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Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.

Opening Argument

Position: Against
agsragsr 699 Pts
edited February 3 in United States

Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.

Is a guaranteed paycheck from the government, with no strings attached, the answer to the relentless rise of automation? 

The concept might sound far-fetched, but a so-called universal basic income (UBI), is currently one of the most hotly debated policy topics being floated as a means to address income inequality and the disruption that technology poses to the workforce. UBI is being tested in Finland and other international markets, but has received decidedly mixed reactions.

Meanwhile, developments in robotics and artificial intelligence have grave implications for the labor force. A report issued this week from consulting firm PwC found that more than a third of U.S. jobs were at risk from automation, upping the ante for policy makers to cushion the blow to workers. 

Advocates for UBI argue that a guaranteed paycheck could serve as a way to fight poverty and uncertainty in an evolving U.S. economy, and encourage workers to take more risks in the job market if they had some extra money as a cushion.

Sourcehttps://www.cnbc.com/2017/03/25/universal-basic-income-debate-sharpens.html

I will argue against this resolution.  The United States should NOT provide UBI.  
That will take us a step backward from founding principles of capitalism and get us on a slippery slope towards socialism.  

----------
Here are relevant sources for those researching the topic of 

Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.

1) The case for and against a universal basic income in the United States
By Byrd Pinkerton and Sarah Kliff  May 12, 2017, 9:50am EDT
https://www.vox.com/2017/5/12/13954182/case-for-and-against-universal-basic-income-united-states

2) The United States Ought to Provide a Universal Basic Income By: Courtney Nilson

Beehive Forensics Institute

July 2017

https://bfi.utah.edu/_documents/2017_camp_evidence/The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.docx

3) Universal Basic Income - Top 3 Pros and Cons
https://www.procon.org/headline.php?headlineID=005363

4) The case for a universal basic income
ale5joecavalrycomey_testify
  1. Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.

    10 votes
    1. Yes - The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.
      30.00%
    2. No - The United States shouldn't provide a universal basic income.
      60.00%
    3. Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income - Maybe
      10.00%
Live Long and Prosper


Debra AI Prediction

Against
Predicted To Win
56%
Likely
44%
Unlikely

Details +


Points For:

54


Points Against:

58



Votes: 7

Debate Type: Lincoln-Douglas Debate


Opponent: WhyTrump

Time Per Round: 24 Hours Per Round

Affirmative Constructive

Cross Examination - Affirmative

Negative Constructive

Cross Examination - Negative

First Affirmative Rebuttal

The Negative Rebuttal

The Second Affirmative Rebuttal

Voting


Arguments

  • Affirmative Constructive | Position: For
    I thank my opponent for creating this debate and I take affirmative position.

    We are about to embrace a new future full of unprecedented challenges driven by accelerated pace of technological advancements of Artificial Intelligence.  
    Over the past century we've seen industrial revolution, trends of automation, and outsourcing that displaced many American workers and required social benefits.
    However, we haven't yet seen ability of computer and robot to outthink humans in routine tasks.  At this pace, with power of computing, that day is coming in our lifetime (and certainly in lifetime of the next generation). It's only a matter of time.
    We've seen IBM Watson beat human world chess champion in chess, go, and that was just a beginning.  
    Chinese Computer can already beat humans in reading
    source: http://money.cnn.com/2018/01/15/technology/reading-robot-alibaba-microsoft-stanford/index.html

    So we are now competing with Chinese robots for jobs, not just cheap Chinese labor.  The game has changed.

    United States needs to invest heavily in educuation and training, but it's unrealistic to believe that most of American workforce can be educated to compete eith this evolving technology.  

    Unless we want ongoing crime and starvation, we need to ensure that all Americans can sustain themselves to a minimum standard of living.  
    UBI construct offers that protection.
    WhyTrump - a good question
  • Cross Examination - Affirmative | Position: Against
    Thank you @WhyTrump for accepting this debate.  

    My opponent argues that technological advancement is coming fast and will automate jobs at much faster pace than before.  I fully agree with that assertion and agree that most of current jobs will be transformed or eliminated at unbelievable rate.  

    However, I will argue against 2 key points.

