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RFD for Open Borders Debate

bsh1
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9/13/2015 1:48:33 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
RFD

This RFD is for 16k, JMK, and Roy's "Open Borders" debate [http://www.debate.org...] and was cast after clearing it with the debaters in quesiton.

This is, for such a detailed debate, a fairly straightforward RFD. I will review the main points, and then conclude with my decision.

Part 1

Pro makes two key strategic mistakes throughout the debate that, frankly, are the biggest thorn in their side in this match-up. Those mistakes are failure to focus on data reflecting actual "open borders" and failure to sufficiently address the EU question.

I get the message loud and clear from them that immigration is good, but what of a "open border" system of immigration. Roy spends a lot of time going into how Pro's studies only examine nations that have border regulation, how the assumptions of the debate do not jive with the assumptions of the studies, and how Latin American emigration to the U.S. differs significantly from immigration elsewhere such that studies predicated on Latin American immigration cannot make valid conclusions about all immigration. Pro gives all of this analysis very short-shrift; their primary counter to it was R4, LI&OB (b). Pointing out one source out of 100+ that directly address open borders is not convincing because it still means the vast majority of Pro's sources are invalid, per Roy's objections. Moreover, Pro never tells me how significant this one source is, so it's hard to assign it much--if any--weight.

Saying that "immigration in the status quo is good, therefore immigration under open borders must also be good" is rather a non-sequitur. I also buy that Europe has some border controls, so it cannot be assessed as a purely "open border" region, despite the Schengen area. But, even so, Pro isn't generating much offense off of the European example. Pro's only offensive mention of the EU was to discuss labor shocks; Pro's R4 responses are primarily defensive. Thus, Roy dominates the discussion of Europe, which was potentially the only example of open borders that Pro could've used.

The point of all this being that Pro needed to more specifically address the issue of open borders. I would've loved to have seen more from Pro about whether or not the EU was an example of open borders, and about whether it's model could positively inform a potential opening of U.S. borders. I just don't get that analysis. Because Pro doesn't do enough to defend their studies, and since the vast majority of their impacts are predicated on their studies, I have a real tough time buying into any of their impacts. This deals Pro's case a truly severe blow.

Part 2

I buy that there are going to be millions of people flooding into the U.S. if an open border policy were to be implemented. Pro says a 165 million would want to become permanent residents here, and Roy adds that more would want to be temporary residents. That's a lot. Pro tries to say that while this many "want" to move here, that is different from whether they "can" move here. That's true. But, Roy puts a lot of effort into showing that travel betwixt countries is easier now that ever before. For $1,000, a plane ticket could be obtained for a potential immigrant to move here. Now, that is the kind of money that, through saving, I could imagine many immigrants being able to afford. Roy's response to Cuba was also fairly solid, in that it wasn't really as "massive" as what we'd see with open borders. Even more interesting was Roy's claim that current hosts to refugees could actually save money by deporting those refugees to the U.S., giving them ample incentive to do so. Finally, Roy's argument that because it would be better to be unemployed in the U.S. than living in Syria and because other countries would police their borders, immigrants would stay in the U.S. is also more sensible than the idea that immigrants would "self-deport" elsewhere. So, while I am not sure how many immigrants will come to the U.S. (the debate was kind of ambiguous re: specific estimates), I do believe it will be a very substantial number.

So, now the question is, what is the impact of this? I think Pro is correct (to a degree) that immigration promotes growth. The question is: how much growth. Because most of Pro's studies aren't actually applicable to the situation at hand, I am not sure how much growth would be generated, since I cannot trust Pro's numbers. Roy argues that if the U.S. is swamped, immigrants will stay regardless of whether they can find work, and will become a net drain on our economy, pulling out of the welfare system without chipping back in. While I am skeptical as to whether working immigrants are net-detrimental, I do think it's plausible that if there are more immigrants than jobs, a drain will occur. While I am sure some immigrants look for better employment environments over better welfare systems, as Pro suggests, this will not apply to all immigrants; and, to reiterate, not all immigrants are motivated by employment. I think Roy is right to note that the U.S. would just reach a saturation point, where "the economic and security advantage of the US is diminished to being equal to the poor condition of the home countries," particularly when immigrants eventually outnumber jobs, because then the unemployed will represent a huge drain on the system. Again, I am not sure how much of a impact the drain will generate, but I buy that there is some impact, and--given the sketchiness of Pro's evidence--it's easier for me to see Roy's impacts as the more realizable. So, very slight advantage here to Roy.

Part 3

The "quota" system does become an important issue in the debate, if only because it would obviate the negative impacts of swamping Roy brings up. There is nothing in the definition of "open borders" that implies a gradual phase-in. I think Roy is also correct when he observes: "The implications of 'citizenship within a few years' is that the borders are genuinely open, not open to waiting for a turn to enter."

