The Instigator
BlackVoid
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
bluesteel
Con (against)
Winning
17 Points

USFG should adopt a Childbirth Limitation policy

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/23/2010 Category: Society
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 3,436 times Debate No: 13757
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (4)

 

BlackVoid

Pro

Nobody can deny that overpopulation, if it isnt already, will be a very serious worldwide issue within the next 50 years. As we are rapidly multiplying, resources will soon become even more stretched then they are now. There have been many ways proposed to combat this issue, some have been implemented, but this is one that is up for debate.

The topic = Two children maximum.

Before I begin I will point out that nowhere am I trying to say that a limiting on childbirth in the US will not solve for the problem by itself. I merely support the position that this is an important step in the process and will help contribute to solving the issue.

Round 1 will be for intros. Also I ask my opponent if they would like to debate the general idea of childbirth limiting to two, or if they would like me to give and explain a specific policy. Although I would prefer the former, as debating the worth of a specific policy could mean con could say my policy is bad but another limitation one is better, which isnt what I intended for this topic. However if they feel a specific policy must be proposed to best debate this, I will do it.

I thank and wish con good luck in advance.
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the topic BlackVoid.

==Intro==

I intend to argue that overpopulation will be caused by developing (not developed) countries; that there are moral issues involved in banning childbirth, and that resource crunch predictions are often wrong (Malthus).

Unless my opponent offers an alternate proposal for implementation, I will assume that the U.S.'s two child policy will be similar to China's previous "One Child" policy.

I look forward to a fun debate.
Debate Round No. 1
BlackVoid

Pro

I thank Bluesteel for accepting. I also look forward to a fun round.

Onto the round.

I could sit here and list all kinds of impacts about overpopulation. How it will strain resources, lower quality of life, ham other species, etc. However, I will assume that most of us are already aware that overpopulation is causing, or would cause, serious issues to both humans and the environment, specifically the United States since that is what this is about.

So I will simply elaborate as to why childbirth limiting to two in the US and A will be effective at controlling it.

The main reason is the obvious one, less children.

Large families are the biggest problem in regards to childbirth. My first source (1) shows that 28% of women have 3 or more kids by the time they lose their reproductive ability. This means that, since the current US population over 307 million people, we already have at least 86 million more people that will add approximately 215 million more people in their lifetimes. This shows you how people multiply when not controlled.

Look at Octomom. She alone has accounted for a +15 to our population. These kids will likely average out to add 40 more children. Then see Jim Bobb and Michelle Duggar (3), who have an atrocious nineteen children. Nothing personal against Bob and Michelle, however it is these kinds of people that need to be stopped, as they are one of the causes to our expected oncoming population spike.

The solvency is the 2 children rule. Technically, it would lead to a death rate that exceeds birth rate. If every couple of 2 had two children, +2, then the couple died, -2, it would even out. However, not every couple wants 2 children, if any at all. So while the 2 children families cancel out, other families will actually account for a -1 or -2.

I know what my opponent will say. "Well, not everyone will abide by the rule, some will still have 3+". I understand this. However I believe that if the rule were in place, the families that have less than 2 children, combined with deaths that happen "prematurely", it would still contribute to a net decrease in population. Even if it didn't, it would still be an important step in solving the problem.

I await my opponent's responses.

1. http://www.babycenter.com...
2. http://www.google.com...
3. http://en.wikipedia.org...
bluesteel

Con

I thank BlackVoid for the topic.

==Weighing mechanism==

We should evaluate this debate using a utilitarian framework to decide which policy is in the United States' best interest.

==My case==

C1) The Demographic Transition

If you observe the history of wealthy developed countries, their populations go through different phases as their wealth increases. During phase 2, death rates decline as the society is able to afford better sanitation and medical care. [1] In phase 3, birth rates decline because rising living standards make raising kids more expensive. [2] In addition, more educated women have fewer children because they have more career opportunities. [3]

Because birth rates naturally decline with wealth, overpopulation is only a problem in poor countries. The United States is not a poor country, so it does not need to worry about overpopulation.

In fact, the U.S. and other developed countries actually need to increase their population growth because people are choosing to have too few children.

