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Alternate US breakup scenario
(10-11-2016, 11:05 PM)QwertyYerty Wrote: Is the scenario realistic?

It's hard to predict what people and cultures will think about things across any significant span of time. But this scenario seems to make what I consider to be a number of unwarranted assumptions:

a) That a nation would willingly and peacefully split off a huge chunk of itself and hand it over to another country. The more so when you consider the economic impact - California and Texas are major chunks of the US economy in RL so it seems unlikely that the rest of the country would just give them up with a yawn. Even if economic conditions changed significantly over the time span described, it still seems unlikely that this would push people to splitting up the country.

b) That the inhabitants of the split off regions would find the culture of Mexico trumps American culture because they share a history with it some time back. The thing that tends to get ignored whenever immigration comes up is that the children/grandchildren/etc. of immigrants tend to assimilate into their new home culture, even though their parents/grandparents/etc, may not fully do so. So to the later generations the US would be 'home' more than Mexico.

c) Automation is already starting to impact employment. By the late 21st century this will be 'old news' and society will have changed around this element to one degree or another.

d) The article indicates that the US labor force shrank a lot - yet this is not the situation now - rather the US has more of an issue with underemployment. Why and how would this change? The article doesn't say - it just presents things by fiat.

e) Considering © and (d) together - as automation takes over more jobs (probably sooner than this article assumes), the need for a human labor force would be reduced - so why would lots of immigrants be needed?

f) The article says that advances in longevity exacerbated the issues - but how are unemployed people whose jobs are being done by robots going to pay for longevity treatments or meds or therapies or whatever is being done?

g) If lots of immigrants came in earlier - and then robots took all the jobs - wouldn't the immigrants and/or their descendants essentially be without jobs?

h) Why and how does Mexico have such a robust economy? Based on what? Why and how is it not negatively impacted by the same issues of automation that the article claims were negatively impacting the US? If the Mexican economy can be so robust under these conditions, why can't the US economy?

i) In RL the response to the disparity between the US and Mexican economies has been large numbers of people moving from Mexico to the US. No one has suggested having some portion of Mexico secede from that country and join the US. So why would the opposite hold true?

j) If there was the described disparity between the Mexican and US economies at this point in time, what would be the impact on the Mexican economy of suddenly needing to take on a vast new chunk of territory filled with tens of millions of people living in in economically depressed conditions? The closest RL example we have of this is the reunification of East and West Germany - something that took considerable time, effort, and money to accomplish. This would be a vastly larger enterprise. How would Mexico accomplish it and what would it do with all of its new 'citizens'? If automation has taken on the unskilled and semi-skilled jobs, and the people involved are mostly unskilled and semi-skilled, how are their circumstances changed in any significant way by becoming Mexicans instead of Americans?


Basically, the article seems to gloss over and oversimplify a host of issues that would actually have to be addressed if something like the described situation ever came to pass. It seems to owe more to combining a number of current cultural memes (immigration from Mexico will cost the US part of itself, automation will take all our jobs, longevity tech will exacerbate the gap between the rich and the poor, etc.), then to working out a coherent description of the 'whys' that are behind the scenario it presents.

Putting this all together, I don't consider it particularly realistic as written. This is not to say that the general scenario could never happen under any circumstances - but currently it is very light on supporting information. It's doing more 'tell' than 'show' basically.

My 2c worth,


Messages In This Thread
Alternate US breakup scenario - by QwertyYerty - 10-11-2016, 12:33 PM
RE: Alternate US breakup scenario - by Drashner1 - 10-11-2016, 12:56 PM
RE: Alternate US breakup scenario - by Worldtree - 10-12-2016, 05:56 AM
RE: Alternate US breakup scenario - by Drashner1 - 10-12-2016, 11:11 AM
RE: Alternate US breakup scenario - by Drashner1 - 10-16-2016, 07:07 AM

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