Ultimately, I think arguing for a quote system that gradually fades into open borders is different from arguing for an open border policy. More analysis here from either side could've been useful in interpreting the resolution, but, with what's available, this is where I am at.

Part 4

As for all the issues regarding criminals and terrorists, etc. I think that perhaps there is some truth to it, but largely I just think Roy is being a bit paranoid. Pro handles Roy's objections on these issues rather well, noting that most Muslim immigrants assimilate well in the U.S., and the Europe hasn't seen an influx in crime that corresponds to the influx in refugees. These points pretty much neutralize what impact Roy might've garnered here. While a few criminals may become problematic (Cuba being a good example), I am inclined to think, after reading the arguments, that instances of crime as a result of open border policies would be so small as to be negligible in the face of other impacts. Unfortunately, this is merely defensive for Pro; it doesn't generate the kind of positive offense Pro needs to successfully affirm the resolution.
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bsh1
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9/13/2015 1:50:46 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
RFD (Cont'd)

Conclusion

The two largest issues in the debate flow Con. Firstly Pro's evidence was not very applicable to the topic at hand; this takes out most of Pro's arguments which rely heavily on that evidence. Secondly, I buy that swamping is more likely to have a slightly negative impact than a positive one. That being said, the swamping debate was ambiguous enough that I wouldn't vote off of it alone. Moreover, Pro's only major winning point was defensive, not offensive, in nature.

But, since Pro was arguing for the policy change, they needed to prove the benefits of open borders were worth implementing the policy. Pro failed to do that because I cannot trust their benefits are real (due to evidentiary concerns) and because I think that their policy has slight harms (off of swamping). Thus, I vote Con.

In fact, even if swamping were a wash (and it came pretty close to being one) I could just vote off of the evidence take-out (and Pro's faulty notion that if some immigration is good, all immigration is good) alone, since, in my evaluation, it was so devastating to Pro's case. Pretty much every impact Pro brought up relied on winning the evidence and the accuracy of that hidden premise.

Feedback

This was a decent debate, and an informative read. Pro needs to work on providing their own logic and analysis, while using sources to supplement that, esp. in rebuttals. If they had put more original content in their rounds, it wouldn't have been so easy for Roy to take out their impacts by impeaching their sources. Sources ought to be supplemental, particularly as the debate moves forward. Pro needs to work more at realizing what arguments to go for, and which to not go for. Had Pro not under-covered key arguments in the debate, the result could've been different. Also, Pro needs to ensure that their evidence is topical, or to put more effort into defending their source's topicality. Pro's issues seemed mainly to stem from bad strategic calls. As for Roy, I think it would've been better for him to have focused less on the crime arguments, as they were woefully under-warranted, and came across poorly at times.

As for some miscellaneous issues, Pro shouldn't have posted sources outside the debate without Roy's consent. This is a rules and etiquette violation, and it factored into my decision (but only very slightly). However, I didn't think that referring to Roy as "Roy" personalized the debate in an unacceptable fashion; this occurs a lot on DDO, and I don't think it was meant in a derogatory way.

I want to emphasize that neither side did poorly; just that I think one side clearly did better. That side was Con. Hopefully this RFD was helpful and sufficiently explained my voting rationale. Good luck to all of you in your future debates.

/endrfd
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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16kadams
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9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
I understand why everyone is voting against us, but a lot of our evidence was, in fact, based on open borders. All the data on immigrant wages is from research on "price premiums," which use econometric modeling assuming the world opens the borders.

We had evidence showing that GDP would double if we opened the borders by Michael Clemens, again assuming open borders.

And we have research by John Keenan finding positive GDP effects and no wage effects of we were to open borders.

We have economist Bryan Caplan saying that open borders would eliminate global poverty.

We have David Card and Rachel Friedberg researching mass immigration in the late 1900s and they found no negative effects.

I'm not saying you should change your vote, or that it is necessarily incorrect, but to say that we focused only on the status quo is just wrong.
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thett3
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9/13/2015 5:28:14 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM, 16kadams wrote:
I understand why everyone is voting against us, but a lot of our evidence was, in fact, based on open borders. All the data on immigrant wages is from research on "price premiums," which use econometric modeling assuming the world opens the borders.

We had evidence showing that GDP would double if we opened the borders by Michael Clemens, again assuming open borders.

And we have research by John Keenan finding positive GDP effects and no wage effects of we were to open borders.

We have economist Bryan Caplan saying that open borders would eliminate global poverty.

We have David Card and Rachel Friedberg researching mass immigration in the late 1900s and they found no negative effects.

