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mattness pl
http://www.thestar.com/opinion/article/164488

Who doesn't want UCAS?
Blame Canadians (<Adam bans user: mattness pl> nyahnyah.gif )
Backgammon
Yeah I read that... The guy's on crack, his sense of reality is more than a little off.
Tanegar
I'm not so sure. The bits about Canadian politics went right past me, but I can tell you there's a big rift between the North and the South in America, and the part about the rist of aristocratism is only too plausible.
Thane36425
That guy is obviously a Yankee from his hatred of the south. I'd say it has nothing to do with aristocracy and more to do with socialism. The Northeast is much more socialist than the South and Midwest, but even at that it is mostly the big cities where that is dominant. Along those lines I can indeed see the US splitting one day, though if they join with Canada I don't know.
mmu1
Uh... As someone who's living in the NE, let me just say that this guy is on crack. Fun thought, though. smile.gif
Kagetenshi
As someone who lives in the real Northeast nyahnyah.gif wink.gif, I'm going to have to disagree. The dreamlike detachment from reality clearly indicates heavy opium use rather than crack.

~J
Ed_209a
The fun thing about the intrnet is that _anyone_ can get their 15ms of fame...
2bit
America will never split. Something majorly messed up would have to happen for that to take place. Present cultural differences aren't strong enough to warrant it, and homogenizing factors like the internet, national television, rapid transportation, new urban areas, economic prosperity, and a shared enemy ("the terrorists") actively work to unify our culture.
Kagetenshi
Care to restrict that to a timeframe? I would say rather that it's almost inevitable that it will split, though whether it will do so in a timeframe meaningful to any of us is much more doubtful.

~J
Dale
No offense guys, but under no circumstances do we Canadians want to join with anyone. We're having enough trouble keeping the country together because of Quebec and its elitism.
lorechaser
I'm a bit offended by the implication that southerners are all hillbillies who would like to rape and pillage the earth, and would just as soon secede again than work with those northerners.

I mean, sure, they're yankees, and no one likes a yankee, but it's like we're back in the Republic of Texas days again.

We just have biker rallies to celebrate it. We don't *want* to secede again.
Backgammon
edit: nevermind
2bit
gah, I used the "N" word, didn't I . . . Yes, I don't see America splitting in a time frame meaningful to us, as in the next 5 or 10 generations. Maybe in 10 generations.

If we didn't have an emerging monoculture, things would be different. In America, for instance, we have a big immigrant population and ethnic groups that settle near each other (as is human nature). Without mass media we would be a lot more divisional, I think. A lot of people would rather create ethnic neighborhoods (chinatown, little italy, etc) than assimilate, which really works against unification, even if it does create contrast in the social landscape.
Lindt
QUOTE (2bit)
Present cultural differences aren't strong enough to warrant it, and homogenizing factors like the internet, national television, rapid transportation, new urban areas, economic prosperity, and a shared enemy ("the terrorists") actively work to unify our culture.

How very 1982.

As one of what Kage called "someone who lives in the real Northeast", Ill agree with him. Someone skipped the crack and went straight to the opium.

He does raise some interesting (if highly subjective) points.
Ask your avg Georgian what he thinks of someone from Mass. As soon as you remind them that we have the strictest weapons laws in the country (I may be wrong, but I think we use the same standered as Cali), legally recognized gay marriage, and a major biotechnology sector heavily invested in stem cell research, you will get that nice spit of annoyance.

Now Ill admit it, for Ma, Im a pretty big hick. I own a shotgun, I fish, I can fix an outboard boat motor, and I have no less then 3 non-running cars on my property(one of which is, indeed up on blocks in the front yard). But having driven though the deep south (Miami to Savannah to Charleston West Virginia) in a car with Ma plates on it, well I won't entertain you with the number of times this Yankee got pulled over for not speeding.

Back on track. In some distant future, the US is doomed to break in one way or another. Just the same way the current 1st world global community is as peace. All it takes is a good kick in the nuts to cause history. If its 10 years, or 200.
mattness pl
QUOTE (2bit)
America will never split.  Something majorly messed up would have to happen for that to take place. 

- Miami case?

I've heard there's more people speaking spanish, than English.

- Social breakdown?
I don't know how it looks in US, but here, in Poland after 18 years of capitalism Poland is split between rich "Warsaw" and poor Polish B grade.
People raised in communism simply don't know, how to act in new environment.

