The Instigator
Advocate123
Pro (for)
Winning
51 Points
The Contender
brittwaller
Con (against)
Losing
30 Points

Social Security Hurts the Poor and Elderly and Should be Abolished

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/25/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,067 times Debate No: 2924
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (21)
Votes (23)

 

Advocate123

Pro

Social Security provides government assistance for Seniors and other people unable to work. While this is certainly a noble goal, Social Security has had the opposite effect from what its well-intentioned sponsors wanted it to have because it must be funded with the payroll tax or go bankrupt. Consequently, abolishing Social Security would lead to much more desirable results.

Few taxes have harmed poor people more than the payroll tax. The payroll tax is roughly a 12.4% tax on a worker's wages. An employer withholds 6.2% of the employee's wages, and then the employer matches that amount before giving it to Uncle Sam to pay for Social Security. The wage base for the social security tax is $97,500 for the year 2007. The amount is scheduled to rise to $102,000.

After Washington receives the money, checks are printed out and distributed directly to retired people. Contrary to popular belief, none of the money is saved in an account for the individual. In fact, the rest of the money is spent on government programs, which is why Al Gore suggested creating a "lock box" to prevent the payroll taxes from being used for other purposes. Had Al Gore explained what he meant by a "lock box" he would not have been embarrassed on Saturday Night Live. Then again, I wonder if Al Gore even understood what he was talking about at the time.

Amazingly, government bureaucrats wonder why people who pay these payroll taxes for their entire lives do not have a large savings when they retire, and then rely on their Social Security checks. Hypothetically, if a private investment firm asked you to pay 12.4% of your income to them for your entire life, and then only gave you less than a 10% return, you would fire the firm and the Securities and Exchange Commission would prosecute the crooks for creating an illegal Ponzi scheme. Still, people seem to accept being cheated by their own government.

The common liberal myth is that workers only pay 6.2% for payroll taxes. That is not true. By forcing an employer to pay 6.2% as well, the employee bears the burden for both taxes. The reason why the employee pays for both taxes is because the employer could care less whether the 6.2% went to the government or the employee, but it needs to get paid no matter what.

Before hiring a worker, an employer must consider how much it will cost for payroll taxes, among other expenses. Every employer would rather give his employee 6% more money if he did not have to pay 6.2% to the government. Moreover, if there were no payroll tax, the employer could hire more workers. Overall, the employees always lose because the money would go to the employee in some form or another if the employer were not required to pay the tax. This is also why "taxing the rich" hurts the poor just as much.

Eventually, when people give all of their earned money away to the government, and have none for themselves, future poverty will be created in this Country. It is just a never-ending cycle, and has not shown to benefit the poor; it has made them dependent on Government.
brittwaller

Con

Thank you to my opponent for posting this debate, I hope it will be a rewarding experience for all. And again, my apologies for the delay in my response, Advocate123. Long week.

"...Social Security has had the opposite effect from what its well-intentioned sponsors wanted it to have because it must be funded with the payroll tax or go bankrupt."

-I cannot disagree that there are problems in the system of Social Security, not the least of which is the expected shortfall in benefits that will begin in about a decade or so, due to the retirement of the "baby boomer" generation. It is not quite the "either/or" scenario that my opponent presents, though:
"Right now the revenues from the payroll tax exceed the amount paid out in benefits. This is deliberate, the result of a payroll tax increase - recommended by none other than Alan Greenspan - two decades ago. His justification at the time for raising a tax that falls mainly on lower- and middle-income families, even though Ronald Reagan had just cut the taxes that fall mainly on the very well-off, was that the extra revenue was needed to build up a trust fund. This could be drawn on to pay benefits once the baby boomers began to retire.

The grain of truth in claims of a Social Security crisis is that this tax increase wasn't quite big enough. Projections in a recent report by the Congressional Budget Office (which are probably more realistic than the very cautious projections of the Social Security Administration) say that the trust fund will run out in 2052. The system won't become "bankrupt" at that point; even after the trust fund is gone, Social Security revenues will cover 81 percent of the promised benefits. Still, there is a long-run financing problem.

But it's a problem of modest size. The report finds that extending the life of the trust fund into the 22nd century, with no change in benefits, would require additional revenues equal to only 0.54 percent of G.D.P. That's less than 3 percent of federal spending - less than we're currently spending in Iraq. And it's only about one-quarter of the revenue lost each year because of President Bush's tax cuts - roughly equal to the fraction of those cuts that goes to people with incomes over $500,000 a year."
( http://www.pkarchive.org... )

"Consequently, abolishing Social Security would lead to much more desirable results."

