohol illegally will decrease with every generation.
xStyles

Con

I would first like to thank my opponent for beginning this debate. It is often said that we must learn from history. We have tried banning alcohol in the past during the Prohibition Era, and that has led to horrendous consequences such as the St. Valentine Massacre. We have tried banning drugs such as marijuana, yet the US remains the #1 consumer of illegal drugs. Clearly, banning our problems does not make them go away; instead, it fuels the problems.

To clarify the debate, we are debating whether the creation and sale of alcohol should be illegal in the United States. In other words, should a modern-day 18th Amendment be re-added to the Constitution.

I will begin by rebutting my opponent's contentions and then move on to express my own.

My opponent's first argument states that since there is no legitimate need for alcohol, it should be banned. However, this is illogical. Luxurious mansions or expensive cars are not "legitimate needs," does that provide sufficient rationale to ban them too?

My opponent's second contention claims that banning alcohol will save thousands of lives, and he cites the example of Mothers Against Drunk Driving. However, banning alcohol will have the opposite effect: it will cause even more deaths. During the Prohibition Era (1919-1933 in which alcohol was banned), underworld dealings grew at exponential rates, mafias and crime syndicates ruled the streets, and as many as 10,000 people died from poisonous alcohol substitutes [1]. Prohibition changed crime from unorganized bandits to highly evolved and organized mafias. The infamous Al Capone rose to power because of Prohibition, and the number of homicides and assaults increased by 13% [2]. Banning alcohol will only incite more organized crime and more deaths.

Next, my opponent contends that banning drugs in the US has worked, so banning alcohol will work too. That could not be farther from the truth. Since the US began its War on Drugs, it has spent over $39 BILLION just in 2010 so far [3]. But the results could not be more undesirable. The United States is THE world leader in illegal drug use; "Americans were four times more likely to report using cocaine in their lifetime than the next closest country, New Zealand (16% vs. 4%)" [4]. According to a survey conducted by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in 2004, an estimated 19.1 million Americans over 12-years-old are current users of illegal drugs [5]. Clearly, banning drugs has not affected the number of Americans taking these drugs. Even under Prohibition, over 1 million gallons of alcohol were illegally imported into the United States; that's not counting the millions more illegally produced in the United States [2].

Finally, my opponent argues that Prohibition backlash will eventually dissipate. In this contention, my opponent rightly assumes that "a black market will inevitably be created;" however, he wrongly assumes that only "a few wealthy [people] can afford to purchase alcohol illegally." Let's refer one more time to drugs. A black market has most definitely been created, but most illegal drugs are predominantly found in low-income areas. The same thing happened under Prohibition.

Now, I will develop my own case.

First, banning alcohol will have drastic economic effects.
The alcohol industry is one of the most heavily taxed industries in the United States. In 2007 alone, over $5.6 billion was raised in alcohol taxes, and every year this number increases by 5% [6]. During times of economic recessions and gaping budget deficits, it seems silly to literally lose $5.6 billion of the budget. To make up for the loss, the government would have to either tax the American people another $5.6 billion or cut vital services such as education grants or defense spending. Furthermore, the cost of the War on Drugs already totals over $1 trillion; are we really going to spend another trillion dollars on a fruitless endeavor?

Second, banning alcohol will not solve any problems, and could potentially make them worse.
The number one reason why adolescents try alcohol is to look cool. The same applies to illegal drugs. Making marijuana and other drugs illegal does not take away the "cool factor," rather it increases it. Once something is off-limits, it becomes more desirable; banning drugs increased the "cool factor" of the drugs. The same thing will happen to alcohol; banning alcohol will make it cooler, so more people will try it.

References:

[1] Blum, Deborah. "The Chemist's War: The Little-told Story of how the U.S. Government Poisoned Alcohol During Prohibition, with Deadly Consequences", Slate. Washington Post, Feb. 2010. Web. 19 Feb. 2010.
[2] http://www.albany.edu...
[3] http://www.drugsense.org...
[4] http://www.cbsnews.com...
[5] http://www.infoplease.com...
[6] http://www.taxpolicycenter.org...
Debate Round No. 1
adealornodeal

Pro

My opponent first states that alcohol is an economic necessity because it is heavily taxed. This contention could apply to absolutely anything; if we were to legalize cocaine and heavily tax it, should it be impossible to prohibit it again in the future because the tax is so high? A harmful substance is a harmful substance, period, and this tax money can easily come from other sources. Even if Americans themselves must be taxed, the ends justify the means.

