The Instigator
Rousseau
Pro (for)
Losing
60 Points
The Contender
tjzimmer
Con (against)
Winning
63 Points

The US should make new funds for the Water For The Poor Act to solve for the African water crisis.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 2,780 times Debate No: 834
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (13)
Votes (41)

 

Rousseau

Pro

300 millions are without water in Sub-Saharan Africa, and the problem is only growing worse. We need to fully fund the Water For The Poor Act in order to solve. It was enacted in 05, but has only been funded 10 million for regions in Africa. It needs 200 milion. Many credible literature authors beleive it can solve, and it solves for:
-Water conflicts
-Disease
-And America's lack of Soft Power.
tjzimmer

Con

I am on the side of the fence where I think that America sends too much money out of our own nation. Why should America be obligated to send that much money for foreign Aid when the rest of the world should be obligated to send money. Do you know how much foreign aid was sent to America when hurricane Katrina hit and we where struggling to aid the recovery? None. Yet we were the first nation to send our red cross and millions of dollars for tsunami relief. We have millions of people in America poor and starving and they need to be taken care of before we can start taking care of the people in Africa. Also, the major problem with Africa is its infrastructure. The countries in Africa do not work together and many tyrants run the governments. What they need is huge highway project that unites all the nations because that will enable the travel of food, medicine, and water to these people. As it stand right now it is impossible to get the people what they need because they don't have the ability to reach them. I will end with why does America have to spear head this project when we have the UN. I hate the UN with all my heart but it is things like this that they should be dealing with not the US. However, remember the last time the UN intervened with American money? Well, let me refresh. They asked for our cash for food for oil project to help the poor and the UN and its leader Kofianan ended up pocketing and spending it on stupid stuff. It is corrupt and the leaders are as well. So Africa has gotten enough help from the US and we just cant afford to send them cash with a War and people starving in our own nation.
Debate Round No. 1
Rousseau

Pro

Alright, I'm just going to separate your comment into a couple points.

-Point 1 - We should take care of our people first.

-Point 2 - Other countries can send aid

-Point 3 - Needs infrastructure

-Point 4 - Too much money

-Point 5 - UN should do this.

Responses

Point 1 - This point basically talked about how the U.S. is suffering and we need to take care of our people first. Well its great that you think that, but what we really must do is look at who needs the help most. Obviously, it is Africa! 300 million without clean water, which is a basic human right, and 317 million without adequate water and sanitation. Thats as much, if not more people than are in our entire country. Now that means that the quantity of suffering over there is higher, but also important is the quality. Water is a BASIC human right, one which probably every human in America has. The suffering in America is paltry in comparison to what's happening in Africa. This leaves the only real response to be that "Our people are more important". Well, maybe in your opinion, but that view is relative. How can we measure who to help first? Definatly not by one person's opinion. We have to measure the quantity and quality of the suffering and compare the two. Obviously Afria is in a bigger plight and they need our help. Not only that, but this plan only needs 190 million more dollars. Whats to say we can't help Africa AND the U.S? Just make Africa a higher priority, because of the previously outlined reasons. Also, just to throw in... the U.S. has a moral and legal responsibility to provide clean water to those in need - Peter Gleick Co-founder of Pacific Life Institute

Just a note, but you had said that foreign aid to help with Katrina was non-existent. I thought that sounded weird, and actually that is untrue. http://www.usatoday.com...
That pretty much destroys your point. Basically, the time will come when interdependence will be high, and we need to show that we can cooperate, and what better way then showing people that we literally do care?

Point 2 - This is true, other countries can send Aid. But there are 2 points that need to be made. First off, WILL other countries send aid? Get some evidence that shows countries send aid and we can talk. But also... will that aid actually help? The Water For The Poor Act specifically targets key areas that need to be addressed in order to solve. Corruption stops aid from working, and thats why the WFTPA (Water for the Poor Act, which i will just call WFTPA) is neccesary. It doesn't deal with the corrupt governments, because a specific mandate of that plan is to see that corrupt governments have no job whatsoever in the plan. Therefore, foreign aid may come, but it won't be effective.

