The Instigator
BigSky
Con (against)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
MichaelGonzales
Pro (for)
Winning
4 Points

Welfare

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
MichaelGonzales
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/13/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,773 times Debate No: 30243
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

BigSky

Con

You support welfare, I do not, you wanted to debate me, here's your chance.
MichaelGonzales

Pro

I accept. Make your case. Best of luck.
Debate Round No. 1
BigSky

Con

While welfare has it's pros, they do not out number it's cons. In 2012, there were 4,300,000 citizens on welfare in the United States. There were also 46,000,000 on food stamps, and 5,600,000 on unemployment insurance. While the money is partially going towards deserving Americans, it partially goes to those with a welfare addiction. http://www.statisticbrain.com...


Welfare's major flaw: Ineptocracy.
Ineptocracy- A system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

From my perspective, the Obama Administration's over-the-top support of welfare is creating a an inept government in the U.S.A. The least capable of producing represent the population on welfare who choose not to work because of a condition called welfare addiction. Which is mainly when the wage of welfare is higher than the minimum wage job of that state. An example of this is Hawaii, who hands out an equivalent of $17.50 hourly minimum wage in welfare. This came from the same statistic site as shown above. The minimum wage of Hawaii for the working population is $7.50 http://www.minimum-wage.org.... That is $10.25 less than those who do not work. If the Obama administration wishes to help out the minimum wage of the country, which was one of his main points in the state of the union address, then he should start by atleast making the welfare rate the same as the minimum wage rate. Those who do not work represent the least likely to produce in our definition, and they vote in a president who is incapable of leading,so they can continue to make money of the average tax payer.

Thank You
MichaelGonzales

Pro

I'd like to thank my opponent for his prompt response.

The welfare system in the United States serves a multitude of purposes, all of which can be improved, and none of which should be abolished. Welfare reduces poverty, at a low cost to the taxpayers (2.3% of the GDP on all social safety net programs, and $131 billion in the federal budget for cash programs [1]). Welfare promotes social mobility. Welfare provides a safety net. Other reasons not withstanding, I'll focus on these three elements.

Welfare reduces poverty. The welfare system of the United States was enacted to combat the rampant poverty plaguing the United States during the era of the Great Depression. The effect pre-and-post welfare laws being enacted are observable.




http://debate.org...


The tables above indicate a very noticeable change in relative poverty rates. The change isn't much to brag about, but it is indicative of a minor fix. Instead of questioning whether or not we should abolish this system, we should be asking how we can improve it. To abolish it removes the level of responsibility the government has over poverty, and thus, removes the accountability the government has to her people.

Welfare also produce upward mobility, and can reduce unemployment. For starters, in order to receive welfare, there exists a work requirement by the state. An individual is incapable of just sitting on the couch and receiving welfare. Those days have passed. Welfare also provides those in the lower income brackets with spending power, which creates demand and produces jobs. Those on the bottom income brackets tend to be the drivers of the economy, as well as those in middle brackets, because they spend the most money.

In creating social mobility, welfare acts as a safety net to reduce income inequality. The United States has a gini coefficient (a table which measures the income inequality of a state) The United States has the 4th highest income inequality in the United States. Since safety nets keep people from plunging further into poverty, in addition to providing social mobility, I maintain that our system combats income inequality. [3]


Now, to my opponent's arguments. Con's numbers are correct, in that welfare has increased since Obama has taken office. What he fails to do is differentiate correlation from causation. Obama coming into office did not increase welfare consumption. A global financial crisis increased welfare consumption. These systems exist specifically as a safeguard for hard times. If losing $2.5 trillion in a banking crisis in a matter of weeks doesn't constitute as hard times, then I don't know what does. Further, my opponent makes the same tired 47% dismissive argument that Mitt Romney made, in that he regards those who do not work represent the least likely to produce. However, this clearly isn't the case, and is nothing more than an artificial stigma. The highest number of individuals who fall into poverty are children. In terms of vulnerable groups, children remain the most vulnerable to poverty within the United States.

In closing, I'd like to quote the United States Constitution, and remind my opponent one of the duties the federal government has to its people.

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."


[1]http://www.statisticbrain.com...
[2]http://www2.hawaii.edu...
[3]http://stats.oecd.org...

