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Is the U.S. in charge of the world?

MeizMeiz Registered User regular
edited May 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
I was rather surprised when a fellow forumer made such a statement in another thread.

I for one can see that the U.S. has a lot of say and for all intents and purposes is the dominating superpower, but in charge of the whole thing to the point where its running the show?

At first I was, how cute, this guy thinks the U.S. is in charge and responded in my usual curt nature. But then I noticed he's actually making some points that might bring a discussion to the table.

I can't say I share that view specifically and personally. Perhaps a debate between peers might be able to get the points across and people can judge for themselves.

Here's , albeit a dumbed down, conversation between myself and chomamadog:
chomamadog wrote: »
Meiz wrote: »
chomamadog wrote: »
Meiz wrote: »
chomamadog wrote: »
Gotta go with Colbert, whoever said that Miyamoto influences the world, while Colbert only influences the US. Well, the US pretty much runs the world...so?

There's a thing called traveling, I'd look into it if you want to avoid making such obtuse claims in the future.

The US bullies anybody that doesn't get on board with it's agenda. Be it through conventional military might, or through less conventional means, such as economic warfare. Really, you think the US stays at the top by playing FAIR? If we're going to have out this debate, I'd prefer it continue on in PM format, as I don't like saying this stuff aloud, being that it does OFFEND people, but it's the truth.

Well, I take no offense but what your saying is pretty asinine considering the massive payload of fuel the US just gave North Korea so they can fuel more missiles and point them at South Korea.

If you consider your initial statement to be true, well, you should re-evaluate that statement because it's not a very smart thing to say.

Whether what I said is "asinine" or "not very smart" is your opinion, whereas what I said about the US running the world is backed up by the fact that they are the dominant force in the world. Unless you can name me someone they answer to? Even your example of the US giving fuel to South Korea is in favor of the US running shit. We have the resources, be it fuel, money or food, to aid whoever it is we want to aid, often times tipping the scales in their favor through our direct or indirect involvement.

Whether you want to call aid "troops/peace keepers" or whether you want to call it us supplying dictatorships with supplies to keep their corrupt administration in power, allowing us to benefit off the cheap labor of the third world. It does not matter what you call it, we have the resources to ensure we back the winning side. It doesn't come free, we exploit whoever we "help" either by setting up some corporation to steal their natural resources from them, or by establishing factories that enable us as Americans to buy products at dirt cheap prices.

Seriously though, I don't want to continue this "argument" in this thread, let alone if you're just going to try to brow beat me into reversing my statement by poor attempts to call me stupid.

So, what kind of influence do you think the U.S. has on the world as a whole? Is it absolute? Could it be and should it be stronger?

Floor's open.

Meiz on
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    YarYar Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    We dominate the world to a great extent, though certainly not absolutely. I see our influence only waning in recent years.

    Yar on
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    ElkiElki get busy Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    No, the U.S. doesn't run the world. 'The West' governed the world during the first half the last century; now? Not so much.

    It's the the most powerful state, sure, but its power is still limited (and diminishing). Not just because OMGCHINA.

    Elki on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    The US has tremendous influence over the rest of the world, much greater than any other single nation. But it's far from absolute. The assertion that it is absolute is actually pretty laughable.

    Could it be stronger? Sure. Should it be? I suppose that depends on how you view the US's actions. I think most reasonable people would say no, and a lot of people would say it should be considerably less. I'm of the opinion that it is what it is, and the question of whether or not we should have more influence is not nearly as important as how we should use the influence we do have.

    ElJeffe on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The US is the dominant military force, but I can see problems arising as the Euro becomes the dominant currency. Chomamadog makes a good point.

    Gorak on
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    chomamadogchomamadog Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    The US has tremendous influence over the rest of the world, much greater than any other single nation. But it's far from absolute. The assertion that it is absolute is actually pretty laughable.

    Could it be stronger? Sure. Should it be? I suppose that depends on how you view the US's actions. I think most reasonable people would say no, and a lot of people would say it should be considerably less. I'm of the opinion that it is what it is, and the question of whether or not we should have more influence is not nearly as important as how we should use the influence we do have.

