The Instigator
BigSky
Con (against)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
Grantmac18
Pro (for)
Winning
3 Points

Welfare

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Grantmac18
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/7/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 3,132 times Debate No: 29996
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (0)
Votes (1)

 

BigSky

Con

Welfare is detrimental to the United States.

I noticed you voted for me, but only because my opponent presented no argument.
I would like a real debate on the subject matter.

Welfare: Financial or other assistance to an individual or family from a city, state, or national government.

Detrimental: Causing detriment; damaging; harmful.

Rules:
1) No profanity
2) An argument without sources is instant disqualification
3) Round One is acceptance only
4) Forfeiture at any time is instant disqualification
5) no trolling

I must ask that voters be objective, and not to vote bomb. Please vote for the better argument.
Grantmac18

Pro

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
BigSky

Con


Thank You for accepting this debate, I will begin with an opening statement: Welfare, when applied appropriately, contributes to the over-all well being of society. When welfare however is given to those who aren't attempting to improve their situation by trying to find a job, welfare becomes detrimental to that society.

Those Who deserve it, and Those Who Do Not:


There were currently 4,300,000 people on welfare as of October 15, 2012. [1] Of those 4,300,000, 50% will leave it in less than a year, 70% percent will leave it in less than two years, and 90% will leave it within five years. [2] This means that either that person or family has found a way to get benefits elsewhere, or they have found a job. The problem is that 45% of those who left it will return to it within a year, and 70% will return to it in five years. [2] This means that at least 70% will inevitably come back to it within five years,and instead of welfare rates gradually going down, they gradually go up. It is like Ronald Reagan said, "We should measure our success by the people that leave welfare, not how many people are added." Trends show that families who come back to welfare after being on it for a short period of time,will come back to it for increasingly long periods of time. [2] 75% percent of those on welfare are women, the primary reasons being that they either had a child out of wedlock, or they divorced. [3] This is where we find the fork in the road.

Those who deserve it include: Disabled Citizens who cannot work, Those with children who have special needs and the parent cannot afford to pay for them, Disabled War Veterans, Those currently putting forth applications for jobs, and those who have jobs but still need extra help to support their family($1,000 or less) [1]




Those who do not deserve it include: Single mothers who have had pre-marital sex and have multiple children because of this, Those who aren't currently looking for work and have no job, those who abuse it by buying unnecessary things such as tattoos, piercings, expensive clothing, etc. (the money should be going to the children and food anyway, not the adult's wants.)


The next problem with welfare is...


Welfare Fraud:

Welfare Fraud: The intentional misuse of various state funded welfare programs. It may consist of withholding certain information or providing inaccurate or false information to receive benefits. The most common types of welfare fraud include failing to report additional income, failure to disclose information regarding household family members, or supplying false information about an inability to work. There have also been instances were people feigned illness or injury to manipulate the welfare system. [4]


This unfair misuse of the welfare system is yet another reason for why welfare is detrimental to our society. One may argue that it is unfair to take tax payer dollars and put it into this program, but it is even more unfair when the money goes those guilty of fraud. There are several examples of this: In 1977, Linda Taylor was accused of using 14 different names under to apply for welfare, obtaining about $150,000 dollars in benefits. In 1981, Dorothy Woods manipulated the government for $300,000 dollars by claiming to have 38 children, which she didn't. [4]





The Philosophy Behind Welfare:


Many consider those who oppose welfare to be heartless, cruel, and rich. [5]
The truth is, welfare is an extremely misunderstood concept. The welfare we know of today in America is detrimental, not because the theory behind it is astray, but because of how it is put through the system. $.09 of tax dollars go to welfare, [6]
which is enough to anger many working Americans, especially when their own pay isn't much more than what those on welfare receive. Another alarming fact is that average hourly wage equivalence for people receiving welfare in Hawaii is $17. Much higher than minimum wage, and to those who do nothing. [1]

I remind you that when I mean nothing, I am referring to those who are capable of working, or have landed themselves in these situations by dumb decisions.


How Is This All Detrimental to the United States?:


$1 Trillion comes from tax payers and goes to those who apply to welfare through the government. It seems unfair that in addition to paying for actual people who need welfare, tax payers pay for those leeching off the system. The government should promote the welfare of the people by getting them to find jobs, instead of letting them work as welfare addicts.






[1] http://www.statisticbrain.com...

[2] http://www.urban.org...

[3] http://bcn.boulder.co.us...

[4] http://www.spamlaws.com...

[5] http://answers.yahoo.com...

