An indestructible Union, composed of indestructible states?
The recently reelected President was laughing hard at his lame aide; the latter didn’t know where to hide the report he had just shown. It summarized the online secession petitions from all American states. Texas led it with over 100,000 thousand signatures; yet, this state has over 25 million inhabitants. Still laughing, the President said “Impossible, the United States Supreme Court ruled in 1869 regarding the secession of Texas that the US is ‘an indestructible Union, composed of indestructible states,’” he lectured among mirth tears and summarized, “The petition didn’t achieve even 1% of the votes!” The aide left in shame.
Standing next to the President, but invisible to him, was Madame History, Satan’s whore. She also was laughing but for a different reason. Next to the President were reports on the recent election results, the military budget, and the country’s international trade trends. The President was a smart person, yet he was unable to integrate the data. It showed the USA couldn’t survive in its actual form for much longer.
Ignoring the Madame, the President looked at the trading trends report; it wasn’t a disaster. The Congressional Research Service had published “U.S. International Trade: Trends and Forecasts” in September 2011. Oddly enough, it showed that the financial crisis the country had experienced in recent years had delayed the end. The crisis caused U.S. imports to drop faster than U.S. exports, diminishing the deficit. However, that had reversed once the crisis ended in August 2009. The bottom line was a bit worrying, in 2010, the country’s trade deficit in goods reached $645.9 billion on a balance of payments (BoP) basis, more than the $505.9 billion in 2009, but less than the $830.1 billion in 2008. The Congressional Budget Office estimated that, in 2012, the U.S. government will run a budget deficit of $1.1 trillion, or 7.3% of gross domestic product. There was no chance to solve the issue; yet, countries along history had survived tougher situations. Compare Germany in the aftermath of WWII to its actual condition as the European Union largest economy. The President took a deep breath; there was no reason for alarm. The Madame laughed harder.
Following a century of dollar-based world economy, most Americans couldn’t understand the real picture anymore. There is a simple, but excellent, way of describing the problematic of the statistics presented by the US Government. Bolivia is a producer of coffee. A pound of average coffee costs there around $1. In the US, a coffee of similar quality costs around $4. Let’s say that both economies sell just one pound of coffee per year. If measuring the production of each economy in dollars, then the US economy could be claimed to be four times larger than the Bolivian one. However, if measuring by weight, both economies would be the same size. The world’s economy is measured in US dollars and thus it is highly biased toward the American economy, presenting it as much larger than it is. In order to keep this illusion of economic size, a key goal of the US government is to keep its currency as the global monetary measurement unit. However, this won’t last. It makes no sense calculating the trade between China and India in US dollars; the distortions in such a case are multiple. In the case of Thai products reaching Nepal via India, measuring the events in American dollars is ridiculous. The solution is adopting a basket of carefully balanced measurements methods; this would probably happen in the next decades. Measuring under a more accurate system, the US would probably rate as the third largest economy in the world. If measuring the EU as one economic unit, then the US would be just fourth. In 2012, the largest Asian economies had begun trading among them in local currencies; the percentage of international trade calculated in dollars will drop sharply in following years.
At first sight, this seems of no consequence. Let China buy Russian timber while paying in yuans and rubles. There is no way of blocking that. The point is that in the last century, the USA practically stopped producing goods. Items marked “made in the USA” have become a rarity. That is the reason for the large trade deficit abovementioned. Once the international producers of goods begin trading in foreign currencies, the US government loses its capability to manipulate the cost of the goods it purchases by fiscal methods. This means that the price of the goods purchased by the USA will increase in following years; the deficit problem won’t be solved.
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“Let’s Nuke Them!”
Calmly, the President dropped the financial reports and looked at the military papers. One of them caught his attention; it was the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute Yearbook 2012, which included a list on the world’s top 15 military spenders in 2011. It showed the USA at the top of the list. Not only that, the country spent 41% of the world’s expenses in military, despite the country having less than 4.5% of the world’s population. The following country in the list, China, had just 8% of the total expense, despite its population being more than four times larger than the American one. This was wildly unbalanced. Could he cut the expense, lower the deficit, and become the Abraham Lincoln of this century?
It took him less than a second to dismiss the idea. The little of what was left of American industries was closely related to the military. Even an innocent-looking computer company as Hewlett-Packard was listed as 20th largest defense contractor of the US government. The company is the creator of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet; a network second in size only to the Internet itself. Cutting the military expense would cause an irreversible damage to the domestic industry. Moreover, as China, the USA was thirsty for raw materials. China was a civilized country; it just kept peacefully buying Australian ores. In contrast, America gained access to cheap raw materials, especially oil, by war. Much of the military industry depended these days on rare earth minerals; recently, the USA had gained access in Afghanistan to one of their largest deposits on earth. The President couldn’t stop the attack on that country right now. It would hit his country’s military and corporations. Regardless his wishes, in the following years, the military will continue to grow, together with the deficit.
At this point, the President began thinking badly of his aides. Both economy and military seemed to have joined forces against the USA; yet, they brought him non-operational papers. What was he supposed to do with them? At least he could rejoice in his recent victory. Birth certificate or not, Bibi’s support or not, he had hit them all! He looked briefly at their statistics, smiled smugly, and went out for a coffee. There was nothing to do in the Oval Office.
The Madame stayed behind, still laughing hard. Deeply indoctrinated by American bipartisan politics, the President had entirely missed the point. A paper by the Center for Immigration Studies claimed that in November 2012 Hispanics comprise 17.2% of the total U.S. population, 15% of adults, 11.2% of adult citizens, and 8.9% of actual voters. Moreover, projections show that their relative increase in the population and the number of their voters will continue growing. Yet, both Democrats and Republicans promoted negative policies towards them. Over 70% of them voted for the President because he was the lesser of two evils. By the end of 2012, the American army was little more than an army of Mexican mercenaries fighting for their citizenship. By the end of 2006, on of the supplements of The New Mexican, New Mexico’s leading English newspaper, was titled “Reconquista,” (“Reconquest” in Spanish), making allusion to the fact that over 30% of that state’s population is, in fact, Mexican. It won’t take long until this large segment of the population, at least in certain states, drops the bipartisan approach. The parties ignore their needs; once they finish their military and get citizenship, they realize they cannot advance in the anglo-oriented society. It had made them no good. The military and industrial analysis performed above shows the Federal Government will luck the funds to fix the situation, even if it wanted to do so. A social-bomb is ticking.
The President had returned to his sumptuous seat. He disliked people preparing his coffee, they never got it right. He took a sip and relaxed. “Mr. President, Mr. President,” somebody was shouting while running in his direction. It was the annoying aide he had dismissed before. “Mr. President, the court resolution also added that it recognized the possibility of the divisibility ‘through revolution, or through consent of the States,’” the aide said. Obtuse to reality, the President took a second sip and smiled.