College Policy Debate Forums

TOPIC COMMITTEE => 2016 - 2017 Topic Committee => Topic started by: Malgor on May 18, 2016, 01:34:44 PM



Title: Poverty topic- do it- the time has come
Post by: Malgor on May 18, 2016, 01:34:44 PM
I assume most have already cast their ballots, but I encourage all to place the poverty topic paper as your first ordinal ranking on the ballot.   

The issue has been avoided in college for far too long.  the taxes paper doesn't really get at this at all- it's about deterring behaviors which may have secondary effects on poverty, but is a far cry from centering a topic around economic inequality/poverty. 

The policing and race topics have a lot of potential, too, but is there any reasonable argument that a poverty topic isn't also a race topic?  You can't talk about poverty in America without also addressing race (and teams that fail to do so will likely pay the price on the aff).

Poverty strikes me as the best balance of timely, important, and robust for debate.  It's the ONLY topic that gives us the potential to talk about increasing public services in the US.  The taxes topic is a non-starter in this area, because any advantage the aff reads about increasing funding for X service will be counterplanned out of in about 2 seconds.  Any negative team with a minimal understanding of economics will make it so those advantages serve no strategic utility for the aff- if they even get run in the first place.

We should stop avoiding this.  The US has a gratuitous number of people, particularly racial minorities and children, living in poverty.  We are the richest country on earth.  Would it really be so bad to dedicated 100s of 1000s of hours of brain power from the college community to debating about these issues?  Even putting this plea aside, in terms of debate, it's one of more controversial issues facing domestic policy.  Obama called inequality the most important social problem of our time.  Congress isn't going to do anything about it, and there is such division between ideological perspectives on this issue that it guarantees robust, clash-oriented debate.