The Instigator
Zealous1
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
THEBOMB
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points

The United States Federal Government should Significantly Reform its Policy Towards Russia

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/25/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 941 times Debate No: 15585
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (2)
Votes (2)

 

Zealous1

Pro

I would like to affirm this position by presenting some facts, presenting a plan, and showing the advantages of said plan. The rules will be like policy.

Rules:

1. No semantics.

2. Forfeit = loss of all 7 points

3. No counterplans, please.

4. This is extremely mandatory. Have fun! :D

Facts

Definition

1. USAID is an acronym for the United States Agency for International Development

Orphans

1. Russia has 700,000 orphans.

Russia has more orphans now, 700,000, than at the end of World War II, when an estimated 25 million Soviet citizens were killed.
(1)


2. Conditions are terrible for Russian orphans

Russia has over 700,000 orphans with only about 25% of them housed. By age 15 or 16 a Russian orphan will age-out of the orphanage system. They are sent back into the streets with about $30 and nothing else. Of course, due to poor conditions in the orphanages many of these kids run away long before they age out. More than half of these kids end up in jail or prostitution. A Russian orphan will have his passport stamped 'Orphan'. People do not want to hire orphans and do not want them marrying their children. They are considered outcasts. Only one out of 10 orphans will make it to their 21st birthday. (2)

This fact means that 630,000 Russian orphans will die before the age of 21.

3. Russia isn't doing a good job working on this problem.

In recent years, the Russian government has repeatedly pledged to bolster efforts to help families stay together, to increase the number of children who are adopted and to expand foster care. But it has not had notable success. (1)


HIV/AIDS


1. Russia has a problem with HIV/AIDS


Russia has one of the world’s most serious epidemics of injection drug-use, according to the World Health Organization and UNAIDS. It is estimated that Russia has two million injecting drug users, 60-70% of whom have HIV-related illnesses. In the past decade, the number of HIV-infected people has increased from an estimated 100,000 to over one million. (3)

2. Russia isn't addressing the core issue about HIV/AIDS

The Russian authorities have come under strong, widespread criticism for their policies aimed at dealing with the IDU/HIV epidemic. Education to control drug abuse has focused primarily on the promotion of drug abstinence. In addition, officials have relied on criminalization as the main deterrent. That approach has created obstacles to effective addiction treatment and HIV prevention. (3)

Foreign Aid is about to be cut

This new pressure point on the foreign aid budget comes as the administration is trying to reform the US development agency. To implement those reforms will need investment, not turning off the spigot. If a group of more conservative Republicans get their way, they will eliminate federal funding for the US Agency for International Development (USAID). (4)

Plan

Mandate 1. The US will supply one billion per year to USAID to be used for aid to Russia

Funding: Ethanol Subsidies

Enforcement: GAO

Advantages

1. Humanization

USAID's Assistance to Russian Orphans program has reached over 80,000 vulnerable children in Russia, reuniting more than 12,000 with families (5)

In 2008, 80,000 russian orphans were helped with about 70 million dollars. By increasing Foreign Aid, we would be able to save even more lives.

2. HIV/AIDS Combated

USAID's HIV/AIDS program focuses on reducing the rapid growth of the epidemic in Russia by increasing access to best practices in HIV prevention, care and treatment. USAID projects are raising awareness about and helping prevent transmission of the disease among at-risk populations, especially injecting drug users and vulnerable youth. (6)

3. National Security

We can never forget that in meeting Congress’ first priority – keeping America safe – there is no better value than the one percent of the U.S. budget that is spent on foreign aid and diplomacy.

A poll commissioned in 2010 by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition concluded, “nearly 90 percent of active duty and retired military officers agree the tools of diplomacy and development are critical to achieving U.S. national security objectives and a strong military alone is not enough to protect America.” (7)

So, why vote for my position? For National Security, and to save thousands of lives. By voting on my side, you would save thousands of lives from HIV/AIDS, and thousands of orphans from life-eating poverty, while at the same time increasing our security.

Thank you, and I eagerly await my opponent’s response.



Sources:

(1) http://www.nytimes.com............

(2) http://goarticles.com............

(3) http://www.thewip.net............

(4) http://www.guardian.co.uk............

(5) http://russia.usaid.gov............

(6) http://russia.usaid.gov............

(7) http://www.algemeiner.com............


THEBOMB

Con

I would like to thank my opponent for this debate and I will begin.

