Instigator / Pro
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1674
rating
53
debates
67.92%
won
Topic

THW Support a Global Market for Citizenship

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Finished

All stages have been completed. The voting points distribution and the result are presented below.

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After not so many votes...

It's a tie!
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Politics
Time for argument
One week
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Open voting
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One month
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Contender / Con
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1612
rating
343
debates
65.6%
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Description
~ 703 / 5,000

Information about Market for Citizenship: https://www.bbc.com/news/business-49958628

Essentially, the government would allow you to trade your citizenship/passport transference legally to obtain goods, services, money, etc. And vice versa. This "global market of citizenship" concerns the whole world and is not limited to only one country. I will support that the majority of countries should support this Market of Citizenship.

Con will argue that most countries should not allow a market for citizenship.

Burden of proof is shared.

The following people must comment before accepting (I will extend time to allow for higher quality arguments): MisterChris, Whiteflame, Coal, FourTrouble, Danielle

Round 1
Pro
As usual, my argument will be drawn from paraphrasing expert(s), but this time with simplified logic to prevent any circumvent of loopholes. 

I will only be using one source this time. Though it is a journal of applied philosophy, the author employs economic journals as well to support his ideas.


The main argument here is that the transaction of the citizenship for goods/money is no different from regular transactions. If two parties would mutually benefit with no harm, then it is clearly logical to support this case. We have legal markets for good in general, so it seems illogical to abolish citizenship as a good if it is no different. Even though citizenship is not physical, it is a state issued right, just as your property is. Different countries give you different opportunities to lift yourself out of poverty. And so the institutional differences between developed and developing countries mean that immigration becomes much more beneficial. Through the better sufficiency and equality given in different countries, poor people may bridge the wage gap through the citizenship market.

The author counters five different arguments that may put doubt in this case. 

Firstly, he highlights that citizenship is not an unalienable right (contrary to selling your liberty as slavery) -- many people already sacrifice their citizenship by moving from country to country for better opportunities. Thus Con cannot argue that you can't sacrifice citizenship. Secondly, he counters that selling citizenship would send the wrong message about using the rights as a means to an end. Even if undermining your citizenship was undesirable, it may be even worse for government to interfere in the transaction. Just as it may be bad for you to throw away your car keys, that doesn't mean government should force you to keep those car keys. It's your own job and your own private life to deal with. In fact, you could argue the opposite-- the fact that you are willing to buy citizenship shows a price and value. It replaces those who value citizenship less with those who value it more. So Con can't argue this either.

Thirdly, the author talks about potential exploitation that opponents are likely worried about. He realizes that if the state removes the ability to form a contract, this is contradictory since it further restricts an already limited choice set. You prevent the citizen from choosing an alternative he would have chosen above all others. Even if it becomes problematic for some population, so long as the general population isn't affected, the benefits still outweigh the detriments, especially if you enforce regulations. As the author suggests a solution, we may "enforce caps on the percentage of future income transferred in the ISA.34 By analogy, even if exploitative labourcontracts are impermissible, labour contracts generally may remain permissible."

Fourthly, the author tackles an argument concerning lack of true impact due to helping out a different portion of the population rather than the poor. Well, this also brings a flaw to the exploitation argument, as poor people would no longer be the major risk factor according to this logic. Furthermore, the two major requirements are that this argument justifies significant immigration restriction, and that the interests of those who don't move are harmed. It seems illogical that we would generally impose restrictions on someone's labor mobility merely because they gain human capital.

And the impoverishment of citizens has mixed evidence, especially since the labor movement *creates* a demand for it. Some people obtain skillsets precisely because they are able to move elsewhere, and therefore lack of citizenship markets would inevitably lose some important jobs that would otherwise be created. So the market would create incentive to gain more capital overall. The expert also suggests a plausible solution in general, with "condition that states tax the sale of citizenship and redistribute that revenuedirectly to remaining citizens or use it to fund various social programs". So even the small benefit overall could still lead to helping out the poor and a win-win situation.

