The Instigator
Pro (for)
0 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
3 Points

food stamps are right for those who aren't lazy and are the poorest among us

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/22/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 464 times Debate No: 84223
Debate Rounds (3)
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Votes (1)




a person with no means of getting food should be able to go grow corn. society stops them, basically at gun point, with property laws. if they are going to do that, they should make up for it by giving them food.


"a person with no means of getting food should be able to go grow corn. society stops them, basically at gun point, with property laws. if they are going to do that, they should make up for it by giving them food."

I actually don't understand what point you're trying to make, but I feel that it's important me to probably start off with the topic itself: "food stamps are right for those who aren't lazy and are the poorest among us."

1) I want to see my opponent come up with a proper definition of "lazy"...What do you actually mean when you refer to a large number of people- who would be eligible for food stamps- as "not lazy"? Are these people who participate in the workforce, are these people who may desire to participate in the workforce, but can't due to being unable to find a job?

2) How do you define poverty? Who are the poor? Those who fall beneath the federal government's standards for poverty? Those who don't have enough income to feed themselves?

Here's what I have to say: I think that the whole problem with the "Pro" side of this argument is that we have someone trying to delineate between the "deserving" and "undeserving" poor, believing that only some of the population should have access to welfare benefits (in this case, food stamps) because only some of the poor are either a) not lazy or b) extremely, desperately impoverished.

Means-testing for benefits, including food stamps, is a process that creates a significant bureaucracy based on the assumption that human beings do not unequivocally deserve the right to a decent standard of living. I'd be hard-pressed to find many individuals in society, who, having a financial situation that makes them eligible for food stamps, could be honestly considered "lazy." To live in crushing poverty (with or without formal work) is not easy- and we have to take that into account when discussing any "laziness" that is associated with poverty (if any). We also have to take into account the fact that work is not solely confined to the workplace. Plenty of people engage in meaningful activities such as childrearing, volunteering, taking care of other family members, etc. that are not a part of the formal economy. Also, if we're looking at this from an angle of "people who are poor, did not decide to pursue higher education, therefore they are 'lazy,'" many people who are poor do not have the means or support necessary to pursue self-improvement that would get them out of a derelict situation- i.e. a situation that would no longer require them to depend on food stamps. The structural barriers that exist to limit their self-improvement do not make them lazy.

Obviously, more than just the "poorest" among us need to be able to eat. Food stamps are designed to be a supplement for families in need, and not a source of dependence. There are plenty of people who work minimum wage jobs and utilize food stamps in order to help themselves survive. Those people are not the "poorest": they have a steady income from work, but they still don't have the means they need to survive, without utilizing food stamps. Would you consider those people to be "not right" for this kind of service, even though they would not be able to survive otherwise?
Debate Round No. 1


by lazy all i meant was they are trying to find a job. maybe they have minimal employment etc. i think you are focusing too much on the trees and not seeing the bigger point involved.

poverty is those who have no income. we might include those who have minimal income like a few hundred dollars a month. again i think u r missing the bigger point. (which is usually the case when people insist on defining things needlessly)

i think you are trying to make an argument where there is none. i just distinguished lazy v not, cause some people will draw that point, and as the bible even says "he that will not work, neither let him eat". i agree it's too beurocratic to try to make the line bettween deserving and underserving... and at the end of the day, if you are living in poverty, you dont have much going for you either way. we are beyond quibbling about food.

but yeah i dont think we have anything to argue about.


"by lazy all I meant was they are trying to find a job."

So, job seeking is equivalent to laziness? I don't follow.

"poverty is those who have no income...we might include those who have minimal income like a few hundred dollars a month."

Even the government's definition of poverty (which is very outdated and conservative) places people who make below $24,450 per year for a family of four in the contiguous United States (Department of Health and Human Services in 2015) beneath the poverty line. That means that a family of four this making over $2,000 a month could still be living in poverty, with an income much more than "a few hundred dollars a month."

"and as the bible even says, 'he that will not work, neither let him eat'"

So? Just because these words are within the Bible, doesn't give logical credence to what you're saying.
Debate Round No. 2


i meant lazy as in having no desire to work etc even though they can.

i think the poverty guidelines are actually pretty generous. but that's beside the point. we agree that the working poor deserve help and might only quibble in details. i'm trying to take the liberal side and not looking for a debate on those details. there's nothing to debate here.


As I have said previously, there are many ways in which people "work" outside of the formal economy. You're going to find very few people in society who don't have some desire to contribute.

Poverty guidelines aren't generous; most of them are quite out of date. Few take into account multiple costs that face most families besides that of food. Using the cost of food, adjusted only for inflation since the 1960s, is not a good indicator of the costs facing ordinary Americans.

There's plenty of difference in how we think, but I'm not going to hammer the point any further.
Debate Round No. 3
No comments have been posted on this debate.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hayd 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Pro says that people should be able to grow corn, and if not then the gov should make up for it by giving them food. Con says that poor people aren't lazy, and rely on it to survive. Pro responds to Con by telling them to see the bigger picture and not squabble over the details but fails to defeat the major points. Con showed that poor people are deserving of them, and that they are good people and not lazy, negating the resolution and winning the debate.