The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

Should America convert to use the metric system?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/27/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,385 times Debate No: 100380
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (8)
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Americans use the United States Customary Units(USCU) everyday, whether it"s to decide what they should wear(Fahrenheit), to measure how much of something they need to make dinner(cooking measures). On the other hand, all the other industrialized countries use a different system, the International System of Units(also known as the IS and/or metric system).
America should officially convert their measuring system from the United States Customary Units to the, world wide, International system of units because of three major reasons; America would be able to trade globally, no misinterpretation about measures, and not having to teach children two different systems.

1. More of American products will be available to even more consumers around the world.
If America does convert to the metric system, US manufacturers will be able to sell their products to consumers out of the country. Whereas they couldn't have before because of the difference in distance, fuel, and speed gauges in cars; the difference of liters and gallons found in measuring cups, drinks, et cetera. When the number of producers grow, competition grows with it. In this case, global/international competition grows. More competition in economy, the better.

2. There won't be anymore misinterpretation when using the measurement system.
As I am sure most people living in America has experienced already, we have to pull out our electronic device to convert measurements. Therefore, once in awhile, we might make a careless mistake of forgetting to convert value(s). This might not seem that big of a problem at a glance, however, it becomes a serious issue when made during work, anyone"s profession. An excellent example of this problem was the accidental crash of the Mars Climate Orbiter, a space probe costing 193.1 million dollars. According to a review board from NASA, the space probe was lost because, "one team used the English, or avoirdupois, system of measuring, which utilizes miles, yards, feet and inches as well as pounds and ounces, while the other was using metric kilometers, meters, kilograms and grams." These kinds of accidents could and could have been easily solved, simply by having people use a universal measuring system.

3. Educators won"t have to waste time and money teaching two different systems.
American schools are wasting time and money to teach the metric system when the children are mostly going to use the other system. It is better to invest money once to change the current measurement system than wasting money by the millions every year just to teach another system that won"t even be used often. If one of the two measuring systems is to be dropped, it is the correct choice to drop our current system and convert to the international system. It is needless to mention the facts to push my idea through now, America should convert to use the International System of Units.

"U.S. Metric Adoption and Common Core Education Standards." More Than A Mile Behind: America and the Metric System. N.p., 16 Sept. 2014. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

"The United States Should Convert to the Metric System." Debate Issue: The United States Should Convert to the Metric System | N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.


I agree with my opponent's stance, except that it is too late. Using the IS like the rest of the world is exactly what the United States should have done, but they didn't, and there's no turning back now. The metric system is not hard to learn, though, so in the cases when necessary, it is not as hard as say, learning a language. It is used by scientists among others, but today there is no point in switching, it would just cause mass confusion and force everybody to learn it, which would not be good.

1. Pro's case for this is completely preposterous. American producers have no problem trading with other countries around the world, because though the two systems are different, there is not a barrier. It can be easily converted with one tap of Google. Also, companies selling products in other countries concerning measurements wouldn't have any problem switching the measurement for the label, etc. The difference is not even relatively close to the issue you blew it up to be.

2. I argue that there would be even more misinterpretation. In their daily lives, people rarely come across a time where a conversion to IS is necessary. And in the case they do, they have their trusty little smart phone to convert it. If you change it, people will not have the learned perception of the measurement. An example would be the speed limit. If we were to switch it to kilometers per hour, chaos would break loose because no one who grew up with U.S. customary can gauge just how fast that is. The space probe accident you are talking about is only one case, and it was caused more by carelessness and lack of attention rather than the scientists didn't know metric. It was a lack of communication and coordination. Also, most science institutions, including NASA, use metric anyway, which is why I am curious about how this event could have taken place how you have said.

3. Switching to a different measurement system right after learning one is a fateful proposal. It would cause confusion within the classroom and force educators to disregard the harder system of U.S. customary that they have taught their students all along. It doesn't take much effort to learn the metric system, anyway. All units are in sets of ten.

One truth you're disregarding is the absurd amount of money it would cost to take down all of the signs and replace them, all around the country. It would force things like cookbooks to have to recall all their books because the measurements would not be accurate any longer, and anything with any mention of the U.S. customary would have to be replaced. There is also little benefits for going through so much trouble. Why mess with what's working. Your proposal would cause mass confusion and would cost way more and damage business extremely more than you say it would help. Here is a great article explaining how insanely costly a conversion to IS would be[1]. Provided is another informative article about the consequences of leaving USCU[2]. I highly recommend you read over them before your next claim or voting.

Debate Round No. 1
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Debate Round No. 2
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Linagaki 3 years ago
Sorry, I don't know how I sent 2 messages.
Posted by Linagaki 3 years ago
Thank you
Posted by Linagaki 3 years ago
Thank you
Posted by Trump27 3 years ago
Haha no problem. You should have just told me that before! Just some advice, even if you can't make an argument, just submit something. Forfeiting really hurts your account credibility or something. You did make a good argument though, just on a losing side. Thanks for the interesting debate and no hard feelings I understand.
Posted by Linagaki 3 years ago
Sorry I didn't write this sooner, but, I forfeit. The first and biggest reason I forfeited was, your argument, Trump27, is honestly, too well made: you found all my flaws in my writing and stabbed them with amazing precision(even my teacher and friends were laughing at me, patting my back); secondly, I wrote this for my school assignment, and as a stupid procrastinator I am, I prioritized this assignment over others, so now I am working on the other assignments and didn't have the will to TRY and counter an argument that I had already pretty much lost. Sorry Trump27.
Posted by Trump27 3 years ago
Come on really
Posted by Trump27 3 years ago
Please don't forfeit the debate I believe we both have really good arguments and it would put it into a forfeit limbo where it isn't up for debate or in the voting process. Never mind that it would ruin your debate credibility.
Posted by Andrew-Cheng 3 years ago
I'm too pro to argue con against this. I will go on a rant whenever the words Metric System and America are used in the same sentence. I'd like to see what the con's arguments are. Good luck to all!
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