[6] http://myesoteric.hubpages.com...







Grantmac18

Pro


I’d like to thank my opponent and state, with the hopes of not sounding condescendingly paternalistic, that this was very well done, no doubt suggesting a great deal of effort went into your research and arguments. That being said, I look forward to this debate and hope voters take the time to read the arguments presented.


I will begin with an opening statement: Welfare, when applied appropriately, contributes to the over-all well-being of society.


I must point out that this does seem to contradict your resolution of welfare being detrimental to the United States.


Welfare in the United States has become a deeply divisive point in which the Republican Party has adamantly challenged as an affront to the American individualist identity. In doing so, have brandished the 4 million Americans currently on welfare as “takers” “dependents” and “moochers”. Understandably, it is quite easy to conceive why tax paying citizens would have an issue with the government seizing any portion of their income for any reason whatsoever. Consequently, this is the reason why this particular message has been so effective in its vitriolic intent. However, the true nature of this issue is far more complex than partisan chicanery and could potentially have disastrous consequences if abandoned.


WELFARE AS A RESPONSE


It should come as no surprise, to anyone, at this point that that United States is in the midst of a recession; one unlike any other in American history. In 2008 there was roughly $40 billion being spent on unemployment insurance and from there a quite noticeable spike in government social benefits occurs. (1) Unemployment insurance rose to approximately $160 billion in 2010, the reason for this was the 2008 credit crisis. (1) I will return to this subject to discuss the repercussions of not implementing an income replacement service.




THE SOCIOECONOMIC PREMISE OF WELFARE


The notion has greater significance than the obvious rhetoric of ensuring the most vulnerable citizens in society don’t wallow in poverty, essentially markets need consumers. To briefly explain the cyclical phenomena, corporations need to make money and this is accomplished by consumers purchasing their products or services. Consumers can only purchase these items if they have some level of disposable capital/income; by ensuring that individuals in the middle and lower class have a “safety-net” to aid them, they can continue to consume and the market can continue to operate. This is the principle of capitalism and the modern day society, which of course would allow these individuals the freedom to spend their money any way they please.


MISLEADING TACTICS


Peter Lindert published an article in The Nation in April of 2012 highlighting some of the deceitful and deceptive manners in which politicians and media personalities present their “evidence” against welfare state economics. Stating that the general misconception is that governments recklessly spend money on welfare programs during periods of economic uncertainty, this is of course false. (2) During recessionary periods unemployment will invariably rise, resulting in higher costs for social welfare programs. As I stated earlier these social “safety-net” programs increase overall spending; which reduces economic exposure. (2)


CONSEQUENCES OF ABANDONING WELFARE


With this recent global recession we have been given a unique glimpse into the economic strategies of other nations; notably Ireland and Greece. Surely, their struggles are common knowledge; however, few realize how very similar Ireland and the US crisis truly are. Both stem from a burst mortgage bubble and highly leveraged credit, their differences are in their Net Income Replacement in the Initial Period after Job Loss. The United States’ Net benefit / Net earnings in employment (%) was 60%, compared to Ireland at 49% and ranking the lowest was Greece at 41%. (1) This effect on their GDP can be quite easily observed: the annual growth for the United States in 2011 was 1.7%, for Ireland 0.7% and Greece suffered a loss of 7.1%. (3) It cannot be disregarded that the nations that achieved the highest annual growth in GDP were the same nations who contributed to social welfare programs. Thus indicating that not only is welfare not a detriment to US society but an economic benefit, one in which their economic woes would only increase without.


There were several points that my opponent made in which I feel I should point out:


$1 Trillion comes from tax payers and goes to those who apply to welfare through the government.


I’m not entirely sure where this figure came from but it is highly inaccurate; the Final Monthly Treasury Statement from the US Government, states that the prior fiscal year to date contribution towards the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or more commonly referred to as welfare, was approximately $17 billion.(4) This figure is nowhere near $1 trillion.


[…] not because the theory behind it is astray, but because of how it is put through the system. $.09 of tax dollars go to welfare […]


This figure was taken from a blog, in which the author admits to making an error in calculation: “I made a slight math error (subtracting 3 cents instead of adding it) in the original calculation. For consistancy, in case you are a returning reader, I left the original numbers intact [sic]”. (5)


This of course renders Con’s argument to be without adequate evidence.


I remind you that when I mean nothing, I am referring to those who are capable of working, or have landed themselves in these situations by dumb decisions.


