The Metric Hearings of 1975 — The Limits of Social Norm in Metrication

Senator Clayborn Pell (1918-2009)

By The Metric Maven

Bulldog Edition

Senator Pell

Senator Daniel K. Inouye presided over the 1975 Metric Hearings as Chairman. The first person to speak at the 1975 Senate Metric Hearings (SMH) was Senator Clayborn Pell. He was probably the most dedicated Senator in favor of a metric changeover in the US since John Shafroth. After Clayborn Pell, there  appears to have been no one to champion The Metric System in Congress. There have only been complete obstructionists or those who see metrication as a non-issue since.

The speech given by Senator Pell at the metric hearing is an odd one for an avowed metric advocate.  Senator Pell is convinced that “metric is inevitable” and that the  implementation of legislation which is completely voluntary will bring metric to the US. I have to admit, my jaw dropped when I read this. The Legislation proposed by John Shafroth in the 1904-1906 period was mandatory. It’s  detractors called Shafroth’s legislation “The Metric Force Bill.”  In the end the committee on which Shafroth served was stacked with two anti-metric people. He would be outvoted no matter what he did. Shafroth decided to fight other legislative battles and resigned. In 1921 the persons testifying at the metric hearings stated over and over that voluntary doesn’t work, and that a time limit of  2-3 years maximum worked best for all other countries that changed to metric. Over and over they stressed these points. Over and over the chairman of the 1921 metric hearings stated that voluntary metication was fine and would work. Fifty-Four years passed. It didn’t. Then in 1975 Senator Pell somehow came to believe that a voluntary law, with an oxymoronic ten year time “limit,” would bring about metrication? How could this have happened?

I can only conclude two things. One,  that Senator Pell had not researched the history of the metric hearings. It was hard to imagine that his staff didn’t. Assuming that Pell did know the history, then why would he now believe that a voluntary metric bill would have an affect? Unless Senator Pell was a stealth anti-metric mole, then I have to take him at his word that he actually believed this feckless legislation would bring about metric conversion. Here is what he said:

Mr. Chairman, previous efforts to enact metric conversion legislation have foundered on conflicts over mandatory versus voluntary conversion, and over the question of compensation for conversion costs, at least in hardship cases, versus the principle of letting conversion costs lie where they fall. The two issues are closely linked. The case for some Government compensation in cases of hardship is obviously much stronger when the Government mandates conversion action.

To a great extent, however, these disputes have been overrun by events. As you pointed out, Mr. Chairman, metric conversion is going forward at an accelerating pace in the United States, on a voluntary basis.

 Indeed, metric conversion is moving ahead so rapidly now that the critical need is for Government action to provide essential mechanisms for coordination, planning, and information among Government agencies, among industrial groups, and between industry, Government, and labor.

The most charitable view I can offer is that Senator Pell relied on what Pat Naughtin called “social norm.” Pat used the example of a group of people standing at a stop light waiting to cross. The crossing sign indicated they should wait. The group waited, but as soon as one person crossed against the light, a few others would feel it was ok to ignore the signal, they would begin crossing, then the group as a whole would accept that it was actually alright to ignore the sign and cross.

Given the times, I think that Clayborn Pell may have actually believed that “metric was inevitable” and that the pressure of social norm from other countries would compel the US to convert to metric. Why would this be? Why would Senator Pell rely on such a notion for US policy? Well in the 1970s country after country was converting to metric. There was an avalanche of metrication occurring. Like the group at the stoplight, Senator Pell may have believed that the pressure of “social norm” would finally compel the US to become metric.

How wrong he would be. Almost 40 years later, we are essentially the last nation on earth who does not have the metric system,  And when Ronald Reagan terminated the Metric Board in 1982, who’s function it was to help with this “inevitable” metric changeover, only Clayborn Pell stood up and objected:

It’s inevitable that the United States will change to the metric system, and it would be best for American businesses if the conversion were to take place in 10 to 15 years instead of 30 to 40 years.

