Politics and Technology.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

As If 10 Vladivostoks Disappeared

Recently, there has been a lot of hoopla over Ex-KGB agent Igor Panarin predicting the demise of these United States of America.

In the Wall Street Journal's article (subscription required), there was a pretty picture that described the hypothetical boundaries of a dis-United States. What caught my eye as conspicuously missing was the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. In searching through Google University, I can find no article that explains Prof. Panarin's vision that includes a reference to Puerto Rico at all.

This gnawed on me a bit as a big oversight in this Ruski's grand plan of an alternate universe of absurdity. Why? Well, PR is a mighty little island in the Caribbean with a relatively large economy. When compared against the States of our Republic, PR is often though of as the poor 2nd cousin you avoid lest he hits you up for some money. But when stacked up against the economies of the world, it would rank 57th out of 180, right between Slovakia and Morocco, with its $73 Billion GDP. This 2nd cousin isn't quite so poor after all, just good ol' blue-collar middle-class. In fact, its economy beats Hawaii's GDP of $48 Billion. Igor deigned to spell out a scenario where Hawaii became an Asian satellite puppet but wholly ignored Puerto Rico.

If the day ever came, heaven forbid, that Puerto Rico seceded from the Union it would immediately become the richest island nation in the Caribbean, nearly doubling the economy of its next contender, Cuba. (As far as I stand on Puerto Rico's future, they have the best of both worlds and should enjoy their special relationship to the US which gives them almost all of the advantages of a State, with none of the baggage).

To understand what a blunder it is for Professor 15-Minutes-Of-Fame to ignore PR, let's look at all of Russia's economic power: at $1.2 Trillion, this bear has bite. But it is all seemingly west of the Urals. If you took a look at the Russian Far East, including that gem of a city, Vladivostok, you'd find a GDP of less than $7 Billion. So for Igor Whats-his-name to forget Puerto Rico would be like he just ignoring 10 Vladivostoks!

You can't take Prof. KGB's analysis that seriously if he neglected a $73 Billion power in the middle of one of the most strategic seas in the world, especially when that margin of error outshines 10-fold a significant portion of his proposed inheritor of Pax Americana.

Anyhow, his hypothetical map has a Mexican influenced"Texas Republic" that stretches from the Navajo Nation to Savannah, GA. Any Texan will tell you they'd go it alone before hooking themselves again to the deep-south. Once bitten, twice shy, you know.

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