    I agree, but in essence, we run the world. There are a lot of people that won't dare oppose what we say for fear of us turning our wrath on them, and I hate to make that sound so biblical. We really are the big kid on the block that everyone hates, but is too scared to stand up to.

    chomamadog on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    chomamadog wrote: »
    There are a lot of people that won't dare oppose what we say for fear of us turning our wrath on them, and I hate to make that sound so biblical. We really are the big kid on the block that everyone hates, but is too scared to stand up to.

    Are we talking before or after 9/11? Was that not people standing up and attacking the big boy?

    Gorak on
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    Jon 118Jon 118 Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    The US isn't in charge. Or at least, it shouldn't be. Take England for example; here, most of the people who I've met want us to stop following the US around like a puppy and do our own thing. In fact, some people automatically oppose everything American because it is American. Now if our politicans listened to this then we wouldn't be rules by America.

    Basically what I'm trying to say is: The US doesn't rule the world. It rules the politicians in some countries, but most people don't want to do what it says. Which, I suppose, means they control those countries, but there are plenty of countries that ignore America's wants. Look at the lack of support they get from the most of the EU, for one thing.

    Jon 118 on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    chomamadog wrote: »
    I agree, but in essence, we run the world. There are a lot of people that won't dare oppose what we say for fear of us turning our wrath on them, and I hate to make that sound so biblical. We really are the big kid on the block that everyone hates, but is too scared to stand up to.

    We're by no means unique in that respect. Nations are doing or not doing things all the time based on fear of reprisal, be it economic or military. Have we gone in and kicked NK's ass yet? No? That's because we don't dare go in there for fear of Kim Jong Il turning his wrath on us. (Well, actually on South Korea.) Do we make ultimatums towards the Chinese? No, because we want friendly economic relations with them. That's just the way foreign policy works. You kiss ass to certain people so they give you what you want.

    Right now, the US is a major player, and a lot of people kiss our asses to get what they want. But that differs from the status quo only quantitatively, not qualitatively.

    Moreover, not everyone hates us, and not everyone is too scared to stand up to us. Nations tell us to get fucked all the damned time.

    ElJeffe on
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    chomamadogchomamadog Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Either/or. It wasn't anything official though. Kind of like you might bitch and moan about the bully behind his back, but to face him openly is a different thing. I don't want this to get into a validity of the war in Iraq thing. To be honest, I'm undecided on the "official" story of 9/11. I'm sure this will hurt my credibility, but the jury is still out in my opinion. Either way you cut it though, it was a great tragedy, it's just a shame that it had so many benefits to the US.

    chomamadog on
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    chomamadogchomamadog Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    I agree, but in essence, we run the world. There are a lot of people that won't dare oppose what we say for fear of us turning our wrath on them, and I hate to make that sound so biblical. We really are the big kid on the block that everyone hates, but is too scared to stand up to.

    We're by no means unique in that respect. Nations are doing or not doing things all the time based on fear of reprisal, be it economic or military. Have we gone in and kicked NK's ass yet? No? That's because we don't dare go in there for fear of Kim Jong Il turning his wrath on us. (Well, actually on South Korea.) Do we make ultimatums towards the Chinese? No, because we want friendly economic relations with them. That's just the way foreign policy works. You kiss ass to certain people so they give you what you want.

    Right now, the US is a major player, and a lot of people kiss our asses to get what they want. But that differs from the status quo only quantitatively, not qualitatively.

    Moreover, not everyone hates us, and not everyone is too scared to stand up to us. Nations tell us to get fucked all the damned time.

    I agree with everything you said, except the last bit about nations telling us to "get fucked." I can't think of anybody that likes us for reasons other than economic. Our policy is shit. In the short term peasants in third world countries might be like "bring us democracy," but as soon as their newly installed dictator starts selling them out for a dollar an hour labor source (and I'm being generous here), they're going to think fuck the US. Or as soon as our vacationers start sleeping around with their children, THEN they're going to hate us.

