Resolved: On balance, government employee labor unions have a positive impact on the United States.
Debate Rounds (2)
The April Public Forum topic deals with the topic of whether or not unions of government employee laborers have a net positive impact on the United States. Before examining both sides of the resolution, let's break down some basic terms.
In this context, a union is generally understood to be an organization of employees formed to bargain with the employer; "you have to join the union in order to get a job. When employees are part of unions, the union negotiates on behalf of the collective group of employees/union members and to negotiate salaries/overtime and benefits (health care, vacation time, pensions, etc). A pension is essentially a salary that an employee draws for the rest of his or her life once he or she retires.
The resolution specifically refers to pubic employee labor unions. This specific reference is important because there is a large conceptual difference between a union of public employees (employees that work for a level of government federal, state, or local) and a union of employees that work for a private company. The difference is that employees of a private company know that they can only ask for so much in wages/benefits or those will start to threaten the viability of the company. Government employees, however, can ask for almost anything that they can get, knowing that the bill will simply have to be paid by the tax payers.
The issue of public employee union wages and benefits being payed by taxpayers is what gives rise to this resolution. A declining economy/tax base is giving rise to growing government deficits that are being compounded by large obligations on the part of governments to pay (high) government employee union wages/benefits. This growing fiscal gap is increasing animosity toward public employee unions, and it is what likely gave rise to this topic and makes it timely.
The final important concept/phrase in the resolution is on the United States. This is important to highlight because it keeps the question macro/large what is the net impact of these unions on the country as a whole, not necessarily on individual states or counties (though these collective smaller impacts are what determine the on balance impact on the United States
My partner and I stand in affirmation to the resolution.
However coolness and uncoolness is based on the judgement of others. To seek to be cool, in of itself, is simply to seek attention and approval from others and invites falling victim to the positive feedback loop of peer pressure and conformity. Add to this the prevalent dichotomies of good/evil cool/uncool that leaves no room for the infinite shades of gray, and the results are as perverse as the in the Lord of the Flies.
The self-determined path to enlightenment does not require "coolness" or "approval" or "conformity".
I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.
Since my opponent didn't post any points in the first round and this is the last round of this debate I will just post my own arguments.
Argument 1.My first argument pertains to the tax increase. First and foremost, we must address the impact labor unions have had on taxpayers. Government salaries and benefits are more times than not paid for by taxes. As these unions call for more and more dues, taxes will severely increase. Ed Lasky writes that "Public-sector unions have amassed great power to extract taxpayer dollars from politicians." US taxpayer dollars have been used for the unions to get whatever they can. To make up for the increase in demand for funding, our government isn't going to mess with the federal budget deficit. Rather, the government is going to increase taxes in states to compensate for the rise of needs. At the point where unions are the cause of a recurring issue with US citizens, it is obviously harming an important aspect to the US more than helping it.
Argument 2.My second argument has to do with deficit spending. After we review the issue with where the taxpayer money IS going, we must see where the taxpayer money isn't going. If unions are taking citizens' tax money, it is not going into solving the issue of our budget deficit. The imbalance between pensions and wages is resulting in higher deficits and, when necessary, cuts in government services. Since most states cannot run deficits, cuts in services or tax increases become inevitable. "The percentage of federal civil servants making more than $100,000 a year jumped from 14 percent to 19 percent during the first year and a half of the recession, according to USA Today. At the beginning of the downturn, the Transportation Department had one person making $170,000 or more a year; now it has 1,690 making that." All of that money going to these unions is not going into solving one of the most important issue on President Obama's mind, the economy. If citizens' money is not going into what is necessary, there will never be a way to solve it. The unions are distracting our funding from an imperative task, which obviously is more of a negative impact than a positive impact.
Argument 3.The third argument is specific to political corruption. Government employee labor unions donate sums of money to political parties that will support them. As we have established, taxpayers money is what funds these unions, so not only is being distracted from a significant cause, it is being put into the pockets of political candidates. Logically, more funding means more advertising, more advertising means more publicity and more times than not, more publicity means more votes. This leads to a never-ending cycle of corruption, a union being put in the pocket of a potential leader. "Unions contributed up to 400 million dollars to Democrats in 2008 and engage in skulduggery to advance their aims." Says the Pew Research Center. What is next for these unions? If this corruption goes on, it is obviously not going to have a positive effect.
Conclusion: In conclusion, these labor unions have not had a positive impact on the US as a whole, and are not going to if they continue the work they are keeping up now. As the negative we are not required to offer alternatives, but we are required to expose the truth and this should be known to all. The main point here, judge, is to prove that the money you pay each year goes to waste by these unions.
bobyochen forfeited this round.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by anonymous9304 6 years ago
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