Fifthly, the author fights egalitarianism. He admits that these markets can be unfair, but counters with the idea that citizenship in general is unfair. He notices that citizens in countries benefit simply by being/working in the country. He shows that "Migrantswho arrive in the United States, even those from the very poorest countries,typically earn close to what observably identical nonmigrants earn". He admits that open border policy would be the ideal solution, but in countries that can't afford the problems that occur (crime, smuggling, what have you), the markets would increase movement opportunities. 

The author concludes by admitting there are not enough examples with citizenship markets in real life. But there are tangible benefits logically speaking, even if it becomes a niche market. The further experimentation allows for better statistics, building the foundation of better policies in the future.

If philosophy wasn't convincing enough, an economical article supports the overarching view of the author. As they highlight, immigration and naturalization in general helps wage gains, education, and that the social benefits are large, even if it's tricky to separate those who would've succeeded regardless. The substantial benefit to those in the labor market means that we must allow this market for citizenship. The catalyst for integration and the humanitarian mission means that governments ought to enforce it from a moral and economic standpoint. [https://wol.iza.org/articles/naturalization-and-citizenship-who-benefits/long.]

And so I affirm: this house would allow a global market for citizenship.
Con
Nowhere in Pro's case is it explored what Citizenship is.

Pro makes Citizenship out to be a product, up for sale. If this were what citizenship was, then Pro would also support people paying money to buy Citizenship as well. If then, Pro advocates that, we reach a stage of 'citizenship' that is so utterly corrupt and pointless that we may as well have a one-world nation where Ctizenship is a moot concept, no longer up for sale (thus the sale of Citizenship self-implodes the very value if the product being traded).

The reason Citizenship has value to a nation is that it has significance both culturally and security-wise. If you are not a citizen but are residing in or visiting a nation, you are held to a lower level of 'one of us' kinship and get less privileges as a result. For starters, anything close to intelligence agency work (such as general military service, being a police officer, a detective etc) become taboo because you're mistrusted. This barrier is sometimes a bit toxic in nations that have no means of naturalisation for dedicated residents, however it has a good and very important purpose because without it, Citizenship would be worthless and thus free (unsellable) since it would have zero real value in the first place.

While Citizenship in different nations at times has variation in what specifically it allows or disallows, the things I stated in the paragraph above are disallowed in all nations that I know of (for non-citizens). 

In its strictest sense, citizenship is a legal status that means a person has a right to live in a state and that state cannot refuse them entry or deport them. This legal status may be conferred at birth, or, in some states, obtained through ‘naturalisation’. In wealthy liberal democratic states citizenship also brings with it rights to vote, rights to welfare, education or health care etc. In this formal sense, citizenship acquisition for oneself or one’s children is seen as principally related to migrants. However, it is important to recognise that citizenship isn’t only about migrants, but is more generally about individuals’ relations to the state and to each other. Liberal ‘republican’ positions in particular have emphasised the relation between citizenship and political participation such as voting, engagement in civil society and other forms of political mobilisation. Moreover, as well as a legal status, citizenship can also indicate a subjective feeling of identity and social relations of reciprocity and responsibility. Sometimes these are described in words like ‘loyalty’, ‘values’, ‘belonging’ or ‘shared cultural heritage’. This also points to the complex and often assumed relation between citizenship and belonging to ‘the nation’.

Citizenship, relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Citizenship implies the status of freedom with accompanying responsibilities. Citizens have certain rights, duties, and responsibilities that are denied or only partially extended to aliens and other noncitizens residing in a country. In general, full political rights, including the right to vote and to hold public office, are predicated upon citizenship. The usual responsibilities of citizenship are allegiance, taxation, and military service.


Citizenship is the most privileged form of nationality. This broader term denotes various relations between an individual and a state that do not necessarily confer political rights but do imply other privileges, particularly protection abroad. It is the term used in international law to denote all persons whom a state is entitled to protect. Nationality also serves to denote the relationship to a state of entities other than individuals; corporations, ships, and aircraft, for example, possess a nationality.

