Instigator / Pro

[February Tournament 2022] On balance, colleges and universities in the United States do more harm than good.


The debate is finished. The distribution of the voting points and the winner are presented below.

Winner & statistics

After 2 votes and with 2 points ahead, the winner is...

Publication date
Last updated date
Number of rounds
Time for argument
Three days
Max argument characters
Voting period
One week
Point system
Winner selection
Voting system
Contender / Con

On balance, colleges and universities in the United States do more harm than good in the United states.

This is for the febuary debate tournament

Round 1

Structural functionalism
One of the most commonly used paradigms in sociology, especially for evaluating broad societal functions and institutions, is structural functionalism. This paradigm states: “that human societies tend to evolve toward increased differentiation, in which institutions become increasingly specialized in the functions they perform. ” [1] This paradigm directly relates to the efficiency of  institutions, and any institution that is inefficient or is not carrying out its function can be considered a bad institution. This paradigm fits well with the subject because the role of education is to prepare pupils to operate within society [2]

People do not use their college education

Higher education should prepare people to operate within society at a higher level within a specific field but this is not the case in the real world. Or at least any education that does occur is usually wasted.  A study found that only 27% of students work in areas that are related to their area of education after attending school. [3] Because the majority of people are not utilizing their degrees, Colleges are not carrying out their function in broader society. The only thing that is valued is the degree (as demonstrated by the fact most people work in sectors separate from their field of study), not the actual education, so by definition Colleges are not carrying out their purpose in broader society, and Colleges can be considered bad institutions. 


Degree inflation
Over the past century, more and more people have been attending Colleges. This has led to the degree itself becoming a prerequisite to employment. [4] This credentialism is specific to the American education system, and many other countries do not suffer from the same issue. Twenty years ago people were able to get entry level jobs with no degree, but now a bachelor’s degree is almost always required to be considered for even an entry level position. “To deal with this competition, students opt to pursue further education at the postgraduate level. Feeding further into a vicious cycle, as the more students with degrees, the less value a degree has.” [5] Ironically, even as the value of degrees has decreased, degrees cost more and more. [6]

This degree inflation creates a “vicious cycle” where the more students who have a degree the less valuable it becomes, and the more employers demand it. This bars people without degrees from these jobs, and this “degree inflation is increasing economic inequality.” [7]

Minority disadvantage & generational poverty
Minorities are specifically disadvantaged by the University system, and are less likely to earn a ‘credential’ from a University than a white person. [8] This is a major problem when considering that people lacking a ‘credential’ are barred from even entry level jobs. This means that many people are forced into unemployment, or jobs that do not pay a living wage. “People live in poverty because they are unable to find a job that pays a living wage—or to find a job at all. ” Unemployment and low paying jobs are the largest factors that contribute to poverty in the US, and this poverty does not affect everyone equally.[9] Racial poverty creates generational poverty, and the wealth of someone's parents affects their financial outcome. [10] Because minorities obtain credentials at a lower rate, they are often excluded by employers, forcing uncredentialed people into unemployment, and this leads to generational poverty in entire communities. 

Generational poverty impacts
Additionally, this poverty carries over to future generations because the effects of poverty can cause physiological problems that affect decision making skills necessary to lift oneself out of poverty, poor schools have a harder time of preparing students for life beyond highschool, many students face abuse at home that can hinder their development and education, but abuse can also occur at school “leaving  a  student  in  a  no-win situation;” and in the end students from poor families in impoverished communities “suffer  from the same things that affect their parents.”[11

Racial hierarchy 
Generational poverty in and of itself is an extreme impact, and it will also create an economic racial hierarchy. “Sometimes overlooked in the national hue and cry over “law and order” is that, in fact, we all want law. We all want order. The cry for law and order is not about violations of the law, but rather, about threats to a certain kind of “order” – the order of racial hierarchy in America.” ”America has faced two long-standing systemic crises – inequality and inequity. Until we tackle the systems that have allowed these to persist, there can be no true law and order, because there can be no true justice.” “Racial hierarchy is the biggest threat to America.” [12] This impact can be considered over all others because without structural justice, the entire point of education is void. There can be no institution that is structurally functional when the system itself is unjust, and non-functional. 

