The Instigator
Carpet4Christmas
Pro (for)
Winning
27 Points
The Contender
clsmooth
Con (against)
Losing
16 Points

The United States Federal Government should modify Public Law 480.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/12/2007 Category: Politics
Updated: 9 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,260 times Debate No: 342
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (15)

 

Carpet4Christmas

Pro

The restriction on PL 480 that requires that 3/4 of all food aid purchased must come from US sources, should be removed, in its place the United States Federal Government should purchase food aid locally. This would benefit poor agrarian nations by providing agricultural jobs, and breaking cycles of famine.

"A dynamic 'agriculture for growth' agenda can benefit the estimated 900 million rural people in the developing world who live on less than a dollar a day, most of whom are engaged in agriculture." -Robert Zoellick (World Bank President)
clsmooth

Con

You assert that the U.S. government should repeal PL 480 AND IN ITS PLACE, purchase locally grown food for aid purposes. I will agree that the U.S. should repeal PL 480, but only along with all foreign aid to all nations.

The primary reason is that all such foreign aid is unconstitutional. The Constitution exists to limit the government's power and to defend its citizens against tyranny. Only things specifically authorized or mandated in the Constitution are acceptable activities for the federal government to engage in. There is no such authority for the federal government to give foreign aid.

Secondly, foreign aid is immoral and arrogant. It is immoral because it is wrong to collect taxes -- by force -- of money earned by American laborers and then put them to supposedly charitable use elsewhere in the world. If you disagree, then are you willing to advocate 100% tax rates wherein the government would make all of the purchasing decisions for its citizens? If not 100%, then what is the appropriate amount of money that can be taken from the wage-earner, against his will, and put to "good use" by the government? And it is arrogant because it assumes that the governing elite are smarter than the working people, who should be free to give to the charities of their choice. Individuals making decisions with their own money make better decisions, in the aggregate, than even smart central planners. This has been proven in several studies outlined in the book, The Wisdom of Crowds.

Thirdly, the best way to create agricultural jobs in Africa and other Third World regions, is to eliminate the appalling levels of welfare doled out by the U.S. government to America's farmers. Agricultural subsidies for rich American farmers make it impossible for Third World farmers to compete on the global market. What you are advocating for is continued welfare to U.S. farmers, along with more welfare for African farmers so they can compete with the welfare queens in the U.S. This all assumes that the marketplace will not work -- that people will not buy food without the government's subsidies. This is a false argument.

The poorest areas of the world are the least capitalistic, and least connected to the modern global economy. They are also the heaviest recipients of aid. These are not coincidences. The world as a whole will benefit when the Third World finally joins us in the first, based on the classical economics principles of comparative advantage and division of labor. But the key to getting there is less government, not more. I look forward to the day when Africa is the leading exporter of agricultural products, but every interventionist effort by the U.S., the IMF, and the World Bank, etc., only prolong the misery of the African people.
Debate Round No. 1
Carpet4Christmas

Pro

Carpet4Christmas forfeited this round.
clsmooth

Con

Rats! My opponent ducked out. Okay, here's what Thomas Woods, an academic I admire, says about foreign aid:

"Western aid programs (have) proved disastrous for the Third World. Among other things, since they took the form of government-to-government grants they entrenched in power some of the most brutal and economically repressive regimes in the world. Thanks to infusions of U.S. and other Western aid, these regimes could prosper without having to institute market reforms."

In addition to being unconstitutional, I think the history of foreign aid shows it has done virtually nothing to lift living standards, and instead, has gotten in the way of modernization and establishing productive free-market economies.
Debate Round No. 2
Carpet4Christmas

Pro

Carpet4Christmas forfeited this round.
clsmooth

Con

1. Foreign aid is unconstitutional.

2. Americans are generous and, if they had more money (less taxation and inflation), they would gladly -- voluntarily -- part with their money for legitimate good causes.

3. But they would NOT, by and large, support dictators; which is what foreign aid has been demonstrated to do.

4. History shows that foreign aid hurts the people it's (supposedly) intended to help. Not only be entrenching dictators, but also by creating a cycle of dependency.

5. My opponent argues that changing this law would help Africans export agricultural products. The truth is that taking away the "domestic aid" to U.S. farmers would just as much (probably more) to help African farmers compete. Why add on another layer of welfare when you can achieve the same effect (or better) by stripping away a layer? Why make global food prices higher -- is this really a solution to starvation and poverty? I think not.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by AREA 9 years ago
AREA
>the United States Federal Government should purchase food aid locally. This would benefit poor agrarian nations by providing agricultural jobs, and breaking cycles of famine.

How many in the Federal Government would want that result?
Food aid... isn't that the cover they use when they want to subsidize US farmers?
A cover to dump US corn on African countries whose sole crop is corn so we can put their farmers out of business, then sell them alternative crops for big bucks so they can avoid malnourishment from eating nothing but free corn? Isn't that a cover to sneak GM food into Africa so the EU market and their strict anti-GM laws will stop buying African food and will instead Africans will have to just rot in poverty or sell to us at whatever price we demand (less demand for the supply and the price drops).
Not sure food aid is meant to benefit locals at all.
Posted by mrmatt505 9 years ago
mrmatt505
I almost ran this for an affirmative case in debate.
15 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by U.n 11 months ago
U.n
Carpet4ChristmasclsmoothTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeiture.
Vote Placed by els21 9 years ago
els21
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Vote Placed by gogott 9 years ago
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