Point 3 - I was not aware of a lack of roads in Sub-Saharan Africa, and I don't think there is one. Get some evidence and we can go from there, but I do have another response. The WFTPA doesn't need roads to solve for lack of clean water, because it cleans the water, and then distributes it. It actually provides distribution systems that wouldn't need roads. If you are talking about the broad term infrastructure please say so, because I have attacks for that as well, I was just a tad unclear.

Point 4 - Since when is 190 million too much money? The fact remains that we can aid Africa with this measly 190 million AND aid ourselves, as it is empirically proven that America solves on its own. Plus we need to do this because it would solve for water conflicts which have the potential to spillover and become tommorow's international wars. Also, we have a lack of soft power that can be solved by this. 2/3 of the plan's advantages specifically impact the U.S. Simply put, the negative impact of enacting the plan is none, while the positive impact is great.

Point 5 - The UN should be doing something, and they are. However the WFTPA is the only thing that can solve, and it solves in part, because of the specific things only the U.S. has. These are: Technology, information, the only country with a WFTPA, the only country with USAID (The organization the WFTPA acts with), and co-ordination. The US is the ONLY actor this plan could work with.

That being said, I think I am winning today's debate because I have extended upon all my arguments, and refuted all my opponents. I look forward to his responses.
tjzimmer

Con

I think that it is outrageous that you would even attempt to say that US has a moral and legal obligation to help these people. If this is the case we should be helping Chinese factory workers, Indonesian children working in sweatshops, or even the starving citizens in Serbia. The fact is that no country is obligated to help the other period. I find it amusing that you say that 190 million "measly" dollars. Yeah thats cool but it increases our national debt, is an insufficient amount to make an impact, and most importantly, its US money leaving the hands of hard working American economy. Furthermore, I know that Africa has a large population but it is impossible to maintain constant work on a project that needs to water that many people! You must realize that tyrants run these governments and money and workers that go there to do good, end up being run out by these leaders. If this would ever succeed the need for troops to protect this project would be needed. Also, if you are familiar with Somalia when the US tried to intervene and bring food to the starving citizens, it was immediately seized by the rebel army and withheld. This is because the US practices such a ceasefire in foreign events. I do have adequate proof that the infrastructure of poor Africa is horrible. I am in the Military and have talked with many Africans that lived there, along with soldiers that have been deployed to the near by places. Specifically, an African immigrant to the US told me that the reason they starve is because they cant get the food to them. Simply put. Also, he noted that the government has close grips on the Red Cross aid being brought. The French and British presence has pulled out and given up on these ideas. You say that US is the only one that can make this work? No crap because we are the only ones that cares to send our money to a lost cause. Since when are we the only nation that is obligated to spend money on others. I know its selfish but people living in my city 35% under the poverty level probably don't think so. I am not about to support aid to Africa that is full of civil wars, genocide, and governmental corruption. I was wrong about the Aid given for Katrina, however it is no comparison to what we dish out. I am just sick of us wasting money on projects that achieve nothing. Why do you think they postponed the project before? or why it isn't a focal point in the current presidential debates? It is because it is too hard of a mission and to contract out this project would cost to much time and money, not to mention the red tape we would run into with all these countries who have spill over ethnic conflicts. You did not win the debate because your points are not valid enough to convince congress, presidents, or the American people from pursuing it fully when it was presented the FIRST time. You have no idea the problems that await in the countries of Africa. This is why no one wants to talk about it because Americans end up being killed when they get involved examples? Somalia, Rwanda, Sudan. Period.
Debate Round No. 2
Rousseau

Pro

Alright, I would first like to make a few distinctions and requests. First off, please don't bring in personal experiences. Granted I'm sure you aren't lieing, but you have conflicting interests in today's debate. Regardless of the pedagogical nature of debate, it is empirically proven that people may fudge on the facts a little bit. Because you have vested intrests in winning todays debate, your "personal experiences" regardless of the truth in them, should hold not weight here. It be much to the same effect as me saying "Africa has no water problem because i lived there I know". Completely ridiculous, but also impossible to attack upon. So therein lies my conundrum. I ask that you do not bring up personal experiences unless they are of non-biased officials, as it puts me at a unfair disadvantage. Furthermore, when I ask for evidence, I would like to get cold hard facts. And lastly, please organize your points. Your writing is very fluent, yet it is hard to follow because it is un-organized. You will find that this will help you if a debate becomes messy.