Nothing similiar in States?
I've read somewhere that 90% of salaries in States is gathered by 10% of population (top management. I've read this statistic after Enron affair).
And ordinary americans still believe in American Dream?

- and what about this LA racial riots once per decade?
This is some new atheistic tradition, like Mardi Gras?
Or, a sign, that there is really something wrong...

I don't know - I never been in US. Above questions are just questions - if somebody more familiar with US, sociology and States politics can explain why US will merge with Canada some day, or will Balkanize like former Yugoslavia (or maybe "Le Plus la change" and USA will remain unchanged for years to come), I will be grateful.

The link in my first post was just excuse to start discussion.
FrankTrollman
QUOTE
I don't know how it looks in US


Here's how it looks in the US: The people of the United States are the most complacent in the world. There is a powerful conservatism that permeates every layer of society. And yet, the individual American is expected to embrace the gambler's lifestyle.

The people of the US are well cognizant of the fact that the United States is the largest and most powerful empire the world has ever seen, and everyone wants in on that action. A very small number of people get all the monies, and society is structured to benefit those people more and more.

You'd think this would cause society to collapse.... like yesterday. But ironically it is the glue that holds our society together. We have a series of systems by which very small numbers of people are chosen at random and brought into the wealthy class each year. And while the chances of this making a damn bit of difference to you are very small, the fact that "it could happen" keeps the people of the US coming back to give more tax cuts to the wealthiest 1% year after year.

In short, America stands because the people within its borders know very well that the US takes massive amounts of resources from the rest of the world and that there is a tiny but real chance that each individual American might actually get to squandor all of them himself.

---

Is this sustainable? Fuck no. But despite the fact that very few people in the United States actually benefit from the system - there are few who would willingly end it. The collapse comes from outside when the rest of the world recognizes that they don't have to send the resources into the US anymore.

-Frank
Crossfire
QUOTE
No offense guys, but under no circumstances do we Canadians want to join with anyone. We're having enough trouble keeping the country together because of Quebec and its elitism.


I do take offense

Crossfire
Rajaat99
Hey Canada, just take Massachusetts. No charge.
People are very complacent here in the USA. As long as people are being fed and they have cable TV, they're happy. Of course I'm talking about the masses. I think our country is doomed if people don't care more. Of course I'm also the guy who thinks the world is coming to an end, soon.
Thane36425
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
QUOTE
I don't know how it looks in US


Here's how it looks in the US: The people of the United States are the most complacent in the world. There is a powerful conservatism that permeates every layer of society. And yet, the individual American is expected to embrace the gambler's lifestyle.


Pretty negative view there. It is true that the upper echelons do have a sizable amount of the wealth, but that usually is the case everywhere. We still have a strong enough middle class to balance them and keep the economy going. However, the middle class is shrinking because of the outsourcing of manufacturing and increasingly white collar jobs. New tax schemes and other things aren't going to help either. The smaller the middle class gets, the more problematic the wealthy having so much of the wealth becomes.

I don't agree with the gambler idea though. Most people won't gamble or take many risks. This is one reason they remain employees rather than employers. Rather we are a debtor nation. While people won't gamble, they will run up debts on credit cards, take auto loans and second and third mortgages. There is a tremendous amount of private debt, a few trillion dollars or so.

The problem with that is that the debt is a liability. In some cases it is used for productive purposes such as to finance a business. But most often it is used to buy toys and vacations and such. That's bad use of debt.

This leads to the second problem. The savings rate in the US is abysmal, less than 1% overall. If we were an equity society rather than a debtor society, people would be saving money and investing. Rather than being in the hole, people would be building up assets. However, the tax code favors debt rather than savings and investment, so that is not likely to change any time soon.

Society is staying together so far because the world is still dependant on the dollar and the US markets to dump their excess production. Once that changes, and it will, then the dollar will drop and the economy will have a major correction. It is known that this will happen, but nothing is being done about it because that would require solid action by the politicians and said actions are sure to ruffle some feathers. Politicians aren't about to do that because that might cost them the next election and their phoney baloney jobs.