Reason Magazine explains the coming under-population crisis as follows: "The "demographic winter" is coming . . . the demographic winter augurs little good, e.g., economic collapse and social deterioration. If current trends continue world population should begin a steep decline sometime around the middle of the 21st century. Why? Because total fertility rates (TFRs) are plummeting around the world. Population stability is achieved when each woman bears an average of 2.1 kids over the course of her lifetime—one for her, one for her male partner, and a little overage to make up for childhood deaths. Today, there are sixty countries in which TFRs are below 2.1. For example, the European Union's TFR is 1.5 and no EU member state has a TFR at replacement or above. Even high population developing countries have seen steep declines in fertility. Since 1970, China's TFR fell from 5.8 to 1.6; India's from 5.8 to 2.9; Indonesia from 5.6 to 2.4; Japan's from 2.0 to 1.3; Mexico's from 6.8 to 2.4; Brazil's from 5.4 to 2.3; and South Africa's from 5.9 to 2.7. The U.S. TFR dropped from 2.55 in 1970 to around 2.1 today, largely because of the influx of higher fertility immigrants. However, the fertility of second generation Americans drops to the level of longer established Americans." [4]

In the United States, we need to encourage people to have MORE children, not fewer. France is so desperate that they are paying people to have more kids.

When a society has too few children, there are not enough young people to support the elderly. In the U.S., too few children would mean that Medicare and Social Security would become totally insolvent. China's notorious "One Child" policy has resulted in an aging population that cannot support itself; according to Fareed Zakaria in the book Post-American World, "China's median age will rise from thirty-three in 2005 to forty-five in 2050, a remarkable graying of the population. By 2030, China may have nearly as many senior citizens sixty-five years of age or older as children under fifteen . . . The effects of an aging population are considerable. First, there is the pension burden – fewer workers supporting more gray-haired workers." [5]

Anyone in the U.S. who has more than two children is actually doing us a favor by keeping our birth rate above replacement levels. According to Zakaria, one of the U.S.'s greatest assets is our large and young population, which is key to maintaining an innovative economy.

C2) technological improvements

Technological improvements have historically solved overpopulation. In the 1800s, Thomas Malthus predicted a looming overpopulation crisis because he observed that populations followed exponential growth models whereas food production only grew linearly. However, his predictions proved wrong because not only did populations stop growing exponentially (due to the demographic transition), but also food production started growing exponentially rather than linearly due to technological improvements. Due to selective breeding of crops for higher yields and improvements in fertilizer (referred to as "the Green Revolution"), food production has continued to grow fast enough to keep up with population increases.

C3) Rights

In Griswold v. Connecticut, the Supreme Court held that couples have a right to privacy (based on the 5th Amendment), and the government must stay out of decisions made in the bedroom. [6] The decision of whether to have more than 2 children falls clearly within this standard. In addition, a childbirth ban violates the First Amendment, since Catholics don't believe in birth control.

In addition, depending on how my opponent chooses to punish offenders, this law would likely violate the 8th Amendment. Under China's One Child policy, if parents tried to have more than one child, the child was either killed upon birth or the parents were imprisoned, or both.

This is a double bind: either the Supreme Court would overturn this Two Child policy, rendering it ineffective, or the U.S. government will be allowed to violate the Constitution whenever it wants and The Document becomes nothing more than a meaningless scrap of paper. In addition, having a child's parents imprisoned is not in the best interest of the child or society in general, since society will be forced to provide for the remaining children.

==Rebuttal==

* My opponent says: Large families are the biggest problem in regards to childbirth. My first source (1) shows that 28% of women have 3 or more kids by the time they lose their reproductive ability.*

His source actually shows fertility rates are declining in the U.S.: "Are big broods back? Not really, says Steve Martin, a sociologist at the University of Maryland. When Martin crunched the numbers from a 2004 government survey — the most recent available — he found that 28 percent of women age 35 to 44, who are winding up their childbearing years, have three kids or more. Ten years ago, it was 29 percent." The rates are in decline.

*My opponent cites Octamom and another couple with 19 children*

These two made the news precisely because they are such rare anomalies. And remember, the U.S. needs higher birth rates.

*My opponent says his goal is that birth rates will be lower than death rates*

This would lead to an aging population with no one to support it, and Medicare/Social Security would be in even more trouble than they already are. It will stagnate the U.S. economy since Fareed Zakaria points out that most inventors and Nobel Laureates make their major discoveries when they are young. A large, young population is key to U.S. economic success.

Unless you want the U.S. to be a nation of old people by 2050, vote Con.

