How long will the United States last?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by iMacZealot, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. iMacZealot macrumors 68020

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    #1
    I recently read Catch 22 and it's a great book. While it is a little dated, it spawned a debate topic in me.

    In the book, an elderly Italian man asks a young American soldier how long he thinks his country will last, and antagonises him to an extent by saying that the United States won't last forever. Looking at history, it obviously won't. All the great civilisations declined.

    So, how long do you think the United States will last? What is our/their biggest threat?
     
  2. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #2
    I think it will easily last long enough that none of us will know the answer to your question.

    But eventually, I think that what will end the US will be a threat, but rather a happy merger into some larger body.
     
  3. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    I think our biggest threat is our own extravagant spending on policing the world. How long can that last?

    I think, or I hope, that in my lifetime, there will be less wars and that we will be able to understand each other better and realise our similarities while communicating at the speed of light.
     
  4. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #4
    But breaking the bank doesn't necessarily mean breaking apart the country.

    Also depends on how you want to define things. The US has shrunk in recent years, allowing its former territories of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, and Palau gain independence since 1986. It's not hard to imagine the US losing a few more overseas territories in the upcoming years.
     
  5. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    But our country is in the biggest debt in the history of money. We're spending $1B/day just on Iraq, and we're also in dozens of other countries (why are we still in Germany? Japan? North Korea?)

    I don't know what other serious threat there is. It's definitely not a bunch of extremists hiding in caves in the Middle East.
     
  6. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #6
    Ask me again on November 5. ;)
     
  7. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    we also have the largest Economy of any single country in the world. The debt when compared to the income each year is not that bad when comparing it to other countries. Remember debt is relative to ones income. For example Person A has a debt of a 300k but makes 700k/year. Person B has a debt of only 50k but only makes 70k/year. Which one is worse off. The answer is B.

    I think the answer to your question will be not in our life time. It be some time after we are dead. I also dread the day it happens because it means the world is going to suffer greatly and well and fall into a depression.
     
  8. iMacZealot thread starter macrumors 68020

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    But how do you know the world will fall into depression? What speculative event are you basing that on? WWIII? Al-Qaida invasion?
     
  9. fridgeymonster3 macrumors 6502

    fridgeymonster3

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    #9
    The US will probably last as long as modern civilization lasts. The only things I believe would affect this would be an event like a nuclear holocaust, or the migration of humans outside of Earth and our solar system (in centuries or millenia from now). If humans left earth than county sovereignty might be replaced by planet sovereigty. All crazy hypothetical sci-fi but you get my point.
     
  10. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

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    #10


    Go study how the world economy works and see how it all interrelates and then get back to me because until then this entire debate is pointless.
    You clearly do not want to see the other side. I lead out exactly why and yet you complete went over that.
     
  11. Badandy macrumors 68040

    Badandy

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    Well Jack Osbourne said 50 years about 5 years ago, and I think he is the most reputable scholar, so I'm going to go with that.


    But really, I have no idea. I know it's not going anywhere anytime soon, but I can only hope we get our fiscal mess sorted out. What people fail to realize is that even without the war in Iraq, we are still spending far more than we make each year. The war in Iraq is exacerbating an underlying problem that we NEED to fix.
     
  12. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

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    #12

    The idea that America is a great civilization is incredibly myopic; American preeminent global power based on financial and military terms is less than 80 years old.

    The Roman Empire lasted about 500 years. China as a political entity has existed for the best part of 4000 years, Ancient Egypt about 3000; let's discuss the idea of great civilizations in that context.
     
  13. digitalnicotine macrumors 65816

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    Good book. Well, I don't see how USA can be considered a great civilization. Don't get me wrong, I'm American, and I'm not saying it's not a nice place to live, I'm saying the terminology is flawed.

    If you want to look at greatness in civilizations, you have to look at (known) history as a whole, and not be distracted by the status quo mentality. Now, if you want to look at it without the flawed terminology, and ponder how long USA will be an independent nation, that's different. :)

    Looking at the present world, USA is young in comparison to other powerful nations. We'll have to leave size out of the equation, as it doesn't apply. For example, The United Kingdom is smaller in physical size, but not in world power. Next, I guess we'd have to look at our governmental structure. I think we don't fall into any of the classifications they teach us in prep school. We're not a true democracy, nor a socialist republic, nor a pure capitalist society. We have aspects of all three?

    Then we can look at history, and note the things that are common for nations that have had longevity, such as Great Britain, China, Rome, etc. While their governmental structures have changed over the centuries, there are things that remain constant in each. I won't go into all the details, but suffice to say this: USA was built on ideals. It was an awesome idea that we have never fully brought to fruition. While I'm not sure it's possible for any nation to fulfill the ideals it was founded on, I think the trends we can see with USA thus far, only tell only a partial tale at this point.

    The turning points that are most obvious would be the Civil War, The Great Depression, both WW1 and WW2, and 9/11. These are events that had drastic impacts on our government. We are the furthest from that original ideal than we have been since The Great Depression. I think our nation has been reactionary to these changes, and thus has lacked foresight. I say this not as criticism, but as honest observation based on what little knowledge I have.

