Stoa Voting Guide 2019: Team Policy Resolutions

It’s time for one of the most important decisions facing Stoa policy debate: choosing a resolution! Here’s a review of our options.

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reform its banking, finance, and/or monetary policy.

Mortgages. Credit unions. Corporate finance. The US dollar. We’re just scratching the surface. This resolution has the ideal scope, full of pressing and obvious cases, with little nooks and crannies to discover throughout the year, and always more to discover.

This topic area may seem daunting at first, but that’s okay. Finance and economics are among the most vital areas of knowledge for 21st century citizens. Learning it early will put you ahead in life. Plus, if an obscure case from the depths of corporate banking law is confusing to you, it’s also likely going to confuse your judge. The clearest cases will win.

This resolution is competitively balanced. It is relevant but unlikely to provoke judge bias. It will stay in the news enough to open up new cases.  It is everything a policy resolution is supposed to be. I tip my hat to the committee and give this option my glowing endorsement.

5 / 5 stars.

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reform one or more of the laws administered by the Department of Labor.

Great topic area, but this is a policy resolution only in the strictest of senses. A good resolution forces affirmatives to propose a meaningful change in the topic area. A bad resolution invites the affirmative to quibble over inane details.

Substantially reform one law? 29 CFR 785.18 defines and regulates rest periods. An excerpt: “A stenographer who reads a book while waiting for dictation, a messenger who works a crossword puzzle while awaiting assignments, fireman who plays checkers while waiting for alarms and a factory worker who talks to his fellow employees while waiting for machinery to be repaired are all working during their periods of inactivity.”

Imagine a policy case saying that firemen playing checkers while waiting for their alarms should be considered rested. That’s the level of inconsequential nonsense we’ll have to deal with if this resolution wins.

This wording is unfortunate. It’s a fundamental break from decades of policy debate tradition. It compromises on everything that makes the format worthwhile. It isn’t even suitable for at-home practice.

1 / 5 stars.

What it should have said: “The United States Federal Government should substantially reform its labor policy.”

Resolved: The United States Federal Government should substantially reform its policy regarding veterans.

This is another strong option, with pressing case options and lots of depth. It’s not quite as wide as the financial resolution, so finding new cases in the second half of the year will be tricky. But it makes up for it with unique philosophical depth, raising value questions like government’s unique obligation to its soldiers. I prefer option 1, but this is a great choice with no real downsides.

5 / 5 stars.

P.S. Apparently a lot of people dislike this res. Ace Peak’s instagram has been getting follows from accounts named “StopRez3” or something similar (we’re serious). There is a fear that bias will be too strong for affirmative, as veteran stories tend to pull on the heartstrings.

Let me just say… With any solvency argument you can argue that the affirmative fails to help veterans and that you guys are the ones looking out for them. It’s not you vs. veterans, it’s you vs. the affirmative.

Verdict: Choose between Policy resolutions 1 and 3 based on which topic area sounds most interesting.