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That the rich are taxed enough (2.0)

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11 points
MikeMightyMikeMighty (PRO)
that the rich are taxed enough because there money is over they can buy anything on this world they can travel around the world they can do any business like malls,like groceries,like casinos,like restaurants and more they can afford to pay many taxes they have a mansion,expensive cars and more and many money at bank accounts others have helicopter they can do what they want for him/her self others have a collections others are addicted in anything like smoking,alchoholic,gambling,prostitutions,drugs and others they can build anything like bars houses farms and more they can do all they want.
Return To Top | Posted:
2015-01-03 16:41:38
| Speak Round
JohnMaynardKeynesJohnMaynardKeynes (CON)


When we consider whether the rich are taxed enough, we must ask: what do we mean by “rich?” Rich means, according to Merriam Webster, “having abundant possessions and especially material wealth” (1). But there is no universal conception of this. A report from UBS showed that 4 out of 10 Americans with assets over $5 million or more do not think of themselves as rich (2). The report argued that “[t]he idea that you’re rich, then, seems to have a lot to do with what kinds of things you’d like to do, rather than hitting some specific asset or income number" (2). Another survey by the Spectrem Group also had conflicting results: "Of the respondents, 45% said $5 million or more, 25% said $25 million or more, and 8% said $100 million” (3). Several studies seem to indicate that people view those with double their level of income to be rich (3), and a study by Skandia International found that these conceptions of what constitutes being “wealthy” also deviate significantly by country (4).

Thus, we should define “rich” with with generalized criteria. We can do this by appealing to the law of diminishing returns, or the notion that marginal returns to some factor will eventually decline (5), defining it as “someone who has reached the point of diminishing returns to income”—or, in other words, the person has reached their peak happiness in terms of income.

Also, you should read this resolution as a normative question—as it only implicitly addresses a policy question. It poses an “is” statement, rather than an “ought,” and the transition is causal at best. Therefore, we have a normative resolution and a dual burden of proof. Second, you should weigh economic arguments higher than moral arguments. Whereas moral arguments cannot be factually or functionally evaluated, empirical economic arguments can be. For instance, you should weigh the argument that “the rich will only be taxed enough when X condition is met because of Y” more heavily than “it would be unjust to tax the rich more because of Y.”

Finally, our resolution is not country-specific, but it is imperative that both of us provide examples from specific countries in order to frame our arguments to attempt to glean an image of the rich as an aggregate. For instance, there may be counterexamples for both sides because countries are structured differently, but we should look to assess our cases based on a preponderance of evidence.


Contention One: Secular stagnation persists.

Secular stagnation is the notion that structural shifts have ushered in an era of lower trend real GDP growth as a “new normal” (6)--or, in other words, we'll be stuck with around 2 to 2.5 percent real GDP growth instead of the long-run average of 3 percent. Demographic factors have reduced the natural rate of interest--or the interest rate consistent with equating savings and investment at full employment--and led to an era of a persistent demand shortfall, barring structural reform. The optimal solution to this is not only fiscal stimulus funded by higher taxes on the affluent, but a permanent fiscal expansion. I'll first lay out and prove stagnation, and then explain this proposal.

First, we see a significant slowdown in population growth in G7 countries (6).

We get a similar story by looking at the change in working-age populations (7). In Japan, not only has its overall population shrunk for the third consecutive year, but its fertility rate is the fourth lowest in the OECD, its birth rate is one of the lowest in the world, and its proportion of people over age 65 has reached a global record (8).

Per World Bank estimates, this trend will likely persist. The Samuelson consumption-loan model tells us why this is important (9). It postulates that the natural rate of interest is equal to population growth--so, a declining population growth means a declining natural rate of interest, and thus more investment needed to reach full employment. We could take a Krugmonian interpretation (10), and argue that a decline in population growth leads to a proportional decline in the natural rate, as Lawrence Summers has postulated that the natural rate is in fact negative. Put simply, less people working means less people consuming and thus less investment by businesses, lest they be left with a glut. Provided that sluggish population growth persists or even magnifies, this will be permanent.