Orphans and homelessness:
Ok it is sad that Russia has so many homeless orphans. But, the United States has more. In the United States there were 1.5 million homeless children in the United States. This is more than double the number that you presented. It is imperative that the United States help those who need help in our country rather than other countries. Remember as you stated, the Government has a responsibility to protect the United States, but, from foreign and domestic threats. Homelessness is one of these domestic threats. (4)

HIV and AIDS:
With your numbers there are about 1.4 million people in Russia that have HIV/AIDS. You have also stated that much of the HIV/AIDS has come from drug injection. A person infected uses a needle then another person uses the same needle and is infected by HIV/AIDs. So what you are proposing is to end education into drug prevention. This will mean the number of people infected with HIV/AIDS will increase. With these numbers officials know they can not completely end drug addiction, even with education about what drugs do, so they have programs to give clean needles to drug addicts in an attempt to slow the passage of HIV to other people who do not have the disease.

Foreign Aid being cut:
The United States needs to get the economy "back on track" and hopefully begin to eliminate the budget deficit to do this the United States needs money. One place to get money is from the foreign aid budget.

Now onto your plan:

First of all, his plan would cut, if I am correct, the funding to Ethanol Fuel program. But, what reason for the Ethanol Program seeing as it has advantages such as it is a renewable fuel. Using ethanol as a motor fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 46%. Using just 10% ethanol in your gas tank reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 19%. Ethanol does not pollute ground water, because of it's chemical structure ethanol phase separates when coming in contact with ground water. Also, Ethanol is cheaper. It costs only 75 cents a gallon to refine Ethanol fuel. Meanwhile it can cost up to $1.60 to refine oil. Ethanol supports local farmers as well, for obvious reasons. Ethanol is easy to switch to, it is relatively easy to use today's technologies to blend ethanol into gasoline from E10 to E85 even. Also, other countries such as Brazil, who do not have the resources the United States have, had tremendous success with Ethanol fuel. (1)

Now onto your plan.

Giving a billion dollars a year to Russia is not a good idea. First of all, Russia is an extremely corrupt country the 15th annual Transparency International report on corruption perceptions around the world, ranking nations from least to most corrupt. Russia slid from 146th place to 154th, out of 178 countries. Russia is also the most corrupt of the G-20 nations. Nearly 80% of Russians believe that corruption is a major problem and 71% believe the Russian Governments promises to end corruption is nothing more than "window dressing". It was calculated that in 2005 corruption amounted to 316 billion dollars and this number has only grown since then. This means that putting more money into Russia will only be adding to the corrupt bureaucracy the Russian government is. People who have tried to expose this corruption have been subject to assault and in some cases murder. The government has not been efficient in prosecuting these cases showing they do not want to end corruption. This means that putting more money into a place that is corrupt will not help matters. (3,5)

Now to you advantages

1. Humanization:
The United States needs to help its own people before it reaches out to people of other countries. How is the United States government being responsible when it helps foreign countries before its own.

2. HIV/AIDS combated
To combat HIV and AIDs you need to get rid of the root causes, one of the root causes is drugs. The Russians already educate about drugs therefore, why should more money be put in this program.

3. National Security
There is no evidence which says that not increasing the foreign funding to Russia will make the United States unsafe. Congress has to keep the United States safe from foreign and domestic threats Russia is not a foreign threat, in todays world. They do not want to attack the United States. But, there are many domestic problems that need to be solved before going over seas and solving other problems.

Thank you.

Sources:
1. http://www.biodieselinvesting.com...

2.http://web.worldbank.org...

3. http://www.washingtonpost.com...

4. http://cflhomeless.wordpress.com...

5. http://www.reuters.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Zealous1

Pro

Thank you for accepting and responding.

In this round, I’ll clear up some misunderstandings about my plan, some logical fallacies, and deal with the ethanol subsidies argument.

In the United States there were 1.5 million homeless children in the United States. This is more than double the number that you presented. It is imperative that the United States help those who need help in our country rather than other countries.

I whole heartedly agree with Con that this is important. In fact, even MORE important than the US. But! That has nothing to do with my plan. As you know, my funding was Ethanol Subsidies. If my funding was “Money for US orphans”, then there would be a problem because I’m taking money away from the US orphans. But no, I’m not doing anything derogatory to that effect.

In the SQ, certain measures are being taken to help the US orphans. With my plan, those measures are still there the same amount. This argument is a logical fallacy, namely false dilemma. Con is trying to make you vote against my plan when this point doesn’t even apply.

HIV and AIDS

This point is a misunderstanding about my plan. I am not cutting Russia’s efforts to work on HIV/AIDS, even though they mostly fail. I know that it is helpful to teach people drug abstinence as well. This plan is merely giving USAID money so they can work on some problems, including HIV/AIDS. I’m not ending drug prevention. In fact, I’m encouraging that and other effective ways of working on the problem. This is also a false dilemma fallacy.

