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True Blue Jon
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What would be the benefits and drawbacks of the USA's 50 states becoming 50 nations allied together similar to the European Union?
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Re: The Unied Nations of America?
quozl wrote:
What would be the benefits and drawbacks of the USA's 50 states becoming 50 nations allied together similar to the European Union?


The large states would likely determine the value of currency, as Germany and France do in the EU, so smaller states would become the Greeces of the new UNA, which can really suck if an economic crisis hits and you're carrying a debt. Since most states would likely beginning running debt (as most sovereign nations do, because in a lot of ways running a properly structured debt makes fiscal sense for a country), when an economic crisis DID hit, smaller states would get gobsmacked. On top of that, the new fifty-country arrangement would likely mean less flow of labour, which is generally bad for a vibrant economy.

On the plus side, though, larger richer states would stop having to financially support smaller poorer ones. But given that those states would be in large part reliant on the smaller poorer ones for their trading bloc, etc.
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Daniel Eig
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Re: The Unied Nations of America?
I see few benefits, and a lot of drawbacks. A lot of the US's economic strength is that it is effectively one of the worlds largest 100% free trade blocks internally, but that each state still has a wide range of autonomy - especially when compared to provinces in other countries.

The US tried that 50 independent nations in a union thing (well... 14) - the Articles of Confederacy - and it was a mess.
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dtolman wrote:
The US tried that the 50 independent nations in a union thing - the Articles of Confederacy - and it was a mess.


To be fair, they were a bit distracted by a war. It's really hard to tell how it would have turned out without the war going on.

Which reminds me - that would be a really big difference. We'd have 50 different armies instead of just one.
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bjlillo wrote:
The other crappy thing is that Canada would probably want to join.


Actually we'd just offer the states we wanted membership. New England, maybe New York, Washington state, Minnesota and Wisconsin. We'd wait for Alaska's inevitable collapse before coming in for the pieces on the uber cheap.

Oh, and Hawaii, because we need a nice warm island somewhere and that whole Turks and Caicos Islands thing apparently ain't happening.
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quozl wrote:
dtolman wrote:
The US tried that the 50 independent nations in a union thing - the Articles of Confederacy - and it was a mess.


To be fair, they were a bit distracted by a war. It's really hard to tell how it would have turned out without the war going on.

Which reminds me - that would be a really big difference. We'd have 50 different armies instead of just one.


War ended in '82 - the convention to fix the AoC was in '87. That was five peacetime years they muddled through - and it became evident it was unworkable even before that - the states refused to pay for federal spending, and there was no way to collect taxes!

Also - each state does have its own army! The state militias of the 18th and 19th century still exist in two forms:
-as the quasi-independent national guard - which is regulated by the federal military, but can be ordered by the state Governor in peacetime
-the completely independent state guards - answerable only to the state governor.
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quozl wrote:
Which reminds me - that would be a really big difference. We'd have 50 different armies instead of just one.


It could work as long as all of the equipment was standardized and there was some protocol for cross-communication between forces. Both NATO and the Warsaw Pact did it and it seemed to work pretty well in both cases. Yes, even the Soviet one worked.

Everyone used the same ammo sizes so they could swap supplies as needed (quartermasters rejoice!) and a joint command structure allowed for native commanders to be in charge of individual divisions, but have one cohesive strategic planning and decision making body for the whole. There might be some squabble about who commits how much to which minor conflicts, but if its a full scale war involving all of the members, it should work just fine.
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quozl wrote:
What would be the benefits and drawbacks of the USA's 50 states becoming 50 nations allied together similar to the European Union?


You'd end up with the mess we had in the Articles of Confederation, only worse.

The EU is facing some pretty tough decisions coming up, by the way. The Euro zone only "works" if everyone is effectively following the rules of the EU, which they aren't (at least, not economically). If the EU doesn't become more of a federal government and the nations of Europe more like states, there are some that say the EU can't last.
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quozl wrote:
dtolman wrote:
The US tried that the 50 independent nations in a union thing - the Articles of Confederacy - and it was a mess.


To be fair, they were a bit distracted by a war. It's really hard to tell how it would have turned out without the war going on.


Ummm. No? Yes, the were enacted in 1777, but they weren't ratified until 1781 and were fully in force until 1789. They were in place for six years of peace and were an unmitigated disaster.

