Round 4. TruthWithin v Memoryshock: United We Stand?

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posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 01:55 AM
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The topic for this debate is "A North American Union between Canada, the US, and Mexico would significantly strengthen all three nations in the long term".

TruthWithin will be arguing the pro position and will open the debate.
Memoryshock will argue the con position.

Each debater will have one opening statement each. This will be followed by 3 alternating replies each. There will then be one closing statement each and no rebuttal.


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posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 02:37 PM
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Hello everyone! Once again I would like to extend a HUGE thanks to The Vagabond for moderating this tournament and for keeping everything running. Many thanks also to the judges and readers for making sure this is even possible. Last, and certainly not least, I wish my esteemed opponent, MemoryShock, the best of luck!

TruthWithin's Opening Statement



"A North American Union between Canada, the US, and Mexico would significantly strengthen all three nations in the long term".

When people hear the term "North American Union", a multitude of feelings and emotions arise. If you mention the idea of an NAU (North American Union) here on ATS you will find a heavily mixed reception. There are some who feel that a NAU would greatly benefit the countries that are involved, and there are those who feel that a union would be the end of North America.

Ladies and Gentlemen - During the course of this debate I will show you that it is IMPERATIVE to the survival of the United States, Canada and Mexico that a North American Union be formed.

We will discuss the current concept and model of a North American Union. We will also look at the European Union and how it can serve as a vital road map for the development and implementation of a sound and prosperous NAU.

In this debate we will also look at the major problems facing Canada, the U.S. and Mexico such as trade, foreign policy, staying competitive in the global market place and immigration. In turn, I will show how a strong NAU will provide much needed solutions and results for these problems.

I will introduce the term "single market economy" and discuss its positive implications over the long term on a Unified North America.

I will discuss the US's responsibility as a global super power to lead its neighbors into a prosperous trade agreement that will help heal the wounds of a flawed NAFTA and consequently benefit all of the countries involved.

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I will dispell the myths surrounding the concept of a North American Union that suggest the Union's implementation would mean VChips and other loss of of the peoples' rights. My opponent will most likely try and convince you that these fears are real while I can assure you that they are not.

NORTH AMERICAN UNION: Concepts and Definitions



North American Union

The North American Union (abbreviated NAU) is a theoretical continental union of Canada, Mexico and the United States similar in structure to the European Union, sometimes including a common currency called the Amero. Officials from all three nations have said there are no government plans to create such a union,[1] although the idea has been discussed and proposed in academic and scholarly circles, either as a union or as a North American Community (see Independent Task Force on North America).


Since a North American Union does not formally exist today, it is critical to examine how such a union would benefit Canada, the US and Mexico by contrasting it to the effectiveness of the European Union.

Here are some of the key benefits of the EU: SOURCE

1 - Unified Human rights - THE EU mandates strict adherence to the its own human rights code making it imperative for members of the EU to follow the guidelines. This ensures that countries involved in the EU keep a firm watch on any human rights violations. The European Union has power to prosecute violations and the resources for corrective actions.

2 - Environmental Regulation - All of the countries involved must adhere to the set environmental guidelines and policies. This creates a more uniform approach to reducing emissions and eliminating dependence on fossil fuels while updating and modernizing current industrial infrastructure.

3 - Single Trade Economy - I will discuss this term in greater lengths later on, but this concept promotes market competition, better allocation of goods and services, strong division of labor and helps to eliminate the formation of monopolies and unethical trading.

4 - Leveling Economic Disparity - This sort of union can give advantages to countries that are struggling.


There are substantial economical disparities across the EU. Even corrected for purchasing power, the difference between the richest and poorest regions (NUT-2 and NUT-3 of the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics) is about a factor of ten. On the high end Frankfurt has €68,751 PPP per capita, Paris €67,980, and Inner London €65,138, while Romania's Nord-Est has €5,070 PPP per capita and Bulgaria's Severozapaden has €5,502 PPP per capita.[126] Compared to the EU average, the United States GDP per capita is 35% higher and the Japanese GDP per capita is approximately 15% higher.[127]

There are a number of Structural Funds and Cohesion Funds to support development of underdeveloped regions of the EU. Such regions are primarily located in the new member states of eastern Europe.[128] Several funds provide emergency aid, support for candidate members to transform their country to conform to the EU's standard (Phare, ISPA, and SAPARD), and support to the former USSR Commonwealth of Independent States (TACIS). TACIS has now become part of the worldwide EuropeAid programme. The EU Seventh Framework Programme (FP7) sponsors research conducted by consortia from all EU members to work towards a single European Research Area.[129]


5 - Privilege of Inclusion - All of the above mentioned benefits are encouraged by such a union because of the incentives to be a part of the union are so great. Better trade means more money - so a country with a rap sheet of human rights violations or a history of polluting or even a dictatorial government would be encouraged to make the appropriate changes in order to be included within the Union.

6 - Safety in Numbers - One might certainly argue that the true potential of a region is only as strong as the sum of all its parts. So goes the old adage that when neighboring countries can work together towards a common goal, prosperity is soon to follow.

These are only a few of the many benefits that countries may experience when they work together to promote a better quality of life as it pertains to trade and foreign policy.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In my next post I will discuss some of the major problems facing Canada, the US and Mexico and how a North American Union can provide the much needed solutions and results to help North America strengthen three countries in the 21st Century.

I will also discuss the many advantages of a single market economy, and how economical convergence between Canada, the US and Mexico will strengthen the region as a whole while maintaining each countries identity.

Thank you for reading - I now open the floor to my opponent.



posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 09:51 AM
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I as well would like to thank The Vagabond , the readers, and of course, TruthWithin.

"A North American Union between Canada, the US, and Mexico would significantly strengthen all three nations in the long term".

Our debate topic above. And no, a North American Union would not significantly strengthen all three nations, not necessarily and a strengthening of all three nations would (and can’t) hinge on a Union solely, as there are many factors that would contribute to the increase/decrease of a nation’s international status.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I will dispell the myths surrounding the concept of a North American Union that suggest the Union's implementation would mean VChips and other loss of of the peoples' rights.


I would like to dispel this “Verichip is a myth” right now.



The Jacbos family in Boca Raton, Florida volunteered in February 2002 to have RFID chips implanted in their bodies, to help them deal with emergency medical situations. Jeff Jacobs says the chip carries important medical information about his heart condition and medications, and also about his son, who is allergic to antibiotics. The chip also contains information about who to contact in case of emergency.

In 2004, the Mexican Attorney General's office implanted a verichip in 18 of its staff members, to control access to a secure data room.
[1]


It’s real. The above quoted tells of a family who volunteered to be implanted. The associated reasoning and subsequently reported motivations of this family was for safety reasons, or ‘in case of an emergency’. What isn’t being broadcast is the fact that these technologies make it much easier to research consumer habits as well as gives inferable data regarding the lifestyle of any given individual.

Information is power. If they have it and I don’t, then they make the money.

And guess what? ‘Forced’ implanting is a reality as well. Since my opponent would like to use the European Union as a model for the proposed North American Union, which I find to be inadequate based on pre-existing regional/economic reasons (more on that as this debate continues), then I would like to offer a London precedent for ‘forced’ implantation.



The Daily Mail in Great Britain is reporting that every police officer in London - from the average bobby pounding a beat on up to London Metropolitan Police Chief Sir Ian Blair - will soon be implanted with a microchip that will allow their movements to be tracked [snip]

The penalty for refusing to be "chipped", says the story in the Daily Mail, is that a police officer will lose his or her job [2]


Seems to me that the EU brought about forced implantation. Sure, they could not take the implant. They then get fired. Who here would really negotiate between the social pressures of supporting a family with having a harmless ‘chip’ placed subcutaneously? How long will it be before it happens here?

Verichip is real and by association (at the very least) to the ongoing evolution of the SSP and talks of North American integration, it is a consequence of said integration….

My opponent also mentions, in the above quoted, the “other loss of [sic] the peoples' rights.” If the NAU is to be made official, then the very nature of its’ implementation is a loss of our basic human rights.


The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) was signed without much public awareness and without legislative or voter confidence.

Without any public knowledge, consultation and acceptance the North American Union is potentially progressing into our reality. Where is the American citizens ‘rights’ in that? Where is the publics’ interest being allotted for if we are not being consulted? It amounts to a lie, a lie of omission. We did not elect our officials so that they can act behind our backs. More and more we are seeing a degradation of our rights, through the Patriot Act and now with a proposed North American Union that has already been entered into (SSP) without our consent and approval and as well with barely our knowledge.

Does a humored and complacent nation of individuals make for a stronger nation?

