Instigator / Pro
Points: 14

Living in the United States is Better than the Majority of Developed Nations.


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After 2 votes the winner is ...
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One week
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Two weeks
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Four points
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Contender / Con
Points: 8
Austria Belgium Denmark Finland France Germany Greece Ireland Italy Luxembourg Netherlands Portugal Spain Sweden United Kingdom Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Hungary Latvia Lithuania Malta Poland Romania Slovakia Slovenia Iceland Norway Switzerland Australia Canada Japan New Zealand United States.
These are the countries that will be considered developed, you must agree on this list for the debate. There are 35 Developed nations excluding The United States, I will have to prove America is better than 18 of them.
The BOP IS SHARED, so you must prove 18 of the listed nations are better to live in than America, while I must prove America is better to live in than 18 of the listed nations.
Better Definition that must be agreed on.
"of a more excellent or effective type or quality."
Round 1
Thank you SupaDudz for accepting my debate, I hope the discussion will be productive and well mannered.


America has the 6th highest educational attainment, well above 18 of the listed nations. The education index put America 8th for education. For higher education, America is the envy of the world with 58% of the top 100 universities being American.  For high school graduation, America beats 18+ developed nations. Also, despite costs for post secondary education being higher in America then most other countries, the financial gain from said expenses are the highest in the developed world, far outweighing the cost of college/university. On balance, Americans appear to sit abnormally high when looking at university costs and the financial gain from university.

Fiscal Well being

If you look at income when accounting for cost of living, America ranks ahead of every developed nation listed in the description. But it just doesn’t end, for wealth per adult and wages America stumps 18 or more developed nations. America continues to dominate, with the 7th most millionaires per capita, and get this, 6 in 100 Americans are millionaires. Now, you may look to taxes to rebut my arguments about wages, but America ranks ahead of 18+ developed nations for disposable income after taxes.

 America is the 6th best country to start a business in. Now, despite there being conflicting data for whether material goods make you happy, it certainly doesn’t make people less happy, and Americans rank #1 against the developed countries for consumption expenditures. Americans also have some of the greatest capabilities to advance their societies with the creation of new products and services, with America ranking 3rd for entrepenurialship.


America ranked ahead of 18 or more developed nations for freedom, we see this again here. America out performs 18 more listed countries for economic freedom. The Rule of Law Index  placed America ahead of 18 or more developed nations, the index basically looks at corruption. The first amendment strikes again, America ranks 8th for freedom of thought. Despite many criticisms of the US government, they rank 11th for government development, ahead of 18+ developed nations.


Americans ranks above 18 of the listed nations for happiness as of 2019. Allow me to elaborate on this point, for cinema attendance per capita, America ranks second. American homes are the 2nd largest world wide. The Americans own the 5th most amount of cars per capita. Let’s not forget that Americans have the second most amount of computers per capita. How could Americans not be happy with more heritage sites than 18 or more developed countries.

Quality of life, Infrastructure, Food

For quality of life(2019) America ranked 13th, ahead of 18 or more listed countries. For logistics America  ranked 14th and for Infrastructure America ranked 7th. For food, America rank 5th for affordability, 10th for availability and 4th for quality and safety. What about water? Well America ranks above the average developed country for % of population using safe and freshwater. But what if you’re coming from a foreign land, well America is the 7th best country for immigrants in our world today, ahead of 18 or more developed nations.

I am merely giving my case, hence the sentences being quick and factual.
Refutions to PRO's case will be in R2

[Contention 1] Poverty

USA is the 21st nation on the Lowest Poverty for the richest countries (excluding Chile, otherwise 22nd) only behind non developed nation in this case

This article was published in 2018, a recent article, as a matter of fact, proving that inequality is worse in the 22% of countries listen in here. This means if you drew a random person out of a hat, they would have 20.1% chance of being in poverty versus the other developed nations as such. The fact that us is behind the developing nations is proof of the sadness that goes on.

This article did not even talk about Japan and Iceland, Japan’s poverty rate being 15.7% and 9% by Iceland. There are many more I can point out, but this is stunning info, in another graphic [1] conducted by OECD, the USA is the highest nation in poverty! This means out of all the nations listed in their group, USA ranks the highest. The OECD is the most reliable poverty source out there at this point and works internationally from developed nations to developing nations. [2]. They have a superb understanding of poverty

Extension 1 Contention 1: Poverty Matters

Poverty is key to living in a country due to the effect it has on people. Poverty itself leads to more crime, more drugs, and alcohol, malnutrition, and a lesser life decreasing the years alive [3]. These are things measured in a nation at this point in time to determine whether or not they are a better society. Poverty also decreases the quality of schooling, health, and other areas of life needed for society to function. [4]

Poverty matters when living in a country. If you are more likely to become in poverty statistically, then you will avoid that country overall. If the USA is leading in poverty, you have a higher chance of becoming impoverished and overall being less of a nation that we would want to live in overall and take part of that nation and it’s society

[Cotention 2: Gender Equality]

Gender equality is a key part to our society. America is one of the worst developed countries for gender equality, ranking 49th in the world and 25th in the developed nation’s list [5]. This is seriously a detriment. America is supposed to be an example of true progressivism in society, but stats show differently.

