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That the government should pay housewives

(PRO)
WINNER!
9 points
(CON)
0 points
draftermandrafterman (PRO)
Introduction

On the face of it, this proposition seems absurd. Why should anyone pay any person for simply staying at home? These are people who are not part of the work force, not contributing in the same manner as other, employed people are, and they are simply doing what everyone else has to do anyway (they can just devote more time to it). Right?

Wrong. The above misconceptions are a result of decades of socially enforced gender stereotypes. These pressures, and their results, are inherently harmful, degrading, and dismissive about the contributions of millions of women and fly in the face of the fundamental social and economic principles on which this country is run.

The Numbers

As of 2013, there 5.2 million stay-at-home mothers[1].
The estimated worth of these mothers is upwards of $155k per year[2].
This is an estimated loss of $806 billion dollars.
This is not insignificant.

But... why?

There are several reasons why the government should provide for these people.

1. They are providing a service that has value (as cited above). The fundamental basis of our economy is capitalism - work = pay.
2. Contrary to stories of an "opt-out" revolution among wealthier, higher educated women, the women most likely to stay home are those that cannot afford to do otherwise, or whose job prospects are low[3].
3. The children of lower educated, lower income families are more likely to start lower educated, lower income families themselves, assuming they can successfully avoid becoming a product of our criminal justice system (which is not likely). In either case, it is a situation that either perpetuates itself, or becomes worse.

By paying these people (since this should naturally extend to men as well) in accordance with the service they provide, their home income is boosted. They can more easily provide for the amenities their family needs to - not just survive - but thrive, with the goal of ending up in a better situation they were when they started. To actually grow, socially and economically, as a family. Education is a known, tried and true crime prevention mechanism[4].

Is there a precedent?

Yes, in a sense. In Australia, there is a program known as "Assistance for Isolated Children" which provides funding to families with children where there are no government schools[5]. They recognize the importance of education and provide for it where it is otherwise unavailable. Though there is no analogous situation in the US, the underlying concept here is that families that cannot purchase such fundamental services (such as education, or child care) should be compensated when they are forced into such situations.

The opposite is illogical

Consider the following situation. Two families, each with a stay-at-home mother. Same house, same age children, everything significant about them is the same. Each mother watches and takes care of the others' children and house during the day. They agree to "pay" each other the same amount which effectively cancels itself out. However, this is legitimate, taxable income. In this scheme, they owe the government taxes, must pay social security, and have their tax bracket affected. Yet if they each stayed home and watched their own children, this would not be the case.

There seems nothing about the situation that should warrant this difference, so logic demands that there should be no difference.

[1]http://www.infoplease.com/spot/womencensus1.html
[2]http://www.forbes.com/sites/jennagoudreau/2011/05/02/why-stay-at-home-moms-should-earn-a-115000-salary/
[3]http://www.nbcnews.com/business/personal-finance/opt-out-or-left-out-economics-stay-home-moms-f1C9881635
[4]https://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=172486
[5]http://www.humanservices.gov.au/customer/services/centrelink/assistance-for-isolated-children

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-03-19 00:15:33
| Speak Round
RomaniiiRomaniii (CON)

Sorry about that, I had stuff to do IRL and thought it was a two day round.
The Numbers

I honestly don't know what you're saying here. That these people spend or are spent on 155k a year? If so, how does paying them separately from their source of this  money help?

But... why?

Your first point states that they do work, but it isn't for the government. Are you suggesting they should be considered government employees, and would they still be paid in the case of a government shut down? You also say that they're most likely too poor to work, but if this were true, should they not be able to, or lack of a better word, access the current welfare system? If the yearly income is so low, surely they get some form of welfare anyway. And if not, is it not discrimination against single parents that have to work yet get less help from the government than, say, two parents where one has a job that pays as much as the single parent's and the other is a stay at home mother? Why should the second family get more government benefits than the first?

Referring to your last income, I disagree that such a program is necessary at 250k a year, and shouldn't be based on whether or not you're a housewife. In a household where a family lives, it is reasonable that if they make below a certain amount of money the government provides some for them, but saying that they get more if one of the parents stays at home is ridiculous, and as I said before, discrimination against single parents.

Is there a precedent?

Not sure how relevant that was. It seems like that's just a welfare system for people living in poverty, not necessarily housewives.



