The Instigator
StoicNation
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
whiteflame
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points

Those who benefit most from society should pay more. Those who don't should pay less. Simple.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 3 votes the winner is...
whiteflame
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/8/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,042 times Debate No: 71323
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (17)
Votes (3)

 

StoicNation

Con

The rich do not become rich because they "benefit from society". They become rich because they work hard and create something which is useful to other people. Making them pay more only means that they are forced to give double or triple that which they have already given to society.
whiteflame

Pro

Thanks to Con for challenging me to this debate. As he's new to the site, welcome to DDO!

First off, let's be clear: this is not a discussion of the amount of revenue the government should make or how the government spends. It's a question of where those funds come from.

Rather than putting down rebuttal this round, I'm just going to focus on building a case. The reality is that society needs money. A government requires money to function in order to build infrastructure that ensures that society continues to run. Much of that infrastructure, such as roads, buildings and bridges, has a direct positive effect on businesses. Thus, that government is playing a pivotal role in their ability to do business, and, since they specifically utilize those resources commonly, they should contribute back to the economy in a larger way.

There's also the much more basic issue of having the ability to afford those contributions. The rich can afford to pay more, and the poor cannot. It's pretty straightforward - if you're living day to day, then you simply cannot afford to pay extra out to others. The rich can. So, either those funds come from the rich who can afford them, or the poor who can't and thus would be debilitated by the cost. That's not to mention that the poor are practically certain to spend any funds they have, in the process energizing the economy, whereas the rich are far more likely to save the majority of their funds in offshore accounts that are of little or no benefit to anyone within their countries.

The reality is that the rich do pay more, and with good reason. It will be up to Con to explain why that burden should shift to others. I'll wait til R2 to rebut his points.
Debate Round No. 1
StoicNation

Con

Thanks for the welcome!

I agree with your introduction. This is no debate about how the government spends money or how much it takes in. It is definitely about where the funds come from.

I also agree with you on the points that a government must take in money and funds in order to ensure the normal continuance of society and that government is necessary for commerce in today's society.

I even agree that if you are living day to day, you cannot afford to pay extra taxes that the wealthy can afford to pay.

However, I disagree that the wealthy are more likely to keep their money in secret "offshore accounts" than spend it or invest it. This is a bad idea for a couple reasons: Firstly, there is no prospect for growth. Secondly, due to inflation, the money will continually be devalued over time at a rate of a couple of percent per year.

I also disagree that commerce only benefits business owners and the super wealthy. The truth is that commerce exists because it helps both sides. It benefits the people who actually receive items that are useful to them from these establishments as well as the sellers, and if it did not, it would not exist.

And above all, I disagree that there is anything "simple" about it. Right now, the people who struggle day to day are financially gouged by tax on necessities, and the 'wealthy' have to give up more of their money to pack the wound. It would be far better if all people were taxed equally on non necessities. It is generally understood that all people should have an opportunity to grow and improve their conditions. Why should we allow a system which by definition taxes economic progress and stunts that growth? I would much prefer life in a system which facilitates everyone's economic progression equally instead of limiting it after a certain point.

Finally, I maintain that the wealthy do not usually become wealthy at the expense of others or "society", but rather become wealthy because they worked harder and smarter.
whiteflame

Pro

Alright, thanks to my opponent. I'll be rebutting this round, and defending the next.

All of Con's R1 arguments are claims. None of them have any support or warrants.

Note my argument from the previous round regarding how the rich benefit from society. I've shown that the rich don't earn everything on their own " they are reliant on public infrastructure. They utilize these resources more often than other individuals since they have to make shipments and travel more often. This contradicts Con's statement that the rich don't benefit from society. Beyond that, the rich are bolstered by numerous subsidies and tax breaks, billions of dollars of it.[1]

Considering the number of people that inherit their fortunes,[2] I'd say the claim that all of the rich work hard is wanting. Not every rich person resulted from their own hard work. This claim that many of them are "creat[ing[] something useful to other people" is also faulted . Some are fashioning businesses and building sustainable workforces, but the majority of entrepeneurs and investors are creating temporary jobs that do little in the way of benefitting others. In fact, what does create jobs is "a healthy economic ecosystem surrounding the company," which is based in the funds available for the poor and middle class to spend as customers.[3]

Con has failed to show that the rich are paying out proportionately to what they're earning. He's also asserting that whatever system would be put in place would garner so much more that it would double or triple contribution. And I say to that: fine. It's exceedingly low now, it SHOULD increase. In the areas of job creation and charity, they're falling very far behind the general public in terms of giving back proportionately to their earnings.[4] In fact, if Con wants a system where everyone gives back equally, he should support the resolution to balance this injustice.