-As part of your argument is that Social Security hurts the poor and elderly, I find this statement rather mystifying. Simply abolishing the entire spectrum of Social Security programs would be much more harmful to the poor and elderly, and to the middle and upper classes as well, as approximately 48.4 million people currently receive benefits from the system in one way or another. ( http://price.house.gov... )

Abolition is good idea if one is looking for a Class War a la the French Revolution. I must also ask the question, More desirable results for whom? Certainly not for those currently receiving benefits from the program, as many would be left destitute.

"After Washington receives the money, checks are printed out and distributed directly to retired people. Contrary to popular belief, none of the money is saved in an account for the individual."

-Who believed this?

My opponent's primary contention seems to be with the payroll tax in particular. While much of what Advocate123 wrote in his Round 1 is correct, a couple of his statements strike me as especially specious:

-"The common liberal myth is that workers only pay 6.2% for payroll taxes. That is not true. By forcing an employer to pay 6.2% as well, the employee bears the burden for both taxes."
I have never heard of this myth. The facts are available from both the government and independent sources:
( http://en.wikipedia.org... )
Your conclusion that the employee bears the burden for all of the tax is also faulty, I believe - see below points.
-"The reason why the employee pays for both taxes is because the employer could care less whether the 6.2% went to the government or the employee, but it needs to get paid no matter what."
I would argue that the employer would rather not pay out the extra 6.2% period, regardless of who it goes to.
-"Every employer would rather give his employee 6% more money if he did not have to pay 6.2% to the government."
Highly unlikely.
-"Overall, the employees always lose because the money would go to the employee in some form or another if the employer were not required to pay the tax."
Any evidence to back up this statement?

"Eventually, when people give all of their earned money away to the government, and have none for themselves, future poverty will be created in this Country."

-People do not give *all* of their earned money to the government. Future poverty is created because the benefits paid out are simply not enough for most families or individuals to escape from poverty, other things being equal.

"It is just a never-ending cycle, and has not shown to benefit the poor; it has made them dependent on Government."

-To whatever degree the current program may or may not benefit the poor, abolition would be much worse, as they would have no benefits.

"...[I]t has made them dependent on Government."

-A large part of the recipients of benefits would be dependent in any case: the elderly and infirmed, the disabled, children, etc. as they have no other means for income or support. It as due to civic responsibility that the whole cares for these less-fortunate individuals, via the government.

As for abolition, this is simply not a practical idea. As much as Social Security hurts anyone now (which you have not actually argued - you argued that the payroll tax harms, not SS in itself), the abolition would hurt them much more. But I cannot argue that the system does not need an overhaul of some sort. I argue that, in addition to the option of various kinds of privatization (which are riddled with problems in-and-of themselves), there is another way to not abolish Social Security and at the same time hurt neither the poor or the elderly: the payroll tax could simply be made *much* more progressive. The working poor and the middle class would pay much less of their earnings, which many need all of in order to simply have the basic necessities of modern life, and the upper class and wealthy middle class would simply pay much more of theirs. With a radically progressive tax similar to what I have described, the program would cease to hurt the poor or elderly in any way, therefore it should not be abolished. It would probably provide a surplus to the program.
Debate Round No. 1
Advocate123

Pro

I have read through your argument and will refute your major substantive points below. If I should leave some of your arguments out, it is because I thought they were too weak to encompass your overall thesis. Please let me know if you want me to clean them up in the last round.

Briefly, before I address your points, let me mention that you wasted much of your argument claiming that the Social Security system will not go bankrupt. This was nothing but filler because I agree with you! However, it will not go bankrupt so long as it is funded by the payroll tax, like a pyramid structure where the youthful bottom continues to fund the aging top.

You even brought up the fact that Alan Greenspan suggested increasing the payroll tax to ensure that it stays funded. Yes, this will certainly reach its purpose of funding a terrible system. Nevertheless, none of your lengthy sources used to buttress your response do the slightest to hurt my overall thesis that the payroll tax creates the need for people to be on social security in the first place!

Now to address your arguments:

You assert that 48.4 million people are on social security.

