Metric System

The place to discuss issues being debated in the 2009-2010 school year -- briefs, legislation and debate.

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bromano
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Re: Metric System

Postby bromano » Wed Sep 23, 2009 10:18 pm

An Act to Convert the United States to the Metric System

Sponsored by Senator Benjamin Romano

Be It Hereby Enacted by the House of Representatives and Senate in Congress Assembled:

Whereas the United States is scientifically hindered by the impediment of the Standard System of measurement;

Section 1: The national unit of measurement is no longer the standard system, and is now the Metric System;

Section 2: By 2040, all of the following must be converted to the Metric System
a) road signs
b) products, either
i)manufactured in the United States
ii)manufactured by a company based in the United States
c) all governmentally funded projects;

Section 3: This project shall not exceed the use of 2 billion dollars in the first 5 years, but Congress shall revisit the issue every 2 years to reassess the topic to confirm it is properly funded;

Section 4: For the use of the general public, the United States Metric Association (USMA) will be in charge of educating the public on the use of the metric system, by using the aforementioned budget, through programs, including, but not limited to
a)public workshops
b)public service announcements;

Section 5: If a private business converts to the metric system before 2040, then they are entitled to economic tax relief according to the following values
a) .1% tax break for the first year in which the business converts, and
b) .05% for each subsequent year until 2040;

Section 6: If any business doesn’t convert by 2040, they will experience a fine in relation to their taxes as follows
a) 1% tax increase for the first non-compliant year;
b) 3% tax increase for each subsequent year;

Section 7: This bill shall take effect ninety-one days after passage.

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Re: Metric System

Postby gotrimski » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:15 am

Speakers:

1st Pro: Ben Romano
1st Con: Garrett Otrimski
2nd Pro: Bertrand Wang
2nd Con: Jack Werner

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Re: Metric System

Postby gotrimski » Fri Sep 25, 2009 11:22 am

I personally think that the bill is too vague and open-ended. Instead of including a single date, 2040, which all systems must be converted to the metric system, it instead should have intermediate dates to achieve its goals. For instance, it should include a date (maybe 2015) which all signs, products, projects, etc. must have the metric units on them, and may include the English system as first a primary and then a secondary value. So, lets say by 2015 all signs must have Metric as a secondary unit underneath or beside the current units, and by 2030, all signs must have metric as the primary value and English as the second. By 2040, then, all signs must be solely in Metric. This seems to me a must more feasible plan. Companies which see a deadline of 2040 are going to wait until December 30, 2039 before they officially change their units. If there are intermediate deadlines, at least there is some changeover period of adjustment between each step.

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Re: Metric System

Postby SRaghavan » Sat Sep 26, 2009 7:37 am

ben the bill is good.

BUT,

there should be be more steps in underlining the processes that should be taken to finish the goals by 2040. Operations are likely to get disorganized if a proper scheme of plan isn't established

But other than that, the contents are sensible. Just needs more details.

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Re: Metric System

Postby swilson33 » Sat Sep 26, 2009 11:24 am

I agree with Garrett, the bill needs more intermediate dates. Much like what Josh said at the beginning, we should transition in stages, for example, from road signs saying "65 mph" to "105 kph / 65.24 mph" to just "105 kph". It would be too difficult for Americans to one day be reading only mph, and the next to only have kph. And, as I doubt that businesses will voluntarily convert in stages because it would be cheaper for them to change all at once, the bill should mention it.

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Re: Metric System

Postby bliang » Sat Sep 26, 2009 1:14 pm

Personally, I don't think there is really much to debate about for this topic. The idea is already set: we should switch to metric as soon as possible. Let's face it, it's really hard to dispute such a statement.

So the only thing left to discuss is HOW we go about achieving this goal. I would say that we should switch our focus and be more specific; instead of debating whether or not to switch to metric, we should be debating which plan and approach we should be taking.

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Re: Metric System

Postby bromano » Sun Sep 27, 2009 11:04 am

Hows this then?

By 2020, all conversions must be partially converted to metric, using it as a secondary measurement, such that
a) all signs, labels, etc. display both the standard system, and the Metric system
b) no business shall completely convert before 2020

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Re: Metric System

Postby galukal » Sun Sep 27, 2009 1:17 pm

Disapprove of the second provision there. Why can't a business convert faster if it wants? You ought to encourage that kind of thing, not discourage it.

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Re: Metric System

Postby VSharma » Sun Sep 27, 2009 6:37 pm

Section four should include mandatory teachings of the metric system in elementary schools. It is difficult to teach everyone the metric system through public annuncements. It is recommended to enlist mandatory seminars for adults as well.

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Re: Metric System

Postby bliang » Sun Sep 27, 2009 8:08 pm

I have a proposition. Instead of debating whether or not to switch, we should debate HOW to switch, as I mentioned before.

Hence, I believe we should split into 2 groups: extreme method and moderate method.

For example, the moderate method allows us some time before we have to switch, say, by 2020. The extreme method, on the other hand, forces the entire country to switch within, say, one year.

Personally, I would advocate the extreme method. We are in an age where our technology and knowledge is increasing at an exponential rate. The longer we stay in standard, the worse it is for us. This extreme method is also very doable. If let's say a country invaded us and forced us to switch to a system, we can do it in one year, easily. Many other countries (or so I've heard) used this extreme method. Switching is switching, and it's as simple as that. The only issue I see with being extreme is that it may make certain groups of people uncomfortable, but I think either way people are going to be a little upset, so might as well make it quick.

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Re: Metric System

Postby VSharma » Mon Sep 28, 2009 12:06 pm

I agree with username bliang. One resolution suspends other minor governmental projects in order to focus on converting to the metric system by 2020. The other focuses on slowly converting to the metric system by 2050 so that it will not interrupt other governmental plans.

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Re: Metric System

Postby bromano » Mon Sep 28, 2009 1:26 pm

I made it not faster because the American people can't just switch. I think that it would be easier for the American people to ease into the metric system, rather then jump right in. After all, none of us can say we are fully prepared to use the metric system because we havent grown up with it.

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Re: Metric System

Postby Feldman » Mon Sep 28, 2009 2:36 pm

Why do you want to switch to metric? Are we feeling like we should follow the EU MANIA!! movement? I'm proud to be an American, and yes... i do drive on the right side of the road... or are you going to change that too?

Working for the PA House Transportation Committee Chairman this summer I also learned something else.... IT COSTS LOADS AND LOADS OF MONEY to put up roadsigns... so while it may be a good idea... think about it in this recession.

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Re: Metric System

Postby bliang » Mon Sep 28, 2009 5:10 pm

There's a reason why the rest of the world is using it, and why it's the scientific standard. It's definitely worth the money and the effort. Also I hate it when people use the "I'm proud to be an American" phrase for situations like this.

I still think that a one year switch is doable though, and as extreme as it is, it works.

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Re: Metric System

Postby swilson33 » Mon Sep 28, 2009 7:03 pm

I agree that it could be done in one year, and would probably be relatively easy, but if we intend on doing a partial conversion (aka, Imperial to Imperial/Metric to Metric) it would be difficult to do in one year. We could possibly switch to Imperial/Metric in one year, as it wouldnt require everyone to learn metric too quickly, but then gradually phase out Imperial.

Also, to those saying the recession would be a bad time; isn't now when it's needed most? Investing in infrastructure, providing jobs, boosting the economy? This is what we need to do! Yes, we will have to pay for it, but it is a good move in the long run.

I also agree that teaching the Metric system is a must. Preferably introduce it at the same time when we normally begin teaching Imperial measurements, but then use only Metric, or both, from there on out.


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