Instigator / Pro
7
1309
rating
283
debates
40.46%
won
Topic
#5198

Anyone who is poor in USA should get 500$ monthly from US government

Status
Finished

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

Winner & statistics
Better arguments
3
0
Better sources
2
2
Better legibility
1
1
Better conduct
1
1

After 1 vote and with 3 points ahead, the winner is...

Best.Korea
Parameters
Publication date
Last updated date
Type
Standard
Number of rounds
3
Time for argument
Two days
Max argument characters
10,000
Voting period
Two weeks
Point system
Multiple criterions
Voting system
Open
Contender / Con
4
1494
rating
5
debates
60.0%
won
Description

No information

Round 1
Pro
#1
P1. Giving 500$ to each poor person each month helps them in life and it isnt a significant cost for USA.

P2. We should do that which helps poor people in life and which isnt a significant cost for USA.

C. We should be giving 500$ to each poor person each month.

P1. Arguments

Its obvious that poor people would benefit from 500$ a month.

It would allow them to use that money to pay for healthcare or buy themselves what they need.

500$ isnt high enough to significantly reduce the need to get a job, so great majority of people who seek a job would still continue to seek it.

Even those with jobs but who are poor would benefit from this, enabling them to have better healthcare and as a result, able to do their work better as they would be less likely to lose a job or die due to illness or unable to work because they cant afford healthcare to treat their illness or buy needed medicine.

"A December 2019 poll conducted by Gallup found 25% of Americans say they or a family member have delayed medical treatment for a serious illness due to the costs of care, and an additional 8% report delaying medical treatment for less serious illnesses.

A study conducted by the American Cancer Society in May 2019 found 56% of adults in America report having at least one medical financial hardship, and researchers warned the problem is likely to worsen unless action is taken.

Dr Robin Yabroff, lead author of the American Cancer Society study, said last month’s Gallup poll finding that 25% of Americans were delaying care was “consistent with numerous other studies documenting that many in the United States have trouble paying medical bills”."


Even children with poor parents would benefit as their parents would have more money and as a result, their family would have more.

"Rich children of average intelligence are more likely to succeed in life than brilliant people born into poor families, according to a new genetic study that focuses on the intersection of genes and economics."


Richer families tend to produce more successful kids.

The cost for USA:

"In 2020, 37 million people lived in Poverty USA. That means the poverty rate for 2020 was 11.4%."


Now lets do math.

37 million x 500$ x 12 months in a year = 222 billions per year.

222 billions per year is not a significant expense, its less than 3% of US budget, which currently stands at over 6.5 trillion per year.


P2. Arguments

It would be absurd to say that USA shouldnt do that which benefits both USA and people in poverty.

What are the effects of poverty?

"Did you know that physical and mental health issues are more common among the poor than among the wealthy?

This, alongside many others, is merely one of the consequences of poverty.

Poverty has several consequences, which can differ in scope for residents of developed and developing countries.

The outcome of poverty can be more severe for certain social groups within a society.

Sociologists are interested in this, and how poverty affects different aspects of life, such as the family, health, education, housing, and crime.

The poor have more stressful lives due to financial burdens and worries, and this stress can bleed into their personal lives, meaning they are more likely to experience family troubles.

Domestic violence is more common in poor households.

Divorce is common among the poor. Single-parent families usually suffer from even greater degrees of poverty than before.

Poor people have fewer means to resolve family issues.

Poorer families and individuals may have less active social lives and may see their family and friends less due to a lack of disposable income.

They may be less able to participate in leisure and cultural activities, such as going to the cinema or to a museum, due to price barriers.

Poor people are more likely to engage in criminal activities such as robbery, homicide, and burglary.

Due to having less access to high-quality education, well-connected contacts, and good job opportunities, individuals from poor families are likely to also get low-income jobs.

Those living in poverty are also unlikely to be able to get promoted or move up the career/social ladder.

The deprived are more likely to be homeless or live in bad conditions, which can affect their health.

Poor families often spend most of their income on housing.

Poor families often live in unsafe, underfunded neighbourhoods, with fewer job opportunities, good educational institutions, and leisure facilities.

Poorer and richer individuals may rarely come into contact with each other due to the segregated nature of neighbourhoods by income and social status.

The poor often suffer from health problems due to subpar living conditions, or as a result of lower quality food.

Infant mortality is higher among the deprived. Adults die younger as well.

Mental health issues are common among the poor.

They may not be able to afford or access good medical care.

Children are among the worst affected by poverty.

