The Instigator
djussila
Pro (for)
Losing
42 Points
The Contender
Kleptin
Con (against)
Winning
45 Points

The free market is the best solution for racism and discrimination.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/4/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 4,708 times Debate No: 9603
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (14)
Votes (14)

 

djussila

Pro

The free unhampered market is the best answer for the elimination of discrimination regarding jobs and careers. A truly free market would encourage employers to make business decisions based solely on merit and attitude, otherwise employers would be handicapping themselves regarding labor when restricting certain types of ethnicities or genders.
Kleptin

Con

I thank my opponent for this debate.

My opponent's proposal for ending discrimination and racism is to implement a completely free market. I think that this proposal is irrelevant and naive.

The proposal is irrelevant because one thing has nothing to do with the other. Racism and discrimination are spread out far beyond the world of business, and are deeply ingrained in the very fiber of society. Changing one small portion of society will do absolutely nothing, because racism and discrimination will seep in.

The proposal is naive because the world simply does not operate the way my opponent believes it does. In a truly free market, employers are still human. The fact that it is a free market does not mean that an employer's bias and racism is automatically eliminated in favor of money. Furthermore, if a panda and a rhino both show up for the same position, and are just as qualified, the employer still has the choice to act on his rhino prejudice and employ the panda out of hatred.

My opponent's proposal to solve racism and discrimination with a free market is the same in efficacy as proposing to solve world hunger by reducing the tax on pickles. Will it help? Yes. But not in any marked way.

There is no solution for racism and discrimination, in any way, shape or form. People will always have prejudice and people will always discriminate. We have an intrinsic need to alienate others while embracing some. Differences in appearance are a natural indicator, and people will always use this as a form of discrimination, unless we do the following:

1. Upload everyone into a virtual world
2. Make the appearance of each person exactly the same.

This, unlike my opponent's proposal, is the best solution for looks-based racism and discrimination.
Debate Round No. 1
djussila

Pro

I would like to thank my opponent for participating in this debate.

Firstly, I would like to clarify some context issues my opponent is misunderstanding. I am talking about discrimination in the context of the market; regarding jobs, careers and businesses. I am not talking about a society in whole, just an aspect of the society, in this case, the market. When my opponent made the statement that "racism and discrimination are spread out beyond the world of business" and "changing one small portion of society will do absolutely nothing...", those opinions are irrelevant and out of context because I am regarding solely to the marketplace. Outside interference is not the point.

However, that being said, my opponent made an interesting observation. It is true that a truly free market will not change peoples opinions on the inside. An anti-Semite will keep his hated for the Jews and that will usually bring him no trouble as long as he keeps his opinions within the law. However, if that anti-Semite wished to operate a successful BUSINESS, his prejudice will severely handicap his operations. Of which i will elaborate.

To take your zoo-inspired example a little further, and that we assume that the employers "species-ism" still applies toward the rhino, let us take this example.

Lets say that the employer is in the light fixture industry, of which he runs moderately successful enterprise. The employer has a job opening that pays $25,000 in salary. There are two applicants - one rhino and one panda. The employers job manager estimates that while the panda will bring in $28,000 in profits, the rhino will bring in $31,000 in profits, based on their experiences and individual merits. Now, if the employer wanted to run his business optimally, he would naturally pick the rhino - of which the rhino would earn $6000 in profits for the employer. However, if he decided to act on his prejudice and chose the panda as his employee, the panda would only earn $3000, thereby costing the employer $3000 in profits.

As you can see, it is a costly business to be discriminatory in a free market economy, where racism and sexism are bad business decisions. They can keep their personal objections toward someone to themselves all they want, but in order to maximize profits they would have no choice but to hire the best employee available, even if they are a rhino.

Lastly, I would like to mention that I find it quite disturbing that my opponent has a seemingly laissez-fair attitude toward intolerance, and gives no real solution on trying to combat it. Remember: genocide ends where indifference begins.

My argument stands: the free market is the best way to deal with racism and discrimination.
Kleptin

Con

Thank you to my opponent for his prompt response. I shall now make my counterarguments.

"I am talking about discrimination in the context of the market; regarding jobs, careers and businesses. I am not talking about a society in whole, just an aspect of the society, in this case, the market."

Incorrect. I can assure both the audience and my opponent that there was no misunderstanding whatsoever. I was fully aware of the scope of my opponent's proposal, but he did not understand my point fully. My point is that regardless of how much we narrow the scope, racism and discrimination are rooted in the very fiber of society. I don't expect my opponent to eliminate all racism and discrimination through this free market proposal, but I also find it naive for him to think that the free market proposal can balance against something that is so intrinsically rooted into society.

