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Friends & Foes of The International Northeast Economic Region
June 11, 2006 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Start or stop Atlantica. [via CBC]
posted by boost ventilator (30 comments total)

 
Definitions (not the ancient continent, Long Island event destination, hotel, stargate fansite or font):
1. Atlantica: the International Northeast Economic Region (AINER) is defined by many things, chief among them geography, economic trends and trade patterns, common problems and experiences, and politics. The sum of these factors is a region bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the north and west by Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River, and on the south by Highway I-90 to Buffalo and the southern borders of the states of Vermont and New Hampshire.
2. Atlantica is described as the geographic international trading corridor that runs from Buffalo, New York through the Northeastern United States to Atlantic Canada. Within this zone are 23 border crossings, 11 major truck gateways and 7 major rail gateways. This region is naturally tied together by similarities in geography, economic trends, trading patterns, common problems and experiences, and politics.
3. It is an agenda that has brought elites in the region to a consensus that Atlantic Canada and eastern Quebec needs to economically, socially and politically integrate with Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Upstate New York to form a single coherent entity.
Thoughts:
John Jacobs of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives.
Atlantica and Trends in World Trade: The Opportunity and the Barriers from the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies.
Maude Barlow of The Council for Canadians.
Perry Newman of the Atlantica Group.
The economic myths.
Back to the Future.
Atlantica a key concept for the future of the New Brunswick economy.
Apocalypse now in Atlantica.
No 'ordinary people' at the Atlantica table.
Mainers Won't be Fooled Again
Columnists, • coalitions,
truckers,
• and even protesters.
posted by boost ventilator at 2:27 PM on June 11, 2006


is this like cascadia?
posted by kliuless at 3:02 PM on June 11, 2006


I'lllll take New Yorrrrrrk!
posted by scarabic at 3:42 PM on June 11, 2006


Another variant of the idea.
posted by twsf at 3:42 PM on June 11, 2006


is this like cascadia?

Doesn't seem to be. Seems more like "The maritime provinces trying to drum up business." Not much different than if a collection of flyover states had a conference about "Heartlandia" to which they invited, by purest coincidence, representatives from many firms they'd like to invest in them.

The part that makes this really obviously just a rah-rah move-here scheme is the careful avoidance of the words "Ontario" and "GTA." Why the hell would upstate NY want to become part of a "coherent entity" with poor bastards in the maritimes instead of further developing already-rich links to Ontario?
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:50 PM on June 11, 2006


It's funny, you know? We sit around talking about regions of North America that have a cultural/economic reason to split off and become their own nation. Some of us get inspired, even riled up by it. But why do you think Sunnis are blowing shit up in Iraq right now? It's the same secession-oriented mindset as shit like this. Except with much more compelling motives behind it.

Just imagine that you're an Iraqi Arab living in a country whose borders were drawn by the British pre-1950. You've been a violently oppressed minority since then, and you've lived through decades of tyranny only to see some foreign power come in, topple your oppressor, yet reassert those same ridiculous, imperialist borders and call it democracy.

Why does the West want Iraq's borders to remain as they are now? Because it keeps the nation divided and weak. Ever notice how the British created Kuwait so as to landlock Iraq? Look at a map some time. This is not a map that people over there want to live with. It's holdover colonial bee-shot, the kind of shit that the 5th arm of the UN was formed to dismantle (snarf-snarf, chuckle, chuckle).
posted by scarabic at 4:03 PM on June 11, 2006


Iraq is not landlocked.

Also, this Atlantica stuff is pretty interesting. Thanks.
posted by Mid at 4:10 PM on June 11, 2006


Pff, more Canadians trying to steal pieces of America!
posted by delmoi at 4:20 PM on June 11, 2006



Why does the West want Iraq's borders to remain as they are now? Because it keeps the nation divided and weak. Ever notice how the British created Kuwait so as to landlock Iraq? Look at a map some time.


You may want to take your own advice, specifically the area in the south east called Basra, in the Gulf of Oman...
posted by SweetJesus at 4:21 PM on June 11, 2006


Resistance is futile.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:25 PM on June 11, 2006


delmol:

http://homepage.univie.ac.at/horst.prillinger/blog/p3/jesusland.jpg

shape of things to come
posted by MrLint at 4:29 PM on June 11, 2006


There's nothing wrong with generally trying to promote economic development. Upstate NY, for example, has never really recovered from the decline in its manufacturing base. If folks want to try to work together to get certain areas growing again, then more power to them. It doesn't matter if its intra or intercontinental.