[1] http://web.pdx.edu...
[2] http://www.hcs.harvard.edu...
[3] http://reason.com...
[4] http://reason.com...
[5] p. 197
[6] http://www.pbs.org...
Debate Round No. 2
BlackVoid

Pro

I thank my opponent for his interesting points.

I agree that we should look to utilitarian framework.

His first point is that once a country becomes wealthy and prosperous, birth rates eventually decline, so the US need not worry about overpopulation. However, just because birth rates supposedly decline, it does not change the fact that there is still a net growth in population every year. What he doesn't tell you is that while birth rates decline slightly, death rates decrease dramatically because of these improved medical technologies my opponent spoke of. The natural decrease of birth rate is not enough to overcome the dramatically decreased death rate, however a mandatory limiting of child birth would be, as I showed in round 1.

His Reason Magazine evidence is flawed for the same reason. It does not account for decreased deah rates.

He then says that with a lower population caused by childbirth limiting, it causes less people to take care of the elderly. However, this is only a short term loss. He fails to account for the fact that over time, there will be less people that will need to be taken care of in the first place. This means we wont need as many people, thus a decline in population is only helpful.

C2 talks about technology increasing food production. However technology can only get us so far. Increasing populations will eventually cause us to need more technological improvements, which will further population growth, causing a shortage of food and leading to another need for technological improvements, and the cycle repeats. At some point we will be unable to make any more improvements to food production and will succumb to the limited resources of the Earth.

C3. He talks about Catholics and right to make your own decisions. However, I was under the impression that we were looking through a utilitarian viewpoint, not a rights one. Since we are looking through Utilitarianism, we acknowledge that not giving people the "right" to have tons of children is acceptable because it will provide the greater good for everyone else, by ensuring that we dont have overly dense cities, and protecting our resources from being gulped by all these people.

Imprisoning the parent or killing the child is just one (bad) way to ensure the policy is followed. There are many, more acceptable ways to enforce the law, such as fines, or mandatorily giving the child up for adoption. I know my opponent will have a hayday with that last one, but its an option.

Onto the defense of my points.

He says fertility rates are declining. First of all, recognize that a 1% decline in ten years would be very subjective as to whether to call that a true "decline". But the main thing, extend my argument from above where I show you how a natural decline in birth rates is not enough to overcome the decreased death rate. Only a childbirth limiting law can keep up with the constant net gains in population.

Finally, he mentions again that with a lower population there will be fewer people to take care of the old. But again, there would be less people to take care of in the first place. But then he claims that having less people will stagnate the US economy? There are several countries in the world that have a much lower population than the US, but have a better economy than we do. For instance, Ghana has less than a tenth of our population, but has the strongest economy in the continent. That shows you that population is in no way related to the economy.

I urge a prop vote.
bluesteel

Con

Thanks for the prompt response BlackVoid.

As before, *'s will denote an argument my opponent made.

==Defending my case==

C1) Demographic Transition

Remember, my argument here was that the U.S. needs people to have the same number of kids or MORE kids than they currently do to keep the U.S. population stable (above replacement levels). We need to avoid the "demographic winter" that Reason Magazine says is already happening in most of Europe and Fareed Zakaria says will happen in China.

*just because birth rates supposedly decline, it does not change the fact that there is still a net growth in population every year*

1. From the previous rounds, population growth is good because:

a) It is necessary to support an aging population, especially to compensate for the large uptick in the elderly that will occur with the graying of the Baby Boomer generation.

b) Bigger populations are associated with larger, stronger, and more dynamic economies.

c) Most innovators make major discoveries when they are young, so having a young population is critical.

2. The U.S. population is barely above replacement levels, meaning it is barely staying constant. Without large influxes of immigrants, the U.S. population would not be above replacement levels (the Reason Magazine evidence), and we would be in the same situation as France, desperately trying to bribe people to have more kids to keep the population levels stable.

*death rates decrease dramatically because of these improved medical technologies my opponent spoke of*

1. Not true, death rates in the U.S. are not decreasing in any meaningful way. No evidence is provided of this.

2. The demographic transition of drastically decreased death rates occurs in phase 2, BEFORE the transition to decreased birth rates. Death rates declines are due mostly to the introduction of water purification systems, waste disposal systems, and antibiotics.

I argued that population growth is necessary to support the elderly and keep Medicare/Social Security solvent as the Baby Boomers retire.
*this is only a short term loss. He fails to account for the fact that over time, there will be less people that will need to be taken care of in the first place*

1. Under this logic, the U.S. should have zero kids because over time there will be far fewer people to provide for. We obviously acknowledge there are benefits to having a larger population.

