The Extemp Files were just updated, with articles through today (end of March).
Check the Economic Crisis – US folder for infrastructure articles (and most domestic economic articles), and the Poverty folder for articles on the economics (and realities) of poverty.
I’ve long kept folders for use in teaching various Social Studies classes/topics, and the Economics folder has been uploaded and is now available on Dropbox. It goes back years, rather than just to last June/July. The arguments for infrastructure programs haven’t changed much – massive infrastructure needs, and reasonably shovel-ready projects that could employ people quickly. The same goes for means-tested poverty programs – fewer people are covered now than in years past, and the number of people in poverty is significantly higher than it should be for a developed country. The question, at least for the Con side, may be the populations that would benefit from each type of program – would those being employed on shovel-ready projects be the ones most in need of aid (say, single mothers with young children, who would benefit from means-tested programs), or would it go to people who might benefit from it but who would not be qualified for means-tested programs (underemployed rather than unemployed). Infrastructure improvements would stimulate economic growth, but who would this benefit? Would the income received from working on shovel-ready projects, and subsequently spent, be expected to raise the economic conditions of the local community at large? What are the budgetary requirements of each option?
The Extemp Files were updated this evening, through today. This includes the Elections and Supreme Court folders. They just finished a few minutes ago.
Extemp Files instructions repost: The link takes you to a Dropbox folder; if a pop-over window saying something about setting up an account or logging in comes up, just close it.
The files are serious overkill – about 24,000 articles right now. There should be a way to copy or download individual articles when you find the ones you want in your files – try right-clicking the specific PDF file/article and selecting the ‘save link as’ option.
The four-digit numbers at the beginning of most of the file names (and the names of the sub-folders) are simply mm/yy codes so that you can tell how recent the article is at a glance.
Please don’t download the whole thing; it trips up my Dropbox limits and bad things happen that shut down access for others. If you need a full copy, let me know (see the About link for an email address) and I’ll make arrangements to get you a copy or share the folder (so that you get the updates as soon as I post them). Students who want to share the folder will need to have an OK from their coach – I don’t want to step on the toes of any coaches who prefer other methods of team research. (Several coaches already share the folder, if you’re a coach and are interested.)
One of the best articles, with several parts worth quoting, on the China-US conflict in the South China Sea area.
China testing Obama as it expands its influence in Southeast Asia
One question that I didn’t have an answer to that came up at practice – just how many military bases are there on Okinawa specifically, and in Japan in general? It turns out that there’s one-stop shopping for this question – MilitaryBases.com. Count away!
Wikipedia – United States Forces Japan
Wikipedia – List of United States military bases
Scroll down until you get to the Okinawa part of this (long) page:
US Military Bases in Japan – An overview
Philippines – the Wikipedia entry for Subic Bay, which we left in 1992 (post-volcano); the last paragraph makes a reference to our return there. An Okinawa relocation option?
First of the month, so next month’s PF topic is out. In my area this will apply only to those NFL/NSDA districts who have NatQuals in April (two, I think). The rest of us will be done by then.
2016 April PF Topic Area: Income Inequality
Resolved: To alleviate income inequality in the United States, increased spending on public infrastructure should be prioritized over increased spending on means-tested welfare programs.
Hit the Extemp Files, and look for the Economic Crisis – US and the Poverty folders. Infrastructure info will be in the first one, means-tested welfare should be in the second one (and some relevant articles might be in both).
The topic wording is a bit odd. Income inequality usually has to do with how much the top 10%/1%/0.1% earn (income, not wealth, and definitely not me) compared to the rest of us. Either option in the resolution seems to assume that the power of the government will be used to redistribute income; the choice seems to be one of work vs. direct grants (so to speak). But welfare usually targets poverty and not the structural reasons for income inequality, and infrastructure needs, while supposedly ‘shovel-ready’ (short implementation times) seems to be an odd, or oddly specific, choice for workfare. Both seem to dodge the role of people already working but who have stagnant wages (productivity gains for something like 20+ years haven’t been passed along), or who are underemployed. (Economics is rarely/never simple.)
Current topic recap:
2016 March PF Topic Area: East Asia
Resolved: The United States should withdraw its military presence from Okinawa.
2016 March/April LD Topic
Resolved: The United States ought to promote democracy in the Middle East.
Cross-Examination Policy Debate 2015-2016 topic
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially curtail its domestic surveillance.
Cross-Examination Policy Debate 2016-2017 topic
Resolved: The United States federal government should substantially increase its economic and/or diplomatic engagement with the People’s Republic of China.