I didn't see anything in the atantica info about all the stuff the protestors are complaining about. I'm by no means suggesting that anything and everything that business wants to do is just swell. Definitely not, especially in these times of Enron and the like. But I think some folks just like to protest against the establishment for the hell of it. It's getting hard to take some of these groups seriously.
posted by bim at 4:41 PM on June 11, 2006


We sit around talking about regions of North America that have a cultural/economic reason to split off and become their own nation

Its hard to blame the Sunnis for feeling how you describe, but that doesn't seem to be what Atlantica is about. It seems to be an effort to attract business into the region by improving infrastructure, trade laws, etc.

Seems like the kind of thing Quebec would want to do just to spite Ottawa.
posted by gsteff at 4:45 PM on June 11, 2006


Kind of the opposite of Cascadia. But I like it, there are obvious economic similarities between northern New England and the Canadian maritimes. On the other hand, doesn't that make them more naturally competitors than allies?
posted by LarryC at 5:15 PM on June 11, 2006


Yes, yes: landlock severely limit gulf access. And compartmentalize some of the most oil rich land in the region. Does anyone deny Kuwait is the product of an alliance between imperial powers and some opportunistic tribesmen?

My point is that people all over the world are pissed about the way their national borders are drawn (and often with much better reason than the citizenry of Atlantica). I thought this might be an opportunity to point out why certain parties are so perennially pissed off about their lot, with the sub-point that some of them didn't get to participate in the drawing of their borders in any way. And that some of those borders are deliberately drawn to create a "balance of power" in a foreign region by imperial powers.
posted by scarabic at 5:55 PM on June 11, 2006


i don't see how this would help anyone except for multinational corps -- what's in it for the actual people in the region? (besides more pollution from the extra waterway traffic?) Would it create good jobs? Would it pump desperately needed money into anyone's local government for schools and other services? Who pays for the improved ports and channels and stuff? etc...
posted by amberglow at 6:01 PM on June 11, 2006


And why doesn't it include the Hudson and our ports? Is it meant to take business away from them?
posted by amberglow at 6:02 PM on June 11, 2006


Pff, more Canadians trying to steal pieces of America!

Someone's gotta save you from yourselves!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:09 PM on June 11, 2006


Someone's gotta save you from yourselves!

How's that PM of yours coming along? ;)
posted by Mr. Six at 6:17 PM on June 11, 2006


So far he seems to be mostly harmless.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:46 PM on June 11, 2006


It's interesting how this link points out that Atlantic Canada has been embracing neo-liberal policies for some time, and things have just gotten worse. I also knew that things in New Zealand were bad following their own neoliberal experiment, but I had no idea how bad.

I have relatives in Atlantic Canada, and I've spent some time there. To my non-expert eyes, it seems what they face are the same problems that a lot of rural areas face in the modern world. Collapse of fishing but also no more agricultural employment, not great education and limited opportunities for educated people. They are also cut out of the major trade routes, as goods can come right into Toronto and Montreal. Even basic dentistry is worse. I remember visiting cousins who lived in a small cove. My brother and I were raised, just like our cousins, by a struggling single mother, but we hadn't had one cavity -- we were in Toronto, with flouride in our water and yearly checkups. In Toronto, we had access to all sorts of opportunities - special schools, programs, universities we could commute to - that they didn't.

I don't know how to solve these problems; it's idiotic to suggest there is one pat answer. Cutting minimum wage doesn't make any sense; trying to improve education does.

Diversifying the economy would be a big one, and I think that centres like Halifax and St John have made some headway there. Call centres are opening up -- making good use of New Brusnwick biligualism - and Halifax apparently has a pretty good animation industry. But diversifying responsibly doesn't mean declaring the region open for business looking just to exploit low-skilled labour. There can be incentives which support business and labour, to make the situation better for all.

I love Atlantic Canada - it's a stunningly beautiful region with friendly people and great culture. I also think that all of us in the rest of Canada owe it to Atlantic Canada to support them. They sent Alberta hay during their bad drought, though Alberta wasn't very grateful. They supported us through our settlement and growth; it's pay back time.
posted by jb at 12:30 AM on June 12, 2006


Mega City One
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:42 AM on June 12, 2006


And why doesn't it include the Hudson and our ports? Is it meant to take business away from them?

Yes, it is intended to take business away from them, but that's the nature of competition. It's no different that NYC ports (which are really in NJ) and Baltimore competing.

It is also speaking to the ever present contentious relationship between upstate and downstate NY. The economies are entirely different. And the lifestyles are very different. Many upstaters hate NYC -- sad but true. They wouldn't object if NYC became a separate state!

Wall Street is the driving engine behind the NYC economy and actually behind the staewide economy too. That's a fact.