Debate Round No. 2
BigSky

Con

Thank you pro for that response, I will now begin my rebuttal.

"Welfare reduces poverty. The welfare system of the United States was enacted to combat the rampant poverty plaguing the United States during the era of the Great Depression."

Poverty: the state or condition of having little or no money, goods,
or means of support; condition of being poor.

This is what welfare has come to be known as in this great country. a method of being able to say that we have the least amount of people in poverty. Not because we have the most people employed, but because we have the most people living off the government. I quote Ronald Reagan, " We should measure welfare's success by how many people leave welfare, not by how many are added."

http://www.brainyquote.com...

My opponent takes the position that by putting billions of dollars into welfare, that we are doing good by keeping people out of poverty. Yes, by definition we are keeping people out of poverty, but how is this helping those people to be successful and to contribute to the country? Forgive me for skipping ahead to the end of my opponent"s article, where he interprets "promote the general welfare," to mean that citizens are entitled to be sustained by the working population. If this right was depicted this way, then no American would have to work, but they do"hmmm"

If my opponent takes his authority from the constitution, then explain how he justifies the murder of an unborn child? I took the information from his profile. Before the debate gets changed over to whether or not an unborn fetus is alive, I would just like to say that the government considers the murder of a pregnant woman to count for a double murder. Which means they recognize the life of the child. Anyway"

"Instead of questioning whether or not we should abolish this system, we should be asking how we can improve it."

I agree with my opponent, we should be asking how we can improve it, but until we find a way to improve it, it is a leech to our economy, which is the primary reason I take my position. The country doesn"t know how to manage welfare.
If every American capable of working worked, and had a steady job, then that $181 billion dollars that goes to welfare could be put back into NASA, which I can argue at a later time is a worthwhile cause.
Here is what I take the definition of the constitution to mean: The country will promote the welfare of its citizens by encouraging them to find jobs, and maybe helping them to find one. By doing so, the government wouldn"t have to tax Americans (which we both know angers many of them), and they will develop working habits that will help them later in life.
I cannot deny that the current welfare system has pros, providing for American veterans for example, who cannot work because they gave their ability to walk, talk, etc. so that their country could prosper.

"An individual is incapable of just sitting on the couch and receiving welfare. Those days have passed."

The following statistics can be found at: http://www.urban.org...
One of the more recent welfare reforms occurred in 1996, just after 1996, 22% of Americans returned to welfare after they had gotten off it, either by finding a job, or being supported some other way. My opponent says those days have passed, but while new regulations have been put forward to help prevent these measures, they have been ineffective. The families that find work end up back on welfare, and this can occur many times, in some cases the families never regain their footing enough to stay off welfare indefinitely.

"Con's numbers are correct, in that welfare has increased since Obama has taken office. What he fails to do is differentiate correlation from causation. Obama coming into office did not increase welfare consumption."
If you can associate Obama to these financial problems, which I can, (Obamacare) then you can additionally say that Obama is the cause of the rise in people on welfare. If Obama"s actions do anything to take away any American"s ability to a job, then he can be blamed for their welfare status. I ask pro to prove that there isn"t a single example of this.

"However, this clearly isn't the case, and is nothing more than an artificial stigma. The highest number of individuals who fall into poverty are children. In terms of vulnerable groups, children remain the most vulnerable to poverty within the United States."

If welfare fixes poverty, then why are children ranking amongst the highest in it"unless welfare isn"t helping poverty"hmmm"

Thank you Pro for you argument.
Vote America, vote con.
MichaelGonzales

Pro

I'm very greatful that Con cited a speech from an individual as transformative as Ronald Reagan. However, his citation was intellectually dishonest, and only reinforces my assertion that it needs to be strengthened. What Ronald Reagan meant was that the system worked to provide upward mobility, and thus, reduce the need for a safety net. I agree 100% with Reagan. However, for less people to be on welare, we need a healthier economy which makes opportunity and mobility available. As I said earlier, welfare exits to reduce poverty, act as a safety bet, and provide mobility.

In his assertion that welfare isn't helping people be successful or contributng to the country, my opponent has created a strawman. I already provided a means of contribution purely through spending powers. That's also not to mention that there, once again, exists a work requirement to be on welfare.