Well Senator Pell, you were far too optimistic. It is nearly 40 years later, and the US is as non-metric as ever. The fact that the bill was S-100 clearly was of no consequence. The testimony of the time is enlightening. I offer excerpts below from numerous participants to provide some context:

The DOD Statement in The 1975 Hearings

Department of Defense

Established metrication panel to assist Defense Material Specifications Board in planning.

Departmental plan and policy statement issued by Secretary’s Office; directs the use of the metric system consistent with operational, economical, technical and safety considerations.

I can translate this for my readers as: “Will the DOD become metric?”

DOD: “No!”


It is premature, therefore, for Congress to pass any legislation which would commit the Federal Government to any official policy of facilitating or encouraging metric conversion. Conversion must not be compulsory. We believe conversion to the metric system must be entirely voluntary.

● ● ●

Senator Inouye. We have heard from educators who suggest that the metric system is much easier to learn and understand than the English standard.

Mr. Hannman. Again, I think that is a subject that can be debated among educators themselves. The customary system is a binary system which divides halves and thus is more rational and easier to conceptualize. I think it would be more difficult for a child to conceptualize a millimeter as opposed to an inch.

This of course should be news to anyone in the US who has actually used “the customary system.”  Let’s see 12 inches = 1 foot, 3 feet = 1 yard, 1660 yards = 1 mile. It doesn’t look like it’s based on two for the primary units of length.

It is surprising that Labor would then decide to quote Congressman Symington’s view:

The Committee feels strongly that in any sector, the marketplace—not the Congress or the Metric Board—should provide the impetus in deciding whether, when and how metric conversion activities should proceed.

Well, we’ve been waiting for 160 year or so to witness the power of Market Darwinsim to provide a metric change over in the US. The AFL-CIO seems to only know “weez again’ it.” The Labor Union cited the cost of tools as being prohibitive, and indicated that metrication would cause some small businessmen to go broke from the associated costs of new tools. It is amazing that the cost of his members already having to purchase two sets of tools is not cost prohibitive. Then this bombshell:

The AFL-CIO is concerned about the impact of metric conversion on its members as workers, as consumers, and as taxpayers.

 First and foremost, we are concerned that metric conversion will accelerate the deindustrialization of the United States, thus cause soaring unemployment

The AFL-CIO predicts a Metric Apocalypse!  Adopting metric will do nothing less than reduce us to an agrarian nation raising sheep and goats! They also assert that if the DOD changes to metric the costs will be so large that “…they cannot be absorbed without deterioration of the military posture.”  Not only will metric de-industrialize the United States, it will allow enemies to get us. That’s a serious amount of FUD promotion.

But there is one more snake in the grass, and the AFL-CIO is there to help identify it:

The question is thus reduced to determining if what is good for transnational corporations is also good for the U.S. economy and society in general.

Ironically, these multinational giants, the champions of the private enterprise system, will, as pockets of resistance develop, pressure Congress to force metric conversion. This is the tragic situation in the United Kingdom today.

If only!—-where is my metric!—-after 40 years on?  I guess Transnational Corporations just aren’t what they used to be. They were powerless to force congress to impose metric, I guess they didn’t have enough lobbyists.

The American Bar Association

The idea of reading through what lawyers have to say about metric seemed daunting. If I never see another patent to read the rest of my life, I could live with that. Then surprising candor was offered, which completely caught me off-guard:

The point is that Government by its nature cannot be neutral, and in many cases so-called voluntary conversion cannot occur until there has been significant governmental action.

