Saturday, November 24, 2012
Minneapolis Star-Tribune takes secession seriously, sort of
by Clifford F. Thies According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the Blue States of America would be better off without the Red States. They'd have all the smart people (Harvard, MIT, U. Cal. Berkeley, and so forth), while we'd have all the stupid people. They'd have all the beautiful people, we the fat people. They'd have lobster, and we would have grits. They'd have New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington, and we'd have, well, miles and miles of nothing. What the Star-Tribune is describing is sort of like the split of the Czech Republic from the Slovak Republic, the first more advanced, more educated, more urban, more, well, more German; and, the other, relatively backward, and Slavic. In a similar way, the more urban Blue States of America look down at the more rural Red States. But, a divorce of two disparate cultures is not governed by any law of conservation. There is no reason for the whole to be equal to the sum of the parts. There is reason to believe that,in this case, the parts would be greater than the whole. The most important reason to think that divorce would be mutually-beneficial is that the need for vast empires has, for two reasons, melted away. These two reasons are (1) military strength and (2) free trade. Formerly, to be secure, a nation had to be able to defend itself. Indeed, until we emerged as the leader of the free world, nations were either conquerors and were conquered. But, largely due to our insistence on a new world order in which each nation would be secure, things have changed. Today, with much of the world pacified, and with some semblance of meaningful alliances among democratic countries, it can be imagined that countries need not be large to be secure. At least, this could be imagined as a possibility in the near future. Also formerly, to gain the advantages of specialization and trade, you had to amalgamate a huge expanse of land, with diverse peoples and natural resources, under one flag. But, today, with free trade agreements and the WTO, specialization and trade can be supported among disparate sovereign nations. So, the elimination of the need for empire is part of the reason divorce of Red from Blue states would be good. The other reason is to avoid rent-seeking. The politics of the country has devolved into two warring factions. The extreme level of partisanship that you see reflects an underlying and very real conflict among the people of the country. With regard to social issues, people don't want to live and let live. No, they each want to impose their diametrically-opposed social philosophy onto the other. One religious and the other secular. In addition, one party has clearly identified itself as the party of the elites and of the underclass, whose political agenda is to bribe the underclass with money to be taken from the members of the other party. We, the productive class, are the cows that they want milk to feed the stupid, lazy, immoral bastards that they raise via their welfare mothers and public school systems. No, we do not like it at all, and it's just a matter of time until we put an end to this. Maybe through secession. Maybe immigration. Maybe by winning the next election. Or maybe by just cutting back on working. The problem with the Red States leaving the Blue, is that once it starts, there'll be no end to it. Let's say the states that voted for Romney all left. This would leave the Purple States with the entire burden of maintaining the economically-dysfunctional wards of the welfare state that populate the Blue States. This will cause the Purple States to leave. Now, the Blue States will look around. Who' s going to pay for the $1 trillion deficit of the federal government, as well as the sink holes that are California and Illinois. This will cause even some of the Blue States to leave. Then, with nobody to bail them out, even the sink holes will have to adopt economically-rational policies, or else go the way of Greece, Venezuela, Argentina, Zimbabwe, Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Consider the following experiment: On day 1 of a course, you announce that each student will choose whether to be graded as an individual or as a member of a group, with each of the members of the group getting the group's average grade. Well, obviously, all the D and F students will choose to be graded as members of the group, along with some of the C students and a few of the B and A students who are stricken by liberal guilt. Assuming the members of the group studied as though their grade depended on it, the average grade of the group would be between a C and a D. But because nobody in the group has much of an interest in studying, the average grade of the group will fall to something like D. Soon all but the most altruistic A and B students will shift to being graded as individuals, as will all of the C students. The group's average grade will fall even further, so that even some of the D students who will decide it's better to study and try to at least get a passing grade than stay on a sinking ship. The group's average will fall yet again, perhaps to F. At which point, we will just laugh at the altruistic A and B students and their self-righteousness.