Joel Bowman

Revolt is in the air, Fellow Reckoner! You can smell the gunpowder…taste the whiskey…feel the virtual ink blotting petition forms. That a movement is underway, there can be no doubt. But to where will it lead? Our guess is that it will end where all revolutions (by definition) must end…right back at the beginning.

The story, as we are piecing it together, involves a few hundred thousand — perhaps a million? — jilted US citizens. Vexed and perplexed at President Obama’s reelection, a hardscrapple gang of mutinous dissidents took to the Internet in the days following the election, keyboards and mouse pads in hand, to sign petitions requesting that their own states be allowed to secede from the union. And really, what better way to “stick it to the man” than to visit his website and kindly beg of him permission to do so?

It will come as surprise to few that Texas, a former and one-time sovereign state, is leading the rebellion. The Lone Star State is petitioning the Obama Administration to, “Peacefully grant the State of Texas to withdraw from the United States of America and create its own NEW government.”

At time of writing, 116,070 individuals had pledged allegiance to the cause. And what a cause it is! Try as we may, we can find no fault in their case:

The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect its citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.

Similar petitions were filed across the nation. Indeed, within a week of the election, some 675,000 rebels had inked 69 petitions, issuing forth from all fifty currently-united states. Folks from Louisiana, Florida and Georgia were among the most enthused of the seditious lot, garnering 36,738…34,468…and 31,799 signatures respectively. Tennessee, North Carolina and Alabama all posted more than 30,000 names, a remarkable number when considering that the Obama Administration has promised to grant a generous “review of online proposals” to petitions that attract more than 25,000 names.

Ah…can you smell that freedom?

But before our Fellow Reckoners grab their muskets and go charging off blindly to join the good fight, a little perspective may be in order. 31,799 signatures might seem like a lot of support…but it still lands the Georgian secession petition shy of the 33,869 signatures currently accrued to the petition to “Not Allow The FDA To Regulate Premium Cigars.” Though, to be sure, it did beat out the 31,788 brave and treasonable individuals championing the petition to “Finalize Standards for GLUTEN-FREE Labeling.”

Also making the critical “review of online proposal” cut is the people’s petition to “Deport Everyone That Signed A Petition To Withdraw Their State From The United States Of America.”

But wait…isn’t that just what the secessionists want? To be outside of the Federal Government’s administrative purview? Sounds a bit like kicking a prisoner out of jail for trying to escape. What kind of secessionist wouldn’t like to be relieved of his “right” to pay taxes, to sponsor undesirable and despicable wars and to accrue a national debt he doesn’t want and will never be able to repay?

Speaking to that last item, another petition (already with over 18,000 signatures) demands that states be required to pay their portion of the national debt before being allowed to secede. They “should be required to take their own advice about ‘personal responsibility,’” the petition’s creator explained.

But then, who owns the “national” debt? And what does the concept of The State — a collectivist term — have to do with “personal responsibility” anyway?

One man votes for a handout…a boondoggle…for a charlatan candidate who promises him something for nothing. His neighbor declines the Faustian pact and goes peacefully about his own business. Eventually, the bill comes due. Now, who owes what?

How, too, are generational differences to be resolved? Should a newborn — or not-yet-born — be on the hook for monies gifted to Congress’ buddies on Wall Street? What role did members of a future generation play in the banks’ unwavering commitment to ineptitude, cronyism and D.C.-aided graft?

Some say everyone needs to pay a “fair share.” But what constitutes “fair”…and who is so wise as to decide? Is it fair, for example, to simply divide the total amount outstanding among 300 million or so individual “Americans”…each of whom happen to have been birthed, through no fault or accomplishment owing to them, on a particular piece of land? At $16.2 trillion, the national debt comes to roughly $50k per man, woman and child…or nearly three times that much per taxpayer. At current growth rates, that amount will explode to over $22 trillion by the next election, or roughly $70k for each and every beating heart in the union. Who pays what?

To be sure, separation is a tricky business. Rarely does a feuding couple escape the divorce courts with both dignity and solvency intact. It’s usually one or the other. What hope, then, does an entire nation of divorcees have of reaching an amicable split? It’s not quite as simple as, “You take the silverware, the linens…and everything north of the Mason-Dixon. We’ll keep the rest.”

But then, the imperial experiment was never meant to work out. The State is always, and has always, been an unworkable delusion. The great empires of history have all gone to ashes in service of precisely that point. Not one has survived the burden of its own aspirations. Each succumbs, in its own good time, to inexorable decay.

Joel Bowman
for The Daily Reckoning

Joel Bowman

Joel Bowman is a contributor to The Daily Reckoning. After completing his degree in media communications and journalism in his home country of Australia, Joel moved to Baltimore to join the Agora Financial team. His keen interest in travel and macroeconomics first took him to New York where he regularly reported from Wall Street, and he now writes from and lives all over the world.

  • Paul Prichard

    As a resident of Britain where do I sign up ?

  • royals85

    There is a cause of action for divorce, irreconcible differences. That is where the nation is now. This article and some of your past writings have made this very clear. There are people who pay and those who get. The getters don’t want the country broke into pieces. The payers are getting very frustrated. Many of the getters are beginning to realize the system doesn’t really provide them much and would rather have a job together with less regulatory fees and taxes. A mediator once told a couple, “either divide the assets now and go your own way, or stay together and destroy all around you”. We know the direction U.S. is going to take. Our pols and their lapdog bankers have shown U.S. that they prefer destruction over creation. Good day.

