Greenland

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ochotona
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Greenland

Post by ochotona » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:39 am

My only question is this. What would a purchase do to the federal debt?
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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Greenland

Post by Kriegsspiel » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:48 am

It would depend on the offer. Maybe they'd trade it for something other than dollars, like a technology or treaty or something like that. Or a combo of the two.
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Re: Greenland

Post by jhogue » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:20 am

Trump could finance the purchase of Greenland with ultra-long 100 year bonds.

There is plenty of historical precedence for this. Teddy Roosevelt ordered the sale of 50 year bonds to finance the construction of the Panama Canal. Opened in 1914, the canal has never operated at a loss-- including two world wars and domestic turbulence in Panama itself. Before that, the US purchased Alaska from the Russians and Louisiana from the French. Impossible to argue those were not successful.
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Re: Greenland

Post by Ad Orientem » Mon Aug 19, 2019 2:59 pm

FTR this would not be our first real estate transaction with Denmark. Once upon a time there were a group of smallish islands called the Danish West Indies. Today they are the US Virgin Islands.
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Re: Greenland

Post by moda0306 » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:26 pm

Doesn't it strike anyone as weird that this is even possible? Wouldn't one think that there'd be a principle that at least 50% (if not something closer to 80%) of a territory WANT to be part of a separate country, rather than whether the government that currently controls them wants to "sell" them?
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Re: Greenland

Post by Ad Orientem » Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:36 pm

moda0306 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:26 pm
Doesn't it strike anyone as weird that this is even possible? Wouldn't one think that there'd be a principle that at least 50% (if not something closer to 80%) of a territory WANT to be part of a separate country, rather than whether the government that currently controls them wants to "sell" them?
In times past no one would have batted an eye. But I agree that in the modern world with its never ending catalogue of silly ideas, it could be a problem.
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Kriegsspiel
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Re: Greenland

Post by Kriegsspiel » Tue Aug 20, 2019 7:55 am

moda0306 wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 5:26 pm
Doesn't it strike anyone as weird that this is even possible?
It doesn't seem "weird" to me. As far as I know, since pre-history nations have been conquering and trading territories. I'd say it does seem "currently unfashionable" to request to buy a territory.
Wouldn't one think that there'd be a principle that at least 50% (if not something closer to 80%) of a territory WANT to be part of a separate country, rather than whether the government that currently controls them wants to "sell" them?
I think there are a few factors at play here (brainstorming):

First, it wouldn't make sense for a country to give the right, to a territory they conquered/control, to secede... why bother with it if they can just vote to leave and you respect that? I have pretty much the whole history of colonization in mind. Eastern Bloc too.

We do see examples of what you described, even within (what we think of as) countries, but the countries resist it because if the will of the population was acquiesced to, it would be to the detriment of the country. The US Civil War, Catalonia, Basque Separatists, Sudan, Iraq all have aspects of what I mean. It seems like this is more common when a territory is conquered, or a territory was "made" out of groups that shouldn't have been put in the same country.

In considering whether the transfer was adversarial or mutual, I wonder whether the main factor is how close the territories are. Like in the tribal/kin sense. Thinking of it in quadrants, you'd have like-like, where both sides consider themselves the same nation and the thought of "getting rid" of one is nonsense. Like if Canada offered to buy Maine from the US... Both Mainers and the entire rest of the US would be saying "wtf you talking about guys, they're Americans, no way we're gonna sell out our fellow Americans." Opposite that quadrant would be one where neither side feels close with the other. I think this has been worked out at this point in human history.

In the other quadrants would be where there's a mismatch in solidarity. One being a country that wants to keep a territory that doesn't want to be kept, obvious examples being Kurds, Catalonians, and the Confederacy. The other being a territory that wants to be part of a country that doesn't feel the same affinity, and maybe this is what Trump was betting on; that the Danes felt like Greenland isn't really part of their nation, and if cutting "them" loose benefited real Danes, then why not?

Related humorous comment:
4Chan wants Trump to give us the word, and 70,000 of us will migrate illegally to Greenland, take it over demographically, and then vote to secede, and join the US.
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Re: Greenland

Post by jhogue » Tue Aug 20, 2019 8:27 am

Article IV of the constitution has governed the acquisition and disposition of US territories since 1789. Few Americans have more than a passing familiarity with it these days, but I would not describe it as “weird.”

Most Americans are also unaware that FDR ordered US Marines to occupy Greenland (and Iceland too) in 1941 even before US entry into the war. At the time, Denmark had been overrun and governed by the Nazis. The American president was afraid that both islands might become bases for German U-boats. FDR did not ask the Greenlanders for permission. He did not ask the Danes for permission. He did not ask the US Congress or the American people for permission.

The US has continuously maintained bases on Greenland under a status of forces agreement jointly approved by the Danish and US governments after World War II. Denmark maintains a fig leaf of sovereignty over Greenland, but make no mistake about it-- the US is the de facto defender of the island. In that sense, Greenland has always reminded me of the old Panama Canal Zone.
“Groucho Marx wrote:
A stock trader asked him, "Groucho, where do you put all your money?" Groucho was said to have replied, "In Treasury bonds", and the trader said, "You can't make much money on those." Groucho said, "You can if you have enough of them!"
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