    So as far as longevity, I think USA will survive for several more generations, barring natural disaster, financial collapse, or overwhelming invasion and domination. Unfortunately, my ability to see the future is nil. How's that for a really long, non-answer to an impossible question? :p
     
  14. miniConvert macrumors 68040

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    #14
    Yep, I think you're spot on. The North American Union could be a likely outcome in the not too distant future - then you'll be ditching your dollar for the Amero.

    On the subject of this, if you haven't seen it yet check out the Zeitgeist Movie, bear with the intro - it's a really really good watch!
     
  15. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    Our biggest threat is our own Govt and the paid off politicians who run it. Is there ever a day that goes by without them selling us out a little more? just the other day they gave a foreign company the airforce bid on "our" tanker planes. Soon our Military will be relying on foreigners for everything. Not very smart. Our biggest threat seems to be Washington.
     
  16. J@ffa macrumors 6502a

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    I love the smell of 'patriotic' trade protectionism in the morning. How dare those uppity foreigners make a better product for less money!
     
  17. elcid macrumors 6502

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    In this day and age of news and the internet, you aren't going to see a industrial nation fall. There will be no coup because we hold elections and hold a coup every 2-6 years. Iraq is a blip on the screen. We have a change to a more isolationist approach, then thats what we get.

    I think the U.S. is going to last til the end of human civilization. And whomever thinks we would merge with another country doesn't really get Americans. We go to places like Iraq cause we know we can do whatever we want. Not going to have anyone else tell us what to do.
     
  18. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    There is a little more to it such as airbus being bankrolled by foreign govts, then our own govt has all kinds of restrictions and hurdles if you will for domestic companys. Not a level playing field and then if you want to get right down to it The U.S. should rely on the U.S. not some foreign company for its own defense. Its common sense. Something our Govt lacks. Look at our space program, we are going to have to rely on foreigners to get us to the space station for 5 yrs because brain dead washington. These themes repeat over and over for the U.S. taxpayer, we get the bill then washington sends the jobs overseas......Stupid.

    We are on a path to our own demise. The U.S. needs to rely on the U.S. not say France or something.

    Once you manufactoring base is gone you end up with nothing. We seem to be on this road. There are some things that should allways remain domestic and production of military machines for defense is one.
     
  19. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    The US has had the largest economy in the world since the late 1800s, and became a "world power" as far back as 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American war. So we're talking about 130 or so years of being one of the very few major players and at least 60-70 years of being the biggest. Also, you have to admit that the pace of global change has increased a bit since the days of the great pyramids. It's a little harder to "stay on top" when you're actually interacting with the entire world rather than one corner of Africa and the Middle East.
     
  20. geese macrumors 6502a

    geese

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    #20
    Hah- the UK is way ahead of the US in that respect!

    Although the tanker deal won by Airbus (assuming that was what you were refering to) did include the promise of builiding an assembly factory in Alabama.

    And as everyone knows, Airbus's are simply better then your Boeings!
     
  21. Dont Hurt Me macrumors 603

    Dont Hurt Me

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    Interesting since airbus doesnt have any tanker experience and Boeing been doing it for 50 years. Also the net result is American Jobs going overseas. Something Our govt is terrific at......The outsourcing of America.

    Our Govt seems to want to look out for anyone who isnt a U.S. citizen hence bridges falling down in the U.S. for lack of funds while we bomb and then rebuild bridges in Iraq. Washington is lost and the people are going to have to kick out the lobbiest once and for all if we are ever to regain a Govt by the people for the people of the United States not some damn North American Union dreamed up by the corporations for simple greedy profits.
     
  22. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

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    howdy,
    Stopped in today to read the posts in this section, always good for a laugh (I'm sure I generated a few over the years).

    Here is A answer to your question, it is the BIG picture..

    How long will the US last

    I guess it matters who will get the 10 sec exposure, Western or Eastern Hemisphere!
     
  23. shu82 macrumors 6502a

    shu82

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    #23
    Ouch! I totally disagree with you on that one. Although the factory would be good for my state, we are still talking about employing just as many Frenchmen as Americans on a military contract! The Boeing deal would be made with 85% US components, and create twice as many US jobs. Boeing has never appealed a contract decision of the gov't, but this one will be, to the full extent of the law. It will either be a swift win for boeing, or go all the way to the supreme court. Hillary, Obama and McCain are on Boeing's side, and it will win this in the long run.

    Back to the original subject, all you need to do is watch Red Dawn! We would actually enjoy an invasion attempt. In the long run Orwell had it right. The Oceania Union is in our future.
     
  24. miloblithe macrumors 68020

    miloblithe

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    #24
    Stuuuuuuu!!!!!!!!!

    Good to see you around these parts.

    Don't Hurt Me. Ultimately, that mentality would have had us, 200 years living in a country where Virginians refused to buy Maryland goods to protect Virginian jobs. Michigan could never have become a major auto manufacturing center because Floridians would never buy Michigan cars, but would have to debate between Orlando Motor Works or Tampa Automotive. MicroSoft and Apple would only be able to sell their wares in California and Washington. In your and my states, we'd have our own computer companies.
     
  25. aLoC macrumors 6502a

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    There's nothing inevitable about the demise of the US. The future is what we make it as Sarah Conner would say.

    Old values of hard work and thrift are just as good as they always were...
    :)
     

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