Debate BoP falls upon the one making a statement, which in this case is PRO, my opponent. He has to prove the resolution true, my job is to sow reasonable doubt. The resolution is a dual one, stating that colleges AND universities do more harm than good. Either of them having an overall positive effect would defeat the resolution. In essence, PRO has to prove that the overal effect of nearly all higher education in the US is negative due to harm or lacking benefits. 
PRO appeals to structural functionalism, but that is off topic. The resolution does not say that colleges and universities are "bad institutions", it claims that their actual impact on America is negative -- an emperical claim. We will analyse the measurable effects of colleges and universities and weight the bad up against the good. 

PRO failed to provide defintions in his R1, so I will do it now:
HARM: damage done to something
GOOD: something that is an advantage orhelp; having a positive or usefull effect; 

PRO must show that colleges and universities are actively damaging. If he cannot point out who or what is being damaged and in what way, his argument falls apart.


People do not use their college education
According to PRO's own source: "It's not clear that this is a big labor-market problem, though — it could just mean that many jobs don't really require a specific field of study...note that they are excluding people with graduate degrees in this second chart — so no doctors, lawyers, college professors, etc....My specific math degree doesn't really come in handy for journalism all that often, but college itself was still useful.". Indeed, there are countless benefits of graduating, including a far higher chance of employment age 25-35, higher job satisfaction, economic stability, and self growth. Even an unused degree is very usefull for individuals [8] [9].

Degree inflation
My opponents presents degree inflation as if it was one of the alledged "harms" of colleges and universitie. At the same time he openly admits that it is a uniquely American problem. He conceedes up front that many countries with similar education systems are doing just fine. The causal link between colleges/universities and degree inflation is ambigous if not totally abscent. Furthermore, "many employers regard degree inflation as a recent development" [2]. Nonsensical hiring policies, not the availability of education, is the harmful element at play. 

Minority disadvantage & generational poverty
Controlling for socioeconomic status, the large disparities in achievement between black and white students were almost entirely due to differences in the qualifications of their teachers.
According to this article by, the problem PRO talks about is not caused by colleges and universities themselves, but the poverty that leads to inequal of funding and staffing present throughout America. I must ask, how does poor education "damage" people compared to no education? I wholeheartedly agree that these problems exist, but inequality does not prove education harmfull -- no more than famines prove food harmfull.


Education is a human right
UNESCO elaborates on the declaration of human rights, explaining the right to education [4] . It states that the right entails:
  • Primary education that is free, compulsory and universal
  • Secondary education, including technical and vocational, that is generally available, accessible to all and progressively free
  • Higher education, accessible to all on the basis of individual capacity and progressively free
  • Adequate fellowship system and material condition for teaching staff
  • Freedom of choice
Colleges and universities in the US, both public and private, fullfill a distinct societal role demanded to exist by the human rights agreement.

Individual benefits
According to a new survey from college planning website BestColleges of 817 American adults who have actually earned a bachelor’s degree, 82% say their degree was a “good financial investment.” Those who said their degree was worth the investment are likely correct. In 2018, college graduates earned weekly wages that were 80% higher than those of high school graduates, according to the Federal Reserve. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that Americans with a bachelor’s degree have median weekly earnings of $1,173, compared to just $712 a week for those who have a high school diploma [10]. A Bachelor’s degree is worth $2.8 million on average over a lifetime [9]. By nearly any measure, college graduates outperform their peers who have only completed their high school degree [1]. 

  1. Increased Access to Job Opportunities
  2. Preparation for a Specialized Career
  3.  Increased Marketability
  4. Increased Earning Potential
  5. Economic Stability
  6. Networking Opportunities
  7. A Pathway to Advancement 
  8. Personal Growth and Improved Self-Esteem
  9. Higher Job Satisfaction. 
  10. Positive Return on Investment

Public benefits
Batchelor graduates pay $381,000 more in taxes than they receive in benefits, compared with only $26,000 for people who only took highschool [2]. College degrees correlate with 3.5 times more money paid to charity, volunteering twice as often and a 50% higher chance of voting in presidential elections. The likelyhood of impoverishment and imprisonment decline by 3.5 and 5 times respectively for those with higher education. Also lowered is the social burden, since higher education than high school makes people less reliant on social programs and government services. Not only that, unemployment is 24% less likely for people with degrees higher than a high school diploma.

