The Instigator
lannan13
Pro (for)
Winning
15 Points
The Contender
Astal3
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

Resolved: The United States Federal government should mine asteroids.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
lannan13
Voting Style: Judge Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/18/2014 Category: Science
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,296 times Debate No: 59143
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
Votes (5)

 

lannan13

Pro

This is Round 1 match-up between Lannan13 and Astal3 in the Adopt-A-Noob Tourney. The Resolution that we are debating is above. The link for the AAN Tourney can be found here. (http://www.debate.org...)

Rules
Burden of Proof is shared.
Round 1 is for acceptance only and definitions only.
Round 2: Contentions will be presented no rebuttals.
Round 3: Rebuttals
Round 4: Rebuttals and Conclusion
Wikipeadia will not be accepted as a valid source
No semantics
The Time Period will be within the century.

Asteroid- any of the thousands of small bodies of from 480 miles (775km) to less than one mile (1.6km) in diameter that revolve about the sun in orbits lying mostly between those of Mars and Jupiter. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Mine- place where such minerals (gold, silver, Rare Earth Metals, etc...) may be obtained, either by excavation or by the washing of soil. (http://dictionary.reference.com...)

Should- —used in auxiliary function to express obligation, propriety, or expediency <you should brush your teeth after each meal> (http://www.merriam-webster.com...)
Astal3

Con

I thank my opponent for making this debate and I accept. For clarification me and my opponent will be arguing the present and near future. (Within the next century)

Capitalism
"an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state."
https://www.google.com...

Socialism
"a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole."
https://www.google.com...

Government
"the governing body of a nation, state, or community."
http://www.debate.org...

Diplomacy
"the profession, activity, or skill of managing international relations, typically by a country's representatives abroad."
https://www.google.com...

Economic Risk
" is the chance that macroeconomic conditions like exchange rates, government regulation, or political stability will affect an investment, usually one in a foreign country."
http://www.investinganswers.com...

Enterprise
1. "a project or undertaking, typically one that is difficult or requires effort"
2. "a business or company."
https://www.google.com...

Big Government
"government perceived as excessively interventionist and intruding into all aspects of the lives of its citizens."
https://www.google.com...

Corporation
"a company or group of people authorized to act as a single entity (legally a person) and recognized as such in law."
https://www.google.com...

Deficit
1. "the amount by which something, especially a sum of money, is too small."
2. "an excess of expenditure or liabilities over income or assets in a given period."
https://www.google.com...

Economy
"the wealth and resources of a country or region, especially in terms of the production and consumption of goods and services."
https://www.google.com...

I may have a few additional definitions but overall I have provided the majority that will be used in my main points. Once again I thank my opponent for making this debate and wish both of us luck.
Debate Round No. 1
lannan13

Pro

I'd like to remind my opponent that the debate time frame is within the century not next century.

Contention 1: Funding

In order to avoid deficit spending the United States Federal government shall reallocate federal funding to NASA. Then once NASA has begun to make a large profit NASA will be able to fund itself with some of the REMs (Rare Earth Metals) that it brings in. It costs $2.6 to mine the actual asteroid. (http://www.space.com...) As per US law if NASA doesn't use this money it gets taken away. So we wouldn't be wasting any money.


The US governmental funding for asteroid mining is key, the International Space Study has found that with the current technology the US federal government must fund asteroid mining as they have found that the original investment period for the ROI takes to long for investors to see benefits. Thus the Private sector would lose interests. (https://isulibrary.isunet.edu...) Also at this stage in the game it is crucial that the US federal government funds asteroid mining, because throughout history the Federal government has funded new projects in the early stage in order to get private companies and competition against eachother's going. Just look at the Panama Canal. The US will be able to get an early advantage over our foreign competitors in technology, raw materials, and new science personal. (http://arxiv.org...) We all know that the technology exists, but all we need now is a large sum of government funds to get the program off the ground. (http://www.scienceclarified.com...)

Contention 2: Why we need it


95% of the world's REM (Rare Earth Metals) supply belongs to China. China is starting to crack down on REM exports to the US leading to almost chaos. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk...)You may think no big deal, but if it goes any further it will lead to US crackdown on China and with the US trying to put leverage on the US China will most likely do the same leading to an economic down of the US and then China then the world. Why is this you may ask? It is the fact that the US is entirely reliant on China and the fact that China is also to reliant on the US if one falls they both do. We currently use Rare Earth Elements to make electronics from the cell phone you have and your TV to military satellites. We get a lot of our Green technology from them to like pollution controls, LED light bulbs, and Hybrid cars. (http://science.howstuffworks.com...)
Prices of REMs have increased by well over 100%. China, who owns 95% of the world's REMs supply has begun to clamp down on the exports due to new environmental regulations and their new crack downs on illegal mining laws. There will be a 48% increase of demand of REMs by next year and the shortages of some of these key metals are not helping the prices. (http://www.business-standard.com...) Others show demands are expected to rise by 60% by next year due to increased demands in electronics and hybrid cars. China is shockingly going to start seeing some supply shortages themselves and will either have no choice to hike prices or stop exporting all-in-all. ( http://www.globemetalsandmining.com.au...)