Children living in poverty usually cannot access the best academic institutions, so tend to do worse in school than their wealthier peers.

Poor children miss school more often due to health issues.

Poor young people are less likely to go to university, which restricts their opportunities for well-paid employment and social mobility in their adult years.

"Children who grow up in poverty may end up being physically, mentally and socially underdeveloped.

A lack of nutritious, high-quality food can impede a child's growth and cause health issues, as mentioned above.

Being unable to afford a good education or participate in activities such as school trips and days out with friends may also intellectually and socially deprive children.""


Effects of increase in income:

"A body of evidence now shows both conditional and unconditional cash transfers can make substantial positive impacts on the lives of people living in poverty.

One-time cash grants of $374 provided to young adults in conflict-affected northern Uganda had significant impacts on income and employment four years later, a study by Christopher Blattman, Nathan Fiala, and Sebastian Martinez found.

Individuals who received the cash, through Uganda’s Youth Opportunities Program, had 41 percent higher income relative to a comparison group and were 65 percent more likely to practice a skilled trade.

Women in particular benefited from the cash transfers, with incomes of those in the program 84 percent higher than women who were not.

The grant was provided under the condition that recipients submit a business plan. Read more about that evaluation here.

Another conditional cash grant program for women only, implemented by AVSI in northern Uganda and evaluated by Jeannie Annan, Christopher Blattman, Eric Green, Christian Lehmann, and Julian Jamison, led to dramatic increases in business and reductions in poverty: In 18 months, the women started businesses, their incomes doubled, and they got a big boost in savings.

Apart from cash, the recipients also received business skills training and mentoring. Read more about that evaluation here.

Then, in 2013, results came out that an unconditional cash transfer program in Kenya administered by GiveDirectly had a substantial impact on people living in poverty.

The study, led by Johannes Haushofer and Jeremy Shapiro, found that simply providing people with cash (average amount US$513) and nothing else led to dramatic increases in income, assets, psychological well-being, food consumption, and female empowerment among the extreme poor.

This evaluation was the first to show that providing cash alone can have large impacts on the lives of people living in poverty. Read more about that evaluation here."


"At the enterprise level, workers may be motivated to work harder. Various studies have supported the hypothesis that first by Akerlof in 1982 that employees consistently provide higher effort levels in response to higher wages, the  so-called “efficiency wage” theory.

Workers may also stay longer with their employer, gaining valuable experience and encouraging employers and employee to engage in productivity-enhancing training.

Dube, Lester and Reich (2012) attribute reduced turnover for restaurant workers in California to the effect of the minimum wage, which reduces wage competition between low-paying enterprises.

When employers can better retain their workforce, workers can learn on the job and be trained to become more productivity over time.

At the aggregate level, minimum wages can result in more productive firms replacing least productive ones – and surviving firms becoming more efficient. These mechanisms can increase overall economy-wide productivity.   

In China, for example, it has been observed that higher city-level minimum wages resulted in lower survival probability of low-productive firms. There was no negative employment effect, however, because employment and productivity increased in surviving firms. Hence the minimum wage may have allowed more productive firms to replace the least productive firms, and forced incumbent firms to strengthen their competitiveness."


C.

Since this action would be beneficial to both USA and people in poverty, it follows that it should be done. The cost of this action is insignificant compared to many benefits, reduction in crime, illnesses and increase in productivity.
Con
#2
First of all, there is a problem regarding the clarity of the prompt: How is "poor" to be defined in pro's world? 
That said,

"500$ isnt high enough to significantly reduce the need to get a job, so great majority of people who seek a job would still continue to seek it."
Yes, I agree. People will be incentivized to apply for jobs. However, this is a very shallow view. 

First, it is very unlikely that someone at a very low economic status would be able to pick up a decently paying job. 

Second, let's shed light on how this motion will go:

Argument 1: Burden on the economy

Let us note that a $500 income for all people in poverty in the U.S. (12.4%) would mean the government would have to provide ((12.4)/100) * 342 M = approx. 42408000 people. That is more than $21B that the government needs to provide in a month. 

This money will be either:

  1. Be printed
  2. Coming from taxes
1. 
Printing that much money per month will inevitably lead to inflation, which will only make it harder for poor people to land a job, or even afford fundamental supplies. 

2. 
If this amount of money comes from taxes, then it is only natural to expect higher taxes. This will not only burden the entirety of the nation but also discourage economic growth, hindering job creation. 