Return To Top | Posted:
2014-03-20 03:40:36
| Speak Round
draftermandrafterman (PRO)
Questions:

Numbers - This is not what people spend or are being paid, it's what their efforts are valued at. Based on the work they do and the hours they work if they were to be paid, this is what a fair payment would be. I call it money "lost" because they aren't getting paid, they're giving away this value for free.

Government Employees? - Their classification and treatment during extreme situations is immaterial to the subject at hand, and is putting the cart before the horse. Once it is established that they should be paid, we can then quibble about those details.

Welfare? - I did not say they were poor or in poverty, but rather that they could not afford to send their kids to a day care. While certainly poor families would fall into this category, that is not necessarily the case, so we shouldn't assume that a family that has made this choice is poor and that they have alternate assistence to rely on. Consider:

1. The poverty threshold for two parents and one child is $15,504[1].
2. The cost of child care can range from $5k to $20k per year, depending on location[2].

So long as one parent makes less than it costs to send a child to some sort of child care, it is better for them to quit their job and stay at home and, based on the numbers, this can be the case even if they are making above the poverty threshold.

Now, you may say that this $5k range between the poverty threshold and maximum child care expenditure is thin, but the poverty threshold does not scale as rapidly as the child care costs do. The maximum poverty threshold is only around $43k (for eight children!) whereas the child care expends would roughly be the same for each child. With two kids, the poverty threshold is about $22k, but the child care range doubles, ranging from $10k to $40k. That $5k gap is now $18k.

[1]https://www.census.gov/hhes/www/poverty/data/threshld/thresh11.xls
[2]http://usa.childcareaware.org/sites/default/files/cost_of_care_2013_103113_0.pdf

Discrimination - What this would do is end discrimination. Why should the work of a "working" parent be considered less valuable than that of a stay-at-home parent? It shouldn't. You say that they "have to work" and they do, because that's the only way to get money. If we paid stay-at-home parents, then it's not the case that they'd have to work outside the home. Thus, whether they get paid by the government to stay home or by someone else to work outside the home is up to them.

Relevence of a Precedent - It's relevence because it is a demonstration of the principle: the government providing for basic necessities where people cannot otherwise attain them. The AIC (or this notion) has nothing to do with poverty.

Conclusion

My primary argument seems to have just generated questions. I did not see any sort of rebuttal, refutation, or counter-arguments. I contend that my argument stands uncontested.

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-03-20 12:18:02
| Speak Round
RomaniiiRomaniii (CON)

Government Employees

So we should start the system, and then wait to work out the easily foreseeable flaws? The problem should be addressed before an emergency situation, to decrease panic. I don't see how waiting is more beneficial than not, unless there just really isn't a good solution.

Welfare?

Essentially, this entire idea boils down to a government run/paid for day care. Now, I would have no problem with this, but you're saying that a single parent would have to quit his/her job to receive payment for a child's daycare. That kind of defeats the point, doesn't it?

Discrimination

You didn't address how this would discriminate against single parents, who have to work., which is the entire reason I brought up discrimination. It seems like you've taken the idea of my argument, ignored what I said about it, and turned it into your own without addressing the points I brought up.

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-03-22 03:01:50
| Speak Round
draftermandrafterman (PRO)
"So we should start the system, and then wait to work out the easily foreseeable flaws? The problem should be addressed before an emergency situation, to decrease panic. I don't see how waiting is more beneficial than not, unless there just really isn't a good solution."

I'm not sure what you are saying here. You didn't raise any flaws or problems with the suggestions.

"Essentially, this entire idea boils down to a government run/paid for day care. Now, I would have no problem with this, but you're saying that a single parent would have to quit his/her job to receive payment for a child's daycare. That kind of defeats the point, doesn't it?"

That would depend on the financial situation of the parent.  As I stated, the primary benefit of this would be for parents that can't afford someone else to provide day care and must quit their jobs anyway. I would agree that, for parents that can afford daycare, where keeping their job is more profitable, they would not make use of this program.

"You didn't address how this would discriminate against single parents, who have to work., which is the entire reason I brought up discrimination. It seems like you've taken the idea of my argument, ignored what I said about it, and turned it into your own without addressing the points I brought up."

Yes, I did address this. I address it by recognizing that the fact single parents have to work now because that is the only way they can make money. This program would eliminate that necessity. Since they wouldn't have to work, your problem of discrimination vanishes.

