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Washington about the 4 things America would need to attain greatness


giofranchi
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Washington about the 4 things America would need to attain greatness:

 

1) consolidation of the states under a strong federal government,

 

2) timely payment of its debts,

 

3) creation of an army and navy,

 

4) harmony among its people.

 

Let's say the EU might attain both 2) and 3)... What about 1) and most of all 4)?

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

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This may have been Washington's ideal but 1 is weaker than most countries today (states/localities have alot of power/say) and it has taken over 200 years for the federal government to obtain the power it has and it is a very controversial issue today.  The last one is due to in part the compromising nature of Americans.  IMO Europeans will get there it just takes time.

 

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Washington about the 4 things America would need to attain greatness:

 

1) consolidation of the states under a strong federal government,

 

2) timely payment of its debts,

 

3) creation of an army and navy,

 

4) harmony among its people.

 

Let's say the EU might attain both 2) and 3)... What about 1) and most of all 4)?

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

 

I would actually just remove #1 from the list. There are some very important things that a central government can do; however, delegation of duties to smaller, localized governments at the city and state level allows for more accountability, better management, and more economic and fiscal flexibility. I'd say we actually need stronger local governments and less of a central government (outside of a few main tasks).

 

Also, just to be cynical, let's remove #2 from the list as well, because we know we're just going to roll the debt into oblivion and/or inflate it away so there will actually never be the need to pay much of anything on time.

 

 

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I would actually just remove #1 from the list. There are some very important things that a central government can do; however, delegation of duties to smaller, localized governments at the city and state level allows for more accountability, better management, and more economic and fiscal flexibility. I'd say we actually need stronger local governments and less of a central government (outside of a few main tasks).

 

I don’t agree: maybe after 250 years of history you could do without a strong central government… I strongly doubt it!... But surely not at the beginning! ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

 

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I would actually just remove #1 from the list. There are some very important things that a central government can do; however, delegation of duties to smaller, localized governments at the city and state level allows for more accountability, better management, and more economic and fiscal flexibility. I'd say we actually need stronger local governments and less of a central government (outside of a few main tasks).

 

I don’t agree: maybe after 250 years of history you could do without a strong central government… I strongly doubt it!... But surely not at the beginning! ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

 

I'd say the United States' central government is much stronger today than it was when the country was founded. It took over two centuries for it usurp as much power as it currently has from cities and states. Especially in recent years. That also appears to coincide with a period of record debts/deficits/lacking accountability. Coincidence? I doubt it. I'm not coming anywhere close to suggesting we get rid of the central government - just saying that the more decision-making that is delegated to localized authorities the better the end result would be in general.

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After reading Parkinsons law im not so sure if a very powerful government is a good idea. Somewhat powerful local governments seem a better idea. There needs to be easy free trade though. And it shoudl be easy to set up companies across borders. Other then that, what is the upside?

 

A central EU government that will have power over local country governments would be a nightmare. Enourmous corruption probably, with little upside. Im not even sure how you would do elections with all the different languages (and large % of southern EU barely speaking english). And there is no way the richer countries are willingly going to bleed for the poorer countries (like paying tax that will dissapear in corrupt italian/spanish/greek etc bureacrats pockets and funding southern welfare states etc). Local governments would have to give up serious power, and that central governemnt would be enourmously powerful, and probably controlled by corporations to fund election campaigns. It is sort of depressing to read about US elections where basically best funded guy likely wins (no matter how terrible he is). Lobbying is not that much of a problem now in EU vs US, but it would become a bigger problem if this would happen.

 

And a strong army is not necessairy. Globalization has increased a lot since the last big wars. And with nukes, the incentive to wage war is very very low. I think people have become more rational about how bad it is economically to fight a war (especially for common people). Unless your talking about Russia ofcourse :D. So maybe have an army big enough to crush Russia.

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Other then that, what is the upside?

 

Imo if we want a union, the stronger should govern, but should also take care of the weaker. That's what a union is all about! And that's why a central government is necessary.

 

Imo either we proceed towards a central government, or we go back to what we were. Because anything in between, what we are right now, simply doesn't work.

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

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Other then that, what is the upside?

 

Imo if we want a union, the stronger should govern, but should also take care of the weaker. That's what a union is all about! And that's why a central government is necessary.

 

Imo either we proceed towards a central government, or we go back to what we were. Because anything in between, what we are right now, simply doesn't work.

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

I agree with your last statement. But my problem with your first statement is that there often is a big difference between what should be and what is actually going to happen :) . In practice, giving one party large amounts of power in a system gives problems. It would basically be Austria, Germany, Netherlands, Belgium ruling over Europe. Now Im Dutch, but I still have a problem with that. And probably a large amount of southern EU voters will vote for the guy that promises them free stuff (that the north will have to pay for ofcourse). So how do you solve that? I just see so many problems with this that I prefer going back to what it was before the Euro. Or possibly have like several EU currencies.

