The Instigator
NiamC
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Blade-of-Truth
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

Should secondary school students be allowed to sell food to other students for profit.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
Blade-of-Truth
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/6/2014 Category: Miscellaneous
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,320 times Debate No: 51746
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (3)

 

NiamC

Con

What has become of my school and many others. My school is a brilliant grammar school with hardworking students. But something has plagued out school ethos. Students are now illegally selling food items to other students during break times for ridiculous amounts of profit e.g. +100%.

Such items include cookies, doughnuts, candy products, drinks etc. What I find ridiculous, is how students will pay for one of the following products, yet knowing the price the seller bought the stock for.
e.g buyer- one cookie= 0.50p retail buyer (student) 5 cookies= £1.00

I would like to have my own debate on this subject. I would be con ( against selling ). 1st round is acceptance.
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

I accept and eagerly await my opponent's opening argument. I will present my argument in R2 as requested and have only one question - would my opponent prefer if I included rebuttals in R2 or R3?
Debate Round No. 1
NiamC

Con

I accept the opponent and I am looking forward to this debate. But before I start, I would ask if the opponent would not use Rebuttals at all.

It seems that something (I don't know what) what sparked many students at my school to sell to other students during breaks. These students often sell food everyday and each student sells one main item such as doughnuts, drinks, cookies etc. I have noticed that often, any customers who are planning to buy such goods will ask the seller if he is selling food or if he has any food left by saying 'You Sellin?'.
At this point while reading, you may think that this somewhat acceptable or slightly wrong in terms or morals.

Now, allow me to tell you that these children who are selling such items are being able to get away with selling their items for more than double what they paid. An example of this is one cookie being sold for 50pence (the retail price is 20p/ 5 for £1). As you can see, this more than 100% profit being made which is quite outrageous. What I find even more outrageous is when students actually know that they are paying more than twice the rrp (even just from looking at the price sticker on the food packet which has been left on because the seller is too lazy to take it off), but still pay for these items anyway.

I feel that these students who are selling these products, are exploiting the other students quite badly, in which they know that they are. They are also breaking many rules of my school's code in which they are not respecting other students by exploiting them.

Our school is meant to be a top quality school with students who are meant to be in the 25% for intelligence. The worst was when a new student from a different school had tried to sell me doughnuts.

Anyway, that set aside. I would like to whether anyone thinks that it is alright to sell food in school (yet exploiting others ) and why :p
Blade-of-Truth

Pro

I thank my opponent for sending me a PM and will now move forward with the debate.

I. The history and practice of trade.

Trade is believed to have taken place throughout much of recorded human history. There is evidence of the exchange of obsidian and flint during the Stone Age. [1] Materials used for creating jewelry were traded with Egypt since 3000 BCE. [2][3] Long-range trade routes first appeared in the 3rd millennium BCE, when Sumerians in Mesopotamia traded with the Harappan civilization of the Indus Valley. [4][5][6]


The reason I believe it is important to share the basics of trade is because what is occurring in these schools is no different from what has been occurring as a part of the human experience for the last 5,000 years. Trade created the opportunity for an exchange of ideas, cultures, traditions, and eventually became a vital factor in diplomacy. Without trade, the expansion and development of civilization would have most likely taken much longer considering that trade allowed for certain civilizations to acquire materials that would otherwise be unobtainable.

Only by understanding the historical value and instilled tradition that humans have, in terms of trade, can we truly begin to understand why kids might be so prone to conducting trades amongst themselves. If anything, I would say that these children are doing nothing more than developing the skills that truly will be necessary later in life. This also brings me to my second argument...

[1] http://www.ancient.eu.com...
[2] http://www.ancient.eu.com...
[3] http://www.historyofjewelry.net...
[4] http://www.ancienttrenches.com...
[5] http://www.penn.museum...
[6] http://www.historyworld.net...

II. These kids are doing nothing more than mimicking the adults and society they were born into.

When originally accepting this debate, I did so understanding that this would provide a certain challenge because I have never lived in or attended school in England. While researching the trade laws for England, I noticed that they are incredibly similar to our own domestic trade laws in America. In terms of basic trade standards, whether it be services for goods or goods for money - there is no real difference, aside from taxation which is not relevant to my argument nor this resolution at hand. Ultimately, both England and the U.S. practice Capitalism - and that is what is truly relevant here.