    1) The elimination/transformation of current jobs will not necessarily result in higher unemployment.  AI will likely create many new jobs and has potential for significant productivity boost as AI and humans work together.  
    It's a similar concept that we've seen during the last 20 years in manufacturing.  Initially many of the jobs were outsourced to China due to labor arbitrage, as capital intensity of the manufacturing process was modest (more people less machines). As automation increased, reliance on labor arbitrage became less prominent and China needed to compete on automation instead of cheap labor.  

    Similarly, we expect to see many mew jobs to be created with AI and people take higher end roles complementing machines.

    2) Solution to automation should be education, not a guaranteed safety net.
    We need to push our workfoce to train with the skills needed for the economy, and that's how we create value.  
    That will be much more effective than taking a drive of success away from our people.

    3) Even if we argue that safety net is needed, is UBI really the best answer.
    it will increase taxes and will eliminate other welfare benefit programs.
     
    https://www.vox.com/2017/5/12/13954182/case-for-and-against-universal-basic-income-united-states
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Negative Constructive | Position: Against
    I will base my position on 3 key points against Universal Basic Income in the United states.

    1) Universal Basic Income (UBI) takes money from the poor and gives it to everyone, increasing poverty and depriving the poor of needed targeted support. 
    A key point is that UBI isn't a supplement to current social programs, but really a replacement. Welfare programs today provide holistic benefits, not just cash.  

    2) UBI removes the incentive to work, adversely affecting the economy and leading to a labor and skills shortage.
    Welcome USSR. We already have seen socialist constructs that just kill productivity and decrease economic growth.

    3) UBI is too expensive
    Paying for Universal Basic Income will pit tremendous pressure on our already hgh taxes and/or national debt.

    source: https://www.procon.org/headline.php?headlineID=005363
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Cross Examination - Negative | Position: For
    agsr said:
    I will base my position on 3 key points against Universal Basic Income in the United states.

    1) Universal Basic Income (UBI) takes money from the poor and gives it to everyone, increasing poverty and depriving the poor of needed targeted support. 
    A key point is that UBI isn't a supplement to current social programs, but really a replacement. Welfare programs today provide holistic benefits, not just cash.  

    2) UBI removes the incentive to work, adversely affecting the economy and leading to a labor and skills shortage.
    Welcome USSR. We already have seen socialist constructs that just kill productivity and decrease economic growth.

    3) UBI is too expensive
    Paying for Universal Basic Income will pit tremendous pressure on our already hgh taxes and/or national debt.

    source: https://www.procon.org/headline.php?headlineID=005363
    Thank you agsr.  I will cross examine your 3 points below.

    1) UBI has multiple successful trials over the past 50 years.  Alaska, Kenya, India, and Canada all had good results as measured innimproved satisfaction.  Your argument that welfare provides a more balanced benefit is not grounded on facts.  I don't recall seeing studies that welfare had positive recipients satisfaction.

    2) UBI doesn't really remove incentive to work.  It merely provides a safety net for meeting minimum requirements to survive.  Most people wouldn't be satisfied with that standard of living.  It instead addresses the issue of poverty avoidance and civil unrest in times of mass unemployment- such as that likely as waves of AI automation take place.
    UBI will actually enable better school dropout rates and occupational school training, that will help skill sets for the/revised requirements.  With UBI help, those on borderline of poverty can actually have a chance to get training they need to get a job.

    3) A notion that UBi is too expensive is unfounded.  Sure, it will require large funding to put in place at scale, but it will be offset by other benefits.  As people leverage UBI to get training and get jobs, economic growth and avoidance of other social issues will be positive offsets.



    WhyTrump - a good question
  • First Affirmative Rebuttal | Position: For
    My opponent argues that welfare is better than UBI, people are lazy in general and will be satisfied with ants meat, and a structural solution should be discarded as "too expensive", without looking at net impact to the economy.

    I provided a counter-argument that UBI had numerous successful trials.

    United States isn't based on principles of just getting by, but a drive to learn and get access to better job opportunities- and that's what Universal Basic Income supports. Having a safety net will encourage people to train for the jobs they need or take entrepreneurial risks.

    The benefits of UBI ate multifold, and simply writing off UBI as "too expensive" is illogical.
    WhyTrump - a good question
  • The Negative Rebuttal | Position: Against
    Thank you to my opponent for his arguments.

    Imposing a tax on the entire population to pay for such a broad benefit is a socialistic measure - something that is against DNA of the United States. 