Contention 3: China War

We all know that REM are what we use in batteries, cell phones, and even military technology. So it is key that the wealth gets spread around. Since China is hoarding them the US could try to force China to give them up. This is very likely to happen since nation's in the past of done this type of thing. Look at Japan when they attack the US due to the US oil embargo on them. This will lead to a possible WW3 and this scenario is likely to happen because once you run out of REMs then you're out. (http://www.roitov.com...) This is a war that will hurt many nation and has a potential to go nuclear and the world will likely end due to this episode. (“The Asian Ascent: Opportunity for Peace or Precondition for War?,” International Studies Perspectives, Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 36-42)Contention 3: Economic pay back!It's $195 billion per asteroid! (http://www.space.com...) Think about the trade of it'll take $2.7 billion to mine while the profit is $195 billion. With this kind of profit the US will be able to finally start to pay off it's debts which will increase trade interest with the US from other nations.
China has indeed stopped exporting REMs to Japan ("The new resource wars: what if china stops exporting rare elements?") Now imagine if China did that to the US. This would cause an inevitable resource war with China since, as I stated already, China owns almost all of the world's REMs. This would be terrible on the Global Market as two Trade Titans have a trade war over REMS. International Relations experts have warned against this stating that it would no doubtfully cause a War. (http://greenfaucet.com...) We do not need to be reminded of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff.

Contention 4: US Deficit

The value of the US dollar is plummeting as the the US debt increases. (http://useconomy.about.com...) With the asteroid mining program we will be able to pay off our debt. How's that you may ask? It's very simple, the average asteroid holds over $100 billion in REMs. ( http://lightyears.blogs.cnn.com...) When we subtract the cost of $2.6 billion to mine it, lets round it up to $10 billion for transportation and refining the ore We can see that we can make a $90 billion profit from an average asteroid. US debt will be gone soon enough as the US will become the OPEC of Rare Earth Metals.
Astal3

Con

I would also like to clarify that my opponent did in fact point out a flaw in my wording. The motion is based in the near future which is this century 2000-2100.

Also before I start I would like to state my position. I am against the motion "Resolved: The United States Federal government should mine asteroids.". I am for a motion that says the federal government should not mine asteroids but instead encourage and support America's Enterprise system to take on and flourish in this lucrative new market.

I. The Economy
-The US economy is a mixed system. There are numerous privately owned corporations in the US. There are also numerous Federal systems and regulations in place to make sure things run smoothly. Examples of these systems are labor laws and minimum wage requirements.
http://www.uncg.edu...

-Competition is what keeps low prices low without sacrificing quality. The only thing keeping that gallon of milk you bought the other day for $4 instead of $24 is the existence of other manufacturers providing the same goods. The same logic and effects are seen within the Middle East and oil prices. OPEC used to have a massive monopoly on oil and was the driving factor in the worlds foreign policies and economies. Both America and Canada have counteracted this by drilling into their own massive reserves. Russia is also another large exporter of oil. My point is whoever holds a monopoly has unchecked and dangerous power on lives and economies globally and within their own economies. The pipe flows both ways China may have the largest REM stash but they have a lack of free enterprise therefore they strangle their own economy. If the US government was to have a monopoly on REM's from asteroids they have the potential to not only strangle the global economy but our own as well. This is where economic risk factors in. If one company fails it can leave a dent but there are more companies to take over. If the government fails then the whole system collapses. You will get higher returns for less risk by leaving it to corporations than if you were to have the government take control. Plus the government has a lot on its plate. National defense, deficit, foreign policy, etc. Meanwhile corporations have far less to worry about and can more effectively focus their resources to get results. NASA is not a mining company. They are a research and development organization.
http://www.nytimes.com...

http://thehill.com...