1. http://bit.ly...
2. http://econ.st...
3. http://read.bi...
4. http://bit.ly...
Debate Round No. 2
StoicNation

Con





This proves “that the rich are paying out proportionately to what they're earning”(pro). In fact, the ‘rich’ are paying nearly 200% of what they would be paying if everyone’s taxes were more simply proportional to their earnings (3).


To elaborate:


The top thousandth descending cumulative percentile makes 8.86% of all money made in the United States, but pays over 16% of all collected taxes (3).


Then, the bottom 50%, which takes in nearly 12% of the nation’s income, has to pay less than 3% of the nation’s tax (3).


Source (1) agrees that over 15% ($212 bil) of revenue from income tax goes to welfare programs; assuming that even 3% of this is used to help the lower 50% of people with income, their income taxes do end up being negative, meaning it only goes up from there. Additionally, less than 6% of income tax goes into transportation infrastructure (4), so how exactly are the wealthy more reliant on society?


Furthermore, Pro’s entire argument is reliant on wealth being a zero point system. Really, one person’s wealth does not take away from another’s. When someone buys an iPhone, others still have their older phones. The ‘wealth pie’ is simply growing. Read (1).


Finally, Pro’s sources…


[1] and [4] are the exact same source, and BOTH times, it argues that the middle class is stingier with money than the upper class.


[2] only focuses on France and Germany; it provides no statistics about the US and even explains that collected data could be an outlier. It does not even focus on exactly how many inherit their wealth.


[3] argues that the wealthy do not create the jobs at all, so why would they be responsible for creating “temporary jobs”?


And I do not want a system where everyone gives back equally. I want a system where everyone has an equal opportunity to grow…


Sources


(1) http://www.forbes.com...


(2) http://wapo.st...


(3) http://www.irs.gov...


(4) http://www.cbpp.org...




whiteflame

Pro

Apologies, my first link was misplaced. This is the correct link: 1. http://cbsn.ws...

To be fair to my opponent, this round will be all case defense.

Note the concessions. The government MUST achieve the same amount of revenue. And yet, he also concedes that "if you are living day to day, you cannot afford to pay extra taxes that the wealthy can afford to pay." This means that either he fails to meet a basic burden, ending the debate, or he is taking necessities like food, housing, or clothing away from the poor who have to pay more for other goods, easily the most potent impact in this debate.

Con's concedes "that government is necessary for commerce", which shows that government is necessary for the success of the rich. That means that they're ENTIRELY RELIANT on society to earn their riches, ergo Con concedes that the rich owe EVERYTHING to society and should be required to pay back in proportion, not just in increased amounts as compared to others, thus conceding the debate.

These concessions alone should be enough to win me this debate.

On offshore accounts. First, reality contradicts Con's claims, as it's estimated that $21-$32 TRILLION is kept offshore.[5] Second, there are many benefits, including lower cost bases, higher interest rates, lower government regulation, and lower taxes.[6] So there is a prospect for growth, and inflation is trumped.

On Con's case for changing taxation. Several problems. First, sales taxes represent a very small amount of overall federal tax revenue, which means this would have next to no effect on taxation of companies and the rich.[7] Second, since we're necessarily discussing differential taxation based on earnings, talking about sales tax is off base. Third, a progressive taxation system doesn't "stunt [economic] growth", another unsupported claim. Progressive taxation improves economic stability.[8]

Vote Pro.

5. http://bit.ly...
6. http://bit.ly...
7. http://theatln.tc...
8. http://bit.ly...
Debate Round No. 3
17 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
No, you don't...
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
Do I need to do a super long rfd? I mean this debate was pretty short....
Posted by StoicNation 2 years ago
StoicNation
Good analysis Zarroette; thank you for posting.
Posted by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
Glad to finally be good enough to vote on your debates =)

Please excuse the multiple grammatical errors, too, but I don't think they detract too heavily from showing understanding in the vote. I'll be sure to check more thoroughly, next time.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Thanks for the vote and RFD, Zarroette! I think you captured it quite well.
Posted by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
RFD 1/2

This debate was rather short and to the point, which made for an easy read. I thought Con did a better than average job, considering that his is his first debate. Although, none of the contentions were headed, so it was a tiny bit tricky to follow. Anyway, let"s have a look at the contentions.

==Contentions==

=Rich work hard and create something useful; increased tax is double/triple taxing=

Con opened the debate with this contention. Initially, as Pro pointed out, there was nothing to support this contention. Furthermore, Pro attempted to push Con further in negative territory with an argument showing that entrepreneurs mostly create only temporary jobs, and even some rich people merely inherent their wealth. Con mitigates by arguing that the second source Pro used only addresses France and Germany, and that the source said itself that the statistics could be outliers. Still, Pro retains some impact, due to mitigation not being complete nullification.

