The Instigator
miadm.13
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MyDinosaurHands
Con (against)
Winning
10 Points

Resolved: The National Endowment for the Arts should not be funded by the Government

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 2 votes the winner is...
MyDinosaurHands
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/5/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 4,877 times Debate No: 60007
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (2)

 

miadm.13

Pro

The National Endowment for the Arts should not be supported by taxpayers money.
MyDinosaurHands

Con

I'd like to thank Miadm for starting this debate. Thanks to her, I learned something new today, mostly saddening things about how much of our federal spending goes to tax cuts, but hey!

Essentially, my defense of NEA will be two-fold, one half an explanation of the good they do, and one half the minimal impact they have on tax-payers.


SUPPORTING THE ARTS
One negative connotation that comes with art, or supporting art, or pursuing a life of art, is the sense that it is totally unproductive, that you're just throwing your life away. But I would ask you, is a life thrown away if it is lived happily? Most people with a 'purposeful' job are unhappy with it. If someone has a talent that they can pursue to live happily, we should be happy for them! Not only that, but, if it is do-able, we should assist them.

We should assist them not only because we can make them happy, but because they can also make us happy. Just think about all the stuff we're surrounded by day to day. Music, movies, your favorite TV show, things like this are art. Our culture is full of art. By supporting art, we are supporting our culture. What if, by not funding and supporting those of artistic endeavors, we never get the next big painter, or the next big guitarist or singer? What if the next Christopher Nolan, or Stephen Spielberg doesn't get his shot at fame? What if the next Hans Zimmer can't get a loan for some recording equipment? What if the next Natalie Portman doesn't learn about her acting skills, because her town never got a grant to open up a live theater?

It's easy to hate on art and artists as unproductive members of society, but in reality, they're the ones who give our society our flavor, our fun. So when we fund art, we are not only giving people a better shot at living fulfilled lives, but we are giving our culture a shot at having something more interesting to live with.

COST OF THE NEA
Put simply, the NEA is less than tenth of a percent of our federal spending. To be exact, the money given to the NEA is 0.00395380622% of our current federal spending[1][2][3]. So when we look at the positives in the above section, and then look at the tiny grain of sand of 'negative', we can see that there really is no logical reason to get rid of the NEA.

Thanks for reading.

Sources:
[1] http://arts.gov...
[2] http://www.heritage.org...
[3] https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 1
miadm.13

Pro

First off, thanks dinosourhands for taking my debate! This should be fun. ^.^

Responses:

"One negative connotation that comes with art, or supporting art, or pursuing a life of art, is the sense that it is totally unproductive, that you're just throwing your life away. But I would ask you, is a life thrown away if it is lived happily?"
["]
"It's easy to hate on art and artists as unproductive members of society, but in reality, they're the ones who give our society our flavor, our fun. So when we fund art, we are not only giving people a better shot at living fulfilled lives, but we are giving our culture a shot at having something more interesting to live with."

-I couldn"t agree with you more here. Many people consider art as a "fake" job"or unproductive"like you said. I personally LOVE art. Please don"t think that I"m bashing art in any way. However, I don"t think we should not be funding the NEA"I will address that later.

"Most people with a 'purposeful' job are unhappy with it. If someone has a talent that they can pursue to live happily, we should be happy for them!"
-Absolutely

"Not only that, but, if it is do-able, we should assist them. We should assist them not only because we can make them happy, but because they can also make us happy. Just think about all the stuff we're surrounded by day to day. Music, movies, your favorite TV show, things like this are art. Our culture is full of art. By supporting art, we are supporting our culture."

-This is where I am going to disagree. We don"t HAVE to assist them. Just because I and a group of friends love playing with playdoh"doesn"t mean that people should pay us. I don"t agree with this analogy. Happy doesn"t = support.

"What if, by not funding and supporting those of artistic endeavors, we never get the next big painter, or the next big guitarist or singer? What if the next Christopher Nolan, or Stephen Spielberg doesn't get his shot at fame? What if the next Hans Zimmer can't get a loan for some recording equipment? What if the next Natalie Portman doesn't learn about her acting skills, because her town never got a grant to open up a live theater?"

-First off, that is a very big "WHAT IF." The arts were doing fine before we started supporting them. If we stopped supporting them"I"m pretty sure they would still continue. Art has prevailed throughout history.

