The Instigator
Macdogg347
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
ConservativePolitico
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

Resolved: In the United States Current income disparites threaten democratic ideals.

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after 1 vote the winner is...
ConservativePolitico
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/8/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,348 times Debate No: 19755
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)

 

Macdogg347

Pro

Resolved: In theUnited States, current income disparities threaten democratic ideals. Werepresent our stance through the following observations. Please follow us toour observation one.

Ob.1 Democracy is founded on equality of participation

Maureen Cabanaugh, law professor, Washington & Lee, Alabama LawReview, Winter, 2003, Democracy, Equality, and Taxes, p. 438-9

Emergenceof democratic government depends, above all, on acceptance of the belief thatno member is better qualified to rule than any other. More accurately, democratic government depends on thebelief that all are equally qualified to participate in government. Forproponents of democracy, the right of ordinary laborers to participate ingovernment is essential.

This is exactly what current income disparities arehindering. The fact is that the poor are not turning out in these elections andthe reason why is in the following observation.

Ob.2 Poor Americans Are Less Likely to Make PoliticalContributions
TaskForce on Inequality and American Democracy in 2004
Campaign contributors are theleast representative group of citizens. Only 12 percent of American householdshad incomes over $100,000 in 2000, but a whopping 95 percent of the donors whomade substantial contributions were in these wealthiest households. Figure 2shows that 56 percent of those with incomes of $75,000 and more reported makingsome form of campaign contribution compared with a mere 6 percent amongAmericans with incomes under $15,000.

Giving money to politicians is aform of citizen activity that is, in practical terms, reserved for a selectgroup of Americans. As wealth and income have become more concentrated and theflow of money into elections has grown, campaign contributions give theaffluent a means to express their voice that is unavailable to most citizens.This undoubtedly aggravates inequalities of political voice.

What we need tosee in today's debate judge, is that because of these current incomedisparities not only are democratic ideals being threatened, but the definitionof democracy as well. The poor Americans are not going out and voting becausethey know that they can't afford for their idea or plan to make it into officesuch as the rich do through lobbyists. By hindering the poor class of Americansto vote, we are indeed letting these income disparities threaten the verydemocratic ideals we were founded upon. It is for these reasons and many morethat my partner would like to kindly ask for a vote in the affirmation. Thank you.

Ob.3 Poor Americans Are Less Likely to Make PoliticalContributions
TaskForce on Inequality and American Democracy in 2004

Campaign contributors are theleast representative group of citizens. Only 12 percent of American householdshad incomes over $100,000 in 2000, but a whopping 95 percent of the donors whomade substantial contributions were in these wealthiest households. Figure 2shows that 56 percent of those with incomes of $75,000 and more reported makingsome form of campaign contribution compared with a mere 6 percent amongAmericans with incomes under $15,000.

Giving money to politicians is aform of citizen activity that is, in practical terms, reserved for a selectgroup of Americans. As wealth and income have become more concentrated and theflow of money into elections has grown, campaign contributions give theaffluent a means to express their voice that is unavailable to most citizens.This undoubtedly aggravates inequalities of political voice.

What we need tosee in today�€™s debate judge, is that because of these current incomedisparities not only are democratic ideals being threatened, but the definitionof democracy as well. The poor Americans are not going out and voting becausethey know that they can�€™t afford for their idea or plan to make it into officesuch as the rich do through lobbyists. By hindering the poor class of Americansto vote, we are indeed letting these income disparities threaten the verydemocratic ideals we were founded upon. It is for these reasons and many morethat my partner would like to kindly ask for a vote in the affirmation. Thank you.
ConservativePolitico

Con

I thank my opponent for starting this debate.

First off I would like to point out some distinctions and definitions.

1) America is a republic not a true democracy. While democratic principles are certainly championed by the United States and her people we are not in essence a "democracy" in the traditional sense of the word.

republic: a state in which the supreme power rests in the body of citizens entitled to vote and is exercised by representatives chosen directly or indirectly by them. [http://dictionary.reference.com...]

democracy:
government by the people; a form of government in which the supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their elected agents under a free electoral system. [http://dictionary.reference.com...]

The main distinction comes from the definition of democracy where it says that the supreme power is "exercised directly by them" which is not how America runs its government, which is run more through "elected agents" but not everyone in the US government is an agent directly elected by the people thereby disqualifying us from the definition of a true "democracy".

Please keep these distinctions in mind during the duration of the debate.

***

Rebuttals -

Ob. 1

You say that democracy is founded on the "equality of participation" but equality of participation is nowhere mentioned in either the definition for republic or democracy. Now if your "democratic ideals" are being derived directly from these definitions then this argument holds no water. Nowhere does it say that equality of participation is key to a democratic process.
That being said, the United States has universal suffrage for all persons over the age of 18 and this suffrage is not discriminated based on income or wealth or economic status of any kind. In fact doing so would be unconstitutional based on the 15th Amendment, 24th Amendment and 26th Amendment. In fact the 24th Amendment addresses polling taxes and fees that had been put in place to prevent people from being discriminated based on economic status. [http://www.usconstitution.net...]

So based on this information I see nothing barring the democratic process for people of any income or economic status. Everyone is free to participate in elections as long as they are over the age of 18 so I fail to see the weight of this argument.

Ob. 2

Once again I reaffirm that people of any economic status are free to participate in the democratic process which includes donating to whichever candidate they desire. I myself donated a mere $10 to the candidate I favor. Are most Americans able to drop thousands of dollars on a certain individual? No. Does that hinder the democratic process? No. As America saw in the 2010 elections the peoples' voice still holds weight even if their pockets don't. 51 incumbents were defeated in a sweeping change for Congress, [https://docs.google.com...] and incumbents traditionally hold much more financial weight than freshman candidates. Incumbents hold many more financial backers, donors and contributions. Incumbents also have easier access to campaign finance, as well as government resources (such as the franking privilege) that can be indirectly used to boost a campaign. [http://en.wikipedia.org...]

You don't have to pay to vote therefore your participation in the republic is not hindered. Thus your "democratic ideals" are not damaged (since you did not define democratic ideals once again I am taking the meaning straight from the definition)

You say "because of these current incomedisparities not only are democratic ideals being threatened, but the definitionof democracy as well" but once again I affirm that the definition of democracy says nothing about selectivity nor about financial status. Therefore your arguments don't support this claim.

Ob.3 was the same as Ob.2 therefore it will be countered by the same argument as shown above.

Since the Burden of Proof is upon Pro I will not make any counter arguments but will only refute claims made by him.

Thank you.
Debate Round No. 1
Macdogg347

Pro

Macdogg347 forfeited this round.
ConservativePolitico

Con

My opponent apparently agrees with my assessment.

Extend arguments.

Victory due to Forfeit.

Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 2
Macdogg347

Pro

Macdogg347 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by youngpolitic 5 years ago
youngpolitic
Macdogg347ConservativePoliticoTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Crushing Victory for Con