    Africa, we've practically abandoned, save for their diamond mines, we'd have no business to be there.

    Middle East, oil.

    Asia, one of the premier spots for loser ass business men to go marry a nice 12 year old boy dressed as a woman. Along with cheap labor

    Europe, hates our fucking guts universally.

    Australia, I don't know what there is to say about Australia, I guess they have no natural resources we can take advantage of so we just live and let live there.

    South America, cheap labor and resources.

    Japan might be the exception, but that's only because we've neutered them post WW2. Sure they sell us a lot of electronics and cars, but if memory serves me correctly, they're an overpopulated island nation with no natural resources. Where do they get the materials to be industrialized from? Yeah, every Japanese car made is money in the American steel owners pockets.

    chomamadog on
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    GorakGorak Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Europe, hates our fucking guts universally.

    It's not universal, it's simply because of eveything you say and do. There's a difference.

    Gorak on
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    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    chomamadog wrote: »
    I agree, but in essence, we run the world. There are a lot of people that won't dare oppose what we say for fear of us turning our wrath on them, and I hate to make that sound so biblical. We really are the big kid on the block that everyone hates, but is too scared to stand up to.
    Not really.

    Part of that influence comes from the fact that, most of the time (not all of the time), the aims of the U.S. are in line with the aims of those in charge elsewhere. Do you really think, for example, U.S. economic policy "dominates" because Europe and others are too afraid to say otherwise, or is it because, largely, they're also on the same page?

    Sure, there are those who hate the U.S., but a lot of people also benefit from the current system and wouldn't want it any other way.

    One way to consider things is - is most of the world proceeding together and co-operating because some more powerful state is forcing them along this path, or, is most of the world proceeding along a common path, and one of those states happens to be more powerful?

    This isn't to say that the U.S. is wonderful benign, not by a long shot, but the scenario chomamadog paints, where the U.S. gets what it wants, when it wants, and shapes the international scene solely through the exercise of its power is also erroneous.

    Andrew_Jay on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    The USA's strongest card is economic warfare.

    Read the book Confessions by an Economic Hit-man, by John Perkins. He lays it out clearly.

    - private corporations that have alleged ties to the NSA and CIA send in their economic forecasters (i.e. "economic hit men") to developing countries
    - the job of the forecaster is to come up with massively exaggerated economic development forecasts and using those forecasts try to convince the leaders to take loans from the World Bank and IMF (and other banks)
    - the leader is, in most cases, convinced. he borrows the massive loans (on the specific condition that he will use it to contract Western construction and engineering companies), thinking he can pay off the loan plus the interest using the profits made from the forecasted (forecast?) economic boom. meanwhile, his influence is strengthened among the populace.
    - a few decades down the line it turns out the country can't pay its debts, and this gives USA massive political power over the country. so when the USA wants to build a military base there, or convince the country to stop trading with another country, or anything, it can use the debts as political leverage.
    - meanwhile, US construction and engineering companies are making billions of dollars from contracts to build roads, bridges, factories, entertainment centers, you name it. In this sense, the money isn't leaving the USA. It is just being transferred from the banks to the corporations, but through the developing countries.
    - so in the end the developing country moves forward (significantly in some cases, such as in the case of Saudi Arabia), the dictator's foothold among the populace becomes stronger, but he becomes USA's bitch.

    in rare cases where the leader in question is not convinced by the economic models of the forecaster, or sees through the ploy and refuses to "cooperate", the USA starts political assassination, and when that fails, actual assassination (planting bombs in airplanes seems to work pretty well).

    (and in very few cases that fails, and you end up with a country like today's Venezuela.)

    ege02 on
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    sanstodosanstodo Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Europe, hates our fucking guts universally.

    It's not universal, it's simply because of eveything you say and do. There's a difference.

    Which is good because our behavior can and will change, with some luck and a good outcome in 2008 :D

    Then again, France might screw itself during this election (way to reject the centrist candidate and risk having that conservative prick win) so we're not the only ones making bad decisions lately.

    sanstodo on
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    MaydayMayday Cutting edge goblin tech Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, you're doing a shit-job.