- One last point I would like to make is the term "Flooding the Market". Below is a definition of the term flood.
FLOOD
" brim over, deluge, drown, immerse, inundate, overflow, pour over, submerge, swamp, teem
engulf, flow, gush, overwhelm, rush, surge, swarm, sweep, choke, fill, glut, oversupply, saturate"
http://dictionary.reverso.net...
- The only thing that keeps a REM valuable is the fact that it is rare. If you were to suddenly dump an excess amount of REM's into the market not only would the value and prices of them drop dramatically but you run the risk of destabilizing the global economy. In short if there is a surplus of something it is no longer rare nor as valuable. A great historical example of this are the constant fluctuations in the gold market.

- In terms of economy it would be a lot less risky to leave space mining to corporations and have the federal government tax and regulate these companies. Once again not only is it less risky but that is how our economy is designed to begin with.

II. Diplomacy
-Below is a link to a UN website regarding space policy.
http://www.oosa.unvienna.org...

-For the sake of time I am going to pull an excerpt from this site
"The Outer Space Treaty was considered by the Legal Subcommittee in 1966 and agreement was reached in the General Assembly in the same year ( resolution 2222 (XXI). The Treaty was largely based on the Declaration of Legal Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Use of Outer Space, which had been adopted by the General Assembly in its resolution 1962 (XVIII) in 1963, but added a few new provisions. The Treaty was opened for signature by the three depository Governments (the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States of America) in January 1967, and it entered into force in October 1967. The Outer Space Treaty provides the basic framework on international space law, including the following principles:"

-Here is also a list detailing basic principles also pulled from the site

-the exploration and use of outer space shall be carried out for the benefit and in the interests of all countries and shall be the province of all mankind;

-outer space shall be free for exploration and use by all States;
outer space is not subject to national appropriation by claim of sovereignty, by means of use or occupation, or by any other means;

-States shall not place nuclear weapons or other weapons of mass destruction in orbit or on celestial bodies or station them in outer space in any other manner;

-the Moon and other celestial bodies shall be used exclusively for peaceful purposes;

-astronauts shall be regarded as the envoys of mankind;

-States shall be responsible for national space activities whether carried out by governmental or non-governmental entities;

-States shall be liable for damage caused by their space objects; and

-States shall avoid harmful contamination of space and celestial bodies.
http://www.unoosa.org...

- This excerpt alone severely limits and challenges this motion. If the government were to be in control of space mining then every incident would be an international one. International space law says that everything in space is neutral and is to be shared with the entire planet. While this would be good for humanity it doesn't give the US much incentive nor reason to be the worlds economic breadbasket. Say we find a rich asteroid full of REM'S. China sees this as an opportunity and also mines this asteroid. The US cant say no because that would be illegal. Now look what we have. The US put all the work into locating and setting up this asteroid just to have China come in off our backs and take the resources. That wouldn't help the US at all and would be counter productive. You would have a greatly easier time defending a private entities asteroid claim than a national entities one. Once again this leads into economic risk and even possibly war. Based on these two factors alone it would be a bad idea to let the US government mine for asteroids.

-I thank my opponent for making this debate and apologize on the delay. I look forward to hear more of his arguments.
Debate Round No. 2
lannan13

Pro

Contention 1: The Economy

Subpoint 1: Competition

As I brought up in my first contention last round that the Federal Government needs to be involved in the early stages of new projects to help get them going and to show that doing such a project is worth it. I turn to my example of the Rail Roads and the Panama Canal the Federal Government passed a bill in 1862 to help rail roads get a huge kick start and helped them get involved. (http://www.ourdocuments.gov...) This lead to the many rail roads popping up everywhere and after the government started breaking up monopolies they helped make riding the Rail affordable. As for the Panama Canal, it was a gold mine. it meant cheaper shipping and receiving goods faster. The thing was that no one wanted to do it due to the malaria in the region (just ask the French) and because the Federal Government stepped in there the project got completed and good became cheaper. (http://www.infoplease.com...)



I have also shown last round that private companies do not want to chance it yet, because private investors don't want to wait too long as they think that they might not see a return on investments. In order to compensate the time that it takes. (https://isulibrary.isunet.edu...) So we can see that the United States Federal Government must kick-off the project here. NASA is a research and development organization so their production of the technology and oversite is very important as they are our nation's space administration and this is their field of expertise.

Subpoint 2: Flooding the market.

Here's a fun fact of the day, did you know that the diamond mined in South Africa is practically worthless. The only reason that it is worth so much is that South Africa withholds a lot of their diamonds from the global market to increase their value. Much like OPEC and how much oil that they decide to export a year. This is what the US would do. The US would release small amounts onto the Global Market to create a profit and drive down US national debt. The US would keep the rest in the US where they would be made into different things or just stay in warehouses like South African Diamonds. Remind you that once we start this project that we will increase jobs by the thousands and create an industry worth over a trillion dollars which beats the US marine time industry. (http://www.space.com...) and (http://blog.chron.com...)

