The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
11 Points

Series 1 Episode 6 : The government should give out benefits (Welfare state-type-debate)

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/17/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 586 times Debate No: 63414
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (2)




The Burden of Proof is on Pro I'm only here to create counter-arguments. Do not accept the debate if you haven't been a member for at least a month .


Thanks to con for instigating this debate. I acknowledge I hold the BOP and will thus assume I can take R1 to begin building initial contentions. If con has any further requests regarding debate layout (such as me forfeiting the last round to make up for this round or etc), please say so in the next round or in the comments. If not, good luck!



"Benefits" in the context of this debate a "benefit" is a payment or gift made by an employer, the state, or an insurance company.
(Apple Dictionary)

This debate concerns "the state" aspect of social benefits. I chose this definition because it most clearly and noncontroversially surmised the concept that I could find. If my opponent would rather an other definition be used, see below.

"Welfare" is a government program for poor, underprivileged, or unemployed people that helps pay for their food, housing, medical costs, etc. [1]

"Should" is used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone's actions.

If my opponent has any feuds with the above definitions, I'd ask he vocalize his concerns in the comments so no debate space is wasted defining them.


With the debate definitions now set in place, I will begin to illustrate my contentions and clarifications.

1. In this debate, I will advocate reformist and selective approach to social benefits and welfare whilst still arguing in favour of their systematic existence.

2. Advocating that the government should not provide benefits in some cases where it can be argued unnecessary is not negating my side of the resolution

3. The resolution does not extensively clarify the meaning of "benefits". In order to affirm the resolution, I must prove that the government is just, obligated, or with duty to provide "x benefits" to "y individual(s)". "Y individuals" must not inherently equivocate to the entire impoverished population of the country being governed as it was not stated as much in the resolution.


Contentions [1A] - [1D] illustrate instances in which a government using a selective welfare system should provide state benefits - the state is obligated, correct, or has duty to provide benefits. My arguments will be based on assertions of basic morality and logical sentiment, but very little fiscal or economic argumentation as I do not find this form of argumentation necessary to affirm the resolution.

Contention 1A. Instances in which the government or systems associated with it have wronged an individual in such a manner that resulted in the need for benefits

This contention concerns when government employees, citizens, or groups/companies may have wrongful damages inflicted upon them by the government.

In the United States, the criminal justice system (formally known as the Federal Department of Justice) is a governing department created to "defend the interests of the United States according to the law; to ensure public safety against threats foreign and domestic; to provide federal leadership in preventing and controlling crime; to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans." [2]

If the Federal Department of Justice fails to apply the interests and ideals listed above, then said governing body should be morally obligated to repay the damages inflicted. To formulate this concept in an example, recent studies show that up to 4.1% of persons sentenced to capital punishment were wrongfully convicted. [3] Mind that the trial process for undergoing capital punishment is also among the most vigorously time-consuming and detailed processes in the political world.

Under this logic, during the time that the wrongfully convicted person served in jail may have endured damages in the form of loss of previous employment and income associated with it. It would be morally reprehensible for the government to not provide benefits to those they have wronged; thus they are obligated to and should provide benefits to "x" group, being those wrongfully damaged or convincted by the Federal Department of Justice.

Contention 1B. Instances in which providing benefits in the form of unemployment insurance will only further an individual's capacity to reattain a job or in which the person's unemployment is out of their control

To morally recompensate for the ideology expressed above, con would have to advocate an "every man for himself" society where collaborative assistance or insurance is practically nonexistent. If economic factors outside of the control of an individual but within possible control of the government prompt a loss of employment, the individual should not be held personally responsible and void of any aid.

If periods of unemployment and thus extensive usage of unemployment insurance are the fault of the user or their "laziness/personal incapacity", then the number of Americans using unemployment insurance would not be dependent on the economic status of the nation at the time. Obviously, there will always be a minority of users of unemployment insurance who are personally incapable, but they are far from the significant majority.

The above graph demonstrates a variation in unemployment (and thus need for unemployment insurance) that can be attributed as being attributed to periods of recession, which are usually eventually followed by periods of industriousness (wherein unemployment naturally lowers). If unemployment and the need for unemployment insurance more largely relies on large scale socioeconomic factors and not personal incapacity, why should individuals be faulted?

P1 > Unemployment rates are proven to be attributed to socioeconomic factors controlled by the government, not by the person
P2 > Need for assistance is naturally raised alongside P1
P3 > There is no grander personal accountability for surges in unemployment
P4 > There is a grand governmental socioeconomic accountability for surges in unemployment
P5 > The government should be morally responsible for providing assistance as a result

Contention 1C. Instances in which advanced, extensively expensive, or prolonged medical treatment is required to save the life of an individual, particularly in the case of the elderly

Morally, human life is the most important item that society should prioritize sustaining if at all possible through threatment and the wishes of said person.

In other words, if a person requires government assistance to sustain their life and can be found currently incapable of treating themselves, a just society and government would prioritize granting them the ability to live over sustaining individual independence from societal aid.

The most apparent example of the above scenario is in the case of impoverished or physically incapable elderly citizens who may no longer be capable of the societal work necessary to pay for medical treatment or hospice care. A systematic methodology of treating the elderly through health and living benefits leads to more provision of life.

Contention 1D. Instances of injured or debilitated war veterans

Providing benefits to unemployed or debilitated army veterans fits under the definition of welfare outlined above.

It is morally reprehensible for a government to avoid conducting the provision of benefits or welfare to army veterans who may have been debilitated or injured whilst serving and defending said country. Members of a nation's army enlist to serve and protect the interests of the government and it's citizens. Thus, the government should be obligated to provide benefits to compensate for any damages or inhabilitations members of the US army incur whilst serving abroad or in combat.

According to the resolution, if even one of these contentions is valid, the government should provide benefits in some form.

Sources and References

[1] -;

[2] -;

[3] -;

[4] -;
Debate Round No. 1


I would like all viewers of the debate to vote for Pro , I did not specify enough the debate and I find it hard to argue against the reasonable position Pro has taken.


Thanks, Con, for the gracious concession! :)

Depending on what you intended the debate resolution to be, perhaps we could have a rematch (if you want) under a new resolution if I'm actually pro on it.

Vote Pro!
Debate Round No. 2


SebUK forfeited this round.


In lack of other suitable material to put here, I present Will Ferrell and Jimmy Fallon singing about Tight Pants.


Debate Round No. 3


Vote for me, and thanks for the opportunity, Con!

Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by Daltonian 2 years ago
I also take it "the government" is intentionally ambiguous and refers to any governing force of a country, not explicitly the UK or the US?
Posted by Daltonian 2 years ago
I am accepting this debate, though since "benefits" was not clearly defined, I am going to leave it to my own definition (nothing ridiculous, but it could have some effects on the flow of the debate if the definition is not as how con intended)

I also will not post arguments immediately. I hope con does not mind this. I promise I won't forfeit, however :)
Posted by kasmic 2 years ago
I may be interested in accepting this debate, though I currently am involved in a couple of others. Perhaps if this is still available in a few days I will accept.
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by 9spaceking 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by 1harderthanyouthink 1 year ago
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Total points awarded:07 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession