The Instigator
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
Pro (for)
Losing
1 Points
The Contender
IncredulousVessel
Con (against)
Winning
5 Points

be it resolved that the national debt be repudiated

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
IncredulousVessel
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/6/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 4 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,232 times Debate No: 29950
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)

 

ZakYoungTheLibertarian

Pro

Private debt represents a contract and repudiation thereof is in a very profound manner theft. Public debt on the other hand is a different animal all together. Why should Joe Taxpayer be forced to pick up the tab for the profligate spending of politicians? Instead of taxing people in order to pay back this debt it should simply be repudiated.
IncredulousVessel

Con

This incredulous vessel disagrees.
Debate Round No. 1
ZakYoungTheLibertarian

Pro

One common argument against repudiation is that it would result in a certain and devastating economic collapse. Nothing could be further from the truth. The sky will not fall if the government does not pay back all the money it has borrowed and the hysteria to the contrary is simply the squawking of an economically illiterate media; the same fools who tell you that consumption is the key to prosperity (try consuming your way to prosperity with your own finances and tell me how well you do)!
No the key to economic growth is savings. Unfortunately savings are ravaged by inflation. Why do we have inflation? What is inflation? Inflation is an increase in the money supply. Who benefits from inflation? Leaving aside the Hayekian insight that inflation benefits those who get the new money first (the political class) it is clear that if you print more money, then the value of money already in existence becomes less. Supply and demand. This is why you hear old timers talking about a weeks pay for $50 or whatever shockingly low figure is used to describe a price in a distant past because the government has been printing so much money. Printing money benefits debtors at the expense of creditors (since the money that pays back the loan is worth less than than the money with which the loan was borrowed). This creates a disincentive towards savings. But savings are where real economic growth comes from, those savings are then loaned to entrepreneurs, who build capital, that capital makes workers more productive and these more productive workers now earn a higher salary.
Another big problem with paying back the debt is that in order to pay it back you need to tax people. This is a big problem because taxes are terrible for the economy, they kill jobs, and it's wrong to take someone elses property and it's especially wrong to threaten to hurt them if they do not give you their property. This is called extortion and it's against the law - except when the government does it, because the government can do anything they want, because they're the government and you're not. And why should some random plumber pay back all the money that was sent to foreign dictators via foreign aid, or given to rich agribusiness interests like subsidizing ethanol, or put into countless imperialist wars of aggression against poor people in little huts that could never have hurt anyone if they wanted to which they assuredly did not?
If you take out a loan you are morally obligated to pay back that loan. Otherwise you're stealing. But how can I possibly be obligated to pay back a loan for money that I never agreed to spend in the first place? Really it's the fault of whoever loaned the money in the first place. Why on earth would you loan money to an organization as cruel, as ruthless, with as brutal disregard for human life as the state? Why would you seek to finance this vicious and repressive empire for the sake of a few points in interest?
But, say proponents of stealing your money to pay back all the spending politicians have done in order to secure their own power, wealth and the wealth and power of the people who elected them, who would lend the government any more money if the debt was repudiated? And that's exactly the point. No one. Instead of these debt ceiling circuses there would be a very real debt ceiling. Bad credit. And how incredible would that be! If you knew that NO ONE could leverage your children's future. If the government learned a little fiscal restraint. I know I would spend like crazy with a trillion dollar credit card. Wouldn't you?
IncredulousVessel

Con

This incredulous vessel has not been able to compute the nonsensical rant posted by pro.

Analysis of pro's rant shall be attempted later in this round. First of all, con's case shall be stated.

First of all terms must be defined.

National Debt: the total amount of money which a country’s government has borrowed. http://oxforddictionaries.com...

Repudiate: http://oxforddictionaries.com...
  • refuse to accept; reject:she has repudiated policies associated with previous party leaders
  • chiefly Law refuse to fulfil or discharge (an agreement, obligation, or debt):breach of a condition gives the other party the right to repudiate a contract
  • 2deny the truth or validity of:the minister repudiated allegations of human rights abuses

This is the full resolution that pro is in favour of: A government should refuse to fulfil or discharge the total amount of money which a country’s government has borrowed.

The absurdity of this resolution is that it is asking a government to simply ignore what it owes. So in essence the government just doesn't pay many other nations back what is owes them, probably in the billions, and hopes that this will die down over time? If people like pro led nations, we'd be seeing world war three very soon.