First of all, just because they are on social security, does not mean that they need social security. Many well-to-do people reach the age of 65 and get social security checks.

So ask yourself, Why are people who are able to save responsibly for retirement still being paid taxpayer-funded checks? If you look at page 23 from the source that you cited (http://price.house.gov...), it seems like that number is close to 50% for Married couples, and close to 30% for single people. Why are they receiving taxpayer money if they have money saved for retirement? Moreover, the total number of people who do not need social security is much greater than the tables on page 23 because money that people saved over the years is not considered "income."

For example, if I saved $1,000,000 over my lifetime and received social security, the chart would say that I received 100% of my income from social security. Still, I will low-ball the figure because it does not hurt my argument.

Notably, these people who saved over the years, and everyone else who couldn't, were taxed at 12% for their entire lifetime. Yet, we wonder why they do not have more money saved up over the years? It is really simple: You take the money away that they could save, and they have no savings.

The fact of the matter is that if you removed social security entirely, the total number of people dependent on the system would decrease simply because they would have 12% more income than they started with. The remainder of people would be cared for by friends, family, or foundations that would ensure better care for the elderly than our government.

Yes, there would be poor elderly, but it would be substantially less than what we have now. Even so, your rebuttals of my points shown below are weak at best.

"Your conclusion that the employee bears the burden for all of the tax is also faulty..."

I'm sorry, this is just an objective fact if you look at the basic economics, which I will now have to outline for you below.

1) I stated that, "Every employer would rather give his employee 6% more money if he did not have to pay 6.2% to the government." You asserted that this was "highly unlikely."

Let me say this really slowly. If you had a choice to either give $6.20 to the government or $6.00 to your employee, who would you pay? (Jeopardy Music)

2) I stated that, "Overall, the employees always lose because the money would go to the employee in some form or another if the employer were not required to pay the tax." You wanted evidence. Let me say this really slowly as well.

If you pay your employee $100 an hour and 6.2% has to go toward paying the government, you lose $6.20 per hour. But, if you have that extra $6.20, you can do one of six things:

1) Give it to your employee to better compete in the labor market; 2) Use it to hire another employee, which will reduce unemployment, and create one less person in need of social security years down the line; 3) Invest it in your business, which will be given to someone else's employee when you purchase goods or services; 4) Lower the cost of your goods to compete with other businesses and increase the standard of living for everyone else; 5) Keep it and spend it on other businesses, which will be used to pay for more workers; and 6) Save it and spend the money later (both help the economy, which helps workers).

Overall, the money goes to the employee in some way or another and is "desirable" for the employee and society to answer your rhetorical question.

Now to your last few points.

"A large part of the recipients of benefits would be dependent in any case: the elderly and infirmed, the disabled, children, etc. as they have no other means for income or support. It as due to civic responsibility that the whole cares for these less-fortunate individuals, via the government."

I'm am glad you declared this so by fiat, but you are ignoring the fact that government does not create wealth, the people do. After you create wealth, if you choose not to pay your taxes, the government comes to your house with armed police and throws you in jail. Forced compassion via violence and coercion is not a noble goal no matter who the money is going toward.

But, to address your concern about the disabled, and children, most of these people are better taken care of by new technology and the private sector than government bureaucracy. Monopolistic governments have little or no incentive to improve care for those who are less fortunate.

Lastly, I leave your most baseless argument for last.

"I argue that, in addition to the option of various kinds of privatization (which are riddled with problems in-and-of themselves), there is another way to not abolish Social Security and at the same time hurt neither the poor or the elderly: the payroll tax could simply be made *much* more progressive. The working poor and the middle class would pay much less of their earnings, which many need all of in order to simply have the basic necessities of modern life, and the upper class and wealthy middle class would simply pay much more of theirs. With a radically progressive tax similar to what I have described, the program would cease to hurt the poor or elderly in any way, therefore it should not be abolished. It would probably provide a surplus to the program."

Since the government spends all of the payroll taxes to fund the rest of the government, and there is no "lock box" (as you conceded), this would mean that you would bankrupt the social security system, and then make the people at the top of the income ladder pay even more in taxes. But, THEY ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY.

In fact, they pay all the taxes in this Country already. According to the IRS the top 50% of all tax payers payed nearly 97% of all taxes. The bottom 50% barely paid any! In fact, from 1986 till now, the top 1%'s share of the tax burden has risen from 25% to 37%. The top 1% of wage earners pay 37% of the taxes! During this same time period, the burden shared by the bottom 50% shrunk in half from 6.5% to 3.3%.