Gender equality is key. Why should someone feel discriminated in a society for a certain part in their human body [6]. It is unfair to have a disadvantage of entering a different country cause of your gender. This means that America is least likely to provide you equal opportunities as women to succeed in the workplace.
This study also finds that there are more women in developed nations than men [7]. This means a population of those people who move to America are more likely to be discriminated against based off of gender alone

None of PRO case matters if people are unequal based off the gender they identify as, a strong disadvantage


Round 2

My opponent makes some well sourced and factual claims, but he missed the mark in my opinion.

Poverty Rebuttals

This debate isn’t about poverty rates, it‘s about how good America is to live in VS. other developed nations. While it is true people in poverty tend to live worse lives on average, that only works  by looking at 1 particular country in a vacuum for this debate, the fact is that I’d rather be poor in America, than rich in North Korea. Poverty is relative to the individual nation.

Your source put America with a poverty rate of 18%(worst for OECD nations). Just Facts was able to debunk the idea that America was a very poor developed nation by looking at material well-being. despite 18% of Americans falling below the poverty line, their consumption of goods was way higher. The bottom 20% of Americans ranked higher than the majority of average citizens in OECD nations. The article continued by stating that the U.S Census Bureau reported…

for many different reasons there is a tendency in household surveys for respondents to underreport their income. 

This article then stated that...

 “research on poor households in the U.S. suggests that consumption is better reported than income”

It then stated that consumption was...

“a more direct measure of material well-being.”

Now let’s not forget that for average consumption America ranks 1st for developed nations.

Is my source faulty? No…

this study was reviewed by Dr. Henrique Schneider

Schneider is a professor of economics.

he concluded: “This study is sound and conforms with academic standards. I personally think it provides valuable insight into poverty measures and adds considerably to this field of research.”

Gender Equality

You cite the Global Gender Gap, this report is very flimsy, it said that it looked at things like... 

“”perceptions of wage equality by the countries business community””, 

“”perceptions of wage equality for similar work””

 “”In the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Survey, 42% of business leaders perceived addressing gender parity in their company””

Perception based results aren’t reliable.

Let me ask my opponent, does it make sense that Japan, America, Greece, and Italy rank behind Uganda, South Africa, Namibia, Panama, and Botswana for gender equality(Your source says exactly this). 

Remember that this is a debate over how much the average person would like to live in America VS other developed countries. Your source largely looks at the representation of women/men in these countries, not if there are legislative barriers, or their access to important things like education. 

Pew Research Did a perception based study that wound up demonstrating that America had a more significant portion of its population that believed in gender equality, why should this Pew Research data get overridden by your source. 

I hope I haven't come across as harsh in this response, I would like to thank SupaDudz for his speedy and respectable counter-case.

R2 will be a rebuttal to my opponents claims, R3 will be counter defense vs his args against mine

[AT: Freedom]

My opponent signifies the fact that we are ranked 8th in Freedom of thought. This is a self deprecating argument and one that is terrible to argue. We are no longer the "land of the free" if we rank 8th in Freedom of Speech when our Constitution grants us the right to free speech. America today is not even a free democracy anymore. It is overrun by financial boastful politicians and rich modules that dominate politics. People can not express thoughts freely without being outed by the majority of feeling. The American way is exclusive and is not free, despite the premise of our Bill of Rights stating we are free, but we are only 8th in this category

[AT: Education]
My opponent signifies we are 6th in the world of education. I would like to link this to my arguments against poverty (which I will refute claims in R3). The more higher class you live, the better education they get. As rich get richer, they become more educated, able to buy housing in school districts with higher education.  We may have great schooling, but it is exclusive to the wealthy in the society. If the average poverty rate in America is higher than the nations listed, this means you can get a quality education. In Canada, you can have a better chance at a good education, since people are not in poverty and can have access to it, as my evidence has shown.