My opponent downplays greatly the implication of allowing a one government mentality making decisions for a wide range of regionally different cultures. The fears of a further erosion of our rights and liberties is actually an expected by product of an increasingly bureaucratic society. I wasn’t tempted to discuss this aspect of the ‘Conspiracy Theory’ of the North American Union, but my opponent’s assertion is wrong.

We live in a capitalistic state that carries with it a responsibility for profit over the concerns of the individual. That is the status of our American society and that is what has made the American Nation a global superpower. It has continuously walked all over the concerns of the individual to ‘up’ its’ earning power and as a result has negotiated with itself time and time again to slowly and continuously ‘chip’ away at the rights of the individual.
 


Through the EU, my opponent has listed proposed benefits of the NAU, number 1 being ‘Human Rights’. I personally am appalled that my opponent would consider the fact that, after America has suffered scandal after scandal regarding human rights violations (namely Abu Ghraib ) and downplaying the use of waterboarding as torture, is going to throw its’ hands up in the air and acquiesce to human rights. If the Geneva Conventions couldn’t stop America, then what makes anyone here think that it will stop with an economically motivated union?

And that is the reason for such a Union…money. That is what it is all about and the money stays in the hands of the few.


The onrush of technology largely explains the gradual development of a "two-tier labor market" in which those at the bottom lack the education and the professional/technical skills of those at the top and, more and more, fail to get comparable pay raises, health insurance coverage, and other benefits.
[3]


Who would be strengthened as a result of a streamlining of transportation of goods and the opening up/expedition of trade?

The common guy, who wants to have a paycheck or the guy who wants to supply that paycheck within a system that eats that paycheck as soon as it is doled out?

No. It would be the proverbial one percent of our population that directly controls forty percent of the world’s assets.

A nation is not an ideal. It is not a one word identification that patriotism would imply. Sure, America is an economic superpower. But it is driven by corporations

A nation is a group of us guys, looking for a paycheck that won’t be gobbled immediately after receiving it. We are the nation and I don’t see ‘us’ being strengthened by anything done behind our backs (SPP). I see further implementation of a divide and conquer strategy that essentially has eaten away at our individuality.

My opponent also offers ‘Environmental Regulation’ as a benefit. Relative to what? Remember that the United States has yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

‘Single Trade Economy’; a concept that in theory sounds great. But companies like Enron are always going to be there. A Single Trade Economy is a wonderful ideal, but I would like to remind the reader that corporations have a greater power than national and international ideals; that of money. Plain and simple, the reality of a capitalistic society is to make money. Someone has to lose it. And someone has to gain it.

The utilization of a compare and contrast strategy with the EU is fallacious at best in that we cannot expect the same success or failures of their experience. As well, we cannot attribute the ideals of such a prospective NAU when the corporate mindset is not only bringing it to fruition but remaining in full a force as ever.

In a realistic sense, it won’t be a nation that ultimately benefits from a union. It will be the corporations. As I said, someone has to gain financially and someone has to lose.

With an international playing field of China, India, the EU and various other international and corporate entities, there is absolutely no guarantee that an NAU will strengthen its’ respective nations.

Socratic Questions:

1) Regarding your statement that it is "IMPERATIVE" to the survival of the three nations in question that an NAU be formed; is there no other possible way for these nations to coexist and flourish economically?

2) How do you propose that the EU be a relevant model for an NAU when the differences between the two regions and the their motivations are huge?

3) Do you propose that an NAU would create an 'ideal' living environment for all of its' citizens?

4) Regarding 'Benefit #4' in your key benefits; since the EU's institution in 1993, do the "substantial economic disparities" still exist between the richest and poorest regions?

5) Regarding 'Benefit#6' in your key benefits; where do the corporations fit into "neighboring countries working together"?

I now return the floor to TruthWithin…



posted on Apr, 15 2008 @ 02:48 PM
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For my first response I will address some of my opponent's points, continue on with argument and then finish by addressing my opponent's Socratic questions.



The only thing we have to fear is...VeriChips?!?!



Just as I predicted, my opponent is using the VeriChip technology to create a sense of fear and conspiracy. I will now prove that my opponents claims are completely inaccurate and false.

So as to not make this debate about VeriChips, let me address this briefly and move on.

Let's look at my opponent's 2 examples of how VeriChips are are being "forcefully implanted" into British police officers.



Seems to me that the EU brought about forced implantation. Sure, they could not take the implant. They then get fired. Who here would really negotiate between the social pressures of supporting a family with having a harmless ‘chip’ placed subcutaneously? How long will it be before it happens here?


FALSE.

Had my opponent actually read the article that this blog cited, then he would have noticed the blog was entirely wrong. These VChips are not being forcefully implanted, they are IN FACT being attached to the officers' radios. This is a far cry from "forced implantation". Here is a SOURCE, not a misguided blog, that clears this up.

Even if this were occurring, which it is not, the British government's move to do this would not even fall under the jurisdiction of the EU. The EU does not regulate individual countries' police or military.

His second example is completely erroneous because these people VOLUNTARILY wore the chips. This in no way suggests that VChips are being forcefully implanted.

Indeed, my opponent has dedicated 3/4 of his post to using baseless claims to create a sense of fear and conspiracy. He did this by first trying to validate that people are being forcefully implanted with chips, which there is ZERO evidence to suggest, and then he goes on to mention the Security and Prosperity Partnership Of North America.



The Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) was signed without much public awareness and without legislative or voter confidence.


Again, this is completely wrong. In fact if you go to the SPP Website you will find that MemoryShock's statement is entirely false.


Myth: The SPP was an agreement signed by Presidents Bush and his Mexican and Canadian counterparts in Waco, TX, on March 23, 2005.

Fact: The SPP is a dialogue to increase security and enhance prosperity among the three countries. The SPP is not an agreement nor is it a treaty. In fact, no agreement was ever signed.


AND


Myth: The SPP is being undertaken without the knowledge of the U.S. Congress.

Fact: U.S. agencies involved with SPP regularly update and consult with members of Congress on our efforts and plans.


The fact is this is merely an initiative and nothing more and in no way supports my opponent's argument. I would also like to point out that my opponent made this look like a source which would make 4 sources (although he did not cite anything formally) and that exceeds the limit of 3 sources for the opening post.



My opponent then picked through my EU benefits.

He attacked my point about human rights by mentioning torture and Abu Ghraib and water boarding. This all falls under military jurisdiction. This means that it is a military issue and it is for the individual country, NOT THE UNION, to preside over. Once again, this is completely erroneous to what we are debating.



My opponent also offers ‘Environmental Regulation’ as a benefit. Relative to what? Remember that the United States has yet to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.


Correct. Canada has ratified the treaty though and my point in bringing this up is that it would put more pressure on the US to ratify the treaty in order to be a member of the union. Isn't that what we want? It would also force Mexico to clean up their act as well. A Win Win situation.



‘Single Trade Economy’; a concept that in theory sounds great. But companies like Enron are always going to be there. A Single Trade Economy is a wonderful ideal, but I would like to remind the reader that corporations have a greater power than national and international ideals; that of money.


Yes, and if I am not mistaken, Enron was taken down by the justice system and its CEO's are dead or in jail.

Also, thank you for agreeing that this is a wonderful "ideal". However this, in practice, is not an "ideal" but a reality in th EU and has had tremendously positive effects on the economy (please see the US Dollar vs Euro).

What my opponent fails to recognize is that while corporations can be bad, they can also be good. The key is to properly regulate them. That is what a single market economy does.

____________________________________________________________________________________________


This provides an excellent transition to jump back into my argument. I will discuss a single market economy in a moment, but first I would like to discuss some of the common issues that Canada, the US and Mexico share to illustrate how a North American Union with a single market economy can help strengthen these countries.

Staying Competitive in a Global Market SOURCE


The principle of free movement of goods ensures goods can be taken anywhere within the whole market without being subject to barriers or obstacles. This freedom has both an internal and external dimension. Internally, goods must not be subjected to customs duties, discriminatory taxes or measures restricting import quantities between member countries. Externally, goods entering the internal market will be granted freedom after paying the Common Customs Tariff.


Lower tariffs mean lower prices and less red tape to allow trade to be conducted more freely. This is a major problem with NAFTA that can be corrected under a single market economy.


The EU operates a competition policy intended to ensure undistorted competition within the single market.[106] The Commission as the competition regulator for the single market is responsible for antitrust issues, approving mergers, breaking up cartels, working for economic liberalisation and preventing state aid.[107]

The Competition Commissioner, currently Neelie Kroes, is one of the most powerful positions in the Commission, notable in effecting trans-national corporations.[108] For example, in 2001 the Commission for the first time prevented a merger between two companies based in the United States which had already been approved by their national authority.[109] Another high profile case, European Union v. Microsoft, resulted in the Commission fining Microsoft over €777 million following nine years of legal action.


