The Disunited States of America

Oct 15

My assigned term paper topic in Managing in a Global Economy was The Disunited States of America. The question posed was whether or not it could happen. I explored this from economic and ideological perspectives, drawing on the American Revolution and the Civil War as historical precedents. In both cases, economic pressure was the primary driver in favor of secession. Ideological division exacerbated existing economic tension. My conclusion from the paper is that it’s unlikely to happen, at least sometime soon. Secession in the United States is possible, but very improbable. Arguments that the government has failed in its constitutional duties and secession is the most logical course fail to capture the most likely outcome: increased economic hardship and decreased opportunity in a shrinking global economy. The economic costs and risk of global fallout is so high that a rift is unlikely to occur until conditions domestically deteriorate to a point that a significant proportion of the population believes there is no possible way to reform the existing government. Historically two very strong precedents for secession include the American Revolution and the Civil War. In both cases, economic duress was the dominant driver leading up to the conflict that brought secession. Secondary ideological divisions, of liberty in the revolutionary conflict and slavery leading up to the Civil War, compounded economic pressure, but were not sufficient on their own to lead to secession. Here’s a prezi I created to present my term paper to my class, followed by the actual term paper. Download The Disunited States of America Here’s the handout I used along with the presentation. It’s a short quiz on economic aspects of the constitution. I’ll put the answers in as a comment after the presentation. Download the...

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Chavez and Castro are Dead

Sep 02

When considering the last four decades of American politics (speaking broadly of the American continent(s)), two extraordinarily influential figures are Hugo Chavez and Fidel Castro. Ideologically, many of their political inclinations were formed by the very country which they spent much of their lives, and political fortunes, attempting to undermine, namely, the United States of America (USA). Their dislike for what they perceived as United States imperialism shaped not only their personal convictions, but through them it influenced an entire region and generation. Political The preeminence of the United States economy over the past century has had an understandably profound influence on the political landscape both domestically and abroad. From this position of leverage, the US economic engine has extended its influence outward to shape many developing and emerging economies. Objectively, it would be difficult to assign a definite positive or negative to the shape the US influence has promoted, but subjectively, it has occasioned both. In the case of Fidel Castro of Cuba, he adopted a very strong anti-imperialist posture, which drove him at an early age to fight against United States involvement in Cuba. Though this initial attempt was unsuccessful, he spent the following years organizing a group that would overthrow the Cuban government, allow him to assume political and military power and align with the communist Soviet Union. His socialist agenda was a further departure from western influence and encompassed health care, education and the press. Hugo Chavez experienced similar early setbacks in his initial attempts to seize power, but eventually he succeeded in introducing a new political party referred to as the United Socialist Party of Venezuela. His political focus was more decidedly socialist, though he did align himself with the Castro regime in Cuba and Evo Morales in Bolivia. Social Socially, one possible motivation for a dislike of US influence may have to do with perceived inequality economically. Poverty, when contrasted with great power and wealth, can have an appearance of unfairness. It’s conceivable that the seemingly disparate economic circumstances of the US and Cuba, or other Central and South American countries, could promote a socialist viewpoint. It must be tempting as a leader to want to solve problems for the people rather than direct...

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