I'd also like to point out the other contextual error my opponent makes. When he cites my quotation of the Constitution, I'd prefer he understand the context. When I cited the Constitution as a means to "promote the general welfare", that wasn't indicitive of my supporting a full welfare state. I think the country has a duty to her people to reduce poverty for her people. It's one of the powers allowed by Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution, and it's what ultimately led to the creation of Social Security, which lifted millions of seniors out of poverty in dire times. Once again, that's the federal government using its powers to promote the general welfare.

I'd also like to remind my opponent that we're not debating reproductive rights. I ask that he remain on topic. I do not intend to humor him with pointless back-and-forths of a completely different topic.

When my opponent makes the claim that the welfare system is a leech to our economy, he stigmitizes the system with a subjective claim. Facts are, roughly 50 million Americans live in poverty, and most of them are children. [1] Something must be done. $181 billion is a drop in the bucket when examined as spending as a percentage of GDP (almost $16 trillion dollars). To say that building robots which examine dirt on Mars is a worthwhile trade to our brothers, sisters, and children going hungry is not only socially Darwinistic, it's ethically dubious.

My opponent, once again, does a fly-away argument to something not related to welfare in the United States. We're not discussing taxes, sir. That's an argument for another day. If he's trying to make a wager that our tax payer dollars shouldn't go to support the less fortunate, than a further argument can be made about all aspects of government. We don't make these arguments, however, because they're ad absurdum.

I'm very grateful that my opponent has acknowledged the work requirement doing a lot to reduce dependence on welfare. What I'm unsatisfied with is that he, once again, fails to differentiate correlation with causation. People didn't leave welfare just to come back to it. Within the decade of 1996, the dot-com bubble burst, plunging the United States into another recession. People fall under social safety nets during recession all the time. It's not because of welfare. It's because of free-market crashes. The government is catching them. The only problem which exists is that government response can be too slow during recessions! [2] This reinforces the need to strengthen the system as a means of providing mobility for those who fall into the social safety net. Don't cut it. Fix it.

Maybe my opponent isn't aware of recent history, but in 2008, a stock-market crashed essentially plunged the entire world economy into an economic crisis. The United States was hit hard, and the after effects of this crisis raised unemployment to 10%, bankrupted America's financial districts, and bankrupted America's autmobile industry. That's the causation of the recession, not President Obama's fiscal policy. Fact is, his policy has had a lot to do with helping Americans, such as using TARP funds to bail-out the failing autmobile industry, saving several hundred thousand jobs, and creating nearly a million more. The Recovery and Reinvestments Act added 2.5 million jobs to the market, according to the Congressional Budget Office. I'd go on, but we're not talking about President Obama's performance. We're talking about the viability of welfare.

And to my final point, I'd like to correct another contextual error my opponent makes. I never claimed welfare fixed poverty. I claimed welfare reduces poverty. Child poverty levels are so high in the United States because we fail to provide educational opportunities which meet the demands of today's markets, in addition to failing to provide a living wage standard for minimum wage, which correlates with inflation.

In closing, my opponent fails to make a case for why he's against welfare. He says it reduces poverty, but expects it to make people successful. He makes the claim that it needs to be reformed, but fails to elaborate a fix. My opponent makes the assertion that it's a waste of taxpayer dollars, but fails to provide a meaningful method of aiding the growing impoverish and homeless. My arguments have provided reasons that welfare can reduce poverty, provde mobility, and act as a safety net. This country is not run by Ayn Rand, and we don't live in Somalia. Our brothers and sisters should never go to bed hungry. Vote America, by all means. Vote Pro.

[1]http://washington.cbslocal.com...
[2]http://www.irp.wisc.edu...
Debate Round No. 3
BigSky

Con

I must ask my opponent to leave a comment if does not understand the points I am making, he clearly showed this in his response.

"his citation was intellectually dishonest, and only reinforces my
assertion that it needs to be strengthened. What Ronald Reagan meant was that
the system worked to provide upward mobility, and thus, reduce the need for a
safety net. "


What my opponent "thinks" Ronald Reagan meant in his quote is irrelevant to the discussion. All Reagan said was that people should be getting off welfare, not getting on it. Now, Reagan understood that welfare could not be entirely abolished because this would create total chaos. He also understand that in order to promote the welfare of our country, citizens need to work. Which in the long run is a better gift from the government then being paid for by the government. I hope my opponent has not misunderstood my true stance on welfare, I do believe that it should not be abolished, but serious reform needs to take place, and currently, this reform isn't happening under the Obama administration.

