The Agora team, consisting of S. Feingold '07, A. Prussian '08, and B. S. Pouzzner '09, last night won the Pasteur Medal debate on the affirmative of the question, "Resolved, That the French Government substitute a general income tax for the direct taxes (contributions directes) now levied for national purposes." The Pasteur Medal for the best speaking of the evening, however, was awarded to 1. Dimond '09 of the Forum team, who with K. Costikyan '09 and R. T. Mack '08 argued the negative. The judges were Professor G. P. Baker, Professor F. C. de Sumichrast, and R. W. Kelso 3L. By the victory last night, the Agora has won all three of the series of inter-club debates with the Forum.
Summary of the Arguments.
In opening the debate for the affirmative S. Feingold '07 explained that the revenue in France was derived from two sources,--direct and indirect taxes. The indirect taxes act as a burden upon the poor. A. Prussian '08, the second speaker for the affirmative, pointed out that direct taxes were not only unjust to the individual but were unsatisfactory to the government, because they are insufficient for the regular administration and inflexible in a government emergency. The revenue must then be increased, and the way to increase it is by an income tax. B. S. Pouzzner '09, the last speaker for the affirmative, showed that an income tax was a practicable measure, that it had worked well in England, and that the economic conditions in France were such as would make it successful.
K. Costikyan '09 opened the debate for the negative, by showing that the prin ciple of the tax is essentially equitable. It is modification which is needed, not abolition R. T. Mack '08, the second speaker for the negative, pointed out that the cause for France's annual deficit was not direct taxes but extravagant expenditures on the part of the government. An income tax would be evaded especially by the richer classes and would drive capital from the country. Inclosing for the negative L. Dimond '09 emphasized the fact that although a tax may work well in one country it does not necessarily follow that will do the same in another.
In the remittals: the Agora had by far the greater advantage on the point of evidence
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