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The Contender
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The United States Government distributes welfare in an unfair matter.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 6/16/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 899 times Debate No: 76567
Debate Rounds (3)
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It is human nature to help those that are less fortunate. This goes to say that as civilized human beings, we are supposed to help those that need it (IE a single parent who makes barely enough to survive). Since the dawn of the Great Depression, the United States government has gone through great lengths to provide aid to those that need it. It may seem hypo-critical to say the government distributes this aid unfairly. After all, I have made it clear that giving aid is human nature. What we often overlook is the true fact of government aid. Often times, our government will provide aid to one group of people based on race, social class, and geographical location. Allow me to go deeper into this claim.

The southern united states is among the poorest geographical location in the United States. One such location is the Appalachian Mountain Range, were the average family income is less than $20,000. The men, women, and children of Appalachia struggle to make ends meet, and the government turns a blind eye to them. These people supposedly do not "qualify and/or meet the requirements" for government welfare. Why is this? Well, the people who call these mountains home go unnoticed to the American people because in reality, we really do not know they exist. Often times, the people who live in these mountains are secluded, living deep in the woods were outside Americans basically do not go. They live in shanties and shacks, often times were their ancestors have called home for centuries. So what does all this mean? Politicians in Washington DC only really care about how voters view them, most at least. The tragic part is the Ghetto in the bad part of town is something we can all think of. We can all picture the high crime rates, the "poverty", and the unemployment. That is why the people who live in the "hood" get the majority of welfare, because they appear as though they meet the "criteria" for welfare. Because we can all view how poor the people who call these crime riddled neighborhoods home are, we can inevitably view the politicians that support giving them welfare as heroes. Lets face the facts though. 90% of the people on welfare prefer to remain unemployed. Why not after all? The government pays you to do absolutely nothing. So while the majority of the so called needy are lounging around, the people of the Appalachian mountains and areas such as that are left scrounging for ends meet. The sad truth is they simply do not live in the right area, nor are they the right color or race, and nor are they known by the public to be as poor as they truly are. The government ignores their needs because they offer no incentive to the government. This is why the distribution of aid by the government is truly unfair.


I had to re read your post a few times, and I am going to request some very simple things from you. I would like you to back up your numbers. I will make particular reference to the 90% choose to remain unemployed, also if you would like to find the "criteria" for government assistance. Also, what race receives the most welfare? Are you meaning all types of government assistance? Food stamps, how about medicaid? Do you have any information to back up these claims that these people are doing nothing? Please support your objective claims, because while the welfare system is unfair, it is unfair to all, not just a select few. Please support these claims you have made with the numbers, because numbers don't lie, people do.
Debate Round No. 1


As you have requested, I will respond to your questions.

The number 90% is a figurative number, and not an actual average. Due to the Governments lack of welfare research, many get away with doing nothing by choosing to do nothing and simply remain unemployed. I myself can attest to this first hand as some of my own family has successfully cheated the system by remaining unemployed and wasting away their life in laziness. The truth behind the number is this, it is simply a figurative symbol to prove a point. Because no one in their right mind would openly admit to cheating a government system and committing fraud, there is no accurate average. However, the truth in the matter is the majority of the people on welfare are cheating the system and are choosing to remain unemployed.

Criteria is another figurative symbol I used. We can all go on any government site and find the legal criteria to get welfare and government aid. My point in this argument is that the government chooses only to give aid to those that can give them an incentive, IE the ones that are known to be so called needy.

When you ask what race receives the most assistance, I will answer this plainly. I would only like to point out that this is not a racial comment. Polls show easily that African Americans receive the most welfare out of the nation. As well, it is essential to point out that they are the ones that are perceived by the people to be needy.

Yes, I do mean all types of government assistance.

Food stamps and Medicaid do fall under welfare and government assistance.

Real life and logic back up my claims. If I were to walk up to you and offer you a livable amount of money per month as long as you remain unemployed, would you not gladly except it and do absolutely nothing.

My point is of the white people that constantly live in poverty. Those who live in the mountains or in rural areas of the south do not commonly receive welfare. It is not just an unfair system, it is fraudulent and on the brink of illegal. As for support, go and visit those communities. I have been to those areas, I have seen those people. Statistics and facts can not tell you what your eyes can see. When you walk into the hood you find high unemployment rates and men/women lounging around collecting government aid. I went to school in these areas, I know how the hoods of America look. Now go to the rural south. Whites primarily dot the baron landscape. The average yearly income is very low, some polls showing less than 20,000 dollars per year (this primarily in the mountains and in rural kentucky). I have seen these places. Families work together trying to scrape enough money together to survive. Some work on family farms, others in factories, and yet others doing whatever odd jobs are possible to find. Meanwhile, their children go undereducated because they are trying to make more money for their families. They receive some aid once in a while, but not nearly as much as those who live in the noticeably poor areas. You can ask for all the statistics you want, but what you see in those areas shows you how unjust the welfare system truly is.

