How is America the most powerful country in the world?

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Baron_Fel, Jul 4, 2002.

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  1. Baron_Fel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    The subject is very self-explanatory. Why is the US called the most powerful country in the world? Where is the proof? How do you know? Also what makes America the last superpower?

    I have not created this thread to start flaming wars or anything. I asked simple questions and want answers.
  2. PeterTutham27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 23, 2001
    star 4
    Money, allies, marketing, population, army, politics...

  3. Baron_Fel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Money

    Do you have any numbers.

    Allies

    So if someone is allied to the US, they are powerful too.

    Marketing

    Numbers please. And if you watch TV you'll know that the stock market is going down real low.

    Population

    How is this true? China is the most populated country in the world, followed by India.

    Army

    Is that why you need a coalition when you go to war?

    Politics

    I love partisan politics.
  4. 1stAD Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    May 10, 2001
    star 5
    GDP of the United States is $9.3 trillion. Low inflation, along with moderate growth make the United States the undeniable economic titan in the global economy.
  5. Baron_Fel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Ok. Economically it is. But what about the other factors?
  6. DarthYama Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2001
    star 4
    The US spends more on the military than China.
  7. Diesel_Dave Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    May 16, 2002
    star 4
    Here is what I understand what makes the USA (Happy 4th everyone!) the largest. I have no numbers but educated persons tell me this

    The size of our economy.
    Military budget.
    Geographical size.
    and inflated egos :p

    These are just some points. critique them if you wish.
  8. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Would it also be the fact that we have the largest stash of nuclear weapons?

    A better trained and well equipped military?

    That the last countries to invade the United States was Britain and France (or was it Canada?) back in the 1800s?

    That we have the largest political influence in the entire world? To me, it seems like the United Nations cant sneeze without our approval.


    The size of our economy.
    Military budget.
    Geographical size.


    Geographically, I think Canada is the biggest country. China second and the United States third. I could be wrong about 2nd and 3rd. Been a while since I looked at a world map.
  9. -Ace- Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 21, 2002
    star 4
    America has many powerful allies like Russia, the UK, and Israel to name a few.

    Here are some facts from the CIA World Factbook:

    Natural Resources - coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber.

    3rd largest country in size and population with over 275 million people.

    .9% Population Growth Rate

    Birth rate - 14.2 births/1,000 population

    Death rate - 8.7 deaths/1,000 population

    Net migration rate - 3.5 migrant(s)/1,000 population

    Infant mortality rate - 6.76 deaths/1,000 live births

    Life expectancy at birth - total population -77.26 years

    Government type - federal republic; strong democratic tradition

    GDP - purchasing power parity - $9.963 trillion

    GDP - real growth rate - 5%

    GDP - per capita: purchasing power parity - $36,200

    Population below poverty line - 12.7%

    Inflation rate (consumer prices) - 3.4%

    Labor force - 140.9 million (includes unemployed)

    Unemployment rate - 4%

    Exports - $776 billion

    Imports - $1.223 trillion

    Airports - 14,720
  10. Baron_Fel Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jul 28, 2001
    star 4
    Good points. Some of them are probably why some parts of the world don't like us too much.
  11. Lt.Cmdr.Thrawn The Other Saga Moderator

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Sep 23, 1999
    star 6
    Isn't Russia the largest country?
  12. Lord Bane Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    May 26, 1999
    star 5
    I might amend to say that Israel is powerful because of its allies, not because of any great things it has.

    The US is the most powerful country= for the economic reasons and military reasons, but also because people see it as such. It is debatable whether or not England had the greatest military in the 1800s, yet because others saw it as the greatest power (and because it was able to hold onto vast tracts of land and copious amounts of people with a few thousand magistrates and soldiers) it was the greatest. Similarly, during World War 2, an argument could be made that Germany was the world superpower, successfully holding off English incursions in the West, capturing the whole (for all intents and purposes) of mainland Europe and daring to invade Russia - all in the span of a few years!

    It took nuclear arms to make us the super power, not greater military skill. The US had always been (militarily and socially) the working class nation, built not by aristocrats or royal families, but farmers and smiths and the rank-and-file. Our military reflected that (we used numbers in WW2 and attrition in WW1, knowledge of terrain in 1812 and the Revolution, and the Spanish-American War? That was firepower and tech, but not any great military tactic to back it up) until the 1960s when we put fighters to better use and opened up the door on technology in weaponry.
  13. Admiral_Thrawn60 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 6
    THE EAGLE IS LANDING: Interesting article on the decline of the American economy and its implications

    President George W. Bush doesn't refrain from invoking hand-over-heart sentiment, but even he must have found it unseemly to have to use patriotism in the cause of financing the U.S. government's growing debt load.

