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Stanford National Forensic Institute (SNFI) Author: David Weston July 16, 2012.

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Presentation on theme: "Stanford National Forensic Institute (SNFI) Author: David Weston July 16, 2012."— Presentation transcript:

1 Stanford National Forensic Institute (SNFI) Author: David Weston July 16, 2012

2  This portion of the lecture will cover SOME of the core meanings behind the resolution’s terms.  There are multiple ways to interpret the resolution, so you should not limit your understanding of the topic solely to what is put in this lecture.  Basically, there’s no One Direction you need to follow.

3  “transportation infrastructure”  What is it?  How does the word “transportation” differentiate this year’s topic from other forms of infrastructure development?  Potential topicality debates based on these terms.

4  Abbreviated TI Probably the wrong TIA little bit warmer…

5 American Jobs Act, 11 (American Jobs Act as submitted by President Obama on September 12, 2011, act.pdf, p. 38) act.pdf (9) INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT- (A) IN GENERAL- The term `eligible infrastructure project' means any non-Federal transportation, water, or energy infrastructure project, or an aggregation of such infrastructure projects, as provided in this Act. (B) TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT- The term `transportation infrastructure project' means the construction, alteration, or repair, including the facilitation of intermodal transit, of the following subsectors : (i) Highway or road. (ii) Bridge. (iii) Mass transit. (iv) Inland waterways. (v) Commercial ports. (vi) Airports. (vii) Air traffic control systems. (viii) Passenger rail, including high-speed rail. (ix) Freight rail systems.

6 American Jobs Act, 11 (American Jobs Act as submitted by President Obama on September 12, 2011, act.pdf, p. 38) act.pdf (C) Water infrastructure project.--The term ``water infrastructure project'' means the construction, consolidation, alteration, or repair of the following subsectors :  (i) Waterwaste treatment facility.  (ii) Storm water management system.  (iii) Dam.  (iv) Solid waste disposal facility.  (v) Drinking water treatment facility.  (vi) Levee.  (vii) Open space management system.  (D) Energy infrastructure project.--The term ``energy infrastructure project'' means the construction, alteration, or repair of the following subsectors :  (i) Pollution reduced energy generation.  (ii) Transmission and distribution.  (iii) Storage.  (iv) Energy efficiency enhancements for buildings, including public and commercial buildings.

7  Transportation infrastructure means the underlying structures that support the movement of goods, services, and the population.  Trimbath 11 (Susanne, US [website of the US Chamber of Commerce], former Senior Research Economist in the Capital Market Studies at the Milken Institute, Senior Advisor on corporate community investment for the Business Civic Leadership Center of the US Chamber of Commerce, PhD in economics from NYU, 2011, “Transportation Infrastructure: paving the way,” Update_Economics_White_Paper_ pdf, alp) Update_Economics_White_Paper_ pdf   The strategy applied by the US Chamber of Commerce for the infrastructure performance index project presents a model for developing the way forward. A stakeholder-centric approach allows you to measure the right things, communicate to the people in a language they understand and get to ACTION faster. The process, detailed in the Technical Report last summer (US Chamber 2010), is basically this: 1. Clearly define “transportation infrastructure” as the underlying structures that support the delivery of inputs to places of production, goods and services to customers, and customers to marketplaces. The structures are: Transit Highways Airports Railways Waterways (Ports) Intermodal Links

8 Trimbath is referencing the following articulation from the US Chamber of Commerce. US Chamber of Commerce, 10 (“Transportation Performance Index,” 9/23, ry_Report%20Final% pdf) ry_Report%20Final% pdf General Definition: Moving people and goods by air, water, road, and rail. Technical Definition: The fixed facilities―roadway segments, railway tracks, public transportation terminals, harbors, and airports―flow entities―people, vehicles, container units, railroad cars―and control systems that permit people and goods to traverse geographical space in a timely, efficient manner for an intended purpose. Transportation modes include highway, public transportation, aviation, freight rail, marine, and intermodal. Note that pipeline infrastructure is not included in this definition. For purposes of the Infrastructure Performance Index it is considered an element of energy infrastructure.

9  Based on this and other definitions, the literature base concludes that the following areas are unquestionably topical:  Highways, roads, and bridges  Mass transit  Inland waterways  Ports (commercial sea)  Airports  Rail (freight and passenger)

10  Do military affirmatives qualify as TI? Would affirmatives dealing with only vehicles (ships, cars, etc.) be considered TI?  Are pipelines or communications technologies that carry goods/information topical interpretations of TI?

11  Generally this is understood as the use of resources by the government.  The federal government uses several methods to invest in projects.  The most common understanding of this idea is that the government will spend money on a project.  Our question then becomes, “how does the federal government allocate resources for transportation infrastructure?”

12  Mallett, et. al, 11 (William J., specialist in transportation policy with Steven Maquire, specialist in public finance and Kevin R. Kosar, analyst in American National Government, “National Infrastructure Bank: Overview and Current Legislation,” Congressional Research Service, December 14, 2011,   The federal government assists in infrastructure investment in several ways. First, it spends directly on certain projects, such as the inland waterway system maintained and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Second, the federal government provides grants to state and local governments through a multitude of programs, such as those that provide funding for the maintenance, rehabilitation, and expansion of bus and transit rail systems. Third, the federal government provides credit assistance to state and local government and the private sector through direct loans, loan guarantees, and tax preferences. In 2010, direct federal spending on non-defense physical capital amounted to $48.1 billion and grants to state and local governments were another $93.3 billion.65 Tax preferences were also significant. The amount of federal tax revenue foregone through tax-exempt bond financing for infrastructure was estimated to be $26.8 billion for Types of “investment”: 1)Direct spending – the allocation of federal money to a specific project. For example, if Congress said it would give $1 billion to fix canals. 2)Grants – when the federal government gives blocks of money to states for projects and lets the state governments decide how to spend that money on the project. 3)Credit assistance – A)Loans (money that gets paid back to the federal government) B)Loan guarantees – the government says it will pay back a loan if the entity that borrowed the money cannot pay it back. C)Tax preferences – giving companies a break on their taxes or subsidizing their business.

