The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
19 Points

The United States should sell Texas to the highest bidder

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/20/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,760 times Debate No: 12096
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (32)
Votes (4)




Thanks to the greed and incompetence of the investment banks, the United Sates has been forced to run up a national debt of almost $13 trillion. [1] America needs to raise some serious cash to pay it off but the question is "how?"

The country could increase taxes on the rich but that would meet with fierce opposition from conservatives or they could scrap the stimulus program and slash the health and social security budgets but that would be strongly resisted by liberals.

With this being the case, the United States' only option is to sell something off, and what better than Texas?

There are a growing number of Texans that no longer want to be part of the Union [2,3] and even the governor of Texas has suggested that secession is a possibility [4] so why not give the good people of Texas what they are asking for and cut them adrift?

At an international auction, there is no doubt that Texas would fetch a very good price becuase there would be no shortage of bidders.

Here is a list of potential buyers:

Texas used to be a part of Mexico and they would be very keen to have it back, and with loans from Mexican drug barons, they might just be able to raise enough cash to place the winning bid.

South Africa
Almost six million people are living with HIV and AIDS in South Africa and the South African government would love to transport them overseas to stop them spreading the disease any further. Texas would make an ideal AIDS colony and with the wealth generated by their diamond mines, South Africa could possibly afford to buy it.

With over a billion people, China has the largest population in the world. What it lacks, however, are natural resources and Texas could provide them with valuable agricultural land and mineral supplies. Since China has the largest foreign exchange reserves in the world, they would not have a problem financing the winning bid.

Saudi Arabia
Perhaps the most likely to outbid the others though is Saudi Arabia. The Saudis would love to take control of the Texan oil industry to further increase their dominance of the world oil market. In addition, Saudi Arabia is the birthplace of the Prophet Mohammed, whose mission it was to spread the word of Allah across the entire world, and with the introduction of Shari'a Law in Texas, Islam would gain it's first territory in the Americas and thus enable the Saudis to discharge a huge religious duty. Furthermore, the fabulous wealth oil has brought the Saudis should enable them to outbid the others.

In the final analysis, the sale of Texas should raise enough cash to avoid having to increase taxes or cut budgets in order to pay off the federal deficit and, for that reason, I urge you to vote Pro.

Thank you.



I complement my opponent on his brilliant selection of topic and thank him for the opportunity to debate.

In the course of this debate I will call upon two general concepts that are critical to the analysis. A brief anecdote serves to introduce these concepts.

A tour bus stopped in Amsterdam. Theft is a mainstay of the economy there, so a local thief snatched a woman's purse and ran off with it. The tour, however, contained a significant contingency from Texas. The thieves were then amazed by the speed at which annoyed Texans can run, despite the burden of cowboy boots. A photograph of a small group of Texans chasing thieves in Albania is shown at (Obviously, it's cause was mistaken.) The purse was recovered, and the thieves were introduced to the two critical concepts of this debate: Principle A, morality; and Principle B, the downside of messing with Texas. Being from Amsterdam, the thieves were previously wholly unacquainted with either concept.

The concept of "don't mess with Texas" is further illustrated in the logo of the nuclear submarine USS Texas.

Now turning to the specifics of the debate:

1. The $13 trillion deficit was not caused by investment bankers. Only politicians can run a tab of the government's credit card, not investment bankers. The government on it's own volition directly backed half of the bad loans that precipitated the financial crisis. President Obama has announced plans to add $10 trillion to the deficit. If a large sum of money were provided to government by any means, the government would spend it immediately, doing nothing to reduce the deficit. Republicans would object initially, of course, until they are given an appropriate cut.

2. Calling upon Principle A, it is grossly immoral to sell Texas to a foreign power. I know that Europeans are not keen on bending to the will of God as a moral autority, so I will appeal to a higher authority, the United Nations. The UN has determined that people have a right to self-determination. The Europeans had loads of colonies, but that was before the UN became manifest and settled the morality of the matter. The UN is absolute and cannot be questioned, at least not by Pro.

Pro falsely equated "selling Texas" with "cutting them loose." Selling slaves is *not* the same as freeing them. The U.S. determined this fact in a long debate known as "The Civil War."

3. Turning to Principle B, Texans now barely put up with the alien culture of the rest of the United States. I believe Pro has stipulated this. If, say, the Second Amendment were to be overturned, Texas can be expected to secede immediately. If they are not all too pleased with the rest of the United States, imagine how angry they would be with China or Saudi Arabia. Neither have gun rights, which rules them out from the get-go. Moreover, the Chinese rarely wear spurs, and the Saudis almost never wear ten gallon hits. Even if a peaceful transition could be temporarily brokered, sooner or later a foreign potentate would slight the memory of Sam Houston, and all hell would break loose.

