The Instigator
Dunlj
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
blaze8
Con (against)
Winning
8 Points

The American Dream has been destroyed

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
blaze8
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/13/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,232 times Debate No: 42311
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (0)
Votes (3)

 

Dunlj

Pro

Hello to whoever my opponent is.

The first round is acceptance, in the second round I precent my arguments and you rebutt them.

Thank you.

blaze8

Con

This looks like an interesting debate. I'll accept it. Bear with me, its my first debate on this site. Good luck to us both!
Debate Round No. 1
Dunlj

Pro

Thank you blaze8 for acceoting this debate! Now for my arguments.

According to the most latest figrues from the U.S. Census Bureau, 49.2 percent of Americans are getting benefits from at least one government program.[1]

The US government has spent 3.7 trillion dollars on welfare programs across the past 5 years.[2]

3. Employers have been encouraging their workers to supplement their wages by going on government welfare programs. McDonald's workers have been instucted to meet ends meet by going on food stamps.[3]

McDonald’s workers who are unable to pay their bills or stay above the poverty line should find help from food pantries or enlist in government benefit programs instead of seeking higher wages, according to a company resource line meant to help employees.

Nancy Salgado has worked for the fast-food corporation for over 10 years yet still earns $8.25 an hour, barely more than the $7.25 federal minimum wage. With help from the worker’s rights group Low Pay Is Not Ok, she phoned the company’s employee hotline, known as McResource, attempting to find some answers on how to improve her situation.

A recording of the call was made available to CNN, which reported that Salgado asked the helpline operator multiple questions regarding how McDonalds would help her pay her heating bill, buy groceries, and whether she could afford to help pay for her sister’s medical treatment.

Despite never asking how much money Salgado earned per hour or asking how many hours a week she worked, the McDonalds representative said she “definitely should be able to qualify for both food stamps and heating assistance.”

4. U.S. homeownership rate has fallen to lowest since 1995.[4]

5. Americans are being priced out of the house market. Today, nearly half of all home purchases are all-cash deals.[5]

6. Only 40% of adults have full-time jobs.[6]

7. The United States has more people doing lower wage work than every other industrialized nation.



Thank you for reading my points, now I await my oppenets rebuttels.


Vote Pro!


Sources:
1. http://cnsnews.com...
2. http://www.weeklystandard.com...
3. http://rt.com...
4.http://www.bloomberg.com...
5. http://www.zerohedge.com...
6. http://www.breitbart.com...

blaze8

Con

First, I would like to say that Pro's points are correct, at least, regarding the specific statistics involved. However, I think it is more important to first define the American Dream. What is the American Dream? Is it to make more money? Is it to work a 9-5 job until retirement? Or is it something more?

I postulate that the American Dream has always been this: To ensure our children have a chance for a better life than we did. I will point out that the goal is not to "ensure our children have a better life than we did," but "to ensure our children have a CHANCE for a better life than we did." I believe this is the true American Dream, because it encompasses all of the other definitions floating around in the sphere of public discussion. Prosperity, the ability to earn one's way, a country living by and large at peace within its borders, the individualism that has come to define American politics, etc.

Next, it would seem as if, given the fact that Pro has focused his arguments on the role of the Federal Government in the economy, the real question here is not whether or not the American Dream is destroyed. Rather, the real question is whether or not there is a place for the United States government in promoting the American Dream.

Now, I will discuss the points Pro has made. Points 1, 2, and 3 refer to government assistance. Points 4 and 5 refer to households, point 6 refers to the job market, and point 7 refers to the low-wage earners in the United States.

In regards to points 1, 2, and 3, I would like to point out that the United States is currently recovering from the worst Recession in our history. Recovery will take a long time. Labor Force Participation Rate has dropped precipitously since the Recession hit [1]. Real Median Household Income is falling as well [2]. In such conditions, is it a surprise that almost half of Americans are receiving some sort of assistance? And how does this indicate that American Dream is destroyed? It indicates no such thing. These are all economic indicators, ones that are being measured during a period of recovery from severe economic crisis. We can lay no claim to the destruction of the American Dream if we choose to look at our world in the aftermath. The whole picture must be viewed. And what does the whole picture say?