[AT: Fiscal]
 6 in 100 Americans are millionaires. Now, you may look to taxes to rebut my arguments about wages, but America ranks ahead of 18+ developed nations for disposable income after taxes.
My opponent is forgetting about the mere fact that 1/5 of Americans are in poverty. No matter what stat you choose, more people are in poverty than there are millionaires and the evidence can't deny this. The odds of being in poverty are higher. Again, referencing evidence, there is a higher probability you are in poverty.

I will also use contention that with millionaires, women are less likely to become millionaires due to extremely high gender gap evolved, so they are at an disadvantage to become rich, so the inequality is huge in America, meaning there's a drastic difference.

[AT: QoL]
My opponent claims that immigrant life is better, but overall that's not true. They live their lives in fear and not able to find good quality jobs. While it may be on top now, the average quality life of America is significantly decreasing drastically overall, and will in the foreseeable future go below these 18 nations, and the infrastructure is falling apart, since politicians are unwilling to do anything on the issue to solve it. It doesn't matter now, we need to look at the future. Food also become worse, and food inequity becomes a key issue in our society. There is a higher chance your quality of food is worse for you than those who are rich

[AT: Happiness]
Happiness is a very broad spectrum of society to measure. It is not reflective of society as a whole. Happiness is defined by as a state of being. A state of being means that is not necessarily defined by the society you live in, but the people you are surrounded by and what happens in your life. Some people live in beautiful conditions, but yet are depressed. Therefore it is purely out of overall being of the person itself, not buy how society overall functions, so this argument is in all sense impractical due to the individual being the key determiner.

Round 3
Here is my R3, I’ll now rebut my opponents rebuttals.


8th in Freedom of thought

How can you say that America is no longer free, while also saying admitting that America is 8th out of 196 analyzed countries for freedom of thought. If America is in the top 4% of countries for freedom of thought, how can you say we’re no longer the land of the free, it makes no sense. Also, whether America is free or not is irrelevant, is it freer than 18+ developed nations, yes, that’s all that matters for this debate.

But it isn’t as bad in America vs other developed nations. As I said before, America ranks ahead of 18+ developed for corruption according to the Rule of Law Index(Hong Kong and Singapore aren’t on the list for developed nations in the description).


My opponent notes how Americans don’t have access to a good education because of America’s poverty. He also notes how the upper classes in America are the ones truly getting educated. 

This just isn’t true. I’ve already established that Americans in poverty are living better than the average person in most OECD nations. Also, something which isn’t exclusive to the upper classes like graduating highschool, America does better than 18+ developed nations. Mind you that over 90% of Americans graduate high school, and 45.6% of Americans graduate college(6th for college graduation rate), so how is education only available to the upper echelons of society in America. 

So, even when when we look at things that aren’t exclusive to the upper classes, America dominates 18+ developed nations.



Women do fine in America when compared to other developed countries. I say this because women in America do great for the Female share of employment in senior and middle management


Americans aren’t really impoverished though, if you look at the U.S in a vacuum then maybe, but on the whole  Americans in poverty are doing better than the average citizen in the majority of developed nations as I’ve already said. If you wish to make the pint that American earnings are inflated by the ultra wealthy, well you can use median income to avoid this, and we still see America dominating, ranking 4th world wide.



Your source doesn’t have hard statistics that compare America to other developed nations. You state immigrants have trouble finding work, all your source says of this is that 1 refugee is having trouble finding work, and that another person has heard stories of people being scared to leave their homes. There is a massive drought of hard data in this source. Also, whether it is incredible to be an American immigrant or not is irrelevant, you must be able to prove that being an immigrant in 18+ developed nations is better than being an immigrant in America. My source still stands.


Happiness is defined by as a state of being. A state of being means that is not necessarily defined by the society you live in, but the people you are surrounded by and what happens in your life.

This merely proves that the people that surround Americans(those people being other Americans) are great enough to make Americans happier than most developed nations. Good people don’t fall out of the sky, so wouldn’t American society make these good people?

I will not rebut the case vs mine, I thank Trent for the good debate

[AT: Poverty]
My opponent makes a claim that poverty does not matter when picking a place to live, but however that completely ignores the case I make stating why poverty matters. Poverty destroys economy, weakens the government, and overall makes the human life suffer. If the poverty rate is higher in the countries, you are more likely to be in poverty as the average person.

The video itself is extremely wrong and biased itself. First off, the channel itself has 195 subs, meaning it is not a relevant source. Secondly, the chart depicted in the video even states that 20 developed countries have a lower poverty rate than America.