In my opponent's next contention, he fails to provide any solid numerical data to support this point. Thus, we cannot weigh this argument in today's debate.

My opponent begins his rebuttal by making a comparing the abuse of alcohol to a luxurious mansion. If mansions had the same effects that alcohol did, then my opponent's analogy would be applicable. However, whether it be an alcohol-related accident or a drunken father beating his wife and children, the abuse of alcohol has devastating effects. A more applicable analogy would be to compare alcohol to cocaine or meth; two drugs that aren't "legitimate necessities" and thus are illegal because of the harms they impose.

My opponent responds to my second contention by referring to the Prohibition. However, the conditions of the Prohibition Era no longer exist. A large factor behind the failure of the Prohibition was widespread corruption in local police. It was so extreme that "Al Capone's Chicago organization reportedly… had half the city's police on its payroll." [1] Fugitives such as Al Capone would not have been able to rise to power without corrupt law enforcement on their side. Such corruption is not possible today. If it were, then corrupt police would have already bought into drug wars – and they haven't. With such a large factor in the failure of the Prohibition missing, it's more than safe to assume that a 21st century Prohibition would be a success. We must keep in mind that drunk driving takes a life every 15 minutes, and alcoholics inflict harm on others ever more frequently. A new Prohibition would result in a sharp drop in both; a clear reason to affirm.

My opponent wrongly states that I said the ban on drugs in the US has worked. I quote from my case, the Prohibition "won't be a perfect system; people will get away with sneaking [alcohol] into the US, producing it at home, and abusing it, but like drug-abusers, these incidents will be both rare and obvious." My opponent then remarks that during the Prohibition, 1 million gallons of alcohol were brought into the nation illegally. Keep in mind my point about the current condition in America. National security is at an all time high; it's nigh impossible to sneak large amounts of alcohol as it was during the 20s. And unlike a marijuana plant, large-scale production of alcohol would be impossible to disguise.

My opponent's response to my fourth contention ignores the fact that illegal alcohol use will dissipate. Let's compare this to how marijuana use has dissipated over the past several decades. During the 60s, "use of [marijuana] became widespread in the white upper middle class". [2] Marijuana use today doesn't come close to rivaling its use in the 60s. Data provided by the Office of National Drug Policy states that in 1979, 37.8% of 12–17 year olds had reported any illicit drug use. In 2001, this number declined to 28.4%. However in 1979, 11.8% adults over the age of 35 had reported any drug use. In 2010, that number rose to 38.4%. [3] Why? Because the "marijuana-generation" of the 60s had hit age 35; the current generation doesn't use the drug nearly as much as the previous one, and this trend will clearly continue. Likewise, the number of individuals using alcohol will gradually decrease after a new Prohibition.

Recently, in my hometown of Almaden, an 18-year-old was killed in an alcohol-related accident. The driver of the vehicle was drunk; the vehicle hit a light pole and burst into flames. The driver ran out of the vehicle, and in his drunken stupor was found by authorities hiding a few hundred yards away. The 18-year-old passenger was stuck in the car and burned to his death. Family members of the victim stated that "he was an only child, and [his] death has devastated his parents." She said, "They are going through so much pain." [4]

The only valid impact my opponent has given you is that a high tax exists on alcohol; an impact which has been refuted by the fact that this money can easily stem from other sources. But when we look at the turmoil Almaden residents are in now, turmoil that is mirrored by tens of thousands around the nation, we must ask ourselves; is this the price we must pay so that we can ensure a high tax remains in place?

[1]http://www.digitalhistory.uh.edu...
[2]http://www.a1b2c3.com...
[3]http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov...
[4]http://www.mercurynews.com....
xStyles

Con

I will cover my arguments, then my opponent's arguments.