It is this sort of regulation that can make strengthen North American trade in the long run. This power that is shared by all three countries can help reduce or eliminate much of the corruption, unethical trading and business practices that do not serve the common interests of the market.

Immigration

The US and even Canada have seen a dramatic influx of illegal Mexican immigrants over the past 25 years or so and one can argue that a major reason that so many workers from Mexico are coming to the US and Canada for work is because of Mexico's unstable and often corrupt government/economy.

By bringing Mexico's economy into convergence with the US and Canadian economies, it is my opinion that Mexico's government would be held to higher standards and thus decrease the necessity for workers to go outside of their own borders for better jobs. This would make it only necessary then for skilled workers to leave their borders to perform specialized jobs in another NAU member's country. It is my belief that this system would dramatically decrease illegal immigration.

_____________________________________________________________________________________________


On to answer my questions...



1) Regarding your statement that it is "IMPERATIVE" to the survival of the three nations in question that an NAU be formed; is there no other possible way for these nations to coexist and flourish economically?


You are implying that I said said a Union would be the ONLY way to solve these problems. I do feel that a NAU would be a necessary component, but certainly not the only factor that would strengthen each individual country.



2) How do you propose that the EU be a relevant model for an NAU when the differences between the two regions and the their motivations are huge?


Only in that we can learn from their mistakes and failures to create a more potent and effective Union. The same way the framers of the US Constitution learned from French Democracy.



3) Do you propose that an NAU would create an 'ideal' living environment for all of its' citizens?


Of course not. Has there ever been a country, government or union that has?



4) Regarding 'Benefit #4' in your key benefits; since the EU's institution in 1993, do the "substantial economic disparities" still exist between the richest and poorest regions?


Certainly. There will always be areas or regions that experience hardship. The idea here is to close the gap - which a union has a better chance of doing because of its size and resources.



5) Regarding 'Benefit#6' in your key benefits; where do the corporations fit into "neighboring countries working together"?


Corporations are a part of countries, so they will have an integral role in trade. You are implying that all corporations are bad when in fact they are not all bad.


I open the floor to my opponent.



posted on Apr, 16 2008 @ 02:37 PM
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Who said anything about fearing Vericip’s?

I am here to explain how a potential NAU will not necessarily strengthen the three countries involved. As well, since VeriChip is now an ingrained association to the topic at hand, I must make concession for the bunk source provided by myself in my opening.

Please keep in mind that I am not suggesting that this will happen for everyone.



Using VeriChip's secure implantable RFID technology, the Department of Homeland Security can ensure that a secure, tamper-proof system is in place to identify, register and confirm guest worker credentials[snip][1]


Scott Silverman, who is on the Board of Directors for VeriChip has gone so far as to suggest that implanted RFID be used in a ‘Guest Worker’ Program. That essentially means that those who want to travel to the United States to work but do not have the requisite capacity for citizenship may do so only if they become implanted. It hasn’t passed yet, but Verichip was campaigning just as hard as the Bush Administration was for immigration legislation in ’06. He has even boasted about talks with the Administration and Pentagon. We are talking about people we are attempting to 'union' with.



Scarily enough, we're not talking about some conspiracy theory, or some black ops experiment -- this is for real, and the Pentagon has already awarded the first contract. It's a $1.6 million contract, to be exact, and it's with Clemson University's Center for Bioelectronics, Biosensors and Biochips (C3B). The mandate? To develop the chip[snip][2]


The military has already commissioned implants for its’ soldiers. Are we really going to ignore this slow integration?

We have the technology; why wouldn’t it get used?

Think of it this way:

We have had a widespread telephone system for just a bit over a century. That is how long it took for it to be publicly known and, more or less, accepted as norm to intercept, listen, and record our phone conversations. How long, in the name of safety, will it take to use the more advanced technologies that are just becoming available for commercial use? It is imperative to understand that the public is just becoming aware and used to the idea of these new technologies and they do not comprehend them. Therefore, in the name of safety, they are willing to trust the ‘experts in the public eye’ and allow their utilization.

Recall that we already have verifiable RFID implant technology and the associated company has already tried to create its’ own market by suggesting and campaigning for mandatory implantation of immigrants…or ‘non-citizens’ that require a prolonged stay on our soil.
 


Further proof that our nation can make decisions without Congress?



U.S. Air Force Gen. Gene Renuart, commander of North American Aerospace Defense Command and U.S. Northern Command, and Canadian Air Force Lt.-Gen. Marc Dumais, commander of Canada Command, have signed a Civil Assistance Plan that allows the military from one nation to support the armed forces of the other nation during a civil emergency.[3]


Aside from corporate armies, we now have the Canadian Army that is capable of avoiding posse comitatus, a law that requires Congressional approval for member(s) of the Armed Forces to perform law enforcement duties on American Soil. This is good and bad. Point is, and this is bad, the agreement was made without voter nor legislative confidence…much like the signing of the SPP

My opponent stated the following:


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Again, this is completely wrong. In fact if you go to the SPP Website you will find that MemoryShock's statement is entirely false.


My statement is not false.

Why don't we go straight to the horse's mouth, Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin?



Thus, on March 23, President Bush, President Fox and I signed the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America that establishes the way forward on our continental agenda for security, prosperity and quality of life.[3]


Seems that the SPP is in fact a signed document. And my opponent also suggests that ‘updating and consulting’ Congress is the same as gaining their authoritative vote. It is not. As well, their was no voter recognition or consultation.

If my opponent had known of my recent posting history on ATS, he would have found that I authored a thread on the North American Union and the supposed ‘debunking’ of the SPP by Snopes. There is no room for argument on whether or not the SPP was a signed agreement; we have the Former Prime Minister’s word.

Does my opponent really think that just because we decide to highlight a list of ideals and give them a new name that corporate and legal manipulations and corruptions won't occur? Does he really think that the progression of our technologies will truly usher in a period where corporations may set aside their nature and acquiesce to human ideals? What about our own government, which has a human rights violation history…


Originally posted by TruthWithin
He attacked my point about human rights by mentioning torture and Abu Ghraib and water boarding. This all falls under military jurisdiction.


Then why were human rights even mentioned in my opponent’s opening in reference to the benefits of an EU? He is contradicting himself if he thinks that he can utilize the connotation of human rights for the pro position and then redirect the responsibility of such for the con position.

He mentioned human rights for the following reason:

To encourage countries to right their wrongs in order to join the Union.

So, my opponent really thinks that Canada and Mexico are going to stand up to the United States of America, arguably the biggest economic and military superpower in the world? Perhaps Canada and Mexico have the combined strength to muscle a United States ratification of the Kyoto Protocol as well.

Yeah….right. Seems that an NAU wouldn’t necessarily help the United States at all. The U.S. doesn’t necessarily need it. But Canada and Mexico do.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
You are implying that I said said a Union would be the ONLY way to solve these problems.


No, I am not. I am questioning your assertion that an NAU is required for the survival of the three nations. As follows:


Originally posted by TruthWithin
During the course of this debate I will show you that it is IMPERATIVE to the survival of the United States, Canada and Mexico that a North American Union be formed.


Where in that statement is there not a direct assertion to the requirement of the NAU?

And as a matter of fact, if we are going to question each other’s adherence to the rules, you may be interested to know that there was no direct answer to Question #1. As stated by the rules, Explanations and Qualifications come after a direct answer, of which there was none.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
(please see the US Dollar vs Euro).




As the dollar continues to fall in reaction to budget deficits stemming from the war in Iraq[snip][4]


My opponent has not yet provided any viable data that an NAU will strengthen any of the three nations in question. Rather, he has focused on debunking my claims via my unfortunate use of a questionable source. Perhaps I shouldn’t remind him that the burden of proof is on him. I on the other hand, have shown that the emerging North American Integration carries with it some very real concerns for the American Public. We have proof that individual rights have been slowly withdrawn. We have proof that our government and military have made important decisions behind the public’s back. We even have proof, when I have the luxury of a more words by way of my next post, that the utilization of a trilateral trade route has the potential to severely impact a major United States city in favor of cheaper transportation. As my opponent states with the ‘Single Market Economy’, lower tariffs mean lower prices. Would it not logically follow to start importing through a cheaper locale?

My opponent continues to provide only idealistic ruminations and beliefs…


Originally posted by TruthWithin
It is my belief that this system would dramatically decrease illegal immigration.


