Being unemployed is a situation none of us would like wind up in and when we find ourselves in it due to circumstances, we should get out of it as fast as possible. However, unemployed people who are receiving their unemployment benefits often forget that the role of the state transferred resources towards their welfare is to keep them afloat until they find their next job. It has been found that a large part of the unemployed stay that way because they like to be paid for not working. A situation where a person who is fit to work, however chooses not to at the expense of the society is utterly unacceptable. Furthermore, one’s ability to use the money transferred to him by the state as if he had earned it by himself is inadmissible.
Our plan is to pay the unemployment benefit in the form of vouchers for food, shelter and the basics of life to those unemployed people who have been unable to find a job for at least 6 months. We believe that is sufficient to find a new job. We would like to remind that countries provide free professional training that enables people to return to the job market more competitive and more likely to find a job. The unemployed person would receive several warnings and information that he has to find a job before his benefit would be converted into vouchers. They would cover the necessities of life for the person and conditions that allow him to lead a life in safe environment, yet he would not be allowed to purchase alcohol or cigarettes or other things he might see fit, but which our society does not recognize as the basics needed for human life. Such a plan would provide additional stimulus to gain economic independence, help the government to fight the high levels of unemployment. We on the proposition side believe that a person that does not play by the rules is justified to receive sanctions.
All the Yes points:
- Aim of unemployment benefits
- More economic incentives to find a job
- More social incentive to find a job
- The right to benefits comes from obligation
- Why the plan would work
- How work places are created and economies revived
- Latvia Summary
All the No points:
- Opposition Introduction with Topicality
- Vouchers for Basics of Life Limits People’s Freedom of Choice
- Vouchers for Basics of Life would Exacerbate the Economy
- Maintaining Status Quo would Boost the Economy and Reduce Unemployment Rate
- response to proposition’s counterargument against freedom of choice
- Response to Proposition’s Counterargument against Effects on Economy
- Opposition Summary & Conclusion
Aim of unemployment benefits
The purpose of social system is the help certain group of people who are not capable of securing their own needs or exercising their opportunities.
Current unemployment benefits system fails because it has incorrect goal for the unemployment benefits and doesn’t serve its needs. The current system only gives monetary rewards for job you have done in the past and with condition that you are searching for a job. However the existing conditions do not achieve the goal of the program as many individuals decide not to work for a prolonged period and instead choose life on the welfare payments. The goal of unemployment benefits is secure proper ground for people who seeking for a new job and willing to become employed again and the program should be designed to reward the work searchers and discourage those that abuse the system.
The group of people who should obtain those benefits is the one that are seeking the job but because of some reasons are not capable of getting it. Unemployment benefits help this group to exercise their opportunities while having enough funds to retrain and secure the living costs. As this group is incentivized but for some reason is not capable of exercising this opportunity, government has to help.
We believe people mustn’t receive money just for the sake they have worked before. We still recognize that we have to take care of your basic needs if you are not capable of securing them, but we believe monetary funds should serve for the purpose of exercising your opportunities not as reward system. The harm of reward system is that it’s not incentivizing people to get back in job market while simply paying for not working.
Opposition might argue that we already have reward systems i.e. pension systems. But even in these cases we say these people receive money not because they have worked their whole life but because they are the age when they cannot secure their needs on their own and government has to help by monetary helping them.
The proposition does not fully understand what unemployment benefits are, and is confusing it with a system like a welfare system where people are paid for doing nothing. Furthermore, the proposition is confusing this insurance benefit as a ‘rewarding’ system. The unemployment benefit is different from a welfare system and vastly different from a ‘rewarding’ system.
Firstly, the unemployment benefit is nothing like a welfare system because a welfare system is giving people who can’t sustain living with the lack wealth because they have been fired, has had no job in the first place, or are drug addicts. On the other hand, unemployment benefit is for people who have been laid off from work because of substantial lack of jobs in the economy. In fact, there are standards the people need to meet before requesting for unemployment benefit such as having worked for a certain number of years, depending on the state in which they live in the US.
Secondly, unemployment benefit is not a ‘rewarding system’. It is a system that provides people with funds so they can sustain their lives after being laid off. These people are paid monthly funds because they absolutely need it. They need it because they have no other options or ways to earn money on their own. Thus, this insurance is essentially preventing people from getting their houses repossessed or only eating half a meal per day because they cannot afford it.
Moreover, a pension system is very irrelevant to his resolution because it is vastly different from an unemployment benefit, as we have proved and clarified what an unemployment benefit is.
Lastly, we’d like to point out that the Proposition is misunderstanding the entire point of unemployment benefits. As they were kind to mention once, one requirement to be eligible to the benefit is to constantly search for jobs. The government only pays benefits to sincere people, and once it has decided that a person’s not searching for jobs, it’ll stop paying
More economic incentives to find a job
Our plan will create greater incentives for the unemployed to find a job. This is good for state and society because the unemployed will faster become independent from external support and start working and making their own contributions through taxes. Such effect would lead to smaller unemployment rate in the future.