"Put simply, the NEA is less than tenth of a percent of our federal spending. To be exact, the money given to the NEA is 0.00395380622% of our current federal spending[1][2][3]. So when we look at the positives in the above section, and then look at the tiny grain of sand of 'negative', we can see that there really is no logical reason to get rid of the NEA."

-That is an interesting piece of evidence"however, I"m curious where you found it. There are two NEA"s"one for education and one for "the arts."

My Arguments:

Money pt. 1
Our taxpayer"s money is stretched too far as it is. As much as we'd like to see lots and lots of organizations get funded, the taxpayers' dollars are not designed to support things like the arts. If the art itself isn't good enough to support itself, it's not good enough for us to give them our money. Although this seems harsh: they need to stand on their own"or fail.

Money pt. 2
There are so many more important things that need to be taken care of"Washington needs to get its priorities straight on this, because currently we cannot afford to do it! We are about 16 trillion dollars in debt and we are going into debt more and more every month. Supporting stuff that isn't vital when you are in serious debt is unwise. It is not our job. Even though art is great, we don"t need to be forced (especially people who don"t care for art) to support it. Accordingly, nowhere in its list of powers enumerated and delegated to the federal government does the Constitution specify a power to subsidize the arts."
A weird example of something we are funding:
"A $100,000 grant from the National Endowment of the Arts funded a video game that depicts a female superhero sent to save planet Earth from climate changes allegedly caused by social issues that affect women.

Money pt. 3
Say that the government (taxpayers) stopped funding the arts. It"s not like they will just die. There are plenty of ways that they can get money. Attending the shows"buying the art"exhibits"fundraisers"the list could go on. Besides, self-respecting artists shouldn"t want to take government (our) money. Real artists want to be independent of government control.

Money pt. 4
Supporting things that are not art.
Most of the projects are pretty leftist (in my example above)"that, or they are just weird and disturbing. Now, I"m not one to discriminate (in general) what someone thinks is art. But this is NOT art. Here are some examples:
"``Four Scenes in a Harsh Life' by Ron Athey, an HIV-positive actor- playwright. In his performance, Athey takes a scalpel and carves a pattern into another man's back. The blood from the wounds is then blotted with paper towels and dangled in the air over the heads of the audience.
"Andres Serrano's photographs of a crucifix submerged in a vat of his urine
"Robert Mapplethorpe's images of himself being penetrated anally by a bullwhip
"Photographs by artist Joel-Peter Witkin include pictures of a corpse's head sawed in half and repositioned so it seems to be kissing itself; an obese nude woman holding three dead fetuses; and a nude man strapped beneath heavy weights that are suspended above his head by means of a pulley chained to his scrotum. The latter is titled ``Testicle Stretch with the Possibility of a Crushed Face.'

The money that we are spending"is going to "art" like this. Where is the talent? More importantly, where is the art?

Thanks. :)

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.heritage.org...
http://www.experienceproject.com...-(National-Endowment-For-The-Arts)-Why-Or-Why-Not/1890474
http://www.heritage.org...
MyDinosaurHands

Con

First I'd like to start with a few miscellaneous rebuttals. Two things I'd like to comment on: First, my opponent questions where I got my statistics from. I would question as to whether or not she followed the link, because it clearly states the figures on a pdf file of the Nation Endowment for the Arts annual spending report. Secondly, your comments about the Constitution are completely unfounded. Does the Constitution say anything about riding horses? No, and yet they rode them back then regardless, and we do today. The Constitution does not name every specific thing our government cannot do, rather it gives outlines.


"First off, that is a very big "WHAT IF." The arts were doing fine before we started supporting them. If we stopped supporting them"I"m pretty sure they would still continue. Art has prevailed throughout history."
Right, so let's start with the WHAT IF. I would have to ask why you say that is a big what if. According to one of my opponent's own links, the NEA gives out 3,000 grants every year. At 3,000 per year, don't you think we're going to end up helping someone who will 'make it big'?

These are grants that, if you check their site, you will see anyone can apply for[1]. So you could be a poor kid with a dream to go to some kind of arts camp. Or you could be an arts camp looking to get money to give away as grants as they see fit. You apply for a grant, get some money, and suddenly, the fact that you were born into a poor family does not mean you have any less chance of happiness than a child born into a rich family, arts-wise (this is similar to school lunches, the government subsidizes the cost of lunch for poorer kids). Essentially, with this measure, we're ensuring people have a fair shot at pursuing happiness.