The whole picture shows that social mobility is surviving. The poor can, in fact, give their children a chance for a better life, and the rich can also fall from grace just as easily. Pew Research conducted a Panel Study over twenty years, in an attempt to measure people's ability to improve their lot in life:

"Of those who grew up in poverty, 57% have succeeded in leaving that condition twenty years later. 43% remain poor. 27% of the once poor become almost poor. 17% become middle income, 9% rise to near rich and 4% are truly rags-to-riches going from the bottom to the top in twenty years.
Mobility is also great for the almost poor. After 20 years, a quarter (24%) falls backwards into poverty. 20% remain almost poor. But a healthy 56% move up the ladder, a third into the rich and near rich categories.
For the rich, staying there is no assured thing. Of those who were in the top quintile (rich), only 40% stayed there twenty years later. 22% fell back to near rich but 18% fell down to poverty or near poverty.
So, if you are down, there is a better than even chance of going up. And if you are up, there is a better than even chance of dropping down!"[3]

The most important key point, however, is the percentage of individuals earning more than their parents did at that age. 84% of Americans earn more at their current age than their parents did when they were at the same age.[3] How can the American Dream be dead then? Not only is the chance of moving up in life or moving down equal across the upper and lower incomes, but most people are earning more today than their parents did at their age. Keep in mind, that's inflation adjusted incomes too.

Given the above information, the statistic that 24% of employees in the United States are making minimum-wage is misleading. Most of those people do not stay there. The very fact that people can move in up in the world in the United States proves that the American Dream is not dead, nor destroyed, nor has it disappeared. It is alive and well, and though our country and the world has seen some tough times, it is too soon to announce the end of the American Dream.

No one can deny the welfare state in America is costly. However, using McDonalds as an example of the entire United States economy is not appropriate. 75% of the economy as of 2010 lives and works outside the lowest incomes, based on your own graphic. To draw economy-wide conclusions based off one employer is not wise.

I end my discussion with a discussion of what I believe is the true question in this debate: Is there a role for the United States Government in promoting the American Dream? And I say yes. For the poor, programs like Earned Income Tax Credit provide the right boost to vault them out of poverty, with one study finding “…Only 11 percent of those claiming the EITC in 1990 and in the third decile of income were in the same decile in 2003…” [4]. The same study found that roughly 30% of all individuals who claimed EITC saw upward income mobility in the first, second,and fourth decile as well.[4] It would seem, then that government programs do provide some help to the poor, when it comes to income mobility. Given EITC's success, it is not hard to imagine that there is a chance more government programs are providing much-needed assistance. Furthermore, though we are all individuals in this great nation, what makes us unique in our concern for our fellow Americans and human beings. No country in the world donates more aid to those who need it than America. As such, I think that same spirit should persist within our country as well. What good is a nation if everyone distrusts each other, and no one is willing to assist those in need? The American government therefore has a role to promote an atmosphere of charity, to ensure that we do not forget those who may need our help within our own borders.

I argue, then, that there is a place for the government in promoting the American Dream. It may be costly, but with proper planning and implementation of programs like EITC, the costs to the rest of the country can be mitigated. The American Dream, it seems, is alive and well today. The economic crisis has not delivered the knockout punch, and we should be careful not to underestimate the resilience of the American economy, the American worker, and the American Dream.

If you found Pro's arguments more persuasive, by all means, vote Pro. However, if you found my arguments more persuasive, I would be grateful for your support. Good luck to Pro, and thank you for this intriguing debate!

[1] http://research.stlouisfed.org...[1][id]=CIVPART
[2] http://research.stlouisfed.org...[1][id]=MEHOINUSA672N
[3]http://www.dickmorris.com...
[4]Dowd, Tim and John B. Horowitz. 2011. “Income Mobility and Earned Income Tax Credit: Short-Term Safety Net or Long-Term Income Support.” Public Finance Review 39:619. http://pfr.sagepub.com...;
Debate Round No. 2
No comments have been posted on this debate.
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by iamanatheistandthisiswhy 3 years ago
iamanatheistandthisiswhy
Dunljblaze8Tied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: Con deserves to win this argument due to the debate format, and having a more rational approach to the arguments Pro presented. also Pro has presented points which seem to be sourced and not cited correctly (see:http://www.infowars.com/25-stats-that-prove-that-the-american-dream-is-being-systematically-destroyed/). Regardless though, Cons argument where more logical follow. Spelling and Grammar go to Con as arguments were easy to read, while Pro was more bullet points and not arguments. All in all an interesting read. Conduct and sources are shared.
Vote Placed by bsh1 3 years ago
bsh1
Dunljblaze8Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Good debate. Pro needed to offer a clearer understanding of the American dream. Inasmuch as Con Is able to concede to Pro's statistics but still show that the American Dream (in terms of children being better off than their parents) exists, Con wins. Args to Con. S/g to Con b/c of several typos (e.g. "acceoting") by Pro. Thus, I vote Con.
Vote Placed by Ragnar 3 years ago
Ragnar
Dunljblaze8Tied
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Reasons for voting decision: Con's opening point is very strong, and puts the whole thing into confusion... Without a defined term, nothing can be proven or disproven. "I think it is more important to first define the American Dream. What is the American Dream? Is it to make more money? Is it to work a 9-5 job until retirement? Or is it something more?" With definitions starting in the final round, I will have to just thank the debates, and move on.