12 January 2013

Who Will Become the 51st US State?

The USA has been stuck on just 50 states for over half a century now. There has been a good deal of talk about adding Puerto Rico to the US as the 51st state, but both the Puerto Rican population and the US population seem at least a little bit ambivalent about that choice.
Another candidate that has been tossed around a bit, is Taiwan!
...David Chou comes right out and says it: Taiwan should become the 51st state of the United States.

Mr. Chou is not joking. He has a plan. It may never work, but just try telling Mr. Chou that. He has been working on it for years.

Mr. Chou set up the 51 Club in 1994 to promote his idea. He admitted 51 members. But to him it is not a gimmick. It is a cause. And with all the confusing explanations that Taiwan's Government puts forth about whether it is part of China or something separate, Mr. Chou's unusual proposal is refreshingly straightforward.

''If we were a state, our most serious problem -- security -- would be solved,'' said Mr. Chou, 49, who looks and sounds considerably more normal than his proposal might suggest. ''The current Government can't solve it; neither can the opposition. But statehood can.'' _NYT
Perhaps it is possible that the security situation for Taiwan may grow dire enough for its people to look to the US for the "absolute security" that statehood would guarantee. Time will tell.
The names of other currently independent nations -- such as Canada and Mexico -- have been tossed around for potential statehood, ever since the passage of NAFTA.

The USA's North American neighbors already exist under a US defence umbrella, and are given very privileged trade status. But actual statehood may be too much for the US' neighbors to the north and south to swallow, for now.

Other potential candidates across the Pacific in addition to Taiwan that have been discussed in the context of statehood, include the rapidly de-populating Japan, the Philippine Islands, and South Korea. As with Taiwan, the most likely reason for a majority of the people of any of those countries to be willing to submit to US statehood, would be for security reasons -- although economic and demographic reasons may also come into play over time.

Most of the US' great land acquisition took place during the 1800s. Since the year 1900, the US has given up more territory than it has acquired. One of the most important territories to have given up, was the Panama Canal Zone. The Philippine Islands were also given up in 1946, after having been considered for full statehood prior to the Japanese occupation.

It may seem odd to be talking about adding more states to the USA, when so many current US states have been discussing the possibility of secession from an increasingly dysfunctional union.

Under President Obama, the US government has overstepped itself far beyond the putative limits of the US Constitution, as never before. For that reason, as well as for other reasons, a number of scholars are predicting the collapse and dissolution of the USA as we currently know it.

But for such a collapse to occur, there would need to be some form of viable alternative as global economic, military, and political hegemon. To this point, nothing except a coming anarchy has shown its future face as a replacement for the USA.

And even in decline, some organisations have been known to attempt to bloat themselves up to massively oversized proportions, just before the end. Much like spouses in a failing marriage often choose to have more children, in a last-ditch attempt to preserve the union.

Citizens of the US are being given an opportunity -- in a second Obama term -- of seeing how badly the US could have declined during a second Jimmy Carter term. National malaise under Carter was admittedly severe. If not for the surprising "US fracking boom," things would likely be even worse by now, under Obama.

If Obama embraces the boom in US oil & gas resources, along with the coming boom in next-gen nuclear power reactors and the accompanying booms in nanotech, biotech, materials science, advanced automated manufacturing, and a number of other significant scientific and technological advancements which an abundant economy would allow -- he could be known to future generations as one of the great US presidents, despite the underlying reality.

Should that unlikely recantation of his previous life occur, the US might be looking at rates of economic growth previously only dreamed of in the history of the country. At that point, the idea of 51 states -- or 57 states, for that matter -- would not seem such outrageous subject matter.

In such a case, for the sake of avoiding a more rapid decline into an Idiocracy, the US might well choose candidate territories with higher -- rather than lower -- population average IQs than the current US population IQ average..

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3 Comments:

Blogger neil craig said...

I would say the most useful from the US point of view would br L4, L5, Luna City territory and a couple of seasteds.

Other options would be Singapore (somewhat less of a security ptoblem than Taiwan, richer and English speaking & you would be lucky to get them) and dividing California into 2 or more states after it goes bankrupt. How about Cuba after la revolucion - there is certainly a constituency in Florida who would like it.

Note that all of these except Canada, California & Cuba require dropping the "America" from USA.

Alternately there is a very good case for dissolving the USA into up to 50 republics - history suggests small competing culturally similar states (Ancient Greece, Renaissance Italy) become technological powerhouses.

Saturday, 12 January, 2013  
Blogger kurt9 said...

Obama does not remind me of Carter. He reminds me much more of Nixon. Dirty and corrupt. Likes to do thing the underhanded way. Carter was a decent guy, even if not a very effective president. Some of the deregulation that Reagan takes credit for actually started with Carter (for example, airline deregulation). Carter also became quite the cold-warrior during his last 18 months in office.

Comparing Obama to Carter is not reasonable. Obama is FAR, FAR worse, both in personal character as well as advocated policies.

Saturday, 12 January, 2013  
Blogger Lime Lite said...

"If Obama embraces the boom in US oil & gas resources, along with the coming boom in next-gen nuclear power reactors and the accompanying booms in nanotech, biotech, materials science, advanced automated manufacturing, and a number of other significant scientific and technological advancements which an abundant economy would allow -- he could be known to future generations as one of the great US presidents, despite the underlying reality."

See, you had me until you chose to write these lines. Obama would rather chew off his fingers one by one and swallow them than embrace anything that would make America great once again. As you so rightly state, America is now going to find out what they missed with a second Carter term - except that back then America still had a chance as it was still a relatively coherent population. Today you have so much more vibrant diversity and envious liberals to contend with. I had relatives who immigrated to the USA in the 1960's and we were all jealous when they came to visit and brought with them a taste of what we were missing! Today I'm glad I sit in Australia. We still have a chance to learn from America.

Saturday, 12 January, 2013  

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