Contention 2: Legality of the Outer Space Treaty.

I shall now quote Space law professor Art Dula, "I am pleased to say that the American people and the corporations they form are presently free to conduct mining operations in outer space for commercial purposes, as this activity has not been made either illegal or regulated by the federal government or the several states." Here she shows that the US Federal Government does not have a law regulating the business nor restricting it. Keep in mind that she is also highly a where of the OST of 1967. (http://www.livescience.com...) .NASA is even planning to do such an action before the year 2021 by capturing an asteroid and having astronauts observe it. This is legal under the OST, because it also says that we have free access to celestrial bodies. (http://www.space.com...) JAXA (Japanese version of NASA) mined an asteroid in 2005 and returned with great results. (http://www.spaceanswers.com...)


The OST does not apply to asteroids, the only reason it was created in the first place was to prevent a winner of the Cold War between the US and the USSR. Each nation was fearing the other with territorial disputes as well as nuclear weaponry on the moon. The next question is is the asteroids really a celestial body? Andrew Tingkang stated in an Article for the Seattle University that, "If you can move it, then it isn't a celestial body." (http://www.popularmechanics.com...)

US Federal Government mining of an asteroid would not be harmful as it will benefit the entire Global Economy along with China. ( http://www.investopedia.com...) Both of which are Global Trade Titian's as I have brought up in my last round and that which the US receiving these REMs there will be many countries out there that want to by the new raw materials from the US, by the technology so they themselves can mine space and thus negating that section of the OST as many nations will then be mining space and increasing their nation's welfare. This is just essentially Ronald Reagan's Trickle Down Theory (or also known as Reaganomics) on a Global Scale. (http://money.howstuffworks.com...) We will be affecting the entire world population in a positive and great manner.


Astal3

Con

Rebuttals

"As I brought up in my first contention last round that the Federal Government needs to be involved in the early stages of new projects to help get them going and to show that doing such a project is worth it. I turn to my example of the Rail Roads and the Panama Canal the Federal Government passed a bill in 1862 to help rail roads get a huge kick start and helped them get involved. (http://www.ourdocuments.gov......) This lead to the many rail roads popping up everywhere and after the government started breaking up monopolies they helped make riding the Rail affordable. As for the Panama Canal, it was a gold mine. it meant cheaper shipping and receiving goods faster. The thing was that no one wanted to do it due to the malaria in the region (just ask the French) and because the Federal Government stepped in there the project got completed and good became cheaper. (http://www.infoplease.com......)"

- I completely agree that the government needs to give incentive and be involved, but there is a difference between the government providing incentive and the government actually mining these asteroids. There is already an incentives program that has worked quite well. There are numerous X prizes and many have to do with space. I won't pinpoint one particular prize as there are many but here is their site. (http://www.xprize.org...) Additionally there are already rapidly growing private space companies such as Virgin Galactic and Space X. In fact in light of Russia threatening to cut off rocket resources to the US Space X has rapidly stepped up to the plate and have already docked their dragon capsule to the ISS. They also are in late development stages for their Falcon 9 heavy rocket. (http://www.spacex.com...) Also my opponent uses the railroads and Panama Canal as examples. There are two major flaws with this. 1). Both of these projects occurred before the UN and space travel. Territory on earth is not neutral and has and will be fought over for a long time. 2). Both of those projects were government contracts. Yes the government kick started both by throwing money in but it was the private companies contracted that actually built them, not the government. NASA is not a private company, it is a government organization for space research and development. Currently NASA is planning to capture an asteroid; but not for mining. They want to land on the asteroid to test numerous systems including life support. It is considered a massive waste of taxpayer money (billions of dollars) and you can get the same if not better results with landing and establishing a permanent base on the moon. This directly correlates back to my point of economic risk. ( http://science.time.com...)

- Another point I would like to make is you can't run if you haven't learned how to walk. We have to effectively and afford-ably get supplies to and from orbit regularly. The government is about as far away from effective and affordable as one gets. A golden example is a news article released recently saying that NASA doesn't even have the money to get their own rockets off the ground (http://news.yahoo.com...). How are you going to mine an asteroid if you can even get the supplies up there in the first place let alone back down and processed? You can't fix the deficit by creating more deficit. A negative and a negative never make a positive in the world of economics. It would cost trillions of dollars that are desperately needed in many other sectors of our economy and logistics to make this happen. Even if it were to be successful you risk running this country into the ground and collapsing everything in the process. Then it won't matter what you bring home; there will be nothing to spend that money on. Private corporations are the only realistic answer to mining asteroids. and to say " I have also shown last round that private companies do not want to chance it yet, because private investors don't want to wait too long as they think that they might not see a return on investments. In order to compensate the time that it takes" is conceding your arguments. If private investors don't want to chance it then why would the government? If a company fails it affects a lot, if a government fails it affects everyone. Which is the safer risk? My opponents graph/picture shows the very lucrative business space mining provides. It does not support his position that the government themselves need to mine the asteroids though. And businesses are already taking incentive ex. Virgin Galactic and Space X.