13 One crucial question we must ask is based on the grammar of the resolution. - Recall that the resolution reads that the United States must increase “its transportation infrastructure investment.” - The question we have to answer is: - Does the federal government have to increase physical transportation infrastructure OR just the investment.

14  Is the direct object of “increase” solely the word “investment?”  In this case, “transportation infrastructure” would just tell us what kind of investment the plan has to pass, meaning that the Affirmative would not have to build something, just set up funding for it.  Does “increas(ing) transportation infrastructure investment” require the Affirmative to directly construct or alter structures?  In this instance, the plan would have to do more than just set up funding, it would have to create something concrete, such as a new airport runway, a high speed rail system, or canal repairs.

15 An argument can be made that simply setting up funding for a project, but not anchoring that money to directly construct something, is FINANCING and not an INVESTMENT. - What’s the difference? - Financing: setting up new ways to fund projects. (Example: passing a new tax that would create new money for new highway construction. *Note that this does NOT MANDATE THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE HIGHWAY, rather it just SETS UP THE MONEY to POTENTIALLY construct a highway. - Investment: passing a policy that requires new highways to be built and paying for it. This would MANDATE THE ACTUAL CONSTRUCTION of the road.

16  The affirmative is financing not investment—they raise capital for the purpose of investment but don’t invest –  Chan, et al, ’09 [March 2009, Chris Chan, Danny, Forwood, Heather Roper, Chris Sayers, “Public Infrastructure Financing: An International Perspective”,  The study is concerned with financing public infrastructure — the vehicles employed by governments to provide, or through which they channel, upfront capital for infrastructure investment and management.  The vehicles covered include:  budget appropriations (chapter 4)  specific-purpose securitised borrowing where capital is raised by issuing a security for a specific infrastructure investment (chapter 5)  off-budget financing, typically through government trading enterprises using retained earnings, equity injections or borrowings (chapter 6)  development contributions involving obligatory payments or in-kind transfers of capital assets (chapter 7)  contractual arrangements with the private sector involving the injection of private equity in assets that are eventually fully owned by the public — so called, public–private partnerships (PPPs) or private finance initiatives (PFIs) ( chapter 8).  This study is not directly concerned with investment. There are inherent differences between the economic functions of ‘investment funding’ and ‘financing’. Investment is about whether to allocate economic resources, whereas financing is about raising and allocating ‘monies’ or ‘finances’ — which are not economic resources, just claims on them as inputs. This distinction has significant implications for policy issues relevant to the efficient provision of public infrastructure (Brennan 1996). An efficiently financed project in no way guarantees that the project itself satisfies the criteria of allocative efficiency.

17  Does the plan have to increase concrete, physical structures/objects or can the plan simply increase the amount of money available?  Is changing the way we fund transportation infrastructure something that qualifies as “investment?”  Is money the ONLY type of investment? Are there other types of resources (personnel perhaps?) that could be considered “investment?”

18  YES!  The subsets debate: “in” could be characterized as meaning either “within” or “throughout.” If “in” means “within” -The affirmative plan could fund a single project or just one specific region of the country. -Examples would include funding dredging for the Great Lakes canals or it could be simply funding one massive port on the West Coast (love). -The affirmative could be more specific as to the object of its investment and where that infrastructure is located. If “in” means “throughout” -The affirmative would have to fund large projects where the investment is available to all states. -Examples could include highway funding or airport reconstruction, because these funds could potentially go to all portions of the nation. -The plan would have to a broad investment in national infrastructure, ignoring regional needs.

19  One potential question is whether the plan’s INVESTMENT can be in the US, but the resulting infrastructure goes overseas?  Example:  The government invests money in a new technology required for all airplanes. Since companies like Boeing sell planes to many nations, the actual infrastructure could reach beyond US borders.  Build a bridge across the Behring Strait.

20  Topicality requires quality evidence to make good interpretations. How do I know if my T cards are worth reading?  Source – Where is the card from? Generally evidence should come from the government (US preferably), experts, or organizations that specialize in the field.  Intent to define – Does your evidence attempt to define the terms or is it just using the words in passing?  Context – Many cards will say things like “for the purpose of this (study, law, review, etc.) _______ means….” Does this mean that the evidence should be considered outside of the purview intended by the author?

21  Inclusive – will tell you what IS a part of the term.  Exclusive – will tell you what is NOT a part of the term.  Combination is best – a piece of evidence that says what is topical and what is not would the best option, because it is comparative.

22  Topicality still matters. 1) Understanding what the topic means allows you to target your research in a specific way for a race, gender, economic, or movement criticism. The best critical cases are specific and contextualized within the resolution.

23 2) Understanding the core of the topic allows you to push your thought toward new and creative interpretations. You can think about metaphors and parallels between the critical literature base and core topic ideas. - For example, discuss racism in urban planning and the need for a new underground/overground railroad. - (Thanks to Judy for that idea).

24  Looking at what the topic’s terms “mean” allows you to research how certain populations/regions are affected.  Example – if you understand what new transportation infrastructure generally is assumed to mean, you can look for the environmental effects of this standard interpretation and seek to reinvent/criticize it.  Bicycles affirmative would be an example.

25  Debate should be fun. You should find a way to interpret the resolution that allows you to research what you like and argue in a fashion that you enjoy.  Think outside the box. Finding creative avenues on policy and performance/critical affirmatives should be exciting. Don’t limit yourself to one set of argumentative ideas.

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