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View Full Version : Int'l Issues A policy preference question.


Rain Man
08-17-2010, 05:00 PM
As a global long-term policy, which do you think is in the best interest of the U.S.?


Policy A. World Enrichment Philosophy. We pursue a global aim of bringing less developed countries up to our level of affluence, under the philosophy that affluence leads to satisfaction, which will make them less likely to cause problems for America and our interests.

Policy B. Differentiated Capacity Philosophy. We pursue a global aim of keeping less developed countries from attaining a high level of affluence, under the philosophy that poverty will keep them from having the capacity to act against America and our interests.

This is a long-term philosophy, so you're not allowed to say "It depends on the country". In the long run, countries' leadership will change, so while you may depart from your chosen philosophy in the short term for strategic reasons, your long term philosophy should default toward one or the other.

healthpellets
08-17-2010, 05:12 PM
how bout another option that incorporates a desire to neither help nor hinder a foreign country's development.

alnorth
08-17-2010, 05:15 PM
Policy C. The United States acts in its own self-interests in all cases, within reasonable humanitarian limits. ("dont be evil" exception: e.g. we dont nuke a country and kill millions simply because they are an efficient economic competitor and their loss will result in a net long-term economic benefit)

To be more specific (since that can sound like vague dodgy happy-talk) I wouldn't necessarily advocate "keeping a nation down" per se, but I would say for each nation, we either assist a nation if our investment would yield dividends (economic, political, strategic, whatever) or we have a neutral stance where we do not particularly care about the future of a nation, just see them as a random potential trading or strategic partner where spending resources to help them would cost us more than it is worth.

Those "dividends" can include good-will from charity (reduce the likelihood of an economic boycott or hostile trade-wars because gosh, the USA helped feed all those poor african countries. Those countries we helped may not have paid us the "dividend", but we still received one from the investment.)

That may read like a cop-out (you wanted long-term default strategy, not case-by-case since leadership and politics can change) so for the two strategies mentioned:

A doesn't work as a blanket default choice because some countries can be bad investments. It may be politically correct to say we are all equal, but some countries have a better work ethic than others who might pocket our aid, party on it, run up debt, and be unproductive, perhaps asking us for debt forgiveness someday so they can beg for more loans. (e.g. If I was a brand-new nation with neutral ties to everywhere, I'd be more likely to actively work on building friendships with Germany than with Greece)

B doesn't work because frankly, although we are a superpower, we aren't quite *that* powerful. I mean sure, we can blockade Cuba and keep their economy in the stone ages over a pissing match a few decades ago, but if a country we are irritated with or are concerned about has enough trading partners who do not agree with us, then we can not effectively harm them. We'd be wasting money and burning bridges by trying rather than pursue a self-interested apathetic approach to that "economic enemy" country's future.

So, since neither option works for me, I devised an option C as provided for in the poll.

BucEyedPea
08-17-2010, 05:21 PM
I don't see how either A or B has to do with us but more some abstract called the "world."

I believe "UnDifferentiated De-Centralization" with NO Global 'effing anything. No more Mussolini-esque philosophies whereby everything for the world flows from one annointed country who elects itself the social engineer and central planner of the world.