MAx I respect you allot. However , not sure I can post to 2 responses at one time.
Why? Why not? Your shuttle program is pretty much toast - done, finito, dead in the water.
Well its is over 20 years old - the Shuttle program I mean. (retirement). Much like with Navy ships and airplanes. Simply they reach their service limit.
You're in debt up to your eyeballs and money's thin on the ground.
I certainly agree.
They can only squeeze so much out of American tech and resources.
As for military capabilities, they don't want you to 'protect' them because they know very well that protection comes with a heavy price. They want to call their own shots, much as you yourself, and your nation historically, prefers to call its own shots. That's natural enough. To do that, they need muscle - not yours, not anyone else's, either - their own. Their own weapons systems, naval vessels, fighter planes, bombers - the works.
Are you talking about China or South Korea ? ? Maybe Japan ?
China. No one else in the Pacific Rim comes close to China's potential, to its aspirations for a bold and dominant future.
Carp, I respect you too. You're passionate, terrifically stubborn, friendly and humourous. You drive me nuts but you're an honourable soul and people I trust who have met you in the flesh consider you a good egg. I will disagree with you about much of American foriegn policy but that doesn't change the fact that I'd tip back a beer with you any day. Let's be clear about that much, Steve.
Though you and many of your fellow Americans seem unwilling to believe it, I believe China is grimly determined to match American ingenuity and technical savvy. Meanwhile America is in turmoil and its educational system is in tatters. What about the next generation of young Americans? You won't be able to maintain technological mastery - for all your brave talk of China being behind, China being simply unimaginative and poor copyists of superior American know-how and engineering/tech might, the great American ship is, in key respects, rudderless. Politically the country is split... messages of rancour and angry partisanship rule the discourse of the day. It does not look good. All this denial of real trouble reminds me of Nero playing the fiddle while Rome burns. The financial system is a mess, that massive debt is real and growing, and the American dollar is in danger of losing its place in the world. When that happens, it's not going to be pretty.
Well, I fear for North America, since we are very much tied into your own country's fortunes. I think in some respects we're trying to do different things economically and our long-term strategy is to hook up with emerging players, but the fact remains we're neighbours sharing one heckuva long border and we've been basically good neighbours for a long time - by North American standards, anyway. We have adopted a different banking policy and we've tried to prevent the kind of hole in the bucket lending practises that got you guys into so much trouble, but we still have our own uncannily similar problems that are indicative of deeper ills and disconnects - huge household debt to earnings ratios, rabidly borrowing against our homes, that sort of thing. Apparently we love buying stuff as much as Americans do - and much like them, we don't know how to turn off the tap and make do with less. We end up exhausting our capital merely by servicing our massive debts, not knowing how to render them manageable, much less erase them entirely.
I fear for the world, for that matter.
About all I can hope for is that the younger generations coming up behind us are full of optimism and a gift for genius invention and daring imagination. Homo sapiens, and the natural world which cradles our species, will require that energy in the times ahead.
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