The ABA offers a number of reasons why metric is just untenable in the US, but then is candid again. They state “Given the nature of the foregoing problems, the narrow legal scope of the pending metric bills is remarkable.”  And:

The House-passed bill, rather than simply expressing a national policy in favor of a coordinated approach to voluntary conversion and establishing housekeeping details for the proposed Metric Board, makes no change in existing law

makes no change in existing law.”  This is what I’ve been asserting over and over. The 1975 and 1988 metric legislation is just so many empty words on a page. They have as much compulsory affect as declaring it “National Look at Pretty Flowers Day.” The ABA then points out that this does not have to be the case:

By the fifth clause of article I, section 8, of the Constitution of the United States, Congress is given express power to “fix the standard of weights and measures.”

Under this clause, under the commerce clause, and under the necessary and proper clause, Congress unquestionably has adequate constitutional authority to create a “measurement czar ” whose metric conversion directives would preempt all inconsistent State laws.

This observation  by the ABA representative essentially states the new metric legislation is feckless:

As H.R. 8674 has emerged from the House, the policy direction apparently given by the Congress is circular: to plan planning.

But what is the objective of this planning? When you plan you ordinarily have an objective?

Engineers Joint Council

Next a surprisingly short amount of testimony was given by a group called the Engineer’s Joint Council. They claim to represent 38 engineering societies and have resolved:

That the Board of Directors of Engineers Joint Council endorse the adoption of a single system of measurement in the United States, and that System shall be the International System of units commonly known as SI, as described by the resolutions of the General Conference of Weights and Measures.

Well, that’s great, I’m glad to see my fellow engineers are supporting metric only without any wishy-washy prose. Then the unexpected is proposed:

We believe that engineers will use SI in engineering design and communication. It is not important, in our opinion, that the general public use every one of these units in their everyday life.

WHAT!  SI is just for engineers? Where do they think engineers obtain their preparatory education? They obtain it from the public schools and from common measurement usage in the US. Can’t they see that? I take Mega-Umbrage at the very idea of it’s not important for the public to use metric exclusively. I would argue this is why Aerospace and the DOD along with NASA are not metric. When the multi-generational measurement bias is never broken, and continues to chain us to the past, metric never is adopted. I find the statement irresponsible. The metric system is designed for everyone. It is the easiest way to unambiguously express quantities when used properly.

When asked if he was concerned about what the ABA said “…I think what we do now in  a voluntary way is taking care of a great many of the problems and I really don’t anticipate quite the trouble  that the ABA does.”  Well, with historical hindsight, we know this was a completely ill-conceived viewpoint.

American National Metric Council

The ANMC was created to be a non-partisan arbiter of metric standards for industry like ANSI. The existence of this organization would make sense under a mandatory metrication, but with the vacuous metric “legislation” produced in 1975 there would be no impetus for private industry to meet and establish metric standards for their industries, when metric was not going to happen. They did have an interesting statement about the costs of metrication:

An immediate concern is the cost of metric conversion. There are costs, but experience has shown that realistic cost estimates are difficult to determine. At General Motors Corp. they are finding that their actual costs are far below original estimates.

I might add, sir, that [this] has been generally the reporting of companies that [are] well along in the[ir] metric conversion program. Current cost realizations are lower than their original expectations.

Actual cost is far, far below “fear” driven costs, but that has never altered the view of those who fear. In every metric hearing from 1905 to 1921 to 1975 massive estimates of metric conversion costs are offered, but any actual metrication costs provided by entities who converted to metric are ignored.

Esther Peterson  Giant Foods

Guidance in the form of Federal legislation is needed. We need a uniform approach in order to implement a smooth and total conversion in all areas … where standards are set and followed, target dates are met, and uniformity in practice exists. The American Bar Association recently adopted a resolution urging Congress to enact legislation to ease the transition to metric units in statutes and regulations at all levels of government. We need dynamic leadership from the top. Coupled with creative initiative from all sectors of our society, our transition to metric Should be as orderly and easy as possible.

