New Englanders are a quirky lot. We always seem to be out of step with the rest of the country. It's been that way since just after the Louisiana Purchase. Our forefathers saw that this would open up the possibility of many new states and leave us at a political disadvantage.
They were right.
Don't get me wrong. I don't hate the South or the Midwest. Anywhere that deep fries dill pickles has a special place in my heart. I don't hate conservatives either, though I prefer them to be more like Olympia Snowe than Mitch McConnell. On the other hand, it seems a large part of the country doesn't appreciate us very much. Oh, they'll take our money, of course. They like that part. But the rest of the time, we're the northern liberal elite - out to destroy America.
But trying times demand new ideas, or maybe the revisitation of old ideas. I don't see why textbooks in New England should accommodate the needs of fundamentalists in Texas. I don't see why we should pay the bills for folks who don't appreciate our contribution. I don't see why we should be dragged forcibly to the right. Fifty years before Fort Sumter, the New England States discussed secession at the Hartford Convention. Maybe we should think about that again.
Do you really think the rest of the country would be sad to see us go?
I'm only half-kidding. Maybe less than that. We could end the Great Recession with the Great Secession. Or try, anyway. The six New England States are about the size of old England. We have a population and a GDP comparable to the Netherlands. We are 4% of the population yet we pay 6% of the federal tax. We could cut taxes and expand social services if we weren't paying for bridges in Alaska.
And those tax dollars would go farther, too. We could stop feeding a bloated military budget, bring our citizens home from overseas and have a strictly defensive military. We can appropriate the military infrastructure that's already here. As a region, we're already paying the bills. We'll take the federal property and call it square.
Cut loose from the Federal Reserve, we could institute new monetary policy and eliminate interest-bearing debt currency. No more paying the banks to loan us our own money. We could cut taxes and still have plenty of revenue to invest in our infrastructure and our economy.
We could focus our economy on things we do well: trade, education, biotech, medicine. Revitalize our agriculture and our local farms. Normalize relations with Cuba and enjoy fine cigars and cheap tropical vacations. And do a brisk trade with all the folks scooting over the border to buy their Cohibas. End the war on drugs. Legalize hemp and create several new industries. To be sure, there would be some growing pains but I think we could manage.
We managed before.
We can't end the military-industrial complex; so let's secede from it. We can't end the Federal Reserve; so let's secede from it. We can't end Wall Street control of the government; so let's secede from it. Reform doesn't work. Bush? Obama? No, thanks. We'll take one of our own please. Let's break loose and start again.
There are more people in New England than in Wyoming, North Dakota, Alaska, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Nebraska, West Virginia, New Mexico, Nevada, and Utah combined. Why fight it? They can have their way; we can have ours. "When in the Course of human events..." and all that.
Do you really think they'd be sad to see us go?
We could still be friends. Sure, come on up. Look at the leaves. Swim at our beaches. Eat our lobsters. Send your kids to our colleges. Spend plenty of money. Just leave the right-wing politics at home, ok? And don't forget to visit Boston Harbor before you go, and remember who started all this in the first place.
Would it work? Who knows? The more I think about it, the more I think it's worth a try. Free New England. Sounds good to me. But we New Englanders are a quirky lot.
Now who's for chowder and clam cakes?
Very Truly Yours,