Next, let's consider the substantial downward revision in potential GDP--or the output economies could generate at benchmark levels of resource utilization deemed sustainable (11). A significant downward trend in long-run GDP growth estimates is discussed by Drechsel et al., 2012, (12).

We see persistent downward trend from the 1970s on. But there's an interesting case in the US: In February 2014, the Congressional Budget Office revised downward potential GDP for the US by 7.3 percent (13).

As Lawrence Summers argues, "it must be acknowledged that essentially all of the convergence between the economy’s level of output and its potential has been achieved not through the economy’s growth, but through downward revisions in its potential...the economy is now 10 percent below what in 2007 we thought its potential would be in 2014. Of that 10 percent gap, 5 percent has already been accommodated into a reduction in the estimate of its potential, and 5 percent remains as an estimate of its GDP gap. In other words, through this recovery, we have made no progress in restoring GDP to its potential" (14).

Moreover, even the FOMC in their recent Summary of Economic Projections predicts that real GDP will grow only 2 to 2.3 percent over the "long run" relative to the 3 percent long-run average (15). We can even see that markets are forecasting sluggish growth moving forward, bidding down the 30 TIPS yield--or the (real) rate at which participants will lend to the government over a 30-year period (16)--to only 91 basis points.

A similar story can be seen by looking at market-based measures of inflation expectations, such as the 10-year TIPS spread, which has been falling dramatically and is now at 1.65 percent (17).

The takeaway from this is that even market participants are expecting, over the long run, slow growth and low inflation--and these expectations are obviously self-reinforcing. Obviously if you expect low inflation, you save more, which applies downward pressure on Treasury yields.

There's more to the story, though. Martin et al., 2014, from the Board of Governors conducted an analysis of 23 advanced economies through 149 recessions, and found that recessions--particularly prolonged ones, such as the Great Recession of 2007-09--deal permanent damage to potential output (18). Even following shorter recessions, real GDP remains well below pre-recession trends. Much of this is due to hysteresis, or atrophying of worker skills over time, which leads many to be considered unemployable, subjecting them to discrimination by employers--evidence for this form of negative duration dependence is discussed by Kroft et al, 2012, (19) as well as Hornstein et al., 2011 (20). In other words, cyclical problems turn structural, so not even the entirety of the working-age population is considered employable--so that translates into lower productivity and less consumption and investment, and thus lower trend RGDP. This would in fact exacerbate the significant slowing in productivity growth we've seen in G7 countries (6). "G7 productivity growth fell from about 4 per cent to about 2.5 per cent per annum during the 1970s, and then seems to have fallen to about 1 percent in the early 2000s, before the financial crash. A slowdown in technical progress is the reason usually given for this progressive deceleration in productivity growth" (6).

And, though the labor force participation rate in the US has declined substantially, from 66 percent pre-recession to 62.8 percent now (21), much of this is structural in nature. Goldman Sachs conducted a review of the relevant literature--14 studies--and found that the median median suggests that 1.6 percentage points of the decline was structural (22). For instance, a recent paper from the Board of Governors from Aaronson et al., 2014, found that as much as three fourths of this decline is structural(23). The takeaway is that failure to act aggressively--such as, for instance, public investment in job training programs--will exacerbate this problem.

Finally, let's discuss income inequality with a focus on the US, where income inequality is worse now than it's been since 1928 (24) (14).

This is compounded by a falling cost of capital equipment--reducing required investment and increasing corporate retained earnings--and by the significant rise in corporate profits to all-time highs (14)(25), as the following graphs show (14).

For a gauge of inequality, let's look at the Gini Coefficient, which has increased since the recession--note that a 0 is "perfect inequality" and a 1 is perfect inequality. The U.S. currently is at .476. (26).

Now, why should we care? Because, per Christopher Caroll, the marginal propensity to consume for lower-income households is far greater than for higher-income households (27). So, as the income distribution is skewed in the favor of higher-income individuals who are more likely to save than to spend, the result is a persistent shortfall in demand.