…on a ‘better world’.

I however, choose to look at what is in front of our faces and see the reality of it.



The undocumented population from Mexico increased from two million in 1990 to 4.8 million in 2000 and to 5.3 million in 2002.
[snip]
Thus, the United States can anticipate the entry of another 14 million immigrants between 2000 and 2010 with net migration of at least 400,000 Mexicans per year.


More on immigration later as well.

And, as I said before, the reality is that the economic playing field is getting so large that an obligatory encompassing of two nations by the world’s strongest superpower is not enough to insure a strengthening of all the associated nations.

Socratic Question Number 1:
How has the economic disparity between North East Romania and Inner London increased or decreased since 1993 compared with today?

[edit on 3-5-2008 by The Vagabond]



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 11:10 AM
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Who said anything about fearing Vericip's?


You did.



Seems to me that the EU brought about forced implantation. Sure, they could not take the implant. They then get fired. Who here would really negotiate between the social pressures of supporting a family with having a harmless 'chip' placed subcutaneously? How long will it be before it happens here?


It reminded me of Bush arguing that a smoking gun for the US to invade Iraq shouldn't be in the form of a mushroom cloud.

I am going to end this verichip discussion right here because, while my opponent has gone to great lengths to prove that this technology exists, he has in no way shown how the verichip would hinder the strengthening of countries under a NAU.

As far as the SPP situation goes - I have a source that says it was never signed, my opponent has a source that says it was. The important thing to understand is that it is a mere initiative and, last I checked, a president can start as many initiatives as he or she likes without approval of congress. Again though, my opponent has used the SPP for no other means than as a fear device without explaining how it would hinder the strengthening of countries within a union.



___________________________________________________________________________


I would be daft not to understand that he concept of a NAU to the members of ATS is far from a popular, or even an accepted, idea. I am here, however, to show one thing and one thing only: How Canada, the US and Mexico would be strengthened under a NAU. That is what I have been, and will continue to do.



My opponent has not yet provided any viable data that an NAU will strengthen any of the three nations in question.


I have no data on a NAU because it does not exist. This is why the best example of how a NAU could strengthen its involved countries is by looking at a union that DOES exist - the EU.

Here are some examples of how, by forming the EU, there is strong growth.


Economic benefits

* Over the last 15 years the Single Market has increased the EU's prosperity by 2.15% of GDP. In 2006 alone this meant an overall increase of €240 billion - or €518 for every EU citizen - compared to a situation without the Single Market.
* 2.75 million extra jobs have been created over the period 1992-2006 as a result of the Single Market.
* The Single Market has enhanced the ability of EU firms to compete in global markets.
* EU exports to third countries have increased from 6.9% of EU GDP in 1992 to 11.2% in 2001.
* The Single Market has made Europe a much more attractive location for foreign investors. New inflows of foreign direct investment into the European Union have more than doubled as a percentage of GDP.

1


Increase of the GDP, the creation of nearly 3 million jobs, a global competitive edge, increase of exports and greater desirability of other countries to want to trade with you.

Socratic Question #1 - Would you consider the above mentioned items to be "strengthening" features?

Socratic Question #2 - If the US is as greedy and money-centric as you suggest, would there be any appeal to the US to create a stronger Union with Canada (currently the 8th largest economy and 12th largest GDP in the world) ?

Other great strengths of the EU have been: (Same source as above)



Wider choice for consumers: the range of products and services on sale across the EU is wider than ever and in most cases prices are easily compared thanks to the euro. 73% of EU citizens think the Single Market has contributed positively to the range of products on offer, while the establishment of common standards has led to safer and environmentally friendlier products, such as food, cars and medicines.


Here is some nifty data about studies that have been conducted to show the strengthening effects on Mexico IF there were some form of NAU.


The benefits of North American Monetary Union (NAMU) to Mexico thus may lie in faster growth and more efficient development and not only in any stability gains of the type discussed, for instance, in conjunction with European Monetary Union (EMU). Applying a series of consistent conjectures about the sources of change, by developing a long-term growth scenario for 1990 to 2025 with and without monetary union, the article finds that Mexico's economic size may rise from 4.4% of U.S. GDP in 1990 to 11.0% without and 12.2% with, monetary union by the year 2025 one-sixth of the growth of GDP over this period, in the United States and Mexico combined, will occur in Mexico.

2


My opponent proved that immigration is a problem by showing statistics that indicate a steep increase in illegal immigration. I am not sure why, because my argument cites illegal immigration as a real problem - so thank you for backing that up!

My point is that , through a NAU agreement, the idea would be to bolster the unstable and oft corrupt Mexican government/economy so that 14 million people do not have to risk life and limb to cross the border to find better jobs. If Mexico is more more prosperous and stable then I am certain that illegal immigration would decline. Thats why the US doesn't have an influx of 400,000 illegal Canadians flooding across the border.

Socratic Question #3: Do you believe that, if Mexico's economy were more sound and less corrupt, there would be more or less people crossing the border illegally to find jobs?



My opponent continues to provide only idealistic ruminations and beliefs…


So far, my opponent's main argument has been that capitalism is the route of all evil and that it can do no good for a society. He as argued that our government does things behind our back. Is this new? Governments have always done this and will continue to do it. Is it right? No. Yet again though, my opponent has chosen to produce an arbitrary point without providing any evidence to suggest that this would influence the positive benefits of a NAU. In my my estimation, his strategy is to produce an atmosphere of fear and distrust of our governments and somehow link that to hindering growth of nations of a NAU.

My point is that corruption will always exist. There will always be those trying to exploit others. There will always be bad corporations and good corporations. There will always be oppressed people and disgustingly wealthy people. These are the unfortunate, yet inevitable realities of our world.

So what is the solution? Should we get rid of all governments? Abolish trade? Exterminate all corporations?

Instead, what if we made things tougher for the greedy and unethical? What if, through a vast scale of checks and balances (that worked), we are able to hold our society to a higher ethical standard?

In a NAU, the US would have to be accountable to its partners and not just unto itself. The incentive for the US would be that it could make more money, and in turn, it would help to make its neighbor to the south to become more prosperous. The stronger Mexico becomes, the more money everyone makes. Could there be a better incentive to my opponent's idea of the corrupt and unethical US?



Socratic Question Number 1: How has the economic disparity between North East Romania and Inner London increased or decreased since 1993 compared with today?


I could not find direct data, but it would appear that based on GDP per capita, that the disparity has increased. This might be due to the fact, though, that Romania didn't join the EU until 2007 and therefore the EU would have had little or no impact on Romania from 1993 to 2007.

I am very glad, however, that you brought up Romania because it is a great example of how the EU is benefiting or "strengthening" this poor country. One of Romania's greatest issues are the outdated transportation conditions hindering its ability to trade effectively.


Nevertheless, these conditions are rapidly improving and catching up with the standards of Trans-European transport networks. Several projects have been started with funding from grants from ISPA .

3


The ISPA is a financial instrument of the EU that provides assistance to countries to help them get up to date with the trade standards of the EU, thus making them a more . According to the same source, the EU has also reformed the Romanian tax system with a 16% flat tax that makes it the " country having the lowest fiscal burden in the European Union", which is a major factor of growth in Romania's private sector. Most of Romania's other economic indicators are on the upswing as well. This is a major advantage for a country on the up and up, and is made possible by being a member of the EU.

This is one of countless stories of how the EU is "strengthening" its countries. More importantly, though, this goes to show just a few of the many ways a NAU could strengthen the US, Canada and Mexico.

In my next post I will discuss a unique opportunity for the US to rebuild its reputation as a super power and its profound responsibility to its neighbors.



** On a side note - my opponent once again exceeded his maximum number of sources in his last post. If you will note he has 2 "#3" sources, making it 6 total. The limit is 5.

And for the record I did answer my opponent's last question directly - even though he had misrepresented my statement.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 10:35 AM
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A Nation is Not Defined by it’s Economic Status Alone…

Indeed, in my last post, I did utilize an extra source. It truly was an oversight. I would like to ask The Vagabond to delete as per the rules.

That said, TruthWithin, you did not answer the Socratic Question directly. You answered immediately with a statement regarding your subjective perception of my perception. I will allow you to waste my resources by presenting it again as Socratic Question #1 for this post.

As for the nitpicking on the rules; your first accusation was baseless. The rules are there to encourage fighters to use their own voice and encourage original discussion. That is what has occurred. And it was a kindness that I will not extend further when I let wikipedia slide. It is an ‘edit at will website’. In order to validate the information on wikipedia, one must visit the sources at the bottom of the page. Am I to assume that you were attempting to use twenty extra sources?