First, the unemployed will have an economic incentive to find a job. All people have different consumption preferences, which means they need different goods to satisfy their needs. Under status quo, the unemployed receive a monetary benefit; as money is a universal means of exchange, people prefer to spend it according to their preferences, not the state’s or society’s. There are cases when the unemployed sacrifice some of their basic needs for another good – it could be a harmful one, such as drugs, as well as a ‘neutral’ one, such as an MP3-player. They conclude that spending money on things other than basic needs will be more beneficial for them (i.e. bring them more satisfaction and happiness); they make an economic choice and allocate resources available to them, as any other member of society would do with her salary, scholarship, etc.
If our plan was implemented, the unemployed would still be able to sustain their living, but they would be deprived of the opportunity to spend money freely, i.e. on things other than basic needs. In other words, they wouldn’t be able to make the same unrestricted economic choice as other members of society. Under status quo, limited amount of money is the only constraint for the unemployed; under our plan, they will also face the limited amount of spending options. Saving money or substituting one good with another wouldn’t help them purchase desirable goods; thus, the unemployed will be incentivized to find a job to get rid of this spending option constraint.
Unemployment benefit is only eligible for those who have worked for certain amount of years, depending on the state in full-time jobs. Moreover, people are not eligible if they have: quit without a good cause, fired for misconduct, or involved in a labour dispute. Hence, it is highly improbable that drug addicts or alcoholics would even pass those standards in the first place. In fact, people who apply for unemployment benefit are very responsible and rational, meaning they will make smart choices such as making their own lives and their family’s lives a priority before drugs and alcohol, and self-satisfying unnecessary objects.
The opposition’s interpretation of the proposition’s argument about how they will get people out of unemployment by depriving them of their freedom of choice is that they will use the ‘stick’ rather than the ‘carrot’. In other words, they are essentially using hard power to force people to do what the government wants them to. History has proven that hard power is not the best way to resolve issues, such as the Korean war, where the US would have saved thousands of lives through negotiations.
The government only gives back a certain percentage of the person’s original salary when the person requests for a unemployment benefit. For example, an average American makes about $28,000 annually. When they request for an unemployment benefit because they were laid off, they would be getting about half of their original salary, which is barely enough for their necessities. Thus, if they want to get back into their normal lifestyles, they will be motivated to get a job as soon as they can. Thus, this is already an enough incentive for people to pull themselves out of unemployment. This means that we do not need another incentive because this already serves as a sufficient incentive.
More social incentive to find a job
The unemployed will have a social incentive to find a job. Depriving them of free economic choice is not merely a coercive move; it is also a clear message which shows that their lifestyle is not accepted by society. Under status quo, there is no significant difference between receiving a salary and an unemployment benefit: both provide individual with a limited periodical amount of money that they are free to spend on whatever they want. However, while a working person contributes to society, an unemployed one parasites on it. As we have mentioned in the beginning, we believe this is wrong.
The state brings numerous benefits to an individual throughout her life; thus, when she chooses not to work, though she can, the state is justified if not force her to work, then at least regulate her consumption. Our plan would remind the unemployed that their condition is not normal and show them that they are not eligible to things other than basic needs because they do not contribute to society. This would motivate the unemployed to find a job as soon as possible in order not to get exiled from society. And even if a group of jobless people do not mind being seen as work shy they will still be incentivized by their personal consumption preferences, which was explained before.
The proposition’s claim about the difference in salary vs. unemployment benefit tells us that their understanding or interpretation of an unemployment benefit is incorrect. The unemployment benefit provides people who have been laid off with a certain percentage of his/her normal salary. This money also comes from the insurance taxes that the people who are now unemployed paid for. Nevertheless, the proposition labels these people as ‘parasites’ as if they are leeching the money out of the economy. Though this may be true for a small number of people who are on unemployment benefits, it is false for the vast majority of the people who benefit from the insurance. In fact, some people absolutely need this money because they are unable to find job due to a lack of jobs in the economy. In fact, it is not the matter of people wanting to work or not, but it is rather the matter of whether people can even find jobs at all. Yes, the proposition’s plan may be able to remind people that they need jobs, however it is very unfair for people in circumstances where there is a huge lack of jobs for them. Thus, the opposition believes that cracking the whip on the unemployed for an issue that was neither their fault nor in their capability to amend is very unfair. In fact, the circumstances the people are in right now is so harsh that forcing them to find jobs rather than supporting them will shatter the fragile confidence the unemployed have, thus discouraging them further, as mentioned in the previous rebuttal. This will lead to more unemployment.
