MindBullets 20 Years


Desperate measures to avert political turmoil and ideological clashes

The old USA is no more. It’s official.

Yesterday, in three simul-taneous ceremonies across the former USA, three new presidents were inaugurated. Overnight, the job of running the country has been split between Bush and two other household names – Schwarzenegger and Clinton. After more than seven years of unprecedented economic stagnation, growing deficits, escalating international criticism, political bickering and an ideological impasse, the crumbling fragments of the former United States of America finally crystallized into three new countries, around bright, but very different, visions for the future.

UN Secretary General, Thabo Mbeki, was highly critical of their inability to agree on the future of Alaska and Hawaii. Mbeki said that it appeared that “both regions are still apparently available for sale to the highest bidder”. He reiterated the need to listen to the indigenous people of Hawaii in their quest for self-determination and independence.

European leaders called on the UN to take urgent action to investigate and catalog the remaining ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ in the splintered US, citing the dangers of these falling into the wrong hands.

ANALYSIS >> SYNTHESIS: How this scenario came to be

2003: The shadows from Iraq
In March 2003, the invasion of Iraq and dreams of a quick win push up George Bush’s popularity in the USA. By September concerns about the real reasons for the war and the lack of evidence of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) create a massive break of trust between leaders and the population. The rift that started with Bush and Blair extends to other leaders – in a sense heralding the end of the politician as hero figure.

2004: US economy stumbles
Unemployment soars even as the US economy expands – more than 5 million people are out of work by year-end.
Bush narrowly wins the Nov 2004 election amongst much dissatisfaction. It now appears that the US will show a $1 trillion trade deficit by the end of 2005. Despite his victory at home, Bush is now confirmed by the international press as the most unpopular president in American history.

2005: The first lady steps in
Hillary Clinton announces that she is “deeply dissatisfied” with the American political system, health care, taxation and its focus on the enemy ‘out there’ – she announces that she will run for President in 2008 and that ‘the enemy is us’!
As terrorism and the war in Iraq escalate, Bush retreats to the politically conservative heartland and supports many initiatives that distance him from the more liberal west and east coast voters. On the back of restrictions on scientific research and development, the USA loses more than ten thousand scientists to Europe, China and India.
Vanity Fair magazine runs an article on “Bush’s Ten Commandments: The conservative view of the future USA”. Although a lampoon of life under Bush, many of these scenarios have already come to pass. Examples: Thou shalt not use the words ‘evolution’, ‘cloning’, ‘gay’ or (female) ‘breast’; Thou shalt not practice therapeutic stem cell technology here!

2006: USA structures begin to crack
Political infighting over solutions to the on-going Middle East conflict, the economy, gay rights, violent crime, gun control and health care, creates a complete stand-off in terms of a future political strategy. Bush and Schwarzenegger are at very public loggerheads – Arnold claims: “We could fix these problems if we could only focus on California’s needs, and the region around us – the rest of the country is dragging us down. We’re different – we need our own goals and strategies”.
A powerful new book published in Hawaii, drums up support to give Hawaii back to its indigenous people, painting the US as colonial agressors.

2007: Global intervention in the USA
The International Monetary Fund warns that the excessive fiscal deficits in the US could hurt the long-term sustainability of the global economy. Together with the World Bank the IMF intervenes to counter the country’s spiralling debt and develop a strategy to curb spending. Although unpopular, this action underlines the inescapable reality of the US economic black hole.
The resulting internal political turbulence creates 3 power blocs, centred around the East and West coasts and a geographic centre around the conservative mid-West. MTV and the study of evolution is banned in the Central USA.
The Bush family is increasingly portrayed as the epitome of this dynasty. Caricatures show the Bush clan as ‘Dallas 2007’ with Barbara Bush cast as Miss Ellie and George junior as JR (whom he is starting to resemble in real life).

2008: A promise of fast-path delivery
As an integral part of her election promises, Hillary Clinton states that she will support self-determination for the three power-blocs in the US to enable them to compete effectively in world markets. Examples of successful splits on the part of Czechoslovakia in 1994 and Russia are used to justify this thinking. Underpinned by an economic union and a common currency, this ‘New USA’ is heralded as the best of all possible worlds and as an escape from years of economic stagnation and joblessness.
Cynics claim that this is an ‘impossible’ view: legally unconstitutional and unimplementable. The proponents gain so much grass roots support that the dream enters the realm of the ‘possible’ and voters begin to vote with their hearts.
Clinton wins a landslide victory in November. She immediately sets to work to implement her election promises. She crafts a surprising alliance with a disconsolate Bush and an ultra-keen Schwarzenegger. The aim is to fast-track the required legal and constitutional reforms. Never have the American public seen reforms at such a pace. US Consumer spending for the year-end season is the highest in a decade. Optimism for a brighter future is running high based on little but ‘irrational exuberance’.

2009: The New Musketeers: Hillary, George and Arnold
On January 15, three new presidents are inaugurated in simultaneous ceremonies. Overnight, the job of running the country has been split between 3 household names.
Arnold Schwarzenegger on the West Coast, Hillary Clinton on the East and George Bush in Dallas – each enthusing visions, dreams and very little else in terms of concrete plans to regenerate their respective economies.
After 7 years of unprecedented economic stagnation, continued international criticism and political bickering, the crumbling fragments of the former United States of America finally crystallized as three new countries, around bright, but very different, visions for the future. With vastly different attitudes towards health care, science, international relations and terrorism, for each of their battered empires this is a fresh new start.
In April, unprecedented constitutional changes are promulgated and implemented to enable the country to be split and run as three completely independent countries. It is proposed that the legislative and economic powers of the old ‘states’ be severely restricted within each country for the sake of efficiencies. Power is limited but centralized (along the best thinking of network design) within each of the 3 new countries. States become no more than historic and romantic oddities.

2010: 3 economic giants on the loose
The break-up becomes law but much of the reality is already under way. It is becoming clear that bureaucracy is being significantly reduced – financial services are the first to experience the benefits of simpler regulations. Jobs are starting to be created everywhere – and re-imported to the USA from India and Europe. Bio-tech firms are moving en masse to the east and west coasts, away from the ultra-conservative heartland. Opportunities are opening up world wide for bio- and nano-tech. Scientists are flocking back to new opportunities in USA 1, 2 and 3. New estimates show a likely doubling of economic activity within 3 years.
A proposal is submitted to have Alaska set up as a ‘national corporation’ with its wealth shared between its population and the 3 USA countries. Hawaii is given the green light to pursue its independence.

Warning: Hazardous thinking at work

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