The Instigator
NovaLux
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Grandbudda
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points

Was the Rise of U.S. Monopolies c.1860-1900 Due to Lack of Government Oversight?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Grandbudda
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/18/2014 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,734 times Debate No: 44203
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (1)

 

NovaLux

Con

Pro takes the position that the growth of monopolies in the United States was caused by lack of economic regulation in relation to the period before the Civil War. Government regulation can reduce the growth of monopolies, but pro will argue that the removal of regulation led to the growth of monopolies.
Con will try to refute pro's argument, and offer alternative explanations.

I realize the position I am taking is viewed as pretty much insane by conventional wisdom, but that is all the more reason to debate it. Just something I noticed while researching the era.

You can reference historical information from before the time period, but not after. Pro can offer their beginning arguments during round 1, last round is for conclusions. Best of luck!
Grandbudda

Pro

I would argue that monopolies provided a lot of good to the country. In the end we probably needed legislation to curb the excesses inherent in a monopoly. However one can't argue the fact that between 1860 and 1900 this nation had one of the longest and most successful economy ever. Post Civil War the nations growth was robust and the beginnings of a middle class began to bloom. In the areas of tobacco, oil and steel for example it was the very presence of monopoly that caused the industries to flourish. With the oil industry the very fact that oil deposits are not plentiful lends itself to monopolistic endeavor. So while in the long run monopolies had to be dealt with they also gave the nation a springboard to success and thus benefited the economy and people at large.
Debate Round No. 1
NovaLux

Con

"I would argue that monopolies provided a lot of good to the country."
As I said above, Pro takes the position that lack of economic regulation spurs on monopolies. Whether they are good or bad is a separate debate altogether.

I will provide my theory as to why monopolies flourished from 1860-1900. In a word, railroads.
Although many regard this time in American history as the government with its hands of the economy, it was not. It's only that instead of trying to strangle business, it was its biggest promoter. Free trade means no involvement with business, supporting or opposing. Anyway, in 1862 Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act. This act gave thousands of acres of land directly to corporations, which suffice it to say would qualify to as a subsidy. They also issued government-backed bonds to the railroads to front the enormous cost of building a transcontinental railroad. Speculation in these government-backed railroad bonds would later go on to cause the Panic of 1873 and the Panic of 1893, two of the worst recessions during that era. (from Wikipedia pages. Yes, Wikipedia.)

Government Involvement-
Everything revolved around the railroads in the new booming economy. Really, pretty much everything, because who could afford not to use a system that cut travel time by 90%(3)? You would go out of business in a split second if you did not bow down to the omnipotent railroads. And many did, when competing with moguls such as Carnegie and Rockefeller.

"The material needs of the railroads helped create several other big industries, such as iron, steel, copper, glass, machine tools, and oil."(2)
Wait a minute, did that just say iron, steel, and oil? So you're telling me that the two most well-known "robber barons" in the United States were receiving indirect subsidies from the government in production as well as transportation?

Perhaps the most damming fact of all is that the railroads, the most government financed companies, formed monopolies of their own: "By combining all of the fields into one conglomeration, the railroads had a new power, as they acquired control of many facets of the new economy."(2) This is just getting easier and easier for me as I go along. These railroad monopolies were the kings of monopoly, since the railroads led to the easy formation of more monopolies. And they were receiving tax dollars form the very workers they exploited (debatable), while many strikers protested the supposed evils of capitalism!

"Meanwhile, in Omaha, Dr. Thomas Durant had illegally achieved a controlling interest in the Union Pacific Railroad Company, giving him complete authority over the project. (Durant would also illegally set up a company called Cr"dit Mobilier, which guaranteed him and other investors risk-free profits from the railroad's construction.)"(1).
Well this is just the gravy on top. Imagine direct control of the nation's economic lifeline by none other than a government official, Mr. Thomas Durant! Doesn't that sound a little more like socialism than a free-market paradise? Government was involved, it had a huge investment in the economy in the form of railroads. Private companies were reluctant to build these railroads because they knew that until it was cheaper, their costs would not make returns for a very long time. But the economically sensible government barged ahead anyway, and lost a good deal of money each year.

