The United States has become, in the eyes of foreign nation, a nation that cannot handle the responsibility of being not A superpower, but the one and only superpower (albeit China will be considered one soon, and by some definitions IS one). Given that, from a foreign perspective, I'd like to start a debate that takes two sides to that - encompassing everything from the countries current state regarding its own welfare and police the entire world to its system of healthcare. (Maybe not so much the latter because I do believe I saw a thread discussing healthcare elsewhere.)
And before we begin this debate, a clear misconception that many people (myself included up until roughly a year ago) GDP does not equate to influence. The United States is expected to remain the most influential country in the world long after China surpasses our GDP (which will happen by 2020 by most estimates.)
I for one think that the United States' biggest problem is the party system. George Washington warned against it, and while some might argue that slavery would never have been abolished without or other such things, I would argue otherwise. Even during Washington's time, many disagreed with the concept of Slavery, the writer of the constitution, Thomas Jefferson, included. The only reason the slavery abolishment clause was not included was because the southern states threatened to secede if they could not have slavery. That being said, slavery would have met the same fate it did with the party system. It was an obsolete and inhumane practice, and people would realize that without doubt at some point.
Not to get too much off topic, I think that the politicians in DC need to worry less about getting what their party wants and more about what the people need. Particularly the informed - few informed individuals support the belligerent approach to every problem that the United States has been inclined to show itself so fond of. Of all global defense spending the United States accounts for 41 percent of it. it's share of the global GDP is 19 percent. Historically the United States annual budget has been 19-21 percent of GDP, but to fund this increase in defense spending, that percentage has jumped to 25 percent. Quite a large jump when we're dealing with 4 percent of 16 trillion, is it not? In fact, in the last 50ish years, we've had only a few years of budget surpluses and not deficits - these were at the end of Clinton's presidency. Very shortly after Bush took office and the events of 9/11 occured, that's where it all went down hill, and the countries economy went from annual growth rates averaging 4-5 percent to an average of 2 (and most economists say that the age of 2 percent growth is over. Most industrialized countries see rates of 1.5ish percent.
The US has been an anomaly.) While I personally, with my limited understanding of economics (with only the highschool advanced placement course under my belt and quite a bit of internet research) would have to disagree. Had we kept the economy running surpluses, our debt right now, most economists agree, would be $0, and the economy would be a booming $20 trillion dollars. That would not only have given the US the highest GDP in the world (percentage wise we'd be much more than 19 percent), but also the second largest per capita income. Not including the nations that can attribute their high per capita incomes to the United States like Kuwait.
My point being that defense spending (which amounts to more than the next 14 countries combined.) need to be heavily reduced. On top of that we need to stop babysitting the world and giving money to countries that constantly show aggression towards us. North Korea is understandable, as they're like the idiotic child of the world, but countries like Pakistan show no indication that they deserve the 20 billion dollars we've given them.
I'll update this post later with whatever more I have to say, but it's 11 PM, I have school tomorrow, and I'd prefer to watch a movie. Priorities, friends. Movies>school
Debates of a more controversial nature, and discussions on the latest world events. Give your opinions, but no flaming!
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- The redeem3r
- Dwarf Thief
- Posts: 379
- Joined: Sat 6th Oct 2007
- Gender: Male
- Location: On a pale blue dot, traveling wherever the Universe takes me
The reasons aliens haven't made contact with us because if a species were to become space-faring, they would have no doubt realized that bickering and warring is primitive. They realize that any interaction with humans would be met with hostility on our parts. Only when we can put aside our differences and tear down our borders will be find what we are looking for.