In other words, the $28,000in state and local investment results in $355,000 reduced governmentspending and increased tax revenues across all levels of government. [3]
More advanced degrees come with even higher benefits. Society at large is a great benefactor of colleges and universities. Investment in education always yields high returns.

Education drives economic growth
In our modern world economy, a well educated workforce is a great national advantage if not a necesity [5]. Investopedia's analysis shows us that the more skilled and educated the workforce, the greater chance a national economy has to succed in the face of international competition. In particular, highly technical professions are rellied on more and more. There is a high demands for intelligent, well-educated people without whom important industries would collapse. The evidence is clear,  "An increase in workers’ educational level improves their human capital, increasing the productivity of these workers and the economy’s output" [6]. Ideas, knowledge and skills all multiply through education. There is no discussion about the overwhelmingly positive economic impact of higher education.

The education and training of a country’s workforce is a major factor in determining how well the country’s economy will perform. Differences in training levels are a significant factor that separates developed and developing countries. All companies benefit from the external factor of having a skilled labor pool from which to hire employees. [ibid]

Colleges and universities also have the following economic benefits [7]:
  • Colleges and universities cultivate entrepreneurship and incubate new businesses. Those who attend college are twice as likely to own a small business. In the last two decades colleges and universities have allocated facilities, technology, and research to 11,000 new business ventures
  • Colleges and universities ignite innovation. From 1996 to 2015, technology transfer from universities sparked development of more than 380,000 new inventions, contributed $591 billion to the national GDP, and supported 4.3 million jobs.
  • In fact, 9 out of 10 U.S. patent holders have bachelor’s degrees, and nearly half have professional or doctoral degrees.
  • One million international students study at American colleges and universities over the course of a year, contributing $36.9 billion to the U.S. economy and supporting more than 450,000 jobs.
  • Overall, U.S. colleges and universities employ 3.98 million people, or more than 2.5 percent of the population.
  • Colleges and universities set a higher standard. As they create a more educated labor market, colleges and universities essentially increase wages of all workers
To summarize: American colleges and universities have been empirically proven to bring about vast ecnomic growth for individuals and the nation.

Science and technology
Universities are responsible for nearly every scientific discovery ever made, and they do all the heavy lifting to prepare the next generation for new frontiers. Hawking, Einstein, Darwin, Newton, Galileo, they all got their potentials unleashed after formal education and interaction with the broader academic community. Universities in the US spend 83 billion dollars on scientific research in a single year (2019), and the amount is rising [13]. They invest in medicine, aggriculture, engineering and all sorts of benefitial studies with real, positive impact on the nation. Universities publish scholarly papers, cultivate tomorrows brilliant minds, write dictionaries and host open debate. Nobody can push the boundaries of science without deep knowledge of what we already know.

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants
-- Isaak Newton
Universities is the biggest reason science has prospered, and it is the sole reason America continues to innovate, discover and prosper. 

  • For 80% of students, and according to the facts, there is no such thing as a wasted degree
  • Degree inflation, racial hierachies and generational poverty are caused by external factors such as funding and hiring policies, not by colleges and universities
  • Degrees benefit the individual immensely, and not only in their work life. They become great resources for society.
  • Skilled, educated workers produced by colleges and universities radically improve and reinforce the economy
  • Colleges and Universities have a wide range of positive economic impacts; and their existence is demanded by the human rights agreement
  • Science and innovation is driven mainly by universities, both scientific geniouses and brilliant patent-seeking innovators first get a higher education
Any alledged harm colleges and universities cause pales in comparrison to the overwhelming good effects on individuals, society, the economy and the country.

The resolution fails by a landslide. 

Either PRO debunks all the benefits of colleges and universities and provide evidence that they cause real tangible harm --- or he has no leg to stand on.
Round 2

Who does BoP fall upon 
Con says that BoP solely falls upon me as the “one making the statement.” First off, I would point out that both Con and I agreed on this topic beforehand, so there is no ground for Con to say that I am the only one making a statement. Through agreeing on the topic, Con makes the statement that he disagrees with the resolution, and thus he should need to prove the resolution false, not just sow a seed of doubt. 

