[Game] THE GREAT DEBATE

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Souderwan, Jun 30, 2007.

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  1. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Ladies and Gentlemen, it's time to get ready for the next installment of THE GREAT DEBATE!! This time, our debaters will be Jansons_Funny_Twin and ophelia. The flaying--er--opening arguments--will begin at 1 p.m. board time on Saturday, July 7.

    Topic to be announced. Ready your all-purpose gibes now.

    Seats fill quickly, and late debaters will be roasted in the belly of the sloar by Mr_Moderator, so remember to rush the doors at 1 p.m. sharp!

    That is all.

  2. DDL Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2005
    star 4
    DDL sneaks in, and steals the moderator's seat.

    I have to go to work, so good luck everyone. :)
  3. DDL Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Nov 5, 2005
    star 4
    July 7th. I was in a hurry, leave me alone. :p
  4. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    I was born ready! Gimme the bell!

    [image=http://members.cox.net/futurama/Show/s02ep08.jpg]

    *ding*

    Did you hear a noise?

    *thud*




    You are virran! VIRRAN!
  5. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    I'm here! And I brought the Mystical Magical Head Of William Safire on a stick!

    [image=http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/2023/safirelk3.gif]

    I was going to make a Michael Moore one for JFT, but I didn't have time. :( Instead I brought him this:

    [image=http://img177.imageshack.us/img177/8529/killtherichyl3.gif]
  6. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Hey, I already have my own pictures ready, thank you very much, you bourgeois pain in the proletariat's neck!

    And I think that's about all the rhetoric I'll be using. :p

    EDIT: Sooooo, waiting on the Moderator. Yeah...




    You are virran! VIRRAN!
  7. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif] [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif] [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif] [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif] [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif]

    Welcome ladies, gentlemen, and weird little creatures, to our 2nd competition in?.

    THE GREAT DEBATE!!

    [image=http://www.murderoncue.com/Images/Applause.gif]

    [image=http://www.prompt-communications.com/pics/applause.jpg] [image=http://www.prompt-communications.com/pics/applause.jpg] [image=http://www.prompt-communications.com/pics/applause.jpg] [image=http://www.prompt-communications.com/pics/applause.jpg]

    After an amazing first-round performance from Obi-Zahn Kenobi and Hammurabi, we?re looking forward to a new competition!

    Today, we have Ophelia squaring off against Jansons_Funny_Twin (who we will, from now on, call JFT).

    Today?s competitors will competitors will debate the following:

    Socialism is the most effective economic system possible.

    Ophelia will oppose and JFT will be in favor. Recognizing that the socialism is on an economic spectrum, the competitors will be given some latitude, if necessary.

    Finally, a word from the producers:

    Ok, gents, we?re starting a little late. We?ll have the first post, from JTS may be posted between now an 1:10 p.m. board time. After that, we?ll run for no more than 2 hrs. I will stop the rebuttal round precisely at 1 hr into the game, regardless of the status of rebuttals, so type fast!

    Good luck! And have fun on?.

    THE GREAT DEBATE!!

    [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif] [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif] [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif] [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif] [image=http://www.illustrators.co.za/bottger/tahirahdance.gif]

  8. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    A man dies and goes to hell. There he discovers that he has a choice: he can go to capitalist hell or to communist hell. Naturally, he wants to compare the two, so he goes over to capitalist hell. There outside the door is the devil, who looks a bit like Ronald Reagan. "What's it like in there?" asks the visitor. "Well," the devil replies, "in capitalist hell, they flay you alive, then they boil you in oil and then they cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives."

    "That's terrible!" he gasps. "I'm going to check out communist hell!" He goes over to communist hell, where he discovers a huge queue of people waiting to get in. He waits in line. Eventually he gets to the front and there at the door to communist hell is a little old man who looks a bit like Karl Marx. "I'm still in the free world, Karl," he says, "and before I come in, I want to know what it's like in there."

    "In communist hell," says Marx impatiently, "they flay you alive, then they boil you in oil, and then they cut you up into small pieces with sharp knives."

    "But? but that's the same as capitalist hell!" protests the visitor, "Why such a long queue?"
    "Well," sighs Marx, "Sometimes we're out of oil, sometimes we don't have knives, sometimes no hot water?"


    And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the government should not mess with a nation?s economy. If a centralized authority begins to intervene more than is absolutely necessary to avert the occasional Depression, your supply and demand both go to hell . . . slowly, and in the wrong order.

