The Instigator
brian_eggleston
Pro (for)
Winning
22 Points
The Contender
C-Mach
Con (against)
Losing
18 Points

The class struggle is as important now as it ever was.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 5/30/2008 Category: Politics
Updated: 8 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 1,452 times Debate No: 4285
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (13)
Votes (10)

 

brian_eggleston

Pro

The most privileged in today's society have never had it so good yet, at the same time, ordinary working people face an ever-increasing struggle just to pay for the essentials in life.

As fuel prices soar greedy oil barons and their grasping corporate backers are reaping the rewards of record profits. At the same time, many ordinary motorists are forced to cut back on all but the most essential journeys.

Similarly, wealthy farmers are benefiting from the sky-high cost of food, which is the most expensive it has ever been, yet still they receive massive subsidies from the public purse. In other words, ordinary taxpayers are expected to contribute towards the cost of a moneyed landowner's brand new Range Rover before they think about putting food on their own tables.

It is time for the people to rise up and smash the vested interests, and the legislative and judicial infrastructures, that the upper classes use to oppress the masses. Let us join together to empower the workers to create a social and economic meritocracy through the wholesale, equitable redistribution of wealth.

To that end, I respectfully move that you vote Pro for the promotion of a fairer, more egalitarian world.
C-Mach

Con

About the oil companies, their record profits are pikers in the equation when it comes to how much government makes. For example, for gasoline (in the U.S.), 8% of the money earned is profit for the oil companies. However, almost twice that amount (15%) is taxes on that gasoline (It's probably higher in the U.K., judging on how many taxes there are).

I have to agree with you about the farmers, though. Why the hell are they getting SUBSIDIES anyway (Adding to your taxes!)?

However, eliminating Parliament and the judiciary is not going to give you the desired result. As a matter of fact, socialism produces a very powerful upper class ("Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.").

Also, redistribution of wealth discourages people from innovating because they get nothing in return. Without innovation, the populace will eventually starve and die off due to the lack of technology required to cope with disaster situations. Please respond.
Debate Round No. 1
brian_eggleston

Pro

With thanks to my opponent for taking this debate, I would like to respond as follows:

With regard to the oil companies' profits, 8% is actually quite a good return, and, indeed, represents a lot of money. For example the London-based oil company Shell reported profits of $7.8bn first the first quarter of 2008 alone.

http://www.shell.com...

Under a socialist regime, the oil companies, together with most of the country's industry would be taken into public ownership so that it would be the people that benefit from the profits, not just a few corporate fat cats, swindling plutocrats and tax-dodging tycoons.

I must disagree with my opponent's assertion that dismantling the current Parliament and judicial systems would not be effective in devolving power and influence to the proletariat and that this has been demonstrated many times in history.

For instance, there was one country that was ruled by a monarch who oppressed the masses by taxing them heavily and denying them their right to self-determination. Then in 1775 the people rose up and rebelled against the ruling classes and overthrew them in a glorious revolution. The name of that country escapes me for the moment, but I seem to recall it's located somewhere between Mexico and Canada! Anyway, that nation seems to have done reasonably well since and, according to a recent poll, very few people there think they would be better off now under their former masters.

http://www.debate.org...

However, I do agree that we must be careful not to simply replace one ruling class with another. That has happened in the case of the aforementioned country, where it costs millions of dollars to run a successful election campaign, thus effectively excluding the less affluent members of society from running for political office.

Also, I cannot accept your view that a redistribution of wealth would lead to impoverishment. Socialism is often associated with dreary, faceless concrete buildings inhabited by poor, miserable people. Many parts of the former Soviet Union were, indeed, like this but that country was run under a communist regime, which is not what I'm advocating.

I have in mind something nearer the socialism practiced in countries like Sweden and Finland where the standard of living is amongst the highest in the world. There are very few extremely wealthy people in these countries and also very few extremely poor people - happily for them, the vast majority of the people are prosperous.

Furthermore, my distribution of wealth will not stifle research or innovation because it would be based on a one off windfall tax - assets over a certain value that are held by the wealthiest 5% will be seized, liquefied and the proceeds distributed equitably across the rest of the population.

In Britain the richest 5% of the population own 58% of the nations wealth meaning that 95% of the adult population would each receive a cheque for $124.881.00.

http://www.statistics.gov.uk...

That's a lot of money. Those that I can't persuade to support the revolution for moral reasons I should be able to persuade with the promise of a large pile of cash!

So, whether it is for moral reasons or for personal financial gain, I urge you to support this noble cause by voting Pro.
C-Mach

Con

"With regard to the oil companies' profits, 8% is actually quite a good return..."