First, I find it surprising that my opponent states that "the ends justify the means" because that is false. In history, various political leaders have used this philosophy. Take the Vietnam War; the ends were to contain communism and the means were to questionably instigate a war that killed 5.4 million people, 58,000 of whom were Americans. Then my opponent claims that we should legalize cocaine to tax it. That is precisely what is happening in California right now. Proposition 19 legalizes marijuana because the government knows that it cannot win a war against marijuana, but it can generate billions in tax revenue. Furthermore, he states that all harmful substances should be banned. Guns are used to kill people. Should we ban guns too? Cigarettes lead to deaths, should we ban that too? Finally, it is unfortunate that my opponent believes we should ban alcohol "even if Americans themselves must be taxed." My opponent literally wants to raise taxes by $5.6 billion during a recession. In a rare occurrence, both Democrats and Republicans agree that raising taxes during a recession is a BAD thing. Furthermore, my opponent disregards the cost of an additional war: the war on alcohol. Remember that the War on Drugs costs over a trillion dollars and has failed to show any results [1]. A war on alcohol will do the exact same thing. I ask my opponent, where will the money come from?

Moving to the next contention, it is ironic that my opponent claims that I do not provide "any solid numerical data to support this point" because in his entire case, I do not see a single number. Anyway, since there is no statistical data on the effects of banning alcohol on usage, I will use the next best thing: what happened to illegal drug use when the War on Drugs started. In 1969, only 4% of Americans tried marijuana; in 1973, the number tripled to 12% [2]. The War on Drugs started in 1971. We can expect the same increase if we ban alcohol.

Onto my opponent's first contention, he claims that a more applicable analogy would be illegal drugs. Even after banning cocaine, there are 1.5 million cocaine users in the US; after banning heroin, there are 600,000 heroin addicts; 4.7 million for methamphetamine; 9.8 million for marijuana [3]. Also look to tobacco or drugs. Both are not "legitimate necessities," but neither are illegal. Once again, banning problems does not solve them.

Next, my opponent claims that since the police were not bought into the drug war, they will not be bought into the alcohol war. My response is simple: crime syndicates would not need to buy US police. Right now, drug dealers do not buy out US law enforcement, and alcohol dealers would not either. However, drug cartels have risen to power. I'm sure everyone knows of the Drug War in Mexico that is fueled by illicit drug use in the US. 28,000 people have died since 2006, and the drug lords openly fight the police [4]. If we ban alcohol, we would just create alcohol lords in some other country, and ravage its prosperity. That is irresponsible and immoral.

I apologize to my opponent if i misconstrue what he states, but he says "like drug-abusers, these incidents will be rare and obvious." I contend that these incidents are the opposite of rare: they are common. Remember that nearly 20 million Americans have tried illegal drugs. My opponent then claims that "unlike a marijuana plant, large-scale production of alcohol would be impossible to disguise." This makes no sense. Vodka looks just like water. Even when national security is at an all time high, millions of Americans manage to get their hands on illegal drugs. The same will happen with alcohol. My opponent needs to explain how come alcohol production would be impossible to disguise.

Finally, my opponent wrongly claims that drug use has dissipated. According to his own site, "in 1999, the survey methodology changed, therefore making data from previous years incomparable." Looking from 1999 onwards, drug use for all age groups have increased since 1999. There has been an across-the-board increase in marijuana usage from 1999 to 2001 by 4.2% [5]. The most recent trend that's happening right now, is increased illegal drug use. My opponent's own evidence shows this.

I send my condolences to my opponent, but banning alcohol will not solve this problem; instead it would only fuel more alcohol use. We must learn from history. Under Prohibition, crime skyrocketed. Under the War on Drugs, more people use drugs now than ever before. Banning alcohol makes these problems worse.

[1] http://mjperry.blogspot.com...
[2] http://www.gallup.com...
[3] http://www.ncjrs.gov...
[4] http://articles.cnn.com...
[5] http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
adealornodeal

Pro

In the course of this round, my opponent ignores several important refutations I made to his case. Let's begin by examining those.

My opponent avoids having to adequately refute my answer to his first contention by stating that world leaders around the world have used "the ends justify the means" to inflict harm. However, I was only stating that the ends would justify the means in this situation alone and I would like to respectfully remind my opponent that we aren't killing anyone in today's debate; we're merely raising a tax to make up the money that would have once stemmed from a tax on alcohol. Thus, wipe his first contention off your flow. The tax on alcohol could very easily stem from other sources.