The point here is that total cost to a foreign power for acquiring Texas is (payment to the US to obtain the property rights) + (cost of conquering and ruling the people of Texas) + (cost of repairing the assets destroyed as a consequence of messing with Texas). Texas has 24,782,302 people, each owning a shotgun and two pearl-handled forty-fives, except, of course, for small children, who only have a single sidearm. In addition there are seven Air Force Bases, four Navy bases, and in Texas, plus 23 Army forts, camps, and depots. No American would be foolish enough to try to take the military forces (i.e., their guns) out of Texas, as Americans know that messing with Texas is inadvisable.

Consequently, due the required military might only China is even a potentially viable client for taking over Texas. The costs to the Chinese would be astronomical, as they would have to equip, transport, and sustain millions of soldiers for a at least several generations. Actually, converting Texas from barbecue to noodles might take several hundred years, if it is possible at all. The oil wells, cities, and other fixed assets destroyed in the struggle would also have to be replaced at enormous cost.

It is possible that the Chinese might not know all the costs when the bidding was announced, but they are not stupid and would soon build a spreadsheet. The spreadsheet would show that a negative bid is required. The Chinese would say, "OK, we'll take Texas off your hands, but you are going to have to pay us big time." How much would Pro bid for his neighbor's mean-tempered rottweiler? How about his bid for 24,782,302 rottweilers, each with a gun and an attitude problem? This does not fully embrace Principle B, but perhaps it clarifies the concept.


Even if a large sum were obtained from selling Texas, it would not solve the American debt problem, for the same reason that giving a drunk a barrel of gin will not cure his alcoholism. Granting independence to Texas could be moral, if they voted for it, but selling them to another country is immoral and unacceptable. There would in any case be few bidders, due to the need for a large military to subdue angry Texans (see the photo, linked above) and bidders would demand to be paid rather than offering money.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 1


I would first of all like to thank my opponent for his very kind compliments and his extremely good humoured contribution.

With the short time that is left available to me, I will endeavour to duly address his two main contentions in turn.
However, before I do so, I should like to defer to my opponent's far superior knowledge and experience of American politics but ask him to clarify why I might be wrong in understanding that there was already a substantial budget deficit under the previous Republican regime when President George W. Bush decided to bail out the failed investment banks with hundreds of millions of American taxpayers' dollars?

Where I do concur with my opponent, by the way, is that China would be the most likely winner of the bid to purchase Texas. Notwithstanding, I neither agree that this arrangement would be immoral nor impractical as my opponent suggests.

Legal issues aside – constitutions are subject to interpretation and amendment as required - the Texans cannot rely on moral precedents to support their case to prevent the United States from selling them off.

Firstly, if put to a national referendum of US citizens who were given the choice between increased taxes and reduced public services on one hand, and letting Texas go on the other hand, I forecast that most people would vote with their pockets and put their own family's interests before the interests of some gunslingers in Arsekicker, TX, or wherever.

Regarding the morality of allowing Texans to move to other parts of the US prior to the sale of the state or take their chances under a new regime, this represents a very civilised dilemma compared to the one that the original inhabitants of Texas – the American Indians – were presented with.

Their choice was either to vacate their land or be exterminated, in the most brutal and unwholesome fashion, and by the very decedents of the present-day claimants of the state of Texas.

The cruel and unusual manner in which the Indians were wiped off the map included infecting members of the tribes with infectious diseases [1] and sending them back into their communities to spread the malaise.

This was o top of the usual guns against bows and arrows massacres that took place at regular intervals. In fact, by the late 1800's, almost all the Indian Americans had been exterminated, and those few thousand that had survived the relentless onslaught were deported to Oklahoma. [2]

Moving on to practicalities, it is true (I know because I am a frequent visitor to Texas) that the locals can be an excitable, trigger-happy bunch who are very set in their (very charming) ways.

When I first visited Dallas, nearly twenty years ago, I thought the locals dressed up in ten-gallon hats and tasselled-boots for the benefit of tourists. However, I quickly realised, on visiting some outlying rural counties, that this was really how they chose to dress. It was like visiting a Hollywood movie set!

I like Texas, much of my family live in San Antonio, but I am slightly nervous of the amount of guns that are in evidence – as my opponent noted.

I mean, if I have a disagreement over politics in a pub in London and it comes to blows, the worst that can happen is I go home with a bloody nose. Not so in Texas, where I daren't open my mouth for fear of upsetting some slack-jawed yokel with an Uzi in his jacket!

But let's not forget, they are just civilians – albeit with guns – and the American armed forces would be repatriated to the US prior to the sale of Texas.