Because these factors are going to persist, and will persist largely due to the the continued malaise resulting from the Great Recession, it is urgent that we address this with a permanent solution rather than a band-aid. Monetary expansion cannot last forever; not only is current monetary policy insufficient to achieve full employment, meaning that it would need to be even more expansionary--costing central-bank credibility and anchored expectations, and leading to market volatility--but it has the potential to spur financial imbalances, as underpriced risk leads investors to "reach for yield," which could effectively bring on yet another Great Recession. Moreover, even a doubling of the monetary base in Japan and nearly tripling it in the US hasn't done much to raise inflation and return employment to desirable levels (28). The solution is for the federal government to raise taxes on the truly affluent and fund job training programs to ameliorate hysteresis amongst the long-term unemployed; single-payer to account for the persistently rising costs of healthcare, which would in fact save money over the longer run because Medicare has significantly lower operating costs than private insurance (29); education and research to ameliorate sluggish productivity growth and the high cost of college, as well as the possibility of a skills mismatch shown by a persistent shift the Beveridge Curve which has yet to fully revert back to pre-recession levels, as shown by Hobijn and Sahin, 2012 (30); infrastructure, which is crumbling (31); and more. Only then can we generate the necessary demand at a relatively higher natural rate of interest consistent with financial stability.

With the remaining space I have, I'll offer a few more contentions.

Contention Two:  Income and Wealth Inequality

Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz makes a compelling case against income inequality: the middle class is unable to consume in order to sustain full employment, opportunities for advancement and education are hindered, tax receipts are hindered, and boom-and-bust cycles and speculative activity becomes much more frequent.

“There are four major reasons inequality is squelching our recovery. The most immediate is that our middle class is too weak to support the consumer spending that has historically driven our economic growth...Second, the hollowing out of the middle class since the 1970s, a phenomenon interrupted only briefly in the 1990s, means that they are unable to invest in their future, by educating themselves and their children and by starting or improving businesses...Third, the weakness of the middle class is holding back tax receipts, especially because those at the top are so adroit in avoiding taxes and in getting Washington to give them tax breaks...Fourth, inequality is associated with more frequent and more severe boom-and-bust cycles that make our economy more volatile and vulnerable. Though inequality did not directly cause the crisis, it is no coincidence that the 1920s — the last time inequality of income and wealth in the United States was so high — ended with the Great Crash and the Depression...[...]” (32).

Thomas Pikkety, in his best-sellingCapital in the Twenty-First Century, approaches ths from a slightly different standpoint: he argues that the rate of return on capital, which is more likely to be held by the affluent than the middle- or lower- classes, will exceed income growth: in other words, economic growth grows, let’s say, 1 or 2 percent, meaning that annual incomes grow only 1 or 2 percent, while the more affluent earn a 5 percent return on capital. This is compounded with the fact that the distribution of wealth is more concentrated than the distribution of income, so both income and wealth inequality increase.

“When the rate of return on capital exceeds the rate of growth of output and income, as it did in the nineteenth century and seems quite likely to do again in the twenty-first, capitalism automatically generates arbitrary and unsustainable inequalities that radically undermine the meritocratic values on which democratic societies are based” (33) (34).

Contention Three:  Tax hikes are not harmful, on net, to the U.S. economy

A myriad of work suggests that tax hikes of the kind I propose would not hinder economic growth.

Hungerford, 2012: "The results of the analysis in this report suggest that changes over the past 65 years in the top marginal tax rate and the top capital gains tax rate do not appear correlated with economic growth. The reduction in the top statutory tax rates appears to be uncorrelated with saving, investment, and productivity growth...However, the top tax rate reductions appear to be associated with the increasing concentration of income at the top of the income distribution" (35).

Krueger and Kindermann, 2014: "[W]e have numerically characterized the optimal marginal earnings tax rate (τh) faced by the top 1% of the cross-sectional earnings distribution. We found it to be very high, in the order of 90%, fairly independently of whether the top 1% is included or excluded in the social welfare function, and independently of whether transitional or long run welfare is considered (36).

Fieldhouse, 2013: "Analysis of top tax rate changes since World War II show that higher rates have no statistically significant impact on factors driving economic growth"private saving, investment levels, labor participation rates, and labor productivity"nor on overall economic growth rates...Recent research implies a revenue-maximizing top effective federal income tax rate of roughly 68.7 percent...This would mean a top statutory income tax rate of 66.1 percent, 26.5 percentage points above the prevailing 39.6 percent top statutory rate" (37).