This statement is entirely speculatory; neither I nor Con have any understanding of the circumstances in which 4 million Americans have required the aid of TANF. Certainly not to the point of being able to refer to these circumstances as “dumb decisions”; according to Con, a “dumb” decision would be a woman having pre-marital sex while living in an area where birth control and abortion are not readily available. This situation is further aggravated by the great likelihood that had she sought out an abortion, she could have been ostracized by her community; given the current climate on abortion in the United States.


As for welfare fraud, quite simply there is nothing that Con has presented that suggests that this is a serious issue. 4.3% of Americans are on welfare (according to Con’s sources); if welfare fraud does exist it is quite likely that only a fraction of a percentile are guilty of this fraud. Thus a much less significant issue than the fraud committed during the 2008 credit crisis.


Sources:


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


(2): PETER H. LINDERT: SLANDERING THE WELFARE STATE, The Nation. April 9, 2012.


(3):http://data.worldbank.org...


(4): http://www.fms.treas.gov...


(5): http://myesoteric.hubpages.com...






Debate Round No. 2
BigSky

Con

Thank you pro for that response. You no doubt put as much time into this debate as I have, and I respect you for taking this so seriously. I have not yet debated someone on your intellectual level, and I will try to match your intelligence in my argument.


My opening statement for this round will be a response to my opponents previous opening statement.

"I must point out that this does seem to contradict your
resolution of welfare being detrimental to the United States."

Forgive me for this confusion, I merely meant to point out in the beginning of the argument that I am not against the concept of welfare, I am against however what certain politicians have interpreted as the meaning of welfare. This is why I said that welfare, when used appropriately, can contribute to society.

"Understandably, it is quite easy to conceive why tax paying
citizens would have an issue with the government seizing any portion of their
income for any reason whatsoever. Consequently, this is the reason why this
particular message has been so effective in its vitriolic intent. However, the
true nature of this issue is far more complex than partisan chicanery and could
potentially have disastrous consequences if abandoned."


There are indeed many American citizens who feel that they have been done an injustice by being forced to pay welfare, but like my opponent said, there is so much more to this issue than that. I will return to this thought after quoting something else my opponent said:

"Consumers can only purchase these items if they have some level of disposable
capital/income; by ensuring that individuals in the middle and lower class have
a “safety-net” to aid them, they can continue to consume and the market can
continue to operate
."


My opponent makes an excellent case here, but seems to have forgotten one thing about how a capitalistic economy functions, and that is the men and women who work in these businesses. They, like other Americans need to feed their families, but the money they make in their businesses goes partially to welfare. The very same system my opponent says helps keep these businesses above water. So if the money that goes
into the businesses is partially be taken out to go back to those paying for the product, how is this helping the business? In a functioning capitalistic economy, a working citizen pays for goods or services provided by a business, by doing so, this business receives the money it needs to make a profit and flourish. The worker receives the items he or she needs, hopefully at a reasonable price, and then will come back again when they need to. Without the worker making any money, the owner of the store is basically giving their product to the consumer, seeing as how it was the store owners money that is being used to purchase his own items.


"Thus indicating that not only is welfare not a detriment to
US society but an economic benefit, one in which their economic woes would only
increase without."


My opponent believes that any increase in the United States GDP comes from investments in welfare programs. My opponent did not provide evidence that welfare was the cause of the increase, merely that our GDP increased while we had investments put into welfare. If welfare deducted from the national debt then maybe it would be considered not detrimental, but in any society where men and women choose not to work, and are then in turn paid for not working, this is ethically and economically unsound. If every man and woman in the United States decided at one point, "Hell, I'm not going to work, I could be paid $10 bucks an hour to do nothing." Then our country would fail, it would die, and I'm grateful that every night I can go to bed knowing that there are still men and women who work to pay for those who don't. Who complain, but still pay their money to those people so they can sit at home and cheer on Obama for being their hero. Please tell me that's not wrong. Again, welfare to those who are working, and trying to get a job is fine, because we know that they will eventually give back to society. I showed my opponent a video about a woman in the UK who admittedly chooses not to work, and lives off her peers. She even admitted that there are people out there who are in worse condition to work, but do so anyway.



"I’m not entirely sure where this figure came from but it is
highly inaccurate; the Final Monthly Treasury Statement from the US Government,
states that the prior fiscal year to date contribution towards the Temporary
Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or more commonly referred to as welfare,
was approximately $17 billion.(4) This figure is nowhere near $1 trillion."