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I think Washington would be very impressed with both the US and Europe, notwithstanding their many flaws. We have achieved peace and security that few people could have dreamed of in the 18th century when warfare was still very present in the average person's life. The same goes for democracy, human rights, the systematic rule of law, territorial stability, the free flow of people, ideas and goods, growth of the middle class, relative economic stability, etc.

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I think Washington would be very impressed with both the US and Europe, notwithstanding their many flaws. We have achieved peace and security that few people could have dreamed of in the 18th century when warfare was still very present in the average person's life. The same goes for democracy, human rights, the systematic rule of law, territorial stability, the free flow of people, ideas and goods, growth of the middle class, relative economic stability, etc.

 

+1

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Washington about the 4 things America would need to attain greatness:

 

1) consolidation of the states under a strong federal government,

 

2) timely payment of its debts,

 

3) creation of an army and navy,

 

4) harmony among its people.

 

Let's say the EU might attain both 2) and 3)... What about 1) and most of all 4)?

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

 

Gio, how about adding:

5) Alexander Hamilton?

 

Do you see any current Euro equivalent of our (for us here in the U.S.) genius first Secretary of the Treasury?  Anybody even close?  Could any Euro committee even come close?  (I know: unfair to ask this with the benefit of hindsight, but what the hell . . .)

 

 

 

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So how do you solve that?

 

I am not saying I know the solution… I was merely pointing out that the founding fathers of the US vehemently pushed for the establishment of a central government. Which lesson might be learnt from that, if any, I cannot tell.

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

 

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Gio,

 

I do not know much about Italian history but how did Italy unify successfully from a group of city-sates to a country with a wide variance of saving/investing cultures (North vs. South) and can the EU get any lessons there?

 

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I do not know much about Italian history but how did Italy unify successfully from a group of city-sates to a country with a wide variance of saving/investing cultures (North vs. South) and can the EU get any lessons there?

 

Ah!... I hope it doesn’t! ;)

 

Not only norther Italy has been subsidizing the central and the southern parts of the country since our unification, but also the Italian government has always been in Rome, therefore northern Italy has always been governed by the center and the south… Somewhat similar to the situation in Spain… In fact Catalonia has a long history of complaining about the government in Madrid, exactly how northern Italy has a long history of complaining about the government in Rome!

 

Surely, I am not advocating such a folly…

 

Germany should govern over the EU, but should also accept responsibilities… Instead, all they have been doing is to behave like victims:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/15/opinion/germanys-destructive-anger.html?smid=tw-share&_r=0

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

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Gio, how about adding:

5) Alexander Hamilton?

 

Ahah!!!!... An equivalent of Hamilton?... I would be glad (and very surprised!) if at least one of those eurocrats had read Hamilton… That would be enough! ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

 

Maybe we're being too hard on your Euro countrymen and neighbors?  I haven't gotten to Chernow's biography yet, but from what I already know of Hamilton's solution to the post-war national debt, in real time it was a messy, wrangling process (Madison, among others, came out against it).  Perhaps not too dissimilar to the inter-Euro-country feud currently going on?  If things had turned out badly for the young USA, Hamilton might be seen as that day's equivalent of Varoufakis.  (Aaron Burr, alternatively, might liken him to Berlusconi?)

 

We Americans were real lucky to have all those geniuses (geniuses at least in retrospect) there at the founding.  Best of wishes, and luck, to you Europeans!

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Guest Schwab711

The beginning of "The People's History of the United States" (Howard Zinn) spends ~75-100 pages discussing all of the factors that went into the constitutional congress and it's progress over the summer months. I found it really interesting. It was basically James Madison who spent a great deal of time studying various governments in Europe and in history. Then, he would talk other members in to raise his ideas as their own, among other tactics. It would be fair to say that James Madison wrote the majority of the constitution.

 

One more genius to add to the list. There must have been something in the water.

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Guest longinvestor

Gio, how about adding:

5) Alexander Hamilton?

 

Ahah!!!!... An equivalent of Hamilton?... I would be glad (and very surprised!) if at least one of those eurocrats had read Hamilton… That would be enough! ;)

 

Cheers,

 

Gio

 

Maybe we're being too hard on your Euro countrymen and neighbors?  I haven't gotten to Chernow's biography yet, but from what I already know of Hamilton's solution to the post-war national debt, in real time it was a messy, wrangling process (Madison, among others, came out against it).  Perhaps not too dissimilar to the inter-Euro-country feud currently going on?  If things had turned out badly for the young USA, Hamilton might be seen as that day's equivalent of Varoufakis.  (Aaron Burr, alternatively, might liken him to Berlusconi?)

 

We Americans were real lucky to have all those geniuses (geniuses at least in retrospect) there at the founding.  Best of wishes, and luck, to you Europeans!

It is easy to become tired of Buffett's oft-repeated  line "it is foolish to bet against America, since 1776....system that works". Only when we see stuff like what's happening in EU etc. we realize the really large truth, like this one. Doesn't flash like the rest of the headlines do.

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