The right to benefits comes from obligation
We see unemployment benefit as a social contract. When a person shares a part of his income with the society by giving it to the government in the form of taxes, he also acknowledges that the society can make a better use of this money for the whole society than the individual himself can. Why would an individual care for the society and the good it can do with money? Because the individual enjoys protection of his individuality which stems from being a part of the group. This protection comes in the forms of police, access to medicine and drinking water, and even the military force.
Upon agreeing to be a part of the society and share part of income with it, individuals do not only get a right to be protected by the society when they lose their job in order to not be exposed to starvation and lack of shelter. Individuals also get an obligation to use this protection for the purpose the society has intended to. In the case of unemployment benefit it is simple – to get by for until their search for a new job concludes successfully and the person can sustain himself and family on his or her own. However, now more people choose to receive unemployment benefit while not working at all. In their minds the benefit becomes their salary for being unemployed, and can be spent on whatever they want, like a holiday trip, while essentially it is not their salary, but society’s protection, which in this case is misused.
If an individual misuses the protection awarded to him, the society has the authority to enforce sanctions on him in order to incentivize him to fulfill his obligations. For example, if you burn your own insured house, the insurance company will not pay you anything, despite the large premium you have paid to them over the years. In a likewise fashion the society has a right to establish incentives which benefits the individual and the society in the long run.
It is true that if the government receives money as in “taxes”, citizens should be entrusting government’s control to use whatever they can do with those taxes; thus, we should enjoy the protection comes in the forms of “police, access to medicine and drinking water, and even the military force”. However, even with paying these taxes, individual should care for how the society and the government do with “our money”. Especially in the case of unemployment benefits systems citizens are explicitly giving specific % of their income just for the case when they are laid off in no fault of their own: being unemployed for more than a year. Again, it seems that proposition is confused how unemployment benefits system works.
People that are claiming unemployment benefits are responsible people. They were gainfully employed, full time and responsible people will make sure they have a roof over their heads and food in their kitchens. If given the choice between having their homes seized by the bank and going to Mexico, the obvious choice is to use the money to pay their mortgage. There may be a few people whose intention it is to abuse the system, but the majority of people are only claiming benefits because they have no other choice. People are only given a percentage of their previous income. This cut in income would not allow for frivolities and as such the majority of the money would be used for necessities.
Last but not least, regarding the last point, the Washington Post source is very irrelevant to this debate. The article outlines a scandal regarding a republican politician. Moreover, they merely used the first paragraph of the article, but did not bother to read the rest of the article. If they had read the whole article, they would have noticed that the woman backtracked about what she has stated before.
Why the plan would work
The current system is not incentivizing people to look for a new job, because they get monetary funding for even several years after becoming unemployed. Even in the US, the period during which a person may receive unemployment benefits is 99 weeks. In Denmark an unemployed would receive 90% of income or almost 2000 EUR/month for 4 years.  The unemployment benefits should serve their purpose and help people who are looking for a job, but are not capable of getting one.
The assumption that people are not able to find a job, because there is none is completely false. In the US, which the team Canada wants to speak so much about, there are 5 million job opportunities . Many employers struggle to find employees not because there is none, but because they lack the qualifications or are unwilling to take a particular job. Under our plan we incentivize people to understand their possibilities. Under the status quo people are looking for a job still being unqualified, not willing to train, and getting paid for that. The current system has no tools to avoid it. A good examples are Germany or France where a lot of unemployed receive enough monetary support for a very long time and are unwilling even to look for a job. They live well being on benefits, and the state has no tools to avoid such cheating.
By taking away this opportunity we will stimulate people to take a job according to what they deserve and what is available in the current state of the economy. They won’t be able to wait for a miraculous job they ever dreamed of anymore. Moreover, because there are 5 million free spots, it will have a massive impact on the economy. If we stimulate these people to fill these spots, it will improve the economy, boosting the GDP. This is what both sides are looking for today.
The timeline of the proposition’s plan is much too short. In the US, people can get up to 99 weeks of unemployment benefits, including extensions. The need for extension and the long time frame of the insurance tells us that the market in SQ is drastically dismal; thus we can conclude that their plan of 6 months of monetary compensation is much too short.
Furthermore, the problem is not a lack of people trying for jobs. Because the highly educated people have more incentives to work and potential to serve in tertiary/quaternary sector of economy, it is more efficient to let them work at their places. They even agreed that they “will stimulate people to take a job according to what they deserve.”
The status quo definitely incentivises unemployed people. If getting back into employment was as easy as 1,2,3, the plan would be acceptable. Furthermore, the proposition is confusing the past with the present. The difference is that in SQ, countries’ investments in education for people are going to waste because these people are not living up to their full potential due to unemployment as a result of a recession.
There are natural incentives for educated laid off workers in SQ. Not only do these people need the jobs to pay their higher bills, but also the incentive of pursuing their careers is motivation. The issue of people abusing the system is inevitable; neither plans can completely solve it, but we believe both sides should focus on helping people participate in a healthy economy.
