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A government ought to cover the cost of college tuition fees for its citizens

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adminadmin (PRO)
Education is fundamentally important for any modern society to progress and develop. That means you need access to education. This debate is fundamentally about who should get that access - should it be a small elite, or should it be everybody. In this debate, I will be advocating that education is everybody's right, not a privilege.

The mechanism for this would naturally vary by country. Equal opportunity is the key.

1. Equity is good

All humans are born equal. This is the foundational premise for human rights - just because that kid has rich parents and the other kid has poor parents does not make either kid superior to the other. Such demographic distinctions are ultimately arbitrary and not conductive to producing a healthy society. Even if we can't all be treated equally, we should at least be treated fairly.

This isn't, despite all appearances a socialist notion. In North Korea, elite party members get a decent education. But that's a very small proportion of a very large agrarian society. It's a liberal notion in the classical sense, advancing the freedom and equality of our society at large. But most importantly it's a humanist notion - it gives people both worth and empowerment, and that's really great. The reason why this is so good is the simple principle of reciprocity - if you are poor, you'd want to be treated the same way as a rich person is treated.

The problem is that our equality of opportunity is premised on our access to opportunity, which unfortunately comes down to whether we have disposable income ready to throw at sending our kids to college, whether we have a house near a college or have been able to get our kid a job that he can save money from (as opposed to feeding the whole family because the parents have no money), and numerous other factors. The crucial thing about these is that they have nothing to do with whether the child is actually the most able. Very smart scientists have undoubtedly been missed out on by our society because they were never able to study science. The same with music, or business, or engineering, or any other tertiary-level field.

This model won't solve the problem completely, but it is a massive step in the right direction. It ensures that money is no object to higher learning, but rather actual merit. With more people eligible, colleges will certainly be required to raise their admissions standards. This means only smart students get in, as opposed to only wealthy students. What that delivers is a true meritocracy.

Many countries already have programs in place for affirmative action that seek to equalize structural inequalities with reverse incentives, for example by providing quotas for female applicants or racial minorities. What this model does is create exactly the same for those most disadvantaged: the poor.

That in turn creates a positive feedback loop - when one poor person goes to college, they go back and bring wisdom to their poor community which helps more kids go to college, bringing more wisdom to the community. From wisdom comes social benefits too - why turn to crime when you aren't forced into a life of crime, when your education enables you to get a better job and break the cycle of poverty that in many families has trapped them for generations.

This is important because poor communities need that education more than wealthy communities. They have a problem, and education bringing knowledge can be a part of the solution.

2. Academic Environment

A side-effect of there being a better standard of admission is that higher education would become more about serious study and less of a rite of passage entrenched in much of our culture, since academic ability is the main qualifier as opposed to financial ability.

Much of modern academia is unfortunately about the "C's get degrees" mantra - why push yourself when you all get the same degree at the end anyway. That's created a lot of the problems with youth, like drugs, boy racers and partying, among college cliques who should be devoted to study. All too often it's the rich spoilt brats whose parents are so proud their little kid's going to college and trust every word they say (especially when what they're saying conforms to what they want to hear, ie "I'm a perfect student! Honest!") that are the very worst.

Obviously employer's aren't really that dumb, it's all an illusion so those kids have two options after their degree. One is McDonalds. The other is to become an academic.

Academia is a perfect path forward for students unable to get a job. There's no pressure as universities are happy to take on more postgraduate students, these being more profitable in general anyway. And for them, they get to keep on doing all the fun stuff that they want to, so long as they keep on presenting "passable" research.

The harm here is that C's get degrees academics become C's get degrees teachers, which in turn leads to more C's get degrees students. A professor can have a profound impact on the quality of a student's learning directly, but it happens indirectly too. For example, it's professors who write the textbooks.

The problem is that real life isn't C's get degrees. As one of my professors put it, time plus effort equals learning. That's the goal of education - to get people to put in time and effort to learn useful things. He was absolutely right. College should the epitome of learning, a place of scholars. It's not a place young people go to party for four years.

3. Third world benefits

This model is not exclusive to wealthy, large countries. When you open up educational benefits to the third world, the benefits multiply.

One of the key ways in which poor cultures are suppressed is through a lack of honest understanding and dialogue. Much of this dialogue happens in universities. In politics each man is for their own, in business everyone is trying to profit from everyone else - but in learning there are few barriers of self-interest, other than the quest to find out more about how to improve our world. Poor countries have much to offer us in enriching our experience of life, just as wealthy countries have much to offer them. It's in that process of mutual learning that we can find common ground, understanding, and bridge those gaps that allow a third world to exist.

More directly, the skills earned by smart third world people, taught by the best and brightest, can directly impact on the standard of living in a community. The more doctors there are to cure malaria, the more these kinds of simple diseases can be eliminated.

I thank my opponent for his patience and look forward to reading his case.
Return To Top | Posted:
2013-11-27 02:15:00
| Speak Round
BigAl95BigAl95 (CON)
First off I would like to thank my opponent for debating with me, and secondly I would like to point out that I am from America, so most of the frame of references stem from an American viewpoint in my instance, whereas with my opponent this is not so; so in case any issues around this premise occur, it can be better understood so as to clarify any discrepancies.

Before I begin, I would like to clarify that this debate is around the premise that a government ought to cover tuition fees for students, meaning that we are discussing whether or not a government has an obligation to fulfill this request and is also justified in doing so; since I’m in negation I will be attempting to show you that this is not the case for college tuition fees.