Foreign Aid being cut:
The United States needs to get the economy "back on track" and hopefully begin to eliminate the budget deficit to do this the United States needs money. One place to get money is from the foreign aid budget.

Again, I agree this is important. But this is, again, a false dilemma. With my plan, foreign aid will still be cut. The evidence from Samuel Worthington talking about foreign aid being cut still stands because Foreign Aid will STILL be cut, even with this plan. So there’s no extra debt there.

The only difference is that we’re sending a billion to Russia in aid with this plan. So my opponent’s argument is more like “We shouldn’t create extra debt”. I agree we shouldn’t create extra debt. My plan ISN’T creating debt. You see, in the Status Quo, 1 billion goes to ethanol subsidies. With this plan it’s beingdiverted to USAID. We won’t be spending any extra money.

Thus this debt argument is a fallacy and doesn’t apply.

The only real argument in the last round was the ethanol subsidies one. Con provided evidence hailing ethanol subsidies as the next greatest thing after sliced bread. But…

1: Biased source. This source is ABOUT ethanol. Of course it’s going to be praising ethanol.

2: This plan is not cutting all funding to ethanol, just 1/7 of it.

3: I have my own source that disproves each of these points. This is the main response.

Environment --Using ethanol as a motor fuel reduces greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 46%. Using just 10% ethanol in your gas tank reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 19%.

Corn-based ethanol, the kind produced in the United States, saves little if any carbon and produces little if any net gain in energy compared with petroleum. Even the most optimistic studies give corn ethanol only a tiny advantage over petroleum, nowhere near large enough to justify the scale of current subsidies. (1)

Economy--Also, Ethanol is cheaper. It costs only 75 cents a gallon to refine Ethanol fuel. Meanwhile it can cost up to $1.60 to refine oil. Ethanol supports local farmers as well, for obvious reasons.--

First consider opportunity costs. Economists use this term to mean the full costs of goods and services, taking into account all opportunities sacrificed to produce and use them. The opportunity costs of petroleum, ethanol, and other transportation fuels include costs of production, most of which are reflected in market prices, plus other costs, which are not. The effects of pollution, including both climate impacts and harm to local air quality, are one reason that opportunity costs exceed market prices. National security risks arising from dependence on foreign energy suppliers are a further important opportunity cost. The ostensible purpose of ethanol policy is to offset these costs by encouraging substitution of low-carbon domestic fuel for high-carbon foreign fuel, but in reality, the policy makes the situation worse, not better……the costs of U.S. ethanol policy exceeded its benefits by more than $3 billion per year. Letting ethanol subsidies and tariffs expire as scheduled would have been a fine holiday gift for the U.S. economy. (1)

Ouch, that means that we’re losing 3 billion each year because of ethanol. That’s bad for our economy, not GOOD.

2: Regarding the “supporting farmer” issue:

Farmers can make corn for other purposes. It’s not like corn is only useful as ethanol. Ethanol causes inflation because it means less corn is being used as it should be and instead is being used for ethanol. That means when you buy something with corn in it, it’s expensive because of ethanol.

Also, other countries such as Brazil

The article goes on to say why Brazil is successful.

In the case of ethanol, comparative advantage belongs, hands down, to sugarcane-based ethanol from Brazil. The net energy yield from sugarcane-based Brazilian ethanol is about 8:1, compared to barely more than, or perhaps less than, 1:1 for the U.S. corn-based product. Unfortunately, Brazilian ethanol is saddled with a prohibitive $.54 per gallon tariff, just renewed. The result is an enormous loss of potential gains from trade in the form of a cleaner environment and lower consumer costs--gains that far outweigh the added profits of U.S. corn farmers and ethanol distillers. (1)

In other words, it’s only successful because their ethanol is better.

Let’s move on to a misunderstanding of our case concerning corruption in Russia.

Corruption in Russia

I agree that Russia has a very corrupt system and wastes money a lot. In fact, that’s WHY we need this plan! You see, Con is basing this argument on the misunderstanding that we’re giving this money to USAID who will give it to Russia. No, instead, USAID administers the money themselves. We don’t have to worry about Russia’s government misspending the money if they don’t even handle it! This argument falls apart.

Moving on to my advantages.

1. Humanization:

Cross-apply what I said above. This argument is a false dilemma fallacy.

2. HIV/AIDS combated

Ah, I get what my opponent is saying. Con is trying to say that we don’t need to help work on the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I have several responses.

1: The 1 billion my plan is sending goes to a lot more than just HIV/AIDS. EVEN IF Con was right about this (which he is not), it wouldn’t be enough reason to vote against me.