Argument 2: Unintended Ramifications

The proposition is requesting the U.S. to take a huge gamble with their money. By giving such large amounts of cash to the poor, there will be issues of inefficiency.
The Pro is telling us to make the whole nation vulnerable and dependent on the poor. 
What is the problem with this: 

Whether all of the money is wasted or not depends completely on the way the poor spend the money. Not only is the U.S. gambling risks of economic deterioration by initiating this program but also they are letting the poor choose where the money goes. This makes it a really low probability for the program to succeed.

The motion simply doesn't address the root causes of poverty. The majority of those who are poor are in their economic status because of a disadvantage they have such as disabilities or lack of access to education in their adolescence. Addressing these main causes is much more cost-effective. Now I have proven there are much viable alternatives. 

C: I will just end with a few thoughts for now: 
The arguments made by pro are a completely irrelevant list of sources that don't help his case. This is because his research is purely based on the tiny ways things can unfold for some people who receive the $500 per month. See this: 
"P2. Arguments

It would be absurd to say that USA shouldnt do that which benefits both USA and people in poverty.

What are the effects of poverty?"
He has no point as to why this motion will work and seems to assume that cash will solve all of the "effects of poverty." The rest of the argument is literally a pile of research based on the effects of poverty only. 
Round 2
Pro
#3
First of all, there is a problem regarding the clarity of the prompt: How is "poor" to be defined in pro's world? 
It was already defined in a given link.

First, it is very unlikely that someone at a very low economic status would be able to pick up a decently paying job.
My opponent uses circular reasoning.

He basically says:
Its unlikely for someone who earns little money to earn more money.

Plus, nothing says that poor people will get high paying job if you dont give them 500$ a month.

The main point of extra 500$ a month is so that they have more money.

My opponent must prove his assumption that poor people will get better paying job if you dont give them 500$ a month,

and that better paying job will be at least 500$ higher in payment than the job they would get while receiving 500$ a month.

Printing that much money per month will inevitably lead to inflation, which will only make it harder for poor people to land a job, or even afford fundamental supplies.
My opponent didnt state by how much will inflation increase, or by how much will unemployment increase.

By basic laws of economy, if money is printed, the first spender makes the most use out of it.

Since poor people would be first spenders, they would make most use out of it.

Further, to claim that if you print 500$, prices will rise to negate all of it is an incorrect assumption.

Prices rise by ratio of money and goods.

If there is 1000$ in the economy, printing extra 1000$ would double prices, but it would not negate the printed 1000$.

It would just mean that printed 1000$ can now buy half of what original 1000$ were able.

But no one here is suggesting to double money supply.

Printing 220 billion dollars per year would be less than 0.5% of the total money supply.

So the increase in prices by less than 0.5% would in no way negate the increase in poor person's wage by 20%.

If this amount of money comes from taxes, then it is only natural to expect higher taxes. This will not only burden the entirety of the nation but also discourage economic growth, hindering job creation.
My opponent doesnt state any numbers to support his claim.

He just assumes that job creation will be harmed, that economic growth will be discouraged, that nation will be burdened, but doesnt say by how much.

By basic reason, even if something has negative effects, its positive effects can outweight its negative effects.

Since my opponent didnt mention any numbers, it follows that his arguments can go either way, thus not proving that negative effect is high enough.

As stated in links I provided, when wages increase, it does not lead to any increase in unemployment.

In fact, it leads to increase in productivity, and people being more willing to work because they are payed more, and people being less likely to be ill and less likely to drop out of work due to illness.

The proposition is requesting the U.S. to take a huge gamble with their money. By giving such large amounts of cash to the poor, there will be issues of inefficiency.
The Pro is telling us to make the whole nation vulnerable and dependent on the poor.
My opponent assumes that its a large amount of cash, but as stated before, its less than 3% of US budget.

Its an insignificant cost.

Whether all of the money is wasted or not depends completely on the way the poor spend the money. Not only is the U.S. gambling risks of economic deterioration by initiating this program but also they are letting the poor choose where the money goes. This makes it a really low probability for the program to succeed.
Poor people will spend the money on things they need, obviously.

And letting them choose where the money goes increases competition among sellers and saves money that would otherwise be spent on regulating where money goes.

My opponent may be concerned about drug use and alcohol abuse, but those would be a possibility even with high paying jobs and even if poor people arent being payed 500$ a month.

Alcohol and drug abuse is a great possibility with rich people and anyone else really, so should we take all money from rich people?

"Much has been made of a 2010 Gallup survey finding that the proportion of people saying they drink alcohol increases steadily with income. Alcohol consumption went from 46 percent for people earning less than $20,000 to 81 percent for people earning over $75,000."