There is simply no reason to refuse to fulfil a debt to another nation. This will not only lead to aggravation of that nation and possibly war but also ruin the country's reputation that hasn't paid the debt and thus result in a huge amount of governments elsewhere banning businesses to engage with them (essentially leaving the country isolated like a neo-North Korea.

This is insane, risky and far too prone to lead to huge conflicts with other nations to be advisable in the slightest to any nation hoping to achieve global success in any sense of the word.

Now onto rebuttals (brace your self for a series of stating the obvious for it seems this is what must be done to rebut the nonsensical rant of pro's).

"One common argument against repudiation is that it would result in a certain and devastating economic collapse."

Nothing to rebut here, pro opens their speech speaking for con.



"Nothing could be further from the truth."

A claim is either true or untrue. Since what pro stated before this was true, it is very possible many lies could be 'further' from the truth despite there being no scale of distance from it whatsoever.



"The sky will not fall if the government does not pay back all the money it has borrowed."

But a nuclear bomb sure could fall from the sky onto its land if it doesn't pay back its debt to a country such as Russia or Pakistan (no racism intended, these nations are host to some of the biggest reserves of nuclear power in the world they are thus more dangerous to betray than a nation with less easy access to nuclear material for bombs).



"The hysteria to the contrary is simply the squawking of an economically illiterate media; the same fools who tell you that consumption is the key to prosperity"

Baseless, unjustified, false and ridiculous opinion stated as if it were fact. This is a fallacy of logic.

In fact. Let me just list every single baseless, unjustified and false opinion stated as if it were fact in their speech.

All of the following qualify:

"try consuming your way to prosperity with your own finances and tell me how well you do" It is extremely likely one who consumes education, knowledge, skills, food, water and rest would end up very successful in life.

"the key to economic growth is savings."
A nation that has yet to pay off debt, needn't save anything since it should be paying off its debt.

"savings are ravaged by inflation."
No they are not.

"Who benefits from inflation? Leaving aside the Hayekian insight that inflation benefits those who get the new money first (the political class)"
No one in the nation benefits.

"Supply and demand. This is why you hear old timers talking about a weeks pay for $50 or whatever shockingly low figure is used to describe a price in a distant past because the government has been printing so much money." Nonsensical rant which is completely irrelevant to the debate.

"Printing money benefits debtors at the expense of creditors." IT DOES NOT BENEFIT ANYONE!

"since the money that pays back the loan is worth less than the money with which the loan was borrowed)" This would just mean more amounts of the same currency now have to be paid anyway.

"This creates a disincentive towards savings." What has this got to do with ANYTHING in this debate?

"But savings are where real economic growth comes from" Spending wisely is where it comes form, merely hoarding back money to save it is stupid and futile, causing no growth at all.

"those savings are then loaned to entrepreneurs" Irrelevant.

"capital makes workers more productive and these more productive workers now earn a higher salary." BUT... The government still has a national debt to pay off that is increasing with a huge interest rate!

"Another big problem with paying back the debt is that in order to pay it back you need to tax people." How is this a problem?

" taxes are terrible for the economy" Such nonsense.

"they kill jobs" Taxes do not kill jobs.

"it's wrong to take someone else's property" This is exactly what the government of that nation has done to another nation. This is why it is in NATiONAL DEBT!

" it's especially wrong to threaten to hurt them if they do not give you their property." What? This is seriously a nonsensical rant totally irrelevant to the debate.

"This is called extortion and it's against the law - except when the government does it, because the government can do anything they want, because they're the government and you're not." What the actual heck is pro going on about?

"why should some random plumber pay back all the money that was sent to foreign dictators via foreign aid" Asking a why question usually is only valid if it is relevant to the debate. This is not relevant.

"given to rich agribusiness interests like subsidizing ethanol, or put into countless imperialist wars of aggression against poor people in little huts that could never have hurt anyone if they wanted to which they assuredly did not?" Complete and utter nonsense.

"If you take out a loan you are morally obligated to pay back that loan." The word pro is looking for is 'legally'.

"How can I possibly be obligated to pay back a loan for money that I never agreed to spend in the first place?" By taxing.

"Really it's the fault of whoever loaned the money in the first place." This is exactly why the government shouldn't ignore it for it is their fault.

"Why on earth would you loan money to an organization as cruel, as ruthless, with as brutal disregard for human life as the state?" Is this a joke? The state are the heads of a nation, their sole job is caring for the welfare of its people and the economy.

