Copyright 2010 by John T. Reed All rights reserved
In 1729, Jonathan Swift published a satirical essay called A Modest Proposal. In that same spirit, I offer my own “modest proposal:”
The red election districts around the U.S. should secede from the United States and form a new country. The basic problem is about half of the American people have a very different idea of what the country should be than the other half. Enough! Let’s end this interminable bickering and political squabbling. Make it two countries.
It will also need a new constitution. The new constitution should be the old one with some problems corrected. More about those problems below.
Many probably think there’s no need because of the results of the 2010 elections. Ha!
The problem is we have a national-debt-to-GDP ratio that is at World War II levels, but we have no world war going on, and the ratio is climbing like a skyrocket. You can see it depicted as an odometer gone crazy at at www.usdebtclock.org. and you can see the comparison of the current ratio to the history of that ratio at http://www.usgovernmentspending.com/us_20th_century_chart.html.
During the 2010 election coverage, many on TV said the Republicans would now reverse the insane deficit spending.
The hell they will! They may prevent further acceleration of it that would have happened if Democrats had stayed in control of the House, but they will not even stop its growth let alone reverse it. There are only three Republican Congressmen who have advocated reducing specific government entitlement spending. They wrote a book: Young Guns: A New Generation of Conservative Leaders by Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy. True, Eric Cantor is now likely to become the majority leader in the House. But they still only have three votes. To reverse deficit spending, you need one president, 60 senators (to stop a filibuster), and 218 representatives. The Republicans now have the 218 house members, but not the 60 senators or president. Plus, even if they did, they would not all be “Young Guns” who were willing to cut entitlement spending.
What about the Tea Party? Will they save us? Are you kidding? They only want to cut entitlement spending in the abstract, not make specific cuts in Social Security or Medicare. They are disproportionately old. They say they do not want to burden their children or grandchildren with debt, but they lie. Republicans are Democrat socialists lite and the Tea Party are sort of slightly more conservative and libertarian Republicans. Neither will get the job done. The Tea Party is summed up by the idiotic sign one of them held: “Government keep your hands off my Medicare.”
It’s not red and blue states
You often hear mention of red and blue states. That’s nonsense. For all I know, they may not be any red or blue states with the possible exception of the most recent states: Alaska and Hawaii. The Wall Street Journal ran a story about this complete with a map where they colored not the states, but some smaller voting entities. I do not recall for sure but I am thinking they were Congressional districts. Even those are too big because of deliberate gerrymandering putting a lot of libertarians and republicans in mostly liberal districts to disenfranchise them.
Here is a map of that nature that a reader told me about. It is of the 2000 election. (To see the red counties you have to select the words “elections” and “votes for George W. Bush 2000” in the list under the map of foreclosures.)
Anyway, the impression you instantly got from reading the map was that there are not red and blue states; there are red and blue districts. Furthermore, the pattern was clear: the red areas are rural and suburban; the blue areas were inner cities, affluent suburbs, Mexican border areas, and college towns. Call the new countries Maker Land (red precincts) and Taker Land (blue precincts).
I recommend doing it by election precinct rather than congressional district or state to clear out the gerrymandering.
So all the red election precincts in the U.S. secede from the U.S. and form a new country. This would leave the blue cities and some of their suburbs looking like the colonies of the 19th century—like Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore, and so on. Many would be landlocked.
Generally, the new Taker Land would have ports, airports, and rail hubs, but little else of economic value. Among the things they generally would lack would be water, food, defensible borders, or a viable economy.
Another Civil War?
The word secede conjures up the Civil War. Many will immediately say, “We can’t secede. That would start another civil war!”
You gotta be kidding me!
The anti-war, anti-military, anti-gun, anti-ROTC, anti-military recruiters, anti-draft, anti-flag-pin, anti-pledge-of-allegiance, Park Avenue wealthy, politically-correct, college professors, anti-free enterprise liberals are going to declare war against their political opposites all over the U.S? What are they going to do, throw burning draft cards at us? Are they going to invade Maker Land militarily—with their mostly red precinct soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen? The same military personnel who, in many cases, were denied the opportunity to vote in the 2010 elections?
Good luck with that.
The North won the original Civil War mainly because of its far greater industrial base. In the 2010 civil war, Taker Land would have bankrupt, rust belt, unionized factories that are said to be more in the health-care business than the car or whatever business. Maker Land has gleaming new, profitable, non-union factories.