The reality is that over the last 2 decades, the rich have paid more and the poor have paid less. To make this clearer, note that in 2004 the government collected $832 in personal income taxes. The top 50% paid $804 billion.

The top of the income bracket are the people who create all the jobs and provide all the goods and services that people want. If you tax them anymore, you might as well just say what you are really doing: Imposing socialism.

History has not faired kindly toward massive redistribution of wealth. Unless, of course you like shortages, starvation, and poverty.
brittwaller

Con

Before I proceed with any further arguments, let me say that I was unaware of any "overall thesis," besides you being for the Topic sentence and me being against it. Nowhere in your opening argument did I read the words: "...[T]he payroll tax creates the need for people to be on social security in the first place!" This is not what the debate is about; if it is, your Topic of Debate should have been "The payroll tax creates the need for people to be on social security in the first place, therefore the payroll tax and social security should be abolished." But that is not what you wrote. My position is that Social Security does not hurt the poor and elderly, and should therefore not be abolished. I am only arguing about the payroll tax to counter your arguments in Round 1; you evidently want the entire debate to be on the payroll tax alone. What it comes down to is that you must prove that Social Security hurts the poor and the elderly, and that it should be abolished for these reasons. I must provide a reasonable doubt that this is not the case.

"Briefly, before I address your points, let me mention that you wasted much of your argument claiming that the Social Security system will not go bankrupt. This was nothing but filler because I agree with you! However, it will not go bankrupt so long as it is funded by the payroll tax, like a pyramid structure where the youthful bottom continues to fund the aging top."

-Ok... I am not debating whether or not Social Security will go bankrupt, I am debating whether it is bad for the poor and elderly, and should be abolished.

"You even brought up the fact that Alan Greenspan suggested increasing the payroll tax to ensure that it stays funded. Yes, this will certainly reach its purpose of funding a terrible system. Nevertheless, none of your lengthy sources used to buttress your response do the slightest to hurt my overall thesis that the payroll tax creates the need for people to be on social security in the first place!"

-See the first paragraph. There *is no overall thesis* except for the topic we are debating. All else is secondary.

"First of all, just because they are on social security, does not mean that they need social security. Many well-to-do people reach the age of 65 and get social security checks."

-Good. Then Social Security isn't hurting them.

"Why are people who are able to save responsibly for retirement still being paid taxpayer-funded checks? Why are they receiving taxpayer money if they have money saved for retirement?"

-They are not being hurt by Social Security, so this point is really irrelevant, but the answer would be because they paid into the program: I assume from some of your statements that you would want your money (or at least as much as possible) back from the government that you gave it to.

"Moreover, the total number of people who do not need social security is much greater than the tables on page 23 because money that people saved over the years is not considered "income.""

-Excellent. Then you get them off of it, and perhaps more money would be available to give to those who do need it, or, alternatively, use the surplus to cut back the payroll tax.

"...It is really simple: You take the money away that they could save, and they have no savings."

-See my proposal of making the payroll tax, and for that matter *all* taxes, more progressive. I agree the poor should not be taxed in this way.

"The fact of the matter is that if you removed social security entirely, the total number of people dependent on the system would decrease simply because they would have 12% more income than they started with."

-Allow me to translate into an actual matter-of-fact: If you removed SS entirely, the total number of people dependent on the system would decrease simply because *there would be no system to be dependent on anymore* And if you're already on Social Security or Disability, you would not have 12% more than you started with because if you have no income you are starting from nothing.

"The remainder of people would be cared for by friends, family, or foundations that would ensure better care for the elderly than our government."

-This must be why there are no homeless people in the U.S. today. I'm sure adding more to be cared for by "misc." will turn out well. I mean, Americans are so caring and charitable!

"1) I stated that, "Every employer would rather give his employee 6% more money if he did not have to pay 6.2% to the government." You asserted that this was "highly unlikely."