"I think the country has a duty to her people to reduce poverty for her
people. It's one of the powers allowed by Article 1, Section 8 of the
Constitution, and it's what ultimately led to the creation of Social Security."


While our government is obligated to do this, the debate is whether or not the government is dealing with poverty correctly. Welfare in its current state is not the right answer.


"I'd also like to remind my opponent that we're not debating reproductive
rights. I ask that he remain on topic. I do not intend to humor him with
pointless back-and-forths of a completely different topic. "

If my opponent refuses to "humor my arguments," then I am not obligated to humor his misunderstanding of the argument. Here's what I mean: If my opponent makes an assertion that the government has a right, I will give an example of how our rights system is flawed, like I do so by giving the example of how abortion is a flawed right. The government has never been perfect, under any administration. I would love to debate Roe v. Wade with my opponent in the near future.


"system with a subjective claim. Facts are, roughly 50 million Americans
live in poverty, and most of them are children.
"


If my opponent wishes to assume that the reason welfare is put into effect is for the children, I must politely correct him. Children cannot apply directly for welfare, the parents do. So if instead of using children as an excuse to keep welfare in its current state, my opponent realized that on average, the highest percentage of welfare recipients are mothers, then I could take his claims to mean something more. My opponent takes the original liberal claim that "they do what they do for the children." Please.


Ever heard of the welfare queen?

" but we're not talking about President Obama's performance"


If Obama's performance in office relates to welfare, then yes we are discussing Obama's performance, I will gladly debate you on that on a later date.

"I never claimed welfare fixed poverty. I claimed welfare reduces
poverty."


The goal is to fix poverty pro, not reduce it. So if it is only reducing it, then we aren't making progress.

A final fact, the welfare state has increased by 19% just under Obama's administration. The total cost of everything welfare related is not at $1 trillion. http://cnsnews.com...- almost-1-trillion-year That is not fixing the welfare state pro, that is making it worse.


Vote Con














MichaelGonzales

Pro


I'd like to thank Con for his speedy response and well-articulated arguments.


I think a point must be made that I, absolutely, agree with Con that the success of a nation should be measured by how few people are under welfare. I agree. To not have people on welfare is indicative of a thriving and healthy economy. I ask my opponent though, if he does not believe welfare should be abolished, then what is he arguing? I made an argument that reform can take place to better reduce poverty, increase mobility, and catch people better during economic hardships. In that sense, we both seem to agree. However, I've stated what purposes welfare presently serves, and have cited areas in which it needs work (such as the speediness of response to recessions). If my opponent is with me on this, then why does he demonize the system while acknowledging that it reduces poverty at the same time? Why does he call it a leech, and think that a rover on Mars is a better-vested project than feeding our hungry? Why does he demonize those who fall under the umbrella safety of welfare as “welfare queens”? This isn't behavior and rhetoric indicative of support for the program, with reforms needed. This is rhetoric commonly used by advocates of abolishing the program. Sir, welfare is not a leech on the economy. I'll gladly sacrifice pennies of my taxpayer dollar so that no child in this country ever goes hungry.


In citing welfare laws, my opponent has unintentionally sided with me on the need for strengthening the program. He is accurate in that children are incapable of applying for welfare. That's a problem! I support legislation which lowers the application age to that of 15 to support teen-mothers through hardships. By disagreeing, you not only punish the victims of poverty and circumstance, you punish their children.


Con, the goal is to fix poverty. I absolutely agree. However, it takes more than just one area of government to fix poverty, such as fair-taxation laws, consumer protection laws, minimum wage laws, etc. There's more areas than just welfare as a means to reducing poverty. However, in attacking my point, he neglects the third purpose of welfare which I stated earlier. Welfare acts as a safety net. I posted a table earlier in my photo-albums which displayed the effects of welfare on reducing the relative poverty rate. [1] However, I think Con would agree with me that the state can't be there to micromanage all actions of the individual. Welfare is there to catch those who fall into poverty, not keep them from falling into poverty.