Upstate was for a long time based on manufacturing, a sector of the economy which has been declining for many years nationwide. While upstate is trying to switch to things like high tech manufacturing and has a good chunk of "service" industries, it's economy is still not so hot.

Many upstaters see NYC as a economic drain on the state with its large share of medicaid costs and public assistance costs and never ending quest for school aid. Traditionally, the NYS Assembly controlled by the Democrats is seen by many folks as representing the interests of the City while the Republican controlled NYS Senate represents upstate interests.

Politics can be fascinating!
posted by bim at 4:18 AM on June 12, 2006


T-Shirt: I <3 the Halifax-Moncton Growth Corridor.
posted by boost ventilator at 7:23 AM on June 12, 2006


Many upstaters see NYC as a economic drain on the state with its large share of medicaid costs and public assistance costs and never ending quest for school aid. Traditionally, the NYS Assembly controlled by the Democrats is seen by many folks as representing the interests of the City while the Republican controlled NYS Senate represents upstate interests.
And we down here see that we give far more money than we ever get in services--always--and especially regarding schools. Our tax and population base is greater than all of upstate put together and we don't receive our fair share back. We see one bad plan to revitalize upstate after another (Hillary has a few now too) and the money disappears.
posted by amberglow at 7:46 AM on June 12, 2006


CBC News video of the arrests clearly show two Saint John police officers on top of Leblanc in the lobby of the Saint John Trade and Convention Centre, while he yelled, "I'm a blogger, I'm a blogger. [...]"
I don't think I could actually handle it if that worked. "Oh, geez, sorry man, didn't know you were a blogger. As you were."
posted by blacklite at 11:42 AM on June 12, 2006


And we down here see that we give far more money than we ever get in services--always--and especially regarding schools. Our tax and population base is greater than all of upstate put together and we don't receive our fair share back. We see one bad plan to revitalize upstate after another (Hillary has a few now too) and the money disappears.

First of all bear in mind that while I live upstate, I love NYC and visit a lot. I'm just relaying the nature of the conflict between upstate and downstate (which as far as this discussion goes only refers to the the 5 boroughs -- Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk counties have a pretty high per capita income and aren't the ones duking it out for state aid as much as NYC).

It's true that the argument that "we send more in taxes than we get back" is a common one -- and not without some merit. Moynihan used to put out an annual publication showing this at the federal level (NYS sends more to D.C. than it gets back) in excruciating detail. This was his answer every time the feds griped about sending NYS more money for things like Medicaid. The argument is still used by the State of New York when it suits their purposes.

And, of course, NYC makes the same argument when competing for state aid against other counties, namely upstate. The counterargument is: well, don't you believe in a progressive tax system? If you make more money, you should pay more.

Of course, this all gets complicated where the main place "making more" money in NYC is Manhattan via Wall Street and a lot of those folks leave the city at the end of the day. The outer boroughs may not be quite as prosperous. So, the mess is complicated and so the battle between upstate and downstate rages on.

One more thing, if you check the 2000 census numbers (the last column of the table), you'll find that the five counties of NYC (Kings, Queens, New York, Bronx & Richmond) account for only 42% of statewide population in NYS. I'm ignoring Long Island (15%) and the northern suburbs of NYC (Westchester, Orange, Rockland & Putnam are another 9% of state population), since it's the mayor of NYC who wants more and more aid. That leaves 35% of the population in what we can call upstate. So 42% for NYC versus 35% for upstate isn't really a drastic difference in population, though, you are right that the NYC share is larger than elsewhere.

One more thing, it's always interesting to compare per capita income across the 62 counties in NYS, particularly since the feds base a lot of aid formulas on per capita income.

The latest figures are here in the last 2 columns (amount and rank among the 62 counties). New York County (Manhattan) has the highest per capita income of all counties -- no big surprise. Westchester and Nassau counties rank 2nd and 3rd -- again no surprise. And the outerboroughs rank further down in the list. The Bronx ranks 56th in per capita income out of 62 counties (yikes), Kings (Brooklyn) ranks 24th, Queens ranks 15th highest and Richmond (Staten Island) is another country and has the 7th highest per capita income of the counties in NYS.

...so make of it what you will as you watch NYS politics. :)
posted by bim at 5:53 PM on June 12, 2006


Bastards! Just click on New York in the drop down table at the bottom here then display to see the per capita income figures.
posted by bim at 6:00 PM on June 12, 2006


thanks, bim (We're derailing tho, i think--sorry all)

How about a north Atlantic thing? With New England, the Canadian Provinces along the coast, Iceland, Greenland and Scotland/Ireland?
posted by amberglow at 6:16 PM on June 12, 2006


Smarty pants! LOL
posted by bim at 6:21 PM on June 12, 2006


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