Let me say this really slowly. If you had a choice to either give $6.20 to the government or $6.00 to your employee, who would you pay? (Jeopardy Music)"

-I stand by my assertion that this is highly unlikely. And on your rebuttal: False dichotomy and an appeal to consequences fallacy. It is not a question of who I would rather pay *between the two if I had a choice* because your original argument said only "if he did not have to pay 6.2% to the government;" choice is not an option. But to answer your question, I rather keep it if I didn't have to pay it to the government. On the second fallacy, it doesn't matter if you believe that employers will just give this extra 6.2% to their employees - your belief has little to do with the truth-value of your statement.

"If you pay your employee $100 an hour and 6.2% has to go toward paying the government, you lose $6.20 per hour. But, if you have that extra $6.20, you can do one of six things:"

-Only the first of your six options applies directly to *the* (not an) employee that was previously there - this is the only way that the employee is financially impacted in a direct sense, the sense that counts.

-The question wasn't rhetorical, nor was it meant to be - otherwise why on earth would you answer it?

"...Forced compassion via violence and coercion is not a noble goal no matter who the money is going toward."

-I'm not exactly crazy about the government, but it has its uses. Because I'm sure we'd all just give, give, give for all the things that are provided by the government if there were no taxes. As for your point in the sentence preceding the one I quoted there, talk to the government, not me:)

"...[T]o address your concern about the disabled, and children, most of these people are better taken care of by new technology and the private sector than government bureaucracy."

-This is simply laughable, but I only have limited space: it's more likely that the "private sector" will screw them over in a worse way than the government did. See above.

"But, THEY ARE ALREADY PAYING FOR SOCIAL SECURITY.

In fact, they pay all the taxes in this Country already. According to the IRS the top 50% of all tax payers payed nearly 97% of all taxes. The bottom 50% barely paid any! In fact, from 1986 till now, the top 1%'s share of the tax burden has risen from 25% to 37%. The top 1% of wage earners pay 37% of the taxes! During this same time period, the burden shared by the bottom 50% shrunk in half from 6.5% to 3.3%."

-GOOD. Considering that the top 1% of households control nearly 35% of the wealth in the U.S., the top 10% control over 71%, and the bottom 40% control 0.2%, this is still not good enough. http://www.faculty.fairfield.edu...

"The top 50% paid $804 billion."

-And rightly so. See above.

I suggest you start making points about why Social Security in-and-of itself, not the payroll tax, hurts the poor and the elderly. The same goes for why Social Security, not the payroll tax, should be abolished.

History has not fared kindly toward great massive gaps between the poor and middle classes and the bourgeoisie. Unless, of course, you like heads in baskets:)
Debate Round No. 2
Advocate123

Pro

It is hysterical that you advocate Social Security, yet want to ignore the only means to pay for it (The payroll tax), which I have sufficiently demonstrated is devastating to everyone. I'm sorry; you must defend the payroll tax if you advocate Social Security, and sadly you chose an indefensible position.

In short, you lose the argument unless you can defend the payroll tax, which you have conceded you cannot.

Yes, we could get rid of the payroll tax, and just install a "much more" progressive tax than we have, but that is just advocating socialism. It is advocating socialism because you would have to come up with another $500+ billion from the people who already contribute $804+ Billion to the government coffers. Even if you are going to squabble over the exact value that it would cost, you are still advocating the most massive redistribution of wealth program that America has ever seen.

Furthermore, if you think jobs are going overseas, watch what happens when the government takes all the money from the people who create the jobs, goods, and services that make our society work.

I find it wonderful that I have pushed you all the way in a corner having to defend socialism just to get social security to work. You are hanging yourself with your own words, and I have just torn your argument to shreds.

In order to get around your failing argument, you assert that you must only prove reasonable doubt that I am wrong. While I have more than established reasonable doubt, you certainly have much more of a burden if you advocate a policy that uses coercion and violence to take money from working people and then places them in a situation where they need the money back when they retire. You cannot get around the weakness of your arguments by claiming you owe less of a burden.

Strangely, you appear to believe that Social Security is not hurting most of the people who receive Social Security benefits. This is wrong; it hurts everyone even if some do not need it to get by.

It hurts everyone because everyone is better off when people are able to keep and control their own money. Individuals always know how to spend their own money better than government bureaucrats in Washington. Even those who do not have money to give to the government will be better off from the lower cost of living, which I already outlined above.

Jobs are also created when the people have control over their own money, thereby putting money in the pockets of the poor.

Amazingly, without finishing your argument, you go off on major tangents. I will begrudgingly address some of these tangents because your arguments are so weak that I win whether or not I address them:

"This must be why there are no homeless people in the U.S. today. I'm sure adding more to be cared for by "misc." will turn out well. I mean, Americans are so caring and charitable!"