    Because you're doing nothing to prepare us for this:
    http://www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net/

    Mayday on
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    RoanthRoanth Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    chomamadog wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    I agree, but in essence, we run the world. There are a lot of people that won't dare oppose what we say for fear of us turning our wrath on them, and I hate to make that sound so biblical. We really are the big kid on the block that everyone hates, but is too scared to stand up to.

    We're by no means unique in that respect. Nations are doing or not doing things all the time based on fear of reprisal, be it economic or military. Have we gone in and kicked NK's ass yet? No? That's because we don't dare go in there for fear of Kim Jong Il turning his wrath on us. (Well, actually on South Korea.) Do we make ultimatums towards the Chinese? No, because we want friendly economic relations with them. That's just the way foreign policy works. You kiss ass to certain people so they give you what you want.

    Right now, the US is a major player, and a lot of people kiss our asses to get what they want. But that differs from the status quo only quantitatively, not qualitatively.

    Moreover, not everyone hates us, and not everyone is too scared to stand up to us. Nations tell us to get fucked all the damned time.

    I agree with everything you said, except the last bit about nations telling us to "get fucked." I can't think of anybody that likes us for reasons other than economic. Our policy is shit. In the short term peasants in third world countries might be like "bring us democracy," but as soon as their newly installed dictator starts selling them out for a dollar an hour labor source (and I'm being generous here), they're going to think fuck the US. Or as soon as our vacationers start sleeping around with their children, THEN they're going to hate us.

    Africa, we've practically abandoned, save for their diamond mines, we'd have no business to be there.

    Middle East, oil.

    Asia, one of the premier spots for loser ass business men to go marry a nice 12 year old boy dressed as a woman. Along with cheap labor

    Europe, hates our fucking guts universally.

    Australia, I don't know what there is to say about Australia, I guess they have no natural resources we can take advantage of so we just live and let live there.

    South America, cheap labor and resources.

    Japan might be the exception, but that's only because we've neutered them post WW2. Sure they sell us a lot of electronics and cars, but if memory serves me correctly, they're an overpopulated island nation with no natural resources. Where do they get the materials to be industrialized from? Yeah, every Japanese car made is money in the American steel owners pockets.

    Oh man your last point on Japan made laugh so hard. Do you recall the massive wave of bankruptcy that the steel industry experienced in the late 90's and earl 00's (right when Japanese car companies really ramped up production and market share)? The only reason the steel industry is doing ok now is because of massive chinese demand for minerals of all sort and capacity reductions created by the bankruptcies I mentioned earlier. I think you should go check out just how much steel we export to Japan before making statements like this.

    Roanth on
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    geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Roanth wrote: »
    Oh man your last point on Japan made laugh so hard. Do you recall the massive wave of bankruptcy that the steel industry experienced in the late 90's and earl 00's (right when Japanese car companies really ramped up production and market share)? The only reason the steel industry is doing ok now is because of massive chinese demand for minerals of all sort and capacity reductions created by the bankruptcies I mentioned earlier. I think you should go check out just how much steel we export to Japan before making statements like this.

    Yeah.

    If i recall correctly, Japan is the only country in the world that has the capacity to make the girders needed for sky-scrapers. Bethlehem Steel used to make them, but . . . they are no longer in business.

    geckahn on
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    RoanthRoanth Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    geckahn wrote: »
    Roanth wrote: »
    Oh man your last point on Japan made laugh so hard. Do you recall the massive wave of bankruptcy that the steel industry experienced in the late 90's and earl 00's (right when Japanese car companies really ramped up production and market share)? The only reason the steel industry is doing ok now is because of massive chinese demand for minerals of all sort and capacity reductions created by the bankruptcies I mentioned earlier. I think you should go check out just how much steel we export to Japan before making statements like this.

    Yeah.

    If i recall correctly, Japan is the only country in the world that has the capacity to make the girders needed for sky-scrapers. Bethlehem Steel used to make them, but . . . they are no longer in business.