You missed my point entirely. Although 8% is a good return (Which they EARNED! They work hard to keep the world economy from slowing down to a trickle, not to mention keeping the standard of living up.), 15% went to various governments in the U.S. The point was that governments are making more money off of gasoline than the oil companies do.

"For instance, there was one country that was ruled by a monarch who oppressed the masses by taxing them heavily and denying them their right to self-determination."

Put emphasis on the words "taxing them heavily." That is what happens under a socialist system.

"Anyway, that nation seems to have done reasonably well since..."

Aw, come on! How do you think that country you are talking about became so great? Government handouts? Redistribution of wealth? Hell no! The incentive to innovate (Otherwise known as PROFIT!!!) made this country so great. Why shouldn't the people who contributed to society be able to reap the fruits of their time and effort (And sometimes accidental discovery!)?

..., I cannot accept your view that a redistribution of wealth would lead to impoverishment."

Yes, redistribution of wealth discourages people from innovating because they get nothing in return. Without innovation, the populace will eventually starve and die off due to the lack of technology required to cope with disaster situations (Wait a minute, I'M USING AN ARGUMENT I HAVE ALREADY USED!!! However, it fits here, as well.).

"So, whether it is for moral reasons or for personal financial gain, I urge you to support this noble cause by voting Pro."

I might as well put "So, whether it is for moral reasons or for personal financial gain, I urge you to support this noble cause by voting Con."
Debate Round No. 2
brian_eggleston

Pro

With thanks to my opponent's continued interest in this debate, I should like to respond as follows:

I did, in fact, take my opponent's point about the oil companies' profits being modest compared to the tax, but the point I was making was that the people should benefit from the tax revenues AND the profits.

With regard to taxes precipitating the American Revolution, my implication was that the colonists objected to paying taxes because they did not have any influence over how they were spent, and felt very little benefit accrued to North American settlers from paying them.

Although nobody likes paying taxes, everybody understands that every nation must have working capital in order to provide basic essentials such as roads, police, schools, hospitals, armed forces, etc. These can only be financed through the public purse. Provided the people feel they are getting value for money and have some influence (through the ballot box) over how their taxes are spent, they will not object to parting with a reasonable percentage of their income. It is true that in some European countries with left-wing governments, the basic rate of tax is higher than in the US, for example, but the people benefit from things like excellent free education, free healthcare and modern transport systems and are, for the most part, happy to pay for those services through their taxes.

My opponent made the point that America became great through innovation. On this point I agree with him, and innovation would prosper in my proposed post-Revolution regime, although key industries such as energy production, the rail network, aerospace and the public utilities will be re-nationalised, that is taken back under state control.

Another reason why America has prospered is that it has a very egalitarian society – there is a small under class and a small upper class but most people are middle class and this allows most young people to reach their full potential without being socially stigmatised.

This is very different from a monarchy such as the UK where there is a large working class and even the brightest kids from underprivileged backgrounds are not admitted into the best schools and universities because of social discrimination and lack of funds. Furthermore the best jobs in professions such as finance, law and politics are awarded through "the old school tie network" – that is if you didn't go to one of the elite schools, you won't get one of the plum jobs.

For instance (if the polls are to be believed and failing a revolution prior to the next general election) the next Prime Minister will be David Cameron who was educated at Eton and Oxford.

Similarly, the newly installed Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, is also an Eton and Oxford old boy.

http://www.etoncollege.com...

http://www.ox.ac.uk...

Just to reiterate, the redistribution of wealth, which would provide a young couple with over $320,000.00 in cash (enough to buy their first home) will be a one time only, never to be repeated, windfall tax that would only affect the richest 5% of people. These individuals are mainly aristocrats with fabulous fortunes, the likes of Duke of Westminster, who inherited the whole of Mayfair, who never earned their money in the first place.

The socialist society I wish to create will enable the nation to produce own equivalents of Bill Gates or Michael Dell and they and their companies will only pay the same rate of tax as anyone else, allowing them to reinvest in research and development so necessary, as my opponent has eluded to, for future growth.

I therefore urge you to vote Pro for a fairer society where all the citizens share in the nation's success, not just the privileged few.
C-Mach

Con

"...the people should benefit from the tax revenues AND the profits."

Why should they benefit from the profits? The benefit they ALREADY get from the profits is that the company they are buying the product or service from is staying in business and continuing to provide that commodity. That is what they benefit from the profits. However, if it were as under your system, the citizens would receive the profits, but the companies receive fewer of the profits (that they EARNED), and would find less of an incentive to remain in business.

