The Instigator
RoyLatham
Pro (for)
Winning
31 Points
The Contender
RennAmethyst
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Enterprising young Americans should prepare to leave.

Do you like this debate?NoYes+0
Add this debate to Google Add this debate to Delicious Add this debate to FaceBook Add this debate to Digg  
Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
RoyLatham
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/16/2009 Category: Society
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,249 times Debate No: 9711
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (2)
Votes (5)

 

RoyLatham

Pro

Definitions

In this debate, by "prepare to leave" I mean take positive steps that would support temporary emigration to another country. These might include learning a foreign language, studying the customs and laws of another country, spending a year or s summer in another country, following foreign blogs and online news sources, and in general contemplating the ramifications of a move. By "enterprising" I mean, "desirous of substantial accomplishment." That includes making a fortune, but it also includes having an impact by, say, teaching By "young" I mean, for the sake of the debate, "under age 35."

Moreover, "prepare to leave" does not me "should leave." whether or not one should leave depends upon personal circumstances that are unpredictable. A fortuitous opportunity or some family circumstances may emerge as paramount. I am arguing that significant effort should be put into activities that would facilitate leaving.

1. There is a substantial threat of creeping mediocrity

At one time, until relatively recently, someone who wanted to take risks in the hope of making a mark on the world would come to the United States. There was a strong flow of Europeans to the United States, for example, of entrepreneurs who wanted to start companies or prosper in business. That was not mainly a consequence of their home countries being terrible places; it was a consequence of the creeping ossification of the nanny state, in which "unsafe" choices were systematically removed from society in favor of consensus mediocrity.

Some years ago, a young Frenchman was interviewed upon the occasion of his having become a U.S. citizen. He made a number of comments about the general lack of sophistication and maturity of his new county. "So why did you become a citizen?" "I first came here n vacation and was hitchhiking across Texas. An Army tank appeared out of the hills and stopped by me. The National Guard guys asked me where I was going. When I told them, they said, 'Jump on, we'll give you a ride.' I rode across Texas on the front of the tank. That was why I decided to come here."

A German general was interviewed by an American historian. "In WWII, the Germans have much better soldiers. So why did the Americans win?" The general replies, "War is chaos. Americans practice this every day."

I an not worried that the U.S. is going to collapse into an authoritarian socialist state. The pendulum will probably swing back towards capitalism. My concern is the seemingly inevitable advance of the nanny state, with every problem being a government problem that must have a consensus solution. The specter is mediocrity, not disaster.

2. There is some threat of disaster

That said, disaster cannot be entirely ruled out. We could plunge into the financial ruin of unbounded spending on government benefits, while killing the enterprises that generate all the wealth. In that less likely event, having prepared to bail would have been very wise.

3. There is historical precedent

When the British Empire was going strong, the enterprising left Britain for the risks and rewards of the Colonies. Many returned in later life to live out their days in the quiet of the mother country. That is the pattern I am advocating as something worth preparing for. The places with opportunities include China, India, Brazil, and some of the newly-freed countries of Eastern Europe, for example. Maybe Australia, Taiwan, or South Korea. In places that are not so ripe with opportunity, say Japan, at least one can live in the society with the detachment of a foreigner. That's better than being punished with ever-embracing grip of the collective as one's own country bogs down.

4. The downside is minimal

Preparing to leave is investing effort to cover a bet on the future. It's work, but the downside is that the person learns a lot about alternatives to American society. That's not a bad thing in itself.

For these reasons the resolution is affirmed. Young people should start preparing now.
RennAmethyst

Con

Hello Roy, this is my first debate here and I am excited. If I'm doing it wrong, please notify me and I will humbly correct myself.

I accept your definitions. Thank you for a well thought out case.

My points are as follows;

1.Resolution includes an underlying threat of present and future national instability

The act of all young, enterprising Americans (I shall just denote them as YEA's) preparing to emigrate from the country poses a threat of present and future national instability.
Preparing all YEA's for emigration leaves the probability that a number of YEA's would, in fact, emigrate. Not for reasons of national disaster, or to better the country, but for their own personal reasons. Assuming a percentile of YEA's continued to leave as they where prepared, the displacement would become a trend. While not a bad thing for the individual, the result would be a loss of many of America's bright, young minds to other countries. This would leave America in a position to be left behind in technological, economical, and demographic aspects.
In the case of a national emergency, or time of national distress (economic, conflict) this trend would doubtlessly be accelerated. It can be seen that if the situation is desperate enough, individuals will emigrate, despite not having been "prepared". One extreme example is Albania. "More than a quarter of the Albanian population have left the country since 1990, causing a negative population growth and a dent in the age structure of the population. Since emigration affected mainly the reproductive ages, it also had an effect on fertility: the total fertility rate fell below replacement level (to 1.65 children per women in 2005)" [1]
There are also many less extreme examples. "Anecdotal reports suggest that it is now difficult to find qualified workers in Poland and some other Eastern European countries. Such a massive and relatively sudden exodus affects the labor market and economic conditions of those who remained at home, and it is entirely plausible that the negative consequences include health." [ibid]

