[eDebate] Latin America is still pretty much Mexico topic

Jason Russell jasonlrussell1
Sun Apr 6 22:39:48 CDT 2008

Mexico was en vogue in the 90's. It was a contemporary topic due to the
significance of their economic situation (they ignited a nearly global
economic downturn and necessitated a massive U.S. assistance project) and
their relationship with the US (NAFTA, Prop 187 and other current
immigration issues, revolution in the South from the Zapatistas, serious
social and humanitarian issues associated with economic disparities, etc).
The problem wasnt harm areas. The problem was available policy-oriented
literature on solutions that were debatable. The topic demanded size to
generate viable solutions, but size undermined negative ground, especially
cogency and directionality. These "issues" that everyone is talking about
re: LA are all interesting HARM AREAS, but appear to lack a standard, cogent
basis for neg ground. We, as a community, ought to be considering not
interesting harms when selecting a topic, but interesting and two-sided
solutions to viable harms. Harm diversity is a reason to oppose the topic,
not to support it. Here's why: as harms diversify, solutions diversify and
the difficulty in generating appropriate negative ground increases
exponentially. While I do not believe that topics should be neg biased, I do
believe that they should consider the neg. And, quite frankly, the biggest
difficulty with AFFs is ALSO solvency problems, not harms. So, focus on
mechanisms, make those mechanisms well-defined, and generate a central,
cogent negative ground. The swell of support for this topic largely ignores
what makes a good topic.
Russia 08-09.

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