Moving on to your points. Just to summarize what you said:

Point 1 - US doesn't have moral and legal obligation to help everyone because obviously we don't.
Point 2 - 190 million isn't chump change. It will increase debt.
Point 3 - Corruption, and Aid being inneffective will stop the WFTPA
Subpoint A - African Food Examples
Point 4 - Military protection is needed
Point 5 - Plan has no benefits
Point 6 - Plan would take too much work, didn't work first time
Point 7 - Extended U.S. People suffering point
Point 8 - Ethnic Conflicts

General attacks:
1. First off, throughout this entire debate, you have provided no credible, un-biased, literature. You have made several claims I beleive to be untrue, and when asked to explain, you gave experiences that may or may not be true. If you want to make such claims, get literature. If your claims are true, it shouldn't take more than 5 minutes to find a link that agrees.
2. Food examples aren't water examples. If you want to give examples, thats fine and dandy, but give rlevent ones please! There are several differences between food and water.
1 - Food can be co-opted by ruling elites, water purification facilities cannot.
2 - The situations regarding them are different. Food is a problem stemming from issues that don't even affect water.
3. Most of your points came thru, and I don't mean offense here, ignorance or misunderstanding my points. What this means is that alot of your arguments do not affect today's debate. First off, money is not actually sent to Africa. We go over there and build the neccesary facilities, provide infrastructure (in the broader, non-road, sense of the word), and leave.

Point 1 - Your attack was that the U.S. has no such moral and legal obligation to help people. Will thats correct. Just helping people would be way too broad. However, you apparently didn't read what I stated. I stated that the U.S. has a moral and legal obligation to give clean water to those who need it. Therefore, your attack doesn't apply.

Point 2 - Again, another attack that would apply to many plans, but not the WFTPA. The funding for the WFTPA is thru the Senate Apropriations Committee, as it is foreign aid. The budget for the Senate Apropriations Committee is pre-set. The plan doesn't increase the amount of money being spent, it just takes what is available. The money will inevitably be spent, the question is... where? It is my belief that we should spend it on the WFTPA. I have provided several points supporting it. Moving on.

Point 3 - Corruption Response - I beleive I may have mentioned this earlier, but maybe not. Basically, corruption isn't a factor in the WFTPA. The plan mandates that corrupt governments have no jobs to do in the plan whatsoever. Not only that, but USAID (the actor of the plan) mandates adequate infrastructure and good governance. So therefore any corrupt government would be forced to act in the best interests of its people, in the presense of this plan.
Aid Innefective - First, I ask for a definition of Aid. Now I'm sure whatever definition you find, the WFTPA will fall under it. However, the WFTPA, strictly speaking, isn't really aid. It is aid, in the sense that it aids people, but it isn't aid in the sense that it is actual physical aid. Now, you may misunderstand what I'm getting at, so I'l elaborate. The WFTPA doesn't ever send money to Africa. Basically, our people go over, build the neccesary facilities, provide infrastructure (once again, in the non-roads sense of the word), and get out. The Aid you are talking about being ineffective is money. Well I agree. Just sending money over won't solve. Thats why the WFTPA is so vital.

Point 4 - Why would Africans attack something that is providing them water? Get some evidence please! This point (that military protection is needed) is one that I find ridiculous. Please find some literature.

Point 5 - You say I have no benefits, yet I refute all your points, and you have yet to attack the 3 advantages of Disease, Conflict, and Soft Power. Obviously there are advantages that are reached because the WFTPA is solvent.

Point 6 - First off, let me clarify why the WFTPA "didn't work". It never actually failed. It just wasn't funded. This was because it had the misfortune of being enacted around the time of Iraq and Afghanistan which, at the time, were more important. Therefore, it never failed, it just was never funded. Also, you say that it would need to much work. Oh no! Work! I know its awful, but the benefits speak for themselves. Also worth noting is that we actual get an economic return of 3-34$ for every 1$ invested in water (http://www.voanews.com...). Simply put, this point isn't relevant, and bases off of other, previously negated, points.

