Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Stupid Beyond Reckoning

Did Sheila Copps really say this?
Contrary to popular myth, immigrants are not a drain on the economy, but an adrenalin shot of prosperity.
Cities with large immigrant populations face fewer fears about the capacity of Canadians to adapt to new realities. Debates, such as the Quebec reasonable accommodation discussion, have been launched in rural Herouxville where immigrants are all but nonexistent. Ironically, this unwarranted fear of the unknown will actually drive those same communities into further decline.
"New realities" good, "further decline" bad. Gotcha. Only, what were those "new realities" again? More immigrants, was it? And what was that "further decline" you mention? Less immigrants?

So, wait a second. You're saying that the reason why more immigrants is good is because less immigrants is bad? That more immigration is desirable because it leads to ... more immigration? This would be a pretty basic instance of what's called begging the question, wouldn't you say, Sheila? And this is supposed to be the proof of your "immigrants are an adrenalin shot of prosperity" thesis? That prosperity, a priori, equals immigrants? Alas no, Sheila. I think you'll find that immigrants equals immigrants and that prosperity equals prosperity. No doubt they're not mutually exclusive categories, but they are about as interchangeable as "Sheila Copps" is with "increased Sun readership."

And as for this adrenalin shot metaphor ... I wonder if Ms. Copps is familiar with the phenomenon of adrenalin overdose? "Adrenaline," I gather, "is not a treatment without risk--especially in patients with cardiovascular comorbidity or who are taking an interacting medication." So the question might be: do we have any cardiovascular comorbidities that might compromise this gratuitous treatment of our apparent anaphylaxis? Say, the decline of traditional Canadian values/culture/society, perhaps? Or are we using any interacting medications? What about the Prozac of political correctness?

Actually, I rather like this analogy.