Rebuttal II

"The OST does not apply to asteroids, the only reason it was created in the first place was to prevent a winner of the Cold War between the US and the USSR. Each nation was fearing the other with territorial disputes as well as nuclear weaponry on the moon. The next question is is the asteroids really a celestial body? Andrew Tingkang stated in an Article for the Seattle University that, "If you can move it, then it isn't a celestial body." (http://www.popularmechanics.com......)"

Let me just pull some excerpts from this same source

"But remember that open question. If you go get an asteroid and bring it back, is it yours? On Earth, of course, no one would open a mine without being sure they owned the land or at least the mineral rights. The same is true in space. But while mining law on Earth is pretty much settled, asteroid-mining law isn't so clear yet. "

"Most experts"including me"believe that a ban on "national appropriation" doesn't prohibit private property rights. The Outer Space Treaty was designed to prevent the winner of the 1960s space race from claiming the moon for itself."

"An agreement called the 1979 Moon Treaty did try to outlaw private property on the moon and beyond, but no spacefaring power signed on, and it's generally considered a failure. It certainly wouldn't bind any American"or Chinese or Russian"company that headed for space. "
http://www.popularmechanics.com...

- I am not sure how this source supports your argument. It clearly prohibits any nation from claiming anything as national property. Even if class M asteroids were considered non- celestial bodies we would still have to go out and bring them back which given our current political atmosphere good luck with that. Multiple times the article says that nothing is preventing private space industries from moving in and setting up shop. Any time you put a flag on something you are creating boundaries. Which in a boundary scarce environment like space creates a very large ticking time bomb.

- Most every source my opponent uses constantly refers to private corporations and does not show how having the government themselves mine asteroids would be of any benefit besides creating international tension and bigger deficits. If my opponent continues to support the government "kick-starting" the industry then he concedes to my statement that private corporations need to mine asteroids and agrees with me.
Debate Round No. 3
lannan13

Pro

Contention 1: Funding NASA

Actually NASA is working on the Orion nuclear purplusion space craft at the moment. NASA itself already acknowledges that this space craft will take us to Mars and even asteroids. (http://www.nasa.gov...) My opponent says that the US federal government cannot fund NASA, but may I remind you that I stated in my Round two opening argument that the money will be reallocated so as to not create more spending and add to our large deficet. I also remind you that our time period is within the century which gives us time for NASA to get it's rocket program up and running which will be highly likely concidering how the Russian Federation is starting to stiff arm the US in the aerospace industry. Before my opponent brings it up next round, yes the Orion space craft is legal. (http://en.wikipedia.org...(nuclear_propulsion)) The reason is that it bans nuclear weapons, not the peaceful use of nuclear explosions.

My opponent says my two examples are false, but that is incorrect as the Federal government funded and helped get these projects off the ground. If the US did not provide the iniative these projects would have never got off the ground and shipping goods would be way more expensive. The Panama Canal helped make goods significantly cheaper in shipping and the Railways gave birth to towns all across the fronteer. Spuring the US economy. The US Federal Government must intervene here and get the project off the ground as it will truely improve the US economy and the Global Economy.

Contention 2: Why we need it.

My opponent dropped this key argument. Please extend this across the board.

Contention 3: China War

My opponent has dropped this important argument. This argument shows that if we don't do this plan that the entire Global Economy will be wrecked! The results can be anything from a trade war to a nuclear war with China. Please extend this across this board as well.

Contention 4: US Deficet

My opponent says doing this project will just increase our debt, but as I stated in Contention 1 we will be reallocating Federal funding from another department in order to fund this project. There will be no new spending. My opponent also drops how we will be able to pay off the US debt with the vast amount of resources that we will aquire in space.

Contention 5: US Economy

My opponent completely dropped Subpoint 2, which proves that the US mining asteroids will not casuse a flooding of the market as they will just do the same thing as South Africa and OPEC and release a small amount of resources into the Global Market. He also dropped how doing so will create a trillion dollar industry and hundreds of thousands of jobs. Which shows that the US will be bettered by this plan. Please extend these arguments across the board.