  • royals85

    Gone with wind is showing this weekend on AMC. It will give you a glimpse of what will be happening all around U.S. very soon.

  • Wags

    Isn’t that the lifecycle of democracy? The people eventually vote themselves into national bankruptcy. That’s why I like this website. You guys see it coming, know it’s impossible to stop, and kinda just sit back and watch. What else can one do really?

  • james butler

    I despise your libertarian self-rightous attitude. Yes, you know it all, and write as if you can live your high life and snear at us working folks. Your civilization is being destroyed and you write as if you do not care, and will do nothing to stop it. Just make some money, invest in gold, and when it all colapses, move to Singapore, a la Jim Rodgers.

  • Numbers

    North dakota could pay their share of the national debt and leave the union. No problem. And their living standards would improve by doing so as well.

  • CB

    Theoretically, couldn’t all the secessionists move to one state with a low enough population and almost “force” that state (by vote) to seceed?….

  • Little Black Duck

    When Uncle Sam gave General Suharto the green light for his military coup in Indonesia, he provided said General with a list of about a million names of dissidents he should deal with, which he did to finality. You know how bureaucrats like their lists and you can imagine how they make them up.

  • Phaerisee

    The first thing we can do to get revenge on the danged liberals is to make this guy shave!

  • Stephen Jacobs

    The bloody nerve of you Republicans! Go succeed and good-bye and good-riddance. It was

    Texas, probably more than any other state that gave us the Viet Nam War, the Cold War and the Korean War. All of these wars no-one wanted, no-one needed —- except for the rightwing nuts in the South, especially the Republicans and especially the anti-communists in Texas. It was the anti-communists who needed a Cold War who re-wrote history to make Stalin into an enemy and another Hitler. It was the anti-communists in the South who forbid school children in America to learn that King George VI awarded Stalin the Sword of Honour for liberating Eastern Europe and saving the lives of millions of people. ( He saved the lives of my own relatives.)

    So now that the United States Treasury is bankrupt and each American now owes $70,000 for the follies of anti-communism and the wars of Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, Ike, Truman, JFK, and LBJ; let Texans begin to pay their fair share. And if they don’t want to pay for their mess, then good-bye and good-riddance to that whole bunch of Southern trash.

  • kaen019

    You should try and utilize the organ inside your skull (regardless of how small it may be) and analyze the words you publicize here first before actually doing so; and if possible, try to force at least a small amount of factual history (warning: this requires you to actually perform your own research & then read it YOURSELF) into your brain’s tiny amount of grey matter. The benefit this self-education will bestow is that you’ll no longer submit immortal web posting which declare unto all: “I am an intellectually bereft idiot.”!

  • kaen019

    You are so utterly uneducated it’s absurd! Corporations don’t pay fair tax rates? What, praytell, is “fair” in your book? Is it fair that a corporation’s shareholders are double-taxed on their income? I’ll bet you’re oblivious as to what the corporate tax rate even is. Here’s an idea: look it up, instead of lazily believing what you hear and regurgitating that propaganda.

    The U.S. saved Texas? You make it pitifully clear that you’ve never taken the time to actually read a historical account of creation of the Republic of Texas, its Annexation by the U.S. 10yrs later, the U.S. war of conquest declared upon Mexico – a war which arose due to the U.S. desire for additional territorial acquisition across the SW, not from a disputed Texas border. Fair share of Texans debt to the federal gov’t? That state owes none, as it was paid in full by the ceding of lands in the Compromise of 1850. Though I’ll wager you’re quite ignorant of what that agreement entailed, as well.

    Now, why should the rich pay more? Because they can? I guess in your skewed world, this is somehow ‘fair’. That you state a belief in having the rich pay more so that lower end tax bracketed Americans are absolved of any taxes at all does not surprise me. How can one unable to understand the definition of “fair” be able to comprehend logic, let alone utilize it?

    Republican won’t negotiate (or more accurately: compromise) w/ Democrats? Well, yes that’s true. But neither will the Democrats do the same w/ Republicans. The problem here lies in the 2-Party system. It engenders & reinforces this lack of cooperation while fostering corruption & dishonesty replete in our elected officials.

    Keep in mind, however, the fault sadly lies with the American voters who ignorantly keep these amoral scoundrels in office by continually giving them their votes.

    We can’t change Congress’ directive by keeping the status quo. That means THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES.

    Last note: “Governing ‘fairly’ and responsibly”, as you say, frightens me – if you misunderstand the meaning of “fair”, just how erroneous is your definition of ‘responsibility’?

  • stephenjacobs

    Even the Mexicans don’t want the Texans. They are a hard bunch to stomach…. And they want the wars and the militarism, the space race and the missiles, but to send you the bills to pay for their follies, decade after decade.

    “From Stettin on the Baltic to Triste on the Adriatic, an Iron Curtain has decended upon Eastern Europe (Churchill 1946).” From that point on, Texas began to go its own way and send the rest of America the bill for the cost. (In this case Texans used Churchill and Truman to begin their Cold War against communism at a speech given in Fulton, Missouri.)

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