(Note: this is not really the "short term" – we're talking about around 2050.)

2. Unless there is a solution in the "short term" of keeping Medicare/Social Security solvent while also decreasing our population size, then utilitarianism would say that we cannot adopt a childbirth limitation policy if it results in either a) bankrupting the government or b) leaving the elderly out to dry by canceling Medicare and Social Security, even though they paid into it their whole lives.

C2) Technological improvements

My argument was that technology growth has always outpaced population growth.

*At some point we will be unable to make any more improvements to food production and will succumb to the limited resources of the Earth.*

1. This is the most recent in a long line of doomsday prophecies. Technology has always managed to outpace population growth, the most recent revolution in food production being the Green Revolution (selective crop breeding for high yields and better fertilizer).

2. This will continue with the Gene Revolution, as crops are genetically modified for higher yields, to need fewer inputs (nutrients, water), to live in harsher climates, and to withstand pests (like locusts).

3. People will not have kids if their environment cannot support them. Numerous studies show that mammalian animals don't go into estrus when resources are scarce. For proof in the human case, that we lose fertility under extreme conditions of food deprivation, see studies regarding loss of menstruation in bulimic/anorexic girls.

4. That was the biological explanation, but people will also CHOOSE not to have kids if they cannot support them based on current resource levels (the social explanation). My Harvard evidence from the previous round proves that people forgo having kids as living standards rise because each child further divides the family's wealth, but the child does not contribute to the family's wealth in any meaningful way in an industrialized society. Compare to an agricultural society, where children are assets because they can tend the field.

5. The Reason Magazine evidence proves that the trend on Earth is actually towards a demographic winter, where population size will begin decreasing, so this is actually not a worry at all.

C3) Constitutionality

My argument was a double bind: either a) the law will be overturned by the Supreme Court, rendering it ineffective or b) the government will be allowed to violate the Constitution whenever it wants.

*I was under the impression that we were looking through a utilitarian viewpoint, not a rights one*

1. It is not the case that utilitarianism doesn't believe in rights. In fact, one version of utilitarianism says that we should determine which rights exist based on whether the "right" would do the greatest good for the greatest number.

2. Even ignoring rights, if the law is immediately overturned, it does no good. The Supreme Court case Griswold v. Connecticut (which was about contraceptive use) literally concluded that the government must stay out of decisions made in the bedroom. This child limitation law would be immediately overturned, based on court precedent.

3. If the law weren't overturned on privacy grounds, the Constitution would be meaningless. Utilitarians also care that there are protections against tyrannical forms of government control.

Extend the arguments about the 1st Amendment as well. The law would violate freedom of religion, since Catholics don't believe in contraception. Also, if a woman accidentally got pregnant with a third child, she would need to get an abortion to avoid punishment. Forced abortion would also violate religious freedom.

I brought up that most methods of enforcement are evil or bad for society, such as killing the child or imprisoning the parents.

*There are many, more acceptable ways to enforce the law, such as fines, or mandatorily giving the child up for adoption. I know my opponent will have a hayday with that last one, but its an option.*

1. My opponent must choose an enforcement mechanism or else he cannot prove his law in enforceable, and also so he can't keep shifting his advocacy position.

2. Fines aren't really a punishment. They could also be viewed as a tax on having more than two children. Fines also violate the equal protection clause, since parents of twins are taxed double for something they cannot control.

3. Giving up the child for adoption just shifts the burden of paying for the child onto another couple or to the state. Many children sent to foster care are never adopted. Foster care is also horrible – 75% of children there experience sexual abuse. [1]

==My opponent's case==

*recognize that a 1% decline in ten years would be very subjective as to whether to call that a true "decline"*

The source I cited for this was my opponent's, and it was to show that his own source (about families with 3 or more kids) disagrees with his conclusion that the population is growing dramatically in the U.S.

*Ghana has less than a tenth of our population, but has the strongest economy in the continent*

1. The strongest economy in Africa? Not saying much…
2. South Africa and Egypt definitely have stronger economies.
3. Ghana average income = $1500, U.S. average income = $46,000
4. Current U.S. GDP = $14.26 trillion; current Ghana GDP = $50 billion

[1] http://www.hg.org...
Debate Round No. 3
BlackVoid

Pro

First I thank my opponent for finishing the entire debate and putting effort into it, both of which have been rare abnormalities recently.