    An economy?s sweet spot is called the ?production possibility frontier? (PPF), which ?represents the point at which an economy is most efficiently producing its goods and services and, therefore, allocating its resources in the best way possible.? (Citation?and pretty graphics!! Here.) No nation really surfs along its PPF, operating at maximum efficiency at all times. Rather, a complex set of variables causes various goods and services to zig-zag back and forth between too much and too little. Price is always zipping away in the opposite direction: too much = price goes down. Too little = price goes up. This would be the origin of the idea: ?Buy low and sell high.? (Can you tell I?m a special ed teacher? I knew you could!! :) )

    As you might imagine, the people who respond fastest to a waver in supply or demand are the people who see an opportunity to make money off of it. These early birds have a handy way of correcting market fluctuations before they get large enough to be bothersome. This market correction could happen within a matter of days, hours, minutes, or even seconds, if you trade online and have really fast reflexes from playing a lot of video games.

    One thing that will not happen is you finding yourself waiting around the gates of hell, hoping that the Bureau Of Random Prices For Things will get done with debating all the pros and cons of debating their next debate, and actually set a price so you can buy something.

    The cutting edge of an economy is where money is made and lost. It?s also where reactions have to be fastest and, sometimes, riskiest. Speed and risk are two things the government is not good at. If we wanted the government to be good at that, we would elect a Dictator For Life, preferably an insane one, who would shout out deranged instructions all day. (Red pencil strikethrough: Just like the ever-whimsical Mr_Moderator.) Even then, our dictator would only have one mouth, and we?d have to wait around for our particular insane instruction.

    We?re much better off letting the ?invisible hand? of the market take care of things without us fussing over it, because no fast-paced economy was ever meant to be micro-managed.

    Also, if you pick at that thing, it will never heal.
  9. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    *Walks in with a soapbox in one hand and a large, folded red flag in the other*

    Ender, c?mere and hold up the flag. And wave it a little, for God?s sake.

    [image=http://i51.photobucket.com/albums/f362/Jifty2/Nixonflag.jpg]

    My fellow Senators, socialism (defined in this debate as government control of the means of industry) is the best possible economic system, and can be as American as Mom and Apple Pie.

    [image=http://binrock.net/permanent/2006/0205_cartoons/mom.gif] [image=http://3quarksdaily.blogs.com/3quarksdaily/images/pie_1.jpg]

    However, the main problem the world has had in implementing socialist governments is that people have tried to go too big, too fast. The fact of the matter is that national governments are too large and unwieldy to properly adjust themselves to the needs of the people. Just look at all the problems that plagued the Soviet Union, from food shortages to an overabundance of shoes. National governments are inefficient and unable to adapt to changing circumstances.

    The answer is simple: devolution of power away from national governments to local governments. There is no way that a politician in Washington D.C. can possibly know what a farmer outside of Lincoln, Nebraska needs, let alone have the ability to shift government production to help out that farmer. However, a local commune would have a much better idea what is needed, and would have the agility necessary to adapt. A small, self-sustaining government (no larger in scale than the county level) has what it takes to see that all contributing members of their group are taken care of. If more farmers are needed, then people can be shifted from other areas and put into farming. This has the added benefit of a more well-rounded and knowledgeable general populous, as their skills will encompass a wide array of jobs. While some people will still specialize in one field or another, general knowledge will increase.

    And that leads me to some myths about socialism which need to be dispelled.
    1) Socialism results in wealth redistribution.
    This myth is born from the rhetoric used by some early proponents of Socialism as a way of attracting their key audience to their cause, which sought the downfall of the rich and powerful. In a working socialist government, the people can be fairly compensated for their contributions to the group. This includes everyone from the worker on the line, to the former business owners. Everyone has something that they can contribute to the group, and they will be rewarded for it. If, for example, more doctors are needed, then the government can call on people to be sent to medical school. Increased benefits (from increased contributions) will entice people to change careers.

    2) Socialism breeds laziness.
    This myth is derived from the previous myth, in that if people are taken care of by the government, why would they need to contribute anything more than the bare minimum (or even less than that)? However, as with all things, compensation is derived from what is contributed. By being an excellent worker, one can, based on merits, be promoted. This leads to a higher contribution, and thus, a higher compensation. So there are, in fact, motivating factors in a socialist system.

    3) Socialism breeds stagnation.
    Further linked to the previous myths is the myth that there will be no motivation to advance technologically. This is absurd. As I noted before, there are motivations to operate above and beyond the bare minimum of what one?s job calls for. This can be achieved one of two ways: work harder, or work smarter. While some people will work harder, others will work smarter. Building a better mousetrap, as it were, will eventually become the norm, and technology will be increased. This same principle applies to the higher sciences, as socialist governments seek better ways to provide for the people with the limited resources at their disposal. ?Necessity is the mother of invention.? And the fewer resources that are used up for necessities, the more resources that can
  10. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Wonderful beginning, both of you (though some people seem to have difficulty following directions! :p)

    We'll give it 10 mins for everyone to read each other's posts (and me to read them and score them) and then we'll begin with rebuttals! No picking your noses in the meantime!