A citizen is a member of a political community who enjoys the rights and assumes the duties of membership. This broad definition is discernible, with minor variations, in the works of contemporary authors as well as in the entry “citoyen” in Diderot’s and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie [1753].[1] Notwithstanding this common starting-point and certain shared references,[2] the differences between 18th century discussions and contemporary debates are significant. The encyclopédiste’s main preoccupation, understandable for one living in a monarchy, was the relationship between the concepts ‘citizen’ and ‘subject’. Were they the same (as Hobbes asserted) or contradictory (as a reading of Aristotle suggested)?[3] This issue is less central today as we tend to take for granted that a liberal democratic regime is the appropriate starting-point for our reflections. This does not mean, however, that the concept has become uncontroversial. After a long period of relative calm, there has been a dramatic upsurge in philosophical interest in citizenship since the early 1990s.[4]

If we were to purchase these from citizens, it implies that they should also be able to purchase it themselves and that is a devastating issue for the culture and security of nations that put high value on Citizenship (which is almost all nations anyway).

On top of that, there are grave consequences for those that sell. Imagine how corrupt a nation can become when the poor and desperate have to sell their citizenship to make ends meet. They then can't vote in elections, can't run for office, not to mention that brilliant minds who happened to run into financial issues won't be able to join the national security agencies, military or police force of their home nation. Even more perplexing will be what that individual is even to be considered a citizen of.

We will have people who were desperate for money ending up incapable of 'fighting back' against the corrupt rich within their nation and each election cycle, the politicians can and will serve the interests of the rich more and more. Nations that adapt to this by allowing non-citizens to vote and/or run for political office will run into all other kinds of issues due to that.

If you doubt that the poor will be preyed upon by this, ask yourself who would sell their Citizenship if they didn't absolutely need to? You can't even leave your hellhole nation without a passport in the first place so even if you raised the money for a cheap-enough escape,  you'd be trapped regardless.

How would deporation even work? You have a citizenless individual, where do they get deported to when they break the law? 

I leave it at that for this Round, I believe my points to be so irrefutable that it is in the rebuttals, Pro will be near-forced to concede the debate.
Round 2
Pro
Con has offered a long copy and paste description of citizenship to clarify the debate, but it has little to no impact for his actual argument, nor refuting my argument. Let's take a look at his true claims (I separated the core of his arguments for clarity):

If we were to purchase these from citizens, it implies that they should also be able to purchase it themselves and

that is a devastating issue for the culture and security of nations that put high value on Citizenship (which is almost all nations anyway).

On top of that, there are grave consequences for those that sell.

Imagine how corrupt a nation can become when the poor and desperate have to sell their citizenship to make ends meet.

They then can't vote in elections, can't run for office, not to mention that brilliant minds who happened to run into financial issues won't be able to join the national security agencies, military or police force of their home nation. Even more perplexing will be what that individual is even to be considered a citizen of.

We will have people who were desperate for money ending up incapable of 'fighting back' against the corrupt rich within their nation and each election cycle, the politicians can and will serve the interests of the rich more and more. Nations that adapt to this by allowing non-citizens to vote and/or run for political office will run into all other kinds of issues due to that.

If you doubt that the poor will be preyed upon by this, ask yourself who would sell their Citizenship if they didn't absolutely need to? You can't even leave your hellhole nation without a passport in the first place so even if you raised the money for a cheap-enough escape,  you'd be trapped regardless.

How would deporation even work? You have a citizenless individual, where do they get deported to when they break the law? 
Con's introduction of many implementation problems are curious on a practical level, but fail to refute the theoretical value of my citizenship argument. I shall create an example without referring to my previous expert. With exchanges within the market place, there are always costs and benefits one way or another. Imagine I said I was never going to vote, so my right to vote despite my citizenship would be useless. Next, I follow up by offering to sell my right to vote to you for 100$. You want the power to select and you don't want to have to wait many years for the next election. We exchange, and democracy is improved -- not only did my abstained vote did not go to waste, it gained more power and recognition. This person thought the right of vote was so powerful it was worth 100$, and he accepted this trade. I did not need to vote for personal reasons, so I gave my vote away. As you can see, this clear exchange within the marketplace directly related to citizenship is neither immoral nor did it cause dangerous consequences. 

