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Resolved, Just governments ought to ensure food security for its citizens

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/19/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 656 times Debate No: 71990
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (0)
Votes (4)




Round One: Acceptance
Round Two: Briefs
Round Three: Rebuttal
Round Four: Conclusion

Definitions are arguable.
BoP is not assigned.
Failure to post a round is an automatic loss.

Good luck, I look forward to some hearty competition!
Debate Round No. 1


Zaradi, it is a pleasure.

According to the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization, 805 million or one in nine people were suffering from chronic malnourishment in 2014. The UN also predicts that 21,000 die every day of hunger or hunger related illnesses. It can well be stated that hunger and lack of nutrition are some of the largest causes of death in the world today.

These facts pose the foundational question of todays resolution. Resolved: a just government ought to ensure food security for its citizens. The topic clearly asks, if there is enough food in the world to feed everyone, yet people still starve, should a government intervene? But before we address the topic in further detail, allow me to provide definitions for some of the terms.

Just: acting or being in conformity with what is morally upright or good.

Government: the organization, machinery, or agency through which a political unit exercises authority and performs functions.

Ensure: To make sure, certain, or safe: guarantee.

Food Security: according to the Beehive Forensics Institute at the University of Utah, Food Security “is one’s access and/or ability to meet their daily caloric needs.”
(The average daily caloric need according to the US Department of agriculture is 2,500.)

Citizen: A native or naturalized person who owes allegiance to a government and is entitled to protection from it.

With those given, let us proceed to the argument.

There is a concept generally agreed upon in various fields as to what the proper role of government. Thomas Jefferson was one of the first to enshrine this concept when he wrote those famous words,

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

There you have it. The fundamental statement of the just powers of government. A just government, according to Jefferson, ought to protect the inalienable rights of its citizens. This statement, if taken as true, leaves us with one simple question, which if answered correctly leaves no question as to the correct winner of the debate. I will now attempt to address the simple question. Is food security an inalienable right?

In order to properly discuss this question, I will offer several quick definitions.

Inalienable Rights: a right according to natural law.

Natural Law: A body of or a principle which is considered to be inherent in nature and has universal application in determining whether human conduct is right or wrong.

All natural rights stem from one universally accepted right, life. Indeed, liberty is simply the ability to do what you will with your life. Property, the physical result of a portion of your life being invested in some activity which produced that property. This being said, we can justly assume that the right to life is the most basic human right.

We can derive from this statement that a just government ought to protect the lives of its citizens. We see this principle at work within our own nation as many threats to life are illegal. Murder, driving under the influence, and other traffic traffic violations are all threats to life which are protected by law. Victims of natural disasters are given aid by the government as their lives are in danger. A just government should protect its citizens from any threat to their lives. For that is the most basic role of a just government.

With that principle established, I will return to my initial set of statistics. If 850 million suffer from chronic malnourishment and over 7 million die from starvation every day while only 437,000 people were homicide victims in 2012, food insecurity is a much larger threat to life than murder. If it is just to apprehend a murderer, it is so much more just to apprehend food insecurity.

It has been shown that, while food security is not a right in and of itself, it is a protection to the right to life, which is the most basic human right.

In conclusion, the debate asks the question, what is a just government? It has been shown that a just government protects the rights of its citizens. (1) Given that is the proper function of government, (2) and that the right to life is the most basic right and therefore the most in need of protection,(3) and it being shown that food insecurity is one of the most serious threats to life,(4) we can very clearly see that a just government ought to ensure food security for its citizens as a protection of their right to life.

Having very clearly answered the question posed by the resolution, and having shown that food security is a protection to the basic right to life, and that protection falling under the proper role of government, I hold that the resolution is sound, and respectfully solicit the vote of the judge. Thank you.


