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Imminent debate on Economist on-line about international migration

September 8, 2009 • Daily Email Recap

Thanks to Tim Murray for this notice.

ALERT: Another critical debate about population issues is to happen on the Economist online. This one is even more important. International migration. Simon Ross of OPT reports:


Hard on the heels of our 4:1 win (thanks, John Seager of Population Connection, who led for our side, Adrian for contributing a piece, and everyone else at OPT who posted interventions – I put three in) on “The house believes the world would be better off with fewer people.”, we have:

“This house believes there is too much international migration.”

“A dramatic rise in international migration, both legal and illegal, means at least 200m people now live abroad. European countries that were long sources of emigration are importing foreign labour and the number of foreigners born in America has reached record levels. Migrants provide flexible labour, but also strain welfare and local cultures; they send home over $300 billion annually, but also represent a brain drain from poorer countries. Given the global economic slowdown and xenophobia, should governments now impose more restrictions? Should would-be migrants be seeking opportunities at home?”

This debate will happen online, and starts on September 8th 2009. You can sign up for email alerts to be notified when this debate begins.

Debate Strategy

As in war, victory in an online debate often consists of “getting there fastest with the mostest”, a remark wrongly attributed to the infamous genius of cavalry tactics, Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest. He is more accurately quoted as saying that to win one must “git thar fust with the most men.” In other words, get into the fight first with overwhelming force and you dominate the battle.

The best way to turn the tide of an online debate is to set the tone early in the discussion. Get in with the first punches. Don’t let the growthists gain a head start. Jump on them at the start, and this will encourage others of similar mind to pile on. Those on the fence are more apt to be persuaded by the first dozen comments, and often times, readers will move on after the first day.

Tim Murray

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