Forgive me pro, I found that statistic here: http://www.nationalreview.com...-
trillion-nro-staff




"This statement is entirely speculatory; neither I nor Con
have any understanding of the circumstances in which 4 million Americans have
required the aid of TANF. Certainly not to the point of being able to refer to
these circumstances as “dumb decisions”; according to Con, a “dumb” decision
would be a woman having pre-marital sex while living in an area where birth
control and abortion are not readily available. This situation is further
aggravated by the great likelihood that had she sought out an abortion, she
could have been ostracized by her community; given the current climate on
abortion in the United States"


For the sake of the argument I will use the condom as an example of birth control, simply because it is fact that it is the most effective form of its kind, besides abstinence. Condoms are 98% percent effective when used correctly, since this is not always the case, the overall effectiveness of the condom has lowered to 85% http://www.advocatesforyouth.org...

If a girl really wanted to have a 100% guarantee that she would not become pregnant, she would have to simply not have sex. Teens, as immature as they have proved themselves to be, know that they are taking a risk by having sex at this age. So when the girl becomes pregnant, and she relies on welfare to pay for her child, she was the one making the "dumb" decision. Yes, It is pretty dumb. My opponent also stretches it a bit to say that the community kept her from having it. Planned parenthood makes it perfectly easy enough to have an abortion if they want to. No one man woman or child would ever know.


My opponent provided no evidence that there is only a fraction of the population guilty of fraud. Since the government is not efficient at stopping those people from doing it before they have done some real damage (see my source from the last round on welfare fraud) it could be considered detrimental to the United States.


Thank you for reading.


Vote Con






























Grantmac18

Pro

They, like other Americans need to feed their families, but the money they make in their businesses goes partially to welfare. The very same system my opponent says helps keep these businesses above water. So if the money that goes
into the businesses is partially be taken out to go back to those paying for the product, how is this helping the business?

I don't quite understand this statement but corporations, small businesses, and individuals are required to pay taxes. They do not have the option to choose which services they would like to pay and which services they would not. As I mentioned earlier, with regard to Peter Lindert’s article, social programs increase overall consumer spending.

This means that, in the case of Con’s hypothetical business, unemployed Americans are still able to be consumers; which helps that specific business during a time when it is also suffering financial difficulties. Instead of having millions of unemployed Americans receiving no income and spending no money, TANF provides them with a basic level of financial support allowing them the opportunity to purchase necessary items.

Without the worker making any money, the owner of the store is basically giving their product to the consumer, seeing as how it was the store owners money that is being used to purchase his own items.

I am not quite sure I understand why it is that the worker would not be making any money; if said “worker” were employed, his employer would be required to compensate him. If the “worker” is in reference to an individual on TANF, then it is simply false to equate corporate and business taxes as being on par with TANF contributions.

This argument presented by Con suggests that no individual, corporation, or small business should have to contribute to any citizen's income who may in turn purchase their products or services. The compensation of military personnel, elected representatives, and other government employees would then qualify under this same broad generalization.

WELFARE ECONOMICS

This particular economic theory utilizes the perspectives of microeconomics, as is generally the case, it can be adopted on a macroeconomic scaled but it operates at greater efficiency at the state level. (1) Within the United States, this theory evokes a great degree of contention, welfare economics is one of many forms of wealth redistribution. The individualistic, free-market capitalist ideals that many Americans cling to, objects to this very concept; despite the empirical evidence compiled by economists indicating that greater states of overall social well-being are achieved by redistributing incomes in the economy. (1)

My opponent believes that any increase in the United States GDP comes from investments in welfare programs. My opponent did not provide evidence that welfare was the cause of the increase, merely that our GDP increased while we had investments put into welfare.

This is certainly not my belief or my argument, I provided context reinforced by empirical evidence. The evidence concluded that the OECD countries who suffered the greatest losses were those that did not have an adequate social “safety-net” program in place. Surely, Con is not suggesting that the European nations that adopted austerity measures would experience the same or worse economic volatility had they implemented social spending policies.

If every man [...] in the United States decided [...], "Hell, I'm not going to work, I could be paid $10 bucks an hour to do nothing." Then our country would fail, [...] and I'm grateful that every night [...] that there are still men and women who work to pay for those who don't.

This seems a strange statement, I will refer Con back to my statement that the United States is in the midst of a recession. Businesses were forced to, substantially, reduce expenses in order to mitigate risk; this was accomplished by a series of large-scale layoff’s within the US. There is no evidence to suggest that American’s are sitting at home saying to themselves: “Hell, I’m not going to work”.