    I was going to wait for him to respond but I will just let you know that Japan produces more steel anually than the U.S. and is an exporter, not an importer of steel (they were really pissed off by the Bush tariffs in 01-03). U.S. steelmakers don't make a single dime on Japanese cars unless it is a domestic manufacturing facility.

    EDIT: In fact, Japan doesn't import any steel from NAFTA nations, just a little bit from primarily lower cost regions in Asia. Here is a great read if you have any interest.

    http://www.worldsteel.org/pictures/newsfiles/WSIF06.pdf

    Roanth on
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    StormyWatersStormyWaters Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Meiz wrote: »
    I was rather surprised when a fellow forumer made such a statement in another thread.

    I for one can see that the U.S. has a lot of say and for all extensive purposes is the dominating superpower, but in charge of the whole thing to the point where its running the show?


    INTENTS AND PURPOSES. pet peeve of mine, because it seems to be happening a lot lately. Sorry to derail.

    StormyWaters on
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    ÆthelredÆthelred Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Geir Lundestad's "Empire by Invitation?" is a very good read. Abstract here:

    The article attempts to substantiate two related arguments. First, that the American expansion was really more striking than the Soviet one in the first years after the Second World War. While America's influence could be strongly felt in most corners of the world, the Soviet Union counted for little outside its border areas, however vast these border areas. The article looks briefly at the increased American role in Asia and Africa, but the emphasis is on the dramatic change in the American-Western European relationship. Second, if this American expansion created what we could call an American empire, this was to a large extent an empire by invitation. Unlike the Soviet Union, which frequently had to rely on force to further its interests, the United States possessed an arsenal of diverse instruments.

    In fact, the United States was often invited to play a more active role. The article goes into some detail on the na ture of Western Europe's economic and military invitations to Washington. The author's tentative find ing is that this invitational attitude of most Western European governments was often shared by public opinion in the countries concerned.

    The article also argues that this state of American empire only lasted approximately 30 years. In the 1970s, the US lead over other powers had declined both militarily and, particularly important, economically. The American-European relationship had to be redefined. Many European governments still invited the United States to play an active role, but these invitations were much more ambiguous now than in the first two decades after the world war. Finally, the author hypothesizes that the American decline was in part caused by the expenses involved in maintaining the American empire.


    Generally a lot of America's influence (especially in Europe) is people genuinely liking the US and its models.

    Æthelred on
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    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Sounds interesting, and is pretty much what I was trying to get at above.

    Andrew_Jay on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    It seems a little pointless to discuss dominance in the abstract. You have more or less influence in different situations.

    I don't really care if the U.S. is the big dog. I kind of prefer it to the other contenders for the position I guess. It would be pretty cool not to have to spend 530 Billion dollars per year on our military.

    Shinto on
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    chomamadogchomamadog Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Roanth wrote: »
    geckahn wrote: »
    Roanth wrote: »
    Oh man your last point on Japan made laugh so hard. Do you recall the massive wave of bankruptcy that the steel industry experienced in the late 90's and earl 00's (right when Japanese car companies really ramped up production and market share)? The only reason the steel industry is doing ok now is because of massive chinese demand for minerals of all sort and capacity reductions created by the bankruptcies I mentioned earlier. I think you should go check out just how much steel we export to Japan before making statements like this.

    Yeah.

    If i recall correctly, Japan is the only country in the world that has the capacity to make the girders needed for sky-scrapers. Bethlehem Steel used to make them, but . . . they are no longer in business.

    I was going to wait for him to respond but I will just let you know that Japan produces more steel anually than the U.S. and is an exporter, not an importer of steel (they were really pissed off by the Bush tariffs in 01-03). U.S. steelmakers don't make a single dime on Japanese cars unless it is a domestic manufacturing facility.

    EDIT: In fact, Japan doesn't import any steel from NAFTA nations, just a little bit from primarily lower cost regions in Asia. Here is a great read if you have any interest.

    http://www.worldsteel.org/pictures/newsfiles/WSIF06.pdf

    I apologize, I'm at work, chances are I wouldn't have had anything to say in response to this anyway.

    chomamadog on
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    chomamadogchomamadog Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Gorak wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Europe, hates our fucking guts universally.