Point 7 - You extended the U.S. people suffering point, but you never responded. Basically, people in Africa are suffering in higher quantity and quality. I have provided literature saying that we have obligations to help them, and your response is "I think we should help America first". Also, the question of: "Why can't we help Africa AND America?" went unanswered. Silence is compliance, and therefore you agree that we should help Africa and America. However since today's debate is on Africa, we shant talk about the logistics in helping America

Point 8 - How are ethnic conflicts a barrier that stops the WFTPA from solving. Not only that, but ethnic conflicts have a tendency to be between certain ethnicities. I would love to see evidence saying that our people, if they went over there, would be killed. Otherwise, the point is ridiculous.

Clarification: "You did not win the debate because your points are not valid enough to convince congress, presidents, or the American people from pursuing it fully when it was presented the FIRST time." I wasn't there when it was being presented for the first time, and so therefore I don't get the point. I digress though. Basically, this is again another ignorant attack on the WFTPA. The Water For The Poor Act is made up of several sections, and 500 million was to go to the entire thing. Of that, 200 million was to go to Sub-Saharan Africa. However, due to the broad wording of a specific clause in the act, the money was put towards "water initiatives" in the middle east. That happened because the middle east truely did have a water crisis. However it has been averted, and now the money is guarenteed to go to Africa, where it is needed most.

Reasons I Win:

You first testified that the US isn't the only actor that can solve, yet than said we are the only one doing things, which is a contradiction. I negated the first statement, and the latter is untrue. Just google it. You also never said why roads are a neccesity for water. In addition, I have negated all your points.
tjzimmer

Con

Ethnic Spillovers- Ethnic conflict has plagued inner Africa for years leading to lack of cooperation and unified nations. Research it on your own if you are confused.

Food and Water- These two go hand and hand as far as the aid in Africa is concerned. You need both in order to ensure people are healthy and taken care of. Though this project focuses on water it isn't the "God savior" of the region as you claim it will be.

Africa and America help both- No. Like I previously mentioned I am not willing to spend the money on a project with low success. You talk about the foreign aid being set aside already. This is true but it is always subject to change as well as you are not obligated to spend it all on if you don't have too. It is possible to take of both but it is expensive to do this. Why are we obligated to do this? They are their own until they can prove to us that there is consistent peace and cooperation among these nations. Until then, hope that the UN will not be corrupt enough to take money that could go towards this project.

Water seized by tyrants- I think I already cited evidence of this in Somalia and Rwanda. If you still do not understand research General Adied's role in Somalia and watch the movie "sometime in April" which depicts the horrific events of Rwanda. People starving and dehydrated beyond recognition as the US intervened while others watched. Soldiers where killed and we could do nothing to prevent a civil war from breaking out. The tyrants run the governments, and whatever (water, food, medical supplies) runs through their country.

America helps Africa- We already send millions in AIDs awareness, Red cross medical treatment, dental and hygiene help, and food/water to Africa. The problem is that most of these good intentions are intercepted by the African governments and is not distributed properly to the people. This goes back to the infrastructure specifically A UNIVERSAL, CONTINENT WIDE ROAD SYSTEM THAT UNITES ALL THE COUNTRIES preventing the mission to be achieved. Hope that clears up what I am saying about the problems that prevent food and water from reaching these people, cited by my source earlier.

Other Countries- If the UN isn't about to jump onto this idea, America should especially not try to do this. If a coalition of countries separate from the UN want to pursue this, then I am in support. But, America going alone is what I am against. These problems you claim are global issues, so that is the reason we have the crappy UN to do this. We send enough money and support to the UN so they can take care of these type of specific things. So do not say that America is the only one that can do this because is just foolish.