What my opponent fails to understand is that the economy is held up by people, not by computer programs or soulless robots. His proposal is founded on the irrational notion that the mechanisms taught in a high school economics class are enough to explain the complexities of the human interaction we call the market. So no, this is not "outside influence". My opponent cannot argue this resolution by fantastically cutting off ties to the real world, and what the real world entails.

As long as people act as employers, and people run the economy, and people run businesses, we cannot ignore the variable of human bias in this conversation.

"There are two applicants - one rhino and one panda. The employers job manager estimates that while the panda will bring in $28,000 in profits, the rhino will bring in $31,000 in profits, based on their experiences and individual merits...If he decided to act on his prejudice and chose the panda as his employee, the panda would only earn $3000, thereby costing the employer $3000 in profits."

My opponent's point rests on the assumption that we can find, with exact precision and accuracy, the amount of profit that an employee can generate compared to another. Does no one else find this completely absurd? What my opponent is looking for, is an objective measure of economic worth, to weight his argument with evidence that does not exist. The fact of the matter is that employers hire mainly out of bias, with certain documentation to help sway their decision. Simply put, an employer that is hiring based on his prejudice has as little idea about his potential profit as an employer that is hiring without irrelevant prejudice.

Even *if* my opponent could conclusively prove that there are methods by which he can accurately distinguish between the profit level of one employee and of another employee prior to hiring, having a purely free market does not mean that every employer has to have the pure goal of making money. It just means that the government has no hand in regulating the market. There is nothing about a free market that would make the employer in the analogy change his tune, if he really does have a heavy prejudice.

"Lastly, I would like to mention that I find it quite disturbing that my opponent has a seemingly laissez-fair attitude toward intolerance, and gives no real solution on trying to combat it. Remember: genocide ends where indifference begins."

I think I need to take some time to remind my opponent that as the proponent and the instigator, he bears to burden of proof. As the contender, I need not find ways to repair and enhance his proposal in order to help him solve his discrimination-related issues. My stance since the beginning of the debate is that racism and discrimination are inescapable parts of society. My opponent will have to excuse my "seemingly laissez-faire attitude" because that is exactly my position in this debate. Whether not he finds this position disturbing is irrelevant.

"My argument stands: the free market is the best way to deal with racism and discrimination."

Something cannot stand if it never existed.

See the definition of "free market"

http://en.wikipedia.org...

"A free market describes a market without economic intervention and regulation by government except to regulate against force or fraud."

In order for my opponent's "argument" to make sense, he must somehow connect the unrelated notions of a free market, and the focus of an employer to put profits above prejudice. He has made this assumption many times, but has never addressed it.

In addition, my opponent's "evidence" is a situation in which an employer consciously decides to lose profit because of his prejudice. I have addressed the absurdity of this situation because an employer would not be able to tell the difference with that much accuracy in the first place.

With all these holes in his argument, I am surprised that my opponent would even make such a concluding statement.

Thank you, I look forward to my opponent's response.
Debate Round No. 2
djussila

Pro

Thank you again.

Firstly I am going to get a little off topic and defend one of my arguments. Although I am unaware of my opponents level of education or if he has ever ran his own business before, but he makes the claim that you cannot put a dollar sign on an employee as compared to another. This is incorrect. Many businesses and government departments employ what is know as the "Cost/Benefit Analysis" to predetermined actions to decide whether an action will either benefit them, in the form of money, or cost them money. It is also wildly employed when screening for new employees. Simplified, the Cost/Benefit analysis subtracts the cost of an action from the expected benefit, resulting in a positive or negative outcome.This type of calculation typically includes a payback period calculation, which shows how long it will take for the benefits of the course of action to repay its costs. Things that are included in this analysis are background checks, training, medical histories, staffing, etc. Now I will admit there are weaknesses to this system, as this calculation relies on the expected earnings of profit, however it is a widely used gauge for determining the risks in hiring a new employee.

Secondly, my opponent made the claim that "even *if* I could prove that there is such a method existed, ... that does not mean that every employer has to have the pure goal of making money." Can my opponent point me in the direction of this selfless employer? Where is this do-gooder of justice and equality? Do they work for non-profit organizations or unions, where their lobbying efforts thwart millions of taxpayers dollars into their pockets? Or maybe they are the teachers who, while paid moderately, are subject to pricey retirement packages - of which are often subsidized by taxpayers via unions. The profit motive is the keystone to our economic foundation, you wouldn't have a healthy economy without it. I could say to my opponent that if he didn't like the profit motive, he could move to a society that neglects it like North Korea or the former U.S.S.R, but I wouldn't wish those economies on my worst enemy.