So as to maximize fairness I will save refutation for next round and simply put forth my case, now let’s begin.
To start off I would like to state the 3 main points I will be covering; that the quality of education goes down, it hurts the economy, and a government is not obligated in doing so and allowing this to happen will create ways to take advantage of the system.

1) The quality of education goes down.

When looking at what would happen if a government were to pay for college tuition fees versus when it doesn’t, we can see that one of two scenarios will occur; the varying college tuition fees that change with different institutions will stay the same, in which a government will pay the amount that is dictated by the university, OR all prices, regardless of college, will become the same. Each of these scenarios poses a problem.

Assuming that prices will still be different among different colleges, it is logical to assume that those who are trying to decide which college to attend will, since they don’t have to pay, choose the school that offers the best programs. Well if everyone is choosing the best colleges, not only does that put those with less educational appeal at a loss, it burdens those with higher educational standing with more students making the school itself over-packed with those who want the best education. If there are too many students then it makes the actual teaching aspect much more difficult because instead of say a 20:1 student to faculty ratio, there would then be a 35:1 or even worse. With less effective teaching, it makes it much more difficult to learn anything in the first place which is the entire purpose of college.

Now assuming the prices for each student will be the same regardless of the college that they go to, this also lessens the quality of education. For colleges to have the same cost they have to offer roughly the same stuff in regards to curriculum, resources, facilities, etc., but for schools that currently have large amounts of funding due to student tuition fees, 1) they would lose funding because of the reduced cost in price per student that’s paid for by the government, 2) they would either have to lose some of their extra amenities added such as books in libraries or even drop some of the superfluous curricula meaning less of an expansive variety of things that can be learned by the attending students OR the lower-status schools would have to offer the same stuff as the other colleges, meaning more teachers, classrooms, books, everything. This financial burden would then be put on the whole populous which would increase drastically just to ensure that the now government “recommended” curriculum is offered to all students. This leads me to my next point.

2) It’s bad for the economy.

Not only is the tax burden put on the citizens an obvious negative, but by potentially having costs per student be the same for all colleges, it discourages the idea of free enterprise AND in all instances it gets rid of a necessary evil that allows for an economy and, more importantly, a society to exist.
The idea of free enterprise and entrepreneurship are essential to a working economy; it gets new products made, it satisfies societal needs and gives people a way to make money off of their creative nature. With a government paying for tuition costs that it could potentially set, (which could in turn make them want to regulate what is offered at the school), it reduces the amount of variety in the college choices for any student to go to. If we are trying to promote one finding his or her calling, which is basically the purpose of college, we can see that limiting what is offered actually is opposite to that ideal because you could be potentially limiting what one may wish to do. Not only that, but the founder of the college, and those that would now currently run/own it, would be more restricted in the same scenario and this limits what one may wish to do in terms of bettering the school. If we are looking to promote this idea of a free-market and free enterprise, a government paying college tuition fees is not the way to do so.

Also, there are certain things that need to happen for a functioning society to even work. It may sound cruel, but we need people who can’t/don’t/won’t go to college. The world can’t be rampant with doctors; we need people to handle the medical waste too. With offering a college education to basically everyone it creates this idea that anyone can be whatever they want, which to a certain extent needs to be in our thoughts; however, society needs people who can/will do the dirty work. Either society would have nothing but college grads looking to fill positions that aren’t even available, or people would be severely underemployed which doesn’t bode well for a growing economy.

3) A government is not obligated in doing so and paying for tuition fees creates ways to take advantage of the system.

Since this debate is regarding what a government OUGHT to do, we must look at what it is obligated to do, (because “ought” implies some sort of obligation). A government by John Locke’s Social Contract theory is only required and obligated to provide necessities for the citizens that make up the state itself; it makes no point about what would be beneficial to society and what is inherently good. Because that which determines a government’s obligations says nothing in regards to what it should do about providing education beyond that which is already provided, it is then not obligated to do so.

And since my other contentions talked more about society and the education system itself, I’ll just tie this other point about the government into this contention.

With a government paying for tuition fees for any college courses that a citizen were to take, a person could hypothetically just stay in college for an indefinite amount of time. If the purpose of college is to become a productive member of society, if one is supposed to use the education and knowledge gained in college to find a suitable job, and that person does not in fact ever do those things then it would completely defeat the purpose of the government paying for tuition in the first place. The citizens that follow the rules and pay taxes would be funding this person’s irresponsibility. While it might not happen frequently, the potential still exists for such a person to take advantage of the system, which not only affects the government in terms of the amount of spending done just for this person, but it looks bad that the government is funding someone’s irresponsibility and willingness to cheat the system. It’s like government giving money to those that are unemployed then those people go and spend the money on alcohol or other drugs. It’s not right and the fact that a government could end up doing that makes the citizens that do follow the rules look poorly upon the governing body to which they are a part of.

So because of the negative effects on the education system, economy/society, and government I urge a vote for con.

Return To Top | Posted:
2013-11-29 21:46:52
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for opening his case.

My opponent has elected not to challenge my case in the opening round. That's fine, but I can only assume my case stands until my opponent meets his burden of rejoinder to rebut it. Without taking away from any of my points then, I'll leave my opponent to rebut them, and in this round, I'll rebut my opponent's case.

1) The quality of education goes down.

There is no reason to believe - at all - that covering tuition fees by the government will eliminate differential pricing by universities. Universities inevitably face different non-student income structures and expenses, and as such the incentives for differential pricing do not change under my model. The only exception would be if such a mandate already exists, in which case the harm is not caused or contributed to by my model. Con must demonstrate the causal link for this point to hold.