2.Conceptually undermines confidence in America

All YEA's working methodically to be ready to emigrate, even temporarily, would create a social uneasiness and expresses a lack of confidence in the the U.S.A. YEA's, or the generation who is stepping up to "carry the torch", would seem to lack confidence in their country. If this was not the case, escape would not be necessary. To prepare for an action undoubtedly implies that the individuals will carry out their preparations when the time arises (whatever that is deemed to be).
If I was over thirty-five, and not prepared to leave the country, I would feel the threat of abandonment and fear. All the YEA's, the ones who are actually promising, are ready to fly the coop, while I'm left with all the old, helpless people and non-YEA's. It's not even the question of if it would happen, it's how people would undoubtedly interpret the situation.
We would be better off be giving the YEA's tools to face problems, not run from them.

3.Risk too great

Now we have a trickle of YEA's leaving the country, and and undoubtedly increased chance of a larger emigration trend as a result of disaster/war. Yay. So what is the result? Well, if the "trickle" continues, there's no real evidence that the economy would take a huge hit, not immediately at least. But a relocation of our YEA's on any scale would be not-so-good for the country in technological areas, or areas which require very technical skills.
On a large scale, we'll just have to trust the brain surgery to the ditch diggers. Scary.

To my opponent's arguments!

1.There is a substantial threat of creeping mediocrity

We live in a democracy, there will be no development of a "nanny state" unless the people will it. If YEA's are opposed to it, they would stand up and do something about it. They are "enterprising" after all. As I have shown in my points, bailing is not the answer.

2.There is some threat of disaster

My opponent embraces "bailing out". I have clearly shown how "bailing" would be harmful to the nation in o-so-many ways.

3.There is historical precedent

The historical example that my opponent gives does not pertain to the topic. Yes, the emigration took place, and for good reason. But there is one problem. The colonies where technically part of the mother country and under her rule till after the revolutionary war, thus those who moved to the colonies earlier on didn't really emigrate.

4. The downside is minimal

Please refer to all my points, thank you.

Bibliography

1.http://ije.oxfordjournals.org...

Thus the negative stands.
Debate Round No. 1
RoyLatham

Pro

Welcome to debate.org. I look forward to an interesting debate.

I will address my points 1 through 4 first, then the Con points, which I will refer to as C1, C2, C3.

We have large areas of agreement: that the U.S. is descending into the dull mediocrity of the nanny state, that there is a small possibility of an economic disaster if the nanny state becomes unsustainable, that it is in the best individual interests of young enterprising Americans to prepare to leave, and that there is little individual downside for individuals so preparing to leave. We differ in that Con presumes that the welfare of the majority who want a nanny state ought to take precedence over the welfare of the minority who are thereby oppressed, and that the repressed minority should recognize this precedence and submit accordingly.

Con claims that enterprising American should endure the collective mentality imposed upon them and try to keep it afloat. I disagree. There can be no obligation o endure repression, and those who enjoy the nanny state will enjoy it even more if there are fewer enterprising people among them. I have not suggested that Americans should renounce citizenship or fail to advocate change; they can do that from the perspective that reinforces their beliefs.

1. There is a substantial threat of creeping mediocrity

Con has apparently accepted the major premise of my argument, that there is a substantial threat of creeping mediocrity. Con asserted that it is a legitimate consequence of democracy. I agree that it is consequence of democracy. It being a consequence of democracy makes the problem no less significant to people who uncomfortable in a nanny state, where life is ordered, regulated, and ultimately limited by government.

Con argues (C1), "While not a bad thing for the individual, the result would be a loss of many of America's bright, young minds to other countries." Thus Con further agrees that it would be best for the individual, another concession to my viewpoint. The question, then, is whether it is better for the country to retain frustrated, suppressed talent, or to have it leave. There are three reasons why it would be better for the country if they leave.

a. The country will be more harmonious. Con argued that it would make the country more unstable. I wish it were so, because the disease is the excessive stability of complacency, so a cure would be to shake that stasis. However, getting rid of dissidents increases stability. For example, the Castro regime rid itself of many dissidents who took refuge in the United States. those who were cast out were predominantly the productive entrepreneurial middle class. Castro imposed a totalitarian regime, while the U.S. is suffering from a "tyranny of the majority" that maintains an essential similarity. In both cases the way to get ahead is be part of the system; to be a cog in the apparatus of the state. On succeeds by rising to power in the apparatus. There is no room among apparatchiks for entrepreneurial spirits.

b. There is better chance of rescuing the system from outside. This is the role, for example, of the refugees who fled Cuba. When and if Cuba is freed, the refugees from the system will be important for rebuilding it.

c. Expatriates will gain wealth and power to needed to influence change. The opportunities precluded in the U.S. are available elsewhere, so some will succeed on a large scale. At some point in their careers, many will want to return to their original home and fight to reverse the trends that caused them to leave.