To rebut my opponent's final fact, he states that the welfare state has increased by 19% under Obama's administration. He attempts to use this as ammunition indicating that Obama is, somehow, pro-welfare. I'd like to remind Con that President Obama came into office as the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression hit. The best thing in the world Obama could do for those effected by the crisis is create jobs, strengthen the safety net, and create upward mobility.


It seems we've reached an impasse. My opponent has made no new arguments available, and I have rebutted all arguments he's made. The only new substance he's brought to the table is pointless ad hominem attacks on those who need welfare to get by. Calling people welfare queens because they've fallen under hard times is not a point of contention. It's petty and childish. I ask that my opponent withdraw his remarks, as they are insensitive, and bring nothing new to the debate. We can be civil, sir.


In closing, I've properly rebutted my opponent's assertions. I've provided evidence and sources which indicate that the welfare system is, in fact, working. I've provided evidence which indicates that it works to reduce poverty, create mobility [2], and act as a safety net. I've provided evidence which supports my assertion that the welfare system needs reformation through strength. It needs better response time during recessions [3]. It needs to be expanded to support children. I've made all of these points to support my brothers and sisters who have fallen under hard times as a result of this world-wide financial crisis. My opponent has done little more than slander those who need it with ad hominem attacks, and provided quotes out-of-context about welfare. I urge you to vote pro.



[1]http://debate.org...


[2]http://stats.oecd.org...


[3]http://www.irp.wisc.edu...


Debate Round No. 4
BigSky

Con

BigSky forfeited this round.
MichaelGonzales

Pro

It would appear that Con has missed his opportunity to respond.


In closing, I have contended that welfare serves a role in reducing poverty, creating mobility, and acting as a safety net. In my arguments, I have proven that welfare does reduce poverty, create mobility, and act as a safety net. Con and I are in agreement that reforms are direly needed. I believe that welfare, as it stands today, could and should be strengthened to allow a greater rebound for people who fall under economic hardships, instead of providing the bare minimum to keep them from poverty. Con has done little more than hurl attack at those who need these social safety nets. Fact is, we aren't all born the same. Some of us were born into different circumstances than others. Some of us came from wealth, or came from a great school. Some of us didn't. Some of us can do everything right in life and still live at poverty level. For the sake of society, we should all work to ensure nobody goes to bed hungry in what is the greatest nation on earth. We shouldn't stand for the high level of poverty in what is supposed to be the richest nation on earth. I'll end my debate with a quote from President Obama. “Let’s declare that in the wealthiest nation on earth, no one who works full time should have to live in poverty.” I agree. Vote Pro!


Also, here's a fun song for everybody to enjoy.
Debate Round No. 5
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by BigSky 3 years ago
BigSky
Sorry I couldn't get back on in time to respond, you are a good debater :)
Posted by MichaelGonzales 3 years ago
MichaelGonzales
Looks like in fixing my condensed argument, the words got jumbled around. I'm having a real good day with these debates! XD

"The United States has a gini coefficient (a table which measures the income inequality of a state) The United States has the 4th highest income inequality in the United States. "
Posted by MichaelGonzales 3 years ago
MichaelGonzales
My argument became oddly condensed for some reason...
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Contra 3 years ago
Contra
BigSkyMichaelGonzalesTied
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Total points awarded:04 
Reasons for voting decision: I'm a fair voter. I oppose welfare, but Pro overall had stronger arguments for this debate. Con made several fatal flaws, which I will detail but in a minimal way. First, Con failed to say that welfare itself causes poverty -- it requires a tax and spending program which reduces take home pay and kills jobs. Only 1 out of the 77 federal welfare programs (TANF) requires work requirements, all the rest have no such mandate. Abortion was a side issue, that only helped Pro. The forfeited round was a fatal error as well. I like Pro's logic though, and how he is concerned for those who are stuck in poverty. While I have the same goals, I disagree with the way to get there. The Constitutional arguments favored Pro, but the Constitution should be interpreted narrowly (a welfare state is unconstitutional). Also, welfare spending is actually $1 trillion per year, but Con failed to point this out. Pro did pretty well.