I do see some common ground at least as far as oil goes. We do use rather a lot of that and we are financing through it the terrorists who are attacking us. Nothing new about that: Marx said a Capitalist would sell you the rope you were to hang him with. There are alternatives and better ones than ethanol. However, the government chose ethanol (as a sell out to the corn grower's lobby) and hydrogen (because that is decades away yet). There are plants now that recycle carbon based garbage (farm wastes, tires, sewage) into oil. This would kill two birds with one stone: oil independence and recycling carbon in the system rather than bringing up more from the ground. Not likely to see this either.

Last thing I'll point out is that the top 1% of taxpayers pay about 20% of the tax burden and the top 10% about 50%. The bottom 50% of taxpayers pay around 5% of the burden. Those top percentages aren't just the uber-rich fat cats but also small and medium sized business owners that create jobs. Most of the tax income actually now comes from corporations which only makes sense because the US has among the highest corporate rates in the world, which is starting to sting and could become very painful in the near future. So, the bottom 50% of taxpayers could be completely exempt from taxes and the government would lose very little.
Lindt
QUOTE (mattness pl)
I've read somewhere that 90% of salaries in States is gathered by 10% of population (top management. I've read this statistic after Enron affair).
And ordinary americans still believe in American Dream?

pretty close.
In the United States, wealth is highly concentrated in a relatively few hands. As of 2001, the top 1% of households (the upper class) owned 33.4% of all privately held wealth, and the next 19% (the managerial, professional, and small business stratum) had 51%, which means that just 20% of the people owned a remarkable 84%, leaving only 16% of the wealth for the bottom 80% (wage and salary workers). In terms of financial wealth, the top 1% of households had an even greater share: 39.7%.

However, this does not equate to tax rates.
Both medicare and Social Security have max. taxable income limits. So that top 20% max out at the current 90k or so, and everyone else pays a much higher net percent.
mmu1
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
Is this sustainable? Fuck no. But despite the fact that very few people in the United States actually benefit from the system - there are few who would willingly end it. The collapse comes from outside when the rest of the world recognizes that they don't have to send the resources into the US anymore.

Yes. As soon as the rest of the countries of the world decide to kill the biggest consumer economy in the world and wreck their own economies in the process, bringing about widespread economic chaos, the collapse will come. I won't be holding my breath, though. sarcastic.gif
FrankTrollman
QUOTE (mmu1)
QUOTE (FrankTrollman @ Jan 29 2007, 06:45 PM)
Is this sustainable? Fuck no. But despite the fact that very few people in the United States actually benefit from the system - there are few who would willingly end it. The collapse comes from outside when the rest of the world recognizes that they don't have to send the resources into the US anymore.

Yes. As soon as the rest of the countries of the world decide to kill the biggest consumer economy in the world and wreck their own economies in the process, bringing about widespread economic chaos, the collapse will come. I won't be holding my breath, though. sarcastic.gif

Wreck their economies?

OK, let me break it down for you:
  • The United States takes goods and services produced in other parts of the world.
  • The United States gives less goods and services out to the rest of the world.
  • The balance is made up by the United States giving out "dollars" which are pieces of rag paper with no inherent value at all that are the only thing that you can exchange for oil on the world market.

So the United States provides a "service" to the rest of the world by providing a currency that nations can use to get oil out of OPEC. In exchange for this dubious and in any case entirely belief driven service, the United States takes 1.44% of the world's GDP and sets it on fire every year.

But the thing is... the other nations don't actually need the United States to provide a reserve currency. They could just... not do that. They can buy oil in Euros, and in the upcoming months and years they'll totally do that.

And then... instead of giving the United States 617.7 billion dollars of their stuff every year... they won't. In fact, they'll have billions of dollars in American Currency with nothing to do with it except exchange it for all our stuff.

-Frank
Kagetenshi
I don't have a strong enough position on this to enter the fray, but if the US stops taking goods and services produced from other parts of the world, those goods and services need to either find new buyers or stop getting made. That does have some impact.

~J
cetiah
QUOTE (FrankTrollman)
In fact, they'll have billions of dollars in American Currency with nothing to do with it except exchange it for all our stuff.

Which is, of course, the whole basis for money as a medium of exchange. This is the driving force behind economies.
mmu1
QUOTE (Kagetenshi)
I don't have a strong enough position on this to enter the fray, but if the US stops taking goods and services produced from other parts of the world, those goods and services need to either find new buyers or stop getting made. That does have some impact.