I'm not saying you should change your vote, or that it is necessarily incorrect, but to say that we focused only on the status quo is just wrong.
DDO Vice President

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: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
bsh1
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9/13/2015 6:07:17 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM, 16kadams wrote:
I understand why everyone is voting against us, but a lot of our evidence was, in fact, based on open borders. All the data on immigrant wages is from research on "price premiums," which use econometric modeling assuming the world opens the borders.

Thett already underlines the key word there. Again, that's not applicable to the topic in question, because if just one country opens it's borders, the dynamic is going to be different than if every country does.

As for the rest of your cards, they were either not extended or properly impacted in the final round.
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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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9/13/2015 6:19:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM, 16kadams wrote:
We have economist Bryan Caplan saying that open borders would eliminate global poverty.

Yeah, you quote him saying it like once in the debate. So what? You don't explain how he reasoned his way to that position. If all you say is "X said Y will happen" your claim is BOTH a bare assertion fallacy and an appeal to authority. At least when you present stats, I have data to see. But just name dropping someone like that isn't really evidence, particularly when the quote given has no substance to it, it just blindly asserts something.

We have David Card and Rachel Friedberg researching mass immigration in the late 1900s and they found no negative effects.

Also, mass immigration =/= open border immigration.

I'm not saying you should change your vote, or that it is necessarily incorrect, but to say that we focused only on the status quo is just wrong.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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16kadams
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9/13/2015 7:17:11 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 6:19:19 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM, 16kadams wrote:
We have economist Bryan Caplan saying that open borders would eliminate global poverty.

Yeah, you quote him saying it like once in the debate. So what? You don't explain how he reasoned his way to that position. If all you say is "X said Y will happen" your claim is BOTH a bare assertion fallacy and an appeal to authority. At least when you present stats, I have data to see. But just name dropping someone like that isn't really evidence, particularly when the quote given has no substance to it, it just blindly asserts something.

He dropped it, conceding it as true. No reason to build upon a dropped case. And we did have evidence on it because of the premium effect.


We have David Card and Rachel Friedberg researching mass immigration in the late 1900s and they found no negative effects.

Also, mass immigration =/= open border immigration.

Mass migration is what would happen with open borders. Card's boat lift case is especially applicable because they were all allowed to stay upon arrival, and the labor supply in that city exploded as a result.


I'm not saying you should change your vote, or that it is necessarily incorrect, but to say that we focused only on the status quo is just wrong.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
16kadams
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9/13/2015 7:19:42 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 6:07:17 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM, 16kadams wrote:
I understand why everyone is voting against us, but a lot of our evidence was, in fact, based on open borders. All the data on immigrant wages is from research on "price premiums," which use econometric modeling assuming the world opens the borders.

Thett already underlines the key word there. Again, that's not applicable to the topic in question, because if just one country opens it's borders, the dynamic is going to be different than if every country does.


The effect would be larger if only we did it, to be honest. We would have a larger population--which everyone assumes is bad but it isn't--which would allow us to grow at a faster rate than if we were competing with Europe. If only the U.S. Had free trade, and everyone else was protectionist, the effects would be fairly huge. Now, everyone is fairly open because of trade policy, which causes competition (which is still a good thing for us, but had we had a monopoly on trade we'd be OG)

As for the rest of your cards, they were either not extended or properly impacted in the final round.
https://www.youtube.com...
https://rekonomics.wordpress.com...
"A trend is a trend, but the question is, will it bend? Will it alter its course through some unforeseen force and come to a premature end?" -- Alec Cairncross
bsh1
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9/13/2015 7:21:28 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 7:19:42 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 9/13/2015 6:07:17 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM, 16kadams wrote:
I understand why everyone is voting against us, but a lot of our evidence was, in fact, based on open borders. All the data on immigrant wages is from research on "price premiums," which use econometric modeling assuming the world opens the borders.

Thett already underlines the key word there. Again, that's not applicable to the topic in question, because if just one country opens it's borders, the dynamic is going to be different than if every country does.


The effect would be larger if only we did it, to be honest. We would have a larger population--which everyone assumes is bad but it isn't--which would allow us to grow at a faster rate than if we were competing with Europe. If only the U.S. Had free trade, and everyone else was protectionist, the effects would be fairly huge. Now, everyone is fairly open because of trade policy, which causes competition (which is still a good thing for us, but had we had a monopoly on trade we'd be OG)

Where was this analysis in the debate? Where was the discussion on which of your sources were still valid? Where were your extensions of these sources?
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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

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thett3
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9/13/2015 7:24:21 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 7:17:11 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 9/13/2015 6:19:19 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM, 16kadams wrote:
We have economist Bryan Caplan saying that open borders would eliminate global poverty.

