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Should The U.S. Go Metric?

Upon announcing his candidacy for President, Lincoln Chafee stated the United States should adopt the metric system. Should the U.S. join the rest of the world and go metric?

89% of writers and pundits say no
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Should The U.S. Go Metric?  

Writers and pundits who say or about the topic, "Should The U.S. Go Metric?"
last 24 hours | gosanangelo
OUR OPINION: Don't give an inch to metric system - San Angelo Standard Times
"...It's not going to happen. We're four decades past the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, and a San Angelo sidewalk survey would last a long time before turning up someone who could accurately estimate how many kilometers it is to Bronte.Most curious is that, aside from possibly engendering some nebulous international good will, Chaffee doesn't address the key question: Why? There's no one else calling for a change. American industry long ago adapted, which is why we often note that the jug of liquid we're buying tells the amount in liters instead of quarts and why many tools have metric hieroglyphics.In fact, meters have invaded so far into American society that track fans are left confused and annoyed. The high jumper cleared 2.4 meters? What the heck does that mean? Tell us when he goes over 7 feet...." see full article


911 days ago | wcti12
No, America shouldn't go metric (Opinion) - WCTI12.com
"...A move to the meter is not a vote for open-mindedness. That has been clear to me every time I have been scolded by a European or South American on the stupidity of a system that divides by twelfths and sixteenths rather than tenths.I readily admit that the decimal math of the metric system is easier, but not that it is in all ways better. The fact is that decimals are lousy at real-life division. Try cutting an orange or a pizza into five or ten slices. Two of the most basic fractions are the third and the quarter. A third and quarter of a foot are four and three inches; the same for a meter are 25cm and .33333-on-to-infinity cm...." see full article


920 days ago | weeklystandard
Ridiculed—for Now - The Weekly Standard

"...The Scrapbook would like to note that the metric system is overrated, and imposing it from Washington is unnecessary and unwarranted. To the extent that the metric system makes sense, American scientists and businesses have already adopted it. But the metric system doesn't always make sense. The fact that there's no unit of measurement between a centimeter and meter is impractical to say the least. Fahrenheit is far more precise than Celsius, and it's usually more convenient to make finer measures in pounds than kilograms. And if you have to do a little extra math to realize that there are 6.77 bushels to a hogshead, well, it's just a good reminder of American exceptionalism...." see full article


920 days ago | cnn
No, America shouldn't go metric - CNN

"...With U.S. competitiveness not at stake, what reason is there for America to switch? In an age when we can say "three feet to meters" and our smartphone immediately tells us .9144m, it can't be about making conversion easy. The only reason for us to switch is exactly the one Chafee brings up -- that it would be "good for our international reputation." Yet beyond this being of questionable logic -- would it really net enough good PR to justify the billions in dollars it would cost us to convert? -- there is the underlying notion that it is bad for us to be out step with the rest of the world...." see full article


920 days ago | newsy
Would Going Metric Really Help The US Economy? - Newsy
"...If the U.S. were to fully convert to the metric system, there would be costs involved that could, at least initially, outweigh the trade benefits.Politico reports the cost of changing road signs from miles to kilometers could range from $520 million to $650 million adjusted for inflation. That's based on a 1995 government estimate. And road signs aren't the only thing that would have to be converted. Besides the cost of training and education, almost all of the labels in a grocery store, clothing sizes and even gas station pumps would need to be updated.And Chafee's suggestion isn't exactly on the top of lists of issues voters care about...." see full article


920 days ago | marketplace
America's lengthy courtship with the metric system - Marketplace.org
"...That's what works, apparently, a cultural change that helps people imagine the differences between old and new. Hillger says the problem here is the Metric Conversion Act of 1975 had one deadly word: voluntary. "I think they thought that, well, it would probably happen because big, larger companies change and then the other ones follow."As you know, that didn't quite happen.But Elizabeth Gentry, the metric coordinator at the National Institutes of Standards and Technology says a lot of big companies did convert after that act: Caterpillar, GM, IBM. Plus, an entire industry: booze...." see full article


921 days ago | theguardian
Those who reject the metric system are miles behind Lincoln Chafee

"...Chafee is just kind of leader we need to put some teeth behind the rhetoric. It's time for Americans to accept the internationally accepted system once and for all on paper and in practice. Down with United States customary units! You can hear the Citifield crowd chanting from Queens as the 129.274-kilogram hero Bartolo Colon leads an upstart bunch of scrappy youngsters through their most exciting season in years. Let's Go Metric! The metric system is better because it's clearer, and it makes math easier. It is based on the decimal system, which correlates to the number of fingers and toes on most human hands and feet. We have an innate sense for counting things in sets of 10. Our current system, meanwhile, is a hodge-podge of weird, difficult numbers like 12s, 4s, 16s and 33s, based on the arbitrary size of some Roman soldier's sandal...." see full article


921 days ago | time
The Long, Tortuous History of the US and the Metric System - TIME
"...If history is any indication, however, switching to metric is not as easy as Chafee made it sound. (Not even in Canada: in one remarkable 1983 incident, an Air Canada flight ran out of gas and had to crash land when a new metric-calibrated plane was refueled by a ground crew used to working with pounds rather than kilograms.)And Chafee isn't the first to suggest the switch. In fact, U.S. politicians and advocates have been trying to introduce the metric system for pretty much as long as the country has existed: none other than George Washington himself suggested that the new United States use the then-newfangled French system that became the metric system. Congress however, not the President, has the power to set the country's system of measures; Washington's suggestion went nowhere, largely because England didn't use metric and that was whom the nation had to trade with...." see full article


921 days ago | washingtonpost
How economics explains Americans' troubled history with meters and liters - Washington Post (blog)

"...This country already is metric, in many important ways. The pound, foot and gallon have all been defined in terms of grams, meters and liters for more than a hundred years. Metric units are widespread in the private sector, as John Bemelmans Marciano, the author of "Whatever Happened to the Metric System?" has argued in Time.Marciano writes that past attempts to standardize American measurements on the metric system failed repeatedly throughout the 20th century, in part because labor unions rightly predicted that metric units would make it easier for firms to import goods from abroad, eliminating one advantage of U.S. workers in the manufacturing sector. In fact, the metric system was originally conceived during the French Revolution as a way of encouraging free trade and economic liberalism...." see full article



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