Furthermore, the Chinese know how to deal with such troublemakers – remember Tiananmen Square?

But I really don't think it will come to that. Do you remember the early nineties when Britain handed Hong Kong back to China? Lots of Hong Kong people feared living under the perceived yoke of the People's Republic and moved to London, Vancouver and San Francisco.

But their fears were unfounded. Today, life goes on unadulterated in Hong Kong – the Chinese are astute enough not to interfere too much with the Hong Kong people's business and family lives and I don't see any reason why they wouldn't adopt the same attitude to the future Chinese province of Texas.

Thank you.



I appreciate Pro's response in the face of his dual burden of a late night at the pub and having a ridiculous proposition to defend.

I don't think Pro has yet fully grasped the meaning of "don't mess with Texas." Perhaps another anecdote will help. Outside a shopping mall in Texas, a man confronted his ex-wife and ultimately shot her in the head, killing her. The man then raced to his car and started out of the parking lot. A bystander saw this and, by chance, happened to be packing heavy iron. The bystander shot across the parking lot, through the door of the getaway car, killing the varmint. Later, a judge told the bystander that he shouldn't have done that, and the bystander admitted that he ought not have and felt bad about it, which put the whole thing to rest. I'm told that in Texas "some people just need killing" is a legal defense. I ask, are if the Chinese, or is anyone else, stupid enough to try to take over Texas. I think not.

Anyway, back to business, Pro inquired as to the origins of US deficit. About $500B was spent by Bush on bailouts. The bailouts of investment banks were less than $100B, and have since been entirely repaid, with interest. Citibank, a regular bank, was bailed out and has not repaid yet, but probably will. $145 B has gone to government-run Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac (whom, despite the names, do not live in Texas), and those bailouts are ongoing with projections of it reaching $349 billion. The government also bailed out AIG, an insurance company, and two auto companies. AIG had 55,000 employees making money selling insurance, plus about 200 employees in London who lost $161 billion trading derivatives. The autos were bailed out to preserve fat union pensions. (I think AIG and the autos should have been put into bankruptcy.)

Including the bailouts, Bush incurred $700B in debt in his eight years; Obama is over $1.2 trillion in debt in his first year, and has officially announced plans to incur $10 trillion in new debt in the future. There is a colorful graph at that shows the situation. My point remains undisputed that the problem we have is chronic overspending by politicians, not a one-time bailout. Hence, if we could sell Texas it wouldn't cure the problem. It would just be extra booze for the alcoholics in control.

I did not challenge the legality of the proposed sale of Texas, as the Constitution could be amended. However, that has nothing to do with the morality of selling Texas to the Chinese without the consent of Texans. That is universally recognized as immoral, per the United Nations declaration of rights to self-determination I cited.

Pro asserted that selling off Texas would be less immoral than the previous subjugation of Native Americans. It would also be less immoral than killing off the first-born male child in each household. Being less immoral does not make something moral. Not a single living Texan had anything to do with subjugating Native Americans. There is no logical basis for a doctrine of inherited guilt, because a person born into this world is given no choice of ancestors nor control over the ancestors he happens to receive.

Pro claims fears about Hong Kong being given to China having been overblown. There are three critical differences between Hong Kong and Texas: (1) Hong Kong was never independent, they traded foreign rule by Britain for foreign rule by China; (2) Hong Kong is naturally allied with China culturally; and (3) whatever Hong Kong might like, they were way too small to make a stink about it. Of these (3) is the most important. Thus when China imposed the requirement that English and Cantonese languages be dropped in favor of Mandarin, there was nothing that Hong Kong could do but comply. Imposing Mandarin upon Texans is a different kettle of fish. Texans will fight to the death for the right to keep speaking Texan. Texans have fought a war for independence in the past, and every Texan holds to that tradition . . . maybe excepting a few airy-fairy liberals around Austin, but they don't amount to much.

Pro makes the unsupported speculation that a majority of Americans would vote to sell off Texas if it decreased their taxes. There is no chance of Pro being correct about American willingness, or, for that matter, of taxes being reduced. For one thing, selling people into slavery has been decidedly out of fashion since the aforementioned "Civil War." On the ethics of it, in the recent Debate over health care, the senator from Nebraska negotiated the "cornhusker kickback" whereby Nebraskans got special benefits in return for the Senator's vote. The Senator, rather than being applauded for his dealing, was severely damaged politically. Selling a vote on a single bill is a good deal less immoral than selling 24 million people into slavery. Even Illinois voters, in the state where Senate seats have a price, would get very upset about selling out Texas. Well, okay, maybe not Illinois, but everyone else.