First, according to recent government statistics less that .3% of Americans have ever been considered homeless (http://www.heritage.org...), meaning that most get off of it either by themselves, or by help from charities.

Your problem is that you think charity must be intentionally sacrificial; this is a fallacy. By providing a person with a job, you help that person much more than charity, and the economy is helped as well. But, you cannot hire more people if you do not have control of your own money. Are you really advocating a "More Progressive" tax?

Moreover, as I indicated before: There is nothing charitable about putting a gun to someone's head to coerce them to give their money to Washington to pay for government programs. You claim that I should take that up with the government, which is just a way to avoid addressing the reality of how the Social Security system works.

But, back to your nonsensical argument about keeping the payroll tax for yourself over giving it to the worker. EITHER WAY, IT STILL HELPS SOCIETY AND THE POOR! It allows you to lower prices of goods and services, because that extra savings becomes a profit for you, or you can spend the money somewhere else, thereby providing jobs for others.

But, you can also undercut your competitors by paying your workers more, which is just as likely as any of the other choices because beating your competitors can bring you more profit in the long-run.

You seem to think that once money goes into someone's hands, the money stays there as a fixed accumulation. I don't know who taught you this fallacy? But, an economy under a free-market capitalist system grows, is not static, and transactions of goods and services are freely exchanged.

Consequently, we wouldn't need to "give, give, give" as much if the government abolished its programs like social security that destroy the economic growth that creates jobs.

The private sector even has a profit incentive to help the disabled. Why? Because, when there is a demand for something, the private sector seeks to fill it.

Who do you think built the artificial limbs that have computer sensors to sense heat? Who built the artificial heart? Who created the Internet software for the visually impaired? I'll give you a hint: It wasn't some government bureaucracy. I could go on and on.

Still, with unbelievable ignorance, you think that it is good that the people at the top pay all the taxes. I hate to break it to you, but the economic gap is the most meaningless statistic. People are the bottom of the economic ladder have done progressively better off as time has passed throughout this Country. This is true even while the wealthy accumulate wealth. "The Rich Get Richer, While the Poor Become Better off as Well."

These are percentages of POOR households in the US that own each of these:

97% color T.V. (25% big screen)

73% Microwave

73% own a car (30% own two or more)

78% DVD or VCR

59% Stereo

55% 2 or more tv's

65% clothes washer

76% air conditioning

56% clothes dryer

63% Cable or Satelite TV

Only 2% OF THE POOREST AMERICANS had bouts with hunger.

99% of POOR avoid eviction.

(http://www.heritage.org...)

Your statement about the massive gaps between the rich and poor is Marxist babble, and is simply not how the world works. The following Countries have less of an economic gap than the United States: North Korea, Cuba, China, the Old Soviet Union, Venezuela, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

These Countries have a greater economic gap than all the countries above, yet the poor in these Countries are better off: United States, England, Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong (I know this is a quasi-Country). In fact, the greatest correlation between how well the poor are doing economically in a country is the amount of capitalism in that Country.

Overall, you wanted to advocate Social Security, without having to address the abject harms of the payroll tax. In an attempt to get around this fact, you claim that we can scrap the payroll tax for socialism.

This is not a Strawman argument I am making, nor is it a distortion of your argument. This is exactly what your policy advocates.

If you want to take back all the arguments you previously made, and start all over, I would advise you to do so. Since I will have no ability to respond to anything you say after this round, you may actually stand a chance.

Otherwise, I will just accept my win.
brittwaller

Con

1)Social Security and Payroll tax = *not* the same thing

2)So what if I am "advocating Socialism?" I'm defending my position in the debate.

3)You seem to have a massive misunderstanding of greed and human weakness, from even the most well-intentioned souls.

4)You have not really refuted my arguments, or shown how it is that if someone has no money or assets at all, then if Social Security disappears everything will be nice and rosy the next day.

5)If a person cannot work at all because of a disability or such, all of your arguments for abolishing Social Security become void as you have not talked of any kind of replacement system, except for the wonderfully mysterious (and evidently reverential) "private sector." Right - leave it to them and they'll take care of it.

6)Not tangents, points; points which you did not answer.