Now, I will first clarify why having a larger population is not necessarily beneficial or necessary, as my opponent used this argument several times against many arguments.

I stated we wont need a large population to take care of people more because with a smaller population there wont be as many people we need to take care of. He says under this logic we should have 0 kids so we wont have to take care of anybody. But he misinterprets this completely. The point was made to show that there isn't a down side to a lower population. It was not advocating that we should cause a drastic drop in people like he's maKing it out to be, only that a gradual decline is acceptable.

So its established that having a lower population is not detrimental or necessary in any way. This takes out the vast majority of his arguments defending his C1, as he uses that same point several times.

Also in C1,

1. He claims bigger population = strong economy. It is actually the other way around. Strong economies come first because of technological improvements, then the population increases as people flock to the wealthy nation.

2. He claims young people make most major discoveries. I agree. But this argument is entirely non-offensive. There are still millions of young people in places such as China, which have limited childbirth. This policy does not eliminate the young population in any way.

3. He says death rates in the US aren't decreasing now. That was not my point. I was saying that when countries become wealthy their death rates decrease because of that. The US is already wealthy. Our death rates have already become low.

Onto his C2 defense.

1. The consensus of his first 2 points is tat we can modify crops for faster food production. However this did not address my point at all. I said increasing population will cause a need for crop growth to become faster and faster as more and more people begin consuming food. Eventually technology will not be able to keep up, unless my opponent can prove that we can modify crops to regrow in 5 minutes.

2. His biological explanation claims women wont have kids if the environment cant support them, because they will be suffering from starvation and thus will not have the nutritional capacity to produce kids. That sounds like a great way to limit population growth, wait until everyone starves! I'm pretty sure it would be more effective to prevent us from getting to that point in the first place (by voting pro).

ALSO. He seems to have a contradiction here. He says food deprivation will prevent population growth, but he claims earlier that technology prevents us from running out of food in the first place. Go ahead and discount both of these points then since they are incompatible.

3. His social explanation says people voluntarily wont have children in a crowded environment. But again, thats because the environment has become crowded and the earth cannot support any more people. It would be preferable to *prevent* us from getting overcowded, rather than letting it happen and letting it "work itself out".

4. The Reason Magazine evidence is also flawed because it says population will eventually decrease, but as previously stated, that is only because people will be starving and struggling to find necessary resources because of overpopulation.

Now C3

I understand Utilitarianism recognizes rights. However it also does what is best for the greater good. If limiting certain rights will help the greater good (by preventing resource scarcity and excessive population density), then my opponent's own theory supports limiting childbirth.

He makes a big deal about Griswold vs Conneticut, however this was in 1965. Far before overpopulation had become the issue that it is now. Thus, overturning the law is acceptable because we recognize it will create a greater good.

Then on the enforcement policies:

I addressed in round 1 that it would be best to not be too specific on the enforcements because then the debate could be about "this policy is good/bad" rather than "childbirth limiting is good/bad". However it seems my opponent wants an enforcement mechanism, so here it is: The third child will be euthanized.

Lol, just kidding.

The enforcement is a progressive fine based on income. He claims fines are more like a tax; this is not true for large fines in the tens of thousands of dollars. Also, it does not violate the EP Clause because parents can control whether or not they have three children.

Onto my points.

He says my source says population is not increasing. Again he misinterprets. The source was not about population increase whatsoever, it detailed how several families have three or more kids. And population IS growing in the US, contrary to what he seems to believe. Growth is in the hundreds of thousands every single year.

Then on Ghana.

GDP has no relevance in comparisons, as the US has a larger landmass/resource base to export goods with, thus accounting for the disparity.

Average income is alo a biased statistic because Ghana's prices on services are also much lower than the US's, again accounting for the disparity (1)

So again we see that nations do not have to have a large population to have a strong economy.

To close, I will elaborate one more time about the major argument in this debate: whether or not a larger population is good.

Increasing our current population causes,

1. Resource strain (2)
2. Weakened economy (2)
3. Increased unemployment (2)
4. Increased pressure on environment (2)
5. Decreased watter supply (3)
6. Faster disease spread due to population density (3)

And many more. Yet my opponents message has been that higher population is somehow good.

My opponent never denies that adopting a childbirth limitation policy will solve for overpopulation, so we accept that it will. Since overpopulation causes all those negative impacts, population control will solve for them. Increasing population, which is what my opponent wants, create them.

