When "The Scrub" asked me start posting here, he was fairly up front that he wanted my slightly different point of view. It's quite obvious I don't have the same point of view as the other 3 writers here. With the possible exception of the threat posed by Islamic freaks of nature, I suspect on any given important issue I differ with at least one, if not all 3 of the other writers. If all you want is an echo chamber, well, fine, I have my own ranting spots, I can leave y'all alone. Not going to do that for a while, I've got a couple of posts about the three types of conservatives and why they normally don't get along, plus my fun post where I explain why that the Military isn't really conservative in the sense that normal American civilians think of the the term.
For today's rant, I'm go to go off on Dale. Dale should be used to this, he's see me in ranting mode, aimed at him a lot. In retrospect I should have opened fire on him or The scrub first, because they are used to it.
Dale said that with out the US economy we were France. This, as it happens, is also not supported by the facts. We are France, just with 4.8 times as many people and a lot more baths. Facts to back this up follow:
The real GDP growth of France in 2007, according to the CIA fact book was 2.1%
The US, according to the same source, was 2.0%
The US public debt was 60.8% of the GDP, France was 63%.
US Industrial growth rate was -1.7%, France +1.8% (both 2007 data)
Population below the poverty line, US 12%, France 6.2% (both 2004 data)
Value of stock market [note: this is pre current crash data] France 1.7 Trillion dollars US 17 Trillion. Adusting for size this make it 8.3 vs 17. Of course, their market didn't nose dive quite as hard as ours did. I have a gut feeling, but no proof that the are, adjusted for size, about the same now.
France's GNP is $2.075 trillion (2007 est.) US is $13.78 trillion (2007 est.). Apply the population modifier and that makes France 10.126 trillion.
Of course, "France" as we know it, isn't long for this world. Doing the same set of comparisons against the EU vs the US will show that US, as of right now, after more or less constant Republican rule for either 8 or 14 years doesn't make the US look all that good.
The US Military get 4.06 if the GPD. France gets 2.6. The fact that they have only one navy vs effectively two for the US (side effect of only having one coast to guard vs 2) and that their long range bombers don't have to fly half way around the word (Moscow being with in walking distance of France (see 1812 for more details)) does figure into this, plus they still have the draft, which lowers costs some more.
As far a grunt boots on the ground, they have 17 combat brigades, which are slightly over size compared to the US's current CBT TO&E. If I have to I'll figure this in combat companies, but that's just the miltary geek in me talking.
The US has 54, plus 10 USMC regiments.
Adjusting for population size, That means France's army is bigger than the US. (84 brigades vs 64) That 54 Army BCT,, by the way, includes the National Guard. The 17 French does not include their reserve forces.
Again, the US is France, just with worse beer, but more baths. Lots more baths. Yeah, France didn't follow us into Iraq the second time. We didn't follow them into Chad, the Ivory Coast or any of the other African hell hole wars of the last two decades that they got them self into.
Don't get me wrong, the fact that we out mass the French by a factor of 4.88 does mean that in a pissing contest, push come to shove, we win. On the other hand, they have enough SSBN that if it really came down to it, it would be ugly. In theory, the French navy is a bigger threat to the USN than any other navy other than the PRC. Possible toss up with the RN.
Would I want to live in France? Hell no. I've been there, several times. There is a reason why I keep say "with more baths". Are they a country to be respected? Hell yes. France, of late, is starting to show some spine vs the Islamic internal invasion. While I don't currently have a "buy French" icon on my primary blog, I could see it.
The Danes, of course, get it. If I have to move some place, Denmark it my first option. Scotland is second, followed by Australia. England is #4. France or German is #5, and that depends a lot on what they do in the next year or so. If I must make a stand against The Fall of Night and I can't do it here, those are my prime choices as to where to do it.