The proposition says that enforcing their plan will make people “understand possibilities”; leading unemployed people to fill any open jobs. However, for example, if we force unemployed scientists and CEO’s into low-income jobs, this creates more problems. Not only will the lower class unemployment rate go up due to their replacement with skilled workers, but also the millions spent on education for these people will go to waste when they are merely making coffee.
How work places are created and economies revived
The opposition has built their case on an assumption unemployed are only victims of circumstances and can’t influence the situation. Wrong! Many of these people actually are just not stimulated enough to accept some job offers, because the benefits they receive provide them with the same amount of money as those offers. We can’t force them to accept these jobs if they can prove they are still looking for a job, so they continue to exploit working taxpayers.
The opposition thinks the unemployed should just wait until the economy recovers by itself and starts offering wonderful job opportunities they were dreaming of. No one is willing to work for a minimal wage. The difference between receiving the benefits and working for a minimal wage is that the latter is a productive activity bringing benefits to the economy. The government could also use the tax revenue to boost the economy further. This process starts a chain reaction of working, earning, and spending, which revives the economy.
The opposition doesn’t understand how work places are created in the economy. It is wrong to say there is no demand for labour. There could be no demand for the labour at the wages the unemployed demand. Companies can earn more by producing goods in other regions where people ask for less, boosting the economy there, for example in the South East Asia.
Unemployed here demand too much for their level of productivity, so they are not competitive and are not worth the wages they wish for. Moreover, many of them are simply unskilled. It is easy to sit doing nothing receiving benefits and wining about the state of the economy. It is hard to motivate yourself to accept a job offer below your level of expectations or improve your skills. Those people need additional stimulus from the government to return to the labour market. The longer the unrestricted benefits are available, the longer it will take for the unemployed to find jobs, and revive the economy.
The main argument that the proposition operates on is the claim that the unemployed population is not motivated to work and therefore, will abuse the system of cash unemployment benefits. However, many of these people, as we have emphasized earlier, are responsible workers that got laid off because entire companies have collapsed in the economic recession. The closure of a business affects from all the way from the top CEOs to unskilled laborers. Many qualified people do want to further their careers and get better jobs.
Moreover, the proposition has stated that the money that people will get from unemployment benefits will remove the incentive to take low-paid jobs. This is probable in a sense that high paid skilled workers will be offered the jobs with low wages of unskilled laborers, which is what the opposition is advocating for. However, it is wrong to put highly qualified people into unskilled jobs, when their skills are able to bring economic growth. Also, they have stated that it’s hard to motivate yourself to accept a job offer below your level of expectations. We do not want highly skilled intellectuals to bend down to lower paying jobs that pay less than their original salaries. Educated individual have a valuable place in society because they contribute to the well being of all. We need to make sure that they can sustain themselves until they find skilled jobs again.
There are two major impacts that can result with skilled workers taking away the jobs of unskilled laborers. First, society will not benefit as much because the education and intellectual aspects of those skilled workers are going to waste. Second, unskilled laborers will not be able to get those jobs.
The proposition has stated that workers in the West demand too much for their level of productivity. However, we do not want an economy that is based on sweatshop labor. We the keep clarifying our point that in today’s economy highly qualified people are unemployed too.
The unemployment benefits are there, because it is necessary to pay bills, while an unemployed gets a new job. But the right for the benefits comes with an obligation to find a job as fast as possible. The opposition claims a person automatically deserves the benefits, because he was paying taxes. But they also pointed out the current situation is special, because of the crisis. We agree. We insist special circumstances call for harsh, even unpopular actions. The government should add extra incentives for long-term unemployed to return to the job-market. We never said we take away one’s rightly earned support, but will limit their choice on spending the money if they fail to find a job for too long. Normally they only hurt themselves by losing skills during a long unemployment period. In the downturn they also hurt the rest of society by refusing jobs with wages below their expectation set in the times the economy was thriving. In their response the opposition conceded that unemployed would return to work, which is what we wish for. They argued this is not the right way. They never mentioned an example of the right way to recover the economy.
We also explained why the plan would be successful and dealt with opposition’s claims. Firstly, unemployed have economic incentives to find a job, because they want to have choice over their consumption. The inability to choose the brand of toothpaste is not stripping of basic human rights. Secondly, we show being unemployed for too long is not acceptable for the society, thus people lose the ability to make consumer choices. The opposition replied by proclaiming it is not their fault they can’t find a job. Mostly this plan tackles long term unemployed, who are also the less educated ones and according to opposition, need incentives. In most cases they have failed to take the advantage of state provided free training programs to fit the labour market, such is their choice.
