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Need for the United States to Implement the Metric System.

By       Message John Candido       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   1 comment

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I have an intuition that President-Elect Obama and some of the members of his transitional team has either a pro-metric policy already formulated as an implicit and unexpressed policy, or that either of them can easily be persuaded of the need for its timely introduction and implementation through Congressional legislation, given a skilful Lobbyist.  Of course I am speculating on this issue; but everything that I know, however limited, about the President-Elect, the cumulative effect of which is an assumption that something positive for the SI system and the United States, could possibly unfold over the next several years, either from the Democratic majority controlling the United States Congress or from the Office of the President of the United States.  I think that the more likely candidate would be President-Elect Barack Obama and his team of advisors. 

Part of this summary of facts that I know about President-Elect Barack Obama is that he was born in 1961 and is only 47 years of age, he has a Kenyan/American background, he has lived with his Anthropologist mother in Indonesia as a boy and attended school there, he would have come across the metric system as a youthful student in Hawaii when he returned to permanently live in the United States, he is technically very savvy due to his long experience with personal computers, the internet, and his past use of his Blackberry, and the fact that he has an academic background.  He is a lawyer with a basic belief in the rule of law, whether domestic or international.  He places great store in the value of negotiation, commonsense, and reasonableness, as a proper part of political discourse.  

While he is a Christian, and I don't besmirch him for this, I believe that he balances his religious beliefs with a healthy dose of practical secularism.  Examples of this are his position on abortion and his emphasis and support for science and technology and the research and development that comes from these sources.  Some of the members of his transition team are pro-metric, and he is politically positioned to the left of centre of the Democratic Party.  This last point is very significant to me, and elicits thoughts of what possibilities could potentially develop with a future President Obama, vis-à-vis the coordinated & forced legislative introduction of the metric system as the only legal system of measures for the United States of America.  

 Broadly speaking, some of the political and philosophical dispositions of a person from the centre-left are that they are more likely to be interventionist, both socially and economically, than persons to the right of them.  President-Elect Obama is a Keynesian and we can expect economic policies that directly intervene within the American political economy.  He is internationally collegiate in terms of his appreciation for and supportive of cooperation between members of the international system of nation-states.  He is respectful of international law, in terms of the Conventions, Concordats, and Declarations, which have their authorship within or through the United Nations or between several nation-states.  This internationalism could of itself lend President-Elect Barack Obama to already appreciate the international reach of the SI system of measures, its usefulness for limiting costs for the U.S. economy, especially within the sphere of international trade, and is particularly important to implement as a long-term measure, given the global financial crisis (GFC) and its deleterious effects on the United States economy.  

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It is quite important that I don't fall into giving you the impression that members of the Democratic Party are heroes and members of the Republican Party are villains.  Broadly speaking, Democrats should theoretically be, on balance, more likely to support the introduction of an exclusive, forced, and coordinated program of SI units than Republicans.  However, I am speaking theoretically, and as in everything in life, there are always individual exceptions to the rule, and we must also allow for the changing political mores of individual politicians and political parties through time.   

President-Elect Barack Obama will have a very pressing and demanding set of problems that he will confront as President of the United States.  For example the GFC, the two foreign wars of Iraq and Afghanistan, the domestic fallout of the GFC on the political economy of the U.S., the potential threats that intermittently come from North Korea, Iran, and other regions from around the world, together with his own political agendas.  Some degree of timing and tactfulness will no doubt lie in lobbying for the legislative introduction, implementation, and coordination, of an exclusive 30 to 50 year programme of SI units for the USA.  This issue should be left to an experienced and skilled lobbyist, whose long-term task is to bring about national and governmental unity on the future development of a metric America.



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John Candido lives in Australia and would like to see the United States implement the SI system of measurements, the metric system, as soon as practicable. John is a Life Member of the United States Metric Association (USMA). He is a mature-age (more...)

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Need for the United States to Implement the Metric System.