Contention 6: Legality

My opponent dropps my argument here that if you can move it then it's not a celestrial body. On top of that he drops my Reaganomics argument showing that by the US mining asteroids soon other nations will fallow and the general wealth of the globe will increase, thus it's not illegal. Since he dropped that argument that gives me this contention which is the only major point that my opponent continues to hammar away. I do not care if private companies have the green light the debate is about the United States Federal Government mining asteroids not private companies and my opponent ended up dropping my argument that I had made stating that private companies did not want to mine asteroids, because investors will not wait that long to see a return. Since that argument was dropped you can see that I win the Private Companies argument as well. The US did not sign the Moon Treaty so they are not bound by it. (http://www.oosa.unvienna.org...) Most of the quotes that my opponent provided from my source pertains to the moon not asteroids.

In conclusion, we can see that not mining asteroids is too dangerious as we risk a stand-off with China that will greatly damage the Global Economy. My opponent has dropped many of my contentions including the impact arguments that I have made about the Global Economy. The US will not be deficet spending since we are just reallocating money and the US debt will be paid off which will increase the value of the dollar. Asteroid mining will create hundreds upon thousands of new jobs and a trillion dollar industry. Asteroid Mining and it's means are legal.

With that I thank you and please vote Pro!
Astal3

Con

Rebuttals

"Contention 1: Funding NASA"

- The Orin spacecraft is designed to take astronauts into deep space and to other planets, not mine asteroids. Those are two completely different functions.

"My opponent says that the US federal government cannot fund NASA, but may I remind you that I stated in my Round two opening argument that the money will be reallocated so as to not create more spending and add to our large deficet."

- I just posted a link to a recent news article saying how NASA can't even afford to launch their rockets. Where are we going to get the trillions it is going to take to research and develop, launch, bring back and process this material. Yes the tech is within our reach but it is not developed and ready to go tomorrow. From where are we going to "reallocate" these funds? Welfare is taking us down, we spend most of our money on defense and even that is being cut back by a lot. We have a terrible education system, debt is everywhere both federally and locally. Are you going to take what little money is left there and focus it all on one program that may or may not work? Because that is what you would have to do to have anywhere near enough funding for the years it will take to make it happen. Not only would that collapse practically the entire country but it will provide the perfect opening for China or anyone else to fill the empty space we used to have. You would have a higher chance for war then than now. Private space companies are the key to outer space and even NASA knows this and the incentive for private companies is already there.
http://www.space.com...

- I have already pointed out how the Orion is not a mining vessel so my opponents argument about legality is irrelevant.

- My opponent clearly ignored and dropped my points about the Railroads and Panama Canal. Yes the government provided incentive we already established that. But the government contracted the work out the federal government themselves did not build either. My opponent uses examples of the power of private companies not the government. Like I said before there is a difference between providing incentive and actually building it yourself. My opponent also clearly dropped my point about the X Prizes and has simply ignored what I have said and argued around my evidence. Mt opponent continuously uses the terms intervening and kick-starting. The motion is "Resolved: The United States Federal government should mine asteroids." not the United States Federal government should provide incentive to mine asteroids. Those are two very different motions.

"Contention 2: Why we need it."
- How have I dropped your argument? Just because private companies would be better to mine asteroids it doesn't mean we don't need to mine them. This argument doesn't support either case as we both have already agreed on it. The argument isn't if we need to do it is how we should do it.

"Contention 3: China War"

-Once again how have I dropped this argument? You say that the global economy would be wrecked. Well actually it wouldn't until a war broke out. I have already provided very realistic evidence as to how the federal government mining asteroids could backfire and collapse our economy in turn collapsing the global economy. Plus we won't be the only nation mining asteroids. My opponent uses China as a reason the federal government should mine, but then turns around and says that everything that the US mines would be shared. If you share it gets shared with everyone. Both allies and rivals alike. How is boosting our rivals economy helping America or national security may I ask? International space law prohibits national claims in space but not private ones. Plus there would be national transgressions in space which guess where that leads? You guessed it, war. My opponent is making conflicting arguments therefore this contention is void.

"Contention 4: US Deficet"

- Once again with the dropping your arguments. Once again where are we going to reallocate these resources from? Our other very large problems just don't go away because we need space metals. My opponent also claims there will be no new spending. Well if that is true you have just sucked most everything dry to support this government enterprise that may or may not work. Not to mention that because there would be no new spending most programs would go bankrupt and collapse therefore collapsing our economy etc etc. Really? Our economy is fueled by enterprise. Private organizations are the only realistic and best way to mine asteroids.