Also, the resolution is on balance, so we are taking all impacts into consideration. To win Con has to give impacts that outweigh mine because otherwise it is presumed that even if there may be some positive effects from college, the negative effects outweigh the positive. BoP should be shared.

Do both colleges and universities have to have a net benefit
Con says that I need to show that colleges and universities separately have a net benefit. This is not entirely correct. The impacts of colleges and universities can be weighed together because in the resolution they are presented as one entity. This is why “do more harm than good” is singular, and it does not say “all do more harm than good.” Also, this round is on balance, so we should weigh the impacts of colleges and universities together to see if, on balance, America is harmed more or less by these institutions.  

Con offers definitions for harm and good, and comes up with a very niche definition for the word harm. Harm can encompass more than damage, but furthermore, this is not even the word that we should be defining. The resolution gives the phrase “do more harm than good.” Merriam-Webster defines this as: “be more harmful than helpful.” [1]

This definition outweighs Con’s definition because it is both more pro and con ground, and this makes it align with the on balance part of the resolution. Also, this definition is more specific to the debate because it looks at the phrase, rather than just defining words in a vacuum with no context. 


Structural functionalism
The framing is not off topic as Con says. Framing simply provides the lens through which to view impacts, and because we are talking about America as a whole, I have said that we should use structural functionalism to weigh impacts because it weighs the American system, rather than considering individual impacts.

 If colleges help the system they are good, if they harm the system they are bad. When I say “bad institution,” I am saying that colleges would be a bad institution, not that structural functionalism only considers impacts to institutions. The paradigm of structural functionalism relates to institutions, and the role that they should serve, but this does not mean the structural functionalism solely deals with institutions as Con claims. We have to use paradigms that relate to the resolution, and a paradigm that can tell if an institution is good or bad, is beneficial to the round when the round is specifically about institutions. Again, the impacts can be to the system as a whole, not just institutions — structural functionalism can simply tell whether an institution is good for the system or bad for it. 

People do not use their college education

Here Cons rebuttal helps my case. It admits that the majority of people do not need to study specifics for their field. If people do not need specific knowledge from college, then there is no benefit from these highly specialized educations. Furthermore, Con says that the college educated are more likely to get a job. This is true, but it is my entire 2nd disadvantage. Credentialism is exclusionary, and is responsible for generational poverty. Finally, Con ends the rebuttal with “Even an unused degree is very usefull for individuals.” I would argue that if an education has not been used, the benefits cannot be attributed to the education.

Also, it should be taken into consideration that Cons sources are from an educational institute, and college advocates. Of course these people will defend colleges, but they are extremely biased. Also, the fact that even these sources admit that you probably won’t actually use your education, but there will be benefits to obtaining a degree, only goes to prove my point, and show that even biased sources have a hard time defending colleges.


Degree inflation
Con says that there is no causal link here because other countries do not suffer from the same problem. We are talking about American education, and American education is unique. For one, in America education is highly privatized, and this makes our college system far more expensive than the rest of the world. In other countries college is largely inexpensive and free, so even if degree inflation occurs, it is not a problem because everyone can go to college. In America colleges directly block the poor as I have shown in my case, and Con has failed to refute this. 

Minority disadvantage & generational poverty
Con attacks my brookings source here which was showing how racial poverty creates generational poverty. Then Con uses this to justify the fact that the problem is not caused by colleges. Of course, this source is not talking about colleges. It is talking about racial poverty, but I  had already proved how colleges create racial poverty. Meaning that the racial poverty that colleges cause lead to generational poverty. 

Con dodges actually engaging with this point by treating the link to generational poverty as the link to colleges, and says that the link to generational poverty from racial poverty does not talk about colleges, but then ignores the link racial poverty from colleges. Colleges are the first step in this process, and Con failed to refute this, so flow this through. 

Education is a human right

Con says that higher education is an essential human right, and according to him this means: “Higher education, accessible to all on the basis of individual capacity and progressively free.” I have already proven how education in the US is discriminatory, and the US education system is very expensive. The US does not fulfill the requirements for human rights under Con’s own definition of what fulfilling the right to education means, so I turn this point. Colleges are directly violating human rights. 