"Even as the railroads went bankrupt, their owners grew rich, all subsidized by the US government." (4) The railroad companies needed subsidies and land grants to survive, because they were unprofitable and incompetent. This was not the failure of the free market system, but the failure of government subsidies which has so often shown itself to be true. The government brought rapid changes to an economy, and many a corporation got left behind in the dust. But everyone thanks the government for finally getting rid of the evil menace of monopolies, when in reality they were just cleaning up their own mess.

Sources:
(1) http://www.history.com...
(2)http://www-cs-faculty.stanford.edu...
monopolies/development_rrmon.html
(read through this source if you're still skeptical, too many supporting quotes to include.)
(3) http://www.flowofhistory.com...
(4)http://www.boston.com...
Grandbudda

Pro

The rise of monopolies is due to a lack of government regulation. As my opponent has pointed out in a word, railroads. There weren't people lined up wanting to build railroads. The job could best be done through a monopoly which could get to a finished product in a timely manner.
The government did have their hands off of the economy they helped to stimulate business through stimulus as my opponent even states. I don't agree that free trade means no involvement with business, it just means that government doesn't stand in the way of business. The fact that Congress passed the Pacific Railroad Act only proves that government was encouraging this kind of growth. We can't even rebuild ground zero today because largely all of the government regulation and blocking. As far as the financial panics I'm sure that my opponent likes to blame the presence of monopolies as if we didn't have financial panics in the last hundred years of regulation nation. Hell besides the Great Depression and Recession we have financial bubbles with regularity today.

Yes it seems that much revolved around the railroads in the new booming economy. The building of the railroads helped build our entire economy of the future. If it weren't for moguls such as Carnegie, Rockefeller and others where in the hell would we be today anyway? You forget that in those days there was also no income tax, so what's wrong with encouraging the very men who put this country to work! My opponent should check his facts since no one paid income taxes in the country in those days. He is clearly misinformed and misinforming. The bottom line here is that government got out of the way and encouraged business and that's how we grew as a nation.

Of course this period in our history is widely seen as a Great Leap Forward my opponent would have us believe that government subsidies is how these men and companies became so successful. It may be true that government brought rapid changes to an economy, and left some corporations behind. Precisely because government wasn't overly involved in regulating business.

My position indeed is that lack of economic regulation spurs on monopolies. It is certainly true that there was no government oversight per se, especially when we compare that era with our regulation nation of today.
Debate Round No. 2
NovaLux

Con

The argument I was making here is that the massive subsidies to railroads was the main cause of monopolies, not just deregulation of the markets, where deregulation is a lack of laws prohibiting or penalizing certain activities on the market. Again, I'm not arguing that monopolies were bad, only that they were brought up through government subsidies.

"My opponent should check his facts since no one paid income taxes in the country in those days."
You made a good point about the income tax in those days, and I am aware there wasn't one. I looked up sources of revenue from that time and there were excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco, which were widely consumed (1). Although most of their revenue came from tariffs, they are sort of an indirect tax because they lead to people having to pay more for items on the market. Southern farmers, already poor, were hit especially hard by the tariffs.

So I'll look at laws before the gilded era to see whether government substantially deregulated after 1860.
Morrill Tariff- a protectionist measure meant to help the burgeoning U.S. industries. Raised tariffs by around 70%.
National Banking Act- Established National Banking system, centralized banking.

Reconstruction
New expenditures in the South on schools, infrastructure, and (big surprise) railroads, led to a quadrupled property tax rate by 1873, which is where the South received a good deal of its revenue from.

1880s-1900
Sherman Antitrust Act- Passed in 1890, makes trusts illegal.
Supreme Court rules 5-4 that railroads cannot have monopoly, becomes less business friendly.

Specific removal of legislation regulating businesses- ?
I've searched Google multiple times but have only been able to come up with vague mentions that the Gilded Age was a laissez-faire period in American history. It certainly wasn't the tariff rates, which were about the only form of taxes during that time, intended to protect industry:
(Look at graph, Source 2)
The rate is hiked during the war and understandably lowered afterwards, but still remains higher than pre-war rates.