2. There is some threat of disaster

Con agrees that the threat exists, but argues that "bailing would be harmful." In a disaster, people will bail no matter what. The idea that it is better to stay inside a burning building to fight the fire only succeeds until the flames get close, the everyone who can escape will do so. The question is whether one should have the forethought f building a fire escape.

Con cites people escaping the economic chaos of Albania. That's a perfect example. One can argue that they should have stayed, at substantial risk of perishing, but it was absolutely inevitable they people would put the survival of themselves and their families head of the abstract interests of the State. It is prudent to prepare.

3. There is historical precedent

Con agrees, "Yes, the emigration took place, and for good reason." Con thus agrees with the logic and circumstances of the precedent, but hopes to escape on the technicality that "The colonies where technically part of the mother country." Whether they were technically a part of the mother country or not is irrelevant; they were places that provided an escape from British society of the times. With respect to the American colonies, the flood of religious dissidents makes it clear the political system was quite different. The British Empire spanned most of the world, so the American colonies are not the main example. Entrepreneurial individuals went around the global, with many of them ultimately returning to Britain. Moreover, Britain did not become politically unstable as a consequence.

In the U.S., we have the settling of the West as an example of a great emigration motivated by seeking opportunity. The West was governed by the U.S., but the circumstances of the West were substantially different in terms of risk and reward. This example is appropriate because the eastern U.S. was not by any means a terrible place, nor was it lacking in opportunity. Despite the good prospects in the East, the West offered greater opportunities at the price of greater risk. Many people opted for that.

I have not claimed that the U.S. is likely to become a terrible place, merely a stultifying one. The resolution proposes that people keep their options open.

4. The downside is minimal

Con seems to again agree that the downside for the individual is minimal. The effort to prepare to leave is worthwhile even if one does not leave. Con instead relies upon the notion that having entrepreneurial expatriates is bad for the country, as opposed to having them remain and be repressed by the dull tyranny of the majority. For the majority, justice demands that they receive the consequences of what they have sought. I think mediocrity is sustainable, so that's probably what they will get. But if it proves unsustainable, then they should get that instead.

C1. Con argues that having dissidents leave threatens stability. In (1) above, I argued that it increases stability.

C2. Con argues that it "Conceptually undermines confidence in America." Among who does it undermine confidence? Certainly not the majority, who accept the premise that risks an rewards ought to be dramatically reduced for the good of society. The majority will be encouraged by troublesome opponents to statism leaving. Certainly not the young entrepreneurs, because they will either leave or be prepared to leave, so they are maintaining the last vestiges of the original American spirit, let it be needed again. Competitors in Europe and elsewhere are sold on the merits of collectivism, so they will be encouraged by America adopting it.

C3. Con says, "Well, if the "trickle" continues, there's no real evidence that the economy would take a huge hit, not immediately at least. But a relocation of our YEA's on any scale would be not-so-good for the country in technological areas, or areas which require very technical skills." I agree. It would not be so good for the economy, but the nanny state is fundamentally bad for the economy. It is an undenied premise that the majority like the trade of overall prosperity for reduced risks. therefore the people leaving to take risks should not be responsible, or feel responsible, for the people who choose less for the sake of avoiding risk.

The ultimate democracy is voting with your feet. Enterprising young Americans should prepare accordingly.
RennAmethyst

Con

RennAmethyst forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
RoyLatham

Pro

A forfeit, too bad. I wonder if we will ever see Con again. Sigh.

Arguments are continued.
RennAmethyst

Con

RennAmethyst forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by wjmelements 7 years ago
wjmelements
Good topic. If I go into business, I have planned to use a third world country. They are business opportunities waiting to happen.
Posted by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
Renn, It's best to put an extra carriage return after each paragraph to improve the readability of your text.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by DW23 7 years ago
DW23
RoyLathamRennAmethystTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:--Vote Checkmark1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:-Vote Checkmark-1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:-Vote Checkmark-2 points
Total points awarded:33 
Vote Placed by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
RoyLathamRennAmethystTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by wonderwoman 7 years ago
wonderwoman
RoyLathamRennAmethystTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by RoyLatham 7 years ago
RoyLatham
RoyLathamRennAmethystTied
Agreed with before the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Agreed with after the debate:Vote Checkmark--0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70 
Vote Placed by JBlake 7 years ago
JBlake
RoyLathamRennAmethystTied
Agreed with before the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Agreed with after the debate:--Vote Checkmark0 points
Who had better conduct:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Had better spelling and grammar:Vote Checkmark--1 point
Made more convincing arguments:Vote Checkmark--3 points
Used the most reliable sources:Vote Checkmark--2 points
Total points awarded:70