Individual benefits

I do not deny the fact that college may have individual benefits for some people, but it also harms many people. A lot of the benefits cited here have already been proven false, or they just further validate my points.
  1. Increased Access to Job Opportunities: This is what leads to generational poverty for those who are excluded.
  2. Preparation for a Specialized Career: This is blatantly false, most go into unrelated fields.
  3.  Increased Marketability: This is literally just code for, “companies don’t hire people without a credential.”
  4. Increased Earning Potential: Based on what? Degree inflation. 
  5. Economic Stability: Again, this only serves to prove my points. 
  6. Networking Opportunities: This just creates an elite class of credentialed people. 
  7. A Pathway to Advancement: Again, this is artificial, and only based on degree inflation. Every college could disappear from the face of the earth, and people would still be promoted, but it would probably be based on skill rather than a credential. 
  8. Personal Growth and Improved Self-Esteem: This is hardly an impact, and certainly can not be considered as such when considering America as a whole. 
  9. Higher Job Satisfaction: Because you are credentialed and are more likely to get a job than someone who is poor and could not go to college.  
  10. Positive Return on Investment: Again, this just plays into my generational poverty disadvantage. 
Most of these advantages only affect individual people, and this is at the expense of an entire class as my generational poverty disadvantage has shown. We need to consider impacts with a wide scope that affect America as a whole, not just impacts that affect the upper class. Additionally, this is an advertisement from northeastern university, so it can be completely ignored.
Public benefits & Economic growth 

According to con, there is 531 billion dollars in growth… Over 19 years. This is a little over 30 billion a year. Fun fact, we give higher education 112 billion dollars in grants every single year. In other words, we spend far more on education than we make off of it

Within 100 years, the probability of nuclear war is almost inevitable. [2] Science created the nuclear bomb. The vast advances in science have led to many great inventions of course, but the problem is that humanity has not used science responsibly. It is very likely that AI may lead to a human extinction, and even Stephen Hawking went as far as to say that “humanities days are numbered.”[3] Science is not a good in and of itself, and it will almost certainly be the means to extinction by one way or another.

Thank you, PRO.

PRO complains about potential bias among some of my sources, claiming that they therefore should be ignored. Meanwhile, his own sources discredits the way he interprets them. Not a single one of PRO's sources tells us that colleges do more harm than good. What PRO is doing is compiling a list of problems unique to America and then blame them all on the education system, ignoring the complicated multi-faceted nature of the problems and the discussions surrounding them.

PRO cites a washington post article regarding employment, but cherry-picks the story he wants to tell.
The authors estimated that just 27 percent of college grads had a job that was closely related to their major. It's not clear that this is a big labor-market problem. (You can find Abel and Dietz's longer paper here, and note that they are excluding people with graduate degrees in this second chart — so no doctors, lawyers, college professors, etc.) There's an important twist here, too. The chances of finding a job related to your degree or major go up a few points if you move to a big city. My specific math degree doesn't really come in handy for journalism all that often, but college itself was still useful.".   [PRO's source number 3]
Not only did PRO fail to mention the fact that majors like math are not even meant to lead to a specific career, but also forgets to mention that career paths like medicine and law --which have specific studies attached-- were taken out of the 27% number. He also ignores the other graph, that at least 62% of college degrees matched the career path of the graduates. To top it all of the author of PRO's cited article supports my side by stating that an "un-used" degree is still usefull for him.

PRO cites an analysis of race gaps in American colleges. Again, the source's conclusion contradicts the story PRO wants to tell: 
Each year, the United States fails to educate thousands of black engineers, who could be among the nation’s highest earners, and thousands of Hispanic educators, who could be helping young black and Hispanic students feel more confident and do better in school. In addition to the lost potential to improve economic prospects for thousands of black and Hispanic families, this creates a competitive disadvantage for the United States and risks leaving scientific breakthroughs undiscovered. [PRO's source number 8]
Multiple times it is stated that the problem is complicated and caused by many factors. Never does the study suggest that colleges or universities harm the un-priveleged. Instead, it points out that different races are inclined to study at different rates and paths. PRO's argument is essentially that black people don't get as much utility from education, therefore education is bad. Nothing is farther from the truth --- the solution, according to PRO's own source, is to educate black people, making colleges and universities even more helpfull. Again, PRO's argument is as nonsensical as the claim that food is harmfull because some people starve.