I urge a pro vote.

1. http://www.facstaff.bucknell.edu...
2. http://www.overpopulation.org...
3. http://www.budgettravel.com...
bluesteel

Con

I thank BlackVoid as well for sticking with the debate; I've been getting an annoying number of forfeits recently too. This has been a very fun debate.

==Impact debate==

Is population growth good or bad? My opponent offers no real proof in his case, until now, of why population growth is bad. He should automatically lose the conduct point for presenting 6 reasons in his final round and forcing me to answer them all in the last round, which is generally reserved for summation. You should actually completely disregard these new arguments made in the last "speech." Should you choose not to, I'll refute his points.

*Hey says:

Increasing our current population causes,

1. Resource strain (2)
2. Weakened economy (2)
3. Increased unemployment (2)
4. Increased pressure on environment (2)
5. Decreased watter supply (3)
6. Faster disease spread due to population density (3)*

General response:

The first source is bad, the second bogus. The first source (footnote 2) only talks about environmental impacts, but none of his other claims. It is also not specific to the US, but talks about world overpopulation, which I've shown is more of a worry in developing and under-developed countries. The second source (#3 footnote) quite literally talks about neither water supply nor diseases – it is a travel website that tells you what locations to visit in Ghana.

Also, if any of these 6 actually became a serious issue (we're talking way more than 100 years from now), THEN we could consider a childbirth limitation policy.

Specific responses:

1. Answered by technological improvements and bad Malthus predictions
2. Answered by the Fareed Zakaria evidence, which says our continued population growth is key to our future economic success; may be true in poor countries, but not in the US
3. No reason why this is true. The economy always finds productive uses for more people. If it didn't, there should have been a lot of unemployment created since 1900, when there were only 76 million people in the US, compared to more than 300 million today. [1]
4. Solved by technology. The US environment is much cleaner today than right after the Industrial Revolution, when people complained about all the soot in the air.
5. Not a problem in US – we have more fresh water than the rest of the world (Alaska, Great Lakes); solved by technology ("Construction of wastewater treatment plants and reduction of groundwater overdrafting appear to be obvious solutions to the worldwide problem") [2]
6. Not a problem in the US – we actually have really low population density right now, compared to other industrialized countries like England and Japan; strong state governments can prevent the spread of disease through quarantine (prevent people from leaving an infected city, for example)

I offer all my reasons why population growth is good in my case under C1, and thus this brings us to:

==My case==

C1) Demographic Transition

I offered three reasons that population growth is good:

a) We need population growth to support an aging population, specifically the huge uptick in the elderly that will occur as the Baby Boomers retire. Without population growth, Social Security and Medicare will be utterly insolvent. Fareed Zakaria says that China is doomed in regard to its pension burden because of its childbirth limitation policy.

This argument is unanswered by my opponent.

b) Bigger populations mean larger, stronger, and more dynamic economies.

*My opponent says that people immigrate to strong economies*

True. Immigration is one form of population growth. Without a great deal of immigrants, the US economy would still be limited to the approximate size of the original 13 states. This just proves that population growth is good and necessary to a strong, robust economy.

c) Fareed Zakaria: most innovation comes from young people

*My opponent says China still has young people*

True, but far fewer than they should. Zakaria says China will have more people over 65 than under 15 by 2030. The Chinese economy will be far less innovative by 2030 because of their childbirth limitation policy.

*My opponent says "only a gradual decline is acceptable"*

His policy is not a gradual decline because many people choose to have fewer than two kids (or no kids at all). The current average birthrate of 2.1 kids in the US is exactly that – an average. Since many people choose to have 1 or zero children, we owe this average to people who have 3 or more children, which my opponent points out is a significant percentage (28%). His own case disproves his "gradual decline" theory. Remember, 2.1 births per female is the "replacement level" for society. Our goal should – at the very least - be to keep our population constant. I don't even have to win that a growing population is good, just that a stable population is good.

My opponent loses the debate at the point where he doesn't answer my Reason Magazine evidence that world population is already projected to decline by mid-century, not increase, due to the "demographic winter" that is approaching.

*He says the Reason evidence is "only because people will be starving and struggling to find necessary resources because of overpopulation"*

Lies. Read the evidence. It's based on current population trends.