    It's not universal, it's simply because of eveything you say and do. There's a difference.

    Are you saying because of everything I personally say? Or Americans?

    chomamadog on
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    chomamadogchomamadog Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.

    I agree.

    chomamadog on
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    chomamadogchomamadog Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Andrew_Jay wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    I agree, but in essence, we run the world. There are a lot of people that won't dare oppose what we say for fear of us turning our wrath on them, and I hate to make that sound so biblical. We really are the big kid on the block that everyone hates, but is too scared to stand up to.
    Not really.

    Part of that influence comes from the fact that, most of the time (not all of the time), the aims of the U.S. are in line with the aims of those in charge elsewhere. Do you really think, for example, U.S. economic policy "dominates" because Europe and others are too afraid to say otherwise, or is it because, largely, they're also on the same page?

    Sure, there are those who hate the U.S., but a lot of people also benefit from the current system and wouldn't want it any other way.

    One way to consider things is - is most of the world proceeding together and co-operating because some more powerful state is forcing them along this path, or, is most of the world proceeding along a common path, and one of those states happens to be more powerful?

    This isn't to say that the U.S. is wonderful benign, not by a long shot, but the scenario chomamadog paints, where the U.S. gets what it wants, when it wants, and shapes the international scene solely through the exercise of its power is also erroneous.

    Yeah, this is more what I was getting at. The US spear heading the corruption.

    I agree with everything you said. I usually don't argue anymore, and I'm pretty rusty on debating period. As a hobby, I fucking hate it.

    chomamadog on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.

    I agree.

    I don't know about that. There hasn't been a world war for the past seven decades. No two first world countries have engaged in total war. Economies are expanding globally. Democracy and human rights have advanced considerably in most countries.

    I'm hard pressed to find a better global situation than the one today looking back over the passed several centuries.

    Shinto on
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    Andrew_JayAndrew_Jay Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.
    I agree.
    I don't know about that. There hasn't been a world war for the past seven decades. No two first world countries have engaged in total war. Economies are expanding globally. Democracy and human rights have advanced considerably in most countries.

    I'm hard pressed to find a better global situation than the one today looking back over the passed several centuries.
    Yeah, that's the problem I have when people complain like that - there's nothing to compare it to. At best, all you can do is offer an historical comparison (like your's), and that just makes the situation come out looking pretty good.

    Andrew_Jay on
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    chomamadogchomamadog Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.

    I agree.

    I don't know about that. There hasn't been a world war for the past seven decades. No two first world countries have engaged in total war. Economies are expanding globally. Democracy and human rights have advanced considerably in most countries.

    I'm hard pressed to find a better global situation than the one today looking back over the passed several centuries.

    Democracy and human rights don't mean a thing if we continue to profit at the expense of the Earth's health. Capitalism is about profit, as opposed to what you "need." Which is probably where this thread goes down the drain, defining what it is we "need."

    Overpopulation, the extinction of species (I'm unsure of the rate, but I'll say faster today than ever before), destruction of the rain forests, global warming, pollution of most any environment possible. 4 out of those 5 are applicable to the US.

    Maybe profiting isn't such a good thing? Quite frankly, we're taking far more than we're giving to the Earth.

    chomamadog on
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    geckahngeckahn Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.

    I agree.

    I don't know about that. There hasn't been a world war for the past seven decades. No two first world countries have engaged in total war. Economies are expanding globally. Democracy and human rights have advanced considerably in most countries.

    I'm hard pressed to find a better global situation than the one today looking back over the passed several centuries.

    Democracy and human rights don't mean a thing if we continue to profit at the expense of the Earth's health. Capitalism is about profit, as opposed to what you "need." Which is probably where this thread goes down the drain, defining what it is we "need."

    Overpopulation, the extinction of species (I'm unsure of the rate, but I'll say faster today than ever before), destruction of the rain forests, global warming, pollution of most any environment possible. 4 out of those 5 are applicable to the US.

