Freeman

ARTICLE

On Campus

MARCH 01, 1956

Filed Under : Education

Intercollegiate debating in the United States goes back to the 1870′s when teams from New York University and from Rutgers challenged one another. Such local rivalries gradually grew into regional contests and, more recently, into a national program with a single resolution selected annually for competition in colleges and universities.*


* A similar national program is conducted at the high school level See “Reaching High School Debaters” in THE FREEMAN, December 1955.

A committee of the Speech Association of America, a department of the National Education Association, drafts four or five resolutions on which college debate coaches vote. The winning resolution becomes the national debate topic for the year.

Recent college debate topics have been: a permanent policy of wage and price controls, a compulsory (federal) fair employment practices law, free trade, and diplomatic recognition to the Communists of China. The current resolution reads:

Resolved:

That the nonagricultural industries of the United States should guarantee their employees an annual wage.

In other words, the college debate teams are examining one version or another of the ancient and continuing debate between economic freedom and political control—open competition versus the welfare state.

From many debate coaches and from students themselves have come pleas for literature and material explaining and upholding the case for the competitive market and limited government. There are so many ways of planning, so many “experts,” so many brilliant arguments for minding all the world’s business except one’s own! Most seriously lacking are sound and appealing arguments in behalf of personal choice and freedom.

The Foundation for Economic Education is striving to help fill that void. Each year, as soon as the college debate topic is announced, Miss Bettina Bien of the Foundation staff assembles and offers on request packets of the best material she can find on the libertarian side of the issue.

The packet available this year, and already requested by approximately 500 college debate teams, emphasizes that a worker’s best guarantee of security lies not in a politically enforced “deal” but in the real bargaining which involves willing exchange with others in a free market economy.

ASSOCIATED ISSUE

March 1956

ABOUT

comments powered by Disqus

EMAIL UPDATES

* indicates required

CURRENT ISSUE

December 2014

Unfortunately, educating people about phenomena that are counterintuitive, not-so-easy to remember, and suggest our individual lack of human control (for starters) can seem like an uphill battle in the war of ideas. So we sally forth into a kind of wilderness, an economic fairyland. We are myth busters in a world where people crave myths more than reality. Why do they so readily embrace untruth? Primarily because the immediate costs of doing so are so low and the psychic benefits are so high.
Download Free PDF

PAST ISSUES

SUBSCRIBE

RENEW YOUR SUBSCRIPTION

Essential Works from FEE

Economics in One Lesson (full text)

By HENRY HAZLITT

The full text of Hazlitt's famed primer on economic principles: read this first!


By FREDERIC BASTIAT

Frederic Bastiat's timeless defense of liberty for all. Once read and understood, nothing ever looks the same.


By F. A. HAYEK

There can be little doubt that man owes some of his greatest suc­cesses in the past to the fact that he has not been able to control so­cial life.


By JEFFREY A. TUCKER

Leonard Read took the lessons of entrepreneurship with him when he started his ideological venture.


By LEONARD E. READ

No one knows how to make a pencil: Leonard Read's classic (Audio, HTML, and PDF)