True, there was a general attitude of unwillingness to regulate business (laissez-faire), many corrupt dealings between corporations and government (NOT laissez-faire), and government favoring businesses in labor disputes (laissez-faire). But I was hard-pressed to find any instances where government relaxed existing laws that would have spurred on monopolies. So if it was not relaxation of regulations (and it certainly was not a general pro-business attitude), then what could have caused the huge growth of big business where it didn't exist before? Well, there was a rapid growth of population and technology (fueled by the growth of railroads). Access to a lot more capital than previously available, along with the advent of stock trading.

And, well... railroads. There's not too much else that was wildly different about the economy.
"Prior to 1871, approximately 45,000 miles of track had been laid. Between 1871 and 1900, another 170,000 miles were added to the nation's growing railroad system. Much of the growth can be attributed to the building of the transcontinental railroads."(4) This is a rapid shift in the way things were done in America, brought about by government intervention. The well-connected companies profited, while the not-so-established could not keep up with the artificially fast pace, and got crushed. Key word is artificially- this was not the natural pace of the market.

"Four of the five transcontinental railroads were built with assistance from the federal government through land grants. Receiving millions of acres of public lands from Congress, the railroads were assured land on which to lay the tracks and land to sell, the proceeds of which helped companies finance the construction of their railroads."(4). The railroads would not have been built on their own (at least not so soon), so government stepped in and propped them up, thinking they were acting in the best interest of the country. Every product required a quick means of transportation to reach expanding markets, which was to be funded by government. The whole country was the knee of a government-funded monstrosity that used selective rates to boost their allies into extravagance.
Railroads were the center of the economy, and government was at the center of the railroads.
Deregulation indeed.

Sources:
(1) http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com...
(2) http://www.econdataus.com...
(3) http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4) http://www.loc.gov...
Grandbudda

Pro

Pro

Historically, the U.S. government policy toward business was summed up by the French term laissez-faire -- "leave it alone." The concept came from the economic theories of Adam Smith, the 18th-century Scot whose writings greatly influenced the growth of American capitalism. Smith believed that private interests should have a free rein. As long as markets were free and competitive, he said, the actions of private individuals, motivated by self-interest, would work together for the greater good of society. Smith did favor some forms of government intervention, mainly to establish the ground rules for free enterprise. But it was his advocacy of laissez-faire practices that earned him favor in America, a country built on faith in the individual and distrust of authority.

My opponents argument is that the massive subsidies to railroads was the main cause of monopolies, not just deregulation of the markets, where deregulation is a lack of laws prohibiting or penalizing certain activities on the market. The facts unfortunately don't tell the same story since there were no income taxes in those days to be subsidized. The government had an interest in seeing that railroads get built and they helped by staying out of the way of business.

As my opponent said "You made a good point about the income tax in those days, and I am aware there wasn't one." I'm glad that I could educate my opponent on this matter. He looked up as he says "sources of revenue from that time and there were excise taxes on alcohol and tobacco, which were widely consumed." Again he comes to the conclusion that these taxes were punitive when in fact they were nearly incidental when we compare to today. Although most of the government income came from these tariffs and "Southern farmers, already poor, were hit especially hard by the tariffs." My opponent forgets to mention that the south was devastated by the war between the states and was hit especially hard because they were rebuilding through reconstruction from 1865-1881.

The Sherman Antitrust Act- Passed in 1890 did make trusts illegal. That's about the only real fact that my opponent presents. I don't understand how an absence of taxes or even stimulus equates to government oversight. Taxes were so very low precisely because there were no entitlements, defense spending was a trickle after the civil war and the federal government left taxation for the most part to the state and local governments. My opponent asks for specifics about. The removal of legislation regulating business, well there weren't any because there were no such laws in those days. He says that he's "searched Google multiple times but have only been able to come up with vague mentions that the Gilded Age was a laissez-faire period in American history." That is ridiculous since government regulation was absent if anything during those days.

The fact that my opponent can't find instances where government relaxed laws is no surprise. The answer is simply because there were no laws to relax. He does go on to acknowledge that: "True, there was a general attitude of unwillingness to regulate business (laissez-faire)." My opponent the s explains that: "Prior to 1871, approximately 45,000 miles of track had been laid. Between 1871 and 1900, another 170,000 miles were added to the nation's growing railroad system." He makes the conclusion that it must. Be because of government relaxing regulations but can't point to a single example of it.