My opponent also repeatedly alludes to the Prohibition, but he also ignores all of the refutations I have made distinguishing America during the 20s with America today. Prohibition era corruption, smuggling, and production could never occur in the US today. Corrupt law enforcement was integral to the success of leaders like Al Capone during the 1920s, but such conditions no longer exist; thus we cannot include any of my opponent's points regarding the Prohibition of the 20s. Simply put, such a catastrophe will never happen again.

In my rebuttal, I stated that the large-scale production of alcohol would be impossible to disguise in the 21st century. My opponent responds by saying that Vodka looks like water. My opponent's knowledge of the appearance of Vodka does not refute the fact that PRODUCING such drinks in the large quantities would be impossible to disguise, so once again we must ignore his response and extend my argument that the production of alcohol that my opponent fears is impossible today.

The only legitimate point my opponent makes in his last case is that there is a data break in my evidence claiming that drug use has decreased over the past few generations. However, that data break is irrelevant. The page concludes that marijuana use "peaked in 1979 for 12- to 17-year-olds at 14.2%; for 18- to 25-year-olds at 35.6%; and for 26- to 34-year-olds at 19.7%" [1]. Thus, it's clear that drug use has dissipated over the years, and likewise dangerous alcoholism will do the same. We must remember that the drug users and alcoholics who are a threat are those who abuse the drug; with the aid of anti-drug television campaigns and a national dissent towards drug abuse, frequent drug abusers are on the decline. Although Americans may do drugs occasionally, today we are only looking at the abusers. After a Prohibition of alcohol, it's logical to assume that the number of alcoholics who abuse it will decrease over the years. Thus, we can wipe hire response off the flow and extend my argument.

My opponent's last remark is that "drug cartels have risen to power". They have… in Mexico. The corrupt political situation is Mexico does not exist in the US, and thus "drug cartels" and a "war on alcohol" will not occur in the US.

Ultimately, we must look to what my opponent said in his last paragraph. "We must learn from history." America has clearly learned; with national security at an all time high, it's clear that the situation that America saw in the first Prohibition will never occur today. What we must NOT do is to pander to those who will occasionally break the law and occasionally inflict harm upon others under a new Prohibition; we must prohibit the use of alcohol so that the number of abusers will significantly decrease, consequently decreasing the number of deaths resulting from alcohol related incidents.

On your flow, the first thing you'll notice is that my opponent's case has been thrown out the window. He has dropped his second contention entirely, and his first contention has been refuted. On the other hand, my case still stands. My opponent has agreed that no legitimate need for alcohol exists, we have all seen that alcohol related deaths would be significantly reduced by a new Prohibition, and it's very evident that Prohibition-era conditions no longer exist in the US. You can also extend that alcohol abuse, like drug abuse, will dissipate over the years. Make the distinction between harmless, occasional use of illicit drugs and the abuse of illicit drugs; it's evident that the latter is on the decrease generation after generation.

By voting for the pro in today's debate, you state that you believe America has the ability to prevent large scale corruption that would result from a new Prohibition, but you also understand that some will inevitably slip through the cracks and that it won't be a perfect system. By voting for the con, you're stating that you believe America will again fall under the rule of corrupt leaders such as Al Capone and that our government and law enforcement agencies, which track terrorists around the globe and catch Russian spies, cannot prevent large scale corruption from occurring in 21st century United States.
xStyles

Con

Since many of our points are merging together, I will organize the arguments into the 2 major categories: effects on the economy and effects on alcohol consumption.

1. Economy

In my first contention, I outline that $5.6 billion is raised from alcohol tax revenues every year. This fact has gone uncontested. Pro's only response is that "we're merely raising a tax to make up the money." So, we agree that a Pro vote means tax increases of $5.6 billion. Once again, it is foolish to raise taxes by $5.6 billion in a time when Americans are barely scrapping because of the recession.

A Pro vote not only increases taxes, it also devastates the economy. In 2007, the US alcohol beverage industry generated $382 billion worth of economic activity, paid $89 billion in wages, and hired over 3.9 million people. A Pro vote cuts the GDP by $382 billion and leaves 3.9 million people unemployed [1].

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Banning alcohol would lead to a War on Alcohol that will cost just as much (if not more) than the current War on Drugs. Remember that the War on Drugs costs $100 billion every single year, and totals to more than $1 trillion [2]. Every second, $600 is spent; in the time spent debating, $52 million has already been spent.