On to the callous throwaway of a statement that 'art will be fine, it always has been'. First off, the statement that art has prevailed throughout history does not reveal the fact that art has always been supported by government in some form (what, never seen a painting of a King?).

But that is inconsequential. My opponent says that art will continue, or at least, she's 'pretty sure'. While it may be true that art would continue, we have to consider in what form it will continue. Less grant money means less children of unfortunate circumstances getting to realize their true passions, less grant money means less smaller, local organizations being able to use grant money to get something of their own started. If you look at the site again, specifically here[2], you will see that there will be less noteworthy artists who are able to continue their work. Basically, the NEA is supporting the joy of people.

"-This is where I am going to disagree. We don"t HAVE to assist them. Just because I and a group of friends love playing with playdoh"doesn"t mean that people should pay us. I don"t agree with this analogy. Happy doesn"t = support"
Well aside from the fact that playing with playdoh is an extremely inexpensive hobby, I believe my opponent has dodged the point in my 'analogy'. My opponent is saying this in response to my statement that 'by supporting art, we support our culture and with that, we support our own happiness'. She completely ignores this. Art is what entertains us everyday. Why shouldn't you support the thing that makes you happy? It's basically an investment in cultural happiness, and, as I have already shown, and will continue to, it is a very inexpensive investment.

"If the art itself isn't good enough to support itself, it's not good enough for us to give them our money. Although this seems harsh: they need to stand on their own"or fail."
My opponent seems to have an image of the government giving money to failing painters so they can keep getting their crappy paintings put in art galleries. That is no the case. As I have already outlined, the NEA does a lot of investment type donating. They will give grants to growing organizations, they will give grants to children who will go on to discover a life passion, they may very well have a hand in inspiring the next big movie star or famous singer. So to say that 'they need to stand on their own or fail' shows a misunderstanding. A child cannot 'stand on his/her own or fail' in regards to going to an arts camp, how are they supposed to have the money for that? How is it their fault that they were born into a poor family? The fact is, the NEA provides opportunity to those who would never have had it otherwise.

"There are so many more important things that need to be taken care of"Washington needs to get its priorities straight on this, because currently we cannot afford to do it!"
We can too afford it. This program costs taxpayers 63 cents every year[3][4][5]. You are willing to pay 63 cents once every 365 days to ensure that people can live happily, and that our culture will receive new pieces of art to take joy in, aren't you?

"There are plenty of ways that they can get money. Attending the shows"buying the art"exhibits"fundraisers"the list could go on."
This statement is making it sound like they aren't utilizing these means to get money already. But if you're already doing all these things (and who wouldn't be? you can't rely on the NEA to be there for you always), then asking for a grant would be your last discourse. If people are needing these grants, then clearly, they are down to their last discourse.

Next I'd like to briefly comment on the 5 examples my opponent has brought up of, at least in her eyes, questionable use of money. I would like to point out that she has brought up 5 examples, whereas the NEA gives out 3,000 grants yearly. This is yet another grain of sand of 'negative' on a beach of positives. It is also worth noting that NEA leadership is appointed by Congress, so any concerns about some mini art dictator controlling our money are unfounded. If NEA leadership is getting out of control, or perhaps seemingly too biased, that person can be replaced by our reps (this infor found in one of my opponent's links).

So, to summarize, the NEA is of extremely minimal cost to taxpayers, is overseen by Congress, and the opportunities it provides to people will create many a fulfilled life, and, may bring our culture as a whole some art to enjoy. If my opponent has a problem with wasteful government spending, she should look elsewhere, as this is a very, very small arm of the government. I would ask voters of this debate, what else are you going to do with 63 cents? By some extremely cheap gum? That'll make you happy for like 10 minutes. That 63 cents could be going towards someone's lifetime of happiness.

Thanks for reading.