I did not assume that. I assumed that you were here to debate about the topic, rather than invent rule violations on my part (first accusation).
 


The verichip is important as it shows that there is a division amongst our society. I don’t want to spend too much time on this sociological sidebar currently, but suffice to say that decisions made behind our backs are cause for concern.

We can always allow the first step and watch as Verichip convinces ‘guest workers’ that they need to be implanted for the ‘privilege’ of making a dollar on our land, though…

That is not fear mongering…that is objective reasoning. As for the SPP issue, which again proves a division between authority and the average citizen, I believe that an archived document regarding the Former Prime Minister of Canada trumps that of a biased website.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Again though, my opponent has used the SPP for no other means than as a fear device without explaining how it would hinder the strengthening of countries within a union.


This post contains the reasoning why the SPP is adverse to nations being strengthened under an NAU…namely an Austrailian company that suggests that the NAU is intended for corporate profit as well as the suppression of the population.

Louisiana and West Coast Ports in Danger of Being Usurped by Ports in Mexico and Land Delivery Systems

New Orleans stands to be hit fairly hard, not just by a potential NAU, but by the current SPP and the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor. Now the problem isn’t necessarily that the country barriers on tax and tariff are eliminated, thusly making goods cheaper and neither is the issue that of making these cheaper goods more readily available. The problems are as follows:

1) The goods are made cheaper by the use of different and more efficient trade routes.

The Trans-Texas Corridor is important for this reason: It allows a viable way to utilize a multimodality transportation strategy. What is multimodal? The use of land, air, and sea in various fashions for the transportation of goods. What does this enable? It enables cheaper shipping costs due to the fact that the Asian path to exporting their goods to the United States, Canada and Mexico can be accomplished using closer Ports, such as Tampico and Lazaro Cardenas in Mexico. The following image illustrates the path goods will take (Tampico is by San Luis Potosi; keep in mind that via the Panama Canal the Port of Tampico is still closer than the Port of New Orleans):



2) Different Ports means less American commerce.



The ports of South Louisiana, New Orleans, and Baton Rouge rank third, fourth, and fifteenth, respectively in total trade by port to all world ports[snip][1]


That is a lot of business that will be going to other places. Thousands of jobs. An economy that was just thrashed by a hurricane is being set up to be potentially hit fairly hard by an economic ‘short end of the stick’. That is not to say that Southern Louisiana will become obsolete (in context) overnight, or even at all. What it is saying is that the easing of our trade laws into a ‘single market economy’ is going to carry with it some very important economic impacts on various regions throughout the United States.

And what makes the SPP so important is because the SPP is exactly what is enabling this to occur right now. Does my opponent want to argue the Trans-Texas Corridor and the back handed strategies of those making the decisions?



Australian toll road giant Macquarie agreed Wednesday to purchase forty local newspapers, primarily in Texas and Oklahoma, for $80 million. Macquarie Bank is Australia's largest capital raising firm and has invested billions in purchasing roads in the US, Canada and UK
[snip]
Many of the small papers purchased, most have a circulation of 5000 or less, have been critical of the Trans-Texas Corridor." [2]


Now I ask my opponent Socratic Question #2:
Why would an Australian company buy up local newspapers to censor the information regarding the already begun corridor if corporate interest isn’t the foremost reason for a North American integration?

A nation is only as strong as the sum of its’ parts and it seems to me that information and opinion being suppressed only serves to weaken the parts.

My opponent is presenting naive and hopeful rhetoric when he suggests that an NAU will ultimately benefit...he never states for whom. The public that blindly follows its' leaders or the leaders that know that the public blindly follows. The following rhetorical questions are the crux of the debate:

Who will be strengthened by an NAU?

Perhaps maybe an Austrailian company….and other corporate interests, instead of the three potential member companies.

What exactly is a nation? The people who are making infrastructural decisions for an unwitting public or the intentionally duped populace. Or perhaps it is a conglomerate of multinational corporations looking to get a piece of one of the biggest pies in the world.

The number of foreign and corporate interests vying for positioning in today’s very competitive economic landscape makes it impossible to state that an NAU will strengthen each of the three country members. In a world where alternative energies and technologies are a long ways off from being implemented and the tried and true fossil fuels are rapidly diminishing as demand for them rises makes it impossible to predict who will gain the global upperhand. China, India, the EU, Australia and even a combination of the above or others I haven’t mentioned. The success of international powers will most likely be the determining factor in whether or not the three country members of an NAU will be strengthened. War, as we have seen it deplete the value of the dollar immensely, could effect stability of the whole of North America; indeed it already has.

Socratic Question #3:
Will a single market economy protect against the world reaction to a war mongering United States?


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Socratic Question #1 - Would you consider the above mentioned items to be "strengthening" features?


Yes. Do I see them to be guaranteed through an NAU? No.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Socratic Question #2 - If the US is as greedy and money-centric as you suggest, would there be any appeal to the US to create a stronger Union with Canada (currently the 8th largest economy and 12th largest GDP in the world) ?


Yes.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Socratic Question #3: Do you believe that, if Mexico's economy were more sound and less corrupt, there would be more or less people crossing the border illegally to find jobs?


Less. But again, I do not think for a second that an NAU will guarantee less corruption.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Instead, what if we made things tougher for the greedy and unethical? What if, through a vast scale of checks and balances (that worked), we are able to hold our society to a higher ethical standard?


And we can accomplish that by increasing the number of people we do business with? The way I understand it, the more people who have access to information and money, the greater likelihood that information/money will become diluted, spread, taken, etc. By increasing the amount of people and laws, we are asking for more of the same…corruption, lies and ever expanding discrepancy between the rich and the poor.

Regarding the ‘vast scale of checks and balances’, what if we created an intricate tax law that would be ‘designed’ to strengthen the poor and encourage accountability by the rich?

Or would the very intricacy itself work to provide a multitude of loopholes for the rich to take advantage of?

Loopholes it was and is.

My point is to not allow the perception of a prospective NAU glamour us into thinking that life will automatically improve and everything will be great. I could cite the fact that the U.S. is already the strongest nation in the world (empirically) and as such an NAU will not change the U.S.'s position in relative terms to the rest of the world's nations. The U.S. can't get stronger in a relative sense and it is much more likely that the United States will continue to weaken, despite a possible NAU, due to the strengthening of China, the EU and various other up and coming nations.

The transition to a different societal parameter is going to affect everyone and is apt to be more tolerable and positive for the people who are prepared for it.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 02:39 PM
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My opponent is presenting naive and hopeful rhetoric when he suggests that an NAU will ultimately benefit...he never states for whom. The public that blindly follows its' leaders or the leaders that know that the public blindly follows. The following rhetorical questions are the crux of the debate:

Who will be strengthened by an NAU?


Is it "naive" to take rock solid data from an existing union and apply it to a hypothetical situation regarding a North American Union?

I am not here to suggest that a NAU will be a magic wand to cure all of the problems in North America. I do not for a moment suggest that greed and corruption will COMPLETELY fall by the wayside once a NAU is formed nor do I assert that governments will miraculously stop doing things behind peoples' backs. While I guess I "naively hope" these problems will all disappear, I too live in the real world and know better.

But can we always strive to make things better? You bet. So how do we do that? We look around and see things that are working and things that are failing. Right now - the EU is working and according to most estimates it will continue to work in the long term.

My opponent has now agreed that all of the benefits I mentioned could be considered to be "strengthening" features. More jobs, more trade, a stronger international perception, cheaper goods etc. all make up for a stronger North America. Yet, my opponent argues that a NAU does not "guarantee" this success even after I have shown a successful model of how it can. While I admit that nothing is ever 100% certain - the data STRONGLY points in the direction that a North American Union would INDEED benefit its member countries in very positive ways.

Even in his latest post, my opponent continues to harp on VeriChips and the SPP.

Socratic Question #1 - Will the verichip technology still continue to exist and possibly be implemented in some or all sectors of North America even if a NAU is never formed?

My opponent's argument regarding the SPP, I assume, is to illustrate that decisions are being made behind our backs. I could have told you that 70, 100 or 1000 years ago. Leaders always have an always will. Does that mean that a NAU is a bad idea? I still fail to see the connection.

Using the logic that my opponent is using - we should never change any course because governments will always be making decisions behind peoples' backs. Could you imagine John Adams arguing that there is no need to form a new, independent government because there is a chance that it too will be over controlling and morally bankrupt?

Now my opponent is using the Trans-Texas corridor and emphasizing its "problems" of:



1) The goods are made cheaper by the use of different and more efficient trade routes.


THE HORROR! You mean people would have to go to stores an pay LESS for things!?

