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

Opening Argument

Position: Against
agsragsr 699 Pts
edited February 4 in United States

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

I challenge @ale5 to this Lincoln Douglas debate. I take Negative position, similar to my other 1-1 debate on the same topic with @WhyTrump.
http://www.debateisland.com/discussion/1662/resolved-the-united-states-ought-to-provide-a-universal-basic-income

Summary:
UBI - Universal Basic Income is a concept that was heavily debated in mid 20th century and is now a hot topic again.  It suggests that all citizens get a modest basic unconditional income likely funded by an increased tax.

Sources:

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

4) The case for a universal basic income
ale5BaconToes
  1. Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.

    4 votes
    1. Affirmative - The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.
      75.00%
    2. Negative - Resolved: The United States ought to provide a universal basic income.
      25.00%
Live Long and Prosper


Debra AI Prediction

Against
Predicted To Win
56%
Likely
44%
Unlikely

Details +


Points For:

9


Points Against:

8



Votes: 1

Debate Type: Lincoln-Douglas Debate


Opponent: ale5

Time Per Round: 12 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
    Thanks @agsr. I accept your challenge to take affirmative position.

    Universal Basic Income in the United States would provide numerous potential benefts, including growth in education,progress in fight against poverty, income fair redistribution, economic growth, and mitigation against Artificial Intelligence job elimination.

    Contentions:

    1) 
    Growth in education - current system requires massive student loans and challenges many students to avoid post-grad or vocation training due to need to pay basic rent.  UBI will provide ability for many to go to school while their basic fincial needs are taken care off.

    2) Fight against poverty - we know from history that at times of poverty there are riots and increased crime due to desparation of the poor to survive.  UBI will offer financial means for levels of basic survival without having to steal or riot.

    3) UBI will somewhat even out gap between poor and rich by raising the bar for our poorest citizens.

    4) UBI will propel overall economic growth by improving lomg term education levels of our workforce, and inducing net new spending into the economy with a massive stimulus package.

    5) We all expect that there will be a massive increase of AI automation down the road, with many in the current workforce requiring retrainig or displacement.  UBI in the United States will mitigate that risk by encouraging education and providing a safety need for displaced workers.

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • Cross Examination - Affirmative | Position: Against
    Thank you @ale5 for accepting the challenge.

    I'd like to cross examine your contentions point by point below.


    ale5 said:

    1) 
    Growth in education - current system requires massive student loans and challenges many students to avoid post-grad or vocation training due to need to pay basic rent.  UBI will provide ability for many to go to school while their basic fincial needs are taken care off.

    Cross examination :
    I understand that the current education system is ineffective in many ways, and significant  student loans are troublesome.  However, we don't have evidence that UBI will actually help with that or make it worse.
    With having a safety net of UBI, we don't know what percentage of population will choose to spend money of pursuing education cs drugs or luxuries.
    By having this safety net available, you assume that it will drive students to achieve more, but in reality it can just as easily become a demotivator as they will have access to income without doing anything. 



    2) Fight against poverty - we know from history that at times of poverty there are riots and increased crime due to desparation of the poor to survive.  UBI will offer financial means for levels of basic survival without having to steal or riot.

    Cross examination:
    Sure, that is a valid point, but at what cost? Would a more targteted subsidy like welfare be more effective and less costly vs an unconditional UBI program?  United States already had an issue with getting people out of welfare and getting them to join the workforce.  I don't see evidence to be convinced that UBI will be better.


    3) UBI will somewhat even out gap between poor and rich by raising the bar for our poorest citizens.

    Cross Examination:
    As a capitalist society our goal should be how to be most competitive in the global arena, not to artificially even out rich vs poor gaps at expense of hard working tax payers.


    4) UBI will propel overall economic growth by improving long term education levels of our workforce, and inducing net new spending into the economy with a massive stimulus package.

    Cross Examination:
    While I agree that an economic stimulus package may fuel growth, it can also create hyper inflation and can be extraordinarily exoensive unless specifically targeted.  The UBI by definition isn't targeted and will end up a massive waste of tax payers dollars.


    5) We all expect that there will be a massive increase of AI automation down the road, with many in the current workforce requiring retrainig or displacement.  UBI in the United States will mitigate that risk by encouraging education and providing a safety need for displaced workers.

    Cross Examination:
    I agree that Artificial Intelligence (AI) will transform and eliminate many of the jobs.  However, to cope with such change our tax dollars can be spend much more effectively in offering training and strategically investing in AI R&D with appropriate targeted tax incentives. The generic blanket UBI doesn't address that goal is it's speculative at best.

    In general, your contentions that UBI will help with specific social issues are speculative. UBI offers a generic solution at high cost that can be better implemented with a targeted solution for each specific concern.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Negative Constructive | Position: Against
    Universal Basic Income is advertised as a generetic solution to many current and potential society issues in the United States.  The reality is that it would require an astronomical investment that will have to be offset by higher taxes.  While some may argue that merits of such investment maybe worth it, and we will ultimately get more than our money back, as a business person it would be irresponsible for us to accept such risk without fully vetting expected financial returns of such an investment.