As for your final comment, numbers do lie. Numbers are but a generation of polls taken from people. If people lie on these polls, then the numbers are a lie. Therefore, numbers do lie in due to your reasoning.

What is your stand on the situation? Do you think our welfare system is fair, or is unfair? Are certain groups of people given more so the government can look better? Keep in mind this, the majority of politicians in office are either liars or self centered, and the majority of those are both.


You have failed once again to site any sources, so let me do so for you

That is a link to your welfare statistics from the governments reports. Your numbers are wrong, first let me say that while blacks make a higher percentage of the people receiving welfare they make up a smaller number. Second, for the vast majority welfare isn't a sit on their butts and do nothing type of situation. It doesn't last forever, a lot of it is food stamps, most of it deals with people who are looking for work or because of economy can't find work, yet you, while seeing poverty have taken this discussion to be something of race and votes.
You have a taken a personal and emotional stance to something that could of have been verified by looking at numbers or taking 4 minutes to search google. Also, please support your facts with sites that back you, actual polls, something that can be verified. Figurative numbers have no place in a debate, your argument is easily torn down by the simple inability to find any basic information.

And, your attack on numbers, sir you are talking about your personal experiences and than making a broad based statement about the welfare system. On the first statement yes of course, unfair, on everything else you are completely misguided. You have brought this into a race debate, you have provided only random rhetoric heard from a few party heads and regurgitated the information to a very blanket, arrogant and ignorant view of society. Sure, you may have seen things you didn't like, I do not disagree with that, but to go from seeing things that were bad to making a general statement on the welfare system, even though I believe that it is unfair, you have propped up your position with such a poor foundation that a few minutes of critical thinking and 10 minutes of researching throws your argument for a serious re-visioning.
Debate Round No. 2


I would like to note that you are correct, my current argument has been racially inclined. Though my numbers are figurative, you continue to bring them up, and so I will use only well noted statistics. I would however like to change the way we argue this point. Aside from the government unfairly giving out aid, let us also look into the burden which falls upon the taxpayers.

There is a story about a war hero from the Alamo. This man is none other than the world famous Davy Crockett. This is how this recounted true story goes:

Hero of the Alamo Davy Crockett was a colonel in the Tennessee Regulars and was elected to the House of Representatives from his native state. That was before his part in the valiant defense of the famed Alamo. He served three terms as congressman.

While Crockett was in Congress a distinguished naval officer died, leaving a widow. Members of the House proposed to appropriate $20,000 of public money to give to the widow to assure her welfare and to honor the memory of the late officer. Crockett opposed that appropriation in such persuasive terms that it received only a few votes and was defeated.

Before you consider him heartless, hear the facts which will show he was just the opposite. Others before him had said that the country owed the departed officer a debt. Crockett reminded the House of the countless men who had served their country with distinction, but to whom Congress never admitted owing a cash debt. In Crockett's speech before the House, he said the following:

"Mr. Speaker " I have as much respect for the memory of the deceased, and as much sympathy for the suffering of the living, if suffering there be, as any man in this House, but we must not permit our respect for the dead or our sympathy for a part of the living to lead us into an act of injustice to the balance of the living.

"I will not go into an argument to prove that Congress has no power to appropriate this money as an act of charity. Every member upon this floor knows it. We have the right, as individuals, to give away as much of our own money as we please in charity; but as members of Congress we have no right to so appropriate a dollar of the public money.

"Some eloquent appeals have been made to us upon the grounds that it is a debt due the deceased. Mr. Speaker, the deceased lived long after the close of the war; he was in office to the day of his death, and I have never heard that the government was in arrears to him. This government can owe no debts but for services rendered, and at a stipulated price. If it is a debt, how much is it? Has it been audited, and the amount due ascertained? If it is a debt, this is not the place to present it for payment, or to have its merits examined. If it is a debt, we owe more than we can ever hope to pay, for we owe the widow of every soldier who fought in the War of 1812 precisely the same amount.

"There is a woman in my neighborhood, the widow of as gallant a man as ever shouldered a musket. He fell in battle. She is as good in every respect as this lady, and is as poor. She is earning her daily bread by her daily labor; and if I were to introduce a bill to appropriate five or ten thousand dollars for her benefit, I should be laughed at, and my bill would not get five votes in this House. There are thousands of widows in the country just such as the one I have spoken of, but we never hear of any of these large debts to them.

"Sir, this is no debt. The government did not owe it to the deceased when he was alive; it could not contract it after he died. I do not wish to be rude, but I must be plain. Every man in this House knows it is not a debt. We cannot, without the grossest corruption, appropriate this money as the payment of a debt. We have not the semblance of authority to appropriate it as a charity.

"Mr. Speaker, I have said we have the right to give as much money of our own as we please. I am the poorest man on this floor. I cannot vote for this bill, but I will give one week's pay to the object, and if every member of Congress will do the same, it will amount to more than the bill asks."