Evidence- Obviously you have done extensive research on this topic. As far as the claim that I can not use first or second hand accounts in my argument is stupid. How else can I get knowledge of somewhere I have never been without being subject to false statements by the media etc. It is by talking to those who have been there. Challenge my integrity if you will but I will state what I believe to be true, facts cited or not. Furthermore, I do not need research my points because one, I do no have time and two, I do not care enough. This is a debate where I can go on my extensive knowledge of the matter and those voting will respect my points because of my honestly and delivery. So with that said I guess you win because of the fact that you have nice links and other such info supporting your arguments. However, this brain alone has refuted your arguments in a logical sense of what almost every American feels about this problem. I again say that if it was such an issue it would have been dealt with before the Iraq/Afghanistan wars.This excuse is not legit because we could have pursued and denied this proposal pre 2000 (before afghan and iraq). Keep telling yourself you won this debate but the simple fact that you say that America HAS to do this for a country that provides not immediate economic or political benefit, as well as many nations there in shambles, will lose you a lot of support.
Debate Round No. 3
Rousseau

Pro

I'll just make a little reference table to start:

1. - Ethnic Spillovers
2. - Food and Water needed to solve
3. - Funding
A - Can't help America and Africa both
B - They should be on their own until they are peaceful
4. - Corruption
A - Infrastructure
5. - Justify US action

All right, I'm pretty sure that is all the points, or just about all the points, but before going further I think I should address my opinion on evidence. First let me make it clear I was a debater in high school and college. Therefore my views on evidence may be a bit skewed, but hopefully other feel the same way. Secondly, I would like to commend you so far on the debate. I have done extensive research on this topic, and I believe that you have done an admirable job keeping up with a topic that is a little off the main stream. That being said, it is my belief that a first account is not a actual piece of evidence, and should be evaluated within a reasonable framework. While I do not insult your integrity or honesty, I believe that a unbiased source of evidence should be held in higher regard than a first account, namely because the unbiased source has no interests in the outcome of the debate. Hopefully, you took your stance not to play devil's advocate, but rather to promote your views of the WFTPA. This means the obviously, you would like to win this debate, and therefore your views, regardless of how hard you try, may be biased. Thus, actual literature from credible unbiased sources, should in a debate, trump first-person accounts from a debater. The other argument you make is that your logic is evidence. I completely agree. However, when I disagree with your logic, one of the ways to prove your logic is with evidence. That being said, I have disagreed on several points, and asked for clarification, and supporting evidence. I think the clarification has been adequate (with the exception of a view points i may address later), but I argue that your evidence has either been missing, or second-rate. I hope this clarifies what I believe should happen. (Debate points, at least in the competitive circuit, are proven thru going step-by-step in a logical manner, or thru evidence. Evidence is not needed to be explained, because it is an unbiased source)

Point 1 – Ethnic Spillovers

My attack on this wasn't to deny that they are happening. On the contrary, they are. But you must prove that they actually stop the WFTPA from solving. I'll give an example. My computer chair is creaking, however it doesn't stop me from sitting in it. It may be best to stop the creaking, but unless it relates to me sitting in it, then there is no reason for me to stop it. This is important, because unless ethnic conflicts stop the WFTPA from solving, there is no reason to bring them up. Also, I think I should bring up a source. This is from Geoffrey D. Dabelko, the director of Environmental Change and Security Program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars on June 29, 2005. He, and this is paraphrasing, says that water management creates participation that minimizes risks developing over other issues (i.e. ethnic wars) (www.wilsoncenter.org/news/docs/testimonyHR1973.doc). This means that should an ethnic war pop up, the WFTPA could solve. Not only that, but many ethnic conflicts have roots in water. A great example is the Darfur genocide. I think the link will suffice: http://www.cfr.org...

Point 2 – First off, I'd like to clarify a little. This debate is about how to solve for the Water crisis, this attack only says that the WFTPA cannot solve for all problems in Africa. I'll go ahead and try to logically respond to it. Now I don't have the actual figures, but I would wager that a great many people lose work hours to work farms or their jobs, due to being sick. Disease is solved by the WFTPA, and therefore, indirectly of course, the food problems are solved by the WFTPA. Now this may be wrong, but I'm just guessing at what the cause is of Food problems in Africa. If they aren't due to lack of production, than obviously this point is moot, however the WFTPA still solves for the water problems.