"Why would you seek to finance this vicious and repressive empire for the sake of a few points in interest?" Nonsensical rant begins again.

"Say proponents of stealing your money to pay back all the spending politicians have done in order to secure their own power, wealth and the wealth and power of the people who elected them, who would lend the government any more money if the debt was repudiated? And that's exactly the point. No one. Instead of these debt ceiling circuses there would be a very real debt ceiling. Bad credit. And how incredible would that be! If you knew that NO ONE could leverage your children's future. If the government learned a little fiscal restraint. I know I would spend like crazy with a trillion dollar credit card. Wouldn't you?"Nonsensical rant...


In conclusion, it seems extremely obvious that if a government owes debts to other nations it better get up off its lazy arse and worry about paying them than 'repudiating it' which means to completely refuse to pay it.
Debate Round No. 2
ZakYoungTheLibertarian

Pro

How much money exactly do you think Pakistan has been lending out exactly? Con's claims are exactly the sort of hyperbolic nonsense that surrounds this discussion. We better do what he says or nothing short of nuclear wear and the death of humanity will result! Wow! It is exactly this sort of brazen hysteria which surrounds this issue. Instead of a reasoned debate we get "bow down to our side, OR THE ENTIRE WORLD WILL BE ENGULFED IN A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST". Such outrageous assertions make one question whether anything Con says in their entire argument is true. Russia and Pakistan don't even own the debt, so I have no idea why they would do a nuclear first strike (because not repaying your debt will make you a pariah, but apparently no one cares if you just launch nuclear first strikes at people..... right) Of course there are countless nations which have repudiated or are repudiating their debt through non payment in the third world. None of them have been nuked, or invaded, or even threatened. Even the media, hysterical as they are on this issue, has never gone to the length of arguing that it could possibly result in nuclear war, because they understand how absurd this argument would sound to an informed observer.

Of course people benefit from inflation, other wise it would not occur. The very first thing you need to ask yourself when you do an analysis of something is 'qui bono'? Inflation benefits debtors at the expense of creditors because the debtors get to pay back creditors with money that is worth less. The political class, those who are most intimately connected with the state, for example bureaucrats, politicians, companies that specialize in procurement, they all get the money first and can spend it at it's original pre-inflation value.

Taxes are terrible for the economy but this is of secondary importance. They are immoral. When you advocate that the debt not be repudiated, you are advocating that people be taxed. It is far more immoral to tax people who had nothing to do with the spending of the money, in order to repay it, than it is to simply repudiate the debt.

Con has completely failed to make an argument, aside from their nonsensical claims about nuclear first strike and the world ending.

(some further reading material on this subject)
http://mises.org...
http://fff.org...
IncredulousVessel

Con

This incredulous vessel shall first reinstate all arguments made in round two and then counter all made by pro in round 3.

Ignoring, or refusing to repay, debt is in and of itself ignorance of a government to the duty that they must fulfil. A government's role in a country, as I stated in round two, is to pay off the debt that they owe to not force the owed nation to engage in violent war in anger at the injustice.

Also, as I stated in round two, when you take a loan from a bank, you pay it back or end up in prison (or otherwise have your furniture taken from you to make up for it). This is only possible in a place where there is a government keeping the justice in place. Since there is no particular 'world government', although the UN is very close to being one, the world has no set code of justice. Thus, there is no one to 'arrest' a country when they don't pay back debt on time and choose to ignore it, instead the only single option a nation has then is to use military force to get the money back. The reason is that democratic means of getting a debt paid back do not work if it is being repudiated buy the state which owes it (in essence they are completely refusing to repay it altogether).

The final point I raised, about the inherent danger of nuclear warfare being engaged, was that it is quite likely that country's will use methods so violent as the world wars if they truly are completely ignored and refused repayment of debt (which is the exact definition of repudiation).

All points were unsuccessfully rebutted. The first two being totally uncontested and ignored altogether.

All that is left is to counter pro's rebuttals, re-instate my own and then to sail to victory.

"How much money exactly do you think Pakistan has been lending out exactly?"

Though irrelevant to ask an answer shall be given. It is over $63 billion http://www.brecorder.com...

"Con's claims are exactly the sort of hyperbolic nonsense that surrounds this discussion."

False, offensive and unwarranted.