Sources:
[1] http://arts.gov...
[2] http://arts.gov...
[3] this was link 1 in my first round
[4] http://www.numberof.net...
[5] https://www.google.com...
Debate Round No. 2
miadm.13

Pro

-I was questioning because I was actually curious" and I looked at all your links"for whatever reason the google one didn"t open. I"m assuming that is where the pdf is.
"The Constitution does not name every specific thing our government cannot do, rather it gives outlines."
-Exactly. It gives outlines! My comment about the Constitution is totally founded: the 10"th amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The national endowment of the arts is not legal under the Constitution.
-Congress is authorized many things ex: military and the protection of our country/troops. Nowhere does the Constitution say that the federal government is to sponsor the arts. Yet, we now have the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which does just that.
-The most important point is that the NEA is unconstitutional. If someone wants to produce a work of art, then that person can either fund it or find private investors.
"Right, so let's start with the WHAT IF. I would have to ask why you say that is a big what if. According to one of my opponent's own links, the NEA gives out 3,000 grants every year. At 3,000 per year, don't you think we're going to end up helping someone who will 'make it big'?"
-Maybe"but like I said, it"s not our job. More importantly it"s not within the realm of the government"s privileges. Why should we support this one job"and not every other American job??
-the NEA doesn"t even promise "making it big""
-Besides, what they actually accomplish is typically sick. (remember the examples I gave you)

"These are grants that, if you check their site, you will see anyone can apply for[1]. So you could be a poor kid with a dream to go to some kind of arts camp. Or you could be an arts camp looking to get money to give away as grants as they see fit. You apply for a grant, get some money, and suddenly, the fact that you were born into a poor family does not mean you have any less chance of happiness than a child born into a rich family, arts-wise (this is similar to school lunches, the government subsidizes the cost of lunch for poorer kids). Essentially, with this measure, we're ensuring people have a fair shot at pursuing happiness.
"
-Do you want to know what these art grants are doing? Here are some MORE examples: "Piss Christ," a photograph of a crucifix immersed in urine, by Andres Serrano, who had received a $15,000 grant from the Southeast Center for Contemporary Art which in turn received funding from the NEA. Photographs by Robert Mapplethorpe titled "The Perfect Moment." This exhibit was arranged by the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania using $30,000 of an NEA grant. The exhibit included homoerotic photographs, images of sadomasochism and, child pornography. Karen Finley, a stage actress, used an NEA grant to produce a play in which she poured chocolate syrup over her own nude body.

-Besides the fact that the NEA is "granting" this type of "art"there are many other ways to get money. Not just NEA.
-Furthermore, the NEA isn"t the only way to happiness either. (There are many other ways to be happy"trust me)
-And"We don"t have to do any of this"it"s not the government"s job to begin with.

"On to the callous throwaway of a statement that 'art will be fine, it always has been'. First off, the statement that art has prevailed throughout history does not reveal the fact that art has always been supported by government in some form (what, never seen a painting of a King?)."
-This is America. Do we have a King? Use examples that are applicable to the U.S. And"that honestly proved my point even further. Not only is art prevalent in the U.S. history"but ALL around the globe.
-And yes, art has prevailed"continues to, IN AMERICA. Art doesn"t need someone"s money to keep it going. Art will prevail no matter if we take our funding away from the NEA"movies will still be produced, there will still be paintings and photographs.

"But that is inconsequential. My opponent says that art will continue, or at least, she's 'pretty sure'."
-You yourself agreed with this. I myself am positive. Art is a way of life"just like breathing, eating, and reading. Art will continue.
"While it may be true that art would continue, we have to consider in what form it will continue."
-Form? I have already said how pitiful and sick the "art" is that we are supporting. The art will be everywhere. The NEA is NOT the only supplier of "art."
"Less grant money means less children of unfortunate circumstances getting to realize their true passions, less grant money means less smaller, local organizations being able to use grant money to get something of their own started."
-I"m sorry but where did you get this? Do you have any proof that children will be more unfortunate?
-Children were fine (if not better off) before NEA and they will be okay after the NEA doesn"t get support from American citizens. Kids can find happiness without people getting taxed for it.
"If you look at the site again, specifically here[2], you will see that there will be less noteworthy artists who are able to continue their work. Basically, the NEA is supporting the joy of people."
-Wonderful! I never said that the NEA needs to be abolished! Just we (government) don"t have to give it money"Plus it legally shouldn"t be allowed to. NEA isn"t gonna drop off the face of the earth.

"My opponent is saying this in response to my statement that 'by supporting art, we support our culture and with that, we support our own happiness'. She completely ignores this.
-YOU were the one that didn"t reply to the fact that the artwork that the "artists" are giving is horrific. It is offensive and gross. Many people aren"t given "happiness" when they look at it.
-We don"t need to be forced to support anything that we don"t want to. It should be optional"if someone wants to support, by all means let them!