Who complain, but still pay their money to those people so they can sit at home and cheer on Obama for being their hero. Please tell me that's not wrong.

Con’s statement categorizes Obama as the individual to blame for the increased costs of social benefits, though evidence I have provided refutes this believe, and that unemployed Americans are willingly unemployed. This is, again, an argument guilty of speculation, as there is no evidence to suggest that TANF recipients have no desire to find work.

OBAMA’S WELFARE REFORM

To contradict my opponent who argues that individuals have no intention of seeking employment because of Obama and the TANF. Firstly, under Obama’s policy, states now have the ability to seek a federal waiver requiring welfare recipients to engage in specific “work activities”, such as job training. (2) In exchange, individual states would provide “more efficient or effective means to promote employment”. Secondly, states must also submit performance measures and evaluation plans. (2) There is no subversive plot to transform the USA into communist Russia or to create a society of unemployed dependents. Obama’s reform went even further; no other American President has ever imposed lifetime limits on welfare. (2) TANF recipients can receive financial assistance for no longer, than 5 years, and after 2 years on TANF, the legal guardian in the household must be engaged in work activities. (2) The reform also required that states ensure that 50% of all families receiving financial assistance to be participating in work activities.

$1 TRILLION FOR THE TANF – FACT OR FICTION

The article, in question, was purposely ambiguous concerning the “federal means-tested welfare programs”, which was comprised of 83 different federal programs. (3) 52% of the $1 trillion is related to medical assistance (Medicaid etc.), 9% related to food aid (WIC, TEFAP), 6.5% housing, energy, and utilities assistance (LIHEAP); 2.5% to child development and child care (CCDBG), 1.1% to community development (CDBG), and 5% towards targeted education spending for low-income persons and communities. (4) 76% of the stated $1 trillion dollars has absolutely no funding to the TANF, of the remaining 24%; 21.5% was split between SSI, EITC, ACTC, and finally TANF. The remaining 2.5% was also split, between social services (SSBG, TANF, and CSBG) and jobs and job training (WIA, WIAOGY, TANF, Job Corps). (4) As we can see the US government does not spend anywhere near $1 trillion on welfare, in fact, during the last 15 years the federal government and states have only spent $406 billion on the TANF program. (2)

My opponent provided no evidence that there is only a fraction of the population guilty of fraud. Since the government is not efficient at stopping those people from doing it before they have done some real damage […]

On Con’s first charge, the burden of proof rests on your shoulders to prove that welfare fraud exists and is occurring to the extent that the United States will suffer some noticeable degree of economic downturn. Con’s second argument is in reference to an article on a website that primarily handles internet security, specifically e-mail spam. In which only four examples of welfare fraud were provided, all of which took place between 1972 and 1981. This is not adequate proof to suggest that welfare fraud is a prevalent, legitimate, and widespread issue.

Con has provided several arguments littered with bare assertions, none of which were able to withstand scrutiny. There has been nothing presented to suggest that welfare is detrimental to the US.


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


(2):
http://factcheck.org...

(3): http://dailycaller.com...


(4): Rector, Robert.
Uncovering the Full Cost of Means-Tested Welfare.pdf

Debate Round No. 3
BigSky

Con

My opponent is without a doubt an excellent debater, one much greater than I. My previous argument was a pathetic one at best, with false assumptions, biased ideas, etc.

I must concede so as to not further embarrass myself, I hope one day I am capable of debating on pros level. While he did not change my viewpoint on the matter, he did teach me something I didn't know, which is really the main reason I debate, to learn. Thank you pro for your arguments.






Grantmac18

Pro

Well, I must thank Con for his cordial statement, though I don't believe I am a terribly good debater, I graciously appreciate the acknowledgement. As the debate is over I thought I would share an amusing video; Ray Comfort and his banana.



Enjoy!
Debate Round No. 4
BigSky

Con

Thank you all for taking the time to read this debate, I hope none of you were overly disappointed.
Grantmac18

Pro

This is the final argument, I'd like to thank Con for this debate. He displayed an admirable level of class and distinction. It's quite comforting, to witness a 16 year old student with a strong desire to engage in intellectual discourse; Con should, certainly, not feel embarrassed about anything.

Here we go with another video: Neil Degrasse Tyson challenges Richard Dawkins' delivery, followed with a funny anecdote by Dawkins.
Debate Round No. 5
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by 1Devilsadvocate 3 years ago
1Devilsadvocate
BigSkyGrantmac18Tied
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Total points awarded:13 
Reasons for voting decision: beautiful concession.