  11. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    How about picking my friend's nose?



    You are virran! VIRRAN!
  12. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    [image=http://img442.imageshack.us/img442/2023/safirelk3.gif]

    The Mystical Magical Head Of William Safire is not amused! >:eek:
  13. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Excellent opening salvo, the both of you! Ophelia decided to appeal to the principles of economics, and JFT seemed to go the route of ?it?s not what you think?. Good approach to the both of you.

    The way it breaks down:

    Ophelia:

    Evidence?3 (at least you provided some)
    Logical consistency?4
    Coherence?3
    Readability--4
    General entertainment value?5 (I looove the joke. Will use it in the future.)
    Total: 19

    JFT:

    Evidence?0 (you provided none, dude, all while arguing that ?conventional wisdom? is wrong. Not a good plan)
    Logical consistency?4
    Coherence?4
    Readability--5
    General entertainment value?3 (sometimes you were unintentionally funny. You better be prepared to defend some of your assertions in Q&A round, my friend. :p) +1 pt for the hilarious Mom and Apple pie. :p

    Total: 16

  14. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    You may begin rebuttal now. It will be cut off at 2:13 p.m. board time. Have at it!

  15. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    Evidence is tough to come by, as my position is fairly theoretical. Also, I did include an example (US Armed Forces) at the end of my opening statements.

    Anyway, rebuttal time!


    The problem with letting the market do ?it?s thing?, is that ?it?s thing? is often too unstable. Fluctuating between extremes, hoping that this downturn in the market isn?t going to lead to a recession is foolhardy and risky all by itself. Panic is a very contagious thing, especially where money is involved. And corrections in the market are not something that comes within hours, minutes, or seconds, it comes in days, weeks, months, or years. But we can buy ourselves time, holding off collapses based on the faith that people have in the system, but faith only holds out so long. We?ve seen what happens when the system is left unchecked, and it is not pretty. Some governmental oversight has helped stabilize things, but it is still far too chaotic.

    It doesn?t have to totally collapse every few years for it to be a bad thing, once a century is enough to show how bad it is. And we?ve seen some of what has happened when a modern economy goes south, as in the case of Japan in the 1990s. It?s holding on because of the social and banking cultures. The moment someone disrupts system, it?s all over for the Japanese.

    It'll tumble like a house of cards.

    Checkmate.

    [image=http://content.answers.com/main/content/wp/en/thumb/2/26/250px-Zapp_Brannigan.png]

    The current system is purely reactionary, which is an irresponsible way to run an economy. It is at the mercy of the whims of a few who throw around large sums of money. ?Buy low, sell high? is dangerous. When one thing goes out of whack (which is inevitable), to trust that someone will catch it before it makes itself too big to handle is foolhardy in the extreme.

    The socialist planned economy has the benefits of knowing where the government wants to go, with the benefit of being able to adapt as needed to unforeseen events (like flooding or an early frost).




    You are virran! VIRRAN!
  16. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Okay . . . but, Jack Bauer wants to know: [image=http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/5607/why2ax8.gif]

    Let's say you really have dispelled all the "myths" about Socialism, and instituted some kind of weird, atomized Gulag Agricultural Archipelago.

    Why would we want to do this?
    Wait--wait. Who is shifting these farmers around? I thought we'd gotten rid of clueless centralized control that didn't know what the farmers in Nebraska needed. How do they know that the farmers in Nebraska need farmers?

    So far, your military analogy is the best you've got, but recall that the military is organized as it is for a specific purpose. Mostly, if you let people be individualists and do their own thang, their "thang" might turn out to be running away from the machine-gun sniper nest. In a military unit, this will not do.

    I still don't get why we need to organize our Nebraskan farmers into squadrons--although Straw Yellow Squadron and John Deere Green Squadron do have a nice ring to them.

    Reasons, give me reasons!! And stop making Jack Bauer cry. Every time he does, the FOX network has to pay Kiefer Sutherland $20 million dollars. And that's money paid to a legal alien, which gets piped back to Canada, you hear me? CANADA!!
  17. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6

    Because it is a way to keep things stable and moving forward. It will also keep a part of our populations from living in poverty. This would not be a result of wealth redistribution, but a general improving of the status quo, an uplifting of all the people.