The free market is the best to to discourage discrimination. Opponents of this way of thinking generally believe that the free market encourages discrimination and that massive government intervention is necessary to correct the "natural evils" of the market system. Simple evidence weakens that argument. Even in South Africa during white rule and apartheid policies limited the employment of blacks, white employers in competitive industries often hired blacks in greater numbers than the law allowed.(1) The claim that government intervention is needed is not supported by the actions of these government policies. Affirmative action policies, or quota's on the employment of certain groups only exasperate problems. Imagine if an African man was given a job or promoted solely on the color of his skin and not of his merit, and a number of more experienced white men where passed over. Not only did the less qualified person get the job, which hurts the company, but this policy actually hurts race relations between the "protected" race and the other races! Some of these polices have the effect of "reverse discrimination" where the "protected" races have an extreme advantage over others and, as a result, the other races are discriminated against.

Also I think it is apt to point out that discrimination is carried out in great and better practice by government, as opposed to the alleged "evil" free market. Just look at the Nuremburg laws of Nazi Germany or the atrocities occurred during China's Cultural Revolution. All of these acts were carried out by the orders of government policies. The free market has never came close to that level of discrimination and injustice.

With one last example I will end my rebuttal. Imagine that an owner of a basketball gym was a racist, and the NBA wished to host a game at his gym. Would the owner refuse to host the NBA? Would his "natural" racist tendencies overcome his desire to earn a profit? Would he only admit white basketball players into his gym? A challenging task considering over 3/4 of the NBA population is African American. Or, more importantly, would he pass over the thousands of dollars he would earn in profits from advertisements and revenue? Common sense says no.

I have made the argument that the free market is the best way in discouraging racism and discrimination in the marketplace, and that government intervention is not the answer. It is often the problem. In our market based economy we cannot undermine and criticize the profit motive, as it is the likely the most important aspect of our economy. A simple comparison of the standards of living of societies where the profit motive is secondary reinforces that fact. Discrimination will always be a problem, people are human after all. This being said however, the best way to deal with discrimination is to allow humans to be human, and not force decisions that would harm businesses, income, and individualism.

Thank you, I look forward to my opponent's final response.

(1) Merle Lipton;Capitalism and Apartheid:South Africa, 1910-1984,Pg.204.
Kleptin

Con

I thank my opponent for his response and shall now conclude the debate.

My opponent begins with an attempt to defend his point. I must tell my opponent that I am well aware of the concept of "Cost/Benefit Analysis" and indeed, I am also very aware of all the flaws of doing this. My opponent reluctantly added that small concession and tried to gloss over it, but I must make the audience aware that this is no small error. Cost-Benefit Analysis is very often erroneous, and to a degree that makes its reliability very questionable:

See the section on accuracy.
http://en.wikipedia.org...

It is very clear that this type of analysis in pursuing goals is highly inaccurate. Made even more so by bias from all angles, as it says in the source. Now, please examine this example of Cost per Hire, which is an example of the calculation my opponent says is "commonly used".

http://findarticles.com...

You can see that my opponent is trying to mislead the audience. Note that the "commonly used" C/BA (which is already erroneous) is applied to new hires, not used as a method of comparing one new hire to another. The flaws in the system are already bad enough to make the general estimation unreliable. My opponent is declaring that he can then use this flawed system to accurately tell the difference between two measurements? With a margin of error so large, no one could possibly tell which of two employees would be better, using pure objective data. Unless my opponent is God, we must throw out this argument.

As per my opponent's second point, he has committed two logical fallacies. First, his argument is a fallacious straw-man attack. Secondly, his misinterpreted argument is also a false dichotomy, making it a fallacious argument within a fallacious argument.

http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
http://www.sierrafoot.org...

First of all, I never mentioned anything about the importance of the profit motive. My opponent has purposely maligned my argument to make it easier for him to attack. My point was to show that aside from making profit, an employer has countless other values to take into account when hiring a new employee. This makes my opponent's response completely irrelevant.

Furthermore, even if I WERE talking about that, my opponent's response would still fail. He suggests that if an employer does not focus entirely on making profit, then he must be completely selfless. This is a false dichotomy because there is an entire range of gray in between. If my opponent wants to ask me for the selfless employer, I ask him for the robotic employer who does nothing but calculates profits.

Suffice to say, this point can also be discarded.

My opponent's third point can be thrown out immediately. I find it disrespectful that my opponent has decided to debate with an imaginary person instead of me, as he is bringing up this "counter argument" regarding government intervention in correction evils. I hope the audience notices that I have never argued this point during the debate, and that my opponent is now making an irrelevant argument and talking to himself. I suggest that my opponent focus on responding to issues I actually bring up, not ones that he "just feels like" bringing up, for the heck of it.

My opponent's fourth point follows along with his nonsense, branching out to another fallacy, or rather, several fallacies. At this point, I can't even classify it. However, I hope that the audience can.