He states that : "Four of the five transcontinental railroads were built with assistance from the federal government through land grants. Receiving millions of acres of public lands from Congress, the railroads were assured land on which to lay the tracks and land to sell, the proceeds of which helped companies finance the construction of their railroads."
This is false also because the railroads didn't own the land they were allowed aright of way to build because it was seen as being in the public interest. I don't see that as being lax about regulation, it's just not standing in the way of growing business that was in everyone's interest.

In the early days of the United States, government leaders largely refrained from regulating business. As the 20th century approached, however, the consolidation of U.S. industry into increasingly powerful corporations spurred government intervention to protect small businesses and consumers. In 1890, Congress enacted the Sherman Antitrust Act, a law designed to restore competition and free enterprise by breaking up monopolies. In 1906, it passed laws to ensure that food and drugs were correctly labeled and that meat was inspected before being sold. In 1913, the government established a new federal banking system, the Federal Reserve, to regulate the nation's money supply and to place some controls on banking activities. In the next century a myriad of regulations and taxation has combined to cripple our country. The period between 1860 and 1900 could almost be seen as the antithesis of government regulation.

Sources:
(1) http://en.wikipedia.org......
(2) http://www.loc.gov......
(3) My Opponents information...
Debate Round No. 3
NovaLux

Con

Pro continually makes the point that the 1860-1900 period in U.S. history was one of relative deregulation to today, which I would agree with. But the fact remains that monopolies were not everywhere before the Civil War as they were after the Civil War, and regulation seems to have slightly increased instead of decreased (point me to specific counter-examples If I'm wrong). From that I draw the conclusion that deregulation did not lead to monopolies, and offer alternative explanations.

As a side note, I did state in the opening argument that you can "reference historical information from before the time period, but not after." I would appreciate it if Pro would stop using modern day economic policies as a reference point. The debate is about whether loosening existing economic legislation leads to more monopolies, while many (including most history books) seem to think it does.
Now to address some of pro's criticisms:

"As far as the financial panics I'm sure that my opponent likes to blame the presence of monopolies as if we didn't have financial panics in the last hundred years of regulation nation."
This is a straw man argument. All I was saying was that the two most disastrous Depressions in that era (one was called the Great Depression until the 1930s) were brought about by government financed projects.

"The bottom line here is that government got out of the way and encouraged business and that's how we grew as a nation." I would agree that government "encouraged business" by throwing money at railroads in one of the biggest stimulus bills in U.S. history. But government didn't get out of the way relative to existing laws on the books.

"The facts unfortunately don't tell the same story since there were no income taxes in those days to be subsidized." Could you please clarify here? Income taxes aren't necessary for subsidization- the government collected their tax dollars though high tariffs meant to protect companies from foreign competition, another pro-monopoly regulatory policy.

"Again he comes to the conclusion that these taxes were punitive when in fact they were nearly incidental when we compare to today." Another straw man argument. I was saying that these taxes were widely applied because many people, especially immigrant workers, would have to pay these taxes. But now that you mention it, the rates for tariffs and excise taxes were fairly close (154.8 million vs. 181.5 million in 1885) (1). And again, we are not referencing today's taxes in this debate.

"My opponent forgets to mention that the south was devastated by the war between the states and was hit especially hard because they were rebuilding through reconstruction from 1865-1881." I didn't forget to mention anything. Southern farmers were hit hard by tariffs before and after the war because it impeded trade, it's why their political platform consistently included free trade and lower tariffs. Northern manufacturers, which would eventually grow into monopolies, were the primary beneficiaries.

"The Sherman Antitrust Act- Passed in 1890 did make trusts illegal. That's about the only real fact that my opponent presents." The only fact? No response.

"I don't understand how an absence of taxes or even stimulus equates to government oversight."
It doesn't. But as my graph shows, tariffs (the main tax revenue at that time) never dipped back below their pre-war levels, remaining higher throughout the period. And stimulus is more in the field of government intervention, since it is similar to artificially inflating the demand (profits come from demand) past its market level.

"and the federal government left taxation for the most part to the state and local governments."
Even if they did, tariffs still rose, and government is government, whether federal or local.

"The removal of legislation regulating business, well there weren't any because there were no such laws in those days." That's exactly my point. Relative to before the 1860s, economic regulation didn't change all that much (if anything it increased), but monopolies did change.