Pro's only refutation to this is that a War on Alcohol "will not occur" because drug cartels are only in Mexico. However, this is illogical. Drug cartels are primarily in Mexico, but there still is a War on Drugs happening right now in the US that costs over $1 trillion. Unless Pro is suggesting that there is no War on Drugs, it is clear that a ban on alcohol would destroy the US economy.

2. Alcohol Consumption

It is important to note that Pro's claims that alcohol consumption will decrease after a ban are nothing more than claims; he never gives any evidence to prove it or states how many lives will be saved. On the other hand, I have given empirical examples and proof. Under Prohibition, alcohol consumption increased [3]. When marijuana became illegal in 1971, the percentage of Americans who took marijuana tripled from 4% in 1969 to 12% in 1973. Every time the US bans drugs or alcohol, consumption increases. Coincidence? I think not.

In order for Pro to prove that alcohol consumption will decrease, Pro must prove both of my empirical examples false.

In regards to Prohibition, Pro claims that America has evolved to deal with illegal substances. Although I wish that is true, reality proves otherwise. Illegal drugs such as cocaine, meth, and marijuana are commonplace; 1.5 million cocaine users, 4.7 million for meth, and 9.8 million for marijuana. If the America of today cannot handle drug trafficking, how can it handle drug AND alcohol trafficking at the same time?

Still under Prohibition, Pro next claims that alcohol production would be impossible to hide, so Al Capone could not rise to power. Once again, Pro provides no evidence to support this claim. Many bars that brew their own beer have sufficient equipment in the store to brew enough alcohol. Pro needs to show why it is so difficult to hide breweries. But even if Pro's claim is true, Al Capone would not be able to rise to power in the US, but he would rise to power in another country. It is reasonable to assume that "alcohol cartels" would form elsewhere because drug cartels formed when the US banned drugs and crime syndicates formed under Prohibition. These alcohol cartels could be just as violent as the drug cartels in Mexico right now. The US has a moral obligation not to purposefully incite a contraband trade in another country.

In regards to marijuana, Pro states that marijuana use peaked in 1979. However, the most recent trend (from 1999 to 2001) is an across-the-board increase of 4.2%; in other words, 4.2% more children, teenagers, and adults are using marijuana in 2001 than in 1999, and this will only increase over time [4]. Even more importantly, if we look at the marijuana usage level before banning it (4% in 1969) and the level now (8% in 2001), the level is still double. After 20 years of anti-drug therapy, twice as many Americans used marijuana. A Pro vote means, after spending all trillions of dollars, the percentage of Americans who drink alcohol will double in 20 years.

Conclusion:

Albert Einstein defined insanity as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results" [5]. Banning drugs has doubled the percentage of Americans using marijuana. Banning alcohol increased alcohol consumption. Pro's proposal has been tried before, and the horrendous consequences forced its repeal just 13 years later. A vote for Pro is a vote for insanity.

[1] http://www.discus.org...
[2] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[3] http://www.cato.org...
[4] http://www.whitehousedrugpolicy.gov...
[5] http://www.quotationspage.com...
Debate Round No. 3
adealornodeal

Pro

Let's begin my looking at what's left of my opponent's case and then look at the voting issues in today's round.

Throughout the round, my opponent cites numerous times that the "War on Drugs" costs us billions of dollars every year. There are two simple responses to this fact, however; the spending on the "War on Drugs" that my opponent refers to includes US intervention in foreign drug issues. My opponent does not specify how much of this money is actually spent combating drug use within the United States itself. My opponent's statistics include money spent on attempts at foreign drug control, such as US involvement in Panama in 1989 through Operation Just Case and US involvement in the current drug wars in Mexico. Today's resolution asks us to look at the United States and the US only, and thus it's imperative that we do not consider my opponent's non-topical statistics in today's round.

My opponent makes the claim that 3.9 million jobs will be lost by a prohibition on alcohol were to happen. However, if a prohibition were to occur, it wouldn't be an overnight change; although some job losses would occur, the alcohol industry would turn to other beverage industries to stay afloat. My opponent's claim that 3.9 million jobs would disappear overnight is both outlandish and false.

Furthermore, my opponent relates today's "war on drugs" to a possible "War on Alcohol" that will mirror the conditions of 1920s Prohibition-era United States. Time and time again I have refuted this contention; the conditions set in Prohibition-era United States no longer exist, and thus such a catastrophe will not occur again. My opponent himself states that insanity is "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results". By simply repeating his initial claim, my opponent does not refute the responses I put on this contention. By his own definition, my opponent is insane.