"My opponent seems to have an image of the government giving money to failing painters so they can keep getting their crappy paintings put in art galleries."
-You STILL HAVE NOT refuted that there are not "crappy paintings." I don"t think you honestly think that those examples should ever be labeled as art.
-You can"t just do whatever you want and stamp it as "art."
-I never said all the art was crap"but most of it is extremely controversial and very offensive.
"That is not the case. As I have already outlined, the NEA does a lot of investment type donating.
-So will they no longer be able to donate if we stop giving them money? Do you actually know what they are donating to? I hope you remember my examples"because I"m not going to say it another time and you dismiss it again.
"They will give grants to growing organizations, they will give grants to children who will go on to discover a life passion, they may very well have a hand in inspiring the next big movie star or famous singer. So to say that 'they need to stand on their own or fail' shows a misunderstanding. A child cannot 'stand on his/her own or fail' in regards to going to an arts camp, how are they supposed to have the money for that? How is it their fault that they were born into a poor family?"
-You are stretching it a lot"this emotion is"pathetic. This is kinda copied and pasted from a soap opera script. Kids have other (if not better) ways of learning art. Kids can receive happiness in other ways!
"The fact is, the NEA provides opportunity to those who would never have had it otherwise."
-You still haven"t given what their opportunity is, and haven"t refuted the examples that completely reject this.

"We can too afford it. This program costs taxpayers 63 cents every year[3][4][5]. You are willing to pay 63 cents once every 365 days to ensure that people can live happily, and that our culture will receive new pieces of art to take joy in, aren't you?"
-You didn"t look (OR REFUTE) at the fact that we are in deep debt.
- 316.13 million people live in the US. All those people add up. So does the money"That money can definately go somewhere else.

"If people are needing these grants, then clearly, they are down to their last discourse."
-That isn"t true. There are some people that are categorized as LAZY. Just because you get a grant doesn"t mean you are in poverty. Who wouldn"t choose the easy way out? If you were going to receive thousands of dollars"who wouldn"t take it?

"Next I'd like to briefly comment on the 5 examples my opponent has brought up of, at least in her eyes, questionable use of money.
-I"m sorry five examples wasn"t enough for you. Yet"you haven"t given me one. I"ve already given you MORE examples of what the grants are going for. I already addressed the whole congress issue. It shouldn"t be allowed in the first place.

"If my opponent has a problem with wasteful government spending, she should look elsewhere, as this is a very, very small arm of the government."
-I already addressed this. The money adds up. There are about a thousand other things that the Government needs to be focused on that is more important than supporting something that is going to be fine on its own.

Side Note: The NEA required all grant recipients to certify in advance
that none of the funds would be used "to promote, disseminate, or produce
materials which in the judgment of the NEA " may be considered obscene."
To Summarize: The NEA shouldn"t be funded for 3 reasons:
1.Not the Government/Our job
2.The art is sick, graphic, and inappropriate (offensive)
3.The Government can use the money in some other way
Thanks for the debate.
MyDinosaurHands

Con

I will not be quoting and refuting my opponent this round, as I think it would start to get to be very messy reading for voters.

EXAMPLES
In the last round, my opponent challenged me to provide my own examples of what the NEA does, to show that not everyone is pissing in jars and calling it art with NEA money. If I'm counting correctly, my opponent has shown 8 examples of things that she does not consider art.

The NEA splits their grant making into several categories/programs, so I will be presenting several categories of their grant making, and explain what they do.

The first is simply called Art Works. What this does is support the continuation and preservation of cultural heritages. So they might help in the commissioning of an art, like making sure someone has adequate recording equipment for a song, or giving a grant to a museum that showcases art that is considered to be a part of an area's cultural heritage. Just look for yourself, here[1], or here[2].


The next I'd like to present is their Challenge America Fast-Track. As you will see[1][2], this one is very much involved in supporting communities, often those that are underprivileged. One thing that I would like to bring to skeptics' attention is the fact that this category supports community tourism. Your 63 cents a year is going to assist a city somewhere tourism-wise.


The next category is called Our Town. It runs along a similar vien to the above category, one difference being that the money is given to communities to do as they see fit. As you can see below, the grant partnership must invlolve local government and some kind of arts non-profit organization. You can see in that picture one example of what Our Town is doing (giving children opportunity that may not have been there, giving them opportunities to find their passions), and you can find another example where grant money was used to build a community park, with a sort of hand operated structure acting as the art for kids to play with[1]. For specifics[2].


