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The greatest challenge before the EU is fiscal policy. If the EU is to move forward, they need a bunch of members to be willing to surrender more soveriegnty than they already have. Many are balking.

That's the problem, giving up the soveriegnty. That should never need to happen. That would be the opposite of nation building. The EU was in trouble long before it became a reality. War is also on their doorstep with regards to Ukraine and Syria. A few of the EU members should not have become members simply because of their financial status. Greece won't recover for a decade, even if they don't pay off any debts owed to the money junkies. Who does a nation owe all that money too??? I still never get a clear answer.

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It's weird to me that you think of freer trade as a lose-lose situation.

Free trade itself is a mixed bag. Good for some, bad for others.

The we arent just talking about free trade... It would be quite reasonable for most of the countries that are now in the EU to have free trade agreements. You obviously dont want free trade between countries that are too far apart in things like wages, labor laws, environmental laws, etc... but most European countries are not.

But the EU is about a lot more than free trade. The Schengen Agreement is about the free movement of people (remember how I explained in another thread that the portability of goods and labor were essentially the same?). And currency unions are a bad idea in general because countries lose the ability to set their own interest rates. Theres no way, for example that interest rates should be the same in Greece as Germany.

Then you have the undemocratic nature of the whole thing.

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Oh sure...you want free, unfettered access to a nation of 330 million people, better weather, and a huge market.

What do we get....10% of that and bad TV ?

BC, you misunderstand your country.

There are about 15 million Americans near the Canadian border, just as there are about 15 million Canadians near the US border. These people regularly cross this border.

Why should 315 million people have the power to make life difficult for a small minority of 15 million? Well, imagine if the US federal government exercised its power to impose a border check for travel between North Carolina and South Carolina. Should it do this?

====

Americans willingly accept if other Americans have no border checks/problems to cross state lines between, for example, Pennsylvania and Ohio. So, why do they have a problem if Canadians or Americans cross our country borders?

For better or worse, Bush Jnr created Homeland Security to protect America. In this 21st century, it is false protection to believe that stopping people at the 49th parallel protects anyone.

America, and the West in general, faces a threat. Trying to control who crosses a land border of 8000 km from a friendly, civlized country is a waste of resources; it's bureaucracy gone mad.

Edited by August1991
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BC, you misunderstand your country.

There are about 15 million Americans near the Canadian border, just as there are about 15 million Canadians near the US border. These people regularly cross this border.

Why should 315 million people have the power to make life difficult for a small minority of 15 million? Well, imagine if the US federal government exercised its power to impose a border check for travel between North Carolina and South Carolina. Should it do this?

====

Americans willingly accept if other Americans have no border checks/problems to cross state lines between, for example, Pennsylvania and Ohio. So, why do they have a problem if Canadians or Americans cross our country borders?

For better or worse, Bush Jnr created Homeland Security to protect America. In this 21st century, it is false protection to believe that stopping people at the 49th parallel protects anyone.

America, and the West in general, faces a threat. Trying to control who crosses a land border of 8000 km from a friendly, civlized country is a waste of resources; it's bureaucracy gone mad.

They tried the same thing with a huge expense in a failed attempt to build a wall along the Mexican US border. Pissed away a lot of bucks and the gave up...well the damn tomatoes have to be picked somehow.

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In 50 years, we could very well have a NA-Euro union and that would be fine with me.

That would be fine with me as well. You could even throw in other developed nations like Australia, Japan or Singapore and I would have no issue with it.

Be a disaster for citizens of North America and Europe though.

It's easy to make nonsense claims. It is harder to back them up.

It's weird to me that you think of freer trade as a lose-lose situation.

Not to mention economies of scale of government.

But protectionists never needed to make sense...

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BC, you misunderstand your country.

There are about 15 million Americans near the Canadian border, just as there are about 15 million Canadians near the US border. These people regularly cross this border.

So what ? 15 million represents nearly half of Canada's population, not the United States, most of whom think Canada is a big frozen theme park. Mexico is a lot warmer...just ask the Canadians who holiday there.

Why should 315 million people have the power to make life difficult for a small minority of 15 million? Well, imagine if the US federal government exercised its power to impose a border check for travel between North Carolina and South Carolina. Should it do this?

Obviously you have never been stopped at a state "agriculture inspection" station. The U.S. doesn't owe Canadians an easier time of anything when it comes to sovereignty and border access. The smug attitude that Canadians are different from other nationals is pervasive in my line of business, and the minds of some Canadians it would seem. Get in line just like everybody else.

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They tried the same thing with a huge expense in a failed attempt to build a wall along the Mexican US border. Pissed away a lot of bucks and the gave up...well the damn tomatoes have to be picked somehow.

It is not politically correct (PC) to say that the border between US-Canada is very different from the US-Mexico border. But it's true - the two borders are different.

As to land borders, the US faces a different problem in the north than from its south.

And in this regard, Obama is wrong to be PC and "blindly" treat everyone the same "regardless": back in the real world, some friends are better than others.

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So what ? 15 million represents nearly half of Canada's population, not the United States, most of whom think Canada is a big frozen theme park. Mexico is a lot warmer...just ask the Canadians who holiday there.

b_c, it is terrifying what you post. It reminds me of Stalin, and I paraphrase. "15 million? It's a statistic!"

Millions? Your founding fathers cared about one person, the individual.

====

For heaven's sakes, daily, ordinary Americans cross county lines and state lines to go to work. If some of them go north and cross a border to Canada, what's the difference?

BC, where will this continue? Will all Americans have to have an internal passport and show it when they want to cross a county line?

Edited by August1991
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It is not politically correct (PC) to say that the border between US-Canada is very different from the US-Mexico border. But it's true - the two borders are different.