1. Nazi Germany and Communist China were discriminatory
2. Nazi Germany and Communist China were examples of non-free markets
3. Therefore, a free market is the best way to combat discrimination.

A mixture of post hoc ergo propter hoc, non sequitor, and equivocation fallacy.
http://www.fallacyfiles.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...(logic)

My opponent's final point regards an NBA game. This is a very good way to illustrate why my opponent's confusion has led to the failing of his arguments.

His argument: If a person is a capitalist, then he should not be racist. Therefore, capitalism is the solution to racism.

FREE MARKET =/= CAPITALISM

They are completely different terms, with completely different meanings, and my opponent has confused them.

As per the definition of a "free market" that I supplied in previous rounds, there is no correlation between government intervention and racism.

If the resolution were "Complete adherence to capitalistic ideals is the best solution for racism and discrimination", then my opponent's arguments would make sense. However, this is not the resolution. A free market is not the same as Capitalistic ideals. Capitalism is based on the concept of a free market, but the "profit motive" that my opponent speaks about is a part of Capitalism that has NO CONNECTION to laissez-faire philosophy.

There is not much more to say. My opponent has completely failed to introduce even a single argument and furthermore, has been arguing a different resolution the entire debate.

Since this is the case, I urge a CON vote.

Thank you to the audience and to my opponent.
Debate Round No. 3
14 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by Kleptin 7 years ago
Kleptin
Conduct- Both debaters conducted themselves fairly. No forfeits or outrageous behavior.

S&G- Tie, no sharp differences.

Arguments- CON. Con's counterproposal was never contested, and several of his points went through unanswered. Pro did not seem to understand the difference between strive-for-profit mentality and lack of government intervention. Con pointed out that this difference decided the debate. In addition, Pro made arguments against points that Con never discussed, when there were plenty of issues left unresolved.

Sources- CON. Con offered more sources by far. The only source that Pro used, was in an argument about apartheid. However, this argument was a side note that Pro arbitrarily brought up just because it fit the topic. It was irrelevant to the main issues being discussed.
Posted by djussila 7 years ago
djussila
I don't mean to nitpick but I did use a source on my answer for round three for when I was talking about apartheid in South Africa.

(1) Merle Lipton;Capitalism and Apartheid:South Africa, 1910-1984,Pg.204.

No matter however, thanks for the response!
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
PRO's NBA example was indeed interesting, but I must say from my own experience that such people DO exist. Money isn't omni-important to everyone. You can refer to the time of segregation in the US if you don't believe me. People do stupid things. Flat out denying business (hence profit) based on skin color.
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
Actually, I might just list any additional point I wanted to make later.
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
CONDUCT: I agree with the fallacies with CON claimed PRO used, but I wasn't convinced that they were intentional; I wouldn't classify djussila as a trickster. Gonna have to vote this down as a tie.

Spelling and Grammar: I didn't bother to concern myself with the language as much as I did the content, so I'm gonna leave this as a tie.

Convincing Arguments: I favored CON's arguments. Overall, PRO didn't give me any reason to believe that racism and discrimination could be impeded via free market. He attempted to do so through referring to the practice of cost/benefits, but as CON demonstrated not only in reference to evidence which demonstrates unreliability in this system as well as pointing out the simple fact that people simply aren't cold/logical (like computers) when it comes to decision making, this doesn't really do the job. PRO's greatest weakness is overestimating the rationality of humanity. Humans do stupid things all the time and the idea of potential profit loss doesn't change this. As Kleptin pointed out, there is no one woh is completely concerned with profit just as there as no one who is completely concerned with their own biases.

Furthermore Kleptin's proposal (although overly idealistic) wasn't contested which is to simply upload everyone's minds onto a virtual world and remove any area where discrimination/racism is stimulated from. Granted, I can see how this would come off as "silly", but I'm generally a tabula rasa type judge. That said, this didn't influence my vote as much as what was said above.

Reliable Sources: CON was the only one to have sources, so this goes to him by default.

Good debate. I shall provide a few extra points in my next post.
Posted by djussila 7 years ago
djussila
Ah i see, thanks!
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
Reason for Decision.
Posted by djussila 7 years ago
djussila
Villain?! Bwaahahaha! What does RFD mean? lol
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
None of that has anything to do with how I vote though. ;)
Posted by Logical-Master 7 years ago
Logical-Master
I think in real life, this could go either way for you. On one hand, you seemed to be in control during your last round. More importantly, you successfully painted djussila as the villain with your remarks concerning his tactics in this debate . On the other hand, I'm pretty sure some of your jargon would go over the average person's heads.

I'll have decided within 10 minutes.
14 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Vote Placed by J.Kenyon 7 years ago
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