Diamond and Saez, 2011: "[T]he optimal top tax rate using the current taxable income base..would be `4;* = 1/(1 1.5. " 0.57). = 54 percent, while the optimal tax rate using a broader income base with no deductions would be `4; * = 1/(1 1.5. " 0.17). = 80 percent. Taking as fixed state and payroll tax rates, such rates correspond to top federal income tax rates equal to 48 percent and 76 percent, respectively" (38).

Contention Four: Paradox of Toil

This an argument primarily made by Gauti Eggertsson, 2009 and 2010, from the New York Fed (39) (40). In simplest terms, here is the argument.

  1. The real rate of interest, which is equal to the nominal rate minus the rate of inflation, is what bears on investment--in other words, when real rates rise, investment and consumption fall, and vice versa. So, when the Fed wants to stimulate demand, it cuts interest rates. Note that this case is only truly applicable at zero nominal interest rates, but seeing as the U.S., Japan, the U.K., and the ECB are currently dealing with episodes of the zero lower bound, this case is perfectly applicable, especially because John Williams, 2014, argues that the so-called “tail risk” of an economy being pinned at zero nominal rates is likely to persist into the future (41)--and this is especially true in light of my earlier arguments on secular stagnation, which will result in a necessity of interest rates which are lower for a longer period of time. Note that low interest rates do not necessarily reflect expansionary monetary policy, but could reflect low incomes and low

  2. Tax cuts tend to shift the aggregate supply curve to the right which makes people want to work more--meaning that the labor supply, also, shifts to the right. But, as the labor supply curve shifts out, this applies downward pressure on nominal wages--particularly in newly originated contracts--and inflation expectations. In other words, we expect wages to fall and inflation to fall.

  3. But as inflation--and particularly inflation expectations, which determine consumption levels and investment decisions--falls, the real rate of interest, per our earlier equation, rises. As the real rate of interest rises, consumption and investment fall, meaning that aggregate demand falls, meaning that inflation falls, meaning that real rates rise again, ad infinitum.

  4. In other words, these types of tax cuts are inherently contractionary and destabilizing--meaning that, instead of trying to shift the aggregate supply curve out, we should try to shift the aggregate demand curve out, which is precisely what my proposal does.

Contention Five: Evidence of post-crisis expansionary policy

There’s effectively an open and shut case with respect to responses to the 2007-09 recession. Both the U.S. and the U.K. were significantly more expansionary with both monetary and fiscal policy than Europe and Japan, and achieved significantly better results. We can see this in the following graph (42).

The point is, following the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, there was a clear need for expansionary policy to account for the shortfall in aggregate demand--had we not done that, instead of 2 to 2.3 percent long-run growth, we’d probably be looking at an even worse trend rate of growth. We know that expansionary policy can work and has work, and there is still work to be done--we must be willing to retain aggressive policy measures into the future, and the only way to do so is with a permanent fiscal expansion funded by higher tax rates on the affluent.