"That is ridiculous since government regulation was absent if anything during those days." That's exactly what I had thought for a long time, so I was surprised that I couldn't find any noteworthy examples. Please, point me to specific examples if I'm wrong (though I realize it's a little late in the debate by now).

"He makes the conclusion that it must. Be because of government relaxing regulations but can't point to a single example of it." I thought my argument was that it was not because of relaxed regulations? The huge boost in railroads game from more federal funds, not relaxing existing legislation.

"I don't see that as being lax about regulation, it's just not standing in the way of growing business that was in everyone's interest." The government wasn't simply 'getting out of the way.' It was actively promoting an interest that Americans did not want, otherwise the market would have fronted the exorbitant prices required because the customers would be willing to pay for it though increased ticket prices, etc.

"In the next century a myriad of regulations and taxation has combined to cripple our country. The period between 1860 and 1900 could almost be seen as the antithesis of government regulation."
Compared to modern day, maybe.
Compared to pre-1860's, not so much.

It's clear that monopolies flourished after the Civil War, so what changed in their favor? The only thing I can think of is corrupt partnerships between government and business, and the immense stimulus to transcontinental railroads. But these corrupt dealerships were notably absent in the period before 1860, which leads me to believe that the partnership between government and the railroads, creating an artificially fast expansion of the economy, is what led to all the rest.
Grandbudda

Pro

I want to take this opportunity to thank my opponent for a spirited and robust debate. I'm hopeful to conclude this debate with affirmation of the Pro stance. My opponent acknowledges "Pro continually makes the point that the 1860-1900 period in U.S. history was one of relative deregulation to today, which I would agree with." The fact that monopolies were not everywhere before the Civil War as they were after the Civil War is not because of government regulation. The growth of monopolies has more to do with the massive industrial revolution and our movement as a nation away from an agrarian economy.

My opponent continues to want me to prove a negative with a negative. There were no regulations to relax so how could the government relax something that didn't exist. The very heart of my opponents argument evaporates into thin air. He asks that I "reference historical information from before the time period, but not after." It's impossible to reference something that doesn't exist. There were no government regulations before 1860 and there was none after until the Sherman Anti Trust act. I know that he is frustrated because he can't make his original argument fit, but I'm sorry that I can't make something out of nothing.

My opponent says "the debate is about whether loosening existing economic legislation leads to more monopolies." Let me make this clear, one more time...THERE WEREN'T ANY!!! My opponent drones on about my arguments being straw men. It seems that I have an army of straw men. I don't think so but if my arguments are straw men then his are the munchkins from munchkin land. He sees conspiracy at every turn when monopolies merely grew as a natural result of the growth due to the industrial revolution.

My opponent says "I would agree that government "encouraged business" by throwing money at railroads in one of the biggest stimulus bills in U.S. history. But government didn't get out of the way relative to existing laws on the books." One more time there were no laws that were relaxed. Even my opponent for all of his blustering fails to mention any specifically. Instead he continues to parade out is tiresome arguments.

My opponent proves my case by saying "The removal of legislation regulating business, well there weren't any because there were no such laws in those days." That's exactly my point." he says. He then says that "regulation didn't change all that much but monopolies did change." Here he is finally getting it, except that he wants to equate the rise in monopolies to lax government regulation so badly he forgot to bring any facts to support it. He even quotes me "That is ridiculous since government regulation was absent if anything during those days." That's exactly what I had thought for a long time, so I was surprised that I couldn't find any noteworthy examples." The reason you couldn't find examples of government regulation is... One more time... There weren't ANY!!!

My opponent states: "It's clear that monopolies flourished after the Civil War. But these corrupt dealerships were notably absent in the period before 1860, which leads me to believe that the partnership between government and the railroads, creating an artificially fast expansion of the economy, is what led to all the rest." One last time now! The reason that monopolies grew was because our country was moving from an agrarian economy to an industrial one. As this growth occurred monopolies became an almost natural outgrowth of the industrial revolution. It had nothing to do with government relaxing anything, in those days government stayed out of the way of business.