Herbert Johnson Department of Mathematical Sciences Winona State University

A further danger is involved in a lack of congressional action and a subsequent national plan for metrication. Many students at different levels are being taught something about metric measurement. These students who could well be “metric missionaries ” are finding little application in their everyday lives beyond that of a few temperatures being reported in degrees Celsius, a few informational road signs, and an occasional reference to sale of grain in metric tonnage. Their enthusiasm for the simplicity of the metric system is soon dampened since they have no place to apply their new-found knowledge. There are many citizens who will not be convinced of the necessity to learn the metric system until Federal action occurs. There are industries in this country that recognize the need to switch to metric but are deferring action until a Federal plan is announced. I believe we need that Federal plan.

● ● ●

I have no studies to document my belief; however, I believe that a good many students are “turned off” to mathematics about the time, they are in the upper elementary grades—about the time they are being taught fundamental manipulations with fractions. I have found entering freshmen at the university, and possibly graduates, who cannot manipulate fractions. Why were they taught fractional manipulation? Primarily because our antiquated form of measurement depends upon a knowledge of fractions. The modern metric system does not. Can we not, therefore, rationalize and simplify our curriculum?

Richard L. Thompson Chief of Weights and Measures for the State of Maryland

The United States is the only technologically advanced Nation with weights and measures regulatory programs legislated and administered at the State and local level and the system works primarily because of the success of the National Conference on Weights and Measures and the effort put into the National Conference by the NBS.

Carl Beck National Small Business Association

…and there’s no question that our best conversion period would be about 20 years, and to try to do it in 10 years would be horrendous and practically put us out of business, and we made quite a study of it.

● ● ●

It is our understanding the Small Business Administration has determined that under existing authority it may make economic disaster-type loans under Section 7(b) (5) of the SBA Act. It is also our understanding that the Office of Management and Budget and the Commerce Department concur in this decision.

 We have just in the last couple of days checked again with the Small Business Administration and are advised that they believe that since this is a voluntary conversion act as opposed to a less voluntary act, which was discussed in the House last year, that they would not have authority at present to make hardship loans for metric conversion.

● ● ●

…but I do feel that if we are to go too fast we tend to ride roughshod over small business, which so frequently is not adequately heard, that it may do a real disservice to the country. In fact, as I said in the closing of my written statement, and as I have said for many years, and I believe it to be very true:

 If the United States can complete the metric conversion process in a manner which inures to the economic advantage of small business—the 98 or 99 percent of the private economy—the conversion will have been a success; if this does not occur, the cost of conversion to the U.S. economy will require decades to be overcome, and may actually incur irreparable damage to the position of the United States in the economy of the world.

● ● ●

Senator Ford. Yes, sir. I understand it a little bit better. I understand what you’re saying about the problems that would face you. It could be an economic disaster to convert involuntarily. There is a problem, even though it could be economically helpful. It also could be an economic disaster if it’s implemented too fast.

 Mr. Beck. That’s right. We all recognize that there is a large one-time conversion cost which we want to get through as inexpensively as possible, admittedly, but on the other hand, the only way this is going to work is that there’s going to be a long-term economic benefit. To the small businessman, the large conversion cost, whatever its size may be, is considerable to him because he’s small and he maybe needs help to get over this hump in order that the benefits repay him over a period of years.

So what have we learned from the 1975 hearings?

First, it was believed that “metric would just happen” and so the legislation was “voluntary.” Essentially since the days of John Kasson in 1866 we’ve been running an experiment with “voluntary metrication.” For over 140 years in 1975 it had not worked. Was the legislation naive, or just plain cynical on the part of our legislators? The ABA indicated the law “makes no change to existing law.” Was that the idea?  Was it just a sop to prevent social norm from having any affect over the short period of time in the 1970s when the rest of the world completed its metrication and it would never happen again. The other countries will not convert to metric again, as they already are, and not one has decided it was a mistake. Today social norm no longer exerts any influence, so we can just keep wasting money and live with a set of weights and measures so antiquated they can’t even describe electricity.