(1) http://tinyurl.com/2c7vdkd

(2) http://tinyurl.com/mu8bg87

(3) http://tinyurl.com/l6oxjyv


(5) http://tinyurl.com/ydcw25r

(6) http://tinyurl.com/qjx4a92

(7) http://tinyurl.com/pnelkjw

(8) http://tinyurl.com/knl2ycn

(9) http://tinyurl.com/qycx2uv

(10) http://tinyurl.com/kcf44kp

(11) http://tinyurl.com/klb4c2w

(12) http://tinyurl.com/kc2exe8

(13) http://tinyurl.com/p4v3kro

(14) http://tinyurl.com/pyzw9e3

(15) http://tinyurl.com/njm7fuz

(16) http://tinyurl.com/npx7a4y

(17) http://tinyurl.com/kulurv7

(18) http://tinyurl.com/p68y4l5

(19) http://tinyurl.com/otsme3e

(20) http://tinyurl.com/qbrqv76

(21) http://tinyurl.com/m4ua3v2

(22) http://tinyurl.com/lsawknw

(23) http://tinyurl.com/ldgacux

(24) http://tinyurl.com/kb7ly4k

(25) http://tinyurl.com/p9ay993


(27) http://tinyurl.com/ovvl67c

(28) http://tinyurl.com/kkw7nbl

(29) http://tinyurl.com/o8g662

(30) http://tinyurl.com/nv2eb6f

(31) http://tinyurl.com/nwdlc3o

(32 )http://tinyurl.com/aqxj9ro

(33) http://tinyurl.com/n3md5oo

(34) Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty

(35) http://tinyurl.com/p6d6jsh

(36) http://tinyurl.com/qy52ync

(37) http://tinyurl.com/knnnqt2

(38) http://tinyurl.com/mwrf6yv


(40) http://tinyurl.com/nqvxgpd

(41) http://tinyurl.com/ock2d6p

(42) http://tinyurl.com/pusfdtq

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-01-03 17:41:39
| Speak Round
MikeMightyMikeMighty (PRO)
rich is many many money like bill gates like millionaires for rich people it's ok to have taxes there money is like no limit.
Return To Top | Posted:
2015-01-03 18:01:32
| Speak Round
JohnMaynardKeynesJohnMaynardKeynes (CON)
I'm quite baffled and unsure as to what I should think right now, because Pro requested to debate me, and agreed to this resolution, as well as the time periods per round and the stipulations. However, he does not appear to have taken any time to write out a case or to engage my case in the slightest--he doesn't even seem to acknowledge that my case was there. I'm not in the business of calling anyone a troll, nor do I want this to come across as an attack on my adversary, but I am left without any clue as to how I should react at this point. Even the arguments Pro does raise hasn't the slightest bit of relevance to his side of this debate, either. Nevertheless, I'll briefly address them. 

Like the entirety of my opening case, all of this was dropped, so you should prefer my framework. To summarize: 

-Normative resolution, and therefore a shared burden of proof
-You weigh economic arguments higher than moral arguments
-You judge this debate based on a preponderance of evidence from different countries
-We are not defining "rich" quantitatively 

My Case
All of this was dropped, so you can extend forward all of my evidence and vote Con simply on this basis. 

Pro's Opening Case
Pro states the following: 

"that the rich are taxed enough because there money is over they can buy anything on this world they can travel around the world they can do any business like malls,like groceries,like casinos,like restaurants and more."

His burden in this debate was to argue that the rich are taxed enough--or, in other words, we should not be taxing them anymore. But he has argued that they're taxed enough because they can buy anything and that their money is "over." The former doesn't support his case in the slightest, because if they're able to buy anything--and I've already shown that they do not consume with everything they earn, so they can buy "anything" with only a small fraction of their total incomes--taxing them more should not in any way deter their economic activity or impact their freedom. The latter point is simply incomprehensible. Their money is "over?" I don't know what this means, so you should disregard this point entirely. 

Pro then states: 

"they can afford to pay many taxes they have a mansion,expensive cars and more and many money at bank accounts others have helicopter."

How does this support a case for NOT raising taxes on the affluent when he is saying they can afford to pay a high tax burden? Is he claiming that they can afford to pay "many" taxes, and therefore, are already paying a high tax burden? He doesn't even link this to the resolution and show that because they pay "many" taxes--a term which is entirely subjective in nature--that they shouldn't pay more, and I provide plenty of reasons why it would be beneficial for them to pay more and not bear heavily on the economy, so my impacts completely outweigh any semblance of a point that was made here. 

Pro goes on: 

"hey can do what they want for him/her self others have a collections others are addicted in anything like smoking,alchoholic,gambling,prostitutions,drugs and others they can build anything like bars houses farms and more they can do all they want."

So Pro tells us that the rich can afford to do what they want--including funding bad habits such as smoking and gambling, which I could even twist to support my case, by claiming that if I were to impact their purchasing power in any way, I'm hindering their ability to spend their money on bad habits, and thus encouraging more productive use of their money. However, the fact remains that the rich, per our definition of rich laid out in my framework, have so much money that they quite frankly don't know what to do with it--think "Wolf of Wall Street" (normally I wouldn't go there in a debate like this, but why not, given the circumstances). Raising their taxes will not bear negatively on their purchasing power because they can actually afford to buy "anything they want" and will be able to do so even following the tax hikes I propose. So Pro negates his own case, once again. 