PRO cites the rockerfeller foundation on racial hierarchy in order to lend credit to his dubious "impact" that is collages and universities causing generetional poverty:
The racial wealth gap has remained one of the clearest examples of racist policies and practices. The typical White family has a net worth of 10 times more than that of a Black family, illustrating their significant barriers to opportunity. It takes wealth to make wealth, but Black Americans have not benefited from inter-generational access to capital and finance.
Even this article from the rockefeller foundation admits that the problem of unequal outcomes and generational poverty is the result of a history of all-encompassing inequality and uneven playing fields. Even PRO's article meant to prove that credentialism harms black people states that "Many different aspects contribute to a community becoming impoverished such as deindustrialization, high unemployment rates, untreated mental health, and violent crimes". [PRO's source]. It is highly innacurate to claim that generetional poverty and racial hierarchies are primarily the result of colleges and universities, PRO's sources doesn't support him in making that argument. He is cherry picking data from different sources in order to create a grand narrative that is simply not true.

PRO dismisses the information I provided on the basis of bias - this is a version of the genetic fallacy. PRO did not show how my sources were unreliable or dishonest. Most of my sources were studies, papers and articles from reliable sources, not advertisements.

Education is a human right
PRO conceedes this point. Removing higher education is a non-option. Colleges and Universities are helpfull, not harmfull, but they should become less expensive.

Individual benefits
82% of batchelor graduates call their degree a good investment. That is true - a batchelor degree is worth almost 3 million bucks over a lifespan. PRO ignores this point. There is no reason to think that the population being uneducated is better than being overqualified due to degree inflation. Even if you consider degree inflation as a problem for the individual, you must take into account that "those who attend college are twice as likely to own a small business" [7], thus college increases social mobility and job oportunity. Also note that many career paths are impossible to pursue without proper education and a degree to prove it. To become a doctor, engineer, lawyer or scientist you need a higher education, which colleges and universities provide. This point is immune to the "degree inflation" kritik, as the credential IS a reasonable requirement for medical doctor and similar jobs. 

Public benefits
Higher education produces more productive, altruistic and resourcefull individuals, greatly benefiting the state and public . PRO completely ignores this point.

Education drives economic growth

According to con, there is 531 billion dollars in growth… Over 19 years. 
That number is only the value of 380'000 University-inspired patens developed and 4.3 million jobs created directly from student activity. PRO is severely undercutting my argument. Investopedias analysis shows that higher education is necesary for an economy to prosper in this modern day and age, the benefits of colleges and universities is that the entire modern economy functions. Without doctors, engineers, layweers, economists and scientists the American economy, and the entire country, would fall behind the rest of the world. Colleges and Universities produce the backbone of America. Without competent men and women with adequate training and education, the other institutions of America would not function. High-schools don't prepare students to run a nation.

Futhermore, the tangible, measureable benefits extend farther than PRO is willing to admit. He dropped most of my points, so I will extend them  [7].

Georgians have long viewed higher education as the fastest path to a brighter future, but new research shows how college graduates also fuel the state’s economic engine. The lifetime earnings of each new four-year college graduate will increase Georgia’s gross domestic product by almost $2 million. [15]
The biggest economic boost provided by universities and colleges is the people they education. Increased productivity and higher incomes flow back into the economy, as does the benefits of highly qualified workers like city planners and engineers performing crucial economic tasks, as does the innovation and science they produce, as does the new businesses and subsequent jobs they spark. To claim that higher education is a drain on the economy is blatantly false, the opposite is true.

PRO admits the fact that science is primarily planted, grown and nurtured in universities and other educational institutes. He decides to attack science itself, claiming it is a bad thing that will cause the extinction of humanity. That is a bad argument for two reasons. One, science absolutely benefits humanity rather than harm it. And two, speculations about the future do not impact our debate. PRO has no data to support his argument that science is a bad thing or that it has harmed society all things considered. PRO is having this debate with me because of his confortable and safe life. This was all made possible by science and technology. 

PRO has to give up at this point. His every argument up to this point has been that colleges and universities cause certain groups to have a harder time in the broader world. Science is literally the creator of todays world, of the modern American economy and the medical technology that keeps us alive. Unless PRO denies that universities and colleges are huge centers of scientific activity he has to concede the resolution false. Becuase if anything if more helpfull than harmfull, its science [16]. Not understanding our universe is a problem only science can solve, and we need to have accurate information to make good decisions and create the most helpfull tools.