    If you'd read my post, I made it clear that the governing body should be local. The local government is a much more agile group than the centralized federal government. They can move labor and materiel around as needed to meet the needs of the people.

    The military is but an example of the ideal structure for a socialist society. The purpose would be "Manage things to provide for the well being of the people and improving things for future generations."



    You are virran! VIRRAN!
  18. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Interesting approaches, the both of you! JFT went with the theoretical approach, while Ophelia went for attacking the debater?s statements right away. The latter seems more in the spirit of things, but I won?t punish you too much, JFT.

    Update

    JFT:

    Evidence?+2 (I?ll accept your military example and this is to make up for stiffing you earlier. For I am kind [image=http://www.icicom.up.pt/blog/take2/santoro_xerxes.jpg])
    Logical consistency?3
    General entertainment value?2 (Mostly because any allusion to Futurama deserves some love!)

    Total: 26

    Ophelia:

    Logical consistency?+4 (going for the jugular!!)
    Readability?4
    General entertainment value?4 (Mr_Moderator loves Jack Bauer!)
    Total: 32


  19. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    +1


    +1 for the jab.

    +1 Nice response.

    You're up to 29 pts!




  20. GrandAdmiralJello Moderator Communitatis Litterarumque

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Nov 28, 2000
    star 10
    Go ophelia!!

    (I know both contestants, but there is a way I can ethically root for one: socialism sucks and it is Jifty's destiny to be banned).


    :p
  21. Jansons_Funny_Twin Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    The primary problem I see is that the current market is unsustainable. We've had decades of relative prosperity, but what goes up must eventually come down. And when it comes down, it will come down in spectacular fashion. The system is built on faith, faith that people will eventually be paid back.
    However, it's all a system of I.O.U.s and sometimes [image=http://img294.imageshack.us/img294/5607/why2ax8.gif].

    As I said before, just look at Japan. Something like that can easily happen here in the U.S., especially with China, our largest economic competitor, owning so much of our debt.

    The bubble must eventually burst.




    You are virran! VIRRAN!

    EDIT: And is it against the rules to frag members of the audience?
  22. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    +1 for the suggestion, but I'm going to expect you to support that supposition with something other than your own credibility or you're going to lose points.

    Nice try, but not a great use of Bauer, my friend. [face_shame_on_you]

    +1 for the suggestion. Again, you need to support your statements. What bubble? Who says we're in bubble? When will it burst.

    You're up to 31 pts. For now. You have two minutes of rebuttal before we go to Q&A.


    Edit: Have at it, JFT. :p

  23. ophelia Cards Against Humanity Host. Ex-Mod

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Jun 25, 2002
    star 6
    Yeah, but "it's thing" looks like this:

    [image=http://img152.imageshack.us/img152/1852/djxo5.gif]

    That's the kind of instability most of us can live with--literally. If you invest for 6 months, then sure, you may lose your money. If you invest for 30 years, you're going to be in good shape--better shape than you will be if you buy low-risk but low-return government bonds.
    That's why we have the Federal Reserve, which does this:
    The Fed is most definitely proactive in its approach, and one of its main purposes is to minimize the negative impacts of "market corrections."

    Its existence is an example of government intervention only to the point of preventing disaster. The Fed is a lifeguard--not a swimming coach. However, it has kept us from metaphorically drowning for something like 70 years.
    Does the NASDAQ closing at 5048.62 once a century prove how good it is?
    But what are you planning for? If it's only minor market wobbles, then you've duplicated the Fed, only on a farm. Or something. And neither the Fed nor the . . . CornFed, could "plan" for things like pet rocks, tamagotchis, Cabbage Patch Dolls, or any of the other weird things that suddenly had an ocean of demand open around them. Demand just doesn't always give advance notice, especially when you're talking discretionary income.

    I also don't see how planning can avert unforeseen frosts. But then I don't have one of those crazy big toes that aches and tells you these things.
  24. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Beautiful! +2 for evidence, +2 for Red Oktober [face_laugh]


    +4 for evidence (Very nice!) +2 for generally cracking me up as you lay the smack down.

    Nice! +1

    Well done! +2


    That moves you to 43! Great rebuttal!

  25. Mr_Moderator Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 30, 2007
    That wraps up the rebuttal round. In the interest of fairness, Ophelia hung out for a long time without giving JFT much to argue against. I'll allow him to try and pick apart her most recent post (i.e. he gets one more rebuttal) and I'll score it.

    Then we'll move to the Q&A. JFT you have 5 mins to acknowledge that you're working on a response or we'll move on to the Q&A.

    Edit: Made that 5 mins as you're probably still reading...
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