Second It was also believed that if metric were forced upon us, it would lead to the de-industrialization of the United States, which in turn would produce high unemployment. The coerced implementation of metric would  destroy our military posture, and cost so much the US would have to provide disaster relieve SBA loans to small business as if a hurricane had hit them. Senator Ford comes to the conclusion that “It could be an economic disaster to convert [to metric] involuntarily.” This is serious Mega-Histrionics, but it worked, and we still use horsepower in an age when most people have almost no familiarity with a horse.

If it was cynicism that drove the 1975 hearings and legislation, then they set a very low bar. But that would be lowered even further by the 1996 hearings. However, that is another blog. To those who say “we already have the legislation in place” and to the Metric Philosophers who believe in evolutionary metrication, I recommend for your punishment, that you actually read the entire body of the 1975 hearings. It has been punishment enough for me.

Related Essays:

How Did We Get Here?

John F. Shafroth: The Forgotten Metric Reformer

Testimony from the 1921 Metric Hearings

A Tale of Two Iowans

Australian Metrication & US Procrastination

John Quincy Adams and The Metric System

If you liked this essay and wish to support the work of The Metric Maven, please visit his Patreon Page and contribute. Also purchase his books about the metric system:

The first book is titled: Our Crumbling Invisible Infrastructure. It is a succinct set of essays  that explain why the absence of the metric system in the US is detrimental to our personal heath and our economy. These essays are separately available for free on my website,  but the book has them all in one place in print. The book may be purchased from Amazon here.

The second book is titled The Dimensions of the Cosmos. It takes the metric prefixes from yotta to Yocto and uses each metric prefix to describe a metric world. The book has a considerable number of color images to compliment the prose. It has been receiving good reviews. I think would be a great reference for US science teachers. It has a considerable number of scientific factoids and anecdotes that I believe would be of considerable educational use. It is available from Amazon here.

The third book is not of direct importance to metric education. It is called Death By A Thousand Cuts, A Secret History of the Metric System in The United States. This monograph explains how we have been unable to legally deal with weights and measures in the United States from George Washington, to our current day. This book is also available on Amazon here.

19 thoughts on “The Metric Hearings of 1975 — The Limits of Social Norm in Metrication

  1. Hi,
    Ester Peterson and Herbert Johnson were correct in their statements of need for strong federal leadership and uniform approach. Senator Pell’s statement of volunteer transition is of note when compared to Australia where it was taken to mean how each sector be in charge of its own time-table, not if it will or won’t.

    Looks as if AFL-CIO and DOD were the biggest decenters. Interesting to note the US Army has moved towards the SI system since then! Navy and Air Force not.

  2. I correct my comment, National Small Business Association made a fuss not the DoD with their we will review “operational, economical, technical and safety considerations” statement.

    • The NSBA was also the group that flooded the media with horror stories of what metrication would do. Their claim was nothing will change. Everything will just be soft-converted. So instead of having nice numbers like 10 miles, or 3/8 inch or a gallon to deal with, it will all become 16.093 44 km, 9.525 mm and 3.785411784 L.

      The media ran with it and the public panicked and wrote numerous letters to the government to put an end to it. To this day small business continues to fight it, even though many of them have been put out of business due to the larger businesses they depend out outsourcing from metric countries.

      What little “voluntary” metrication has succeeded has done more to divide the American economy and make it weak than to be an example of positive change and profit and a beacon for others to follow.

  3. I think you are much too negative – the metrication is happening – really it is. Even the DOD is moving – talk to people that work on military equipment, it is happening. My kids ( now 19 and 24 ) both talk of size in metric, as do many of their friends. The vast majority of the products are made with metric fasteners.

    Should the military set bids in metric? Yes. and it will happen. – here is why:

    They are using ever more advanced products from overseas – metric products. At some point there will be an improved US version – and to fit in the same place it will be metric – and the parts it is made out of already are metric. At some point the silliness of spec’ing legacy units will become overwhelming.