As to land borders, the US faces a different problem in the north than from its south.

And in this regard, Obama is wrong to be PC and "blindly" treat everyone the same "regardless": back in the real world, some friends are better than others.

Oh I totally agree the borders are quite different. Or are they. We are welcomed into the US because we are law abiding and have money to spend. Mexicans are welcomed because they will work for cheap. It all comes down to money in the pocket, no.

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b_c, it is terrifying what you post. You are like Stalin. "15 million? Who cares!"

Millions? Your founding fathers cared about one person.

No they didn't...just ask their slaves and the "indigenous" people. Why should Canadians get any special consideration compared to other nationals who want to cross into the United States ? Canada controls its border without regard to how many more Americans live on the other side.

For heaven's sakes, daily, ordinary Americans cross county lines and state lines to go to work. If some of them go north and cross a border to Canada, what's the difference?

BC, where will this continue? Will all Americans have to have an internal passport and show it when they want to cross a county line?

The difference is that the CanAm border is subject to federal jurisdiction and control. Sorry, but Ontario is not Oklahoma or Utah.

Edited by bush_cheney2004
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It is not politically correct (PC) to say that the border between US-Canada is very different from the US-Mexico border. But it's true - the two borders are different.

Agreed...it is "racist" and "discriminatory" to do so. The Red Coats and Millennium Bomber came from Canada....Poncho Villa came from Mexico.

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Poncho Villa came from Mexico.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pancho_Villa#Early_life

That's "Pancho" ... and according to the Wiki it wasn't a military operation but a robbery... that provoked a military operation...

But knowing little about your bordering nations is typically American after all. I always like to challenge Americans on naming as many presents as they can, in order, and I never lose.

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Not sure what youre on about here. It wasnt a salient reply to what you quoted.

Your idea was that nations should only trade with nations that have similar labour costs and environmental regulations. It seems to say that these separate rules are natural to those nation-groups. As in, Europeans have high costs and environmental regulations and Asians don't. Trade relationships are a kind of commercial socialization, and they change these things. Segregation does not.

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In 50 years, we could very well have a NA-Euro union and that would be fine with me.

The difference is that historically Europe has always tended towards union of some sort, albeit usually of the coerced variety, under the force of arms. The U.S., Canada and Mexico don't really have such a history in spite of one or two wars apiece. Very different situations.
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The difference is that historically Europe has always tended towards union of some sort, albeit usually of the coerced variety, under the force of arms. The U.S., Canada and Mexico don't really have such a history in spite of one or two wars apiece. Very different situations.

History has limited use when looking at these things. It's probably more relevant to look at how technology has shaped things. You admit that force of arms has historically united Europe, for example, so I ask: is a pan-european war in the cards anytime soon ?

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Your idea was that nations should only trade with nations that have similar labour costs and environmental regulations. It seems to say that these separate rules are natural to those nation-groups. As in, Europeans have high costs and environmental regulations and Asians don't. Trade relationships are a kind of commercial socialization, and they change these things. Segregation does not.

No my idea is that we should only have FREE trade with nations where there is not a large disparity. I would call it ethical consumerism. When you purchase things from a person/busineses/country you are rewarding their practices. Its true that our patronage of these countries injects capital and can raise the median standard of life. But I dont see much evidence that it produces real political reforms. I dont think that the totalitarians in China or Saudi Arabia are in a weaker position today than they were 30 years ago. If anything their grip on power is stronger because now they have all this western money to invest in perpetuating their rule. Trade isolationism on the other hand HAS resulted in some real political reforms in places like Russia and South Africa. Its also failed in other cases so theres certainly no cookie cutter approach thats sure to be successful.

In general terms though as patrons, we should try to be ethical consumers. Reward GOOD, punish BAD, and demand BETTER. And theres definately no point in us having stringent environmental regulations if the result is simply that production gets shifted to places that dont have them. We all live in the same eco system.

Western countries have squandered an opportunity where trade is concerned. The nations we buy stuff from NEED our business. We could have used that to exert a lot more pressure on the regimes in control of these places to treat workers and the environment better, and push for political reform. In most cases though we just load these regimes up with cash and they use it to make sure they stay in power.

Edited by dre
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History has limited use when looking at these things. It's probably more relevant to look at how technology has shaped things. You admit that force of arms has historically united Europe, for example, so I ask: is a pan-european war in the cards anytime soon ?

Yep, there will be a bigger war soon. M.E. and Ukraine are going to spill over.

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But I dont see much evidence that it produces real political reforms.

What ? How about the emergent Chinese middle class ? How about technological progress ? Environmental progress too - there wasn't much talk about that sort of thing 30 or 40 years ago when China was an agrarian communist backwater.

Trade isolationism on the other hand HAS resulted in some real political reforms in places like Russia and South Africa.

Yes, because they were in danger of losing trade.

In general terms though as patrons, we should try to be ethical consumers. Reward GOOD, punish BAD, and demand BETTER.

The all-or-nothing approach does not create better results. Bangladesh progresses with trade, just as individuals progress when they are socialized.

The nations we buy stuff from NEED our business. We could have used that to exert a lot more pressure on the regimes in control of these places to treat workers and the environment better, and push for political reform. In most cases though we just load these regimes up with cash and they use it to make sure they stay in power.

A lack of engagement doesn't lead to meaningful change. China started to change after rapprochement with the US.

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What ? How about the emergent Chinese middle class ? How about technological progress ? Environmental progress too - there wasn't much talk about that sort of thing 30 or 40 years ago when China was an agrarian communist backwater.

China has the highest city smog/polluton rates on the planet. Environmental progres? I laugh.

china%20smog%202013%20TV%20bldg.JPG

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