Even if con does demonstrate this, his argument amounts to little more than that some universities will have less income from students and thus reduce educational quality. This assumes that the cost of education is lower than what the university would charge under differential pricing. I could likewise make the claim that for cheap universities, the additional influx of money without prejudicing the poor communities they currently largely serve would be a huge boost to those communities that need education most. So socialist education has its advantages... notwithstanding the fact that, as I explained last round, my model isn't socialist at all.

The relevant point here is rather my opponent's claim that all students go to the "best" university, presumably rather than "the best university they can afford", leading to overcrowding and a reduction in educational quality. This argument is wrong on three levels (although intriguingly enough, 35:1 is a very common ratio in New Zealand secondary schools).

First of all, universities can and do engage in non-price competition. If you're visited by a career adviser form MIT at high school, the chances improve that you might go to MIT later. They put out glossy fliers and liaise with businesses for postgraduate professional development. I visited tons of universities before choosing where to have my degree, and every last one of them gave me tons of food so that I would have a good impression of the place.

Secondly, what makes a good university is naturally subjective. Some people go to a university with other people they know - perhaps a celebrity goes there, or a famous professor, or just their friends. Maybe the rent is cheaper, or perhaps the rates, to say nothing of commodity prices and the like. Perhaps they wanted a university nearby where they wouldn't have to move, or far away for a more exotic experience. Every person weighs up all these factors differently when choosing a university, and all these things would be true even if my model magically made all the universities themselves exactly the same. Naturally my model still does allow for differences between universities in programs offered, teaching methods used, cultural and sporting elements and so forth. These are the most important factors and also the most subjective. The point is that in education, the monetary factor isn't everything.

Third, universities don't just let everybody in who is able to pay the money. Universities are staffed by some of the smartest people in the world - people who are smart enough to know that they have a reputation to protect. If they just let in any random person with the money, then that would be bad for the university because it would be bad for the students. That's why universities establish basic academic prerequisites for courses at all levels. These are commonly adjusted to meet grade inflation, so even if there was an amazing influx, universities would respond by simply making the entry process more competitive. This is actually an advantage to my model which I explained in the last round - the more competitive the entry the more being a "good university" is about learning and not about "being wealthy".

2) It’s bad for the economy.

I'll begin by addressing the tax burden. A tax is basically when everybody pays money for something vitally important for society. For one person to pay for all the country's healthcare, for example, would be crazy - but healthcare is vitally important. Therefore, governments step in, and that's fantastic. Similarly we currently have a situation where it's vitally important (note my opponent does not disagree with this premise) for more poor people to have an education. For one person to pay for all of the education for poor people is crazy, so tax is an ideal way to split that cost, spread it out and make it manageable. To ensure fairness, this opportunity must be made available to everyone. So while there is a tax burden, it is absolutely consistent with the purpose of tax.

More importantly, the model pays itself off in the long run. When (say) Fiji has tons of doctors, Fijians won't have to pay so much tax to keep the hospitals running. With an improved quality of life they'll also be able to do more jobs and save on social welfare, not require so much foreign aid from countries like the United States and so on. The point is that the tax burden is an immediate impact, but it creates savings basically everywhere else in the tax budget. It's good policy.

In general I agree that free enterprise is good, but there are restrictions on this, and one such restriction is that sometimes something is so important, no community can afford to be without it, yet the equilibrium price is above what some can afford. Education is evidently one such area, because all too often poor communities are majorly stifled by a lack of post-secondary education, leading to many of them instead turning to lives of crime, the smarter ones perhaps joining a church, and the rest of them end up on the unemployment benefit.

As for government interference in college programs, I think that if the government guards against fraud or courses that don't teach anything useful (to ensure that their money is well spent) then that's actually a good thing. I don't understand the conclusion of why such limitations stifle course variety. If anything, universities competing to make sure their courses are good enough for funding actually improves the quality of courses. Anything beyond that (such as banning maths courses, for example) is way beyond the scope of the model and would require a pretty ulterior motive on the part of the government - something that would happen even if my model were not adopted.

Finally, I agree that we need people who won't go to college. I'm merely suggesting that how we determine who goes to college should be determined not by how fat their wallets are, or how generous their sugar-daddies are, but by how well they are actually able to complete the course. I think doctors should be selected on merit, for example, not who has the best connections or most money.

Having said that, much of the world currently is unbalanced against doctors and towards unskilled labor, if you look anywhere in the world that isn't a wealthy country. Unlike my opponent I'm aspirational about education. I believe education can take society to new places rather than just maintain the status quo. Imagine if every child in the world, with a little hard work and dedication, had at least a fair CHANCE of becoming a doctor, especially when you consider that so many countries still need to worry about the threat of diseases that are incredibly easy to prevent and treat, like Malaria.

3) A government is not obligated in doing so and paying for tuition fees creates ways to take advantage of the system.

I hate to point out the obvious, but John Locke was only human. Just because John Locke thought his theory was awesome doesn't make it true, so unless con can prove that social contract theory is always right this point makes no sense.

Con also claims you could stay in college under my model for an indefinite amount of time. This is mostly false because "college tuition fees" does not equate "every possible expense". You still need to pay all your other day-to-day bills somehow, like rent, food, power, transport and such. It might be, for example, that to remove this perverse incentive my opponent speaks of a government might simply limit the availability of the unemployment benefit to students it is already paying the college tuition fees of. Since these day-to-day costs are lower and can generally be met with a part-time position at McDonalds, this would still fulfill the ultimate aim of the model to get all smart people - regardless of the status of their bank account - the education they deserve. There are many other things governments can do, in countries where this would not be appropriate, to meet the same end. The existence of loopholes is not inherent to the model.

