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Socioeconomic factors determine how many opportunities they have in America.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/18/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 472 times Debate No: 75469
Debate Rounds (4)
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Socioeconomic factors definitely determine how many opportunities a child has in their future.

Education is a key factor for the opportunities a child will have in their future. A child's Socioeconomic status determines the availability of a quality of education. In the U.S there is large inequalities in the funding of public schools. Many children who need the education the most are forced to go to underachieving and sometimes unaccredited schools. If you walk into these schools, you can already figure out what kind of future a child will have receiving this kind of education. In fact, there have been studies that schools in poverty stricken or minority neighborhoods actually seem to have a school-to-prison pipeline. Situations where a simple offense can lead to jail for children as young as 7 are common in schools in these neighborhoods. It seems that instead of trying to prepare these children for college, they are preparing them for prison.

Most likely a child born to poor, uneducated parents will have a steep hill to climb if the wan to get out of that pattern, and the government is not doing enough to help them.


Firstly, I need clarification. Are you stating that socioeconomic factors are the only influence of the amount of opportunity or just a primary one. Judging by your statement, I can only assume that it is the only one.
I am going to argue that rearing and will power also effect the number of opportunities. In America, studies show that you are seventy percent more likely to escape poverty if you do three things:
Graduate high school (big surprise there)
Wait until 21 to get married and have children (well that doesn't sound hard)
and here is the have to work a full time job!
It is truly no wonder people have such a hard time escaping poverty when these things are required of them (that was sarcasm by the way)
We may not have the most social mobility in this country, nor do we have the best equality of wealth, but we do have some of each.
If I was a betting man, I would say that college education is a huge determining factor in success. Yes, they must graduate high school to get there. It provides people the opportunity to get a well paying job in whichever field they enjoy the most. Granted, people are stupid and major in utter crap like psychology or philosophy with little income outside of college. However, if a poor person goes to college, in college no matter how cheap, they have a great chance of moving out of poverty, even if they have to take on debt. College is an investment and sometimes you have to invest on margin to get there.
However, in some societies, parents raise their children to expect things from others. They teach them that they have no hope, that they are slaves to poverty. This is the sad truth: parents of poor children teach their children that they are the victims of society. With this upbringing, it is no wonder that children think that it is okay to get pregnant or get someone pregnant at sixteen, to drop out of high school, to steal or kill, to take on welfare and not get a job.
Yes, socioeconomic have some effect, but rearing also has a huge role to play.
Debate Round No. 1


To clarify my statement,

I think that socioeconomic factors is one of the primary factors that determines how many opportunities a person will have in there future. While I do agree that graduating high school, getting a job, and wait to get married to have children are essential factors for being able to escape poverty, for people with a low socioeconomic status, these things are easier said than done. Lets face it, Since the end of the recession in Summer 2009, all the job growth has gone to adults who went on to college. There has been a decline in jobs for high school grads and non-grads respectively. I think there are several implications of this labor market outcome. Without access to jobs this makes it near impossible for high school graduates to live independently without the help of welfare.

When you live are forced to go to a failing school that do not have the resources that are essential for giving students a quality education. We have hundreds of thousands of kids trapped in failing schools where more than 90 percent of the kids can"t read or do math at basic proficiency levels. I do not think that child rearing is to blame for this phenomenon. A child that goes to school for 7 hours a day, five days a week should have no reason for performing at these levels. The government should have more responsibility for fixing these schools or sending them to higher performing schools. Studies show that It turns out that these mostly minority , poor or low-achieving students learning really soared when they attended higher-quality schools.

I also greatly disagree that parents in poverty teach there children that there is no way out of poverty. Many of these parents are powerless to help their children, especially since the government is not helping them the way they should be. These parents want the best for their children and they don't want them to repeat the mistakes that they made that kept them in poverty. Without access to full time jobs, quality education, and help from the government for these children, I can understand how they think turning to crime is the only way to support themselves.

Don't you think that the government owes a responsibility to these children?


Hate to break it to you, but in a study conducted by Steven Levitt at the University of Chicago, he completely disproved the idea that the level of school determines success by analyzing a great deal of data from a Chicago school study. He determined that the students who made As at the poor schools also made As at the good schools and vice-versa. He determined that there is no correlation between student success and the level of school the child attends.
Instead, he says that genetic factors and parental factors are the greatest determining factors. Mostly genetic though.
And I am sorry if I sound unempathetic, but if a person fails to complete high school, they are stupid and I do not want to support them. Really, if a person does not do the three basic requirements for escaping poverty, I do not have any respect for them to want MY tax dollars going to help them pay for their lifestyles.
And no, the government has no responsibility to the children of poor schools or rich schools, poor children or rich children, poor adults or rich adults. People are responsible for themselves, and allowing the government to support these people does nothing more than create a welfare state in which people have no incentive to better themselves.
Furthermore, yes children are being taught that it is impossible to escape poverty and that THEY are OWED aid. I live in a relatively poor area and have lived in even poorer. The poor people just want aid. Even more, I once saw a woman pay for two hundred dollars worth of brand name food and say, "I just can't get out of here without spending no money". Between the poor grammar and terrible attitude, I wanted to cry.
Debate Round No. 2


There has been several studies about the relationship between genes and intelligence. The idea that children inherit their intelligence from their parents has been unproven. Therefore, your argument is invalid.