The plan would revive the economy which is the greatest priority now. The opposition doesn’t understand there is no difference in the degree of stimulus for the economy whether the money is spent as vouchers or cash. The workers of a big shop where people spend vouchers get paid in cash and stimulate the economy further. Vouchers should be used in the most cost effective way and local markets have to reduce costs if they want to compete. This is a step they would be forced to take anyway, because in the downturn people prefer lower prices. The plan would deal with the collective action problem. People will start taking jobs at wages currently offered by the market or learning new skills to get a job. Filling positions at reasonable wages is crucial for firms to stay competitive and develop. Scientists making coffee is an over-exaggeration, but even then, the money spent on their benefits is just lost if they do nothing. Under our plan more people would return to work and enjoy earning, spending, and reviving the economy.
Opposition Introduction with Topicality
Before we can begin, we would like define some significant terms, such as the government, which affects this debate as unemployment rates and benefit systems differ between countries, hindering us from making specific points. We will specify the government as the US government, and by vouchers, government-issued bills/coupons for specific uses. Registering with the state job service and actively seeking work is a requirement to collect unemployment benefits. You must not confuse the social welfare system with unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits do not come from state money, but from the money that the people have been paying as a FUTA tax. Previously, unemployment was not as significant a problem, but due to the recent economic crisis, people who are fully eligible for employment are getting laid off by no fault of their own. People who are willing to work cannot find jobs. Unemployment benefits to go people who desperately need them, not because they do not want to work, but because there are simply no jobs to be had. Millions of people in developed nations today are unemployed. Because of this, countries like Canada and the US provide these people with unemployment benefits. Unemployment benefits are when the government collects a certain % of one’s in the event that someone is laid off, the government provides a certain percentage of their previous annual wage. Eligibility requirements for collecting unemployment compensation vary from state to state. In SQ, the unemployment benefits are “creating jobs faster than practically any other program,” according to Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the US House of Representatives. This is crucial because in order to reduce unemployment, more jobs are the sole solution, and a healthy economy is the key to more jobs. However, vouchers for human survival necessities are not the way to stimulate an economy or employment.
We would like to remind the opposition to read the rules to understand which side is entitled to set up the debate. Our choice not to specify the debate to any particular country was to avoid misunderstanding, because the practices differ much among countries. Instead we would like to debate on how this money should be distributed in general.
We would also like to clarify another misunderstanding. Because of our language barrier, we mixed social welfare with social security, but even then it is based on state money and is distributed accordingly to states policies. Moreover, in some countries it equals the unemployment benefit.
The attempt to bring the debate down to US and bringing example of FUTA tax is ridiculous. First, it is paid only by employers and has no impact on employee’s wage, so we don’t see why employees could demand this money in particular . Second, the money goes to the state budget, because IRS is a government agency, so the state is entitled to spend this money accordingly to the needs of the whole society. Third, its primary purpose is to fund state workforce agencies,  not unemployment benefits. It is spent on unemployment benefits only during strong fluctuations like under the status quo, but not in general.
The state provides you with monetary funding if you are looking for a job. If you are looking for a job for two years and being unemployed has become your lifestyle (like in Germany or the US where 6 million are unemployed for over 27 weeks ), it is yours problem, not of the economy. Some people are getting money, because they are under-qualified as is seen in the US, where the highest unemployment is among high-school drop-outs , but they are unwilling to accept the job offers that are bellow their expectations.
Vouchers for Basics of Life Limits People’s Freedom of Choice
Giving out cash rather than vouchers for basics of life, as in SQ, allows people to use the money freely, thus satisfying some of their personal needs, while vouchers limit freedom of choice. It’s just like the government telling people what to wear or eat. These people still have rights to pursue their own needs, for unemployment is not always a vice. Those people eligible for unemployment benefits have all once been employed full time, and it was not their fault that they got laid off.
Furthermore, the idea of limiting freedom of choice as a means of forcing people to search for jobs is both contrary to democratic beliefs and debilitating. According to the democratic ideology, the state must serve its people. While it seems that the government is rescuing its people from destitution, it is, in fact, sacrificing people’s needs for better economy. Does the government really have rights to use people’s money however they want? Vouchers impose limitations to where people can shop. When such a high percentage of the population is unemployed, forcing these people to shop at large chain stores would negatively impact revenue for small local businesses. Those people who prefer to support small businesses would be unable to do so.
Unemployment benefits are reserved for the case of economic emergency. Therefore, the government has no jurisdiction on how the benefits are to be spent. With cash, unemployed people can maintain better life quality altogether with basic necessities, which is why they have saved and paid the government 1.5% of their income.
What is more, not allowing unemployed people pursue their personal needs simply pressures both the people and the society. The people would be forced to give up their private life and live as the government would have them to instead.
There is no such thing as the unlimited freedom of choice, so the question is where we draw the line. The benefit of the society trumps the freedom of individuals, if their actions hurt the welfare of the society while they receive benefits from the society. The unwillingness to return to the job market is a sufficient condition to impose sanctions. The next point about the democratic ideology is ridiculous. The voters gave the government a legitimate mandate to make the best decisions and there is no problem here with the political system. The government is trying to improve the state of the economy to fulfill its obligations. The unemployment benefits isn’t an untouchable resource, they can be changed even under the SQ if it is necessary.