2: Con ignored my inherency evidence stating that Russia’s work on HIV/AIDS has failed. Cross-Apply that. Evidence trumps his illogical argument.

3. National Security

Misunderstanding again. My inherency evidence stated that cutting foreign aid will make the US unsafe. Thus, by sending 1 billion to Russia at no debt to us, we’re reversing this partway in respect to Russia. My evidence proves my point. Secondly, Con provided no counter evidence. He has the burden of rebuttal. He must prove the opposite.

there are many domestic problems that need to be solved

Again, I agree. But this plan isn’t hurting our work on those problems. Instead, it’s making us more fiscally responsible.

Thank you. My opponent has provided no reason to vote Con. Thus please vote Pro.

(1): http://oilprice.com...


THEBOMB

Con

Thank you for your arguments.

First of all, humanization, you misunderstood what I said. I am saying instead of taking money from one place and giving it to Russia the United States should instead take this money and support United States institutions which help the homeless and orphaned in the United States. We have to help our country before the United States can help other countries.

Second, what I said was that instead of taking the billion and giving it to Russia the United States should use the money for economical aspects of the United States. So what I am saying is that stop spending the billion dollars all together instead of giving it to Russia.

Third, you stated that Ethanol can be successful if sugar-based ethanol is used. The United States could begin researching sugar-based ethanol instead of corn this could mean the United States would become as technologically advanced in regard to ethanol as Brazil.

Fourth, corruption in Russia. You state that USAID administers the money them selves but according to the USAID itself, "Most programs take place in "the regions" -- outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg -- and are implemented by local governments and non-governmental organizations..USAID does finance some critically important technical cooperation with the Government of the Russian Federation" (USAID). This means that the government IS involved which means corruption IS involved.

1. Humanization
The United States Federal Government has a responsibility to protect its OWN citizens from domestic problems including homelessness. The government has to put its citizens above the citizens of another country. "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution". The Federal Government must help its own people above people of other countries.

2. Economy
The United States needs to use the billion dollars in the United States where it is needed. With this plan the United States will not be spending any extra money but, the money that is being sent to Russia could be used in the United States.

3. Ethanol
You state that since corn based Ethanol is not as effective as Sugar based Ethanol that Brazil uses. Could the United States not start researching sugar based ethanol which is more effective? Brazil is technologically advanced in terms of ethanol what stops the United States from being as advanced.

4. Corruption
Corruption is widespread in Russia and you say that USAID operates without the Russian government but, according to USAID itself, "Most programs take place in "the regions" -- outside of Moscow and St. Petersburg -- and are implemented by local governments and non-governmental organizations...USAID does finance some critically important technical cooperation with the Government of the Russian Federation". USAID operates with the Russian govrenmnet and the Russian government is corrupt so therefore, the Russian government's corruption is furthered by USAID actions.
5. National Security
Sending 1 billion dollars instead of 70 million dollars a year does not make us any more safe from the Russian Federation or the rest of the world and you have not proved this. And you just stated that it does not impede our abilities to solve our domestic problems but, the billion dollars could be used instead to help solve the United States domestic problems.
Debate Round No. 2
Zealous1

Pro

Thank you for promptly responding.

All except one of Con's arguments are based on a misunderstanding of this debate. I will be able to explain this as well as possible, then take out pretty much all of his arguments by cross-applying it.

So what's the misunderstanding? "US should instead take this money and support United States institutions which help the homeless and orphaned in the United States"

Whether this statement is true or not does not matter. The reason is because this is NOT what the status quo is doing. Con must advocate for the Status Quo, not what he wishes the Status Quo could be. You see, Con is proposing a counter-priority. In other words, something he believes is more important.

This would be a valid argument if he had a counterplan to enact these counter-priorities of helping our economy, developing sugar-based ethanol, and helping our orphans. IF. But he doesn't have a counterplan. Nor is he allowed to make one, as stated by rule 3 which he has agreed to be accepting this debate.

Because of this, these arguments fall apart. Argument 1, 2, 3, and part of 5 crumble. They are merely a statement of what Con wishes the Status Quo was. But there are only two choices. The Status Quo, or the plan. Not the perfect Status Quo, the Status Quo, and the plan.

I'll use an analogy to further explain this.

Let's say my plan was to move a chair to room B from room A. Con comes up and says that it's more important to move it to room C. Well, let's say this is true. That the chair SHOULD be moved to room C. The problem is, that's just a counterpriority by Con.

He must have a plan of action called a counterplan. Use a pulley to do this etc. and finally roll it to room C. But since he doesn't have a counterplan, he can't argue this.
In essence, Con has provided no reason to vote against moving it to room B. He has only provided reason for why moving it to room B might not be as good as moving it to room C.