Even if voters were crass, it wouldn't take long for them to figure out that they would lose the ongoing net influx of taxes into the Treasury. "Per dollar of Federal tax collected in 2005, Texas citizens received approximately $0.94 in the way of federal spending." Voters would also realize there would be a Texas war for independence that would inevitably spill over the borders. Texans would surely launch guerrilla attacks on their Chinese masters from outside the state. That would be bad for business all around, as the China attempted to hunt down rebel forces.

The Chinese suppressed a handful of unarmed students. It is one thing to take out a few dozen sincere, but unarmed, chihuahuas, and quite another to take on 24 million rottweilers armed with blazing 45s. (Pro did not answer my challenge about his bid for angry rottweilers.) Iran has spent a decade developing nukes. Texans could figure it out in about twenty minutes.

Pro suggested that Texas could be disarmed before being turned over to China. I had anticipated that strategy and had asked Pro who would disarm them. Americans know better than to mess with Texans. Would the UN send in Belgians to do the job? I think not.

The United States should not sell Texas to the highest bidder. It is immoral to sell anyone into slavery. China, and anyone else, would soon appreciate the very high cost of messing with Texas, so it is unlikely to bring a positive bid, let alone a large bid. Any money that was obtained would just feed the spending frenzy of politicians rather than go towards solving financial problems.

The resolution is negated.
Debate Round No. 2
32 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Erick 7 years ago
Selling Texas would be the BIGGEST mistake ever commited by the U.S.
Texas bring so much culture that beleive it or not is needed to represent the Southern part of the U.S., it wouldn't be fun if it was just the north represented. The United States has so many different cultures and people and Texas is a big essential to that culture. Don't mess with Texans and I can assure you there not crazy lmao. There just very very strong and won't let anyone tell them what to do, which is what makes Texas, "The Lone Star State".
Posted by MaxJ 7 years ago
Hm I was not sure if you were joking or not, because there are some crazy people out there in thw world ^_^

On nom nom nom mayonaise at my French fries. I eat my fries in that way too, all Dutch do :D
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
Amsterdam has the worst food in Europe, and as far as I am concerned, nothing else counts. They put mayonaise on French fries. I rest my case.

Joking aside, Amsterdam is indeed lovely, by it is among my least favorite cities anywhere.

Of course it is possible to sell Texas. The Constitution could be amended to do so, if that is required. It is just a dumb idea. Texas is one of the few large states that is actually prosperous and contributing to the welfare of the nation. No country in their right mind would bid for, for the reasons cited in the debate.

As a point of logic, the fact that something can be easily acquired does not logically imply that it can be easily disposed of. People acquire children with great ease, that does not imply that they ought to be so easy to dispose. The analogy is apt, because once people are granted the rights of citizenship, it should not be easy to withdraw those rights.
Posted by brian_eggleston 7 years ago
I think Roy was joking, the clogs v boots was the giveaway unless you weren't sure, but I suspect it was a case of "many a true word uttered in jest".

By the way, now that this debate has ended and my comments can no longer influence anyone's votes I don't see why the US couldn't sell Texas.

The US bought Alaska and now Alaska belongs to the US. Texas also belongs to the US so it follows that the US should be able to sell it.
Posted by MaxJ 7 years ago
Amsterdam is not more criminal as any other big city(including Texan cities), and the stoned slackers is just a wrong stereotype. Amsterdam is the oldest city known for its freedom(which can be business freedom but also personal freedom which includes a tolerant view on cannabis), more so than Texas.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
Amsterdam is lovely. However, it has miserable cold cuts at every meal. Texas has BBQ. Amsterdam is full of stoned slackers and thieves. Texas is full of cowboys and hard-working defenders of liberty. Amsterdam has wooden shoes. Texas has boots.

It's not close.
Posted by MaxJ 7 years ago
Don't mess with Amsterdam, it's a lovely city.
Posted by Brendan21 7 years ago
Texas sucks!
Posted by phill3006 7 years ago
Let's talk about justice.
Why are you (not me, or 'we' since I live in Texas) selling Texas to another country in order to pay someone else's debt? That's not justice. The part where you're 'giving Texans what they want' is patently false. We would like to secede (i.e. be independent), not be annexed by China, Mexico or whomever. Likely as not, that would be going from some freedom to less freedom. Texas wants to be more free.
Not to mention that you would be exacerbating the current recession in America since Texas has been doing quite well, and has the second-largest gross state product in the nation. That means our GSP is comparable to the GDP of countries like India and Canada.
Furthermore, I would say that since China has the most weight to throw around, they would likely be the winner of that bidding war. Good-bye national security. I mean, seriously: China + Texas vs. USA. Great idea.
Posted by wmpeebles 7 years ago
You try to take Texas, and I'll take your life.
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