    Maybe profiting isn't such a good thing? Quite frankly, we're taking far more than we're giving to the Earth.

    Yeah, we're not going to define what "need" is because it doesn't matter, only what people demand.

    These post is so far out of left field. Youre a bit of a hippy, aren't you?

    geckahn on
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    RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.

    I agree.

    I don't know about that. There hasn't been a world war for the past seven decades. No two first world countries have engaged in total war. Economies are expanding globally. Democracy and human rights have advanced considerably in most countries.

    I'm hard pressed to find a better global situation than the one today looking back over the passed several centuries.
    While I agree that we are better off now than ever before, how many of the things you named can the US actually take credit for? How many of them are the result of a US policy or action, as opposed to the result of post-WWII conditions and circumstances?

    Richy on
    sig.gif
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Richy wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.

    I agree.

    I don't know about that. There hasn't been a world war for the past seven decades. No two first world countries have engaged in total war. Economies are expanding globally. Democracy and human rights have advanced considerably in most countries.

    I'm hard pressed to find a better global situation than the one today looking back over the passed several centuries.
    While I agree that we are better off now than ever before, how many of the things you named can the US actually take credit for? How many of them are the result of a US policy or action, as opposed to the result of post-WWII conditions and circumstances?

    I was just accepting the previous premise that the U.S. is in charge of the world.

    As in when you said "If the U.S. is in charge of the world, you're doing a shit-job."

    Shinto on
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    ege02ege02 __BANNED USERS regular
    edited April 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.

    I agree.

    I don't know about that. There hasn't been a world war for the past seven decades. No two first world countries have engaged in total war. Economies are expanding globally. Democracy and human rights have advanced considerably in most countries.

    I'm hard pressed to find a better global situation than the one today looking back over the passed several centuries.

    Eh, there are good things, but there are also a lot of bad things too. Like you said, it is impossible to tell since we have nothing to compare to.

    What I despise is USA's self-righteous attitude in bringing about change that it deems positive and necessary.

    ege02 on
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    RichyRichy Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    Richy wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Mayday wrote: »
    If the U.S. is in charge of the world, your're doing a shit-job.

    I agree.

    I don't know about that. There hasn't been a world war for the past seven decades. No two first world countries have engaged in total war. Economies are expanding globally. Democracy and human rights have advanced considerably in most countries.

    I'm hard pressed to find a better global situation than the one today looking back over the passed several centuries.
    While I agree that we are better off now than ever before, how many of the things you named can the US actually take credit for? How many of them are the result of a US policy or action, as opposed to the result of post-WWII conditions and circumstances?

    I was just accepting the previous premise that the U.S. is in charge of the world.

    As in when you said "If the U.S. is in charge of the world, you're doing a shit-job."
    I didn't think they meant it in the sense "things are so horrible today". I think they meant "things could be so much better today if the US did more". Like stop the Rwanda genocide, or stuff like that.

    At least, that's how I understood their post. Only they know what they really meant.

    Richy on
    sig.gif
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Overpopulation, the extinction of species (I'm unsure of the rate, but I'll say faster today than ever before), destruction of the rain forests, global warming, pollution of most any environment possible. 4 out of those 5 are applicable to the US.

    4 out of 5 of them apply to every developed nation on the globe. 5 out of 5 of them apply to the rest.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Overpopulation, the extinction of species (I'm unsure of the rate, but I'll say faster today than ever before), destruction of the rain forests, global warming, pollution of most any environment possible. 4 out of those 5 are applicable to the US.

    4 out of 5 of them apply to every developed nation on the globe. 5 out of 5 of them apply to the rest.

    Actually only 3 of them apply to the US, unless you consider promoting it in other countries. The US is far from overpopulated, and the population is stabilizing.

    This is also where I point out that overpopulation is more or less a non-issue for the First World at the moment- the trend is stable or DOWN.

    Phoenix-D on
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    ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
    edited April 2007
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Overpopulation, the extinction of species (I'm unsure of the rate, but I'll say faster today than ever before), destruction of the rain forests, global warming, pollution of most any environment possible. 4 out of those 5 are applicable to the US.

