The U.S. and the metric system
Will the U.S. join the rest of the world in using the 200-yr-old system of measurements?
By Jane McFadyen
The United States is the only industrialized nation to continue to work in English (or Imperial) units for measurement. Liberia and Myanmar are the other remaining two who have not adopted the metric system.
The system, which has been in existence for more than two centuries, is simpler to use than Imperial measurements. Its fundamentals are also crystal clear, e.g. 1 liter of water weighs 1kg, and so forth.
The United States breeds an almost unparalleled patriotic fervor among its citizens, the likes of which is rarely found outside North Korea, and it is perhaps this strong sense of national pride and hint of superiority that prevents Americans from appearing to be the last to jump on the bandwagon.
Nevertheless, the need for the U.S. to at least use both systems is important as the country’s trade deficit widens with imports outstripping exports.
The U.S. needs to export. Like mad. And so, as hopes emerge of manufacturing returning to American soil, factories from coast to coast need to dig deep into their pockets and meet the heavy cost of retooling their plants in order to make metrically proportioned goods.
That, combined with the quintessentially U.S. knack of creating a demand for something necessary, paves the way to some healthy export figures.