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monsoon

Are Mega Cities the New Countries?

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This BBC article discusses the rise of the mega city (more than 15 million) and how they are becoming divorced from the country they reside in. It makes mention that groups of these cities are essentially becoming countries of their own as most of the investment, trade, travel, problems, etc take place between these cities. For example London and Tokyo are far more important to New York City than places like Miami, Chicago and Atlanta. It's an interesting idea for sure including the comment that most people in the UK consider London to be a "foreign place" and I would say that most Americans would say the same about NYC.

Some places that I would consider Mega City States

  • Tokyo

  • New York City

  • Mexico City

  • London

  • Bombay (now called Mumbai)

  • Shanghai

  • Sao Paulo

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I don't know about how they country dynamics work, but certainly they become horribly disconnected from the states or provinces they reside in. From personal experience, Chicago and NYC are pretty much regarded as their own states and resented for imposing their agendas on the people outside the metro areas who have other needs. It would seem that beyond a certain size, it would almost be beneficial for these cities to become their own city-states, although that's near the realm of the impossible.

The same is beginning to happen in California with both the Bay Area and Los Angeles both being a completely different breed of people from the folks elsewhere.

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New countries? Perhaps not.

Are they the new states/provinces? I could see a case being made for that.

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In principle its not a bad idea, but I think in practice it would prove politically impossible. New York City itself is about twice the size of my entire state, so it is concievable that it coudl work. I don't think that New York State or Illinois, etc would want to loose its largest cash cow though.

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The article does not advocate they become countries. It says they are effectively countries because of their huge size and their economies depend heavily upon each other, rather than the the economy of the physical country they happen to be located in.

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These cities could very well be their own countries. On economic terms, their payrolls outstrip the budgets of some countries and their GDPs are much higher than many countries. On population terms, they are bigger than many states or political regions in their respective countries.

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A country generally has and controls it's own military, currency and banking system, foreign diplomacy, and major constitution and laws that govern the largest aspects of life.

Alhtough by that definition, some of the European countries could be called into question :P

Point being, cities are not in any way countries. It sounds like someone at the BBC needed to invent a topic to write an article about.

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But if they wanted to, they could support such things as a military, etc. They could seek secession from their countries. Probably wouldn't happen, but hey they could try if they wanted.

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Many mega cities tend to have a greater combined assets than a lot of other actual countries. New York has trillions in assets and profits from the companies that are in the city, which is more than most developing countries will ever have. If California were its own country, it would rank in the top in terms of economic wealth, which basically comes from its two major metros in LA-SD and SF. Mega cities also tend to be much more culturally diverse than the remaining parts of the country.

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In many countries where there is one city that eclipses any other, there is alot of "Us Vs Them" mentality between the city and the rest of the country.

In most poor countries, the main city is usually the only place that's actually livable compared to the rest of the country where the conditions are usually dismal. Though for some reason when I visited Cuba, the opposite seemed to be true. Havana seemed far worse then the rest of the country.

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I don't know about how they country dynamics work, but certainly they become horribly disconnected from the states or provinces they reside in. From personal experience, Chicago and NYC are pretty much regarded as their own states and resented for imposing their agendas on the people outside the metro areas who have other needs. It would seem that beyond a certain size, it would almost be beneficial for these cities to become their own city-states, although that's near the realm of the impossible.

The same is beginning to happen in California with both the Bay Area and Los Angeles both being a completely different breed of people from the folks elsewhere.

a friend in illinois says that they don't consider chicago part of the state... it's its own place.

new york is generally divided into NYC, westchester county, long island, and upstate (everything else). the people i know from upstate generally consider NYC it's own place, although long island and westchester generally get lumped into it because they're the metro.

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LA does have the 9th largest economy in the WORLD!

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I don't know about how they country dynamics work, but certainly they become horribly disconnected from the states or provinces they reside in. From personal experience, Chicago and NYC are pretty much regarded as their own states and resented for imposing their agendas on the people outside the metro areas who have other needs. It would seem that beyond a certain size, it would almost be beneficial for these cities to become their own city-states, although that's near the realm of the impossible.

The same is beginning to happen in California with both the Bay Area and Los Angeles both being a completely different breed of people from the folks elsewhere.

The same can be said about Louisville and the rest of Kentucky, albeit on a much smaller scale. While the rest of Kentucky is as Red as red can get, Louisville is about as Blue as any city on the east coast. Louisville differs culturally, demographically, and politically.

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If you want to put it into political terms, California mirrors that. I saw a map after the last election. Geographically speaking, probably about 85% of California is red, the remainder (LA and the Bay Area) are blue...and it's the blue areas that dictate the policies for the entire state, and that has bred a certain amount of resentment from Valley dwellers and the folks up in the Sierras, though not as much as I have seen from the "Downstate" folks in Illinois towards Chicago.

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