    Take Boeing – they have never moved – and they are an example of a dying company. Some upstart in Asia will replace them at some point – and the products will be metric.

    When the economic recovery ( I figure no sooner than 2020 due to generational demographics ) happens – large shifts in employment back to manufacturing will occur – and the market demand will be international – and metric.

    On one point I do agree – the government should start letting bids in metric only – and that should start today.

    • There will not be an economic recovery in the US, not now, not by 2020. If anything it will continue to worsen due mostly to the end of the dollar reserve system.

      The artificially created crisis in Europe will continue until the nations of the EU submit to unification. Unifying Europe will make the EU stronger and those who continue to invest in the US will flee. Not so much to Europe but to the growing economies of the world. They will realise they don’t need the US as they have been lead to believe.

      The US brought its hegemonic practices to the world in 1973 after the fall of the Breton Woods accords and replaced them with the petrodollar system. Despite the advice of the world, the monetary system of the time became the petrodollar system that forced the world to adopt the US dollar as their major reserve currency thus supplying the US with the world’s wealth at the world’s expense.

      This system made the US strong by living freely off of everybody Else’s money while the much of the world laggered at the fringe of poverty.

      The major economies of the world wanted a more multipolar system in which a basket of currencies would be the reserve. By convincing or threatening OPEC to accept only US dollars, everyone had to try to collect dollars to buy oil.

      This system like Breton Woods is collapsing. The system to replace it will be what was wanted all along, a multiple currency reserve. China is initiating it with agreements with numerous countries to do business in each others currencies via currency swaps. By 2020 this system will be more developed and in force.

      Not able to live off other people’s money and no longer having a strong industrial based metric economy, the US economy will get weaker, not stronger, to the point where lawlessness and riots will increase. The world won’t care because it will be making and selling goods to each other and everyone will be able to afford everyone Else’s goods because they will be growing and not stagnating under the burdensome weight of the defunct petrodollar system.

      Of course, the media of the US will keep insisting things are getting better, and Wall Street and the US government will continue to try to inflate bubbles as a last ditch effort to get things to improve, but they will only create more crashes and deeper depressions. This is how other empires ended and this is how the US will end too.

  4. But do US politicians really understand that they are essentially ridiculing their own government in front of the world, when they don’t do anything in order to finally metricate their country in reasonable times?!

    Probably, they are just indifferent, like most of the people: a problem of these difficult times in general, of course also in other things.

    Where is the thrust towards the future that allowed, for example, Australia to metricate in just a few years, in the 1970s? Who knows…?

    Well, let’s hope for more progressive times, again…

    • For example, why doesn’t Obama do anything…?

      Not so progressive, after all…

      And also the “people”: in a globalised world, don’t they realise that the US is completely anachronistic in different ways, measurement units comprised…?

      • … And, after reading some of your very interesting discussions, I would say to those that insistently advocate “freedom” (also leaning towards anarchism), yet, in an evident contradiction, sadly are still too conservative (thus, even, strangely advocating customary units, nowadays completely obsolete): Bakunin, the master of libertarian socialism (alias anarchism) would have been a fervent pro-metric sustainer, today… 😉 🙂

        In other words, liberty is a very good thing, but there must also – at the same time! – be some *good* regulation (possibly, from below; and if not – sadly, nowadays, with people often lacking ideality – from above) – in other words, some human logic in common sense.

        In a reticular and interconnected world, metric is the only way to go…

        • Yes Sven, that is a perfectly sensible description of ACWM, as anarchists.

          Come on man, we aren’t advocating every shop have its own pound, we’re advocating OUR SYSTEM instead of YOUR SYSTEM. It is as simple as that.

          Do I vote for Red Paco or Blue Paco?

          Do I use a fork or chopsticks to eat my noodles?

          Do I ask a question in English or Spanish?

          Do I take a car or my motorcycle?