Return To Top | Posted:
2014-03-22 13:48:31
| Speak Round


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RomaniiiRomaniii
Yeah, it's just really hard to find time with the 24 hour rule.
Posted 2014-03-21 22:43:42
draftermandrafterman
So are you participating, or not?
Posted 2014-03-21 12:04:08
RomaniiiRomaniii
Sorry about that, I had an unexpectedly long project to do.
Posted 2014-03-20 02:54:09
RomaniiiRomaniii
Interesting...
Posted 2014-03-18 22:39:13
nzlockienzlockie
Haha I was just about to accept this one! Good luck both sides!
Posted 2014-03-18 22:14:11
adminadmin
Ah, that's ok then. No worries. Usually I don't consider duplicates spam but honest mistakes. Still I'll remove it for you.
Posted 2014-03-18 03:08:33
DTinfinityDTinfinity
Dude, I posted it spam because my computer made a duplicate...
Posted 2014-03-18 03:02:31
adminadmin
Someone reported that comment as spam seconds after it was posted. Wow.
Posted 2014-03-18 03:00:58
DTinfinityDTinfinity
Hey, you're on this site too!
Posted 2014-03-18 02:58:51
The judging period on this debate is over

Previous Judgments

2014-03-23 09:03:05
nzlockieJudge: nzlockie    TOP JUDGE
Win awarded to: drafterman
Reasoning:
CON did himself no favours with the forfeits but I'm not sure it would have made a difference anyway. PRO had a solid case, well thought out and very clearly presented.
CON's case consisted of asking questions which appeared to be intended to expose holes in PRO's case. Unfortunately PRO was able to use these questions to further explain and strengthen it instead.
This was a clear win to PRO on the basis of arguments alone.

Feedback:
CON - Aside from the obvious comments about forfeiting, which I don't think you need, my feedback to you would be to carefully consider your rebuttal approach of asking questions. I would have been better persuaded if you had framed those challenges as points directed to me, rather than questions directed to him.
In this case he was easily able to answer your questions and they actually gave him an opportunity to further clarify his original points. Not only did that make your case weak, but it made his case stronger.

Economically, it would a MAJOR move to pay housewives. PRO actually brought this up when he explained how much it was worth.
That kind of move would require some serious issues to be addressed, including but not limited to; Where was the money coming from? Would the workforce be reduced as more people decide to stay home, therefore reducing the pool of money? Is this even a role for Government? Should they then be paying people to do their dishes or coach their kid's soccer team?

I would have liked to have seen you pick some of these issues and make a case with them. To me though. And don't use open questions if you can avoid it.

On the positive side, I really appreciated you coming back to conclude your rounds even after the forfeit.
4 users rated this judgement as constructive
0 comments on this judgement
2014-03-23 19:51:44
TophatdocJudge: Tophatdoc
Win awarded to: drafterman
Reasoning:
After reading, I believe that Pro produced the more persuasive argument. Pro had the burden of proof and defended it with facts. Con was not able to counter-fact what Pro produced. Then Con also forfeited rounds which left very little resistance to Pro's claims. Pro met the resolution. In the opinion of this voter, Pro wins.

Feedback:
I would advise Con to be more careful about the debates he accepts if he knows there is a limited amount of time he can post. I would also go on to say that Con should of been trying to counter-fact Pro. Don't just ask questions, one must address the statements issued by Pro in a more aggressive manner. But he didn't; this left a great vacuum of Pro's statements to grasp the resolution unrivaled. I have no advice for Pro. Good job! Good luck to you both in future debates.
2 users rated this judgement as constructive
0 comments on this judgement
2014-03-25 13:45:15
Nerd PoliticoJudge: Nerd Politico
Win awarded to: drafterman
Reasoning:
This debate is a clear win for drafterman. He was able to substantiate his points with clear evidence, while con spoke only of potential flaws without really substantiating what potential flaws there were. The main point that got me was when pro pointed out the "worth" of the housewife industry.

Feedback:
I would recommend that Con work to substantiate his arguments a little more clearly. As a voter, I can't read your mind. You need to spell it out for me, and be sure to include impacts. Ultimately, what wins it for me is who can show that their impacts are more significant.
1 user rated this judgement as constructive
0 comments on this judgement

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