The 2011 Performance Trust Public Debates on the U.S. Economy

We are proud to announce the return and expansion of the Performance Trust Public Debates on the U.S. Economy. This year’s public debates will take place at the offices of Performance Trust Capital Partners, a national bond trading firm headquartered in Chicago, on December 9th and 10th, 2011.

These debates are a very special event on the Chicago Debate League calendar. They are in a particular audience-friendly format that places a greater emphasis on speaking and communications skills than our policy debate format, but shares a commitment to the twin-pillars of the academic rigor of debate: (i) refutation and (ii) evidence.

The topic is the U.S. economy — probably the most important public policy issue of our time. These debates offer our debaters an opportunity to apply the skills they develop in competitive academic debate to debates presented for a public audience, on a topic of crucial importance to our broader society, which we hope will be witnessed by the broader Chicago public, possibly through media coverage.

There will be two resolutions on the topic — and each participating team will debate on the affirmative and the negative on both.

  • Resolved: That the United States is now on an irreversible course of long-term economic decline.
  • Resolved: That the United States federal government should invest substantial spending in a new stimulus program.

There will be twelve teams selected to participate in the 2011 Performance Trust Public Debates on the U.S. Economy — up from eight teams in the 2010 Performance Trust Public Debates. Every school in the CDL is invited to apply to be one of the schools selected. Submit your application to David at by Monday, September 26th. Any school can apply — on behalf of any team — this is not only for Varsity debaters, it is for debaters who will be fully engaged by debates on the economy conducted for the broader public.

Each selected school will receive a $350 coach incentive and a $150 debate program incentive, usable on anything debate-related.

The Performance Trust Public Debates preparation schedule identifies three workshops that are required of all selected teams. Coaches are required to attend the first workshop, which will orient all participants on the debate format, the event schedule, and so forth.

One additional very substantial benefit to participation is that each team will be paired with a Performance Trust Volunteer, who will work with their team in helping them prepare on the issues of economic policy, financial theory, and the like. Performance Trust Volunteers can potentially become connected to their debate teams for the longer term.

You might wish to check out some of the reporting on the 2010 Performance Trust Public Debates on the U.S. Economy.

This event is one of the five special events in the CDL calendar that the Chicago Debate Commission organizes and funds, with its private partner sponsors. The other four are (i) the Fall 2011 Allstate Varsity Invitational, (ii) the 2012 McDermott Will and Emery JV Invitational, (iii) the 2012 Mayer Brown Urban Debate Nationals Qualifier, and (iv) the Spring 2012 Public Debates.

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