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You're going to need to incorporate a factor related to standard of living. For example, a big fraction of our electronic equipment is imported, including stuff like TVs that might be considered optional, but also including much of our computer and communication infrastructure. Bringing that back to our shores would be expensive. Cars and clothing are also largely imported. We COULD make this stuff ourselves--and did up until maybe 20 years ago--but it would be quite a change if we closed the borders...

From a subsistence level, the U.S. still has tremendous resources and could easily be self-sustaining. I'm not so sure about Europe, but then it depends on where the eastern edge of "Europe" is defined.

by asdf on Sat Jul 19th, 2008 at 10:20:54 AM EST
  1. It doesn't matter how much it "costs" to make things for internal consumption in a self-sufficient system. It is just cost shifting from one sector to another.

  2. "Subsistence level" is the crux of my argument. Even the Inuit in northern Canada were self sufficient (before the white man), but most people wouldn't want to live the way they did. So how much would we have to give up to be self sufficient?

  3. The edge of Europe seems to be the stumbling block with the EU. I wondered the other day whether the EU was trying to become a modern version of the Austro-Hungarian Empire to counter a modern version of the Ottoman Empire. The situation with Turkey and several of the former Soviet Republics highlights this problem. Does the EU still think of itself as "Christian"?

Policies not Politics
---- Daily Landscape
by rdf (robert.feinman@gmail.com) on Sat Jul 19th, 2008 at 11:02:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Your perspective of the EU needs to be disaggregated. What the EU is and how it should develop is a subject that is politically contented within the EU. The conservatives are more agreed on keeping Turkey out than they used to be, but membership negotiations for Turkey are still ongoing.
by nanne (zwaerdenmaecker@gmail.com) on Sat Jul 19th, 2008 at 04:48:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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