The OECD is a more reliable source than JustFacts. This is an official conducted survey about the poverty rates and it is at the bottom. JustFacts is spotty at best. It does not matter if the 20% are still higher than some, the video proves that even that, the poverty rate is still lower. US has the 9th largest gap between the rich and the poor, and with an 18% average poverty rate, this means you are more likely to either hit rock bottom or be rich, and you said 6 out of 100 Americans are Millionaires, but nearly 18 out of 100 Americans are in poverty, meaning the odds of you being in poverty are triple than being a millionaire

You also claim that the source says that the 20% poorest live better than some in poverty, this is because the cost of living is so much higher in the US and is continually rising . This means for Europeans, it takes you a lot less money to be poorer in general versus any other country, and being poor in America is because standard of living is higher.

Poverty has been proven to link to all of PRO's case, if you are poor, you are less likely to get good quality treatment, and since America is ranked 20th in poverty, it means that only the rich get access to the benefits, not the impoverished, which America ranks highest in 

[AT: Gender Equality]
You debunk various sources incorrectly, while the answers may vary. A lot of sources have equal rankings by country all together. This source does not even have USA as a top 18 in wage gap. This article also states that the US is ranked 19th in the best places to live as a female. This stat by OECD has them ranked lower than nearly all of the countries here.

Perception based results aren’t reliable.
This is a false claim made by my opponent. This is direct evidence of the wage gap between men and women from the sources I have listed. Ignoring this stat is ignorance to the cause that I am arguing, even stats have directly shown

This means that gender is a real issue itself. There is a likely possibility you do not receive the equal treatment of your bosses in America versus other countries. That means that living in a different country as a women in a developed nation is better than living in America, therefore it is better to live in a developed country for more than 1/2 of the world's population than the USA.

The OECD specifically studies Human Rights and ways to improve the world, but Pew focuses a lot about general facts and prefers economic favor ability versus the condition and the well being of the worker.  The article I even references states America is 19th. This article is super reliable and should out weight any source you have 

It is also likely these countries are more equal in wage gap due to population size and the overall consistency of the stats