    There are about 325 million people in the US.  Lets say UBI would pay $20k annually unconditionally to about 300 million people. That's a lot of zeros....
    source: http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/us-population/


    Even with UBI, most people would remain economically and socially vulnerable, and unfree, if they just received a basic income without other institutional changes. Full freedom requires strong collective and individual Voice, or what can be called representation security. We must return to the perspective of Aristotle and Hannah Arendt, in saying that freedom is only realised through collective action, and should not be seen solely in individualistic terms. Put bluntly, the two meta-securities are basic income security and basic Voice security

    source: 
    Widerquist 2013 (Karl [Associate Professor at SFS-Qatar, specializing in political philosophy, He holds two doctorates—one in Political Theory form Oxford University (2006) and one in Economics from the City University of New York (1996)] “Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research” Cambridge.org)


    Contention 1) My main contention with UBI is that it replaces current ineffective social welfare programs that provide comprehensive benefits, with even worse social subsidies.
    There is no definitive argument that welfare is worse than UBI.  

    Contention 2)
    My other contention with UBI is that it reduces ambition to achieve more by providing a safety net.  US is based on drive of achieving greatness and risk taking, while UBI stands on a way of that in principle.

    Contention 3)
    UBI will cause a major social debate regarding legal immigration (hard to believe that with current climate that's possible) as nationalistic groups will argue that all immigration should stop to avoid UBI payments. While I disagree with illegal immigration, an inflow of vetted immigration is important to DNA of our country.
    Live Long and Prosper
  • Cross Examination - Negative | Position: For
    @agsr
    Please find my cross examination below.

    1) UBI is effective at providing an overall improvement in mental heath and it's easier to administer than the current welfare program.  A major issue with Welfare today is that it is full of corruption and waste.  With so many welfare recipients double dip and work for cash, the total cost to taxpayers that account for all benefits, corruption, and administrative overhead quickly add up.  UBI eliminates all of that waste by having simple unconditional payments.

    An experiment in the Canadian town of Dauphinin the 1970s showed that recipients of the basic income suffered less from ill-health and mental stress. In negative income tax experiments in the US in the 1970s, children from recipient families were less likely to drop out of high school. And in an "accidental" basic income pilot in North Carolina, where a longitudinal study of child development coincided with the decision of a Cherokee community to distribute casino profits to all tribal members, children in recipient families had fewer behavioural disorders, performed better in school, and were less likely to drift into crime. This was attributed to more economic security and better family relations, partly because parents spent less time arguing about money and more time with their children. Alcohol and drug abuse also fell.

    2) I am in disagreement of your point regarding reduced ambition due to UBI. If you look at Maslow Hierarchy of needs, people prioritize basic needs before self actualization.  UBI provides for those basic needs that enable people to take risks ams achieve more in life.

    3) UBI may cause immigration debate as you suggested, but that's a healthy discussion. Many of the legal immigrants that came to this country made billions for IRS in taxes. Sergey Brin, founder of Google, if I had to name one.
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • First Affirmative Rebuttal | Position: For
    @agsr, your statements regarding UBI not being good enough to make people "free" are really theoritical.  Of course, any type of government subsidy ismt going to make people financially independent and being able to pursue their ambitions.  However, it will help many in a meaningful way to get that training they need to get a new job without worrying about putting food on the table tomorrow.

    Your other argument about the cost and financial risk is no different than any other government program. The details will need to be flushed out amd cost will be offset by so many bemefits that come from UBI, including reduction of welfare payments and tax revenue from job creation.

    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • The Negative Rebuttal | Position: Against
    @ale5, thank you for debating with me.

    You offered a perspective that we should completely transform our economic and social system, with a high risk of financial burden, disrupting current benefits to the poor, and making us borderline socialist society.

    Yet, you presented little solid evidence that such a risk amd financial burden is warranted.

    if I wanted to make a financial investment in a corporate world, even as a small fraction of what UBI would entail, I would be asked for a lot more due diligence to even consider such a decision.


    Live Long and Prosper
  • The Second Affirmative Rebuttal | Position: For
    My opponent argued that the current Welfare system is more efficient than UBI, and yet I presented studies to show how UBI offers benefits and offered a case how it eliminates corruption and waste in the system.

    My opponent argued that UBI will discourage risk taking and will convert us to a social state, where I presented a case how it will actually improve self actualization and risk taking by addressing Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

    My opponent argues that UBI will be too expensive for tax payers and suggested that I should provide a full proforma P&L view before such a notion should be considered.  I presented solid offsets for UBI costs and a path to economic growth.

    In conclusion, please consider all the benefits of the Universal basic income as a solid choice for the United States.

    thank you @agsr for this debate, I enjoyed it!
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible
    - Walt Disney
  • 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: Both sides provided an exciting debate. I followed each round and was great to see it realtime.  @ale5 did a better job with contentions and counter points.  For example, @agsr didn't present an argument agaist welfare corruption contention.

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