This next category, Literature Fellowships[1][2], should put the hearts of those who imagined lazy artists taking your 63 cents every year to rest. This grant is for artists of the writing type. The process of getting a grant here is competitive, as individual artists are vying for funds. So that does not mean we've got artists just sitting around, waiting for the money to show up. It means we've got artists who are working and proving their worth, asking for more to take their literary contributions to the next level. So, far from discouraging hard work, this encourages it.


Next I'd like to present National Fellowships Heritage[1][2], which you could essentially call our preserver of past arts. They award grants to those are either performing/practicing our older cultural heritages, or those who preserve it, such as museums. Essentially, they're preserving the footprint the past generations have left behind.

Right next to that, we have the National Medal of Arts[1][2], which is awarded to those who have shown exemplary artistic expertise. Essentially what this does is promote anything that is good. It did not necessarily have to be funded by the NEA, but the promotion is, ensuring that those who work hard and are good at their craft are recognized.


I could go on and on, but there are 11 other programs[1], and I've only got 8,000 characters to work with here. I assure you, none of them focus on creating pictures of artists being anally penetrated by a bullwhip. I would of course encourage you to see for yourself. I hope that what I have shown so far, and what you are able to see by following the link(s), lets you know that the vast majority of what the NEA does is supporting honest causes, things that are supportive of communities, competitive art, and preservation of cultural heritage. And it will only cost a taxpayer 63 cents per year. The positive impact this group has requires an incredibly small amount of investment on our part.


CONSTITUTIONALITY
So my opponent comes back to my statement with a little more specificity. She says:
""The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." The national endowment of the arts is not legal under the Constitution."
This seems fine, until you look at how our world functions. For instance, the President drives around in a car called The Beast (well, he's not the one driving it, but you get me). Now, the Constitution doesn't say anything about the Federal Government being able to utilize cars, nor does it say anything about the States not being allowed to do so. So under that logic, only State Governments would be able to utilize cars.

I won't use up my characters naming further examples, I'm sure the voters are smart enough to find other ways this logic would be a severe pain in the a$$ if it were applied. If the people elect representatives, who support this program, then it is existing inside democratic principles. It is hardly a threat to our freedom loving society.


IT'S NOT NECESSARY
The above is the general sentiment my opponent has expressed throughout the debate. She has made many claims about how 'there are other ways' or 'you can find happiness in lots of places'. Those types of things. But I would ask you, is this really a healthy attitude? That attitude is the exact opposite of the attitude that brings crowds out for a rally. What she is championing is the idea that since the NEA is only one cog in the machine of artistic support, we can do away with it.

We can see where such an attitude would quickly lead. The cogs in the machine aren't important on their own, their strength is in numbers. But to tell them that they aren't individually important is to discourage them, and this would eventually have an effect on the strength in numbers concept. Imagine a crowd of people being discouraged to turn up for a rally.

That aside, her statements that 'there will be another way' are wrong on their own. There's only so much money the private sector will provide, there is only so much grant money out there. As you can see in some links scattered throughout the debate, the NEA has tossed in over 4 billion dollars to that pile. Without them, that's $4B worth of groups of people who could not continue on with their art. Every little bit counts, because every little bit provides just a little more opportunity. Strength in numbers.

MISC
Well I'm almost done, I just wanted to address one thing my opponent said that I think would be unwise to let slide. She said that since the NEA is supporting artists, and not the common man, that is unfair. What makes them more worthy than us? Well, A) supporting the arts supports ourselves, and B) Just because you cannot have something does not mean nobody else should be able to have it, no? Points A and B together should be enough to negate this.

Penultimately, a word on my opponent's conduct. In her last round she made some statements that were unnecessary to prove her point. The best example was when she called my statements 'pathetic' and 'cut out of a soap-opera'. Anyone who has spent time on DDO knows this is not acceptable conduct, and I would hope the voters recognize this. I don't mean to patronize the voters, but I often see people getting so focused on who won the arguments that they forget other cateogories.

SUMMARY
This is extremely inexpensive, less than a tenth of a percent of our federal spending, and only costs taxpayers 63 cents a year. I have shown the worthy causes the NEA supports, while my opponent has found us a few specific examples of questionable taste. At the end of the day, we need to ask ourselves this: are we willing to take away a person's happiness to save ourselves 63 cents?