    The White House got its wish a few days ago -- permission to borrow another $450-billion (U.S.), enough to cover red ink for some time. But one of the President's few legislative victories this year came only after a remarkably close fight in Congress.

    And it came soiled. Mr. Bush demanded that the "full faith and credit" of the U.S. government not be put at risk "as we fight for freedom." Paul O'Neill, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, suggested that the only alternatives were defaulting on the national debt or using "potentially fraudulent accounting devices."

    This, of course, at the same time as the President has been blasting U.S. corporations for the rising incidence of financial trickery. What politician would want to be characterized as favouring public ledgers that mimic WorldCom's?

    All is not well in Washington.

    Nor is it so great beyond the capital. Almost every state must balance its budget by law, and most now are being forced to consider raising taxes to do so. The Ontario government's recent delay of planned tax cuts is a decision most governors would have loved. Instead, states such as California are suffering through their steepest revenue declines since the Second World War, and facing much more Draconian choices.

    Corporate scandals may get the headlines, but the United States faces a bigger issue still. It is one that affects the global economy, especially Canada, because of the singular role played by the United States. The U.S. economy appears increasingly unstable -- and the sudden return to red ink at the federal and state levels is just one important part.

    As the Financial Times put it recently, "The eagle is landing." For the last half of the nineties, the U.S. economy represented a virtuous circle -- strong productivity performance and profit growth made the United States a magnet for foreign capital, which caused the U.S. dollar to soar. Consumers made the most of their newfound prosperity, overindulging in domestic and foreign-made goods and turning the United States into the engine of international demand.

    Now, though, the sputtering is becoming more conspicuous.

    The crux of the problem is the United States' gigantic current account deficit -- the broadest measure of the country's economic ties with the rest of the world. It is now 4.3 per cent of gross domestic product, a level widely viewed as unsustainable.

    The U.S. economy has long financed its large imbalance between imports and exports by attracting foreign capital. But that is becoming much more difficult.

    The U.S. trade deficit now requires about $1.2-billion a day in net inflows of international funds to sustain the U.S. dollar's value. In 2000, about $225-billion arrived from offshore. But in the second half of 2001, there was a net outflow of $16-billion. Things are not thought to have gotten any better in 2002; potential foreign investors, after all, are confronted with revelations daily of U.S. corporate malfeasance.

    As a result, the U.S. dollar is crumbling. Since it peaked at the end of February, the value of the euro and the yen have increased by more than 10 per cent.

    The decline of a currency now described as having been "priced for perfection" has been steady but controlled -- thus far. But the fall may only be starting. And it could accelerate unpredictably, with potentially dire effects for the global recovery.

    Some reports suggest the euro still is undervalued by 25 per cent against the dollar. Europe's weak recovery, however, has been dependent on foreign demand. Likewise, Japan is trying to stop the yen's appreciation; exports are critical to any recovery there.

    This places a different tint, too, on recent triumphalism in Canada. The divergence between the
  14. CmdrMitthrawnuruodo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 1, 2000
    star 6
    Ah, I thought as much. The voice in my head kept saying Russia but I didnt listen.

    Incidents during the War on Terror means training is debateable.

    Nothings perfect. But its still better than most countries.
  15. Admiral_Thrawn60 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jul 8, 2000
    star 6
    Well, the basic facts are that more Americans have been killed by accident during the War on Terror than to enemy fire. They also have a history of causing friendly fire casualties. For example, there have so far been 5 incidents during the War on Terror.

    There was a joke during WW2 that illustrates this well: "When the British bombers come, the Germans run for cover. When the German bombers come, the British run for cover. When the American bombers come, everyone runs for cover."
  16. Macho-Man Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Heh. I haven't heard that one.

    However, sometimes these things can't be helped. It is very unfortunate to say the least. Humans aren't perfect... and neither are targeting computers and smart bombs.
  17. Cheveyo Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 29, 2001
    star 5
    It's funny how history is taught. We learned way back when everything you did about the war of 1812; about the invasion south to Washington, DC, about the burning down of the White House.

    But we were taught it was Britain, not Canada, since you were all under the same flag at the time. ;) My wife (a Canadian) "set me straight", and offhandedly commented that this was considered a very large feather in Canada's cap.

    Anyway... back to the topic...
  18. Vaderize03 Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Oct 25, 1999
    star 5
    People have predicted america's decline for decades [face_plain].

    In the 70s, everyone thought we were losing the Cold War. Recent evidence from the former soviet archives show that Brezhnev even contemplated a first strike against the US at this time, believing they could win.