With that in mind, I rest my case for this round and look forward to reading my opponent's rebuttals.
Return To Top | Posted:
2013-12-01 09:13:17
| Speak Round
BigAl95BigAl95 (CON)
So I would like to start off this round by going over my opponent’s initial case, moving on to his refutations of my case and then leaving the last round to block his rebuttals of my refutations of his case as well as voter issues. Sorry for potential confusion with that last part.

1) Equality is good

He starts off by saying that all humans are born equal; while our basis for human rights is from equal treatment due to the fact that prejudice or predetermining factors such as skin color, etc. is bad, what my opponent means to say, (and would be more correct in doing so), is that humans deserve equal opportunity regardless of factors beyond their control. Humans, when it comes to intelligence, are not born equal. We get roughly 70% of our intelligence and critical thinking skills from our parents, (only source I have is that we learned it in Psychology class, Myers I believe is the author); however my opponent says that everyone deserves an education, and then turns back around and says that only smart people will be going to college due to the competitive nature of his model. This seems completely contradictory to his premise that I just clarified! People should get an education regardless of natural-born predispositions to being less intelligent, yet that’s exactly what my opponent is vying for. Also, it’s not like poor kids can’t go to college currently. They can get scholarships and loans to help pay for their education. Economics is centered around a cost-benefit analysis of situations. Those that are more intelligent will probably be the ones to become doctors, (not those that pay/bribe their way through school like my opponent suggests), and make the most amount of money which means they’ll be better able to pay off any loans they took to get through school. If their desired career does not make as much money then taking loans will probably not be wise, but the fact that their impact on society would have been negligible, (as determined by their pay), is a good way to show that them not going to college isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Say for example an aspiring police officer wants to get a degree in criminal justice. You don’t have to get a degree to become a cop, so if you can’t afford to go to school, the minor raise in pay when compared to if you had a degree would not be beneficial when looking at the cost of going to school. Sometimes degrees just aren’t necessary.

2) Academic Environment

Like I stated above, any degrees that require some sort of responsibility, (engineers, lawyers, doctors), can’t be bought, you have to compete for the degree and earn that level of responsibility. Most degrees, such as criminal justice, only serve as a way to increase income afterwards. My opponent paints this picture of overall pointlessness to going to college if you aren’t competing. His model doesn’t necessarily solve for this, but only makes those not competing more intelligent whilst also denying or reducing the ability for those less intelligent to compete in the job market. His model also doesn’t get rid of the negative influences on students; regardless of who’s going, there will be drugs, partying, etc. He merely presents a problem with no clear solution except supposedly his side, but he never shows how his model fixes that “C’s get degrees” mantra.

3) Third-world benefits

Going on to what he said about the use of this model in third-world countries, I feel as though there are a few problems posed by this. While I did leave the resolution ambiguous, it seems more problematic than realistic when applied to third-world countries, (3WC). First off, are there really any great universities that are offered to 3WC? I doubt there really are many universities in 3WC. Not only that, but the education system wouldn’t even allow for many to even be considered by a developed country’s standards. The public education system is terrible in America, how bad do you think it would be in say Haiti? The few people that could even get into college following whatever public school system they have would not necessarily pose a need to cover college tuition fees, it’s just not there. And finally, he merely extends his impacts from his other contentions down through to 3WC. I went and showed the extent his impacts even had on society and showed how they don’t really provide any more good than pointless attempts at good. So even if you believe that this model can effectively be applied to 3WC, you still don’t have any impacts extended because of my addressing his case.

Now onto his refutation of my case.

1) Quality of education

Okay, first off I don’t have to provide a linkage to the possibility of the change in differential pricing. Either the prices will be different or they will be the same. The only point made against the similar prices is that it will improve the least educationally preferable schools and not just reduce the better, higher-end schools. While yes this is true, it’s negative in its impact because socialism does not work and is not a good thing. Imagine a class-room of children who have to compete for best grades on a test and their prize is 5 cookies for first, 2 for second and 1 for third. This competition makes the students strive for the best grade. However, if you were to give each student half a cookie regardless of their grade it un-incentivizes them to get the best grade, creating a lower quality input. While yes your making sure everyone gets the same stuff, (education in my opponents case), it doesn’t allow for the optimum output, (better education at more expensive colleges). Not only are socialistic ideas not a good thing, he also says later that he agrees with free-enterprise, meaning competition between people/groups. He directly contradicts himself when talking about my case. To add onto it, he says he’s for equality and then says that only smart people should/would be allowed in colleges. Once again people can’t control how smart they are; this is very similar to racism/sexism or any other “ism” that you could think of that promotes prejudice.

Also going on to what he said about the prices being different and how that’s not a bad thing. His first point seems to disregard the aspect of money in college choice decisions. I get his side actually does disregard costs, but he’s saying that you would be more likely to go to a school that visited which may be true to some extent, but with the emphasis on education that my opponent even uses to refute my case, people would most often look to education to determine where to go if price wasn’t an issue. This leads me directly address his second point about the other reasons one would go to a school. If education is everything, if education is as important as my opponent makes it out to be, that would be what people look for in a university to determine where to go, which merely plays into my impacts. BUT, my opponent says, “The point is that in education, the monetary factor isn’t everything.” Which is what I’m saying; education is the end-all-be-all reason for someone to choose to go to school which once again plays into my impacts. My point was addressing what would happen if the aff was implemented and in that instance money isn’t an issue which goes against what I directly quoted him saying. I’m not really even sure he addressed my point or tried to make it work, but he would need to clear that up for me to properly refute it. And thirdly, he says that you don’t let anybody in who can pay, which is true, but once again he missed my point. I’m saying assuming that you got into whatever college you wanted, (based on academics), you would go to the one that offered the best programs. So yes it would make the entry process more competitive, but that merely plays into my point about discriminating against those who are genetically less intelligent which is inherently immoral especially if everyone deserves an education.