7)You using the Heritage Organization as a source is quite amusing. A bunch of rich white guys - the most conservative people in the country - I'm sure they can tell the poor exactly how to fix all their own problems because it is so in their interest to do so. I'm sure they'll get around to it after they finish counting the interest on their offshore accounts and add Reagan to the Greek Pantheon.

8)Even by that ridiculous source's numbers of .3%, that's STILL quite a few people for the richest nation in the world.

9)If you provide a job for someone that cannot work, it isn't "charity" at all. If you provide someone with a dead-end job that will never get them out of poverty but keeps them from receiving benefits already available, it isn't charity either, it's another case of the haves exploiting the have-nots.

10)In real numbers, the price of goods and services never goes down, only up.

11)"You seem to think that once money goes into someone's hands, the money stays there as a fixed accumulation."

Only for the wealthy, who have enough money already that it doesn't matter - it must be nice to be able to live on interest.

12)"Who do you think built the artificial limbs that have computer sensors to sense heat? Who built the artificial heart? Who created the Internet software for the visually impaired? I'll give you a hint: It wasn't some government bureaucracy. I could go on and on."

And you talk about my tangents. What does this have to do with anything? Also, you have to be able to afford these things before you have them (which counts out most poor disabled people. Again, the companies didn't make these to be charitable - they made them to make profits for themselves.

13)"People are the bottom of the economic ladder have done progressively better off as time has passed throughout this Country."

Please wake up from Ayn Rand-cult fantasy-land.

It was an interesting debate until you politicized it and began to write in the tone of a freshman. Just do one thing for me: don't ever fall on hard times or become paralyzed or poor - you would have to give up your current delusions and come to grips with reality. It might be too much for you.

*shrug*
Britt
Debate Round No. 3
21 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Yraelz 8 years ago
Yraelz
Hmmm interesting, alright. Where does the 10% number come from?
Posted by Shorack 8 years ago
Shorack
yraelz, if it satisfies you:

Friedman refers to this trick to make it look cheaper.
And fyi, here in Belgium, it is exactly the same, i'd use my book on accounting as a source, i suppose you'll find something similar in American books on accounting that proves Advocate right on this.
Posted by Advocate123 8 years ago
Advocate123
Am I missing something? It is how you "make a payroll."
Posted by Yraelz 8 years ago
Yraelz
Thats what I am asking for, a source that says it happens?
Posted by Advocate123 8 years ago
Advocate123
That's just what happens.
Posted by Yraelz 8 years ago
Yraelz
"The payroll tax is roughly a 12.4% tax on a worker's wages. An employer withholds 6.2% of the employee's wages, and then the employer matches that amount before giving it to Uncle Sam to pay for Social Security."

This.
Posted by Yraelz 8 years ago
Yraelz
Haha, no no, I understand this part of the argument. At the start of your argument Advocate you said that 6.2% of an employees wage is payed to Social security and then the company the employee works for pays an additional 6.2%. I was wondering if you have a source saying this is true?
Posted by brittwaller 8 years ago
brittwaller
I should have (should'a, would'a, could'a) followed up more closely on that point. My contention was that if the payroll tax were dropped overnight, as Advocate puts forward, that there is no reason to think that the employers would just add that extra 6.2% to their employee's wages. Some possibly might, helping those that *can* work, but there are many who are on Social Security in some manner that cannot work, thus destroying their only income. If Advocate argued that Social Security should be abolished because it harms the poor and elderly, then his argument would have been invalidated because abolishing SS would hurt many more poor and elderly, as they are now already part of the institution of SS. Still, good debate and I completely accept my loss. If you ever want a rematch, Advocate, on whatever topic, I would gladly accept.

Peace
Britt
Posted by Advocate123 8 years ago
Advocate123
You may have not followed my argument. Work with me because it is common sense:

You are the owner of a business who employs people. You have to pay 6.2% of the employee's wage to the government. Since that money is spent already, do you care whether it goes to the government or the worker?

Of course you would like to have it go to the worker to make that person happier, and better compete against competitors.

If overnight you were not required to pay that 6.2% to the government, that extra money automatically will help numerous workers because many owners will just pass the money to the workers. (It is one of many tools that an owner has to undercut competitors)

Moreover, even if the money was not used to pay people....see above. I outlined it already.
Posted by Yraelz 8 years ago
Yraelz
Yeah that is what I mean, do you have any evidence of it though?
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