~J

"Some" impact is an understatement... The US GDP of around 13 trillion $ accounts for something like 30% of the world's total GDP. Even if it was all imaginary and belief-based, like Frank claims, its collapse would have an enormous effect. (And all those countries who export much more than they import - in other words, those that are the most dependent on trade - would feel the impact proportionately more.)

But all of that means ignoring that fact that the US actually does export huge amounts of non-imaginary goods. It's "only" 2/3 as much as the US imports, but given that the US is the largest importer in the world...
Snow_Fox
the US won't split. it's been tried in the past and I don't just mean the big experiement 1861-5 but at other times as well. more likely Quebec will split off from the rest of Canada and Canada will crumble. We'll pick up the maritime provinces first and then the rest of Canada will slowly come on board as the nation can't hold together. It won't be open assimilation at first but rather, special considerations, travel connectinos, US money starting to get used until Toronto and the rest cannot be told apart from the United States. There might still be 'canadaian officials, but their influence will be diminished compareed to the power of DC.

Sorry guys, resistance is futile, you will be assimilated. cyber.gif
Skeptical Clown
The only time it was economically viable for the South to split from the rest of the Union was back when it still had a slave-based plantation economy. And even that wasn't really viable in the long run.

To the extent that business has penetrated the south, it has also generally brought more Northerners... which lessens the political divide between the two. The much-hyped "Red State, Blue State" divide has more to do with political rhetoric than it does any serious divide in the american people.
2bit
Right. You just can't have a geographical split without a region based cultural split, and the current trend in America is toward a more unified culture. . . thanks mostly to technologies developed in the 20th century.

QUOTE
- Miami case?

I've heard there's more people speaking spanish, than English.

I live in Florida, but all I know about the numbers is pretty much what you know: there's a lot of spanish speakers in Miami. It's also the most major metropolitan area in Florida, which is the third most populous state in the US behind California and New York. And, like any major metropolitan area, it runs on big business. And big business speaks English.
tisoz
QUOTE (Thane36425)
This leads to the second problem. The savings rate in the US is abysmal, less than 1% overall.

Ok, I'm not sure where you are getting your statistic or exactly what it includes, but the first time I recall reading something similar was back in the '80s. The time when SR was being formulated, when Japan was going to buy up the US and the world because of their great savings and investment rates. The statistics I read at that time did show the average US citizen invested a bit over 1% in a savings account compared to Japans average of 5 or 6%.

The way the statistic was misleading was that the US citizen did invest more, but usually in the form of home ownership. 80% homeowners in the US compared to something like 15 or 20% in Japan, who typically rented. When this adjustment was made, adding together all investments, the US had a healthy lead.

But looking at what else you posted as follow up, I am wondering if you count buying a home as spending, debt, or investment.
Kagetenshi
In the '80s, it would have been investment. If you believe we're in the midst of a real-estate bubble, it would be a very poor investment indeed today.

Of course, if you don't, it's probably an investment like any other.

~J
Slash_Thompson
unless you are capable of selling it (i.e. stop living in it immediately) a house is not an investment.

calling it one doesn't change the fact that a house is a net loss of income (at best an expense, at worst a debt.) if you can't actually sell it.
2bit
Lessee . . . it's not an investment unless you can sell it. . . well YEAH. That applies to anything, doesn't it?
Owning a home is an investment, even if you aren't one of those thrice-damned (I hate you I hate you) real estate speculators. For one, it's a form of collateral that banks recognize. It's a market less likely to experience downward trends than most. And it keeps you from getting burned when the market takes a sharp increase, since your home price will generally float along with it. Your taxes go up each year, but that's a better situation than renting, where you pay more each year when your landlord's taxes go up AND more each year as your apartment's worth goes up.
warrior_allanon
2bit, i dont have numbers, but also living in florida i know i dont dare go south of Tampa bay without a few lessons in spanish and a spanish-english dictionary under my belt. Also, if there wasnt so bloody many people in the state who mostly or only speak spanish, why does the government put out a vote every 4-6 years to see if we're going to become a bi-lingual state.