And we wouldn't have 50 armies. We'd have one army crippled by lack of consistent manpower and funding and 50 militias which would range from quite good to bloody useless.
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I was actually thinking about the Civil War.
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quozl wrote:
I was actually thinking about the Civil War.


You mean the Confederacy? That was also a federal government that was a pretty horrid disaster. The states had so much power that the Confederate government was hamstrung on numerous economic and military issues. That particular nation had problems with supplying their armies, raising new levies, building required infrastructure, etc. The only thing that gave the CSA a chance at all was the common cause of fighting the Union. It's not at all a sure thing the CSA would have managed to hold together had they won the war (particularly with really cranky states like South Carolina around).
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I don't believe that half of the countries would want to create a union with the other half and some countries would most likely be left out entirely.
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Who would govern Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas, Guam, and the various other overseas territories?
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rukiosu wrote:
Who would govern Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas, Guam, and the various other overseas territories?


Them?
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quozl wrote:
rukiosu wrote:
Who would govern Puerto Rico, the Northern Marianas, Guam, and the various other overseas territories?


Them?


Them? Oh, right. The shadow government.
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Benefits: West Virginia, Louisiana, Baja California, Tehran might smell less like pee.

Drawbacks: Indian food would become bland and Dim Sum would become more like Panda Express.
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It depends on how far you'd take it. 'Articles of Confederation'-far would be too far. It was proven to be too unworkable. 'Constitution'-far was much better. One nation with 50 provinces is closer to what we have now, but that's also too far; just in the other direction. One nation with a common currency, a common base system of laws, a common and central power that is responsible for the defense of the whole, the negotiation on behalf of the whole with other nations, and the control of the whole in arbitration between the parts, etc. Basically a federal government weak enough to have independent and unique States (capital 's'), but strong enough to keep them tied together with a common nation footprint.

Some people that argue against this concept of powerful states and weaker nation argue that it's far less efficient. I agree that it is, but the most efficient solution is not necessarily the best. I would generally choose more freedom over more efficiency. Some things make more sense to handle at a federal level, but I'd say not as many as are handled today...but more than were handled in 1791.
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mightygodking wrote:
bjlillo wrote:
The other crappy thing is that Canada would probably want to join.


Actually we'd just offer the states we wanted membership. New England, maybe New York, Washington state, Minnesota and Wisconsin. We'd wait for Alaska's inevitable collapse before coming in for the pieces on the uber cheap.

Oh, and Hawaii, because we need a nice warm island somewhere and that whole Turks and Caicos Islands thing apparently ain't happening.


I'd take Illinois too - Chicago is rather awesome
 
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perfalbion wrote:
quozl wrote:
What would be the benefits and drawbacks of the USA's 50 states becoming 50 nations allied together similar to the European Union?


You'd end up with the mess we had in the Articles of Confederation, only worse.

The EU is facing some pretty tough decisions coming up, by the way. The Euro zone only "works" if everyone is effectively following the rules of the EU, which they aren't (at least, not economically). If the EU doesn't become more of a federal government and the nations of Europe more like states, there are some that say the EU can't last.
Minor quible, its the single currency that might not last. The Union will almost certainly abide in one form or the other. It has been a rather big succes overall, despite the numorous and serious problems plaguing it.
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dtolman wrote:

-the completely independent state guards - answerable only to the state governor.


"Money, Meet toilet."
"Nice to meet you Mr. Toilet."
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What if the country was split up into four or five countries?

 
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Donald wrote:
What if the country was split up into four or five countries?



Then we wouldn't be locked in a stable political quagmire and more people would get what they actually wanted (for good or ill).
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sisteray wrote:
Donald wrote:
What if the country was split up into four or five countries?



Then we wouldn't be locked in a stable political quagmire and more people would get what they actually wanted (for good or ill).


you really should quit with the happy drugs.
 
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Morgan Dontanville
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muntmeister wrote:
sisteray wrote:
Donald wrote:
What if the country was split up into four or five countries?



Then we wouldn't be locked in a stable political quagmire and more people would get what they actually wanted (for good or ill).


you really should quit with the happy drugs.


Honestly, it would make me very happy.
 
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muntmeister wrote:
sisteray wrote:
Donald wrote:
What if the country was split up into four or five countries?



Then we wouldn't be locked in a stable political quagmire and more people would get what they actually wanted (for good or ill).


you really should quit with the happy drugs.


Yeah, be sad with the rest of us.
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