This ties back into this debate. Con is proposing that "moving the chair to room C", or helping our own orphans and working on our problems, is better than "moving the chair to room B". Whether or not he's right is irrelevant. He must provide a counterplan for this claim to be relevant, but he does not have a counterplan and he may not produce one for two reasons. 1, because flatly rule 3 does not allow him to do so. 2, because providing a counterplan so late in a round is wrong.

I hope that made sense.

So basically whether or not we should help our own orphans right now is irrelevant because that isn't a choice. Using this money for our own economy, whether or not it is right, is irrelevant because that isn't a choice. Whether or not we should use this money to create sugar-based ethanol is irrelevant because that is not a choice.


Corruption, the only argument standing

1: My opponent supposedly quoted USAID saying that they work with the government. Con needs to provide the URL so I can examine this. If he doesn't I have no idea whether it's a fake quote or not.

2: Whether it's fake or not is still irrelevant. The reason is that "USAID does finance some critically important technical cooperation with the Government of the Russian Federation"

That doesn't mean they're giving the Russian Government the money. It merely means that USAID cooperates with the government. My opponent must provide evidence with the URL that specifically states that USAID gives the Russian government money.

3: Since there is no URL, we have no idea the date. This might have changed a long time ago.

4: It mostly works through NGO's.

5: Let's say in the small chance that Con is right that USAID actually gives the Russian government money (which he has to prove). USAID will be watching where the money went and making sure it isn't wasted.

6: Even in the unlikely circumstance the money isn't watched, there's no guarantee the Russian government will even misspend the money.

7: We've gone far with these "even ifs". I have another one. Let's say the near impossible happens and this money does get misspent by the Russian government, that's fine! Uhuh. You see, ethanol subsidies are so bad and they cause inflation, so throwing this 1 billion off a cliff would actually be more fiscally responsible than still funding ethanol subsidies.

In other words, this argument crumbles. Most of this money will be spent very wisely. In the unlikely event that some is actually misspent, that's fine. It's better to save a few Russian lives and increase our Nat. Security than to just waste it on ethanol subsidies.


5. The National Security argument.


"Sending 1 billion dollars instead of 70 million dollars a year does not make us any more safe from the Russian Federation or the rest of the world and you have not proved this. "

Is my opponent going to continue ignoring my solid evidence saying that yes it WILL!? It's also logical. USAID does such projects such as CTR, which works on reducing loose nukes which are a great danger to us and such. USAID trains the Russians on how to handle nuclear material to keep everyone safe so that in the end the nukes can't be proliferated.
USAID's ability to do this will be increased with a less tight budget. Of course it'll help our national security. My opponent STILL has not proven otherwise. I am the only one with evidence about this so far.


In conclusion, the only two arguments are corruption (very tiny argument, extremely insignificant), and national security. The national security argument doesn't really matter, anyways. There are still the two advantages of lives saved. I've rebutted the only two valid arguments. Con has provided no reason to vote Con.
Are you wondering why you would want the US to spend money on this plan? It's because of national security. There's no extra debt. In an age when money is of such essence to the US since we're trillions in debt, this plan helps us be more fiscally responsible. Would you rather pay taxes for ethanol subsidies, knowing that they're making whatever corn products you buy more expensive? No, of course not. You want to pay taxes for something that's keeping you safe and saving thousands of lives.

Obviously Pro > Status Quo. Thank you, please vote Pro. Look below for dropped arguments.

--Dropped or conceded arguments by Con--

HIV/AIDS

Ethanol: Con conceded it's bad.


Con conceded that ethanol is bad. Thus he's conceding it's better to spend this money on something else. He's practically agreeing that you should vote Pro! Again, thank you.
THEBOMB

Con

THEBOMB forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
Zealous1

Pro

My opponent forfeited. That means he agrees with everything I've said so far. Because of this I urge you to vote Pro.

Also, remember my second rule: "Forfeit = loss of all 7 points". Because of the rule that Con agreed to, I urge you to give me all 7 points.

Thank you.
THEBOMB

Con

THEBOMB forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by Zealous1 5 years ago
Zealous1
I knew you wouldn't like that :D
Posted by CiRrK 5 years ago
CiRrK
WHAT NO COUNTER-PLANS!! WITcH WITCH!! :D
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by boredinclass 5 years ago
boredinclass
Zealous1THEBOMBTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: forfeit
Vote Placed by BangBang-Coconut 5 years ago
BangBang-Coconut
Zealous1THEBOMBTied
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Total points awarded:70 
Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit