A poll where I have a definite opinion - Input Junkie
A poll where I have a definite opinion|Do you unwind cinnamon rolls as you eat them?
This was quite a relief, since I don't have any idea whether the United States will be in one piece 20 years from now, nor whether whichever condition it ends up in will be a good thing.
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|Date:||October 14th, 2010 10:17 am (UTC)|| |
My best impression is that The United States as we know it will experience a major divestiture between 2033 and 2046, probably resulting from internal pressures, particularly financial as the balance of payments slip below acceptable levels for the 2030 GDP. Blame the trigger on the Chinese-led Asian economic expansion, the exponential increase in disaster relief programmes for the southern states affected by global warming, or what you will.
The result will be a loyal core from about New England to Minnesota and as far south as Iowa and Missouri, which will still call itself the United States but use one of the antique flags with 15 to 18 stars. The divestiture will not occur in one go, but rather in four-year spasms where individual states will either put the matter up to local vote or follow a constituent call for separation from the Union. Most likely candidates in the east will include VT, NH & possibly WV. NY will divide between upstate and the NY metro/downstate if they know what's good for them. The West will see TX become its own republic as per its state constitutional preference, as will CA and possibly OR and AK. But that's just me. Things rarely go as predicted.
I don't see any economic advantage to secession for anyone except possibly California. Politically, my sense is that current fractiousness results from the lack of a clearly defined external enemy (current worries about terrorists and such being essentially hygiene issues and good for "public discipline" but not for unity, per se), a long, long time at the top and a growing sense that that time is in the process of ending. Unity tends to be strongest during periods of receding adversity (where people can feel that progress is being made by the collective) and weakest during settled affluence, but the urge to actually come apart - to disunify - is not something that gets expressed very often in history, and tends only to happen over some clearly geographically defined wedge issue (often involving emergent or suppressed ethno-nationalisms).
So in short, yes, I expect the US to still be in one piece in 2030 and still among the top 5 world powers, if not far and away the only one, as it seemed to be in 1990.
...as to the cinnamon rolls, I'm a big biter, and only rarely an unroller. I also hardly ever pull oreos apart.
the EU, though; that's a whole nother kettle of worms. I suspect it will be either a stump of its current self or dead altogether by 2030. I'm by no means certain that the common currency will weather the current storm across southern Europe; we may see pesetas, punts and drachmae come back within the next few years (although I don't expect to see francs or Deutschmarks anytime soon).