Somewhat to my surprise while reading Kevin Baker’s New Republic article on the need for so-called “Blue States”, e.g. California, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, etc. to dissociate themselves from the rest of the country:
We won’t formally secede, in the Civil War sense of the word. We’ll still be a part of the United States, at least on paper. But we’ll turn our back on the federal government in every way we can, just like you’ve been urging everyone to do for years, and devote our hard-earned resources to building up our own cities and states. We’ll turn Blue America into a world-class incubator for progressive programs and policies, a laboratory for a guaranteed income and a high-speed public rail system and free public universities. We’ll focus on getting our own house in order, while yours falls into disrepair and ruin.
In short, we’ll take our arrogant, cosmopolitan, liberal-elite football—wait, make that soccer ball—and go home.
I found myself in material agreement with him. I grumbled a bit at this:
Truth is, you red states just haven’t been pulling your weight. Not for, well, forever. Red states are nearly twice as dependent on the federal government as blue states. Of the twelve states that received the least federal aid in return for each tax dollar they contribute to the U.S. Treasury, ten of them voted for Hillary Clinton—and the other two were Michigan and Wisconsin, your newest recruits. By the same count, 20 of the 26 states most dependent on federal aid went to Trump.
Take Mississippi (please!), famous for being 49th or 50th in just about everything that matters. When it comes to sucking at the federal teat, the Magnolia State is the undisputed champ. More than 40 percent of Mississippi’s state revenue comes from federal funding; one-third of its GDP comes from federal spending; for every dollar it pays out in federal taxes, it takes in $4.70 in federal aid; one in five residents are on food stamps—all national highs. You people—your phrase, not mine—liked to bash Obama for turning America into what you derisively referred to as “Food Stamp Nation.” In reality, it’s more like Food Stamp Red America—something your Trump-loving congressmen will discover if and when they fulfill their vow to gut the program.
smacking as it does of Germany’s complaints about the profligate, lazy Greeks. He might start thinking about the implications of a common currency, state to state balances of payments, and how California and New York’s prosperity depends on compensating for the poverty of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana so that Alabamans, Mississippians, and Louisianans can buy their products.
This is the section that won me over:
We’ll turn Blue America into a world-class incubator for progressive programs and policies, a laboratory for a guaranteed income and a high-speed public rail system and free public universities. We’ll focus on getting our own house in order, while yours falls into disrepair and ruin.
That’s actually how the country is supposed to work. Rather than going to Washington and shoving our idea of paradise down the throats of the ungrateful peasants the Blue States should get their own houses in order. Illinois, where Democrats have controlled the state legislature for at least the last 40 years and the governor’s mansion as well for the last twenty, would be a good place to start.