As for a split of the states or the assimilation of Canada, you also have to realize that the outstanding factors of the storyline are also not there yet. There has of yet, been no native uprising, no great ghost dance, no re-emergance of magic and no emergance of dragons or any other mystical races to throw things off ballance. If this happened, and the south suddenly found itself on equal military and economic parity with the north, i wouldnt put money on things going like the timeline, yet i also wouldnt bet on it staying the same also.
Butterblume
My aunt lives in Vancouver. From what she tells, it's far more likely that British Columbia will join with an asian state than the US wink.gif.
Homme-qui-rigole
QUOTE (Dale)
We're having enough trouble keeping the country together because of Quebec and its elitism.

Yes, you're right, people like me feels really elite
Dale
You demand to be "a nation within a nation" and every so often try to separate. Don't expect the rest of us true Canadians to be happy about it.
fistandantilus4.0
Let's not debate this here guys.

Strangely, this reminds me of an interesting time at work:
The participants:
My Room mate - Christy Lee
My Boss - Brett Enzensprger (or some such really hard to pronounce name)

Boss man comes out of his office, in a pissy mood for some reason. It's Veteran's day. He goes off on some rant, and then turns to Christy.

"It's because of people like you that the war even happened."

Christy:
"I'm Chinese, not Japanese you idiot."

The point.... not sure there really was one. Just reminded me of it really. Anyways, don't point fingers and blame other members for trying to secede a nation.
Kagetenshi
FWIW, it is arguably the fault of the Chinese that Japan allied with Germany in the Great Patriotic War. If it weren't for that whole "not wanting Manchuria to be a Japanese colony" thing, Japan probably wouldn't have ended up leaving the League of Nations and being isolated with regard to the non-German international community. Of course, that's a little like blaming Poland for the European Frontů

~J
fistandantilus4.0
I love you man
Rajaat99
Actually it was France's fault.
Herald of Verjigorm
QUOTE (Rajaat99)
Actually it was France's fault.

It's always France's fault, that's why blaming Poland is so absurd.
2bit
Maybe when he said "people like you" he meant, "secret jew haters". I mean, how well do you really know Christy?
Snow_Fox
where is this going? The US is going to take Canada to stop the Japanese from giving Manchuria to the Russians? I'm lost
Kagetenshi
No no, see, this is how it is:

National Socialist leaders, lead by the reincarnation of Adolph Hitler and with cooperation from the secret Japanese government that holds imperial control behind the scenes of the public Kokkai, will rise against Jewish economic domination. They will implement the previously-abandoned Fugu plan by creating a European zone of harsh discrimination while Japan encourages settlement of expelled Jews in Manchuria, which will be called Manchuko again. With this friendly populace in place (and assisted by the financial wizardry of the Jewish peoples, as seen in historical literature by the National Socialist party) Japan can thoroughly dominate the area, and any additional Jewish population can be dealt with according to the Madagascar plan. The Chinese, in order to thwart this plan, will ally with Canada to start another Great War and prevent the Jews and Japanese from taking their land. To prevent this, the United States is going to take Canada, except for Quebec, which will attempt to join France and get laughed at.

~J
SL James
Where exactly do you buy that pot, Kage?

In unrelated news, this thread (especially the OP) is goddamn hilarious.
fistandantilus4.0
QUOTE (2bit)
Maybe when he said "people like you" he meant, "secret jew haters". I mean, how well do you really know Christy?

Uhh.... yeah.... no....

Kagetenshi
QUOTE (SL James)
Where exactly do you buy that pot, Kage?

Diviner's sage, man. You don't trip like this off of pot.

Now if you'll excuse me, I need to finish my essay on how Dracula is, at its core, a metaphorical representation of James Brown.

~J
Garrowolf
No the US is not going to split apart. We are just going to turn every other country into a state! We could break up canada into 8 or 10 states, mexico into several. Keep some of the smaller central american countries the same size. Then make Japan a state. Just think of the tax boost!
Rajaat99
QUOTE (Garrowolf)
No the US is not going to split apart. We are just going to turn every other country into a state! We could break up canada into 8 or 10 states, mexico into several. Keep some of the smaller central american countries the same size. Then make Japan a state. Just think of the tax boost!

Now, you're thinking! Mexico would be easy, they all want to live here anyway. Japan would be harder, maybe make them a commonwealth, so they can keep their "National pride" intact. Canada wouldn't be too hard. Their mounties would be drunk off that good Canadian whiskey. But, lets just frag France, at least Paris.
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