    Economist John Kay, Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, studied proposed UBI levels in Finland, France, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the United States, and concluded that, in all of these countries, UBI at a level which can guarantee an acceptable standard of living is "impossibly expensive... Either the level of basic income is unacceptably low, or the cost of providing it is unacceptably high."  John Kay, "The Basics of Basic Income," johnkay.com, Apr. 5, 2017

    I will maintain that UBI hasn't proven to be an effective replacement of current social benefit programs.  Isolated small scale trials in India and Kenya from 40 years ago are not nearly statistically significant or even applicable as a reasonable success measure for the United Stated.  

    Assuming that UBI will be used to retrain the workforce is a reasonable guess, but equally reasonable guess will be that it will result in abuse and people working off the books while collecting benefits. US needs to maintain Entrepreneural drive to stay competitive in World economy.  UBI will stand on a way of that.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • The Second Affirmative Rebuttal | Position: For
    Thank you @agsr for debating this topic.  
    In conclusion, I would like to leave with the followimg points:
    1) There is nothing against DNA of United States to help those in need.  We have numerous precedents including post Great-Depression measures that were successful. That is not to be confused with a socialism regime.

    2) The isolated study by some Swiss economist is not sufficient support that UBI will be prohibitively expensive.

    3) UBI if implemented correctly will be an effective measure for restructuring US for the new economy and retrain the people.

    Thanks and good luck.

    WhyTrump - a good question
  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 2 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 8 Points

    Total Points (Against): 9 Points

    Explanation: Both sides did a great job and used good sources, grammar, and had good behavior.  Both sides well stated their position and refutted opponent arguments.  I believe that agsr had persuasive arguments by a small margin by consistency of his points.
  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 2 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 9 Points

    Total Points (Against): 8 Points

    Explanation: Really thorough set of arguments from both side.  
    I have to side with @whytrump for persuasive arguments, as he clearly cited specific studies that were conducted to show that UBI provided merit.  Agsr tried to argue that point, but didn't provide specific counterpoints on studies where it wasn't a good replacement.  
    I enjoyed the debate.  
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 1 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 1 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 2 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 8 Points

    Total Points (Against): 7 Points

    Explanation: Explanation: Both had great conduct and grammar. However, whytrump showed studies that UBI would be beneficial while asgr provided more linkable sources. Although, whytrump was more persuasive. 
    I could either have the future pass me or l could create it. 

    “We are all born ignorant, but one must work hard to remain stupid.” - Benjamin Franklin  So flat Earthers, man-made climate change deniers, and just science deniers.

    I friended myself! 
  • Vote
    joecavalryjoecavalry 268 Pts
    edited February 4
    Persuasive Argument (For): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 1 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 2 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 7 Points

    Total Points (Against): 9 Points

    Explanation: Great Debate! Both sides did a great job, but Against had slightly more persuasive and better arguments. Against also had more evidenee and/sources.
    DebateIslander and a DebateIsland.com lover. 
  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 1 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 2 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 7 Points

    Total Points (Against): 9 Points

    Explanation: I enjoyed both perspectives of this debate.  Exceptional conduct from both opponents and both followed LD structure well.  
    Both opponents provided evidence, sources, and interpretive examples.  Great work.
    I awarded 1 extra point for arguments to agsr as his logic and consistency was a bit smoother and convincing.
  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 2 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 2 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 2 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 2 Points

    Total Points (For): 9 Points

    Total Points (Against): 9 Points

    Explanation: Both sides did an amazing job.  Especially kudos to @agsr for hosting 2 debates on this topic with excellent arguments.  I thoroughly enjoyed this and your other LD debate with @ale5 just now on the same topic.
     http://www.debateisland.com/discussion/1669/resolved-the-united-states-ought-to-provide-a-universal-basic-income-ld-challenge
  • Vote
    Persuasive Argument (For): 2 Points
    Evidence And Sources (For): 1 Points
    Conduct (For): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (For): 1 Points
    Persuasive Argument (Against): 3 Points
    Evidence And Sources (Against): 1 Points
    Conduct (Against): 2 Points
    Spelling And Grammar (Against): 1 Points

    Total Points (For): 6 Points

    Total Points (Against): 7 Points

    Explanation: Great Debate for both sides! Against had better arguments, more evidence/sources. 
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