--> @Trent0405
I'd challenge the BoP
--> @SupaDudz
IDK if that would meet your BoP.
--> @bmdrocks21
I do what I can.
--> @Trent0405
Why 1 country being better than America should be enough to win the debate
Peoples Right v Infrastructure
Neoliberalism K
--> @SupaDudz
What would running a K look like on this debate?
--> @Zaradi
Fair enough of a claim to make. But there was no other contentions you can make regarding this because is America's weak spot. I should have ran a K on this (even though I hate K's) about this
--> @SupaDudz
Honestly I think you would've been better off making another argument than gender inequality. It's hard to quantify it into something that fits into the way this res is set up. You could go for an oppression bad route but how do you rank that between developed nations?
--> @Trent0405
You made America very proud ^_^
--> @Zaradi
Thank you for the vote. I guess from your impact from Gender Equality said it needed to have an impact. How could have been improved
Pretty sure I know where I'm voting. But gonna sleep and give it one last look over tomorrow before I vote.
Also, I agree with Ragnar that the format both sides went with for their rounds feels super fucky.
I'll read through this. But from R1 I can already tell Pro needs to learn what impact calc is and how to do it. It'd turn his lackluster case into a decent one.
--> @SupaDudz
On women I was left torn due to the freedom angle from Pew Research. I am not positive how I would have graded it, but if all the same points were used with a focus on how women do on those measurements in the USA, that could have carried it. Some numbers would be needed. Such as 51% of people are women, and in 55% of those countries they do better by X, 61% they do better by Y, etc., it could have proven that for the average person the USA is worse to live in than the average other country.
I am feeling more in favor of one on one comparisons. Looking back on this, and realizing how tiny the character limit it (admittedly, my last debate was only 5k, but also 4 rounds...), I can imagine Saudi Arabia instead of the USA using all the same contentions (granted, the oppression of women there lacks any ambiguity, so it would be a much stronger counterpoint), and there just not being enough room to refute the general trends of how well that country is doing.
--> @Ragnar
Thank you for the vote.
I did try for the Pathos appeal with some evidence for it becoming less and less. I did try to make a case that if we are ranked 8th in Freedom despite what are constitution tells us, then we technically failed as a nation. I do think this was a good K but I could have focused more on it! I think a debate itself could have been made about Freedom itself, but with the words restriction, I had to balance the arguments on and focus on the link and using my case to destroy his case, but I think with more of a word input, I could have swayed it.
I think that you do have a point with the fact that it is getting downhill. I simply thought it could be something used to give weight to the arguments I have in the first place and potential give some leniency to prefer my case over this, but I guess it didn't work. I think there was sources out there saying that these countries themselves are getting better, but I was a bit cocky
It is a pretty weird debate statistically. I was thinking of challenging the fact that 18 had to be proven, and only 1 should be proven, but I decided to pussy out of the idea.
The Gender Equality is something I would have to respectfully disagree with/think differently about the outcome. 50% of the population is a female. This means that 3.5B of the population itself would be treated unequal because of their gender and it would be better off living in a different country versus the ones stated. That is a huge population and the US itself has a higher % of females, yet with more inequity for them. I wouldn't say in honesty it is a slight victory for me personally in the debate, since he does have weak links that I think do ignore.
I think this is a fair RFD though and I thank you for your time to vote
--> @SupaDudz, @Trent0405
---RFD (1 of 2)--
I was left with the impression the USA is overall preferable. While some countries may be a better match for an individual (damn this reminded me of my final debate on DDO:, weighing gives the USA enough benefit to overcome any shortcomings.
1. Education: Pro
Ranks well on education. Con counters that this is somehow evidence of poverty. Pro explains that the average rate favors the USA with “over 90% of Americans graduate high school, and 45.6% of Americans graduate college.”
2. Fiscal Well being vs. Poverty
We do extremely well with wealth distribution, but counterintuitively badly as well.
“more people are in poverty than there are millionaires and the evidence can't deny this” yes, this is a self-evident truth everywhere. Millionaires are the exception, apparently the USA has far more of them than other countries.
Generally pro held this well with pointing out consumption rates for those in poverty in the US, implies that poverty here is better than poverty elsewhere. Still, it’s a decent area of contest to which con cast some doubt on USA superiority. Giving this to con by a very small margin (I weigh things, meaning the margin of victory gives it a low weight compared to other points).
3. Freedom: pro
We do very well in this. That we could do even better, especially when this is supposed to be a comparison debate, does not refute this. Nor does if we’ve slipped, as we’re still well ahead of the average. That we can voice these complaints, is a wonderful example of our freedom.
I do however applaud the well-constructed pathos appeal.
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
In high school competitive debate there exists the concept of what's called a "low point win". A low point win is where one side did the better debating, but for whatever reason(s) did not win the round. The structure to signify this doesn't exist in DART's voting systems, but that's what I consider this debate to be.
To start, I disagree with Ragnar that this is merely a comparisons debate. For one, no one is making any kind of arguments that this debate should be viewed in such a way. For two, there's nothing within the description of the debate to say that's how I ought to evaluate it. Because of this, I have to look for a metric under which to decide how to view what a good country to live in is.
There's a bunch of random qualifiers given but the only one giving me any kind of analysis as to why their points are important and matter in terms of being a "better place to live" is Con. His R1 sets him up for probably the freest win I've seen in a long time. The reasoning for why poverty and gender equality should be the most important things in the round is never contested, rather only where the US places is contested, so the only two areas that matter to me are there.
From here isn't where pro wins the debate, but where Con loses the debate. For all the good he's doing in focusing the debate down to these two areas, I don't think he's winning on poverty, and I don't see a place I can actually pull the trigger on gender equality.
I'll start on gender equality because it's the simplest area to review. In short, I don't know what the impact of gender equality is. The best I get from con is in R3, which is: "There is a likely possibility you do not receive the equal treatment of your bosses in America versus other countries. That means that living in a different country as a women in a developed nation is better than living in America,"
I'm not sure what that even means, nor am I given any reason for why it specifically matters. Nor are there any reasons for why gender equality in and of itself is important. So while I buy that Con is winning here, I'm not sure I can vote on it.
In terms of the poverty area, I don't think the work Con is doing is sufficient. A good example of it would be the effects of poverty on education. The arguments for poverty diminishing the quality of education one receives is all well and good but what does that do to how I evaluate the argument in terms of the res? In other words, how does that affect where the US ranks in comparison to other nations?
Another problem is that there doesn't seem to be a response to the arguments Pro makes in terms high school graduation rates, which are being advanced as independent of the poverty arguments. And it's not like responses for this don't exist - I imagine the average graduation rates for schools across the entire US look a lot different than the graduation rates for schools located in areas below the poverty line - but they need to be made.
So ultimately I vote pro.
Criterion Pro Tie Con Points
Better arguments 3 points
Better sources 2 points
Better spelling and grammar 1 point
Better conduct 1 point
See comments:
I was left with the impression the USA is overall preferable. While some countries may be a better match for an individual (damn this reminded me of my final debate on DDO:, weighing gives the USA enough benefit to overcome any shortcomings.