    I would take "The Eagle is Landing" with a grain of salt. For all it's problems, the US still has the world's most powerful economy. As the article pointed out, things are still very cyclical. America's 'decline' will reverse, as it did in the 90s from the "Reagonomics" borrowing of the 80s. As far as being the engine of the world, the US still maintains a more diverse economy overall than any other on the planet. While China and Russia have enormous potential, they aren't quite there yet. China is still communist, and much of what they manufacture is textile, which a lot of the world doesn't need, and military, which hurts one's economy.
    Russia could get up there pretty quick, but their transition to a market economy has been rocky and corruption is far more rampant there than it is in the US.

    Bottom line: reports of the american economy's death have been exaggerated.

    V-03
  19. Herman Snerd Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 31, 1999
    star 6
    Industrial might is not to be overlooked. During WWII the US was launching a new Liberty ship practically every day.

    The largest army in the world isn't worth much without guns, tanks, ships, and planes.

    It's been said that our economy is turning over from an industrial base to a technology base, but the ability to manufacture goods is still strong, and when combined with plentiful natural resources, gives us a relatively stable economy.

    One side factor not to be overlooked is national will. Perhaps part of the reason why we're so powerful both militarily and economically is because we want to be.
  20. AJA Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 1998
    star 4
    America's 'decline' will reverse, as it did in the 90s from the "Reagonomics" borrowing of the 80s.

    Most people who were around at the time would say it was Ronald Reagan who reversed the decline of the 60s and 70s and restored national confidence, but that's an argument for a different thread.

    I'm not convinced that America is the most powerful nation in the world, but it is as powerful as it is because of its system and its size. It has shown that when you get the government off the backs of the people, they produce for themselves at a far higher level than they do under any other system.
  21. imzadi Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 19, 2000
    star 4
    The U.S. used to be called a hegimon, meaning that even if every country in the world allied against them, America would still win. This is why it was called the last remaining super power, none of the others had the ability to harm America anymore (if they wished to).

    The situation now is that America is no longer really a hegimon, it could not fight everyone at once and win. This is partially due to the fall of the USSR IMO, anyone who wants one can obtain a nuclear weapon or a couple and combined it would be enough to destroy America. Also, the advent of technology plays an important part.

    Military power is also less important now. Individuals and not necessarily nations are risks and it's been that way for a while. Some nations still are, but no where near the extent of previous decades.

    And finally, on a side note just to clarify, military mistakes are accidents, I agree, and some cannot be helped. But there are cases of negligence. Like a stoned (American) pilot who fired on an Australian vessel during the Vietnam War.
  22. Coolguy4522 Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Dec 21, 2000
    star 4
    As for pure facts, you can look at the above posts.

    To answer your question, the US is the most powerful because of World War 2. It brought us out of a horrible depression that may or may not have been being corrected, and by the war's end, we had all the good affects of war, ie greater productivity and technological prowess without most of the bad, ie our country was perfectly intact.

    I don't think America is declining that much, but our position as world leader will continue for quite some time. Nations such as China and to a lesser extent Russia may have huge potentional, but their governmental systems are just not set up for success.
    I will briefly explain the problems of both.
    China has a communist government. The reigme is very weak. They know that their economic system is failing and doesn't work, so the leadership wants economic reform without political reform. In recent years, they have created special economic zones along the coastal areas, but this causes problems. The other areas are jealous of these area's new found riches and either want to return to the old way or want to bring this policy to all of the country.
    However, with the greater economic reform, there MUST come political reform. This is what makes the leadership so unstable. As capitalism spreads, the people will call for democracy, but the politburo will become desperate to surpress the people, resulting in who knows what.

    The problem with Russia is that they gave away all their wealth to the crooks. The privatization was really Piratization. It was the biggest wealth giveaway ever.
    Here is just one example how the oligarchies gained control of all the most important sectors of the economy and factories. In a smokey room a man would meet with the treasury guy, who has all these billions just sitting there, so he says "Why don't you put that money in my bank?" so he does and then the banker uses that money to buy the factories and power plants.


  23. Yodave27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 4
    The only country ever to invade the United States was Canada.

    But Canada wasn't a country then, it was still part of the British Empire. While Canadian people did fight, it wasn't under the Canadian flag, thus can't be considered a "Canadian" victory.
  24. The Mentos® Strikes Back Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 4, 2000
    star 4
    Because we say we are and it's true. :p

    Edit: I'm going to start calling Canada "America Jr." :D
  25. Yodave27 Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Feb 2, 2001
    star 4
    EDIT: Misuderstood Mentos, the fresh maker.
    *smiles at camera*

    Hehe, ok, you can do what you want. But that would be like us Americans claiming victory over the French in the French-Indian war (Seven years war, depending on whereyou are.)
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