      1. 2014 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from hunger facts 2002.htm

      2. Hunger and World Poverty. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from

      3. Just Definition. (n.d.). Retrieved March 2, 2015, from

      4. Government. (n.d.). Retrieved March 17, 2015, from

      5. Ensure. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2015, from

      6. Stewart, D. (n.d.). BFI Food Security LD Brief. Retrieved March 12, 2014, from The Beehive Forensics Institute at the University of Utah

      7. Citizen. (n.d.). Retrieved March 12, 2015, from

      8. Jefferson, T. (n.d.). The Declaration of Independence. Retrieved March 16, 2015, from

      9. Inalienable Right. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

      10. Natural Law. (n.d.). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from

      11. Global Study on Homicide. (2013). Retrieved March 19, 2015, from



Contention One: Providing food doesn’t work

a) Attempts to provide people with food in an attempt to establish food security just gives food to the wrong people. No one who actually needs food ends up getting any food. Fong ‘12:

Fong, Phyllis K. “Statement Of The Honorable Phyllis K. Fong, Inspector General, Before The Committee On Oversight And Government Reform, U.S. House OF Representatives.” United States Department of Agriculture, Office of Inspector General. August 03, 2012. Web. February 05, 2015. <;

  • “recipients … misrepresent themselves to receive benefits. … a series of audits of 10 States to assess … potentially fraudulent recipients … revealed that a total of 8,594 recipients were receiving potential improper payments. Some … were using the social security numbers of deceased individuals … these recipients could be receiving about $1.1 million a month.”

b) Attempts to provide food aid to people just gets hijacked by terrorists and insurgents. Affirming only helps the people who are out to kill us. Somalia proves. Franks ‘09:

Franks, Suzanne. “Public Perception And Policy: Famine And Food Securitization In The Horn Of Africa.” Chatham House. December 06, 2009. Web. February 03, 2015. <;

  • “the [WFP] was left with little decision but to withdraw from Somalia in 2011. Much of its food aid was being lost to al Shabaab. This left a lot more people vulnerable to famine but there are very significant risks regarding where food aid will ultimately end up.”

c) Trying to provide food to people via food stamps has actually NEGATIVELY impacted food security overall. Wilde ‘03:

Wilde, Parke. “The Effect Of Food Stamps On Food Security: A Panel Data Approach.” Review of Agricultural Economics. January 01, 2003. Web. February 09, 2015. <>

  • “The … (USDA) estimated that 11.1% of American households were food insecure in 2002 … Among low-income food stamp participants, the rate of food insecurity was 51.4%. Among low-income nonparticipants, the rate was 28.7% … a few studies have sought to measure the FSP’s effect on food insufficiency or food insecurity … Food stamps were negatively associated with food sufficiency in least squares regression models, but there was no association in models that sought to correct for selection bias.”

Contention Two: We’re too corrupt for this to be at all beneficial

a) Attempts to use food welfare in the US is actively abused. People use food stamps to buy drugs and illegal weapons. Affirming doesn’t actually help anyone. Fong 2:

  • “OIG has … found fraud and … in many types of trafficking in SNAP benefits. By giving a recipient $50 in cash for $100 in benefits … recipients .. are then able to spend the cash however they like. Recipients have exchanged benefits for drugs, weapons, and other contraband. When trafficking occurs unchecked, families do not receive the intended nutritional assistance, and unscrupulous retailers profit at the expense of the American public.”

b) The USDA knows about the corruption and won’t do anything about it. We’re intentionally screwing over civilians in the affirmative world. Fong 3:

  • “we found that FNS does not verify SNAP retailers’ criminal records and therefore cannot comply with its own requirement to deny SNAP to any retailer with a criminal history … FNS concluded that our recommendation would need a regulatory change and may not be cost beneficial … we determined that FNS did not debar any of the 615 wholesalers and retailers convicted … even though a conviction is adequate grounds for debarment. … it is not FNS’ policy to do so. …”

c) And even when we do take action, the offending parties have plenty of ways around the restrictions and can continue to defraud the USFG. There’s no way for the aff to solve for the harms of corruption. Fong 4:

  • “When FNS determines that a retailer is abusing the program, the agency places it on the disqualified vendor list … some disqualified retailers have found ways around this particular control. … a disqualified retailer can enlist … a “straw owner,” … By reapplying to the program using the name of this “straw owner,” the disqualified retailer sets up the business again and continues criminal activities … in … Connecticut … a store owner was deported after being convicted of food stamp trafficking fraud … years later, … he illegally reentered the US and opened several stores using other individuals’ names. … to accept SNAP benefits … and … defraud the Government … $2 million … a group … in Florida … executed this scheme … three times … trafficked approximately $6.2 million …”

Contention Three: Benefits to negating

a) Food insecurity actually prevents insurgent violence. Hendrix ‘13 provides 3 warrants:

