The Instigator
qtstepp
Con (against)
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The Contender
dog7
Pro (for)
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0 Points

The United States should convert to the Metric system

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 7/12/2015 Category: Economics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 753 times Debate No: 77566
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (0)

 

qtstepp

Con

The United States should NOT convert to the metric system because in order to convert, we would have to change every single road sign, every single container, every single map, every single GPS system, and much much more. Millions upon millions of dollars spent just to make America the same as everyone else. But the American Standard System is just part of what makes America unique. Our money needs to go to more important things, like schools and creating more jobs. Now, you may argue that the changing of the road signs will create jobs, but that will only last a couple years, and just when people are finally settled into their jobs, they will be unemployed and homeless again because there are only so many signs you can change. Unemployment will be right back where it was before. It is not worth spending millions of dollars when you can just convert inches to centimeters using a calculator.
dog7

Pro

I disagree to the fullest extent. The U.S should convert to the metric system due to all of the overwhelming positives it will bring to our nation. First of all, the metric system is obviously the easier system to use. Since everything is in 10, it would be much easier to convert things in everyday life. Also, kids would have a much easier time learning the metric system vs the customary system. But wait, because every other country besides two others uses the metric system, school children also have to learn the metric system too! We are forcing are youth to learn two measurement systems, but only using the harder of the two for everyday use. Stepping aside from the irony, using the metric system would help us do everything overseas better. Whether it is trading with another country, working on a science experiment with another country, or touring another country, you wouldn't have to convert everything from customary. And it really isn't that economically taxing as it may seem. According to Wikipedia, it would only cost 368 million dollars to convert to the metric system, which is nothing compared to the 718 billion dollars we spend on our military a year. With the economy and convenience considered, we should convert to the metric system. Every kid knows it anyway.
Debate Round No. 1
qtstepp

Con

Learning two systems of measurements isn't all that hard. If anything, it makes us smarter. Putting everything in 10 is helpful but is not worth 368 million dollars just to save a little time when we could instead do a simple calculation. At school, they drill us endlessly on the metric system every year in science so we know it just as well as the American Standard system. so when we go to other countries, it's no big deal because we are already great at the metric system. We DO use the metric system though. On every packaged food or drink there is a metric label as well as a US standard label and most of us understand them both. So why would we go through all that trouble to change every single road sign in America when we can understand both US standard and the metric system. It's completely unnecessary. I'm not gonna lie, I think the metric system is much much easier, but it is not worth 368 million dollars to change it.
dog7

Pro

I agree with many things in your last points, but converting to the metric system would prove to be more than an easier way to calculate things. First off, having to teach the metric system to every school in the U.S is not just a boring experience for the students, it's a waste of money and class time. From 4th-8th grade, we spend around a month of first semester science class studying a system we don't use. That month could be spent learning other science-related things. The biggest issue with having to learn it in school is money. The U.S government has to dish out money for 1 month of lessons for something we unfortunately never use. According to U.S governmentspending.com, we spent 149 billion dollars on education last year. If we say JUST .1% of that is for teaching the metric system, that equals 149 MILION DOLLARS PER YEAR in metric system education cost. Teach it for 100 years, and we're looking at nearly 15 billion dollars. That completely dwarfs the 365 million fee to switch over. But the advantages of using only the metric system stretch far beyond having to fund and sit through two measurement lessons instead of one. Because only two other nations use this system, any business or cooperation that does anything with a foreign country has to convert whatever they are planning to sell or make. I know somebody that works for a business that also distributes their products to Canada. Instead of only having to make on size of the product, they have to make two separate ones, which wastes time and money, the two things a business can't afford to loose. Lastly, when a cooperation has to convert everything from our old system to the superior metric, human error is bound to happen. This was certainly the case when a 330 million dollar NASA Mars Rover blew up the second it entered the Martian Atmosphere. 330 million dollars wasted because of our system, when it costs just about that to change it. After all, changing to be metric system would only cost us .01% of our total government spending, which is a ten-thousandth of the total government spending. Let's just thing about it this way, would you want a computer with no outlets toconnect other things to it without using time-sucking, expensive, annoying, and irrelevant adapters? Well the U.S customary system is that computer. It needs an adapter (converting) to connect almost any other county to it.
Debate Round No. 2
qtstepp

Con

I disagree with MANY of the things you wrote in your last argument. First of all, teaching the metric system would be MUCH less than one percent of the total government spending on education. You completely overestimated. Although I do admit that the US Standard system is harder than the metric system, I believe that it is a huge part of the American culture. Would you really want to throw that away? That's a horrible deal. We pay 368 million dollars, we lose a great aspect of our culture, we save some money, but much less than 368 million dollars, all to save a little bit of time and an insubstantial amount of money. What's next? Are you going to propose that we use Euros instead of dollars because that's what all of Europe uses? Individuality us part of what makes us American! And you are willing to take that all away to save much less than 1% of our overall spending on education, and save a couple business' some money? Is it really worth it to disrupt America's wonderful culture to make it easier on the children? You said it yourself, the metric system is much easier than the US Standard system so it shouldn't be that hard to learn, should it? And the Mars rover was a mistake that anyone could make. Just because one person messed up their conversion doesn't mean that we all will. I know I wont. And besides, it might be a good thing. They're not going to make that mistake again are they? And you have to remember that .01% of 3.5 trillion is still a ton of money, much more than the average person will make in their entire lifetime. Just because you're to lazy to do some simple math doesn't mean that the rest of America is.
dog7

Pro

Before I begin, I think you read my estimate for the metric system spending wrong, I said .1%, not 1%. The cost to fund an entire 1% of the education budget would be way more than what I projected. I think my .1% was a decent estimate.
As I put the 368 million into perspective and found that it really wasn't that much money compared to our entire budget, the only real point you have made that will delay us from converting to the metric system is because it is a part of the American culture. The customary system may be very dear to a couple of Americans, and while I think our goal should be to unite the World, nobody can change how much they may love our current system. But again, that is the only draw back, and it doesn't apply to too many Americans. And 5,280 feet to a mile is the farthest thing from "simple math."

As this is my last post, I would like to review my argument. Here are the top 5 things we'll gain from using Metric.

1. We will have a much easier system to calculate in our heads.
2. Everything we manufacture will be compatible for foreign nations.
3. We will no longer be clueless if we travel to another country and read anything involving temperature, speed, distance, and weight. We will also finally be able to speak the language of science and medicine.
4. We'll no longer dump extra money and waste class time teaching kids two systems.
5. Human error from measurement conversions will be a thing of the past.

Lastly, here are 2 things people think we will loose by going metric, but we actually won't.

1. We won't loose a ton of money. We'll actually end up gaining more money without having to fund U.S measurement lessons in schools. We also will save money when trading overseas.
2. Most people already know the metric system and won't have to learn it. Every student gets taught both systems in school, but they only get to use the harder of the two when they get out of it. It's not to hard to learn anyway.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by dog7 1 year ago
dog7
My opponent posted the comment below.
Posted by qtstepp 1 year ago
qtstepp
I think that qtstepp is the clear winner of this debate. dog7 has no good or relevant arguments.
No votes have been placed for this debate.