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Monday, June 01, 2009

More Thoughts About Secession

Here are more of my thoughts about the secession/10th Amendment issue.

First,I included my entire original post in quotes.

"Secession from any country is a drastic measure that can't be taken lightly, most especially from one with such a long and successful history. Doing so during what should be the happy early moments of our first black presidency doesn't make it easier. Reading about the Pre-Revolutionary period makes one aware how far fetched the break which we now see as positive and inevitable seemed at the time.

Take my word for it, I don't take it lightly but I think bringing up and realistically using this threat may provide the only near term path towards fixing our nation.

Living, at this moment in Western PA, and having lived my entire life deep in one "blue state" or another, I find it almost impossible to see broad support for a return to the Constitution or fiscal sanity.

As the long political divide between "red" and "blue" states becomes deeper, two paths seem to be emerging. The first is the continuation as a nation loyal to it's geographical borders, but not it's political and philosophical ones, in which at best- only small relative degrees of freedom remain; a nation too crippled and bankrupt to remain whole for long. The second being a move towards two nations in which- at least one has a near term possibility of returning to the Constitution.

The trick in my opinion is to focus less on convincing the most extreme "blue states" they are on the wrong path than in more thoroughly educating and creating deep broad support for the original values in the states already trending red. Remember that as separation seems more likely--this trend will be aided by an influx of new liberty loving refugees from the socialist republics.

A consistent trend of states asserting their sovereignty and directly affirming loyalty to the original meaning of the Constitution- may help knock enough sense into people to forestall a final breakup.

All thoughts are appreciated. Please understand, that our Federal government's total liabilities in relation to it's GDP are already far beyond what has sunk most nations. We are at a point of extreme crisis."

This lead to a two very good comments which you can read here as well as my response.I think Nancy Hart's statement cuts to the heart of the matter.

"Secession does sound rather extreme; however, are we not in an extreme place in our country's history? And are not states' rights under attack from the Federal government's ever-increasing efforts to tread on these rights and all the citizens living in those states (you know, the USA!).? I think we should review the 10th amendment and back the efforts of a coalition on behalf of this amendment."

Here was my response.

It really comes down to your opinion on the position our country is in. I think the facts show that it's pretty extreme. Federal liabilities already acknowledged are already something like 4x all private debt levels and interest alone on this debt will in a few decades take up close to half the federal budget or much worse if rates rise. The dollar is near all time lows and gold near all time highs.

Make no mistake about it-- The 10th Amendment's only real teeth is each states implied right to secede. If handled with firmness and resolution it might provide a powerful check against what is happening.

I think:

"First, all the firmly "red states" must pass strong resolutions affirming their tenth amendment rights. Since these comprise a potential block of southern and western states and form the largely contiguous borders of a new country- if it comes to that.

Second; These states must agree on what final lines the Feds cannot cross without triggering possible secession. In my opinion these should include- major new federal encroachments on the 2nd Amendment; the 1st Amendment and also moves to guarantee or back the debts of insolvent states. Remember that backing the debt of states like California, New York and New Jersey would create just the kind of "taxation without representation", that triggered the Revolution from colonists tired of being bled to pay for Britain's wars and debts. It would mean that the citizens of states that had acted more responsibly would have no chance to pull out of this situation and would almost surely enable new rounds of out of control state spending and pension entitlements. The result would be a delayed-- but much larger crisis; almost certain hyperinflation and probably a chaotic future crackup of the country anyway.

I want to elaborate on this. The Republican party and the last holdout defenders of real freedom and free markets as well as the Republic as whole are likely at a true turning point. Imagine for example being caught deep in the wrong lane of traffic on a rapidly moving expressway and seeing the last exit off for 1000 miles or more and having to take the risk of changing lanes and making a desperate cut for it. A closer metaphor would be to imagine that the road is actually out up ahead and this is the last exit before a cliff.

It's been far from perfect but in the past, the federal system of government which large amounts of state and local freedom has let at least parts of the country to escape some of the worst effects of misguided federal policies and retain at least strong relative levels of growth and opportunity. For example, many "right to work" states have escaped the job killing impact of forced unionization.

This freedom as well as the formerly vibrant networks of churches, charities and independent organizations(yes, once most of these groups did more than beg for and channel federal funds and grants and were actually independent) that made up "civil society" allowed a range of experimentation in new ideas.These more independent cities and states also could become the incubators for fresh and less tainted leaders who might then infuse new blood into national politics.If the national tree of liberty was sick, at least some fresh new plants and seeds might be nurtured somewhere.

What Obama's policies are likely to and are designed to do is to extinguish these sprigs-- and actually drag every remaining state down to the level of the worst. We have seen this process in the banking and car industry. The result of backing and bailing out states like California will be to make suckers (like you ain't already) out of any state or city with even a shred of fiscal responsibility and sanity while rewarding the worst possible behavior. We've done enough of this already, but "You ain't seen nothing yet".

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