Point 3 – This point (funding) is probably the most significant argument in the debate. You've put the most time into it, and if you were correct, would be a major proponent that stops the WFTPA from solving. Your first point in this basically says that you wouldn't be willing to fund this, and therefore nobody else will. Two responses. First off, the funding is taken from a pool of money, and therefore not paying taxes on this, would mean stopping foreign aid. Basically, the way this works is there is a set amount of money, and taxes get it by the end of the year. Also by the end of the year, it is all spent (or generally is all spent). I have no idea where it goes if it isn't spent, but if it isn't spent, then why not on this plan? You actually admit that we could fund projects in Africa and the US, but that it would be expensive. Well I hardly think w can put a price on lives, and I also think that if a price doesn't hurt us economically, then it isn't too much to ask for. I believe if America can do something, it should. It all goes back to America's moral obligation to help those without basic rights (clean water for instance) achieve them. As for the Subpoint B, the plan stops wars, and so therefore would help that. I think it is empirically proven that they cannot stop all wars unless they solve for corruption on their own, which is highly unlikely.

Point 4 – As I have stated before, corruption holds no real barrier to the WFTPA. The WFTPA basically doesn't use governments in SSA at the least. It uses local level efforts and builds the necessary facilities. The WFTPA goes in, builds, provides infrastructure (non-road kind), and gets out. Nowhere does it deal at all with governments. Also from Mary Shirley, president of the Ronald Coase Institute, water is essential to life, and therefore governments will not co-opt things that provide it. Governments need clean water because without it, people die, and therefore they have no one to govern. Responding to the Infrastructure point, I still do not see how lack of roads impedes upon irrigation systems distributing out the water. These irrigation systems do not use roads; they just spread the water out among communities. Roads may be needed for food delivery, but water is a whole other ballgame.

Point 5 - Basically this point argues that the U.S. should not be the actor in the WFTPA. Well this is a moot point, because of several things. First and foremost, no other programs have solved. This is evident by the suffering of people in Africa today. This means that only the WFTPA can solve (as reasons I listed throughout the debate). Now, to my knowledge, no other country has the WFTPA or the things it needs to work (such as: USAID, technological know-how, etc etc). This means that the US is the ONLY country that could possibly solve for the problem, and thus makes it instrumental. However, you could say that this doesn't mean that the U.S. should work alone. Now it is important to note that the U.S. shouldn't neccesarily work alone. However, I will prove that the U.S. is the only one who would want to work on this, specifically because of the advantage specifically relating to America, that is Soft Power. Why would another country want to help us solve for our lack of Soft Power? Because this is a distinct advantage, not many other countries would be willing to help. However, there may still be a few others who would want to help, but the real question is: Are they able to help and contribute significantly? Why would we want to share the credit when we can adequately solve on our own? There is no reason.

For these and other reasons, I urge a Pro vote today. Not only that, but I have provided preferential evidence, which I have proved is better than his arguments.
tjzimmer