Con talks further about the corruption by saying the now-non-citizens would be unable to fight back against the corrupt rich. However, this argument is largely unexplained. For one, if you are desperate enough to sell your citizenship for some money, that would infer your citizenship power was not worth it. Whatever the politician changes, you find it insignificant compared to instantly gaining, for example, 10,000$ (let's just name an arbitrary amount). Clearly, you placed a value bet on your citizenship and you were willing to risk that your vote was the one vote that mattered. Even if a majority of the poor made that decision, they would prove that citizenship's soft power did not match money's power. In this kind of country, I would argue that the nation is already corrupt and adding a citizenship wouldn't do anything, except allow Citizens to have the catalyst to move out into a different country. They can easily exchange citizenship for citizenship, assuming relatively even prices.

Dropped ideas:
- Citizenship is NOT unalienable
- selling citizenship does NOT give the wrong message
- The potential exploitation, which is somewhat similar to Con's argument, can be reduced with regulations and compensation
- extend the argument about increased labor mobility as alternative to open border policy
- extend that the citizenship selling creates extra jobs elsewhere
- Citizenship is generally unfair already and that an opportunity must be provided as an alternative to naturalization
- the economic and social benefits of citizenship are large in general, especially regarding to the labor markets
Con
Those dropped arguments are literally my case.

Pro says he can't defend a single of my raised implementation issues... Lol?

This resolution is about implementing, with support from you the voter, a plan that isn't theoretical but is to be practical and real. There is nowhere in the resolution or debate description that made this out to be a thereotical discussion on whether or not Citizenship has value. That is a truism as even Con in this debate admits it has value.

I am saying that you will have the following issues:

DROPPED POINTS BY PRO, oh yeah Undefeatable I can do this shit too.

  1. The reason Citizenship has value to a nation is that it has significance both culturally and security-wise. If you are not a citizen but are residing in or visiting a nation, you are held to a lower level of 'one of us' kinship and get less privileges as a result. For starters, anything close to intelligence agency work (such as general military service, being a police officer, a detective etc) become taboo because you're mistrusted. This barrier is sometimes a bit toxic in nations that have no means of naturalisation for dedicated residents, however it has a good and very important purpose because without it, Citizenship would be worthless and thus free (unsellable) since it would have zero real value in the first place.

2. If we were to purchase these from citizens, it implies that they should also be able to purchase it themselves and that is a devastating issue for the culture and security of nations that put high value on Citizenship (which is almost all nations anyway).

3. On top of that, there are grave consequences for those that sell. Imagine how corrupt a nation can become when the poor and desperate have to sell their citizenship to make ends meet. They then can't vote in elections, can't run for office, not to mention that brilliant minds who happened to run into financial issues won't be able to join the national security agencies, military or police force of their home nation. Even more perplexing will be what that individual is even to be considered a citizen of.

We will have people who were desperate for money ending up incapable of 'fighting back' against the corrupt rich within their nation and each election cycle, the politicians can and will serve the interests of the rich more and more. Nations that adapt to this by allowing non-citizens to vote and/or run for political office will run into all other kinds of issues due to that.

If you doubt that the poor will be preyed upon by this, ask yourself who would sell their Citizenship if they didn't absolutely need to? You can't even leave your hellhole nation without a passport in the first place so even if you raised the money for a cheap-enough escape,  you'd be trapped regardless.

4. How would deporation even work? You have a citizenless individual, where do they get deported to when they break the law? 

You dropped all my points, get out of here, bye.

Stop that dropped points nonsense, I didn't drop any of the points you said I dropped, theoretical value is great, now have a implementable plan.

Round 3
Pro
It seems con has completely failed to read my previous round.