During the original civil war, U.S. Army and Navy personnel who were from the South generally resigned from the U.S. Army and joined the Confederate military. Confederate top general Robert E. Lee was one of them. He was a top U.S. general before the Civil War. That would also happen in the case of my seceding plan and Taker Land would find it had far fewer military personnel, military training schools, and military bases than Maker Land. Taker Land would have no nuclear weapons. Most of their cities are “nuclear-free zones,” not to mention “sanctuary cities” who cannot draft their residents if they want to because many are not citizens and not registered for the draft.
Enforce immigration laws
Maker Land would enforce immigration laws and finish the fence on the border with Mexico. To get illegal immigrants, Taker Land would have to send planes or ships to import them. Although they’d better watch out about the flying stuff. What they now call “Flyover country” would become “Invade the air space of a nuclear nation country” after the secession. Perhaps we would negotiate a treaty allowing them to fly over “flyover country”—if we are felling generous.
Taker Land will not declare war on Maker Land the way Abe Lincoln declared war on the Confederate States. They will negotiate. They will use diplomacy. Although their president—Barack Obama, Jr.—will say that all options are on the table, including the military option. And when Maker Land stops laughing out loud, we will tell them to go to hell. We’ve been negotiating for 200 years in Congress! Been there. Done that. It led to national bankruptcy and economic enslavement of the productive members of American society.
Divided no more
People often wail over what a divided nation we are. My secession modest proposal will end that. Efforts to reach “across the aisle,” which have lately been a waste of time, will become efforts to reach across the border. But those relate to far less of a nation’s affairs; just trade, tourism, student visas, air travel, etc.
The new Congresses in both Taker and Maker America will find themselves incredibly united. They won’t have an opposition party to denounce, or blame.
Maker Land, being a brand new nation, will have no debt. Taker Land will have $14 trillion of debt. See my article on the morality of renouncing our national debt.
It gets worse. Maker Land will have most of the $2.1 trillion in tax revenue that the current U.S. now collects. By definition, all tax revenue comes from the private sector. Taker Land will almost not have a private sector. What are they going to do? Tax the crap out of the delis in New York City? Raise the hotel taxes?
Maker Land will cut entitlements. Taker Land will not even consider it. Taker Land will go bankrupt in months. Maker Land will use their $2.1 trillion of tax revenue to pay a reasonable amount of social security and health care. Taker Land will find they have virtually no tax base because all they have been doing for years is leeching off Maker Land. After secession, they can try to live by sucking their own blood.
Maker Land and Taker Land
Maker Land would be a nation of makers—like our whole country was before the Depression. Taker Land would be a nation of takers—only one with no one left to take from.
They will stew in their own “compassionate” juices—but only for a few months. Their credit rating will go from AAA to zero. They will be unable to deficit spend which is the only kind of spending they have known how to do since the 1960s. They will try to raise tax rates on the rich, only to find that the rich have moved to Maker Land. Wall Street will move to Texas.
Maker Land’s foreign policy will be less aggressive because terrorists like to hate—and bomb—secular Taker Land. They are less angry at the non-elite Americans who inhabit “flyover country.”
America’s “ruling class” will quickly emigrate to Maker Land. They aren’t stupid. But they will find they are welcome to do whatever they want—as long as it’s something other than ruling.
Some U.S. cities might have some luck merging with Canada. Good riddance. On the other hand, Canada’s “red” precincts might then seek to secede from Canada and join Maker Land—especially when they see the takers of Blue America coming to take from them now that they can no longer take from Red America’s makers. That would make Canada/Taker Land part French and even more bankrupt. Don’t you just love it?
I believe that Red America/Red Canada would be the biggest country in the world by land area and natural resources—and it would have the cleanest balance sheet on earth: no debt.
You say the rest of the world will not lend us any money if we refuse to pay old America’s national debt?
Great! That will help Maker Land’s Congress and president refrain from deficit spending and comply with our new balanced-budget amendment.
The takers will be fored to come crawling back in a matter of months, probably offering to remove the 1099 requirement from the Obama Care bill or some such. No thanks. Unconditional surrender only. Otherwise, go extend your unemployment benefits to yourselves another 99 weeks. Maybe China will lend you another couple of trillion.