My last response to my opponent's economics contention is that the $5.6 billion that comes in tax revenue from alcohol can be found from other sources. My opponent has not responses to this refutation all throughout the round.

Thus, we can disregard my opponent's entire economics contention.

My opponent's second point in round 3 is that "It is important to note that Pro's claims that alcohol consumption will decrease after a ban are nothing more than claims; he never gives any evidence to prove it or states how many lives will be saved." In round 2 and 3, I gave clear evidence stating that after the prohibition of marijuana, it's use decreased; likewise, the use of alcohol will also dissipate after a new prohibition. My opponent's response to this is that "In the prohibition, alcohol consumption increased." Once again, my opponent ignores the fact that Prohibition-era conditions no longer exist in the United States. He ends his paragraph with another lie; "Illegal drugs such as cocaine, meth, and marijuana are commonplace." However, I have provided clear evidence from the Office of National Drug Policy that states that although drug use exists – I'm not advocating that a perfect society will exist – the drug use has been steadily decreasing generation by generation. My opponent simply repeating his claim over and over doesn't make him correct; on the contrary, I'm sure Einstein would agree that it makes him insane.

Ultimately, we can see that my opponent has resorted to saying the "same ting over and over again and expecting" the reader not to notice. He has ignored crucial responses to his arguments, and thus at the end of the round, he has no case and no impacts. Voting issues in today's round:

The only impact my opponent has is that $5.6 billion dollars in tax revenue will need to be collected; however, as I have stated, there are innumerable other sources for this money to be collected from.

For the pro; (1) There is no legitimate need for alcohol. My opponent has conceded this point. (2) Alcohol related deaths would be significantly reduced after a new prohibition. I used to live next to a friend named Jonathan; his mother died in a car accident when a drunk driver slammed into her vehicle. He was seven years old. These incidents aren't rare; they occur all the time and affect thousands of people. In fact, there are 26,000 alcohol related accidents every year. Situations such as Jonathan's or Roshan Rahbari's would no longer occur. (3) Alcohol use, much like marijuana use, will gradually dissipate over the years. We cannot expect a perfect system, but a much better system than today's will exist. (4) Prohibition-era conditions no longer exist, and thus a catastrophe of that size will never occur again. On the other hand, A vote for the con is a vote for a debater who repeats his claims without responding to the refutations I have placed on them; a vote for insanity.

Thus, I strongly affirm the resolution.
xStyles

Con

Neg Voters:
1. Economy

Right off the bat, Pro concedes that a Pro vote means $5.6 BILLION more in taxes. Every year for the foreseeable future. Pro states that the money can come from somewhere, and that somewhere is the salaries of hardworking Americans. If you don't like raising taxes, especially during a recession, you should vote Con.

Next, a Pro vote means losing 3.9 million jobs, $89 billion in wages, and $390 billion in GDP. Pro claims prohibition "wouldn't be an overnight change," but it is. One day alcohol is legal so 3.9 million Americans have jobs; the next day alcohol is illegal so no more jobs. It's that simple. Pro also claims that the alcohol industry "would turn to other beverage industries to stay afloat." This makes absolutely NO sense. When your profession is brewing beer, how can you switch to making soda and expect to make profit when competing with the other 5000 new soda companies that are ex-breweries? The answer is you cannot. Banning alcohol means losing 3.9 million jobs, $89 billion in wages, and $390 billion in GDP. That's a simple fact.

Third, a Pro vote means spending an additional $1 trillion+ on a War on Alcohol, just as we are spending right now on the War on Drugs. Pro argues that I do not specify how much money the US is actually spending in the US and gives the example of the drug wars in Mexico. There are multiple problems. (1) The resolution asks should alcohol be prohibited in the United States. Since the consequences of a ban include a War on Alcohol, just like the consequences of a ban on drugs includes the War on Drugs, all the money the US federal government spends on the War on Drugs should be counted. (2) The Mexico Drug war, which is by far the largest foreign consumer of the War on Drugs budget, costs $1.4 billion [1]. That means the US has spent over $990 billion in the US to fuel the War on Drugs.