Some of the biggest offenders of monopoly were the oil and steel industries which my opponent has never mentioned. The fact is that they too grew into monopolies during this same period for the same reason. Rockefeller and Carnegie became two of the richest men and they were primarily in the oil and steel business. When government finally stepped in to solve the problem through anti trust regulation it was another outgrowth of the industrial revolution. I await your vote and hope that I have proved the affirmative.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by NovaLux 3 years ago
NovaLux
@Johnathan: Good point. Technically speaking, none of the 'monopolies' owned a 100% share of their business, but practically speaking they owned a hefty majority of the market. I think we may be more in agreement then you think, since it was the unusually large stamping out of competition that jibed with me. On a free market, most industries could not retain such a large share of the market for so long, as they would loose profits fast. But these guys had plenty of excess profits to go around, because they made deals with the heavily funded, almost government owned, railroads. The way I see it, free markets do not give rise to 'natural monopolies', as this period was demonstrably not more hands off than the period before the civil war.
Posted by daley 3 years ago
daley
I'm sorry I can't vote because my telephone provider, Digicel, isn't listed for my country with DDO, so I can't confirm my identity. But let me say that its quite obvious to me that giving government subsidies to some folks and not others to put the railroad in the hands of an elite few would create monopolies. So it was government involvement which spurred on monopolies, otherwise, Pro would have to show what forms of "oversight" government took away, or simply did not have that they should have had during the period under discussion, that led to the rise of monopolies. And he would have to show that monopolies are unlikely without such oversight; maybe by showing cases in history where governments did not have such oversight and monopolies were significantly less compared to when such oversight came.
Posted by JonathanDJ 3 years ago
JonathanDJ
In my opinion, you are both wrong. There were no monopolies. Only a government can create a monopoly. Even a business with a 100% market share still has the danger of a competitor giving the costumers something they want at a better price or provide a better product. The big business could do things to stamp out the business but now your talking criminal behavior and that's not really about being a monopoly. Only a government can create a monopoly because it can pass laws and use the power of the gun to enforce those laws.
Posted by NovaLux 3 years ago
NovaLux
I did like the straw man comment, I found the term somewhere else on the site and figured I'd use it. This is only my fourth debate on here as well, so I think I've got you beat. It's just that I was really excited by the possibility that monopolies don't naturally arise in free market systems, like so many Austrian economists have argued.
Posted by Grandbudda 3 years ago
Grandbudda
I had a great time. Sometimes my wry sense of humor gets the best of me. Like the straw an thing, but I'm kind of new to the site and I do look forward to more debates. I don't think we're that far apart I just see the rise of monopolies more as a kind of natural outgrowth of unchecked capitalism instead of lax government regulations. It was fun though!
Posted by NovaLux 3 years ago
NovaLux
I feel like there may have been bad blood in this debate, and mainly misunderstanding over the topic of the debate. As I defined in the intro, Pro takes the position that relaxing existing legislation is what led to the growth of monopolies, and I was trying to disprove that lax legislation led to monopolies. You're right that there was hardly any government oversight during those days, the closest thing was a tariff meant to stop foreign competition. The position that a transformation from agrarian to industrial economy led to monopolies makes some sense, but wasn't what you were trying to prove by the rules of the debate.
If you want, we could have another, clearer, debate on the merits of monopolies, which seems like an interesting debate.

(straw man is a debating term which means accusing your opponent of an argument similar to the one they made, but not the same.)
Posted by NovaLux 3 years ago
NovaLux
Thanks for the support. Just wanted to make the point that my theory, if correct, has huge implications for the future of a completely deregulated economy (no minimum wage, federal reserve, ect). The most often referenced "evidence" for the "extremes of capitalism" is this period, which was in fact not free market in the least. So that presents the question: In an capitalist paradise, would monopolies even exist?
Posted by WiseHagbard 3 years ago
WiseHagbard
Not insane at all. I think Pro will have a difficult time with this one. When government sets out to "regulate" anything, it ends up creating monopolies (or at the very least creating conditions in which large, well-established businesses receive government favor in some form and thrive, while smaller ones struggle). Good topic!
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Tophatdoc 3 years ago
Tophatdoc
NovaLuxGrandbuddaTied
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Total points awarded:05 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro provided a valid argument backed by sources and facts. It seemed Con was claiming things he could not back up with facts. Pro wins the debate and source point for this. Good luck to you both in future debates.