Letters to the Editor: Superpowers

| August 14, 2015

vt-letters-to-the-editor

Editor:

Superpowers have long been defined as very powerful countries that influence international events and other countries. With today’s news cycle, proliferation of military weapons, and the widespread uses of terroristic threats, I think a redefinition is in order. I would like to see a superpower scale developed. A scale that takes into account the amount of influence, well-being of citizens, strength of economy, and military might. The United States is clearly at the top of the this heap but what about China, Russia, countries in the EU, and even countries such as Iran?

China has a significantly growing economy but are they really a superpower? They influence world markets mainly because they have no idea what they are doing, much like a 2 year old banging around pots and pans in the kitchen. Their population suffers due to poor economic policy, poor human rights, and environmental disasters like the horrifying blasts this week. Many have stated that the economy is in a bubble and could pop at any moment. The recent devaluing of their currency supports this. China has a significant military but more as a defense force than for aggressive action. China is in many ways still a third world country but one that is very very significant. They will likely have some very serious struggles in the coming decade but in the very long term China should do well economically but at the expense of their population.

Russia is a third world country that has a superpower military. Their economy is in shambles and they essentially have a dictator at the helm. Russia creates waves like going after the Ukraine to try and create conflicts to gain past glory. The population has been so used to being slaves that they will never be motivated in a capitalistic way. Russia will always be an aggressor with teeth but no wealth.

The European Union as a whole is a capitalistic democracy but with a socialistic society. Their expensive social programs will always be a heavy drag on their economy. They need to start making reforms before they go bankrupt as we are seeing countries start to do. Their militaries are not all that significant separately but joined with the U.S. in NATO they are all significant, especially with technology. People live good lives in freedom with cannot be said about China or Russia or most other countries in fact.

Iran is the worst of this list. They have put everything second to getting nuclear weapons. Their economy and people have suffered for a long, long time. However, they influence the world at every opportunity with their support of terrorism and thumbing their nose at the world powers.

One could make a case that terrorist groups running countries deserve to be on the superpower list based on the current definition and this is not right. They influence international events but don’t have significant populations, economies, or militaries.

Hopefully, a statistically geek out there can make this happen.

The Lone Horseman

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