In 2013, A group called the Social Sciences Genetic Association Consortium, did a study comparing the genomes of more than 126,000 people, the study concluded that while intelligence "" and proxy measures such as cognitive test performance or educational attainment "" are quite heritable, the idea of 'smart genes' remains really unproven.

Also, maybe you don't want your tax dollars going to children dropping out of high school. I'm saying that the government needs to invest in programs to prevent that from happening in the first place. I would rather our tax dollars be going toward the children who are going to run this country in the future than spending it on things such as a Shrimp on a treadmill.

The government has responsibility for the schools that THEY run, fund, and operate. The school system, especially in poverty areas, are in desperate need of reform. If we don't start providing more opportunities for children education-wise, they will continue the cycle of poverty and welfare.

Demonizing the poor is something that is becoming more popular and it needs to stop. Like you said, America's social mobility is not the best that it could be. IT WILL NOT HELP IF WE PAINT POOR PEOPLE AS VILLAINS FOR BEING POOR.

Every child born in America has infinite potential, no matter if they are born in poverty or middle class.
The government needs to provide funding to insure that every child has the opportunity to reach that potential.


1. My source is credible, it was a book written by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner entitled Freakonomics. I see no source from you, and until I do, I will ignore your argument on the grounds that it is not credible.
2. I do not care if there is a "smart gene", but you conceded that intelligence is heritable. Therefore, it is possible that stupidity is more heritable than is poverty. Especially since the school you go to has been proven not to influence overall intelligence.
3. Why do rich kids not drop out at the same rate as poor kids? The obvious answer is that it is because they are rich. Of course, my source disproved that. So the other solution is that there is another variable that influences success, and that variable is the parents. Whether intelligence comes from the genome or from caring parents, it is more prominent among the wealthy than the poor. Likely because stupidity is the reason poor people are poor.
4. Demonizing the poor is better than empathizing with them. At least if we make being poor look awful, people will work harder to get out of poverty. Which I have previously stated, is not overly difficult if you simply do the three things.
5. Yes, every child has infinite potential. Socioeconomic factors in which the child was born does not influence that.
Debate Round No. 3


Socioeconomic factors do not influence a child's potential. However, being born with a low Socioeconomic keeps children from taking full advantage of it.

Your argument are illogical. I don't know where you get your logic that if you demonize a group of people, all of the sudden, they are just supposed to magically rise out of poverty. History teaches us that demonizing a group of people (especially a group that is already disadvantaged and powerless) only leads to further oppression. It will make it even harder than it is now for them to better their lives.

Like I said, the fact that your intelligence is greatly influenced by your heredity, remains unproven. Just because some quack with a PHD says otherwise does not change that fact.

America should not be a place were you are punished and discriminated against for not being born with the right Socioeconomic status. America should be a land of equal education and equal opportunity.

Stating that poor people are bad parents and that they are just simply stupid is an idiotic, illogical, and unproven conclusion as to why poor people have a hard time getting out of poverty.
By providing public schools, the government makes a promise that they will give our children a quality education that will give them an avenue for success. If they cannot keep that promise, parents be able to send their children to schools that fulfill that promise.of their choice. The government needs to give caring parents in poverty more power to say what kind of education their child gets. The government also needs to give youth the power to advocate for themselves or give them advocates if they are in a situation where parents are of no help.

Bottom Line:
In order to stop the cycle of poverty and welfare, the government needs to further support these people, not demonize them. Schools need to provide career paths for disadvantaged youth. Helping these children overcome poverty is not an act of charity, its an act of justice.


Have you ever been to a poor school? I have. The problem is not the funding. Yes, new computers are nice, but they are not required. The problem is the students themselves. They do not care, and they carry that attitude with them. They feel as if they are owed. If we show that that attitude is unacceptable, then they may want to change. Instead, society encourages it. This furthers the problem. If someone drops out of high school: it is their fault. I someone does not go to college: it is their fault. If someone goes to jail: it is their fault.

Furthermore, unless you have a Ph.D. you cannot refer to people with Ph.D.s as quacks. You have utterly failed to provide a source to back up your findings, and without a source of equal or greater credibility, my argument stands and yours is invalid.

My conclusion:
If we want to end the cycle of poverty, we should tell children that their mistakes are their faults and their successes are also their fault. We need to stop encouraging the attitude of entitlement. We need to make being poor in this country shameful, and we should only provide them enough support to feed them bread and water. Only then will we see advancement.
Debate Round No. 4
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