"Contention 5: US Economy"

- My opponent continuously drops most every point I make and then accuses me of dropping his. I will give this to my opponent, the government being in control won't necessarily mean the market gets flooded. But the same applies to private corporations. American business could control the global market just as much if not more than the federal government. They do it all the time. How did I drop your point about making a trillion dollar industry? How about we highlight the term [INDUSTRY]. That has business written all over it. Industry literally means business. Businesses have more capability of creating jobs than the government. The reason our economy went into the toilet is because there were no jobs because BUSINESSES were shutting down. Business is the American economy. Not only does this contention contradict my opponents position but my opponent completely dropped every point I made about enterprise and our economy.

"Contention 6: Legality"

- Once again my opponent ignored my response I gave regarding this argument. The very source he used even stated that the definition of celestial body was not clear. There was no definitive within the article. The article was pondering whether or not asteroids should be considered a celestial body but the article never gave a clear yes or no. So your argument is an assertion. I have already covered his arguments about "Reaganomics" and this argument creates a contradicting argument and this contention should be considered void.

-Let me quote words from my opponents own mouth.

"I do not care if private companies have the green light the debate is about the United States Federal Government mining asteroids not private companies"

- Well apparently, you are arguing that the government should mine the asteroids, I am arguing that private companies should mine the asteroids. Your point? All this shows is that you have a bias against everything I say which since you have simply ignored every argument I have made this shows. And no saying I dropped your arguments is not a rebuttal. My opponent doesn't even prove how I dropped his points besides simply saying I dropped them.

-A lot of what my opponent argues is either wrong or wishful thinking. Most if not all my opponents sources either don't support either side or support and mention private corporations. Even within my opponents own arguments private corporations play a big role. Also the treaty my opponent mentions has nothing to do with national claims. It had to do with claims made by private corporations and no one signed on so private corporations have a green. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOESN'T. Most of my opponents arguments are either contradicting or irrelevant. He has conceded multiple times to the need of private corporations. Despite my opponents claims I have not dropped any of his main points, the only formal rebuttal he gave my arguments is that they aren't arguments therefore I dropped his points. Really? I have provided more than adequate evidence to why the federal government mining asteroids ( That is what we are arguing) would be a bad idea and instead we need to encourage and push private companies to set up shop. My opponents failure to truly rebut even one of my arguments should mean a default win for me, but based on evidence I have shown why this motion is a bad one. Thank you and vote con
Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
@Astal3:

Incidentally, you can also bold/italicize/underline manually, too: the site accepts even in "normal text" mode commands.

"<" and ">" are "carrots" (and I'll use parenthesis to offset, so ignore the parenthesis), so if you type (carrot)em(/carrot), you'll get italicized text. This works in arguments and it works in forum posts. Unfortunately, it does not work in comments (unless I missed a site update), so I can actually show you how it would be typed (if this were a forum post I'd have to keep saying "carrot" or something otherwise it wouldn't show what I was talking about:

<em>This is italics</em>
<strong>This is bold</strong>
<ins>This is underline</ins>

There are probably other recognized code bits, too, but those are the three you're gonna use most of the time anyway. I rarely use Rich text since it seems often to screw up font size and such, so I just hand-code my emphasis.

(Actually, I think I'm gonna reiterate this in tonight's weekly Presidential update, now that I think about it)
Posted by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
RFD:
(I kept it under 2,000 chars!)

A very interesting debate!

I'm happy to do one of my super long RFDs if somebody wants me to, but while a lot of work went into this debate from both sides, and it was a fun read, I think I can properly give my RFD without it--still, as always, happy to clarify my RFD.

I am honestly surprised at the route it took. I expected Con to argue more about its unfeasibility. Instead, his opening arguments were that it was a bad idea. Pro sufficiently showed why the "private companies" argument was insufficient, given previous similar situations that the Federal Government had to step in...and did so successfully. He successfully rebutted the notion of flooding the market by showing how it would be similar to the diamond and oil industries. He gave some benefits that Con largely dropped.

Pro showed that the legality in question was not necessarily against the notion (though I wager if it was actually done, there would be challenges, just because OF COURSE there would be).

To a certain extent, I think there was a problem here of scope. Pro seemed to want the Federal Government to kickstart the process, and didn't seem to disclaim the notion of a contract to do so per se, while Con wanted the resolution narrowly considered so that ONLY the Federal Government would be involved. I think it's more reasonable to prefer Pro's interpretation.

