Monday, October 4, 2010

Free New England

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.

Or something.

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,




Suldog said...

Ah, see, this is why we can be on drastically different sides of the political fence in some ways, yet remain good friends. We are both radicals at heart. Sign me up. If at all possible, I'd like to be in charge of either the casino gambling regulatory board or in charge of drugs. Or both.

Yeah, both would be good.

Ananda girl said...

Well good luck with that! I can certainly share your frustration on similar issues in my neck of the woods.

Chowder and clam cakes! YUM.

Andy said...

Cricket...this is good stuff. Seriously, it is. I understand exactly what you're saying...or at least exactly what I'm hearing.

I'm all for it! Not just in New England, but across the fruited plain. I don't believe our framers ever envisioned a nation so large, diverse, and complex as the one we find ourselves living in. Certainly, there were cotton farmers in Georgia that had to hammer out things with lobster netters (I think they net lobster, don't they) in those days. And, there were tobacco farmers in Virginny that had to compromise with Maple Syrup tappers in New England.

I really believe that they did their best to lay a framework. But, I don't think any really anticipated what a couple of hundred years + would bring. I don't think any of them believed that courts would legislate, and that the Supreme Court would be one day looked upon as the law of the land, and that their rulings would stand as law, regardless of regional peculiarities, nor that Congress would become so overbearing. (I know...that was a run-on sentence. Sorry).

I even see it here in my State of Louisiana. My two parish region contributes 12 percent of the State taxes, and receives about 7 percent of State revenue. There has been a push in my lifetime for North, and South Louisiana to be divided in to two States. And for good reason...they are two entirely different worlds, with entirely different cultures, needs, and mindsets.

I'm all for it. I'd like to see New England freed from the burden of what we now have morphed in to as a nation. I'd like to see a real division of governance across the nation, with all of us freed from the burdens of DC.

Y'all can compete to sell us lobsters, history, culture, cranberries, whatever...and we can compete to sell you oil, natural gas, textile products, cotton, our peculiar culture, whatever...

Folks in the Midwest could compete to sell us all wheat, corn, beef, wind energy, their history, whatever.

I'm serious when I say is a fabulous idea. The only thing I'd like to see remain intact is a unified military for national defense. But, with many regional Presidents (or legislatures) needing to agree on the use of it, we'd not likely use it globally very often...only for defense of our loose, yet interdependent confederation.

Go for it! Preach it, brother!

lime said...

can i apply for refugee status?