The opposition is talking about protecting individuals, we believe the individuals make decisions hurting themselves, and the government is justified to intervene. An average unemployed doesn’t think in about prolonged unemployment and its disastrous effects. An individual that is out of the job market for a long period of time loses the skills necessary to return. The longer the period of unemployment is, the smaller the chances of coming back. 
Individuals act in an irrational way as they are unable to see the future consequences of their actions. The intervention with the freedom of choice here is no stranger than making people to contribute to their retirement benefits, although some might not want to do it. The government here is able to make better decisions, because it sees the broader picture and thinks about the long run.
Sometimes it is hard to motivate ourselves to learn new skills necessary to return to the job market. Also we often find ourselves unwilling to learn at school or go to vaccinate ourselves. The state intervention here is crucial for overcoming that difficulty.
Vouchers for Basics of Life would Exacerbate the Economy
Vouchers limit where people can buy their survival necessities because they cannot provide access to a variety of stores. The government will most likely buy vouchers from partner companies, where goods are cheaper. When this happens, only the big corporations in partnership with the government would benefit, leaving the small local markets unsupported, causing more unemployed people, which does more harm than good to the SQ. Since the US government is investing into big corporations, 29 million small local markets would be left unsupported. This would have two effects on the economy. First of all, millions of families owning crashed local businesses would not have money to put back into the markets to stimulate different industries. Therefore, vouchers will make our overall economy fall. These small, local markets are what holds up our economy and are what provides people with money which go back into stimulation of the economy. Vouchers will take out the support for these markets and essentially destroy the overall economy.
The second impact is that decrease in small local markets will cause people to rely on to big companies even more. This increasing dependence on large corporations is bad because big corporations are not the nicest folks you meet. The corporations, solely operating for profit, will eventually jack up their prices for their profit. When the prices soar, the people dependent on the companies would have no choice but to adapt to the high prices. Hence, people’s lives would be a monotonous cycle where they work, then spend nearly all of their paychecks on human necessities. This essentially means decrease in quality of life, all because of the issue of vouchers for basics of life skyrocketing the prices, thus putting people on the verge of poverty. Therefore, we don’t see the need for implementing the Proposition plan, as it will certainly do more harm than good to the status quo.
The opposition has correctly understood we are looking for offers from shops that would be the cheapest, so the best for the consumer. They don’t understand we choose them not because they are big, but because they are the most cost efficient, which is beneficial for the consumers. We don’t understand why we should use taxpayers’ money to support private inefficient businesses. If you can earn money yourself, you are free to spend it on charity, but if you expect the government to sponsor you, you have to respect its aim to use the tax revenue in the most efficient way. Moreover, if we consider a picture of an unemployed as the opposition portraits it, they are very thoughtful in spending their resources. They will anyway buy goods from big retailers where the prices are the lowest.
The opposition has not proved why the millions of shops would go bankrupt considering that the unemployed don’t make the majority of the population. But if there is a situation somebody goes bankrupt, the government should take care of the big companies. This is why it bails out big car manufacturers and important banks. Their bankruptcy hurts the economy the most, and it is much harder to deal with the consequences of big business collapses. They have many creditors, suppliers, and employees, and their bankruptcy has the largest impact on the economy. Remember Lehman Brothers bankruptcy.
It is ridiculous to claim the prices soar when big companies grow. Not only they face incredible competition and constant gains from the economies of scale, but also they are closely watched by the state anti-monopoly agencies. In the US monopolies are one of the most closely watched aspects the market. If the government sees the prices grow, it can break the contract and offer it to another company with cheaper prices. Retail business doesn’t have big barriers to entry, so there is no issue with natural monopolies like in gas or electricity supplies. The market is extremely competitive.
Maintaining Status Quo would Boost the Economy and Reduce Unemployment Rate
Cash reimbursement is better than providing vouchers in unemployment benefits system in boosting the economy and in creating jobs.
We have proven why vouchers will only make the situation worse in the SQ. We believe that unemployment benefits should be cash compensation, the way it is now. Roughly 1.1 million “discouraged workers” in the US have given up hope of finding jobs, which indicates how bad the market is. As aforementioned, only jobs can reduce unemployment, and a healthy economy is the key to more jobs. For a healthy economy, the population needs to stimulate the economy, which can be done by investing money into the market. First, when given money, people can spend it in local markets, which will prevent small businesses from closing. Secondly, spending money provides “double benefits,” meaning it helps those who lost their jobs by stimulating economy which is a key for more jobs, and acts as a “job creator” for those who are being paid. This is the best option because we are helping the unemployed and providing more jobs for people, which the voucher program certainly lacks. Thus, the cash reimbursement increases the quality of millions of lives regardless of their employment status because the economy is being pushed forward. Most importantly, the cash benefits create more jobs, thus decreasing the unemployment rate and fostering a healthy economy. Hence, the opposition solves for the SQ of unemployment, and in fact, the proposition’s plan may be the last straw on the camel’s back, as their plan may lead to a future with higher unemployment rates. Distribution Checks will give people more choices on their own needs. Distributions of Checks are just like replacing the salary the people deserve but are not earning. These people have not been fired, are qualified to work, but due to unfortunate circumstances they cannot find work to support themselves.