I realize that my opponent's point is that workers in the US (NOLA Ports) would lose some jobs and business coming in and out of their port but, if on the grander scale of things - if millions of other jobs were being created - then wouldn't it be worth it?

In other words - if the creation of millions of jobs over the long term in all 3 countries meant that a few thousand jobs were lost in the short term - wouldn't it be worth it?

Socratic Question #1 - Would the creation of a Trans Texas Corridor bring new jobs and new business to Mexico, the US and Canada in terms of building, maintaining and handling the commercial needs of the corridor?




Originally posted by TruthWithin
Instead, what if we made things tougher for the greedy and unethical? What if, through a vast scale of checks and balances (that worked), we are able to hold our society to a higher ethical standard?


And we can accomplish that by increasing the number of people we do business with?


YES - but most importantly we increase the power of those who monitor and regulate trading conditions. More trade is good so long as it is reasonably ethical and fair. More trade means more jobs, a stronger currency and more innovative products by creating healthy competition.

One of the big problems in the US right now is that the groups that regulate these things are either bought by lobbyists or are not powerful enough to go after big business. In the EU, these programs have greater objectivity and more power to actually do their jobs. This what I talked about 2 posts ago.


The Competition Commissioner, currently Neelie Kroes, is one of the most powerful positions in the Commission, notable in effecting trans-national corporations. For example, in 2001 the Commission for the first time prevented a merger between two companies based in the United States which had already been approved by their national authority. Another high profile case, European Union v. Microsoft, resulted in the Commission fining Microsoft over €777 million following nine years of legal action.

1


This is just one way of dealing with unethical trading. The point is that the US would have to answer to a powerful entity within the Union and not to its lobbyists.



My point is to not allow the perception of a prospective NAU glamour us into thinking that life will automatically improve and everything will be great. I could cite the fact that the U.S. is already the strongest nation in the world (empirically) and as such an NAU will not change the U.S.'s position in relative terms to the rest of the world's nations. The U.S. can't get stronger in a relative sense and it is much more likely that the United States will continue to weaken, despite a possible NAU, due to the strengthening of China, the EU and various other up and coming nations.


So let me get this straight. You say that the US empire is mighty - but then you say that the US will likely get weaker because of the current "strengthening" of the EU!?

That is great because a major part of my argument depends on you agreeing that my model Union is getting stronger!

OK. So you first admit that that the European Union is "strengthening".

Then you contradict yourself by stating that, although it is "much more likely" that the US will continue to get weaker, even though you said it can't get any stronger?

How, then, is the US to compete in the global economy? Would it not be logical then for the US to increase its trading potential by say, forming a union with its North American neighbors? Would that not be imperative to the US's survival?

My opponent accuses me of using naively hopeful rhetoric, when he himself has done little more than show that:

1. Our governments are making decisions behind the peoples' backs.

2. Verichip technology does indeed exist and MIGHT, one day, be forcefully implanted into people.

3. State his opinion that all corporations are evil and corrupt.

4. The US, which is "led by corporations", is only interested in serving its wealthiest one percent.

Yet none of these things refute that data that I have provided which suggests that, if there were a North American Union, it would not strengthen Canada, the US and Mexico.

Could all of the things that my opponent mentioned happen in a NAU? OF COURSE! But they will continue to happen with out a NAU as well.

In other words - my opponent has yet to argue anything that directly addresses how a NAU would have weakening effects on North America. If verichips, the SPP and corrupt America are are truly "weakening" aspects, then they will weaken North America's current status quo with OR without an NAU. Therefore they have little relevancy here.

Onto the questions...

First, thank you for allowing me to "waste your resources". My intention was not to be difficult. I felt you cited too many sources in you first post (not many people have common, intricate knowledge of an obscure initiative). You definitely did it in your last. Just trying to keep things clean.

To re-answer your previous first question:



1) Regarding your statement that it is "IMPERATIVE" to the survival of the three nations in question that an NAU be formed; is there no other possible way for these nations to coexist and flourish economically?


NO. Because if there were they would have been explored. You yourself just said that the US will continue to weaken because of the strength of China, the EU and other nations. Therefore, because Canada, the US and Mexico depend on each other so much already, it would make a lot of sense to set up a system in which the individual countries could become stronger by being able to trade more effectively with one another and the world.



Socratic Question #2:
Why would an Australian company buy up local newspapers to censor the information regarding the already begun corridor if corporate interest isn’t the foremost reason for a North American integration?


I have no idea. There could be a number of reasons. Maybe they really like Texas?

I will note, however, that you have made a tremendous, if not irresponsible leap of logic. You ASSUME that the Aussies are buying up these papers to censor the information when you have provided nothing to indicate this to be the reason - aside from citing a source that says some of the papers have been critical of the corridor. That's a big leap - and I will need to get a stronger reason to believe in this conspiracy than what you have provided, which at this point is pure conjecture.



Socratic Question #3: Will a single market economy protect against the world reaction to a war mongering United States?


No. Because that would not be the job of the single market economy.

Socratic Question 3: How is England's economy doing, if one could argue they are a "war mongering" society?

I open the floor to my opponent.



posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 12:55 PM
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Originally posted by TruthWithin
Is it "naive" to take rock solid data from an existing union and apply it to a hypothetical situation regarding a North American Union?


Yes.

What did the EU have? They had rock solid data of their own countries and economic interactions to base their decisions and draw up parameters. Perhaps that is why it has worked out so well. Indeed, it is just as possible that the decline of the U.S. dollar as a response to the War in Iraq contributed greatly to the success of the Euro and since the war did heavily impact the American economy, who is to say that the NAU will encounter a like scenario?


Originally posted by TruthWithin
My opponent has now agreed that all of the benefits I mentioned could be considered to be "strengthening" features.


As I just said, strengthening features do not guarantee a similar occurrence will occur across the pond.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Yet, my opponent argues that a NAU does not "guarantee" this success even after I have shown a successful model of how it can.


I disagree that my opponent has shown a successful model. I contend that my opponent has presented a lot of ideological propaganda (The 6 Key Benefits of the EU; which #1 was contradicted by my opponent) and a couple of favorable economic statistics. Let’s take a look at one of the ‘successes’ that my opponent has presented.

Socratic Question #1:
How can the EU, comprised of 27 smaller nations, be a relevant model for an NAU, which is to be comprised of 3 larger nations?



Windows is sustained by the power of monopoly, the massive XP ecosystem and the huge costs associated with switching operating systems for enterprises. Someone at Microsoft surely will use the data to say that there is competition in the desktop operating system market. True, but it's coming from Windows XP. Dated March 31, 2008 My Emphasis [1]


My opponent mentions the EU decision over Microsoft. But what was actually accomplished? A roughly 2 billion dollar fine and the release of some of their coding. That was it. Keep in mind that the original anti-trust suit was brought about in 1998 meaning that the server coding was more or less obsolete by the time Microsoft finally complied with the EU. A victory for the EU? Or Microsoft? I’ll admit, 2 billion dollars is a lot of money to me…



Microsoft went public Friday with a $44.6 billion cash-and-stock bid to acquire Yahoo. Dated Febuary 1, 2008[2]


…but 44.6 billion dollars is an exceptionally larger number. So Microsoft plays around with the courts for awhile, spends a decade in research and development and continues business as usual, acquiesces to the EU and releases old coding (with possible current obligatories), accepts a slap on the hand for 2 billion dollars and then meanders off to acquire the 2nd biggest internet service in the world.

I would like to state that while I do hold that trade (import and export) is a far different animal in North America than it is in other parts of the world; I am fairly certain that a corporation’s ability to tap dance the system is universal.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
So let me get this straight. You say that the US empire is mighty - but then you say that the US will likely get weaker because of the current "strengthening" of the EU!?


Herein lies the danger of growing too attached to using the model of the EU to prove the viability of the NAU…

The EU is not North America. On the chance that the NAU becomes a reality…they will be on an economic playing field on the opposite side of the EU. Not every union and nation is going to experience economic success. Period. If the EU does continue to get stronger, which is quite possible if the United States starts another war, then the likelihood of the U.S. and subsequently Canada and Mexico getting stronger decreases along with it.

The Asian Union is being discussed as a possibility, again, based on the success of the EU. What happens if they begin to dominate the global playing field? Then the economic balance would be felt in other parts of the world. If every major nation in the world scrambles to become a part of a union then we are right back where we started. With an uneven international playing field, where the production and trading of goods is happening just as before, albeit a bit more efficiently. This causes other factors, such as war and domestic policies, to impact not only world opinion but consumer confidence.