          • What is used in the US is not a system. The metric system is a system. You can have your own view, but not your own facts.

          • We live in a global world, so we must share a planetary system of measurement.

            Liberty is important, but equally important is sharing.

            Come on, it’s easy and logical to all be metric, in the whole world.

            Freedom would only be enhanced for all by a common, shared measurement system.

          • BTW, a curiosity: in Sweden, the mile (“mil”) is exactly 10 kilometres long.

            It’s of course not SI (and thus should be deprecated for official use), but at least it is decimally based.

            Another example is the “quintale” in Italy, which is 100 kg (one hecto-kilogram), still used unofficially.

      • Obama may be working against US interests and wants to see the US collapse. Obama is doing nothing that will turn the US around. What he appears to be doing is setting up the conditions for a police state that will be needed once the economy is totally collapsed and civil disorder results.

        It is to the benefit of the developed and developing countries of the world that the US not metricate. They take control of the world’s markets that the US unable to hold on to. Great strategy for eliminating your competition.

    • Politicians like to keep things the way that are same with small business. The big business that trade with other countries have adopted SI. It may be to late to gain lost economic recovery of manufacturing work, so why change now and put in the effort to convert to SI and catch up with the rest of the world? As far as another generation having lost education and economic benefits, our country can still hide with flag waving and memories of wining WW2. Happy fourth of July.

      • Considering that small businesses are the backbone of the American economy – not large corporations as many people ignorantly believe – supporting small business, which both of our parties seem to be doing or say they are doing as best as they can, makes perfect political sense.

        • ACWM,
          I think both political main parties are good at saying they support small store business n the middle class. As far as far as getting us on the same page with other countries and business exporting as well as selling imports, and bring up the poor class as in the 1930 remains to be seen!

    • America’s politicians really don’t care about America’s future nor the opinion of the world. They care only for the present moment and only for their own personal well being.

      If the future of the US is to be an impoverished, broken nation with constant internal warfare, it doesn’t concern them. Most are old men who will die before destruction is upon them, at least that is what they hope.

      They obviously see the world getting stronger and themselves weaker or they are blinded by their own national arrogance and don’t see it. No empire that has ever existed has ever seen its demise, even when it was upon them. America is no different.

      I don’t see the US in its present state existing much beyond 2020. The US is financially bankrupt and is past the point of no return. Metrication may help, but I doubt it.

      I believe that the world outside the US prefers if the US never metricates, as the US not being a metric country is to their benefit. Countries like Germany and China are moving forward and why allow an enemy a means to correct its errors?

      Progressive times are coming, but not for the US.

      • Ametrica,
        Germany and China are not our enemies. The US is one of their best customers. We our doing ourselves in with Big Box retail stores happy to sell inexpensive imports at “everyday low prices.” : ) China needs US to be stronger and pay off our debt. Through changing to SI units we can get more citizens to work in up coming industries such as nanotechnology and not hamper students learning inherited units. Nano is an SI prefix.

        • No one is saying they are enemies, but strong competitors. Countries like companies desire to rid themselves of their competition and dominate.

          America’s dominant position in the past has made the other countries dependent on the US and weak. Ending America’s dominance allows other countries to rise up and take over as the world’s consumers, so countries like Germany and China don’t need to depend on the US. They want to be able to sell to everyone.

          China doesn’t need the US as much as you think. They would lose nothing when the US collapses. They already got what they wanted, a huge transfer of technology from the US to China. They were in the stone age just a few decades ago. They came into the modern age by the US handing them the technology they could never buy or would take decades more to develop themselves.

          I expect to see China break the US apart even further. Watch as they use their milliards of US dollars to buy up prize farmland and send the produce to China and the world depriving American stores of the fruits of American land and buy up other key industries to send the products to China and elsewhere where people will pay for it with real cash and not the worthless green back.

          America has deceived itself into believing that China needs the US. It doesn’t.

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