There is a huge gap in the argument of the opposition. They claim that our plan would reduce the stimulus for the economy. We never told the level of benefits would be reduced. The money would simply be given out in the form of vouchers. Anyway, taking into account the situation in which the unemployed person is, the money goes on paying his bills and receiving the basics of life. There is essentially no difference between the government spending this sum of money or an unemployed. There is no “double benefits” in the opposition’s case, because vouchers also stimulate the economy and create the demand. The whole argument is useless.
We don’t understand why an unemployed deserves a salary for the job he is not doing. It is false to declare that an unemployed provided himself with a prolonged vacation. Firstly, he uses much of the tax payments within the first few months in which he is free to operate with the money. Secondly, the people receiving the unemployment benefit for a long period are predominantly low income people, who contribute the least part of the state tax revenue. For example, in 2007 in the USA the lowest earning 50 % of the population contributed only 2.89 % of all the income tax. They cannot claim to have the right for unrestricted benefits.
There are jobs in the market, but an unemployed person either chooses not to accept it, because it pays too little, or he is not willing to gain the necessary qualifications to become suitable for it. A situation when the society has to support such a person for prolonged time is unacceptable and he cannot claim the right to choose how to spend money.
Response to proposition’s counterargument against freedom of choice
The side opposition agrees that the government has the right to intervene when individuals are harming the state of economy. Nevertheless side opposition believes that intervening with the situation in SQ can not only be more detrimental, but also it can act as a violation of human rights and a contradiction to the concept of democracy. We have proved earlier that vouchers are not the best way of dealing with unemployment. In fact, the proposition even said that “the longer the period of unemployment is, the smaller the chances of coming back.” We the opposition agrees with this point. This proves that educated people already have the incentive to get back on their feet because they know that their chance of returning is slim as their unemployment period extends. Yes the vouchers will force people back into jobs, but that is not the right way to solve for the issues in this debate. In fact, it will exacerbate the situation because the high-skilled people who are unemployed would have to find whatever job they can due to vouchers and also to be less shameful. They would even resort to working minimum wage jobs which would lead to more unemployment and a deficit to the healthy economy and the society as proven earlier in the debate.
Their plan of using vouchers to take away the freedom of choice concerns side opposition. Freedom of choice is one of the main pillars of democracy and the backbone of human rights. When the government takes this away from people, they are not fulfilling one of their main obligations to their own people. Hence, not only will the proposition’s plan fail, but also it will cost them the trust of the people in their government.
The freedom of choice is essential for a liberal state (not democratic, by the way), but we should differentiate theoretical and practical freedoms. You are free to buy a Rolls-Royce (theoretically), but won’t be able if you are a plumber (practically). To protect the freedom of choice, we should increase the theoretical freedom. You are free to get a job and spend your salary as you wish, but you are not free to spend the money of taxpayers on helping your local store or eating out. People in general accept the theoretical freedom, so no issue with trust.
Currently people are waiting for the jobs they want. But when the economy is in downturn, there is less money, and a lower wage becomes fine. People don’t understand they should all go to work to revive the economy. Skilled labour force working for a low wage in the recession is not unproductive. Even people working for a minimal wage add to the GDP. We never told skilled workers should take less demanding jobs. On the opposite, we were arguing for training the unskilled labour force. Skilled workers should lower their desired wage to get a job in the recession, overcome the crisis, and start earning nice wages again when the economy revives.
The government limits the freedom of individuals by making them to pay taxes. Because of the collective action problem people are not able to build roads or parks without authority. When a former banker now is looking for job offers, he is not taking those with a low pay. He is receiving the benefits and waiting for the economy to revive, and the banking sector to start offering better salaries. On the other hand, every citizen is better off if the economy revives. No one is willing to take the first step and take a job with a low wage. The largest benefits would be acquired by those joining the labour market later, when the economy is healthy and wages high. Under our plan the government motivates people to take the first step solving the collective action problem.
Response to Proposition’s Counterargument against Effects on Economy
The Proposition correctly claimed that citizens must respect gov’s aim to use the tax revenue most efficiently, except their “efficient” is flawed. Since local markets don’t have vouchers, gov needs to focus on them. They noted people often buy from big retailers anyway. This is why public expenses in SQ local markets are necessary. They claim that we didn’t prove how all those shops would go bankrupt. Well, the economic recession in SQ has stricken lots of businesses. While the unemployed people are only a minority, the impending recession puts vulnerable local shops on the brinks of bankruptcy. Vouchers would only worsen SQ. Also, their claim about gov protection of economic backbones explains why they’re being supported in SQ. Thus our focus is really on those many local markets, vulnerable to economic recessions. Then they bring up anti-monopoly agencies and competitions among companies, but due to the consumers’ increasing dependency on big corporations, demands go up, jacking up the price as the rule of supply & demand.
