The repercussions of last week’s Brexit vote are still reverberating around the world and have served as an inspiration for right wing extremists everywhere including America. I have a simple answer on how to handle this: stop it!
One of the latest brainstorms is for Texas to secede from the United States. The arguments are multiple and all deeply flawed. As it stands now on its own Texas would be about the world’s 10th largest economy. Anyone who thinks that the Texan economy wouldn’t take a serious hit if it left the union is delusional! One of the things that make the American economy work is the free movement of capital, goods, services and materials among all of the 50 states. Remove yourself and you lose all those benefits. Texas probably could survive alone but it would be much weaker as an independent country than it is as one of fifty states!
If Texas were to leave it is easy to envision most or all of the other ten states of the old Confederacy (Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia) trying to join them. This is basically the American South where the hatred of the federal government runs the most passionate and pervasive. Florida and Virginia are the two among the ten that might decide to stay. That would still leave the other nine contiguous exiting states with Florida cut off (by land) from the remaining United States. The biggest problems with that scenario are all economic. Of the 11 in question only Florida and Texas pay more in taxes to the federal government than they receive in federal spending, all of which would cease in a secession scenario.
The Southern states, mainly by virtue of the strength and longevity of their Senators, have been graced with a disproportionate share of military bases all of which would close. For many of the same reasons a disproportionate portion of federal research facilities have located in the South. They also would disappear overnight. The Interstate Highway System is still one of the great pieces of infrastructure that facilitates commerce throughout the country very much including the South. Any maintenance or infrastructure improvement dollars from Washington would instantly vanish.
On the private side, in recent years the South has been able to lure several international firms. Those firms were looking for an American base of operations. If the South leaves the United States, those firms will leave the South.
I just don’t see how one or possibly two states could support nine, ten or eleven. For the contrarians: yes, the remaining states would also take a hit, but they would be in a much better situation to absorb the blow. If one or more states were to attempt to exit the union I don’t see any winners; just some people losing less ugly than others. This is exactly what the Brexit will entail as anyone who is objectively viewing it already knows.
I used the phrase “nix it” as in stop it in the title of this article. Interestingly in my research I discovered there is a commercial product available that capitalizes the “n” and has no space between the “x” and the “i”. It claims to stop dogs from eating dog excrement. How fitting.
One mistake has already been made. Instead of imitating it we need to learn from it!
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