Consumer confidence is a big factor in the economic world as we have all seen the major spikes and dips on Wall Street effect businesses and industries as a result of public opinion.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
1.Our governments are making decisions behind the peoples' backs.

2. Verichip technology does indeed exist and MIGHT, one day, be forcefully implanted into people.


Consumer Confidence can drive aspects of our economy. The above has a very real impact on how well a transition would work and how well the outcome would be. Never downplay the proletariat and as well let’s not forget that a government that is being implicated for 9/11, mistakes in the War on Terror/in Iraq has suffered greatly on a global and national scale, politically and economically. The United States must attenuate to their citizens as a point of order if it wants to compete and grow on an international scale. The dollar is very weak right now. That does not translate into a strong Amero and dollar, especially through scandal after scandal.

My opponent is correct that these things may occur with or without the NAU. But the negative impacts also occur with or without an NAU and will serve to weaken a nation with or without an NAU.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
I will note, however, that you have made a tremendous, if not irresponsible leap of logic.




There is not simply one issue that Texans are unhappy with. The fact that foreign investors will have control, the fact that an election for such toll ways is not part of the process, eminent domain laws and the fact that politicians are not working for the people. [3]




…requiring the acquisition of 9000 square miles of land in the areas through which it will pass.[4]


An irresponsible leap of logic? Really? Please look at the last eleven words of source#3. How long can a capitalistic and profit driven political/corporate entity continue to grow in an increasingly unsatisfactory public support? There is plenty more to support but I have little room for tautology.

It can’t.

And 9000 square miles of land per makes Eminent Domain a very real concern.

Socratic Question #2:
Do you really believe that an $80 million deal to purchase newspapers was because, “they really like Texas”?



Socratic Question #1 - Will the verichip technology still continue to exist and possibly be implemented in some or all sectors of North America even if a NAU is never formed?


Yes, likely. Conversely, the negative ramifications of the implications and implementation of the VeriChip will have negative effects regardless of an NAU; the United States stands to lose public approval either way.



Socratic Question #2
Would the creation of a Trans Texas Corridor bring new jobs and new business to Mexico, the US and Canada in terms of building, maintaining and handling the commercial needs of the corridor?


Yes. Will it eliminate old jobs? Yes. Will it severely impact various regions, positively and negatively? Yes. Can we predict which way it will go? No.

On paper, the creation of jobs can only be positive, right? But what is missing on paper is an inclusion of every potential factor. All the official literature I have read regarding the TTC is overly optimistic and lacking of a relevant discourse with the very real concerns Texas citizens have regarding Eminent Domain. New Jobs and Businesses? At the expense of the old ones, not only in direct proximity, but throughout the United States. We cannot grow as a nation if all the progress we make only serves to replace the old.



Socratic Question 3: How is England's economy doing, if one could argue they are a "war mongering" society?


Apparently not so well.



The governor of the Bank of England issued a stark warning yesterday of a looming economic slowdown as he signalled that the next year will be the toughest for Britain in a decade. Dated November 15, 2007[5]


Even your model is beginning to fail; complimenting my assertion that it is largely inapplicable.


Originally posted by MemoryShock
Will a single market economy protect against the world reaction to a war mongering United States?



Originally posted by TruthWithin
No. Because that would not be the job of the single market economy.


Seeing as we have established that world opinion affects the value of the dollar, then my opponent does admit that a single market economy is not the end all be all factor in the strengthening of a nation.

Interesting.

[edit on 20-4-2008 by The Vagabond]



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 12:26 PM
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TruthWithin's Closing Statement





The Asian Union is being discussed as a possibility, again, based on the success of the EU. What happens if they begin to dominate the global playing field? Then the economic balance would be felt in other parts of the world. If every major nation in the world scrambles to become a part of a union then we are right back where we started. With an uneven international playing field, where the production and trading of goods is happening just as before, albeit a bit more efficiently. This causes other factors, such as war and domestic policies, to impact not only world opinion but consumer confidence.


In my opening statement I said that I would show how it is imperative to the survival of Canada, the US and Mexico to forma an NAU. My opponent could not have just made a better case for me.

How is the US, Canada and Mexico to stay competitive in an ever expanding global market? My opponent offers two options via the logic in his above mentioned quote.

1. Have North America wait for the rest of the civilized world to make their stand in the global economy by creating stronger trade and standards agreements, or unions, with their neighbors

OR

2. Leverage the trading potential of the US, Canada and Mexico to "level the playing field" against all of these other nations and unions.

Option one would mean that, as the EU continues to prosper and the development of an Asian union could be on the horizon, the US, Mexico and Canada would indeed be weakened by their inability to compete.

Option 2 on the other hand means that the US, Canada and Mexico would have a stronger chance to compete in the global market place by making trade more "efficient" in the long run.

I would go with option 2 any old day.



I disagree that my opponent has shown a successful model. I contend that my opponent has presented a lot of ideological propaganda (The 6 Key Benefits of the EU; which #1 was contradicted by my opponent) and a couple of favorable economic statistics.


A verifiable increase in GDP across the board, the generation of 3 million jobs, stronger currency and greater leverage in the global market are hardly "a couple of favorable economic statistics". These statistics represent a trend that the US, Canada and Mexico can only envy at this point.

Ideological Propaganda? Really? Lets look at some of the unsupported statements that memory shock has made.

1. My opponent used a bogus source to scare us into believing that everyone would be verichiped in the event of a NAU. Then he backtracked and said it would only be a few people, but that we should be "concerned". All the while, MemeryShock NEVER showed how VeriChips would directly weaken the NAU.

2. The SPP. Even though the official SPP Website says that the initiative was never signed, my opponent believes that an article written by a FORMER Canadian Prime Minister proves that it was. AGAIN - however - aside from proving that governments make decisions behind peoples' backs, my opponent did not show how the SPP would "weaken" an NAU.

3.


Does a humored and complacent nation of individuals make for a stronger nation?


Humored and complacent? Is that the result of a NAU? My opponent sure hasn't proved it. Chalk it up to "ideological propaganda" I suppose.



I on the other hand, have shown that the emerging North American Integration carries with it some very real concerns for the American Public.


With VeriChips and the SPP? - both being things that my opponent admits could occur with or without a NAU. So does that mean that we should halt ANY progress because we are doomed by by the "humored and complacent" and Verichips? Talk about rhetoric...

4.


I would like to state that while I do hold that trade (import and export) is a far different animal in North America than it is in other parts of the world...


Then prove it! Trade on its basic level is the same - ANY WHERE. I want to be able to buy something or make something and sell it to some one to make a profit. That is trade pure and simple.

Just because my opponent "thinks" something, does not make it so.

5. The Trans Texas Corridor. My opponent's biggest problem with this would be that trade moves more efficiently throughout North America - thus making things cheaper. THis is bad how? Because some jobs will be lost in one place while thousands more would be created somewhere else?



And what makes the SPP so important is because the SPP is exactly what is enabling this [Trans Texas Corridor] to occur right now.


No it is not. There in fact is no Trans Texas Corridor. Just as the SPP was never signed. Is this just one more thing that should scare us?



Socratic Question #2:
Do you really believe that an $80 million deal to purchase newspapers was because, “they really like Texas”?


Yes. I answer in this manor to illustrate a point that this answer is as good as any other answer at this point. It is very convenient to think that the reason Australia is buying up these newspapers is to censor information, but it is still pure conjecture.

Then why is there no corridor yet? Because in order to build a route like that it MUST be permitted by the House and Congress and also approved by the the Canadian and Mexican governments. My opponent sure does pull out all of the stops to try and give an UNSIGNED initiative, the SPP, the power that it unjustly deserves.

So we are supposed to believe that, by creating more jobs, making trade easier, allowing for cheaper products for North Americans, somehow this would WEAKEN the US, Canada and Mexico? I don't think so.

6.


Consumer Confidence can drive aspects of our economy. The above has a very real impact on how well a transition would work and how well the outcome would be.


If goods are made less expensive by more efficient trade, as my opponent suggests, wouldn't that boost consumer confidence? Logically, then, would it not follow then that this would "strengthen" the economy?

I would also remind my opponent that we are discussing the long term. Yes, transition is always less then perfect, but in the long term I have shown that a NAU would prosper based on studies regarding a NAU and on the EU model.



Socratic Question #1:
How can the EU, comprised of 27 smaller nations, be a relevant model for an NAU, which is to be comprised of 3 larger nations?


For many reasons. First, the EU and a potential NAU would have very comparable labor forces, comparable international market share, almost identical cumulative GDP and they also share many of the same traded goods and services.


