States Can Insulate Themselves from DC
Trump scares me. But progressives terrify me.
Whoever comes next will be more extreme than Bernie Sanders.
Californians may hate Donald Trump now. But you can bet Texans will hate whoever comes next.
The federal two-party system ensures a perpetually unhappy populace. Each tries to force their will on the other when it is “their turn.”
And the rest of us, who aren’t on one side or the other, constantly lose.
This is unneeded friction. Forced unity creates far more problems than it solves.
But why put up with the swaying whims of federal politics?
In America, we have a marketplace of 50 state governments lying in wait.
I moved from Massachusetts to Florida three years ago. The taxes are lower, the living is cheaper, the laws are less restrictive, there’s little traffic, and the weather is nicer.
But that didn’t allow me to escape the shadow of Washington DC.
But imagine if we could keep the ease of moving from state to state, but without the federal government following us.
States would sink or swim on their own merits. No help from DC. And no interference either…
Plus, not a single US state would even be close to the smallest country on earth, by population or land area. Much tinier countries do just fine on their own.
California has plenty of reason to become its own country. It is the most progressive state without much in common with DC or many other states.
Californians are still being prosecuted by the feds for owning state-legal marijuana dispensaries. California wants liberal immigration policy, while the US government thinks otherwise.
It’s also the most populous state. It would be the 36th largest country on earth by population. Larger than Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Poland. Slightly smaller than Spain, Argentina, and Ukraine.
California has the 5th largest economy in the world. That’s ahead of Great Britain despite having less than 2/3 the population.
Some states are net payers of federal taxes. They pay more to the federal government than they get back.
California receives $.99 in federal expenditures for every $1.00 it pays. That means it would hardly be affected financially by divorcing the US government. Overall California would keep 1% more money in the state without federal taxes and without federal programs.
Other estimates claim it is much worse, and California only gets 70 cents back on every dollar it sends to Washington DC.
An initiative Calexit wants a 2020 ballot question to ask Californians if they want to secede from the US. Louis Marinelli is the co-author of the initiative. Here’s his take:
[C]an you think of 25 red states that might like to see blue California secede? I can think of 30 that voted for Donald Trump.
Look, the United States claims to be the freest country in the world. We ought to enjoy the fundamental right of self-determination, and if we so determine, self-rule.
Then California can sign a military base agreement with the Americans to lease land for their existing bases. California will not be hostile towards them, but our immigrants will be protected from them.
Additionally, by keeping the tens (sometimes hundreds) of billions of dollars we lose each year supporting red states that hate California, we will reduce our debts, fund our liabilities, and provide every Californian with a debt-free college education and universal healthcare.
I personally think Cali’s high taxes, restrictive regulation, and overbearing laws are ridiculous.
But who am I to tell Californians that they can’t bankrupt their state? I’d prefer to have them govern themselves, especially if that meant California voters didn’t have control over me and my affairs.
California isn’t the only state where federal taxes and aid zero out. New York and Florida are also large population states with close to even return based on what they give to DC.
Florida has millions more residents than Chile or the Netherlands.
With no income tax, it is quite attractive to work there.
Plus Florida has the 17th largest economy on Earth, topping $1 trillion GDP (Gross Domestic Product).
That’s bigger than Turkey’s economy, despite having just a quarter of the population.
At just under 21 million inhabitants, Florida would be the 58th largest country on Earth by population.
New York would be 59th by population.
With the 15th largest economy, this is slightly smaller than Spain’s economy. Meanwhile, Spain has twice the population of New York. Clearly, New York is quite capable of operating as an independent nation.
Of course, New York City alone could be its own country. And then they wouldn’t be able to dictate oppressive urban laws to rural upstate New Yorkers.
This highlights the natural friction of grouping incompatible regions under one government.
Texas is another large state that would do just fine on its own. As a country, it would be 51st largest by population, larger than Australia.
Texas’ GDP of $1.6 trillion is also slightly larger than each of the Australian, Russian, and South Korean economies.
The size of the economy is on par with Canada. Yet Canada has almost 9 million more residents.
Only three states receive less money per person from federal expenditures than Texas. Texas takes in the fourth smallest amount of money per capita from the federal government.
Oh, and of course there’s that little fact that Texas was once an independent country.
It became its own country, called the Republic of Texas, from 1836 until it agreed to join the United States in 1845. Sixteen years later, it seceded along with 10 other states to form the Confederacy. The Civil War forced it back into the Union, where it has stayed ever since.
New Hampshire would be a relatively small country–a little bigger than Estonia in terms of population.
But New Hampshire would also be the richest country in the world.
At least among the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) countries. This list includes 34 of the most advanced countries like the USA, UK, Australia, Japan, Denmark, Israel, the Netherlands, Canada, Chile, etc.
New Hampshire is another net payer of taxes. It gets about 70 cents back on every dollar it sends to DC.
New Hampshire also has a small secession movement. One organization is called the Foundation for New Hampshire Independence. Another calls itself NHexit.
A 2014 Reuters poll showed 23.9 percent of Americans would support their state peacefully seceding from the union if necessary, while 53.3 percent opposed the idea.
This list is far from complete.
For instance, Hawaii probably has the most legitimate reason of any state to secede. They were an independent Kingdom until 1893. The USA annexed Hawaii after the monarchy was overthrown.
Native Americans are another group who have a strong historical claim to independence.
And what’s Alaska still doing as part of the United States anyway? It isn’t even attached.
Being united by force just averages the good states with the bad. It means states can’t feel the full benefit of their good policies. It means they don’t suffer the full consequences of their failures.
It means wealth is redistributed. It means power is centralized. It means individuals have less control than they would over a smaller, more local government.
Forced unity eliminates the marketplace for the government. Let the states compete, and the best policies will rise to the top.
The American people will then truly have a choice and a voice in government.
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