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Re: Refugees
Posted By: Zeitgeist, on host
Date: Sunday, September 2, 2001, at 19:15:10
In Reply To: Refugees posted by Sam on Saturday, September 1, 2001, at 06:14:17:

> In the chat room log from last night, I found a conversation between Lindra, Ellmyruh, and Grishny that caught my attention. The conversation was a debate about the story in the article linked to below. Ellmyruh's side of the debate was that it is inhumane for Australia to turn back these refugees, since the alternative is very likely that they will die. Lindra's side is that there is simply no room in Australia to house them, and because of that impossibility, there is nothing to be done but keep the borders closed to them.

OK, I admit that to say that there's no room is a silly argument. It's not really an argument; it's more of a justification. I'm sure that's not anyone's real reason.

Still... How, exactly, does one draw the line? Suppose, for instance, that the entire population of a small Chinese city showed up in your town. 100,000 people, let's say. Well, they don't have freedom of religion in China, or a lot of other freedoms. So a migration isn't without cause.

But now they're competing with you (and your children, family, ect.) for education, space, water, health care, jobs, and so on. And they may practice a religion that has values you don't share. Or social values. (The spit on the sidewalk will remind you of that.) Is your feeling still the same?

I agree that in the shortrun, Australia should take the refugees, but what about the long term problem?

>[snip]but it is folly to suggest that Australia cannot sustain double, triple, even quadruple its current population, let alone an increase of just 450[snip]

Just as a matter of logistics, I would debate that statement. Australia can only maintain roughly the same economic status it has now if a population increase is gradual. Only if at least some of the refugees have something of economic value-- education, money, business connections, machinery-- can the economy sustain large migrations without impact. (One exception is a large amount of free farmland, as in 19th century US.) Not that it's enough to sway the agrument, but it's always easier to imposition someone else.

Really, any accomodation of refugees can only be a stop gap measure. What about all the people *still* in Afghanistan? Shouldn't the world community do something about that? I would suggest perhaps an international "crimes against humanity" tribunal. Of course, there are always problems of soverignty...

Zeit"sometimes there are no easy answers"geist

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