2) It’s bad for the economy

I’ll start off by agreeing with what my opponent says about tax in regards to necessity; however, when the harms outweigh the benefits it should not be adopted. This is where the American aspect ties in, we don’t have universal healthcare because of the negatives that it poses, (which I really don’t have space to explain here). Similar to healthcare, free college tuition has more negative impacts than positive ones as shown by my contentions, so that’s a reason not to affirm. But also, quickly addressing his example. If Fiji had more doctors, that doesn’t mean better health, it just means more doctors to help which would in fact cost hospitals more to run and would either lead to more doctors employed increasing the tax, or more doctors unemployed or underemployed which are both bad for the economy. Most of his other attacks on my 2nd contention are addressed by my refutation to his case, but I would like to address governmental regulation of courses. This is bad because this doesn’t leave as much room for expansion of research or actual knowledge garnering. For example, people might feel history is a useless course due to its non-existent impact on society/economy, but an aspiring historian would be upset if the government cut the course because of its “uselessness.”

3) Government obligation and abuse of the system

First off, I’ll accept the points about the taking advantage of the system and drop those. However my opponent still fails to meet his burden in this round because he doesn’t show why a government should cover costs as opposed to why doing so is a good thing. He states I have to show that Social Contract Theory is always right; however, since that’s the premise of every democracy, (the most capable to provide these opportunities), we look to that to determine obligations of the government.
Return To Top | Posted:
2013-12-03 05:10:47
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for continuing his case. I'll divide this debate into the most important themes this round.

1. Equal Opportunity

While 70% from parents may seem like a lot, it really isn't. It's a natural average - for example, if I had an IQ of 150, it would be more likely my child has an IQ of 105 (-30%) than 195 (+30%). Instead it's based on an average IQ of 100. As that example proves, the range is huge. A person whose parents are of average intelligence (IQ 100) could turn out mentally retarded (IQ 70) or genius (IQ 130), well within the 30% range.

So the point is that we're all born with the opportunity to do well in education. This is why the international charter of human rights already defines free primary school education as a basic human right. We know that access to secondary education is not as significant an issue as access to tertiary education either, although of course I would also support measures to increase the accessibility of that.

This is not contradictory to my "make universities more meritocratic" point at all. Equal opportunity does not imply equal access. Everyone has a fair opportunity to go, but if the student doesn't seize that opportunity and try to become the best they can be they shouldn't be at university. Equal opportunity is not compromised by the choices of individuals not to make use of the opportunity. Nevertheless they would still receive primary and secondary education - and if they are really pushing themselves to excel, a tertiary education should also be available to them. This is, at the very least, much less arbitrary than the "who has the fattest wallets" model my opponent advocates.

As for scholarships, having 100% access to the wealthy and 1% to the poor is a travesty, but that's the case even if that system works. Worse still, many scholarships are not given out for academic merit, but for other factors such as sporting ability.

Loans are likewise not a good substitute. Poor people are the ones most likely to have loans already and to have poor credit ratings. It would be unwise to advocate to all poor but good students to take out loans when even if all of them landed really amazing jobs, at best they'd still remain poor due to having to pay back the loan. Because it isn't financially sensible many don't take out loans. Now compare that to a rich person who doesn't need to take out a loan. They'll get that criminal justice degree anyway. They can pay through college and get degrees in pretty much anything - indeed, many universities mark to a curve, exacerbating the problem. Necessity has nothing to do with it. It's about fairness and equal opportunity, regardless of financial background.

That's not to mention that financial payoff of work does not always equal social payoff. For example while that criminal justice degree won't help you much as an officer, it sure will help as a community member, as it develops people's knowledge of their rights and responsibilities in the criminal justice system, that are especially useful for the poor who might otherwise be exploited by it. Pay does not determine impact on society.

2. Academic Environment

What my model does is ensure everyone has a fair chance to compete. Nothing more. Those not competing will not be more intelligent but less, for the more intelligent ones would finally have a fair chance to get to university. And those less intelligent would still be just as able to compete in the job market because like my opponent mentioned, we need people to do jobs that there aren't degrees for. So my opponent's rebuttal here is nothing but a misrepresentation of my case.

Here's how my model solves the problem of non-studious people being admitted to university: it stops the admission of non-studious people from university. I didn't think it got much clearer than that. Without the unmotivated people, competitive entry processes leave you with motivated people willing to push themselves beyond the C to the realm of the A+.

My opponent seems to agree he can't provide a link proving differential pricing disappears. I'll assume that my analysis proving that it doesn't therefore stands and that this argument doesn't hold. I never said I supported a socialist model in this debate, and provided plenty of analysis already proving how my model is not analogous to the cookies example my opponent provides. In a nutshell - universities don't magically become equal just because the price paid by students disappears.

I'm not disregarding that money is a factor. I'm saying money shouldn't be a factor. In case you haven't noticed, that's the entire crux of my argument. I was merely showing that money is not the only nor usually the most significant factor. Non-price competition is and will continue to be a thing, so universities will still be naturally competitive even without price being passed on to students.

Educational quality can be measured in many ways, and that's the point of my second refutation. My opponent quotes me as saying "in education, the monetary factor isn't everything". I stand by that statement - money is one thing people look to, but taking away the money factor will only make people focus on other modes of competition, and that's fine. There is no contradiction between "money isn't everything" and "let's stop money being a factor" - money is one thing under the status quo, but it's also a negative factor, one that I'd like to eliminate.