    4 out of 5 of them apply to every developed nation on the globe. 5 out of 5 of them apply to the rest.

    Actually only 3 of them apply to the US, unless you consider promoting it in other countries. The US is far from overpopulated, and the population is stabilizing.

    This is also where I point out that overpopulation is more or less a non-issue for the First World at the moment- the trend is stable or DOWN.

    The native US population is actually seeing a population decline (our population is growing due to immigration), but I was feeling particularly uncharitable and decided to ding the US for being responsible for a couple percent of the depletion of the planet's rainforests. Bad US! Bad!

    Also, I like this new Shinto. He's at least 5% less caustic than the old one.

    ElJeffe on
    I submitted an entry to Lego Ideas, and if 10,000 people support me, it'll be turned into an actual Lego set!If you'd like to see and support my submission, follow this link.
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    ElJeffe wrote: »
    chomamadog wrote: »
    Overpopulation, the extinction of species (I'm unsure of the rate, but I'll say faster today than ever before), destruction of the rain forests, global warming, pollution of most any environment possible. 4 out of those 5 are applicable to the US.

    4 out of 5 of them apply to every developed nation on the globe. 5 out of 5 of them apply to the rest.

    Actually only 3 of them apply to the US, unless you consider promoting it in other countries. The US is far from overpopulated, and the population is stabilizing.

    This is also where I point out that overpopulation is more or less a non-issue for the First World at the moment- the trend is stable or DOWN.

    Well, our population density, in general, is pretty damn bad thanks to the grey belts around major urban centers. The same is true for some European towns, (London's urban density is the same as LA) but thanks to their development, in comparison to ours, it's generally a starker urban-rural divide rather than sprawling suburbs that every US city has. So while we may not be overpopulated, we could certainly have a smaller population footprint.

    I don't even understand why a lot of it is so low given the shit sized lots that developers give for suburban homes. The draw just doesn't make any sense.

    moniker on
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    Phoenix-DPhoenix-D Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    moniker wrote: »
    Well, our population density, in general, is pretty damn bad thanks to the grey belts around major urban centers. The same is true for some European towns, (London's urban density is the same as LA) but thanks to their development, in comparison to ours, it's generally a starker urban-rural divide rather than sprawling suburbs that every US city has. So while we may not be overpopulated, we could certainly have a smaller population footprint.

    I don't even understand why a lot of it is so low given the shit sized lots that developers give for suburban homes. The draw just doesn't make any sense.

    If you want to minimize impact, population density is a good thing, true.

    Sprawl comes from cheap gas, essentially. It makes it so there's no economic sense in living close to your job. If the choice is between driving 20 miles farther and paying $300 more in rent/mortgage, that's something like $180 a month in favor of more driving. And it just gets worse when you consider the costs of moving. Those "shit sized lots" also tend to be a lot bigger than anything comparable in the city itself.

    Phoenix-D on
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    monikermoniker Registered User regular
    edited April 2007
    Phoenix-D wrote: »
    Sprawl comes from cheap gas, essentially. It makes it so there's no economic sense in living close to your job. If the choice is between driving 20 miles farther and paying $300 more in rent/mortgage, that's something like $180 a month in favor of more driving. And it just gets worse when you consider the costs of moving. Those "shit sized lots" also tend to be a lot bigger than anything comparable in the city itself.

    Not entirely. The highway arterials certainly opened commuting up to a further level, but the primary force behind the initial surge was Federal money backing mortgages and loans made out beyond the city's core over inside of it. The system was set up to be gamed for suburban development over other aspects. It wasn't part of the GI bill, but came about around the same time.

    It's not as though there aren't cheap areas of metropli that are offering condominium or coop setups where you aren't renting and are building equity. Price per square foot can be comparable or even better within the city's core, which is why mass gentrification is beginning to become a problem for some areas. You may not have a yard, but the same could be said of some of those lots. 1/8th of an acre is not a lawn. Especially when there's a park within a 10 minute walk, and the potential of green roofs which are just starting to be tapped into here.

    moniker on
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