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Author Topic: Economic Inequality Controversy Paper  (Read 4660 times)
kevin kuswa
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Posts: 345


« on: April 23, 2012, 02:30:19 PM »

attached.

huge thanks to the whole group.  collaboration makes the world go 'round.

* Econ_Inequality_April-23-2012.pdf (1030.48 KB - downloaded 3351 times.)
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tcram
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Posts: 165


« Reply #1 on: April 26, 2012, 02:18:43 PM »

This is only the second paper that I've had time to read through, but I think this controversy exhibits a lot of the hall-marks of some of the better topics that we have experienced which have been:

a) a clear and durable trend in the status quo, which is important for uniqueness for advantages and disadvantages and is really helpful at framing choice-making on either the affirmative or the negative.
b) it requires the aff (in most topical forms) to do something that is big, meaty and controversial.  Would there big BIG links to disadvantages? Yes.  Would there be meaningful aff solvency so that there could actual affirmative strategy against disads?  Yes, I believe so. 

Some additional knock-on benefits (possible concerns, but I mostly think of them as new opportunities) I think it might have:
a) It would really challenge the aff to shake up its approach to advantage writing and disadvantage debating.  Many affirmatives will have long-term solvency to weigh against a short-term perception disadvantage.  Maybe this stacks the deck too much for the school of offense/defense, or maybe it ignites a competitive incentive to dig deeper on impact comparisons and challenge some of the assumptions of offense/defense.
b) Depending on wording, it can possibly break the suffocating trope of the contemporary framework debate by challenging either side of the ideological divide to move away from the current trend of abandoning interdisciplinary conversation entirely.

My concern, and what I want to hopefully ignite a broader discussion on, is the idea of an agentless resolution or moving beyond the USFG.  I've said before that maybe we should experiment with a different agent if we don't like where most debates tend to lead us.  But I'm also human and have a tremendous fear of the unknown and maybe we don't want to try to entirely re-invent the wheel in a single year.  To that end, I'll float out an initial proposition (more of an essay than a belief presently):

An 'agentless' topic on economic inequality should include the words "government policy" and "throughout the United States".

Would it require some degree of 'switch-side debate' for those who have a principled disagreement with defending government action?  Yes.  Would it challenge us to, at least in one piece, break a calcified mold that has not led us down the most productive paths in the past few years?  I think yes.   
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Hester
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Posts: 153


« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2012, 03:11:31 PM »

This is only the second paper that I've had time to read through, but I think this controversy exhibits a lot of the hall-marks of some of the better topics that we have experienced which have been:
a) a clear and durable trend in the status quo, which is important for uniqueness for advantages and disadvantages and is really helpful at framing choice-making on either the affirmative or the negative.
b) it requires the aff (in most topical forms) to do something that is big, meaty and controversial.  Would there big BIG links to disadvantages? Yes.  Would there be meaningful aff solvency so that there could actual affirmative strategy against disads?  Yes, I believe so. 
Some additional knock-on benefits (possible concerns, but I mostly think of them as new opportunities) I think it might have:
a) It would really challenge the aff to shake up its approach to advantage writing and disadvantage debating.  Many affirmatives will have long-term solvency to weigh against a short-term perception disadvantage.  Maybe this stacks the deck too much for the school of offense/defense, or maybe it ignites a competitive incentive to dig deeper on impact comparisons and challenge some of the assumptions of offense/defense.
b) Depending on wording, it can possibly break the suffocating trope of the contemporary framework debate by challenging either side of the ideological divide to move away from the current trend of abandoning interdisciplinary conversation entirely.
My concern, and what I want to hopefully ignite a broader discussion on, is the idea of an agentless resolution or moving beyond the USFG.  I've said before that maybe we should experiment with a different agent if we don't like where most debates tend to lead us.  But I'm also human and have a tremendous fear of the unknown and maybe we don't want to try to entirely re-invent the wheel in a single year.  To that end, I'll float out an initial proposition (more of an essay than a belief presently):
An 'agentless' topic on economic inequality should include the words "government policy" and "throughout the United States".
Would it require some degree of 'switch-side debate' for those who have a principled disagreement with defending government action?  Yes.  Would it challenge us to, at least in one piece, break a calcified mold that has not led us down the most productive paths in the past few years?  I think yes.   

the spirit and ambition of tcram's post makes me think intercollegiate debate may not be as bad off as i had accepted it as being. lots of great ideas, not just as they pertain to the EconIneq paper but also in how we should think about choosing topics and crafting resolutions.

i'm excited to see a bunch of yall in 5 weeks. remember that if you want to use the pool during the camp, you have to bring the permission slip SIGNED by YOUR PARENTS (or LEGAL guardian).

your friendly neighborhood lab leader,
Hester

p.s. - yes, sparklers count as "fireworks" as per the camp rules.
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kevin kuswa
Sr. Member
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Posts: 345


« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2012, 06:32:15 PM »

tcram, thanks for the generous read.  i especially appreciate your comments on the agent and think the paper would support a slate of topics from a number of different directions, including a passive construction that uses "govt. policy" and "in the US" to keep things more contained.  much of that would depend on wording papers and the work done at the meeting, but if this controversy area is selected i could see a slate of topic wordings without a passive option at all, a slate with one passive option, or a slate with a few passive options among others.  ultimately, our group really really believes that economic inequality is an immensely important topic for the community to debate right now regardless of our views on the agent, but that it is an area that could be opened up to some new directions there without going too far askew.  we worked hard on that section of the paper to demonstrate the feasibility of a different type of construction for the agent of action, but we also wanted to make it clear that the controversy is not wedded to having one of those options on the eventual slate of wordings.  thanks a bunch for the feedback, kevin 

ps--if hester's lab is allowing sparklers this year, you know we'll have a good set of wordings no matter what controversy is selected.
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Malgor
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Posts: 220


« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2012, 05:44:29 PM »

I think this is one of the better ideas presented this year.  I am intrigued by the possibility that instead of having one mechanism with a limited number of affs, we can create resolutions with TWO mechanisms with a limited number of affs.  The last few years have, in my mind, proven that we are always going to vote for the smallest topics.  Usually that means a really small mechanism.  People are hesitant to add a broad mechanism because of runaway aff creativity.  The compromise for those of us who want bigger topics should be that we try to construct a topic or two with more than 1 mechanism, while keeping that mechanism of a limited nature so the 'late year unpredictable aff' threat is alleviated. 

I am NOT saying that's what you're voting for with this topic paper.  I'm sure there would be enough pressure to generate wording options incredibly small with one mechanism.  I am, however, saying that this is the best TYPE of topic to try such an new concept out with because the new layer in the resolution is a unifying mandate (the policy must have redistributive effects) with 2 mechanisms supporting it.
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