Thanks for reading.

Sources:
[1] http://arts.gov...
[2] https://docs.google.com...
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
It's important to note that the 63 cents thing is only true if we assume everyone pays the same amount in taxes, which we don't in America. It doesn't really matter though, because our tax brackets are set up to match people's income levels, so the cost wouldn't be burdensome to anyone, in any tax bracket. All that is unnecessarily complicated though, so I would refrain from mentioning that unless someone challenges you on the accuracy of the statistic.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
@karisjoy
I took the number of taxpayers and divided that by the amount of money the $ in funding that the NEA receives annually. The source for the funding is found in link 1 of round 1, and the number of taxpayers is found in link 4 of round two. Good luck debating!
Posted by karisjoy 3 years ago
karisjoy
Hey, I am debating in my school and was wondering how you got the 63 cents. I want to use that, but can you give me the numbers that you used in the equation? I tried looking, but couldn't find them. Thank you. (BTW my debate is tomorrow)
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 1/3:

Government arts subsidies: Always an interesting and engaging subject of discussion!

Pro has the BoP in this. She starts R1 with an assertion and no support. There are no rules calling for R1 to be acceptance from Con and, indeed, no reaon Pro couldn't have put forth a more substantial argument in her R1. Usually, R1 is for acceptance where a debater has posted rules and framework in R1--Pro didn't do that. So, it can be presumed that that one line WAS her opening argument. Con's, obviously, was much longer, and Pro was starting from behind the proverbial 8-ball on it.

Con gives us benefits--namely, supporting the arts, arguing that such support lets artist "give our society our flavor". He also points out that the cost is insignificant to the overall budget of the US. 0.00395380622% is a compelling number in support of keeping the status quo.

Pro rebuts Con's case, but doesn't really present her own. She argues that it's not NECESSARY to support the arts, but Con said we SHOULD, not that it was necessary.

Pro has no argument against Con's point RE: the negligible amount of money the NEA costs.

Pro makes her own constructive, arguing in 3 different points about money. But Con has shown that the amount we're talking about is negligible, and Con has failed to show how the "plenty more things" would benefit from cutting the NEA. Pro argues that the arts wouldn't die if they weren't funded. But she hasn't defeated the argument that they're HELPED by the money, and that helping the arts is a good thing.

The Money Pt. 4 is just not compelling, arguing that art she doesn't like is not art. She merely asserts it and, prima facie, there's no grounds for the assertion. Further, even if accepted, that's a problem of implementation, not of the notion of the NEA itself.

Con responds adequately to the points Pro presents, showing them as not supporting the notion of doing away with the NEA.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 2/3:

He closes the round with a good summation:

"the NEA is of extremely minimal cost to taxpayers, is overseen by Congress, and the opportunities it provides to people will create many a fulfilled life, and, may bring our culture as a whole some art to enjoy. If my opponent has a problem with wasteful government spending, she should look elsewhere, as this is a very, very small arm of the government."

Pro reiterates the constitutional argument. It's not sound. Con rebutted it adequately in R2 (though I'll also note that it's not sound because it ignores that Article I, S8, C1 says "The Congress shall have Power to lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to... provide for the ... general Welfare of the United States"--Con didn't bring it up, but his rebuttal was already sufficient, it's just worth noting to Pro that she's really very wrong here). Pro complains some more about the types of art supported, and demands that Con provide some examples of "good" art. Art will ALWAYS be subjective. I don't find this tack from Pro compelling.

Pro summarizes her argument, claiming it's not the government's job (which Pro has rebutted), that the art is offensive (which is subjective) and that the government can use the money in some other, nebulous and nonspecified way. The last point is the only one that could stand, and it's not particularly compelling given Con's showing of the percentage here.

Con opens his final round with some "good" examples. I didn't find the "It funds art I don't like" argument compelling anyway, but this rebuttal from Con seems to be sufficient.

Con moves on to the constitutionality argument again, once more successfully rebutting it.

