Why the United States and Canada should merge: Foreign Policy opinion
The financial world has changed dramatically in the intervening decades. T-bill rates hover near zero compared to the 9-10 percent range of the late 1970s; that means a temporary delay in payments would be less costly for creditors. Treasurys IT systems are, one hopes, more reliable that 1970s vintage word processors. And one should take care not to make too much of a single data point. But its the only data point we have on a U.S. default. Not surprisingly it shows that even small, temporary default is a bad idea. Our leaders shouldnt come close to risking it. P.S. Some observers believe the United States also defaulted in 1933 when it abrogated the gold clause. The United States made its payments on time in dollars, but eliminated the option to take payment in gold. For a quick overview of this and related issues, see this blog post by Catherine Rampell and the associated comments.
United States moves closer to default, no solution in sight
Julio Dely Valdes’ charges trail fourth-place Mexico by three points, meaning they have to beat the USA and hope Mexico lose away to Costa Rica. That scenario appears unlikely, with Mexico still harbouring hopes of an automatic qualification berth from the CONCACAF section. But with the United States already confirming their place in Brazil next year, Panama will be confident of an upset against Jurgen Klinsmann’s outfit. If Panama are to secure an improbable intercontinental play-off with New Zealand they will have to arrest a run of four games without victory. That included a 1-0 defeat to the United States in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final in July, but they will be well backed by the Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez support. Panama’s hopes of a play-off spot were dealt a blow after they lost 2-1 to Mexico on Saturday. Luis Tejada had cancelled out Oribe Peralta’s opener, but with just five minutes remaining Raul Jimenez notched a crucial winner. The United States are already assured of their place as group winners, as they hold an unassailable lead over second-place Costa Rica. Klinsmann’s team have lost just twice in nine outings in the CONCACAF group, and their latest success came with a 2-0 home success over Jamaica on Friday. It took until the 77th minute to find the breakthrough as Graham Zusi netted before Jozy Altidore confirmed the win. Panama’s task is made even more daunting by the USA’s recent form. The United States have tasted defeat just once in 15 matches and head into the fixture in buoyant mood following Friday’s success.
. The conversation isn’t that enlightening yet, but it will be.” And she knows it’s ambitious: She never shies away from the biggest parallels she can draw — there’s that “Marshall Plan” for investment in Canada, and comparisons to German reunification or potential Korean reunification abound. But there’s an analogy Francis doesn’t make. In 1985, Ibrahim Ibrahim, then a professor at Georgetown, presented a Cassandra-like proposal. With economic challenges looming in North Africa, Ibrahim suggested a three-way merger of Egypt, Libya and Sudan. Egypt’s abundant population and technological development could provide the impetus to turn Sudan into a “breadbasket” for the region, Ibrahim argued, and Libya could find political unity and integration, lest it be “abandoned to the wiles of history.” The plan was similar to the one Francis proposes: “Initially, a common market would be created among the three, one in which free movement of labor and capital would be guaranteed. … In the second phase of the common market, the three countries would establish a formal political confederation, allowing for free trade, the integration of production, and technical integration. Only then can the three embark on a systematic, long-term plan of investment for the twenty-first century.” Like Francis’ proposal, the plan was politically outlandish but economically sensible. Twenty-eight years later, after political and economic desperation have brought revolutions in Libya and Egypt, and with Sudan now partitioned but still underdeveloped, was this period of decline inevitable? The sensational, possibly hyperbolic future Francis envisions, of rising powers whittling away at Canada’s — and ultimately America’s — resources and sovereignty, is similarly dire. “It doesn’t have to be,” she tells FP. “I’m not trying to be alarmist, or paranoid, or conspiratorial.
Republicans want to keep spending at the reduced levels while Democrats are pressing for a higher amount. The shutdown has furloughed 350,000 federal workers, impeded various government services, put continued operations of the federal courts in doubt and stopped the federal tax agency from processing tax refunds. Several parks and monuments remain closed, drawing a protest at the National World War II Memorial on Sunday that included conservative tea party-backed lawmakers. “I’m optimistic about the prospects for a positive conclusion to the issues before this country today,” Reid said as the Senate wrapped up a rare Sunday session. McConnell insisted a solution was readily available as he embraced the proposal from a bipartisan group of 12 senators, led by Republican Sen. Susan Collins and Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin that would re-open the government and fund it at current levels for six months while raising the debt limit through Jan. 31. It also would give agencies greater flexibility in dealing with the automatic budget cuts, delay an Obamacare-related medical device tax for two years and establish income verification for individuals receiving subsidies to buy health insurance. “It’s time for Democrat leaders to take ‘yes’ for an answer,” McConnell said in a statement. But six Democrats in the group and a spokesman for Collins said late Sunday that while negotiations continued this weekend, there was no agreement. Politically, Republicans are reeling, bearing a substantial amount of the blame for the government shutdown and stalemate. Republican Sen.