Con

I will keep this short and to the point. First, you have done a good job as well and it seems to me that you may have written a paper on this issue. You have a ton of sources as well as other well planned ideas. However, I have not had any personal research or knowledge that hasn't been produced from my own brain prior to this debate. I have come up with all my arguments on a whim. I feel this has merit. I am not out to win this debate, actually I am out to simply broaden my horizon from a different view point. The only way to fully understand an issue is to hear both sides, which many people do not do these days. I hate the UN and do hold bias views. We all do and without them it makes a debate dry. With that being said if you access this debate in the "proper" context of a debate, you win. But logic isn't robotic and I lean away from many specifically cited facts in debates because I judge the merit of the person writing the facts before I can really believe what they are saying. I simply do not have the time or will to scrutinize the internet for these. Hope that kind of makes sense. I am not a heartless individual and I do care about people that are suffering. But, as Americans we do give a lot of aid to other nations sometime overlooking the problems that plague the inner cities of our nation. We can not help everybody and why does Africa deserve it more than say children in Indonesia? If it is because of population isn't that bias in the sense that it isn't Indonesia's fault they are small because they are suffering in the same ways. Again you must remember the benefits our government would not make from this project other than a warm feeling of helping others. I would love to help others, but the truth is that it is expensive and the international community has come to expect it from us. Much of our good deeds go upraised because many nations hate what we have: freedom, wealth, and prosperity. I feel that Africa is bad news waiting to happen. Looking at the big picture I feel like just being over there is a stepping stone to more violence and death. Our presence alone angers the tyrants. I know you talked about the people dying so there is nobody to rule. These tyrants do not care about these people. They are selfish, heartless individuals. This is why there hasn't been any success with anything good we have tried to promote there in the past. Furthermore, I would like to talk about the state of American foreign policy. All we have now is terrorism on our minds. Caring about the well being of others is that last thing on our mind. Our money and energy is focused on Americans, where it should be and hasn't been in the past. We are involved in two Wars and possibly on the verge of another. Nuclear war is more pressing than water to Africa. Foreign Aid isn't fixed either. It can be changed to suit the needs. I bet we already send a substantial amount to Africa and 190 million is a pretty large increase. Take this all in to account when you think of this project. Sure it would be nice to help these suffering people, but remember the costs of not just now but in the future. I am a realist and the line needs to be drawn about helping other nations. If a nation would like to practice peace instead of ruthless, power hungry dictatorships, I will gladly support them. Until a civil war claims a government like this in Africa there is no hope for Reform that would aid the creation of this water project. I apologize that I haven't laid a nice ground work point by point. When voting on this issue vote with your opinion or what side gave the most logical view points. I would like to note that I never was on any debate team of any kind and I just enjoy hearing and voicing my opinion. Just remember that the more America does to help other people in foreign lands there is less being done at home. There are many domestic issues that are in dire need of our attention. And as Americans it is our job to take care of our own people first and foremost. Our money, passionate ingenuity, and determination for change should be spearheaded into the heart of America. Not into the heart of Africa.
Debate Round No. 4
Rousseau

Pro

First off, I would like to say something thats not particularly relevant to the debate, but I feel I should mention all the same. I want to commend you on the way you are approaching debate. You are 100% correct in saying that it is educational only, and people lose sight of that. On another note, I haven't ever written a paper on this subject, but I have done a fair share of research. I think that you have done a very good job in keeping with the arguments.

Oh and as for the unstructuredness of this last post, I'll just assume that its a rebuttal, which needs no structure :)

Anyway, I'll again make a little refrence to the points you made.

Point 1 - Suffering People
Subpoint A - Other people suffering in other countries
Subpoint B - People in our country
Point 2 - Lack of benefits
Point 3 - Disadvantages to the Plan
Subpoint A - US presense not accepted
Subpoint B - Zero Sum Spending Disadvantage
Point 4 - Spending

I'll try to be as brief as I can while still covering the points.

Point 1 - Basically tjzimmer asked two things: Why Africa? and Why not help the US instead? Well as to the first one, this debate is over the implementation of a mechanism to solve for water problems. To my knowledge, Africa has the biggest shortage of clean water in the world, at 300 million. I'm not sure what his pre-emptive attack on population was, but if I understand correctly, here is my response. When judging the lives of foreigners, outside your country, you should start them off on the same level. This is the most fair. Say there were 2 countries, one with 300 million suffering (Country A), and another with 10 million suffering (Country B). Regardless of the suffering people per non-suffering people, I think the decision is clear that Country A must be helped first. This is a direct parallel to Africa. It has the most suffering, and the most dieing, and is getting worse. I also think that nothing concrete was ever offered against my question of "why can't we help both?" I agree, this would be expensive, but the U.S. has a moral duty to help people attain basic human rights (clean water for instance). I think that you can't possibly put a price on human lives, and it only is arguable to not do this, if it pushes us over the edge economically. While I'm not an expert on economics by any means, I do not think 190 million will.