" We better do what he says or nothing short of nuclear wear and the death of humanity will result!"

Pro has bowed down to his master and accepted the truth.

"Wow! It is exactly this sort of brazen hysteria which surrounds this issue."

Absolutely, and there is good reason to be hysterically in favour of the con side of this debate for it is the hysterically correct one.

"Instead of a reasoned debate we get "bow down to our side, OR THE ENTIRE WORLD WILL BE ENGULFED IN A NUCLEAR HOLOCAUST"

False. It was reasoned.

"Such outrageous assertions make one question whether anything Con says in their entire argument is true."

The answer it yes.

"Russia and Pakistan don't even own the debt."

This is so untrue. USA currently owes Russia $155.2 billion. Pakistan was a legitimate claim but irrelevant.

Source: http://chartsbin.com...

"Of course there are countless nations which have repudiated or are repudiating their debt through non payment in the third world."

They have no choice but to repudiate it. We are speaking of countries who have the choice choosing to refuse repayment of debt.

"Of course people benefit from inflation, otherwise it would not occur."

So idiotic I needn't explain why.

" Inflation benefits debtors at the expense of creditors because the debtors get to pay back creditors with money that is worth less."

And therefore, they have to pay more of the money to make up for the increased conversion rate (not sh*t Sherlock). It is really a silly claim.

"The political class, those who are most intimately connected with the state, for example bureaucrats, politicians, companies that specialize in procurement, they all get the money first and can spend it at it's original pre-inflation value."

What does this have to do with the resolution?... Oh that's right. Nothing.

"Taxes are terrible for the economy but this is of secondary importance."

Taxes save an economy from recession. This is not even of secondary importance because IT HAS NOTHING TO DO with the debate.

"They[taxes] are immoral."

Sure... I mean saving an economy is so immoral... Not.

"When you advocate that the debt not be repudiated, you are advocating that people be taxed."

This is the most nonsense of pro's entire debate. They are unrelated.

"It is far more immoral to tax people who had nothing to do with the spending of the money, in order to repay it, than it is to simply repudiate the debt."

Oh sure so not paying back what you owe someone is morally superior to doing what you have to do to pay it back *snickering emerges at the back of the class*

"Con has completely failed to make an argument"

I think you mean pro has.



In conclusion, con wins.

Con rebutted all that pro raised and countered all of pro's rebuttals successfully. Con also had all of its points 100% unsuccessfully attempted to rebut by anything other than straw-picking at 'morality' and straw manning a debate of inflation and taxes.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by daerice 4 years ago
daerice
Debt relief has a long and ancient history: http://en.wikipedia.org...
There are many good reasons to wipe the slate every so often especially if the debt was due to fraud and I think we can find much evidence the recent economic collapse in the U.S. was due to global scale fraud on the part of the world's largest financial entities. http://www.oftwominds.com...
Good luck ZakYoungTheLibertarian!
Posted by ZakYoungTheLibertarian 4 years ago
ZakYoungTheLibertarian
Sounds like you would make a great opponent bladerunner, feel free to step up to the plate. I would argue the American constitution via article 1 section 8 actually made it illegal for the federal government to do all those things that racked up all that debt but it's just a dumb piece of a paper anyway. Lysander Spooner, a great libertarian activist once remarked "The Constitution has either authorized the sort of government we have today or been powerless to prevent it". Either way I find the constitution fetish by so many to be truly bizarre. What would history have been like, I wonder, if the anti-federalists had won?
Posted by daerice 4 years ago
daerice
It would be hard to argue against you, since I agree. I'll be interested to watch how this unfolds.
Posted by bladerunner060 4 years ago
bladerunner060
Your suggestion is directly unconstitutional.

And the reason "Joe Taxpayer" is responsible for the debt is because we're a representative democracy.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by UltimateSkeptic 4 years ago
UltimateSkeptic
ZakYoungTheLibertarianIncredulousVesselTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:--Vote Checkmark1 point
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Total points awarded:15 
Reasons for voting decision: Pros points rested on some pretty incorrect conclusions (Taxes collapse an economy, nothing will come if we decide not to pay, taxes kill jobs, the US people didn't approve of the "loans") and it Con showed how the government is legally obligated to pay its debt. Arguments to Con. Pro had the better conduct of the two, conduct to pro. Con used sources in both of his/her posted rounds, sources to Con. Spelling and grammar tie!