At the end of the day con rests the vast majority of his case on his one genetics point. Even if this kind of discrimination were TRUE (which it isn't because I've already rebutted it), it still doesn't refute the case that universities that did discriminate in such a way would have a better academic environment. My opponent is simply trying to confuse the issue.

3. Economics

In many countries, universal healthcare is celebrated as a proud achievement. Just because you're American doesn't mean you have to be blindly ignorant of their achievements. If there are reasons, it's my opponent's job to bring them up, not simply argue "it's an American thing" and refer back to his other contentions.

Now let me prove that more doctors means better health. So here's the doctors per capita in different countries around the world:


At the bottom are countries like Tanzania (currently in both an AIDS and Malaria epidemic), Liberia (who have literally 80 total hospital beds to care for a country of millions and almost half of their children are chronically malnourished) and Malawi (currently in AIDS, Malaria and Tuberculosis epidemics, and have one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world). So there's a correlation at the least.

I think there's a causation, and here's why. First of all, doctors can provide cures to currently existing social epidemics. Tuberculosis, for example, is usually easily treatable in much of the world. Second, doctors can prevent the outbreak of viruses. Malaria, for example, can be stopped with a very simple and cheap vaccination. Third, doctors can provide education to people, teaching them about stuff like safe sex which stops AIDS spreading.

The important thing to remember is that my model doesn't necessarily create more doctors. It only means that doctors were more likely to be A students than C students, as they are granted entry to medical courses based on merit and not money.

4. Third-world benefits

Most third world countries already do provide lots of assistance to help their top students gain placements internationally. That's why so much of the Pacific ends up studying on the Pacific rim, or why so many Africans go to Europe to study. This kind of a system, in lieu of proper educational arrangements in their own countries, seems like a good deal to me.

The benefits of these kinds of remissions on the third world go far beyond the benefits of free tertiary education to the first world, helping to eliminate the problem of there being a "third world" entirely. My opponent doesn't answer this point. Sure I'm extending my impacts, but I'm doing that to draw a conclusion in a new context which creates a new impact my opponent has not answered.

5. Government Abuse

As for government cutting courses like history, I think you'll find it's easy to argue history has a huge impact on society and the economy. As Winston Churchill said, those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it. Current society and economic structures depend on history, and so I don't foresee any rational government cutting such courses - provided, of course, that they actually are teaching history. It's similar to how governments do already provide free primary education, but still invariably provide a broad range of subjects for students to study.

Finally, on social contract theory. It's not enough for my opponent to simply assert social contract theory is the premise of all democracy - my opponent actually needs to back up his statements with some logic. Democracy predates any kind of notion of a social contract theory by about 2,000 years so this claim is naturally counter-intuitive. Furthermore, this model can be extended beyond the democracies of the world. Even among democracies, providing beyond what is a necessity is quite common and good, and conversely not providing what is necessary is sometimes an unfortunate reality. The social contract model is thus inadequate to fully explain democracy. And finally, I would argue for these poor communities, education is a necessity. They need education right now, because if nothing changes they are on a path to self-destruction. Of course my opponent must first prove his beloved social contract theory is true at all, though I suspect at this point in the debate it would be too little, too l
Return To Top | Posted:
2013-12-05 01:52:27
| Speak Round
BigAl95BigAl95 (CON)
Okay, first I’d like to address some of the things my opponent stated last round and then move on to voter issues.

1. Equal Opportunity

First off, I said that 70% of someone’s intelligence comes from their parents, not that 70% of the parents’ intelligence is automatically passed on. Also, IQ does not relate directly to intelligence; what I mean by that is if you double the IQ, you MORE than doubled the intelligence. The numbers my opponent provided even support this; if someone is mentally challenged at 70 and you not even double that number and you’re a genius that should show that it’s more of a proportional ratio from IQ to intelligence. Then he’s saying that tertiary is a good thing and that everyone should have access to it and then says in his last speech that people only need the opportunity to go. He’s directly contradicting himself between speeches. This should definitely be something a judge should pay attention to; if I don’t know what he’s arguing for, it is surely going to confuse other people. He’s saying everyone should have equal opportunity but this only works assuming we all have equal capability. Because of the fact that our ability, at least intellectually, is dictated by primarily genes that can severely hinder one’s capability to achieve the necessary education my opponent refers to, his model is completely unfair and is not as just as my opponent makes it out to be.

Going on to scholarships. Need-based scholarships are not given to those that are wealthy, only merit-based scholarships or athletic scholarships are given to those individuals. This directly equates to the positive impact my opponent points to. Even better, more chances are given to those that are poor because of the need-based scholarships. While it’s less likely that they could pay for it otherwise, the government/(those that give out scholarships) actually look to those that are poor more often than the wealthy. With my opponent’s model we won’t be giving the same opportunities that are offered currently.

Then addressing loans my opponents says that people, regardless of job, will remain poor due to the loans taken out. This is completely false because of the fact that people will be working their job longer than the loan’s take to pay off; the education is what breaks the cycle of poverty. It doesn’t matter how you get it.

2. Academic Environment

The main point made by my opponent is that those accepted will work harder, and entry is based off of grades and not wealth. But this assumes that those that get good grades automatically work harder. This is completely false because it can be so easy to get good grades with little to no effort if you are intelligent. I make close to straight As and put very little effort in school-work and this isn’t an isolated incident; that’s basically my entire top 25 students. Plus I’m sure everyone knows those people in school who do so well and don’t work hard at all. People who go to college in my opponent’s model are going to be more intelligent, but don’t necessarily work as hard as those that go currently.