Keep in mind, Pro tries to muddle up my contention by talking about Prohibition under economy. Nowhere do I talk about a "War on Alcohol that will mirror the conditions of 1920s Prohibition-era." The War on Alcohol will be just like the War on Drugs that's happening right here, right now.

2. Alcohol Consumption

I asked for ANY evidence that alcohol consumption will decrease after a ban. Pro tells me this: "after the prohibition of marijuana, its use decreased." Once again, I ask, where is the evidence? Marijuana officially became illegal in 1937; but no records of marijuana usage exists from that time. The next best thing is looking at what happened before and after the government began cracking down on drugs, aka the War on Drugs. The War on Drugs started in 1971. In 1969, 4% of Americans tried marijuana; in 1973 12% of Americans tried marijuana; according to Pro's own evidence, in 2001 12.6% of Americans tried marijuana in the past year; in 2009, 8.3% of Americans tried marijuana last year [2]. This proves 2 things. (1) After 30 years of cracking down on drugs, the percentage of Americans using marijuana DOUBLED. (2) Marijuana's usage is like a graph of the economy, it goes up and down but the general trend is upward.

But this holds true for any illegal drug. In my 2nd and 3rd speech, I outlined that there are 600,000 heroin addicts, 1.5 million cocaine addicts, and 4.7 million meth addicts. These are addicts that need a daily intake of these drugs. This does not even factor in how many more millions of Americans who have tried these illegal substances. Pro's evidence from the Office of National Drug Policy agrees with me! The percentage of Americans who have tried illegal drugs increased from 39.7% in 1999 to 41.7% in 2001, a 2% increase!

Clearly, the War on Drugs results in MORE drug users. The War on Alcohol will result in MORE alcoholics.

Conclusion:
A Con vote saves 3.9 million jobs, $5.6 billion in taxes, $390 billion in GDP, and prevents more people from consuming alcohol.

Pro's Voters:
(1) "there is no legitimate need for alcohol." Fine. If you believe you should ban something just because it's not a "legitimate need" go ahead. Ban alcohol. Ban cigarettes. Ban guns. Ban TV ads.

(2) "Alcohol related deaths would be significantly reduced." I ask, once again, evidence? Because history proves otherwise. Under Prohibition, 10,000 people died because of contaminated alcohol; homicide and crime rates increased by 13%; alcohol consumption increased. Pro never explains how the US that is already incapable of handling a drug war will be able to handle a drug war AND an alcohol war at the same time.

(3&4) "Alcohol use, much like marijuana use, will gradually dissipate." Please refer back to the 2nd Con voter issue as I am out of characters.

Conclusion:
A Pro vote bans alcohol because it's not a legitimate need.

[1] http://latimesblogs.latimes.com...
[2] http://facts.randomhistory.com...

Thank you for the entertaining debate.
Debate Round No. 4
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
Also @Roy

Your Prohibition assertion seemed interesting, but too good to be true. It's hard to believe that 2/3 of the 60 plus percent of Americans who drank actually quit. Many sources seem to contradict this fact, such as this:
http://www.cato.org...

In addition, this source (which suggests that per capita consumption declined) also points out that the effect is hard to separate from poverty effects associated with the Great Depression: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov...

I'm interested though. Can I get a cite for your source?
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
@USRugbyfan

You are likely right about xStyles stats. Showing that 3 years after stepped up enforcement, marijuana use was a tiny fraction higher does not prove that it was due to enforcement. In fact, adealornodeal disproves this by pointing out that drug used "peaked" when enforcement started, meaning that it began a slow and steady decline, with some minor year-to-year fluctuations (both up and down).

Also, your quote (lies, d@mn lies, and statistics) proves that rhetoric isn't much better that statistics, for a number of reasons, one of which is that the quote is often mis-attributed to a number of different people.

@Roy

Just for the sake of being contrary, some people would argue that locking serial killers up is the end in itself (and that you shouldn't treat people as a means to an end).

