[eDebate] Ag Bad
Wed Apr 23 00:51:11 CDT 2008
Id like to applaud everyone who wrote a topic paper. It's very hard work. Im
saying this because everything that comes later is going to be critical and
I want people to know that their participation in the process is important.
In opposing the ag topic, I dont mean to say anything about the quality of
the paper, but simply the content of the arguments as it relates to the rest
of the field.
The ag topic is bad. Here's why. Flip ahead to the neg ground section. The
rest is just a buncha neato-cheeto impacts and stuff. Neg ground: It's
politics and 17 econ disads. Id like to go ahead and point out the obvious
issue with this: each of these arguments is an intrinsic part of every topic
we've ever debated, EVER. The quality of the politics disad ought not to be
the reason to prefer a topic. The reason: because the politics disad at its
best will always be mediocre and typically decided on weaker evidence
questions than link/link turn (for instance, UQ...the gravity that the
direction of issue specific uq has on politics debates is such that in many
instance the margin of the link is at best an anciliary concern). Also, the
politics of cozying up to an increasingly insane (read: awesome) Vlade Putin
is relatively divisive also. And by relatively, I mean intensely.
Id like to point out the hilarity that surrounds the constant questioning of
"global uq" claims in relation to the disads purported as the central
defining reason for the ag topic. People have argued that Russia should be
rejected bc we "coop with them to some extent now". Uh, ok, sure. You'll
need links to the plan, not to bad "coop generic" disads. That's hard, but
the best teams will make you need these things in any debate on any topic.
If you cant explain why the generic "decrease subsidies disad" (which, btw,
doesnt exist) doesnt apply bc we have reduced some ag subsidies (we have,
also, done this; see the 06 and 07 farm bill caps). But, this ISNT the real
issue: the central issue is the overall UQ for the available disads:
politics, trade, & econ. Uhm, I dont know if youve noticed, but none of
these things are going particularly well. If your concern about the coop
disad is coop now, your concern about the econ and trade disads should be
econ down now and protectionism up now (they are, see; thats a big problem).
The CPs in this paper are shameful: Conditions and phase in. Both are only
potentially competitive (and, pretty much never in my world, because they
dont compete with the text of any well written aff). Moreover, they dont
represent a systematic, philosophical attack on the aff. The lit to support
each presented in the paper is weak. Additional work Ive done since looking
at the paper doesnt turn up much either. I just dont trust that this magical
storehouse of CP ground is available. Also, these conditions and delay CPs
are, again, not UQ reasons why this topic ought to be prefered over any
other topic bc Russia, LA, Arms Control, etc. all feature delay and
conditions args. These are generics, not "topic specific" lit. You know who
needs some conditions on coop? Russia. You know how much better this
evidence is? A lot.
Here's another problem: the wordings. To be tight enough on the aff, the
topic would need to say something like "all or nearly all". Unfortunately,
this isnt really supportable by most literature. Very few people
realistically suggest eliminating subsidies; most say we should cap the
subsidy payments such that low-income farmers would be the only people that
benefit and industrial farming would no longer receive corporate welfare.
The nearly all loophole also causes serious problems for PICs, because,
let's be realistic, the aff wont say what the nearly all is and use it as an
excuse to zero-link all of KU's PICs. Also, it will work (thank god,
Harris's PICs stink). So, for aff solvency terms the topic will be a wreck
bc they'll have to do something that isnt advocated by really anyone and for
neg CP terms the nearly all safety valve means a lot of PICs wont apply.
In the end, the cogent UQ of the subsidies aff is laughable. There is no
cogent politics, econ, and trade UQ. And, if there is, those are all
possible disads on every topic. These CPs are a straw person; they're also
available on every topic as a result of their being generic. And, the best
wording is a vice on both the aff and the neg, limiting solvency and
Russia, russia, russia. The good thing about this topic is that the disads
are awesome enough you can actually get a specific link that will overwhelm
the "generic coop up" evidence KU CQ has found (congrats, btw; you dudes are
research leviathans). I doubt that the Arkansas disad (this is, in case you
didnt know, in the topic paper -- check it out) will outweigh the effects of
$4.00/gallon gasoline on the global economy.
Also, whatever Quigley and Cormack say should be inverted and then done.
Thats a rule to live by. Their support for ag is a reason to hate it.
P.S. Stone has already jumped ship and supports Russia. Dont hold that
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