"With regard to taxes precipitating the American Revolution, my implication was that the colonists objected to paying taxes because they did not have any influence over how they were spent, and felt very little benefit accrued to North American settlers from paying them."

You are wrong about the tax argument. It was the Colonial Scrip. As Benjamin Franklin said: "...There was a cry among the people for more paper money..."

http://www.worldwideschool.org...

And as Peter Cooper said: "After Franklin had explained…to the British Government [that the paper money w]as the real cause of prosperity, they immediately passed laws, forbidding the payment of taxes in that money. This produced such great inconvenience and misery to the people, that it was the principal cause of the Revolution. A far greater reason for a general uprising, than the Tea and Stamp Act, was the taking away of the paper money."

http://www.heritech.com...

"Although nobody likes paying taxes, everybody understands that every nation must have working capital in order to provide basic essentials such as roads, police, schools, hospitals, armed forces, etc. These can only be financed through the public purse."

Ahem. As far as I'm concerned, roads, schools, and hospitals could be run by private companies that are not recipients of money from the public purse. Also, it would mean less taxation.

"It is true that in some European countries with left-wing governments, the basic rate of tax is higher than in the US, for example, but the people benefit from things like excellent free education, free [health care] and modern transport systems..."

Yes, it is true that those services funded through tax revenues are "free." Wait a minute... NO THEY'RE NOT!!! Private companies (if given the opportunity) would (more likely than not) provide better quality services due to competition and the incentive to make a profit.

About the arguments about the upper and lower classes in the UK, that is unfortunately the case. However, do you think that some of the policies that are so restrictive were made by MPs who follow some of your ideals?

I therefore urge you to vote Con for a fairer society where all the citizens can be responsible for their own actions and make an honest living, not by relying on stolen handouts.
Debate Round No. 3
13 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Ragnar_Rahl 8 years ago
Ragnar_Rahl
"Let us join together to empower the workers to create a social and economic meritocracy through the wholesale, equitable redistribution of wealth.
"

People are not "equitable" in merit, therefore, contradiction.
Posted by DrAlexander 8 years ago
DrAlexander
Alexander Hamilton ...
DrAlexander ...

Any relation?

On a more serious note, I've read through about half of this debate so far, and it sounds quite interesting.
I'll give an RFD after I'm finished.

Assuming anyone cares :D lol

-Alexander
Posted by AEQUITAS 8 years ago
AEQUITAS
C-Mach, I read your profile and your absolutely right. Alexander Hamilton was by far the best and brightest of the Founding Fathers. Awesome job so far in this debate!
Posted by AEQUITAS 8 years ago
AEQUITAS
The country that Pro is talking about only did well because it didn't do something stupid like set up a socialist government.
Posted by C-Mach 8 years ago
C-Mach
"Wow really? Then they've doomed us all."

Rezzealaux, truer words could not have been said.
Posted by Rezzealaux 8 years ago
Rezzealaux
"Blame the government for mandating that gasoline has to now be 10% ethonal."

Wow really? Then they've doomed us all.
Posted by C-Mach 8 years ago
C-Mach
Right on th ball, AEQUITAS, right on the ball.
Posted by AEQUITAS 8 years ago
AEQUITAS
I'm trying to think of a government which has adopted the view you expressed and not smashed the freedoms of the people and ultimately failed miserably. I can't think of any. Maybe that's because this form of government doesn't work. The rich have just as much right to their property as the poor do. Once the government ddecides that they can take that property from the rich just because they are rich they find excuses to take things from everyone. You want to blame someone for high gas prices and high food cost? Blame the enviromentalists for not letting us use the massive amounts of oil in this country because it happens to be in a national park. Blame the government for taxing us almost 60 cents on every gallon of gas. Blame the government for mandating that gasoline has to now be 10% ethonal. Now all the farmers are growing corn instead of other crops and the price of food has gone up. By the way... Those rich corrupt oil companies only make 8 cents per gallon of gas. The government makes 7 times more per gallon of gas.
Posted by DucoNihilum 8 years ago
DucoNihilum
@Therefore, my political views are moderate.

Only in a world where the only political views are Communism, Socialism, and Capitalism, whereas most people are 'moderate' socialists..... Socialism is pretty radical so far as economic totalitarianism goes.
Posted by bexy_kelly 8 years ago
bexy_kelly
yay a more egalitarian world! Where fat people are made pay their way in planes, work hobbits are available to buy and unused websites are taken down!

I'll follow it blindly :D
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