So taxing the rich would reduce the amount of money rich can spend on drugs and alcohol.

To claim that everyone should be denied of money due to possibility of using that money badly is nonsense which doesnt apply.

So denying poor people of money due to possibility of abuse would translate into denying everyone money because of chance of abuse.

My opponent's "alternative" does not solve any of those problems, because keeping poor people poorer does not improve their life, thus leading to even worse situation than drug and alcohol abuse, as higher rate of poverty doesnt just increase drug abuse, but also crime rates.

"Although there is no evidence that demonstrates cause and effect between poverty and addiction, studies have shown that substance abuse is more common among individuals of lower economic status."


Therefore, not giving poor people 500$ a month would make them poorer, and with that, increase the risk of drug abuse, as well as crime rates.

Most of the poor people have a job, but the job doesnt pay high enough to get them out of poverty or to reduce poverty more than the extra 500$ would.

The motion simply doesn't address the root causes of poverty. The majority of those who are poor are in their economic status because of a disadvantage they have such as disabilities or lack of access to education in their adolescence. Addressing these main causes is much more cost-effective. Now I have proven there are much viable alternatives.
My opponent doesnt explain how would he address disability or lack of education without using money.

Also, my opponent is using "false or".

USA doesnt need to choose between giving poor people money or education, as USA has enough money to give both.

Further, my opponent ignored the study which says that increase in income of parents leads to better performance of their children in school.

The arguments made by pro are a completely irrelevant list of sources that don't help his case. This is because his research is purely based on the tiny ways things can unfold for some people who receive the $500 per month.
All the links I provided talk of increase in productivity, decrease of crime rates, improved performance in school, less likely to fall out of work due to illness, no decrease in employment.

All of these come with increase in income, and giving 500$ a month would be a significant increase in income, up to 20% for people who earn less than 2500$ a month.

He has no point as to why this motion will work and seems to assume that cash will solve all of the "effects of poverty." The rest of the argument is literally a pile of research based on the effects of poverty only.
My opponent assumes that I assumed how this will solve all effects of poverty.

It will reduce poverty, therefore reduce effects of poverty, reduce crime rates.

It will also benefit USA greatly, as it will increase productivity.

"Firms with higher wages need to devote fewer resources to monitoring.

 High-paying firms have been found to create a culture of hard work in which employees monitor their coworkers, reducing the need to hire supervisors. 

Rebitzer (1995) found that low-wage maintenance workers needed more supervision in the petrochemical industry.

 Groshen and Krueger (1990) showed that more highly paid nurses were also supervised less.

 Georgiadis (2008) found that in residential care homes in the United Kingdom "higher wage costs were more than offset by lower monitoring costs."

Workers excessively concerned about income security perform less well at work.

 A variety of recent experiments have demonstrated this proposition. Mani et al. (2013) recruited buyers in a shopping mall and asked them to think about their finances.

Researchers observed that the performance of poor subjects on a cognitive test deteriorated if they were asked to imagine a large emergency expenditure (a $1,500 car repair), but no such deterioration was observed for well-off subjects.

 Mullainathan and Shafir (2013) assessed a range of related experiments, finding that mental tasks that simulate the constant stress of poverty led people to act in compulsive and improper ways.

Indeed, the World Bank Development Report (2015), citing numerous field studies, recognizes that poverty taxes people's mental capacities and self-control."


"To better understand the relationship between wages and productivity, it is helpful to look at one case study.

Amazon recently announced that it is planning to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour for all workers.

While opponents of minimum wage hikes may argue that raising the minimum wage will lead to job losses, researchers at Harvard Business School suggest otherwise.

In fact, they argue that wage hikes do, in fact, increase productivity, which ultimately could increase a company’s bottom line."


Conclusion

It would be nonsense to say that USA shouldnt do that which will reduce crime, increase productivity, lower poverty and improve quality of life.

This is very beneficial to USA, as higher productivity means more things are being produced and jobs are done more effectively.

Reduction in crime would also mean more people are working, not in prison, not harming society.
Con
#4
Forfeited
Round 3
Pro
#5
Since my opponent skipped the round, I have nothing to respond to in this round.

I dont feel like adding more arguments, as this is my last round.

I will just move to conclusion.

I believe I have proved that:

1. Giving 500$ income  to poor people isnt a significant cost (less than 3% of US budget)

2. It benefits USA (more productivity, less crime)

3. It benefits poor people (improves their quality of life and chances for a better life)

These remain unchallenged by any sources, and all sources so far support it.
Con
#6
Forfeited