Hendrix, Cullen. “Food Insecurity And Conflict Dynamics: Causal Linkages And Complex Feedbacks.” INternational Journal of Stability of Security and Development. January 27, 2013. Web. February 03, 2015. <;

  • “First, acute insecurity … diminishes the resources available to militants. Military thinkers ranging from Sun Tzu to Napoleon have recognized that the ability to forage is a binding constraint on militaries - especially those, such as rebel organizations, that lack sophisticated logistics and support networks. Rebel movements typically do not grow their own food and depend on voluntary or coerced contributions from the population. … Second, food insecurity can hinder active political participation - including participation in civil conflict - at the individual level. People experiencing acute food insecurity invest virtually all their effort in the pursuit of food, leaving little time and energy for the pursuit of … ideological ends … civil conflict is relatively more prevalent under conditions of relative food abundance and better agro-climatic conditions … Finally, the fact that food denial is often incorporated into counterinsurgency operations suggests that acute and severe food insecurity should suppress insurgent violence …”

Contention Four: Overpopulation.

a) The rate at which the global population is growing suggests we can’t actually feed everyone. Trying only makes the problem worse. Malthus ‘11:

Malthus, Thomas. “An Essay On The Principle Of Population.”. November 30, 2011. Web. February 06, 2015. <;

  • “no state has … existed … where … no check … has existed to … the … population … to exert itself with perfect freedom … In a state … where the means of subsistence were so abundant that no part of the society could have any fears … the increase of the human species would evidently be much greater than any increase that has been hitherto known. In the US … where the means of subsistence have been more ample … the population has been found to double itself in twenty-five years. This ratio of increase … goes on doubling itself every twenty-five years or increases in a geometrical ratio. Let us … take any spot of earth … under cultivation. If … by breaking up more land and by great encouragements to agriculture … produce … may be doubled in the first twenty-five years … in the next twenty-five years, it is impossible to suppose that the produce could be quadrupled. It would be contrary to all our knowledge of the qualities of land. … this ratio of increase is evidently arithmetical.”
Debate Round No. 2


Jhous forfeited this round.


His forfeit means that he doesn't get the opportunity to refute my case. This is damming to him because most, if not all, of my arguments function as responses to his case that means it's pretty much game over from here.

Extend contention one talking about the practical problems of food welfare and how it never ends up in the intended hands of those who need the food or has actually just made the situation worse overall. This means that it's not actually going to be possible to protecting people's rights to life as pro's case is arguing for.

Extend contention two which is talking about all the rampant corruption within the USFG and how it doesn't do anything and won't do anything to correct itself. Furthermore, extend contention two where it's talking about even if it tries to correct itself, there will still be other loopholes that people can abuse and it's not feasable to be able to close every and all loopholes and prevent other loopholes from opening. This means that the problems of the affirmative aren't things that he can solve for, which means that food welfare will never work in his favor.

Extend contention three which is talking about how not giving food to people who need it keeps it out of the hands of hungry insurgents, which means they have less energy and capability to harm other people and kill innocents. This means that by negating we're also protecting lives, meaning we're doing the affirmative's goal of protecting life better than they are.

Extend contention four which is talking about how our world is heading straight for a massive overpopulation brink, and providing food security to people without it will lock us on track. This overpopulation will result in us almost immediately running out of food once we hit that brink and being unable to reproduce it. So while, even if he manages to work around contentions one and two and outweighs contention three, he doesn't factor in long-term feasability and I'm outweighing in lives saved through contention four. By affirming we damm civilization in the long term by ensuring that massive numbers of people starve when we inevitably run out of food.
Debate Round No. 3


Jhous forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
No comments have been posted on this debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by Illegalcombatant 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Auto loss per debate rule
Vote Placed by AngelofDeath 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro's own rule resulted in his loss. Also, @Zaradi, how many of these are you planning on doing?
Vote Placed by ResponsiblyIrresponsible 1 year ago
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Reasons for voting decision: Per PRO's own rule and subsequent dual forfeits, I'm obligated to award the win to CON -- though, I will admit, I considered a convoluted explanation for why a null ballot would increase CON's suffering. I digress.
Vote Placed by Kozu 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Per R1 rules a FF warrents an automatic loss. I also felt that Con successfully demonstrated the frequency of abuse when attempting to delegate food across the board, resulting in more harm than good to society.