  • There is no causal link between universities/colleges and degree inflation. Economists think the problem is recent and caused by external factors [R1]
  • Racial hierachy is according to PRO's own source a result of a plethora of resons --- but colleges and universities were never mentioned.
  • Generational poverty is complex and involves a complete imballance of resources and services on large scales. Colleges and universities are less effective when they receive less funding and their students are reluctant to spend effort or money to gain the best degrees. PRO's source never claims that colleges or universities cause generational poverty.
  • The benefits of universities and colleges are overwhelming
    • Higher incomes and tax revenues, more helpfull people
    • More productive workers, more new companies and more inventions
    • We need highly educated people to perform jobs that require high degrees of education
    • Our economy is dependant upon science and innovation, which colleges and universities constantly output
  • Without colleges and universites, the US would break the human rights agreement and fall into deep stagnation on all important social fronts
The overwhelming utility definately beats a few dubious America-specific problems that aren't even provably the fault of the education system.

Read Investopedias article to get confirmation and elaboration on why education is always beneficial. This is not an add, but a trusted source on economics.

The resolution is still overwhelmingly true. Colleges and univiersities do more good that harm - its not even very clear they do anything we can accurately call harm.
Round 3

My points on FW were dropped. Because this is my last round it would be unfair for Con to wait to engage with my rebuttals until I do not have another speech. Con had the opportunity to respond to my points on FW last speech, so do not let him respond to FW in this speech as I can no longer respond.  

Who does BoP fall upon 
This was dropped. We are operating under a shared BoP.

Do both colleges and universities have to have a net benefit
This was dropped. Weigh colleges and universities together, and take the overall net benefit into consideration, rather than considering both as separate. 

Con never disputed my counter definition, so “do more harm than good” means “to be more harmful than helpful.”


Structural functionalism
My entire framing was dropped last round, and this means that my rebuttals from my round 2 stands. Voters must weigh impacts solely through the paradigm of structural functionalism as I have presented it, and this means that voters should only consider systemic impacts.  


Con says that I am misinterpreting sources, but this just is not true. I won’t deny that some of my sources may not agree with me, but they still report on data, and they lay out facts. Whether I make a different argument than the author of a given source is completely irrelevant. It would be insane to say that I can only cite sources from my side of the aisle, because theoretically we should all share the same facts, even if we do not agree on the overall effects of those facts. 

The point of a source is not to just cite the resolution, and then win based off of one citation. The point of a citation is to build a case, and link one to the next. This forming of links from one thing to the other is the basic in logic. It is not necessary to take analytical arguments from sources because we can do that ourselves in this round. Citations can of course support an analytical argument, but even if I do not have a source that says “colleges do more harm than good,” I can still construct this case myself based on facts and logic.

Con goes on to say, “What PRO is doing is compiling a list of problems unique to America and then blame them all on the education system, ignoring the complicated multi-faceted nature of the problems and the discussions surrounding them.” First off, my entire case is that the college system does have these impacts, and I have given an entire link chain for this in the first round, and this should prove that colleges are to blame. But, even if voters do not buy this, and believe there are also other factors at play, it does not matter because colleges are still contributing to harm regardless of how other things are contributing to the same harm. The resolution is not should we get rid of colleges, then that would be a reasonable argument because then other problems would prevent this action from solving. In this case, we are just talking about the truth of the statement, so bringing up alternative causes is not a valid response. 

Also we are talking about the United States, the fact that I am citing problems unique to America fits with the resolution. 

People do not use their college education

Con says that I omitted that graduate degrees were not included, but I specifically said that people do not use their college education, so this point can be dropped because the 27% number applies to colleges specifically. Con says the author agrees with him, but clearly my analysis has shown how this is a redundant degree. Again, there is no reason that an author should agree with me. The stat is still true, and the stat supports my case as explained in the previous round, to disprove this Con would have had to actually engage in clash with my point, rather than just pointing out that my author still agrees with his side. 

Con says, “majors like math are not even meant to lead to a specific career.” This is clearly true, but it shouldn’t be, which was my whole point. If a mathematics degree is necessary for journalism, then it is redundant, and it wastes time to allocate the resources necessary to teach a journalist advanced mathematics. 


