Ryan's Journey

Class Debate on World Power

The other day in my United States foreign policy class we had a small debate. Unfortunately, I was the only one on my side that spoke up. The debate started on the following question:

The end of the Cold War brought about an unipolarized* globe or a global United States hegemony. Do we live in a unipolar world? Is there a shift towards a multi-polar world going on today?

Most of the class agreed that the world is unipolar for the most part, but is slipping. This is where the class went against me. They said that China would easily overtake the United States in the coming years. I think that the European Union could have a strong impact in the world. I was shot down pretty quickly. My view on their opinion is that they were thinking far too short sided. Yeah, I think that the European Union does not have much for power behind them, except for a few nations right now. But it is fairly new, the idea of the European continent working together started back in 1957 with the European Economic Community. The EEC had as its aim the eventual economic union of its member nations, ultimately leading to political union. It worked for the free movement of labor and capital, the abolition of trusts and cartels, and the development of joint and reciprocal policies on labor, social welfare, agriculture, transport, and foreign trade.

Then in 1992, the idea of the European Union was renewed, by the Maastrict Treaty. It brought on negotiations on a monetary union as well as a political union. As of today, there are 27 members, with three others waiting on being admitted. I won’t even guesstimate when their entry would happen. However, if these three countries are admitted to the EU, the total number is 30 nations. Although a lot of the members do not have a booming economy now, we don’t know how this will be in the future. In a post I wrote a post, Future Plans, which was partly a review of Peter G. Peterson’s book, Running on Empty, which talks about the current deficit the United States is currently facing. I don’t remember the details, but according to Peterson, we will run ourselves into the ground for Social Security around 2030.

Given that the system is only about 15 years old, so it is fairly new. Already it has established a common currency in 13 countries. One thing that the European Union does not have a whole lot of natural resources, but Poland has just began drilling for oil, so that area is really unknown at this time. Also things like alternative energy are also possible. So, in 20, 30, 40 years, who really knows the dependence on oil.

For example, in the 1990s there were electric cars on the streets of mainly California. These cars ran so smoothly, the auto manufacturers recalled them because the cars would cost the companies more money because the consumer wouldn’t need to have so much maintenance done on it. Cars are one of, or is the top, reason we consume so much oil in the United States. They were pulled off the market because researchers found out that there is approximately a trillion barrels of oil left in the earth, which results to $100 trillion dollars of business, or money in auto manufactures pockets. Do you see why it was stopped?

Anyway, back to my main topic, if the European Union made decisions like that now, who knows how much money could be saved. My main argument was that we honestly don’t know what the future will bring, but in the next 5 or 10 years, the United States will be at the top.

Asides: the information about the electric car was taken from the movie, , here is the , and the .

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