C2) Technological improvements

Malthus made the same predictions as my opponent and was proven wrong. A string of neo-Malthusians have made the same predictions nearly every half century since, and none proved true. Technology has always outstripped increases in population. The Green and Gene Revolutions alone will maintain adequate increases in food production for at least the next two centuries.

*Eventually technology will not be able to keep up, unless my opponent can prove that we can modify crops to regrow in 5 minutes*

This is ridiculous – the US is nowhere near that level; we're barely above replacement levels now. If we ever got to that point, we could reconsider my opponent's proposal.

My opponent also doesn't understand my argument about self-limitation. In a free market, as resources decline, even slightly, their prices rise. People will have fewer children as it becomes more expensive to raise them. This process is natural in a free market.

C3) Constitutionality

Griswold v. Connecticut is a Supreme Court case stating that the right to privacy means the government must stay out of decisions made in the bedroom. Supreme Court precedents must be followed.

This also violates the 1st Amendment (religious freedom) because it forces Catholics to use contraception and forces all religious individuals to get an abortion if pregnant with their third child.

*My opponent says we can overturn this law for the greater good*

1. It's not a law, it's a court case. There's a huge difference.
2. Not without overturning the 5th and 1st Amendments to the Constitution. The detriment of destroying the Constitution's protections would far outweigh any benefit of this specific law. We would have no checks on government without the Constitution.

==His case==

*Growth is in the hundreds of thousands every single year*

Uncited; his original source showed a decline; and a small amount of growth is good – see above.

*Ghana – "biased statistics" because they don't adjust for purchasing power*

The average incomes were adjusted using purchasing power parity. The average citizen in the US is 31 times wealthier than the average citizen in Ghana.

==Summary==

Because US population is barely growing at all, because we need some population growth to maintain our economic strength, because technology can keep pace with population, and because a childbirth limitation policy is completely unconstitutional, I urge a Con vote.

[1] http://tinyurl.com...
[2] http://tinyurl.com...
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by F-16_Fighting_Falcon 5 years ago
F-16_Fighting_Falcon
This was a very informative debate. I think it comes down to whether the 2 child policy will be implemented drastically or gradually. If you suddenly implement a 2 child policy, then the US will have an aging population that it needs to take care of. However, once that phase passes, everything will be back to normal but with less people. If it is implemented gradually, I think that phase may be avoided. I think the main problem with implementing is that is wasn't established for a fact that population increase is bad in any way. It might be desirable. Anyway, those were my thoughts. I didn't vote because I skimmed but the debaters are free to PM me if they want a vote or a real RFD, although I don't think it will affect the outcome since Con is 12 points up.
Posted by darkkermit 6 years ago
darkkermit
Conduct violation on Pro for introducing new arguments. I saw a few spelling errors fro BlackVoid. Con not only demonstrated why we shouldn't adopt a childbirth limitation policy but also showed why decreasing the population growth would be bad, well beyond his argument burden. bluestee used more sources that were better than BlackVoid's.
Posted by OrionsGambit 6 years ago
OrionsGambit
A 4 member "nuclear" family of a developed nation consumes more in resources then a 12 member family in a developing nation. So it is false that developing countries consume more then developed countries, both on familial and national levels (United States vs China or Denmark vs Morocco for example of national level).

Either way I still don't support limiting children per couple, unless maybe the limit is like 4, replacement value plus population growth. Or we could go with George Carlin's idea of the women just giving replacement value for herself and ignore replacing the husband XD
Posted by bluesteel 6 years ago
bluesteel
I know you brought up a few negative impacts in round 2, but you seemed so flippant about them, I thought this was more of an intro than an argument. You essentially say "we all know overpopulation is bad, so I won't really go into any detail." Most debaters don't consider an argument made unless it's explained with at least one line of analysis. And you definitely add a whole lot more impacts in the last round.

I was kind of surprised - I would have expected a major focal point of your case in R2 to be the negative impacts of overpopulation in the U.S.

Sources: It's all good - no worries.

Yeah, we're pretty screwed as far as Social Security already. The government is going to have to raise the retirement age to at least 67, as the Deficit Reduction Committee is recommending.
Posted by BlackVoid 6 years ago
BlackVoid
Actually, I did say in round 2 that there were negative impacts to overpopulation, but when you claimed how having more people was necessary it prompted me to be more specific about their impacts.

And sorry about the source mixup in round 4.

Interesting argument about social security though. Thats definitely something to think about.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by cameronl35 5 years ago
cameronl35
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