They claim that vouchers and SQ benefit are essentially the same. However while money circulates in markets with expenses benefiting millions, vouchers are only applicable to one corporation. SQ works as a “double benefit” by letting people spend their money on crucial things other than survival needs, like job creation by healthy economy.
They’re still mixing welfare systems with unemployment benefits. Unlike reward systems, benefits sustain people’s lives while allowing them to use it for other needs until a job is found.
Their lower class with little rights to benefits claim is very biased. These people met the standards for the benefits and pay the regular tax rate just like anyone else; thus they’re just claiming the money they paid, which is fairly low due to their low income anyways.
The system abuse claim had been addressed many times in this debate and the opposition doesn’t feel the need to mention it further
We agree it is a pity when one goes bankrupt. Unfortunately, the economy has upswings and downturns. It is important in the downturn, when the money is scarce, we spend it efficiently. Recessions kill inefficient business and if a small grocery store goes bankrupt, it means it was not good enough and others are better at providing food. The owner initially loses, because he has to look for a new occupation, but he would find one he’s better at. In downturns people are more careful at spending their income, so they favour cheaper shops.
Laws of supply and demand work, but in terms of industries, not a particular retailer. The demand for bread from a particular retailer goes up, but not the demand for bread in general. If one retailer sets his prices high, we purchase from others. If all of them raise prices, a new player comes in and sells the same for less. The competition is open and anybody can enter the contract.
Laws of supply and demand and competition imply there are no abnormal profits and too high prices.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the government or individuals who spend money on bread. The bread is purchased, it has been produced, adds to the GDP, the money is in the economy. Money is created not by a transaction and its type, but when goods are produced. Besides, big companies use the money to expand and hire workers. Money is still spent and “double benefit” made.
Abuse of the system is still there. Failing a job interview purposely is easy and hard to prove, yet technically going to an interview is looking for job, regardless of performance. According to newest available source from Canada 10% of unemployed people there are chronically unemployed and account for 30% of accumulated unemployment (when calculated in days) . We also need to keep the recession in mind here. Hardworking people will not suffer much anyway, because they will get a job fast. Also they usually have their own savings to spend.
Opposition Summary & Conclusion
Vouchers limit freedom of choice, as conceded by Proposition. Since unemployment benefits are from citizens’ own income, the citizens should be allowed to use it freely. The Proposition’s attack that “The benefit of the society trumps the freedom of individuals, if their actions hurt the welfare of the society while they receive benefits from the society,” lacks explanations on how individuals hurt the society. As foretold, the Plan wouldn’t fix those corrupted people and thus we must focus on highly skilled, incentivised people.
Secondly, vouchers worsen the economy. Since small markets don’t have vouchers but high prices, they’d go bankrupt. Then the economy would stagnate, for money circulates in them. Proposition’s attempt to attack this in 3 ways is futile. We explained how the government must focus on local markets, which are undersupported in SQ and vulnerable to recessions. We also explained how supply & demand proves the probable inflation when local businesses go out.
Last and foremost, maintaining SQ would boost the economy and reduce unemployment. Free flow of money is a key to secure economy and employment. Therefore, public expenses save small business from bankruptcy. Again, they try to attack this in 3 ways. However, we’re concerned that they don’t understand the SQ. First, we clarified that money circulates in markets stimulating economy while vouchers only benefit a few enterprises. Also, the unemployed people once had paid UI tax so they’ve rights to benefits like anyone else. The claim that unemployed people are predominantly low income used to be true in the past, but not in SQ. Lastly, we stated the impacts on economy when CEOs are forced to serve food in McDonald’s.
The Proposition would convert to vouchers after 6 months to limit freedom of choices to force people back to whatever work found, hopefully boosting the economy. However, they’re misunderstanding three things:
1) As reiterated, those we’re focusing on are high-skilled people who need high-skilled jobs. Therefore, there’s no need to pressure them more since they’re desperately finding suitable jobs to develop the economy. Also, please note that unemployment benefits are for those who cannot find jobs or work due to personal circumstances, not by a choice of not working.
2) Their plan is severely flawed as there’s no warrant that 6 months is enough to get a job. Also, this idea is in no way relevant to vouchers. 3) They do concede that “society can make a better use of this money for the whole society,” however do not realise what “a better use” is. To us, the better use is a system that reflects democratic ideologies, as well as benefits the economy.
We have so far proven how their Plan is useless, for the time frame is not even substantiated, and how it does more harm than good to SQ economy and society. We rest our case.