Race Gaps
Right after the section that Con cited, the source says this, “Even more importantly, an equitable society would allow students of every racial, ethnic, and socio-economic background to flourish in the field they find most rewarding.”My source is talking about how colleges fail to promote equity. 

Furthermore, it further goes on to say, “This latter problem could be especially prevalent in majors, such as engineering, where many programs use their introductory classes to weed out weaker students and may be doing so in a way that is ineffective or discriminatory. If schools are to take academic equity seriously, they need to recognize first that judgments about who is likely to succeed in a given field are inevitably affected by implicit bias and structural racism and may be wrong about many students of color.” 
This shows how colleges directly weed out students of color. Even if this were not true, the college still would be failing to promote equity, and this still keeps students down because they can not get a degree, and this would support my argument because colleges enable this harm. Without colleges, there would be no degrees that produce inequality, so whether college is solely responsible or not, college is still harmful. Again, this source does directly show that colleges weed out students based on discrimination.

Racial hierarchy
Con talks about my Rockaffeler source, and says that it also gives alternative causes. I have already addressed this, but whether there are other causes or not it does not matter because College is still harmful regardless of other factors. Con said, “It is highly innacurate to claim that generetional poverty and racial hierarchies are primarily the result of colleges and universities, PRO's sources doesn't support him in making that argument.” And yeah, if I had said this then it would be completely inaccurate. This is not what I sadid. I was talking about the impacts of racial hierarchy, which this source lays out. This source was the impact, and nothing in it disproves that colleges are harmful. Still, this article it essentially confirms my points because it is primarily talking about barriers to getting jobs, and I have already shown how discrimination and degree inflation prevent poor people, and specifically minorites from getting jobs.

Benefits of colleges and universities

Of course colleges are going to say that colleges are good. Even if the source is right, there is no way to tell because if they were wrong they would still say the exact thing. Citing colleges to say that colleges are good is not valid.

Education is a human right
“Removing higher education is a non-option. Colleges and Universities are helpfull, not harmfull, but they should become less expensive.” Con is talking about the future in this rebuttal, but my position is not to abolish universities. It is that they have done more harm than good. This is the resolution, and we are debating about what the truth of the past is, not about future action. Saying that colleges should become less expensive as a response to me saying that the cost of colleges violates a human right by Con’s own logic, concedes that in the past colleges were violating human rights, and as such it affirms the resolution. 

Individual benefit
First off, I would advise voters to entirely skip this section as the entire advantage should not be considered under my framing which was dropped, so the advantage is not really even in this round anymore.

Con is saying that colleges increase job opportunity, and this is true, but as I have shown it only increases opportunity for the individual. The broader implication for society is that people who can not obtain degrees will be put in generational poverty. 

Education drives economic growth
My argument here still mathematically stands. Con misrepresents my argument here again as wanting to abolish colleges. Con just cites a few niche jobs in support of his argument, but the majority of college is still redundant considering that only 27% of college students actually use their degrees, and as a whole we spend more than we make on education. Also, Con’s source still only says there will be $30 billion a year in growth, and this is essentially nothing on the national scale. This is what the source says, and we should way the impact as such.

“One, science absolutely benefits humanity rather than harm it. And two, speculations about the future do not impact our debate.” 

On the first I clearly proved the opposite, and on the second, I am not just speculating about the future, but I am saying the progress that is currently being made will inevitably lead to extinction. Also this is not contradictory to my points about arguing about the future, because there I was talking about instances where Con claims that the resolution is to abolish universities, and then cites impacts in the future based on a fictional reality where we have done this. Here I am simply stating the trajectory of the status quo.

Con still hasn’t refuted my point that science leads to extinction. It is too late to do so now as it is the last speech.


My framing was dropped in round two, and this means that we are only weighing systemic impacts. I have the largest systemic impacts. These are multi generational poverty, and racial hierarchy. All of Cons impacts just play into this, and things like “individual benefit” only serve to keep those who can not obtain a degree down. Again, I want to reiterate the framework was dropped, and it is too late for Pro to respond in the last round. Whether voters agree with the framework or not, for the purpose of this debate it must be considered because it was dropped.