But I agree with you. In fact, the phrase "the ends justify the means" should be taken to mean "the ends can be used to justify the means" not that "all ends justify all means." It is faulty reasoning to assert that because the means did not justify one particular end (fighting communism) that therefore the end can never be used to justify the means (like torturing one person to prevent a nuclear terrorist attack). The ends must be proven to more beneficial than the means are detrimental.
Posted by USRugbyfan 6 years ago
USRugbyfan
Fair enough.
Posted by xStyles 6 years ago
xStyles
I agree that I semi-abused causation and correlation. I presented a fairly weak link in the first round (making it illegal incites daredevils), but it is the opponent's job to present that difference. As the Con, I would not preempt a causation and correlation argument unless my opponent makes it; at that point, the debate would have taken a different route, but since that argument was not made, I did not bother expanding on the link. However, I believe that it is the opponent's burden to prove the difference, which, as RoyLatham said, makes the causation and correlation debate a case-by-case basis.
Posted by USRugbyfan 6 years ago
USRugbyfan
Ok, RoyLatham, you are right when you say stats can't prove anything, but I was trying to use a figure of speech. One example of a stat which didn't say what was expected was one I heard a few years ago in which it claimed that the Netherlands had one of the highest rates of murders in the world. What was not included is that in the Netherlands incidents such as a drunk driving accident which leads to a death is considered a murder. I'm just trying to be cautious.
With regard to Correlation, I put that in there because, from my understanding at least, the opposition was saying that because numbers of drugs users were higher after the ban than before, than the ban caused drug usage to go up. I'm cautious here as well because there could be nearly infinite alternative causes which influenced the rise in drug usage which coincidently happened at the same time.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
USRugbyfan, Some debates work upon a basis of agreed-upon common knowledge, like some philosophical topics, but many require establishing a factual basis. For many things the relevant facts are contained in statistics. It is true that some statistical arguments can be difficult, but it is not true that statistics can be used to prove anything desired. That comes from misunderstanding or misusing the science. Correlation does not prove causation, but that is something to be argued case by case.
Posted by USRugbyfan 6 years ago
USRugbyfan
My background of debating is quite different to that employed here. Where I debate (in Ireland) stats are only acknowledges as a minor part of the debate and cannot be a foundation. Thus in my vote I take that into account. I do not argue that my perspective may not make sense but it is the way I operate.
Also in this debate, I noticed that the opposition (probably the proposition as well) made the mistake of confusing connexion and correlation. (Freakonomics) It was assumed that if A happened and B occured after that A caused B. This is not always so, sometimes C might have caused A and B. Thus I am dubious about the arguements regarding stats before and after the ban on drugs. Also I would like to make the quote: "there are lies, **** lies and statistics". The idea behind this is that the person making a stat can literally make it say whatever he wants.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
I thought this was a pretty good debate. Even though I agree with Con, I think Pro had slightly better arguments in this debate. Pro's opening argument would have been stronger by citing a bunch of statistics on the bad effects of alcohol use like alcohol-related traffic accidents and domestic violence, and productivity losses as work.

Con had a good opening rebuttal, but his second round rebuttal was weak. "The end justifies the means" is sometimes true and sometimes not. Putting serial killers in jail (the means) is justified by its stopping further killings (the ends). Prohibition is claimed to have dropped the consumption of alcohol by about two-thirds, the question then remains whether it was worth it.

Pro had a very good argument on the role of police corruption in evasion.

Alcohol has legitimate use as food. There are probably health benefits; data on moderate drinking indicates a positive effect, and the positive "red wine effect" whereby Europeans get by on bad diets is now argued to actually come from the alcohol. There is also a stronger libertarian case to be made against prohibition. Con rebutted the "no need" argument adequately, but could have more strongly affirmed individual rights -- maybe using some quotations.

Perhaps a better debate would be to affirm tighter restrictions on alcohol use, such as requiring a biometric ID for purchase, so that abusers could be cut off. It's an interesting subject in the context of the drug wars.
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
RFD:

I believe pro does prove that the war on drugs was successful, since drug use peaked in the 1970's. Recent increases or an increase in 1973 does not prove that overall the policy resulted in increased drug use.

However, pro has no real refutation to the 3 million jobs lost from the alcohol industry. That's a lot. In addition, con wins that a war on alcohol will be costly and relatively ineffective. The War on Drugs is costly and has not decreased drug use to a significant extent, why would an alcohol ban be any different? A great number of people would not stop drinking just because the government passed a law, and it costs money to crack down on alcohol drinkers and illegal merchants.
Posted by adealornodeal 6 years ago
adealornodeal
That's actually not me... I also want to know who it is, hahahaha
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