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

Ever since the 2008 recession, banking, finance, and monetary policy have been hot topics. While Stoa debaters have been able to debate fiscal and tax policies in the past, this is a completely different side of the money debate. The Federal Reserve, regulations on banks, the stock market, and housing loans, are all areas students will get to explore. Not only will debaters dig deeper into understanding the causes of the 2008 recession, but they will also learn about the Great Depression, the basics of banking and investing, and will study economic concepts like inflation. Cases could range from repealing the Dodd-Frank Act, to winding down Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, to auditing the Fed, regulating crypto-currencies, dealing with money laundering, and FDIC reform. Challenging? We think so! But don’t worry: there are plenty of simple and accessible cases too, like eliminating the penny.

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

Labor is an area ripe for debate. These policies affect every person in the workforce, and are the policies debaters are most likely to interact with after they graduate college. This topic will challenge students to understand both the economic and social implications of employment in the United States. Students will learn a great deal about the history of labor in our country, including the industrial revolution, the political impact of labor unions, and more. Affirmatives will have a wide variety of plan options available, including abolishing the federal minimum wage, abolishing the Davis-Bacon Act, reforming unemployment insurance, dealing with parental leave, changing hiring regulations like credit check bans and removing the “convicted of a felony” box from job applications, collective bargaining reform, relaxing child labor laws, and adjusting standards for migrant workers.

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

How the federal government treats those who serve our country is of the utmost importance, and the Department of Veterans Affairs is woefully underperforming in this task. This is a pressing and relevant issue, especially in light of continued foreign wars and increasing numbers of veterans. Debaters would be educated on the very real physical, emotional, and financial burdens borne by our nation’s warriors. Plenty of cases could be debated, including allowing lawsuits of VA doctors, VA hospital privatization, increasing military pay, providing healthcare premium support or vouchers, increasing VA accountability and oversight, improving job placement programs, combating homelessness, and addressing overmedication and PTSD.