As argued, the citizen should have the right to make that specific decision so as to risk their ability to become police officer, military service, so on and so forth. If anything, his argument is a non-unique threat, because my paper previously argued that job opportunity is precisely one of the reasons why people move to another country. So under both of our systems certain people would not become police officers regardless. The big difference is that under my world, people likely didn't want to be officers anyways -- they sold the citizenship, knowing that it was a pre-requisite for the job. So we did not lose any actual job force, but rather only the ones who decided that the temporary money was worth more than the actual job. 

Con claims I dropped the Corruption argument, yet does not tell voters how it was dropped.

Recall:

For one, if you are desperate enough to sell your citizenship for some money, that would infer your citizenship power was not worth it.

Whatever the politician changes, you find it insignificant compared to instantly gaining, for example, 10,000$ (let's just name an arbitrary amount).

Clearly, you placed a value bet on your citizenship and you were willing to risk that your vote was the one vote that mattered.

Even if a majority of the poor made that decision, they would prove that citizenship's soft power did not match money's power.

In this kind of country, I would argue that the nation is already corrupt and adding a citizenship wouldn't do anything, except allow Citizens to have the catalyst to move out into a different country.

They can easily exchange citizenship for citizenship, assuming relatively even prices.

In other words, the citizens themselves are saying "I would rather have 10,000$ than the ability to vote."

What does this mean?

This means that money's inherent power would be more influential than a single vote.

Meaning that the rich already hold more power in this corrupt world.

Meaning that Con's argument comes down to null, because the problem is already occurring. And furthermore, that the citizens believe their votes are unlikely to solve it-- or that they are so desperate to survive that they need 10,000$ rather than urging the politician to give out food to shelters/finance to homeless.

Therefore, Con's only argument left is deportation. However, they may as well be jailed, since these cases are exceptionally rare -- requiring aggravated felonies, drug conviction, firearms conviction, so on and so forth. He has not proved this will be a majority problem, and those who sell their citizenship will be greatly encouraged to make work as a living rather than commit crime. Not only does he have zero statistics backing up that those who sold their citizenship would go become deported, he also has no logic behind why we cannot simply jail them. There are past examples of Americans being deported or detained due to their crimes. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deportation_of_Americans_from_the_United_States

I do not see how there are any implementation flaws left.

Extend all arguments.

Con
In other words, the citizens themselves are saying "I would rather have 10,000$ than the ability to vote."
This is sickening to me, like even beyond this debate. If enough citizens of enough nations caved into this ethos, I can only begin to imagine how corrupt the world would become.

Well, I don't have to 'imagine' too much, certain nations without any Democracy already imply this.

See, where does the 10k come from? Who's paying the tax? Only citizens need to pay tax in general, though I guess they can count as foreign residents of some sort. The real truth is the rich will be paying the 10k via tax and in return will demand privileges as it's a transaction in their eyes so it even becomes morally justified tyranny in the end, since you owe the rich the most for buying the citizenships over a longer period of time.

Nothing else is in any shape or form a reply to me. That line is the only one that directy challenged a core concept I had and frankly is very dangerous if enough poor people believed it in Pro's world.

DROPPED POINTS BY PRO

  1. The reason Citizenship has value to a nation is that it has significance both culturally and security-wise. If you are not a citizen but are residing in or visiting a nation, you are held to a lower level of 'one of us' kinship and get less privileges as a result. For starters, anything close to intelligence agency work (such as general military service, being a police officer, a detective etc) become taboo because you're mistrusted. This barrier is sometimes a bit toxic in nations that have no means of naturalisation for dedicated residents, however it has a good and very important purpose because without it, Citizenship would be worthless and thus free (unsellable) since it would have zero real value in the first place.


2. If we were to purchase these from citizens, it implies that they should also be able to purchase it themselves and that is a devastating issue for the culture and security of nations that put high value on Citizenship (which is almost all nations anyway).

3. On top of that, there are grave consequences for those that sell. Imagine how corrupt a nation can become when the poor and desperate have to sell their citizenship to make ends meet. They then can't vote in elections, can't run for office, not to mention that brilliant minds who happened to run into financial issues won't be able to join the national security agencies, military or police force of their home nation. Even more perplexing will be what that individual is even to be considered a citizen of.