When Crockett was later asked why he invoked the Constitution in that manner, and what led him to speak so clearly and forcefully against appropriating such a seemingly small amount, he told of an earlier, somewhat similar event.

There had been a fire in suburban Georgetown during Crockett's first term in Congress. He was among several congressmen who rushed to the scene, helped to fight the fire, and sought shelter for the victims who were shivering on a cold night. The very next morning Congress appropriated $20,000 for the relief of the fire victims. Crockett spoke in favor. Because there was opposition, the vote on the issue was recorded in the journals of that day's proceedings and a listing was made of those who voted for and those who voted against the appropriation.

Crockett said that when he went back to his home district to run for re-election he stopped to solicit the vote of a farmer plowing in his field. The man remembered Colonel Crockett, said he had voted for him the first time, but that he would not vote for him again. The farmer had read a newspaper account of that $20,000 gift to victims of the fire. He saw Crockett's name listed as supporting the measure. The farmer then proceeded to explain to congressman Crockett:

"The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be trusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government.

"While you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20 million as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and in any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other.

"No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in the country as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week's pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from necessity of giving what was not yours to give.

"The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution. So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you."

Every American citizen has a moral and spiritual obligation to see that no neighbor, no person, child or adult, suffers for the lack of necessities while he has the slightest surplus in his own name. But neither does man have the right to use government and the law, in the name of charity, to force the unwilling to do that which he would not do if the choice were his.

Davy Crockett believed welfare was wrong because it used tax dollars to fund it. Charity should in fact be a given thing from a person, were as the current welfare system uses tax dollars, there for forcing American citizens to pay charity. If nothing else, this story should provide enough obligation to prove welfare is wrong. However, I have a few polls to demonstrate that may further back up my claim.
Since 1965, our war against poverty has cost the US government 5 Trillion dollars (all of which was tax money). An interesting fact, the national debt is predicted to reach 21.5 Trillion dollars. Logic would juristic that we use tax money to at least attempt to pay off our enormous debt (although that is a topic for another debate). Currently, it is shown that Americans give approximately 125 billion dollars annually (this of course is just an approximation, although not a figurative but a literal number).

Now I ask you this. You came into this debate as the Con, yet you agree the welfare system is unfair. Being the topic is the United States Government distributes welfare in an unfair matter, you would be arguing that welfare is distributed fairly. Instead of picking apart my arguments, perhaps you should state one of your own.


I can see a point to be made here, and please understand that I am not accusing you of being a racist or bigot, however I do believe the foundation of your argument veered more towards a divisive culture than it does an answer the the original question. I found issue with that, your statement seemed to bring up the idea that welfare was mistreating some vs others for votes, and that people who receive government assistance are inclined to sit and not do anything.
Your most recent post brought up Davy Crockett who I respect very much, however the economic, social, and average quality of life is much different from than to now. A fact that people often tend to forget when quoting people dead for hundreds of years.

My argument is that they distribute in an unfair manner, but that is ok and in fact the attempt at "fairness" is so subjective that it can only make the system even more unfair. So, unfairness is not the issue, you are chasing a red herring. Sir, we live in a country of 300 plus million people, we have a bureaucracy that is muddled, that is convoluted, we spend as a country hundreds of millions on workers to help figure out where to send money to people in need, the personnel infrastructure needed to keep things "fair" has become a huge issue to the unfairness of it. So, my argument. Stop talking about fairness, this debate rages over and over, yet the end result of an argument over unfairness at best is for someone to agree, and at worse the argument continues, however, either way it ends with words and a victory only of belief.
I propose (though against Crockett) is a redistribution of purpose, and a welfare of jobs and money. This was done during the New Deal under FDR, and while people make disagree and in the benefits of it bringing the country out of the great depression, it did help to provide people with work and the country with a lot of infrastructure.
So my argument would be still a con towards you, but in a sense that your position isn't just wrong but the debate about hurts the very discussion we are trying to have. Ideas such as a New Deal, or ways to bring jobs/money/business to impoverished areas are hampered by this ideological debate stemming from century old socio-economic and racial tension that will not be solved by conflict but rather by increase in education, decrease in poverty, and a understanding of action vs just words.

So to clarify my position, yes I am against your initial argument, not in an attack on just the argument, but also an attack on what that argument brings to the table, the benefits of winning such a debate in any situation are far worse than the lack of this argument and rather on the debate of how do we distribute more, or how do we give more jobs, how do we increase total welfare, redefine how to give welfare ex...

The welfare doesn't have to be just money, and to invoke the idea of social contract that humans "should" is a hard endeavor especially when most people at this point in time simply cannot give or organize as much as the government with it huge infrastructure and ability (concluded as it might be). As well as asking this of the average citizen when the economy is so weak, yet we have a few people that could afford to fix it all.
Debate Round No. 3
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