Capitalism is defined as: an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision, and by prices, production, and the distribution of goods that are determined mainly by competition in a free market. [7]

With this in mind, I would also like to point out that Humans are naturally prone to a herd mentality. [8] We learn by experience and observation, we follow the flow of the crowd, and we usually organize our system of morals and values according to the society we were raised in. Considering that England is a society where a free market exists, where capitalism is practiced [9], and where merchants are easily found all around the region - is it truly that difficult to see why children would be mimicking these actions while in school? With it being known that this practice is only an issue at a school where the practice is banned, I truly see no moral issues with children mimicking the actions of the society they will soon be living in as adults. If they are breaking the rules, then their punishment is just... I am simply stating the importance of understanding that these actions are nothing more than acts of mimicry originating from the society they were born into and live in.

[7] http://www.merriam-webster.com...
[8] http://psychcentral.com...
[9] http://himedo.net...


III. Unless a school specifically bans the practice, I see no reason why it shouldn't be allowed.

The resolution asks if students should be allowed to sell food to other students for profit. In terms of legality, I see no issue with this. If there is a willing buyer, and a demand for a product - the merchant has every right in England to sell the buyer the goods. In terms of morality, which in itself is purely relative, it is up to both parties involved to come to terms with the transaction.


Taking this into consideration, if a school bans the practice of students selling other students goods, then by all means the students should respect the rules. But this is not a debate about schools banning the practice, which would be a whole other topic, this is a debate asking if students should be allowed to. In terms of both legality and morality, I believe it is a action that should be allowed and left up to the parties involved to determine the parameters of the trade.

IV. When it comes to trading food, students are intelligent enough to decide for themselves.

Secondary schools in England usually educate students who range from the ages of 12 - 18. Children in England are legally required to attend secondary schools from the ages of 12 - 15. [10]

This is a very important factor to consider when determining if secondary school students should be allowed to sell food for profits i.e. - take part in the practice of trade. If these students were unable to make intelligent decisions for themselves that is one thing, but to think that 12 - 18 year olds aren't capable of making such a decision is nothing more than an unfair assessment of their mental abilities.

One example of this would be the average intelligence scores of black children in England. Between the ages of 12 - 18, the average score ranges from 92.5 to 87.2. [11] This is considered average intelligence by current IQ test standards [12] which most certainly includes the ability to make reasonable decisions. I would also consider the ability to discern between healthy and unhealthy foods as a mental ability achievable by those with average intelligence. The only argument I can see would be that students don't care about health and want only what tastes good or junk food - which is also a debate within itself that would be deserving of it's own topic and ultimately irrelevant here.

[10] https://www.internations.org...
[11] http://robertlindsay.wordpress.com...
[12] http://psychology.about.com...

Rebuttals


I. "... these children who are selling such items are being able to get away with selling their items for more than double what they paid."

While one might argue that this is morally wrong, I stand by the fact that morals are ultimately relative and would be subject to the standards of both parties involved. This is the risk of trade, and under capitalism the seller has the right to sell the goods for a price that reasonably matches the demand. No-one is forcing these students to purchase the food, they are doing it willingly on their own accord. If both the buyer and seller have come to an agreement, it is implied that they are both satisfied with the parameters of the transaction. The only exclusion would be if it is a purchase made under duress, but this is not the case.


II. "I feel that these students who are selling these products are exploiting the other students quite badly, in which they know that they are. They are also breaking many rules of my school's code in which they are not respecting other students by exploiting them."

Yes but the buyers are willing to purchase the goods without being forced, this fails to meet the standards of exploitation and disrespectful acts towards fellow students.


...

In Conclusion, I thank my opponent and await his response.
Debate Round No. 2
NiamC

Con


“Is it truly that difficult to see why children would be mimicking these actions while in school? I understand what you are trying say in which you are saying that many children are influence by today’s society and to follow this. I would like to say that trade in industries is a foundation stone of many countries economy and therefore before because of this it is considered important to find ways to help develop the world’s next entrepreneurs. I think one main possible ways is to reach and inspire children to help develop the skills related to this (generally at secondary or higher level school). This is the case in which the government of not just the UK but many developing countries have realised and have come up with a solution.