Point 2 – I'm confused on this, and I hope he can elaborate some more,, but I'll respond to the question as how I understand it. I take it to mean that he says that the WFTPA has no advantages for the U.S. However this is untrue. I listed 3 advantages: Disease, Conflict, and Soft Power. Now obviously Disease only really helps Africa, but conflicts in Africa could spillover into international war. (http://www.globalpolicy.org...) Obviously to prevent them now would be advantageous. The second thing it helps with is America's lack of Soft Power. This is important because our soft power is waning, and America's global status is contingent upon its image.

Point 3 – There were two disadvantages to the plan, according to tjzimmer. They were, US presence not tolerated (presumably leading to conflict and death of our people in the region), and a Zero Sum Spending Disadvantage. On the first one: I hate to be a evidence Nazi, but I disagree that our presence wouldn't be tolerated. I can't find anything to suggest that we wouldn't be tolerated, and if there were something out there I would love to see it. On the second one: This basically assumes that American help is zero sum, or a certain amount and cannot exceed that amount ever. So if it was zero sum and we helped Africa, help to American citizens would go down. However, I don't think that's true. I think we can effectively help our citizens and Africa's denizens effectively and efficiently.

I think this debate really comes down to who our help should be prioritized to. I think that its impossible to gauge the lives of our people over the lives of people in another country, and therefore, we need to look at the quality and quantity of the suffering. The suffering of Africa is higher in both of these regards and therefore should have the most attention and the highest priority of U.S. Foreign Aid. However U.S. Foreign Aid in now way trades off with U.S. Domestic Aid. I think that regardless of the expense, we should help as many people as possible, as long as it doesn't result in economic stagnation. Overall a good debate, and I hope people take the time to weigh the arguments.
tjzimmer

Con

I feel I have said enough on this topic already and am not in the mood to reiterate my arguments. On this Christmas Eve remember what you are thankful for. Cherish the moments with your family and friends. Life is short live it to the fullest with no regrets. I am thankful for being an American. God bless those overseas protecting our rights to even be able to debate freely with one another. Thank God for liberty and freedom.
Debate Round No. 5
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by NietzSHE 9 years ago
NietzSHE
This was meant as a policy debate, and I'm voting as a policy debate. I vote Pro.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
I'm just guessing that alot of policy debaters are coming to this debate and voting on what they think of the Paul Simon Water For The Poor Act, because this debate has swung every which way for awhile now.
Posted by AndrewNietzsche 9 years ago
AndrewNietzsche
tjzimmer has done a very good job keeping up with someone who seems to be (or a former) policy debater. That said, I think judging from a policy view, Rousseau wins. Judging from a debate view, it is much closer. I think that had this been longer, tjzimmer may have won, but Rousseau wins based off of Rebuttals.
Posted by Thoreau 9 years ago
Thoreau
What's wrong with that, Skanarchy? Atleast where I live, tournaments took a break over Christmas, and so debating the topic is a good way to keep the ideas fresh in your mind.

Tjzimmer, you did an excellent job, especially after starting out from a less-informed position. You argued your points logically. The only thing I have against you is that you didn't really read evidence (which I know you explained, but it makes you seem alot more credible). It doesn't take all that long to find evidence, if you know what to search for.

Rousseau, you too did an excellent job, and I believe you won this debate. Your arguments were well-presented and backed up with agreeing evidence. My criticism to you is that you need to explain your arguments more clearly. They made sense, but I have been researching the policy topic and so knew what you were talking about. Try to explain them better to an e-layman.
Posted by Skanarchy 9 years ago
Skanarchy
Way to straight up debate what high school policy debate is this year.
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
Sure, although I would prefer if you started the debate tommorow, as I'm going to bed in a tad. What exact topic did you have in mind?
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
Rosseau, want to debate Iran war?
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
Think of it as a challenge to be concise. lol
Posted by Rousseau 9 years ago
Rousseau
yeah, well I think for the non-amateur writers (hopefully me, but it depends what you mean by amateur writers lol) it is a nuisance. I made a debate on it though, so hopefully my opinion will make something happen.
Posted by 08tsuchiyar 9 years ago
08tsuchiyar
I think it keeps the amateur writing down so it's sorta good. lol
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