Maker Land would need a constitutional convention to prevent it from repeating the mistakes all America made during the 20th and 21st centuries. Here are the bullet points of the modified constitution for Maker Land:
• separation of education and state (no public schools or public colleges or universities)
• separation of money and state (Maker Land people can use whatever they want for money—no involvement by the Federal Reserve or federal government other than to specify what money can be used to pay federal taxes—this is roughly what he had prior to 1913 when the Federal Reserve was created)
• separation of services and state (no post office or TVA ,etc.)
• separation of charity and state (no handouts by the government including Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, etc.)
• separation of pensions and state (you’re on your own; suggest you build home equity and savings)
• separation of health insurance and state (no government involvement in health care, no tax deduction for corporations that pay for employees’ health care)
• prohibition against any form of tariffs or protectionism
• prohibition against any form of controls on prices, wages, or rents
• prohibition against gerrymandering
• time limits for approving or rejecting presidential nominees; if not met, the nominee is approved by default
• prohibition against deficit spending
• clarification of government involvement in abortion (see my article on that subject)
• clarification of prohibition against taking private property for public use without just compensation including recognizing that partial takings must be compensated and that so-called “police power” does not override this constitutional provision
• clarification of what is covered by the “interstate commerce” clause
• clarification of the Second Amendment (right to bear arms)
• elimination of the entire U.S. Code (all federal law including the Internal Revenue Code—it will be rebuilt from scratch with a maximum page limit far lower than today’s number so that once the limit has been reached, no new laws can be passed without repeal of old laws to make room—every page of laws means less freedom for the American people)
• prohibition against levying taxes on entities other than human beings like corporations; taxing the human who own the corpartion takes care of it; taxes on corporations are just hidden sales taxes on the products or services of the corporations
• elimination of the entire U.S. Code of Federal Regulations (all federal regulations—it will be rebuilt from scratch with a maximum page limit far lower than today’s number so that once the limit has been reached, no new regulations can be created without repeal of old ones to make room—every page of regulations means less freedom for the American people)
• all Maker Landians other than the poor would pay income taxes at more or less the same rates
• Congress chosen and operated like a federal grand jury—no elections, campaign contributions, majority and minority, lobbyists (see my article on that)
• requiring losing parties in civil lawsuits pay reasonable lawyers’ fees and costs of litigation
• prohibition against regulation of business other than enforcement of pertinent common law
• limit total government expenditures to a relatively low percentage of gross domestic product
• eliminate all methods of joining the military other than being drafted
• prohibition against all government subsidies of private industry
• And here’s a good one from the Confederate Constitution; Every law, or resolution having the force of law, shall relate to but one subject, and that shall be expressed in the title. Amen.
Is there any precedent for this other than the Civil War? Yes. During the War of 1812, New England states tried to secede. Some things never change.
Here is a paragraph from the Wikipedia article on Secession (I recommend that article.):
In his 1991 book Secession: The Morality of Political Divorce From Fort Sumter to Lithuania and Quebec, philosophy professor Allen Buchanan outlined limited rights to secession under certain circumstances, mostly related to oppression by people of other ethnic or racial groups,
I am a libertarian, not a conservative. Free people decide. Subjects of fascist countries comply. With the enactment of each new law or regulation, we decide less and comply more. Having a free country means rolling back most of our post-1932 laws and regulations.
I started this article with a reference to Jonathan Swift’s Modest Proposal. This article also bears some resemblance to the strike by the nation’s most productive citizens in Ayn Rand’s book Atlas Shrugged (has been made into a movie that will be released 4/15/2011).
Could someone please design a flag for the new country? Actually, on second thought, we’ll keep the stars and stripes. We served in the military under that flag. We saluted it. We risked our lives for it. We pledged allegiance to it. With the exception of industrial union members, the left has not liked the American flag or the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag, and have regarded it as a symbol of the right, since the ’60s. Let them get a new flag, perhaps with a tree and a whale and a hammer and sickle and a trial lawyer. I’ll let them fill in those details.
A lot of people now wear or carry “Dont [sic] Tread on Me” flags. I have had one on my office wall since the spring of 2005. But the better motto for the citizens of Maker Land is, “Leave us alone.” The government’s only role in prosperity-creation is to get out of our way.
John T. Reed