He also says that since I didn’t provide a link to show a change in differential pricing, all my points regarding them drop. I specifically used this point as an either/if argument. Either prices will remain different or they will be made the same. So if they are made the same then my points stand.

3. Economics

Okay, so the stat my opponent provided and his “logic” behind it is totally a false-cause fallacy! Countries with more doctors per capita usually have more resources with which to actually cure these diseases. Having doctors means nothing if you don’t have medicine to help people! The fact that these countries have more doctors merely shows correlation not causation. If a country has more resources it’s better able to pay its doctors and if they have more resources they can actually acquire the medicine to cure its people. My opponent’s model only gives more doctors and doesn’t give the required resources to cure its citizens. This point must be dropped for the round. Going even further down what he said beyond his stat. He says that there’s causation because he says doctors can cure epidemics; once again, this is only possible if they have the medicine or the means to do so. Also, he says his model doesn’t provide more doctors; however, what’s the point in his stat if his model doesn’t provide more doctors anyways? He tries to pose 2 poorly justified options to try and get you to buy either one, but neither make sense once you actually look into it.

Also, just to quickly state the main reason people don’t believe in Universal Healthcare in the US is because it gives the government more power, reduces pay for doctors and the main problem seen with it is that it would take significantly longer times to even see a doctor for a problem making the system completely inefficient. Not sure how this really even plays into the round but I wanted to make sure all my bases were covered.

4. Third-world benefits

The only argument that I can present to this is that he didn’t even bring this up as an option in either of the previous rounds. He said previously that it would be for that country’s colleges and then he’s moving the goal post to account for the change in argumentation which is completely unfair on my part meaning that he concedes my original argument against his original point and then changes it. He drops his first point this way meaning that he actually loses this point overall in the round.

5. Governmental Arguments

With the case for the social contract, he makes it seem as though the social contract is a tangible thing that I have to prove right. The social contract theory merely describes the interaction between the government and its citizens. It states that those that make up the governing body, (the general populous), give up certain rights, (like taxes/autonomy), to be protected by that government and to receive benefits from the government itself. You don’t come out of the womb and literally sign a social contract. It merely describes the relationship between the citizen and the government in the case of any democracy. It is always true because it’s an inherent interaction that’s the same for all democracies. And since democracies are the ones best able to provide the benefits put forth by the pro side, and they’re the ones most likely to implement such a model, we must look at the Social Contract Theory to determine a government’s obligations. Once again, my opponent has not addressed why the government is OBLIGATED to pay for college for its citizens.

Voter issues for this debate come down to the moral debate, the realistic debate and the definition/resolution

Morals for this round flow to the con because I have shown how the pro side promotes discrimination against those that are less intelligent. He merely provides benefits of the system but benefits don’t outweigh prejudice.

Realistically the con should win the round as well because I discuss how the tax would be bad and how it takes away from the purpose of the economy in the first place WHICH MY OPPONENT SEEMS TO AGREE WITH. He never addressed the free enterprise point which basically gives a purpose to those that work in today’s economy completely negating the means to which my opponent even achieves his side. Due to this contradiction and counter-production, the con gets the realistic debate for this round.

And finally the resolution addresses a government’s obligation to its citizens which my opponent never actually gives a reason for minus his side is good. He never justifies it in terms of obligations. Due to the burdens that were not met by the affirmative I urge a con ballot and I would like to thank my opponent for this enjoyable debate.

Return To Top | Posted:
2013-12-07 01:45:35
| Speak Round
BigAl95BigAl95 (CON)
I didn't realize I still had this part of the debate after my regular rounds, so take all of the voter issues from my last speech and supplement them in this part right here. Overall I enjoyed the debate; there was some good clash over the ideal versus the realistic and that's what I feel would be the most common. I submitted this as a topic idea to the NFL for next year so I wanted to see how it would play out. In closing, I would like to thank my opponent for the fun debate and I look forward to potentially debating him again.
Return To Top | Posted:
2013-12-09 00:00:33
| Speak Round
adminadmin (PRO)
I thank my opponent for what's been an enjoyable debate. I'm going to quickly summarize why I think I've won this debate.

The most important argument in this debate is the question of whether we want a society with equal opportunity or not. I've been very consistent in pushing for an equal opportunity to go. I've never said this assumes equal capability. In fact, equal opportunity means fair admissions criteria, as opposed to arbitrary. And since nothing is more fair in this context than academic merit, that's how universities should discriminate. It's like in casting for a movie: offering equal opportunity for a role means giving everyone a fair audition, but it doesn't mean you have to offer everybody a contract. My opponent keeps claiming a contradiction when there isn't one. I never said everybody should have access to it.

Con has, on the other hand, contradicted himself several times of intelligence as a qualifier, for example saying that I'm discriminating arbitrarily because IQ is partly hereditary, and then that IQ has little to do with intelligence.

Con also ran a weak counter of loans and scholarships, which do not address the problem I've outlined in the status quo, couldn't solve the problem as they are both dependent on the rich, wouldn't have all the other positive externalities that make up my other points, and most importantly even if they did work, they would work less effectively than my model because my model targets everybody, not just the few who can get a scholarship or loan.

The academic environment argument was the only one my opponent had a good point on: some students are smart enough to get As without effort. Of course, these students don't need to worry about passing with C's and thus still contribute to a better academic environment through their natural talents as opposed to their hard work. Since my opponent's only remaining counter-argument doesn't even challenge my model I think this one is clear.

