The 21st annual Great American Think-Off question seems relevant given the recent national debate over the so-called "fiscal cliff."
The Minnesota-based philosophy contest says its 2013 question is: "Which is more ethical: sticking to your principles or being willing to compromise?"
Anyone in North America can submit an essay by mail, online or by email. There is no fee, and the deadline for submission is April 1. Finalists are notified by May 1.
Essays can be no more than 750 words and should be grounded in the writer's personal experience. Four writers will be selected to debate the question in New York Mills on June 8.
The contest annually awards cash prizes of $500 to each of the four finalists.