Many debaters impact their arguments only by discussing economic indicators, like Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth, productivity, and the unemployment rate. They do not explain why these economic indicators matter for people’s lives.
This article explains how to make three common economic contentions more persuasive.
1) Unemployment falls.
Unemployment falls when jobs are created, and people move from social welfare into employment. Making this transition benefits people’s lives for countless reasons, but here are some strong examples that debaters should use in their contentions:
a) People will have more disposable income, so they can spend more on goods that increase the quality of their life.
b) Many U.S. welfare programs do not give people choice about how they spend money. Having a job gives people more freedom to spend their money.
c) People feel emotionally and psychologically satisfied when they work, because they feel that they are contributing to their family and society.
2) Investment increases.
An increase in investment can occur in two broad ways:
a) There is growth in the investment in physical capital, like when a manufacturer expands their factories. This will lead to increased employment in those factories, meaning jobs are created and average disposable incomes across the economy will rise.
b) Investment in financial capital (like stocks) will mean that businesses have more money. Businesses can spend this money on research and development, product improvement, or on hiring new people. In addition to job growth, businesses will also be able to enhance the services or goods that they provide, which increases the well-being of consumers. In their impact, debaters should note that both businesses, job-seekers, and consumers benefit from higher investment.
3) GDP increases.
GDP growth usually means that consumption and investment in the economy have risen. What does this mean in practice? Since consumption and investment are taxed, one immediate impact of GDP growth is that tax revenues increase, even if the tax rate is the same.
Rising tax revenue allows the government to do one of two things. Both actions should be considered by debaters to increase the magnitude and scope of their impact.
a) The government can increase spending on welfare and social services. For example, schools can hire more teachers, or hospitals can be kept open for longer. This new spending would increase the quality of education and healthcare.
b) The government can also decrease the rate of tax, leaving businesses and people with more money to spend in the economy.