The Instigator
LogicalInjustice
Pro (for)
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The Contender
DogInTheBox
Con (against)
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Should the U.S. use government funding and university contracts for technological advancement?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/31/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 457 times Debate No: 84431
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
Votes (0)

 

LogicalInjustice

Pro

This is my first debate, so i figured i would make it an interesting one. Several decades ago, we had a boom in technological advancement. Huge breakthroughs such as ARPANET, Artificial Intelligence, GPS, and many other technologies we used today were backed by these types of funding. I don't want to debate whether or not the government successfully uses or implements these technologies well or efficiently, but the fact that they all exist today due to tax dollars producing things we use in everyday life for the better.

For those who use current technology and smart devices, you would not have your iPhone, Siri, GPS, Android phones, tablets or Email/Internet if it wasn't for government spending. In the medical field, this includes advanced prosthetics, the Humane Genome Project, HIV/AIDs treatments, and MRI scanners.

You can only generate so much funds or incentive for the public or private sector because of the amount of funding, personal interest, or economic risk.

Source for Technologies: http://www.industryweek.com...
DogInTheBox

Con

The U.S. government does not need government funds or university contracts to further technological advancement. They already make enough money from taxpayers who are the life blood of this nation. If they did however, add more funds and used university contracts, think of where all that money would actually go? This has happened before in history, and even today. I can compare this to the so called 'Cancer Charities' who only give a small portion of the money to helping actual cancer patients. Not only that, but think of the harm done as well. Through the course of time, as humanity advanced, so did the pollution. It wasn't pretty, and its even uglier now thanks to all the litter we produce and the fossil fuels and large amounts of energy we expend each year. However, instead of using more funds, they can direct the money they already raised from taxes more towards technological advancement. To put it this way; there are other solutions, and if the U.S. were to do this, there would be a large amount of damage just waiting for us (and a whole lot of complaints.)
Debate Round No. 1
LogicalInjustice

Pro

Tax payer money being wasted or under-utilized happens all the time. However, properly created contracts and public transparency increases the efficiency of said proposition of government funding for universities to develop technology for both the military and its citizens. The point of the debate is not to pose hypothetical ideal on how tax payer money can be used more efficiently, but how to make the best of a existing, yet flawed system. If we are spending so much on our military budget, then branching out a portion of that towards both public advancement and military advancement means everybody wins. Politically, you will always have to make compromises in pushing an agenda. This approach causes less controversy and also classifies as a military expense, which means the tax payers are contributing to 2 goals at the same time: a technologically superior military and technological improvement for its own citizens. Regarding the cancer charities; those are private entities and have no legal incentive not to make a profit. The universities and military are publicly funded, either by volunteers or tax payer dollars. Citizens have a direct influence on the way our country is run to some extent; private companies can run however they want, regardless of moral values and public outcry. I have not seen any rebuttal that deters the economic pitfalls, impact of the universities, or any factual evidences that suggests why using part of an existing military budget towards technological advancement for the nation is less efficient that rebuilding our policies, tax guidelines, and additional regulations. The latter is highly unpredictable and has political influence that does not always reflect the public's opinion. Allocating part of our military budget towards technological advancement requires less regulatory intervention, improves citizen's lives and the nation's protection, makes it safer for veterans to volunteer overall, and gives these schools additional funding and the support to improve the quality of their organization.
DogInTheBox

Con

You speak of how this debate is not for proposing ideas on how taxpayer money should be utilized yet you do it as well suggesting that we should cut military funds (Sounds a bit like Bernie Sanders). Cutting a portion of military funds means lowering our defenses. This has happened before, in fact, it just happened last year because of President Barack Obama. He shrank the army by a 'few' 40,000 active soldiers thanks to him cutting billions of dollars from military funds. That large amount of missing funds might also get rid of benefits for soldiers who are also citizens of the USA. Taking away funds from anything and expecting it to be the same is unrealistic, America learned enough from one lesson as military routines change due to budget cuts, and it doesn't need another. In addition to that, the U.S. is fighting a war against ISIS, and it needs the current money it already has. Of course, if you actually did cut funds for advancing technology, you'd need careful research and testing before you even implement it into the country and military, which we all know is rather lengthy. The fact that they would be working to advance more than one type of technology means it would take longer. During that time, the U.S. would be more vulnerable because of the cut funds (and less soldiers), and we do not have unlimited time to make technology in conflict. As you said, the latter is quite unpredictable, meaning anything can happen during the period of research for technological advancement, and America cannot show a moment of weakness during war. The system may be flawed, but right now the U.S. government is doing all it can, not to mention the government is for protecting our rights, not making funds for technology. If the people of America want to put more money towards technological advancement, then they will do so with a company that specializes in making new technology for the benefits of the people. Assuming the government was in dire need of technological advancement (which it is not) then they would levy taxes for it. You also mention some of that money for school, but it is not money that schools need, it's a better education system. You have probably heard of this 'Common Core' and it is quite a 'flawed' system, along with all the other systems we have. Money is second priority, a better system is the most needed, perhaps one that teaches actual useful skills needed in life.