In the end, I think Con wasted a bit of time with non-slam-dunk arguments such as the legality question (as an open question it's not particularly compelling as being agains the motion) or the "use of private contracts" question. I think if Con had focused on the likelihood and feasibility of actually accomplishing the goal within the next 84 years, he might have had more success.

Arguments to Pro. All other categories seemed equal enough, Con's last round grumpiness and Pro's few particularly glaring spelling errors notwithstanding.

As always, happy to clarify this RFD.
Posted by bsh1 2 years ago
bsh1
@Astal -

You can edit fonts and stuff by selecting the "Rich Text" option when editing your arguments.
Posted by Astal3 2 years ago
Astal3
Note to Ragnar. I have no idea how to bold or italicize my points. It would make my life a lot easier lol.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
I apologize. Apparently my bolding did not work here.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Okay. I'll be debating that we have tech now and that we should be able to start soon so we don't have to speculate about 2050 and 2099.
Posted by Astal3 2 years ago
Astal3
I apologize it was a simple word mishap. We are talking about the same century. Go ahead and state that in your round and I will reconfirm it in mine.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Ummm the time frame is within the century not the next century. Its in the last part of the rules. If you wanted to change it you should've said so in the comments before you accepted. Comment three states that you agree to the within the century timeframe.
Posted by lannan13 2 years ago
lannan13
Well my arguments is we have tech now. This is why we need to do this.
Posted by Astal3 2 years ago
Astal3
I think I'm on board with pro. My argument will pertain to the present and near future
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by phantom 2 years ago
phantom
lannan13Astal3Tied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Interesting debate. Well done to both sides. Pro argued the U.S. stands to benefit from mining asteroids, because of the value of REMs and also because China holds such a large percentage of the world?s REMs. Con never contended that it could be done; he mainly argued its benefits, legal issues, and private sector Vs. government. I believe Pro mostly offset Con's counters. It wouldn't be costly since funds would be relocated--no new spending. And the rewards would pay off the costs anyway. As with South Africa's diamonds, America could keep the value up by withholding from the market. There?s also a special need to acquire more REMs due to China dominating this market. I saw no sound legal challenge to the motion. NASA have the most expertise and resources to kick start this project and the private sector does not necessarily have the confidence to start this off.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
lannan13Astal3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Neither had poor conduct in this debate. S & G - Tie. Neither made any major grammatical or spelling errors. Sources - Tie. Both utilized sources throughout this debate, very extensive defining by Con, but still tied for quality. Arguments - Pro. Pro was able to overcome the private company challenge presented by Con when he showed the success of the federal government stepping in on large undertakings in the past. I do not believe Con's rebuttals to this were adequate to serve as obstacles for Pro to overcome. The funding issue was suffieciently met by Pro with the re-distribution of certain funding from other projects into this one. NASA has shown themselves to be a strong organization capable of handling the task and this includes the rocket legality issue which I believe stands in Pro's favor as it would be for mining purposes instead of illegal warfare. All in all, I believe Pro was able to overcome each counter-argument presented by Con, whereas Con dropped a few.
Vote Placed by bladerunner060 2 years ago
bladerunner060
lannan13Astal3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 2 years ago
Ragnar
lannan13Astal3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Conduct, S&G, Sources (both did well on this) tied... ARGUMENTS: some highlights... in R2 I thought one of con's counter points about NASAs job would have been more effective with a link about NASA. "everything in space is neutral and is to be shared with the entire planet" very weak point, since the referenced laws would apply regardless of if the fed is mining, or a U.S. company is. "The US would release small amounts onto the Global Market to create a profit and drive down US national debt." wishful thinking, but not effectively challenged. Measuring both arguments it seems the fed needs to kickstart such a program, which basically means the fed needs to mine some asteroids even if later passing the mantle on to private companies. ... Note on conduct: Be careful to use quotation marks, I also suggest bold or italics to double up the clarity.
Vote Placed by YYW 2 years ago
YYW
lannan13Astal3Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: This is a really neat topic, for lots of reasons so props to Lannan for coming up with this. Rare earth metals are important, and PRO makes the case that because China controls a disproportionately high percentage of terrestrial supply, the US needs to mine astroids to equalize those numbers. Also, revenue generated from mining asteroids will be pretty high, and that might reduce the deficit. But, No clear mention of how viable it is to mine asteroids. CON doesn't really do a great job with the economy argument, and diplomacy also kind of missed the mark. None of CON's rebuttals really overcame the thrust of PRO's case, even though it was wide open for attack. The legality argument was weird on both sides. I would have liked to see both sides talk about how mining works. It might be a good idea, but if it's not a viable plan, then it's hard to talk about anything after that and both sides assumed it was.