My opponent ended up hinging his whole economic point on the fact more doctors does not equal more medicine. Medicine which, of course, is created, sold and bought by people with college degrees (researchers, marketers and government buyers) so my opponent's whole analysis is simply a distraction from the motion at hand. More importantly, my opponent completely ignored my substantive analysis that more doctors is not something my model achieves at all, since that isn't the purpose of my model and nobody has demonstrated that would be an effect. Oh, and yes I did address the free enterprise point, way back in round 2. I have no idea why my opponent suddenly brought it up again.

On the third world, my opponent pushed me to provide more details on implementation, and accused me of shifting the goal posts when I did for answering his concerns. My analysis was clear: this model is progressive, and that's great for achieving world peace, equality and unity.

My opponent's means of proving the social contract theory is true has simply been to explain the social contract theory. Just because it exists does not make it true. All the other governmental arguments have gradually been dropped by my opponent.

Vote pro.
Return To Top | Posted:
2013-12-10 12:26:37
| Speak Round

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Oh, also (just making sure) the reason why it's still your turn to post is because of the reply speeches.
Posted 2013-12-08 03:08:14
Great! Just making sure :)
Posted 2013-12-03 04:30:57
I got you, I'm finishing up right now. Maybe like 30 more minutes or so
Posted 2013-12-03 04:29:21
No more timing issues I hope? Time to post ends in 4 and a half hours.
Posted 2013-12-03 04:27:59
Thank you. I'll get to it in a few hours. It's night over here so I have to wait till tomorrow, but I've already started so it shouldn't take too much longer.
Posted 2013-11-29 05:36:55
There you go. As a bonus for your troubles, you may have all the remaining time to post :)
Posted 2013-11-29 04:57:30

OK, I'll remove your FF in a moment
Posted 2013-11-29 04:54:58
1 day 21 hours
Posted 2013-11-29 04:53:19
Oh, whoops, sorry, uploaded to the wrong place there. Try one last time please?
Posted 2013-11-29 04:49:43
2 days 15 hours
Posted 2013-11-29 04:47:22
What does it say now?
Posted 2013-11-29 04:41:22
2 days 16 hours
Posted 2013-11-29 04:13:32
2 days 16 hours
Posted 2013-11-29 04:12:39
How long does it say for you right now I have to post?
Posted 2013-11-29 04:11:55
Crap, it said that I had 1 day and 14 hours left roughly 24 hours ago. I thought I had so much time left.
Posted 2013-11-29 04:10:15
you've got 1 hour left btw. Just so you don't fall into the same trap I did :)
Posted 2013-11-29 01:13:38
Oh whoops, totally forgot to remove the prep time on this! Feeling doubly silly.

Guess I shouldn't have made this at 1am... hang on, I'll remove the prep time manually in the morning when my head is clear :)
Posted 2013-11-26 12:23:03
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2013-12-11 08:22:53
nzlockieJudge: nzlockie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: admin
OK this one was pretty close. Ultimately I feel like rather than Admin winning the resolution, BigAl lost it! It sucks too, because as a tradie, I was rooting for you!

I feel like there were a few avenues that didn't get explored because Pro managed to sidetrack Con into debating issues that had only a secondary affiliation with the initial motion.
Pro's summation at the end did it for me when he correctly summed up that this debate was centered on the equality issue.

In my opinion this was going to be a case of pro's one big point: Equality = Education for all vs Con's obvious defence: Financial Cost.

In this regard I feel like Pro argued the best case. I also gave him points because I felt like he was able to steer the case away from the problem areas and get Con to focus on the muddy bits.

Pro - I reckon you might have left yourself open a little here as the 2nd and 3rd points in your opening argument were pretty weak. You seemed to be arguing more for the case of education than for the case that the government should be the one paying for it. I would have felt happier had you tied these valid points to the initial resolution more clearly.

Con - I feel like you missed a real trick with not elaborating on the case against state funded healthcare. Pro was totally correct in pulling you up on that point. As someone who never has to worry about paying for operations I really have no idea why so many Americans are opposed to it. I would have loved some elaboration on this.
I also feel like you let him lead you away from the main resolution and into a debate on the need and effectiveness of higher education. The equality thing was the main issue he bought up and I feel like that could have been dealt with by bringing it back to the initial resolution. Is it the government's role to ensure equality for the financially disadvantaged - or is that society's? If the government gives money to those intelligent enough to attend uni - is it not showing favour to the intelligent? Is that Equal?
I also feel like you could have smashed him in the financial models. The tax for a scheme like this could potentially cripple the country as half the workforce returns to school. You attacked it a little, but it could have been more. Students are only responsible for a small amount of a country's tax, so in his model, tax goes up and taxpayers go down. No brainer.
1 user rated this judgement as constructive
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2013-12-13 19:29:14
PinkieJudge: Pinkie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: admin
2013-12-17 22:27:38
BlackflagJudge: Blackflag
Win awarded to: admin
Bigal95 conceded in round 5. He should be burnt at the stake. admin not only was flawless but he was also aggressive and passive in just the right ways. Admin is god, Bigal95 is mortal. admin's socialist views completely annihilated the right-wing views of the capitalist because if everyone is equal then everyone is happy. Tuition is fundamentally necessary to sustain a society of professional individuals.

pro - you are so amazing that you are flawless
con - do nto forfeit debates, do not concede debates, do not give up, always persevere, boomshakalaka boom boom. I am so biased. I hate you. I hope you become better at debating. I love you really. Sex is something that's not meant to result in babies that grow up to be like you.
2 users rated this judgement as biased
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