Con points out that while the NEA, specifically, may not be "necessary", that doesn't mean it's not helpful. Further, I would not that it not being necessary does not mean that it should be discontinued.
Posted by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD 3/3:

Con has shown benefit to the arts. Has shown that the NEA assists that benefit. And has shown that the benefit comes at little cost. Pro largely attempted to rebut Con, despite having her own BoP, and I don't think her rebuttals were particularly strong. Con also pointed out Pro's poor conduct--he's right, Pro calling his points "pathetic" is a bit out of line, particularly considering this debate was not any kind of troll debate and was a long one on a serious topic. I'm slightly on the fence about conduct, but have decided to award it to Con for that, though it was close. Con's sources were reliable and supported his point. Pro did have sources, as well, but I didn't find them to be as useful or compelling. As to S&G: Pro's formatting made it EXTREMELY hard to read her case, since she was going line by line through Con's case using quotation marks and dashes. It makes it hard to read even if there HAD been typographic differences (like italics). That there weren't made it a definite slog.

I *rarely* award all 7 outside of a straight W/L debate. And when I do, it's usually for *obviously* egregious behavior. This is a rare debate indeed, because though I do, fundamentally, think both debaters did a fine job, I'm nonetheless in the position of giving a clean sweep to Con. I'm very hesitant to do it, just because a clean sweep is so RARELY warranted, and I may decide to change the conduct point at some point, since I'm at least slightly indecisive about it, and I really do hate giving a clean sweep to a "real" debate. But fundamentally, the points should be considered largely in isolation, so it wouldn't be fair of me NOT to award points just because of how I've awarded them elsewhere, when I think they're warranted. It's a tough call, but Arguments, conduct, S&G and sources to Con. As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Posted by debatability 3 years ago
debatability
ARGUMENTS

Con has a pretty strong case. I think it would have been a bit more powerful to note exactly what would happen if we stopped funding the NEA. Pro's case is slightly weaker than con's. I do buy the first two points in her case, but there are a couple flaws later on. Firstly, obviously art itself will survive without funding. The thing is, less fortunate artists may *not* survive without funding. Which con tactfully pointed out. Secondly, the idea of not funding the NEA because some art is distasteful in the eyes of con makes no sense. Only a few examples were provided out of many pieces of art, so I really can't buy this point. Let's look at the major arguments in more depth...

NEA COST: This was a clear win for con. The cost of the NEA is literally less than 1% of all government spending and less than 1 dollar per year per tax payer. When looking at cost, pro brings up a couple things: The national debt and taxpayer money. These points are easily negated through con's explanation of the small cost (but the large benefit).

CONSTITUTIONALITY: This was one of pro's stronger arguments. The thing is, pro ignores the fact that United States government supports many other organizations that are not *directly* mentioned in the constitution. I will note that rather than bringing up cars/horses, it would have been more compelling for con to bring up actual programs that the government supports.
TYPES OF ART: This was pro's weakest argument. I went over this a bit above. I would like to note that just because a piece of art is "unworthy* in pro's opinion, doesn't mean it shouldn't be supported at all.
NECESSITY: This point ends as a tie. Both sides do an adequate job of that the funding is necessary / unnecessary.
JOBS: Pro brings up that other jobs are not supported by the NEA. The government supports lots of jobs in various ways; con didn't really say much about this point so it carry much weight.
Arguments to con.
Posted by debatability 3 years ago
debatability
IN CONCLUSION

I'm leaving conduct as a tie since I really don't think that either debater committed a serious enough violation. Same with spelling and grammar / sources. I will make one note... this debate was really hard to follow until the last round. I (along with many other voters), find ultraquoting an uncompelling way to refute arguments. Con's last round was his best round because it was easy to follow, and because he summarized or paraphrased (rather than directly quoted) his opponent's arguments. I would suggest to pro, in the future (even if you do desire to refute direct quotes) at least place the quotes under the given topic they belong with. I had trouble following the debate because I never knew which one of your points you were arguing for.

This was quite an interesting topic, and i really enjoyed reading the debate.
Posted by MyDinosaurHands 3 years ago
MyDinosaurHands
Calling me 'sweetie' doesn't make you look smart or superior to me, just a tip. Additionally, you could easily swap out cars with horses in that example, which were used when the Constitution was drafted.
Posted by miadm.13 3 years ago
miadm.13
Cars weren't invented...that ain't gonna be in the constitution sweetie.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 3 years ago
bladerunner060
miadm.13MyDinosaurHandsTied
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by debatability 3 years ago
debatability
miadm.13MyDinosaurHandsTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Comments.