Yeah, you quote him saying it like once in the debate. So what? You don't explain how he reasoned his way to that position. If all you say is "X said Y will happen" your claim is BOTH a bare assertion fallacy and an appeal to authority. At least when you present stats, I have data to see. But just name dropping someone like that isn't really evidence, particularly when the quote given has no substance to it, it just blindly asserts something.

He dropped it, conceding it as true. No reason to build upon a dropped case. And we did have evidence on it because of the premium effect.

dude that's so not true. You absolutely have to extend dropped arguments and explain why they matter....esp in a debate like that where you run literally like 50 impacts. theres no way he could have responded to every bit of evidence you cited so why should I care about any specific card if you dont tell me why I should?


We have David Card and Rachel Friedberg researching mass immigration in the late 1900s and they found no negative effects.

Also, mass immigration =/= open border immigration.

Mass migration is what would happen with open borders. Card's boat lift case is especially applicable because they were all allowed to stay upon arrival, and the labor supply in that city exploded as a result.


I'm not saying you should change your vote, or that it is necessarily incorrect, but to say that we focused only on the status quo is just wrong.
DDO Vice President

#StandwithBossy

#UnbanTheMadman

#BetOnThett

"Don't quote me, ever." -Max

"My name is max. I'm not a big fan of slacks"- Max rapping

"Walmart should have the opportunity to bribe a politician to it's agenda" -Max

"Thett, you're really good at convincing people you're a decent person"-tulle

"You fit the character of Regina George quite nicely"- Sam

: At 11/12/2016 11:49:40 PM, Raisor wrote:
: thett was right
bsh1
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9/13/2015 7:29:19 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 7:17:11 PM, 16kadams wrote:
At 9/13/2015 6:19:19 PM, bsh1 wrote:
At 9/13/2015 5:21:38 PM, 16kadams wrote:
We have economist Bryan Caplan saying that open borders would eliminate global poverty.

Yeah, you quote him saying it like once in the debate. So what? You don't explain how he reasoned his way to that position. If all you say is "X said Y will happen" your claim is BOTH a bare assertion fallacy and an appeal to authority. At least when you present stats, I have data to see. But just name dropping someone like that isn't really evidence, particularly when the quote given has no substance to it, it just blindly asserts something.

He dropped it, conceding it as true. No reason to build upon a dropped case. And we did have evidence on it because of the premium effect.

Dropping an unsubstantiated claim isn't a drop. It would've been unreasonable to expect Roy to address by name every single claim you made. The price premium argument also didn't substantiate that claim (no direct link was drawn) and the price premium arg itself was built on inapplicable evidence.

We have David Card and Rachel Friedberg researching mass immigration in the late 1900s and they found no negative effects.

Also, mass immigration =/= open border immigration.

Mass migration is what would happen with open borders.

Sure, but mass migration in a controlled system is going to differ than mass migration in an open border system. You can still have mass movements of people even within regulated systems, so your evidence needed to be more specific to open borders.
Live Long and Prosper

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"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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bsh1
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9/13/2015 7:33:37 PM
Posted: 1 year ago
At 9/13/2015 7:19:42 PM, 16kadams wrote:

16k, the general problem is that you're defending your sources now, here in the forums. You should've been doing this then, in the debate. Where in the debate did you actually point out all of this stuff you're saying now?

And frankly, when you put so many sources in a round, and fail to defend all but one of them (really, you just defended a single link), this is the result you get. I didn't read all of your sources because it would be asinine to have expected that of me (or of any voter, really); and if that were to be expected, you would've not have received any votes. So, that means I relied on what was said in the debate to formulate my opinion of your sources. You and JMK said barely anything about your sources; Roy said a lot about your sources. His interpretations went pretty much un-refuted in-round. So, even if he isn't right about certain sources, I am still going to buy his interpretation over yours because he actually made sources arguments in the debate, and you didn't. I cannot evaluate or consider things that were not said in the round; I could also easily disqualify all of your original sources for being cited outside the text of the debate.

This is the problem with source-spamming, and it's coming back to bite you. When you spam, judges cannot possible wade their way through all the material you cite, and so they rely on your opponent to tell them what's wrong with your sources. If you don't challenge your opponent's narrative, the judge isn't going to retroactively sift through all of your sources to check which ones are okay, so you lose out in the end. In other words, I am not really concerned if some of your sources passed muster, because they were not defended or extended in the debate.

TL;DR

Stop source-spamming for the heck of it. It doesn't help you.
Live Long and Prosper

I'm a Bish.


"Twilight isn't just about obtuse metaphors between cannibalism and premarital sex, it also teaches us the futility of hope." - Raisor

"[Bsh1] is the Guinan of DDO." - ButterCatX

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