North American Population ~ 450 MILLION EU Population ~ 500 Million

North American GDP ~ 16.2 Trillion EU GDP ~ 17.6 Trillion

And both of their GDP is all done the same way:

~75% Service Industry
~20% Industry
~ 2% Agriculture

So North America and the EU are VERY similar, in some cases identical and the EU is a great model to build a NAU. In fact - I would argue that the EU's biggest problem is that they have TOO MANY countries to worry about. In that way, North America carries a tremendous advantage.

Source 1
Source 2




What did the EU have? They had rock solid data of their own countries and economic interactions to base their decisions and draw up parameters. Perhaps that is why it has worked out so well.


Indeed. And that is why a North American Union would "work out so well" and strengthen Canada, Mexico and the US over the long term.



Thank you once again to The Vagabond, the judges and readers and, of course, MemoryShock. As always - this has been a ton of fun.

I open the floor to my opponent and wish him the best of luck!



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 10:53 PM
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First things first.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Ideological Propaganda? Really? Lets look at some of the unsupported statements that memory shock has made. My Emphasis


It’s “MemoryShock”

 



Originally posted by TruthWithin
In my opening statement I said that I would show how it is imperative to the survival of Canada, the US and Mexico to forma an NAU.


That would have been a valid goal through the course of our debate had it been our debate topic.

I would also like to say that you completely misconstrued the first quote that was used in your closing.

Let’s revisit the debate topic:

A North American Union between Canada, the US, and Mexico would significantly strengthen all three nations in the long term.

Significantly stronger. My point with the quote that was mangled beyond recognition was to suggest that if everyone gets in on the game then there is no relative change in international status. China is on a very real rise to the top and they have the benefit of having watched America and Europe do it…not to mention that they are instituting tomorrow’s energy production before the global industrial paradigm shift. China will strengthen significantly and has a very likely chance at surpassing America’s economic supremacy, regardless of whether or not an NAU is established. Recall that an NAU does not eliminate a national identity.

If (and I contend when) China accomplishes that, then how can one argue that the United States was strengthened by an NAU? China’s rise to power will undoubtedly crunch into America’s bottom line.

My opponent misconstrued my quote by stating that the entire world entering into regional unions was a great reason why the NAU should occur…because there is no other way for the three nations in question to survive if the rest of the world has made alliances.

I would like to congratulate my opponent for (arguably) accomplishing what he set out to do in his opening argument; that the three nations in question need an NAU to survive.

But that has nothing to do with this debate.

My opponent has not once shown with any reasonable data that Canada, Mexico, and the United States will be significantly strengthened by a North American alliance.

My opponent kept looking at the European Union and how well they have done. Not once did my opponent interact with how each nation of the EU was better off having joined the union. Romania, being his only specific venture in that direction and one that I had to provide, hasn’t even benefited yet because it wasn’t a part of the NAU until last year. Yet my opponent was adamant to start applying the ‘of course it wills’ and then leave it at that.

My opponent did not make good on another of his opening statements:


Originally posted by TruthWithin
In this debate we will also look at the major problems facing Canada, the U.S. and
Mexico such as trade, foreign policy, staying competitive in the global market place and immigration. In turn, I will show how a strong NAU will provide much needed solutions and results for these problems.


Rarely did my opponent present any North American specific data that would have demonstrated a need for an NAU. Rarely did my opponent present any North American specific data that would have shown how an NAU would have solved the problems implied by a need.

As I said above and the reader may assuredly see, my opponent insisted on focusing his attentions on the EU, hoping that the benefits could be applied to an NAU by association. Sure, the EU is a successful example of how it can be done. But the world is very rarely an adherent to absolutes. So just because North America, and Asia and the Caribbean decide to follow suit with Europe does not absolutely translate into the same results.

I have counted only two instances in the entire debate where my opponent has provided any specific data regarding the North American countries. Two.

One instance was to show the following:


[snip]
the article finds that Mexico's economic size may rise from 4.4% of U.S. GDP in 1990 to 11.0% without and 12.2% with,[snip][1]


Mexico could rise to 11% of U.S. GDP withoutan NAU and 12.2% with.

A difference of 1.2% is not significantly stronger. A rise from 4.4% to 11%, or a change of 6.6% is significantly stronger. Your own link actually works against you as you have shown that Mexico stands to be significantly stronger without an NAU.

The other instance was to show that the E.U. and proposed NAU would have roughly the same economic stats. That’s great and all, but I fail to see where my opponent’s presentation of that fact demonstrates a relative notion of “significantly stronger” than North America in it’s current/previous incarnation.

In my opponent’s closing argument, he spends an inordinate amount of time refocusing on the verichip and the SPP. He even goes so far as to repeat that the SPP is unsigned. An archived document from, yes, the former Prime Minister of Canada demonstrates that it was. He was Prime Minister when that speech was archived, if that helps my opponent.

As far as relevance for both…my opponent has repeatedly downplayed the affect both subjects as relevant to the debate topic.

Which makes this quote from his opening all the more curious..


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I will dispell the myths surrounding the concept of a North American Union that suggest the Union's implementation would mean VChips and other loss of of the peoples' rights. My Emphasis


Not only does my opponent state how important he considered these areas of the topic, but he failed to dispel the ‘myths’.


Originally posted by TruthWithin
THis is bad how? Because some jobs will be lost in one place while thousands more would be created somewhere else?


American jobs will be lost to create jobs for Mexico. America will not be significantly strengthened by the loss of jobs, especially considering the fact they will be losing business to the Ports of Mexico. Their numbers will decrease and that makes a country significantly stronger how?


Originally posted by TruthWithin
Then prove it! Trade on its basic level is the same - ANY WHERE.


Transportation costs. Need I say more?


Originally posted by TruthWithin
In other words - my opponent has yet to argue anything that directly addresses how a NAU would have weakening effects on North America.


I never needed to.

Keep in mind that my topical position does not denote that I must provide any alternative to the NAU for the strengthening of any nation. My position is neutral with regards to whether or not it is even necessary for a nation to grow stronger or weaker. I must only show that the three countries in question will not strengthen as a result of an NAU.

I have argued that the manipulation and taking for granted of a national population is not a good thing; that it will undermine the faith a citizenship has placed in its’ government. The public’s opinion can have very real effects on Wall Street and subsequently the economy.

I have argued that the international playing field is full of major players, the EU being one of them. China is up and coming and so is the rest of the world. The guarantee of a stronger U.S., Mexico and Canada is muted considerably when one considers that the North American Continent is not the only grouping in the world.

I have argued indirectly and very briefly that the SPP, the signed version, is in fact a step towards the NAU if not an unofficial incarnation of such. The short term effects have a considerable negative impact on New Orleans and other U.S. ports; regional economies that are dependent on the import/export industry to make their societies successful. The short term affects American homes in Texas and Oklahoma….


Originally posted by TruthWithin
There in fact is no Trans Texas Corridor.




Called the Trans-Texas Corridor (TTC), on which construction is planned to begin next year, this highway would bisect Texas from its border with Mexico to Oklahoma. Dated Auust 23, 2006 My Emphasis[2]


…and the long term affects continue to be adverse for American Ports.

NAFTA failed [3] and it was hailed as the savior of North American Trade. Why would an NAU be any different?

I have shown that an NAU will not significantly strengthen the United States, Mexico and Canada.

I would like to once again extend gratitude to The Vagabond, the readers/judges, and of course, my esteemed opponent TruthWithin. I share the same sentiment in that this debate was a ton of fun.



posted on May, 3 2008 @ 03:47 AM
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Truthwithin has won and will advance to the final


This was a great debate. Both sides were very aggressive and pretty good about presenting rebuttals to key points.

Basically, the deciding factor seems to be whether or not the United States and Canada will benefit along with Mexico.

Memoryshock totally lost on the Romania example and his attempt to bend the numbers in his closing was unconvincing. The benefit for Mexico is not really in question.

The benefit to America seems to be largely dependent upon how you define America. Memoryshock contends that you have to look at the circumstances of the people, while Truthwithin looks at larger metrics which don't differentiate gain by corporate entities from gains by working people.

The answer is unknowable. There will definitely be change, but the net value is simply not calculable with the time and resources allotted for this debate.

So that makes quality of argument on that subject extremely important. If we cannot know that one side is concretely right or wrong, then who presented the more rational/credible argument?

I tend to agree with Memoryshock, yet I found Truthwithin's method of argument more credible because it was more emperical and less dependent upon generalization.

Memoryshock's credibility also suffered several blows when he did attempt to go to hard facts in a few places, notably on the V-chip subject, which was unnecessary and probably should have been left alone.

I have to give this one to Truthwithin by a narrow margin.





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