The second part of this contention involved Pro"s sourced counter-argument arguing that healthy economic ecosystems help to create jobs. Con counters by arguing that the source argues "the wealthy do not create jobs at all", so how do they create "temporary jobs?" Pro elects not to respond out of fairness, but Con"s clever use of Pro"s source against Pro"s argument ties this back up, for the moment.

=Not a debate about how he government spends money or how much it takes in=

I thought that Con made a rather poor mistake in allowing the concession of "this is not a debate about how the government spends money or how much it takes in". I think an obvious counter-pointed to Pro"s point here is that governments can become corrupt and can spend money on frivolous and/or wasteful things (such as, arguably, fireworks and/or excessive welfare). But this counter-point wasn't made, so Pro begins to frame the debate in his favour.
Posted by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
RFD 2/2

=Government needs money in order to build infrastructure=

Both sides agree with this premise. Unfortunately for Con, Pro is constructing a metaphorical box which will eventually trap Con, if Con is not careful. I do not see how Con could have avoided this, though.

Later in the debate, Pro attempts to use this premise for positive impact, by arguing that infrastructure helps businesses, thus the business eventually sees the money come back around. Con counters by arguing that it helps everyone, but then Pro counter-counters by arguing that the rich wouldn"t have their wealth without the infrastructure. This would give reason for the rich to pay extra to keep these infrastructures. A clever argument that makes full use of the meaning in the resolution. Pro takes the lead again.

=Either the funds come from the rich who can afford them, or the poor who can"t=

This was a contention that was constructed by Pro and Con agreed to. Unfortunately, this was fatal for Con. Con agreed that the poor cannot afford to pay extra. Con also agreed earlier that governments need money. Since governments cannot make money appear out of air, and also since the poor are too poor to pay, Con is boxed into agreeing that either the rich pay extra, which affirms the resolution. Although Con later uses graphs to set-up an argument that could derail Pro, this contention concession is fatal and Pro wins on this.

Sources, conduct, S&G were good enough from both sides.
Posted by whiteflame 2 years ago
whiteflame
Hey, I'm not complaining. :P
Posted by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
It's about time I voted on one of your debates, given that you've voted on tens of my ones, Whiteflame. I'll start reading...
Posted by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
I'll read this. The study on progressive taxes and stability from last round was interesting, but it doesn't make sense since most fiscal policies (except low taxes) have much of an effect. Their argument is that progressive taxes = easier for stimulus, but the fiscal multiplier is probably around 0 so it wouldn't have an effect. And the finding is opposite to most research. I'm not going to use any of my opinions in the vote but it needed a comment :p
3 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Vote Placed by Blade-of-Truth 2 years ago
Blade-of-Truth
StoicNationwhiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct - Tie. Both had proper conduct. S&G - Tie. Both had proper spelling and grammar. Arguments - Pro. In R1 & 2 I found that Con's lack of supporting evidence significantly lessened his impacts. The key argument from Pro that Con failed to overcome was that the rich utilize public infrastructure and government resources more often than others, hence justifying them paying more and effectively showing that the rich indeed benefit from society. Pro's point showing how alot of the rich people inherit their money was another key point that Con seemingly dropped. Later on, Con conceded that the poor can't afford more taxes if they're living day-to-day, which goes against his position that the poor should pay more to equal out the burden on the rich. Other than that, Pro was able to effectively refute every point raised by Con. Sources - Pro. While both utilized an equal amount quantity-wise, I found Pro's to be more effective where needed, whereas alot of Con's claims lacked support.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 2 years ago
16kadams
StoicNationwhiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's main argument is that the wealthy are wealth producers. But Pro refutes this notion noting that many merely inherit their wealth. This means more taxation doesn't really harm the economy. Pro offered some evidence suggesting that higher taxes actually may spur economic growth through promoting stability. Con's arguments showing that the rich pay too much isn't convincing, because his numbers claim to reduce taxes, but the rich will still proportionally pay more. Con's claims also ignore Pro's killer argument " the rich are bolstered by numerous subsidies and tax breaks, billions of dollars of it." So, really, Con's numbers fail because they do not take this into account. As Pro also argues it is the middle class which creates the jobs. So taking from the rich and giving to the middle is what will actually cause growth. Pro pretty clearly wins and successfully proves that the rich should be taxed more than the poor.
Vote Placed by Zarroette 2 years ago
Zarroette
StoicNationwhiteflameTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: RFD in comments.