Sources (For people who like cited information)

USHistory.org>gov
m.Washingtontimes.com/news/2015/Jul/8/obama-admin-cut-40k-army-soldiers/?page=all
m.huffpost.com/us/entry/5207400
m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4333561
Debate Round No. 2
LogicalInjustice

Pro

There is a difference between "cutting" military spending and "reallocating" military spending. Many people are aware that the military participates in price gouging, just like the private medical industry (http://thinkprogress.org...) (http://www.huffingtonpost.com...) This is avoidable and cost inefficient, compared to the funding that would go towards universities towards developing technology. Not once in my arguments were the mention of decreasing military spending, but to reallocate spending within the military (which includes R&D and cost effective purchases) which make better use of the tax payers dollars.

"If the people of America want to put more money towards technological advancement, then they will do so with a company that specializes in making new technology for the benefits of the people. "

As economics and history have proven, this is ineffective because the public does not have enough financial backing or outspoken public interest for a company to begin doing so except as a side project or for profit. A great example is the pharmaceutical industry. Despite public outcry and it actually being better for the business reputation, such revolution must be forced or beneficial to those contributing the funds. There is no greater incentive for the U.S. Government to invest in advancing technology because the military demos and gets it first and the rest will follow. This includes politicians having their hands on the final product to manipulate and price via economics and politics.

"Assuming the government was in dire need of technological advancement (which it is not) then they would levy taxes for it."

As said before, there are already enough funds in the military budget for this contracts, the problem lays with price gouging and which technologies to prioritize. Not to mention, the current tread and priority of our government is clean energy and energy sustainability: is this not a dire issue in need of technological advancement? Many politicians and citizens would agree that it is. (http://www.pennenergy.com...)

"You also mention some of that money for school, but it is not money that schools need, it's a better education system."

Which also costs money. Even in public education, reform has been ineffective or has been to costly to implement (http://www.myajc.com...). Military contracts do no have to be limited to universities, as proving funding for those children to have engineering and otherwise technologically supporting skill sets would encourage youths to go to college and be properly educated, which leads to more college students, which in turn results in more qualified professionals that the country can use to speed up development. There are also many benefits in being a veteran and non-combat positions in the military for those who are educated well. So in turn, contributing to technological advancement would also increase job opportunities as there would be more of a demand for highly educated professionals in both the military, public, and private sector. Demand for engineers has been high, while demand has been low, and this actually does provide an incentive across the board to fill that void (http://www.diversitycareers.com...).

And finally, funding towards universities can be in many forms. Contracts were one of my core points, but this also includes grants (http://www.collegegrant.net...), contests (https://www.challenge.gov...), and most importantly STEM programs (http://www.ed.gov...). These solutions already exists and there is time and less reform needed to implement these. Although my original debate uses the contracts as a sure way to finance innovative technological advancements, the issue is not so black and white. Just because funding by the military is being utilized in a difference sense does not mean we are lessening protection or taking money away from the budget. Price gouging plays a large role in our military budget and by being smarter with our spending will not only protect our troops with superior and higher quality equipment, but also possibly increase technology related job demands and potentially benefit our economy as a whole.
DogInTheBox

Con

You must not forget however, with creating new technology takes time. As we speak, technology is already being advanced, and patience is key. While I do agree that it could possibly improve our economy, I also think that most of the outcomes you predict might not come true.

"Even in public education, reform has been ineffective or has been too costly to implement"

Which was what I meant by common core. Assuming you gave more money to the schools, how long would it actually take to implement these new reforms to educate people for these technology related jobs, and how many people would lose their jobs because they no longer qualify? I understand that you have good intentions for America, but think of what happens when technology advances to the point where it has weapons that could destroy entire countries. Of course, America would be the only country to have it and all the other nations would live in fear of America. Humans live on the intent to screw each other over, and who's to say this new technology might not be used for crime In the USA? Over the course of time, technology has led to the simplification of life. Today, we are very dependent on things like antibiotics, phones (911 purposes & contact), and the computer. Advancing technology will make life simpler, and humans will become more dependent on technology, which in the future, might lead to lowering the creativity and innovation of the people (As proven with calculators making math simpler) But most of all, who's to say what that money will actually do, and whether or not real progress will be made. Along with that, on the assumption that you want to "Better the lives" of the general public, healthcare will get better, and you know what that means, more children. America can only support so much people, and crops do not grow instantly with technology or without.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by LogicalInjustice 1 year ago
LogicalInjustice
Forgot to add details. Basically debate is a free-for-all, use sources if you can (will help prove your case), and professionalism. Everyone has a right to their own opinion but just be civil about it.
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