We will have people who were desperate for money ending up incapable of 'fighting back' against the corrupt rich within their nation and each election cycle, the politicians can and will serve the interests of the rich more and more. Nations that adapt to this by allowing non-citizens to vote and/or run for political office will run into all other kinds of issues due to that.

If you doubt that the poor will be preyed upon by this, ask yourself who would sell their Citizenship if they didn't absolutely need to? You can't even leave your hellhole nation without a passport in the first place so even if you raised the money for a cheap-enough escape,  you'd be trapped regardless.

4. How would deporation even work? You have a citizenless individual, where do they get deported to when they break the law? 

Round 4
Pro
As Con has basically only extended arguments, I'll wrap up my arguments here.

Within round 1, I clearly noted that the author countered 5 common counter arguments to his plan. Most notably, Con disagreed with the idea that citizenship had value despite people placing money to buy the citizenship. He argued that citizenship gives you more privilege's, and causes more trust. The barrier is necessary to raise the value of citizenship. But he fails to counter my expert, because the logic does not follow here. He does not explain the difference of spending years of residence and sometimes passing a citizenship test, and trying to earn thousands of dollars to gain the citizenship. While certainly the rich can bypass the time gate, Con spends zero arguments on why this makes the citizenship worthless. If anything, the "rich man got his wealth from heritage" sounds suspiciously similar to "you are born American because your father was in America as well". The transference of citizenship bears remarkable resemblance to the transference of wealth. Even if voters don't buy this part due to being the final round, Con has provided no unique detriment between a time barrier and a money barrier, therefore he cannot argue that citizenship is worthless.

Most importantly, I valued the resident's choices to make the decision to purchase or sell citizenship. Con argues that this will become tyranny and that I should not be able to obtain $10,000 at the cost of being untrusted in police/military/other government services. But his abstraction is backed by very little true examples, and my expert shines through with his explanation that the exploitation evidence is near to none, combined with the other scholar who explains that citizenship's benefits are incredible on a nationwide level. If we would gain immense social benefits from the increased immigration and naturalization (especially since the rich people may have more influence than the current poor people), then I see no problem. Con is assuming that the rich men who migrate purposefully intend to corrupt and selfishly take advantage of their ability to easily obtain citizenship. But he has failed to consider that they would've already been able to do it in their home country if they were already evil. I see no difference in "extra evil" produced by my citizenship market. Even if the rich man picks a country specifically weak to attack from those who have money, this is still a non-unique harm as previously argued. Yes, we are adding *extra* disparity to the poor and the rich, but we also give the opportunity for the poor to move out, thus balancing out the potential harms caused by this rich man. 

For all the reasons above, please vote for the Citizenship Market. 
Con
At the core, my case came down to three principles:

  1. Once Citizenship becomes a thing to sell, the very thing that gives it such extreme value (the sancity and unattainable nature of it via conventional means like purchasing) all disapper, reducing its value to practically zilch.
  2. The things Citizenship enables (the right to vote, the ability to work in defence of the nation, some other procedural things that aren't the main focus) as well as the sentimantality of what being accepted as a naturalised Citizen of any nation entails (or natural born Citizen who enjoys what they have) all suddenly have one major issue; anyone can buy it. This means the security and even harmony in society could crumble since it's a global market so basically the entire world's nations will all fall enslaved to a system where Citizenship is just another thing for the rich to flex as opposed to what it's supposed to be.
  3. The more that this is in place for time-wise and breadth-wise in terms of what Citizenship entails, the snowball that is buiding to wipe away the Rights of the poor and uphold the interests of the rich will globally reach a stage of no return at some point, again defeating the very purpose of Citizenship in the first place.
All three are essentially not replied to by Pro throughout. Pro feels I haven't attacked their case but in fact my proactive points cut the core of Pro's thesis, specialised rebuttals aren't always necessary if my points cut core issues with the fabric of Pro's case.