Pro's Second Round

Pro only states the following: 

"rich is many many money like bill gates like millionaires for rich people it's ok to have taxes there money is like no limit."

So Pro concedes that it's oaky for us to have taxes, that there is "no limit" to the rich's affluence--a claim which even I would disagree with as a matter of common sense and math, as we know economics is about scarcity--and that rich people have a lot of money. Thank you, Pro, for conceding this debate. 

I wish I could summarize this debate, but there wasn't any debate whatsoever. His case was self-defeating and he made not a single attempt to engage my case. He refuted his own side of this debate, whereas I negated the resolution several times over. Therefore, I highly urge a vote to negate. 

Return To Top | Posted:
2015-01-03 18:29:44
| Speak Round

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Previous Judgments

2015-01-03 18:59:08
Unbelievable.TimeJudge: Unbelievable.Time
Win awarded to: JohnMaynardKeynes
Pro Ignore whatever Con says.

Pro is going with his personal reason without showing any facts or statistical evidence.
2 users rated this judgement as biased
1 user rated this judgement as good
1 user rated this judgement as exceptional
0 comments on this judgement
2015-01-04 12:11:46
PinkieJudge: Pinkie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: JohnMaynardKeynes
A debate is an exchange of ideas between two opposing sides. There are also bits of passion, persuasion, evidence, and argument strength, which are all factors weighed by judges in order to decide who really won the debate. But to be completely honest this debate was hardly an exchange of ideas. Con wrote an essay, an extended addition of his last debate on this topic, and Pro made some incomprehensible and grammatically flawed statement which basically trolled this entire debate. The only remarks made by Pro were not only soundly defeated by Con with little effort, but entirely non-topical to this resolution. Nothing Pro said could even resemble an argument in favour of this resolution. Therefore, I had to vote Con.

MightyMike: When you challenge someone to a debate, it’s a good idea to make sure that you are actually willing to debate, or have some background knowledge on the topic. That way you can make sure you're able to post a logical argument which we can actually judge and which Con can properly rebut. By virtue of your antics, this was not a debate, and I think it reflects poorly on the website if this behaviour from you will continue.

JMK: A lot of your case was similar to your last debate, so my advice to you about your graphs still stands. Your that graphs are a nice touch, but you should provide more explanation on how those link to your case. Otherwise, we are drowned in a sea of graphs and that’s no fun for anyone.

Next, on a more technical level: I think you copy and pasted your last case, but you didn't update some of the data. In my knowledge, the TIPS spread you cited is actually down to 1.64% now from 1.65% you quoted, and it’s been on a somewhat unpredictable, yet downward trend. I think discussing this, as well as giving your audience who are not familiar in economics an explanation on what exactly that means (example gratia, why would investors prefer government debt, which would send yields downward? Well, uncertainty and expectations of low growth, but why is that the case?) would benefit you a ton. But there are also problems with that measure itself including the falling inflation risk premium, distortions by large-scale asset purchases, etc. Furthermore, that only provides a gauge of inflation expectations in the US, but as you said, this resolution isn’t country-specific, so you should try to find measures for other countries, as well.

Then there was a point you made in your fourth contention, I think, on the paradox of toil, I believe you probably forgot to finish the sentence or you went off on something else and you got sidetracked. I think the point you intended to make—and if you had made this point, the strength of your forth contention would have increased completely, because without it you point seems only valid to an isolated scenario of the effective lower bound on nominal interest rates—was that, during downturns (particularly with your stagnation case), interest rates tend to fall as incomes fall, via basic IS-LM analysis. Low interest rates don’t necessarily signal that money is loose, but that it WAS tight—but because rates are low, monetary policy is constrained, largely because a regime change may be far too radical a move and the blow back from that could be potentially cataclysmic. That supported both your case for fiscal policy rather than (continued) monetary expansion, and made the paradox of toil far more applicable because it proved the point you made, to some degree, about zero nominal interest rates being more common. Had you done that, your C4 probably would have been strong enough to win you this debate—or a real debate on this topic—all by itself.