-Young enterprise:


To help students to develop a wider range of later career option but ensure that their futures could be more successful, Young enterprise (a government funded organisation) was created to help children all over many countries to learn about businesses and the world of work which could inspire and equip young people to succeed through enterprise. This would be done by actually allowing students to somewhat have the experience of business. This organization is aimed at a range of ages. The skills which are often developed in students by doing this include teamwork, practical thinking, punctuality, business-like behaviour and how to manage their personal finance. All these skills are considered greatly necessary in everybody’s future.


-Non-Profit Organizations:


Many secondary schools in the UK often take part in organising fundraisers for both well know charities and less known charities (Red Cross- Helpful Places). The main reason is to encourage children to engage in charity. What is even better is that example of this (WHSB CHARITY WEEK) is run and funded completely by the students. So what is so good about this is that this experience can be somewhat be seen as young enterprise in which involvement can help develop the skills often nurtured with young enterprise.


So in retrospect of what I am saying, I think that despite the increasingly frequent occasions where students are allowed to immerse themselves in business enterprise related work (which I greatly encourage), some students are still selling to other students. The difference being that with something like WHSB Charity week, it is non-profit work and is seen as rewarding later on. What students are doing by selling are only gaining slight knowledge of business, but their main incentive for their actions is purely because of the profit they make. This questions the matter of plain greed.


Sources:


http://www.young-enterprise.org.uk...


https://uk.answers.yahoo.com...


http://www.cdc.gov...


http://www.whsbcharityweek.com...


I would like to say that there is also the concerning issue of health with the practise taken by some students in which the basic majority of all products sold is just junk food or which I call ‘packaged crap’ with no nutritional value whatsoever. I may sound silly, but these students are also going against many schools code of healthy living in which only healthy food products will be sold at canteens and that the selling of any other foods is prohibited. This is one of the reasons why selling food by students should be banned.


Blade-of-Truth

Pro

I want to start by thanking my opponent for his participation.


Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Relativist 2 years ago
Relativist
Good debate. I like Con's observant attitude at school, and his analysis of food prices.. Blade of truth's argument are of course well structured, had a significantly strong build up and conclusion.
Posted by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
Rebuttals are an essential component of debating. I did not accept this debate with that being a rule nor do I agree to such extreme demands after you've already presented an argument that has several points I would rebut in order to strengthen my own argument. I will ask my question once more, would you like me to present my rebuttals in the 2nd or 3rd round?

Springing such demands on me without even PMing me or asking in comments before posting an argument is unacceptable and not an action that I would even slightly consider of agreeing to. Expect rebuttals. I'll wait to post round 2 until you answer my question. If you fail to answer my question I will present rebuttals in both R2 and R3.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by CJKAllstar 2 years ago
CJKAllstar
NiamCBlade-of-TruthTied
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Blade of Truth presented an in-depth argument of why children can trade, and are mimicking the society they are born in to, and have the right to. A lot of NiamC's points were based on opinion and his sources served no purpose in convincing me.
Vote Placed by Relativist 2 years ago
Relativist
NiamCBlade-of-TruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro hold a vastly superior English, seen through his use of quotations and the way in which he addresses con. Con was mostly using simple English, that is easy to read while pro's case had emotional intensity.the rest are equal, although sources were better on Pro. Arguments was equal because (a) NiamC causal correlation of young enterprise is weak and I often find his case out of topic with only conclusion saving him and (b) a few of pro contention was also irrelevant, except for the morality and the capitalism point. That history point was strong, but it is useless when comparing school students. Both of this irrelevant, so I'm tying arguments In context of the resolution.Sidenote: had this been a general topic, Clear win for Pro. But don't be sad Con, because ur observant attitude in substantiating such an original case is admired. I'm 17 and I often use people 's argument to justify my opinion, you use ur own originality, even if your case is so simple, what matters is originality.
Vote Placed by Geogeer 2 years ago
Geogeer
NiamCBlade-of-TruthTied
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Reasons for voting decision: An interesting debate, and while overall Pro's debating was better, the single effective argument by Con was sufficient in stature to defeat Pro. Con: "..only healthy food products will be sold at canteens and that the selling of any other foods is prohibited." Pro: Students should not break school rules and that if they do - the punishment is justified. Now Pro attempts to divert around this by stating that by including the word should it nullifies this aspect. However, I find this to be unsubstantiated. Instead Pro should have argued why the school rules are in error. Yet this was not a central theme of Con's argument, but merely a footnote at the end of his final round. As such I will not award argument points. I found Pro's sources to be of higher quality and better substantiate his claims.