1 user rated this judgement as exceptional
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2015-01-05 19:38:49
adminJudge: admin    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: JohnMaynardKeynes
2015-01-08 14:01:31
nzlockieJudge: nzlockie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: JohnMaynardKeynes
CON takes this one out on the strength of his arguments which addressed the resolution more directly than PRO's.

PRO's line of thought was very difficult to follow and I found myself needing to make several of the links myself - something which I shouldn't need to do. Anytime you force me to fill in the gaps myself, you lose the points I would have awarded you, since now it's me making the argument and not you. I can't judge you on an argument I'm making.
PRO's case didn't actually explain WHY we shouldn't we tax the rich more, it didn't defend the fact that they are taxed enough, it basically just explained that the rich are rich and can afford to do stuff with their money.

I got the feeling that there was a a point you were driving at, but bad spelling and a lack of punctuation made it impossible to see.

CON's case was interesting. It was written more as an essay than an argument and as a result, the large bulk of the text had only a little to do directly with the resolution. This made it frustrating to read. The first contention for example claimed that after establishing the current state of the economy you were going to explain how taxing the rich more would provide part of the solution. I waded through, what felt like days of, graphs, quotes and citations only to arrive at Contention 2 with none of the promised explanation of WHY taxing the rich more would provide the solution.

I actually struggled to tie any of your points to the resolution IN A CLEAR WAY. After reading them three or four times I could see where you were going and how they tied in, but to be honest, the way it was delivered made this far more work than it needed to be.

As I said, I feel this was mostly because it had been written as an essay rather than an argument targeting points of the resolution.

Don't get me wrong, there was no contest here. CON's arguments all held and he deserves the win, but there is much to be worked on here in terms of delivery.

PRO: This was a basic mismatch. You needn't feel bad for losing, but you SHOULD feel bad for HOW you lost. You need to make sure that your argument covers the basics of debate.
1. Address the Resolution. Specifically, don't tell me what the rich can do with their money. Tell me why taxing them more would be wrong.

2. Frame the debate. Set the definitions. CON was absolutely correct that this resolution had several contestable definitions. As PRO and the first speaker, it is YOUR JOB to set those definitions in the first round. Tell us what "Rich" means and what "Enough" means. Make it objective and specific.

3. Use good spelling and punctuation. Especially punctuation. It is so hard to follow your thoughts if I can't understand what you're saying. "There" is not the same thing as "Their".

4. Don't waste rounds. This was only a 2 round debate. You wasted your whole second round answering one question. As it happened, a question that didn't need answering.

The thing you did right was to keep your rounds short. It makes it easier to follow you, and contrasted with your opponent's exceedingly long round it looks good.
I'd recommend you to work on these things.

CON: You can probably guess what I'm going to say here. Your communication needed work in this debate. If I am going to read all of this, you need to help me out by giving me the sense that we are going somewhere. Reread your first contention argument and note how many times you split to give examples of stuff. Consider the fact that at this point you are only laying a groundwork for a solution to be presented. It is the solution that directly addresses the resolution, not the groundwork.

Reading your points it was obvious to me that the link between what you were presenting and the fact that the solution was to tax the rich more was obvious TO YOU. But the feedback that I'm giving you was that it was NOT obvious TO ME.
Mostly this is because you did not make these links clear enough.
I suggest you address this by specifically referencing the resolution more. You could also use formatting to help this. Bold sections that link to the resolution.

Eliminate some of the text by using less examples. Don't spend 90% of your characters building your background and only 10% presenting the solution. Get that ratio as close to 50-50 as you can.

Graphs are very good, and I feel you used them well, but there were too many. Especially given your opponent's first round. After that it should have been pretty obvious that your contentions were not going to be challenged in any significant manner. This allowed you to simply make a statement of fact without spending so long establishing it.
I guess this would be called, "playing the man not the cards".

Congratulations on a pretty comprehensive economic essay though. It'll definitely prove to be good reference material should I ever have the misfortune to find myself in an economic debate!
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2015-01-09 13:40:09
WyltedJudge: Wylted
Win awarded to: JohnMaynardKeynes

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