Petition for Texas to Secede from United States

Here is an interesting petition to the White House.

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 it’s 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.

The petition was started on November 9th, 2012, and as of November 12th, 2012, it has 48,335 signatures. Petitions have the necessary requirement to meet the signature threshold, which is 25,000 signatures as of when the petition was created. The signature threshold had to have been met by December 9th, 2012 to have a response from the White House. There would be some policy study done by the White House into the consequences of accepting the proposal of the petition.

Whatever anyone thinks of this petition, whether it is right or wrong, has no bearing on an analysis of the situation.

We already know what happened the last time a state, or some states, tried to secede from the Union, or the United States. This was known as the Confederacy, or the Confederate States of America. This ended up being known as the Civil War, and the Confederacy ended up losing. This was a huge costly war, both economically, socially, and numerical causalities. It also tore into the American psyche, in some sense. So we have at least one example of when multiple states seceded from the Union. They happened to build their own Confederacy of States like one before founding of new government with US Constitution, i.e. Articles of Confederation.

What is interesting is that Texas was part of those states that seceded from the Union in 1860 to join the Confederate States of America. So Texas has a previous history of seceding from the Union. Texas also seceded from the Mexico, or revolted against the Mexican government. After Texas won its freedom from Mexico, they were an independent nation and eventually did join the Union or the United States of America, and later seceded to join the Confederate States of America.

South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, and shortly thereafter, some other states seceded from the Union. Now what is interesting is that the first state to secede from the Union was also the first state that “fired the first shot” to start the Civil War. History supposedly has it that the first state to secede from the Union started the Civil War. But let us assume that it is true that Texas does secede from the Union, then would it be true that it would be violent?

First, this brings up an interesting question about the state militia. The state militia responds to the orders of the Governor of the state, which happens to be Rick Perry. But, the President of the United States is the Commander-in-Chief, and so can take control of the state militia, i.e. national guard. This brings up interesting potential conflict in this situation, even though the line is clear with US soldiers that are non-national guard. These soldiers would be Union troops. With this in mind, it would appear that the United States would be able to, numerically, beat the Texas national guard in any potential military conflict. This is not assuming that other civilians in Texas join to swell the ranks of the Texas state militia, or national guard. But the US population is greater than that of Texas, and so the US can possibly gain more troops than Texas. A military conflict does not seem to be reasonable for Texas to want or to go through, let alone of the US. So Texas seems to have no incentive to want to have a military conflict.

Second, this brings up an interesting question about how would the President respond. Would the President take military action, since the President is the Commander-In-Chief of the military, which means not even Congress? Texas would, in a sense, be at the mercy of the President choosing to go through a 30 day war, until President goes before the Congress to ask for a deceleration of war or money to continue to finance military actions (like Iraq and Afghanistan). Texas would appear to be at the mercy of the Presidents decision, since US appears to have greater military power relative to Texas.

Assuming that it is true that Texas secedes from the Union, then Texas would not have a violent secession (like South Carolina). But assuming that it is true that Texas does not have a violent secession (like South Carolina), then would the President take military action or no military action? This is a decision for the President to make. The US or Union would appear to have more of an incentive for violence than Texas.

Now the person brings up some main ideas with secession, and one of them is economic. It points out that the state of Texas, on its own, has the 15th largest economy in the world. So Texas would have some economic power or stability. Being part of a Union with other states, the problems of one state affects another state. One consequence is standard of living. Texas could have a high standard of living, but other states in the Union have a low standard of living, so this comes to affect the state, and people, of Texas. Texas would appear to be able to economically compete with other foreign nations. But the loss of Texas would also mean that it affects the economy of the US, or the Union. The Union would lose a major money maker for the US economy and for other poorer states and people in other states.

Another main idea for secession that the person brings up is civil liberties. They specifically state the NDAA, which I am assuming that they mean the portion of “indefinite detention”. This issue has actually gone to federal court and an Obama appointed judge said it was unconstitutional, but the Obama administration is appealing this decision. One of the main problems is that this is a violation of the 4th amendment, which is protection from the federal government and thus a civil liberty. The government would, and by the Patriot Act, are still allowed to for unconstitutional search and seizure of people and their property. You also have the President having deprived people of their 5th amendment right by being deprived of life or liberty without due processes.

So there are at least two arguments for secession. There is the economic point of view and there is the civil liberty point of view.

One thing that should be made aware is what happened with the Confederate States of America. One state left and others followed. California might be one state to take a look about secession if we accept the economic argument (since they supposedly have around the 9th largest economy in the world), and the civil liberty argument would apply to California as well. For example, the civil liberty argument applies to all states in the United States, or Union. But the economic argument would not apply to all states in the United States. Some states benefit from more economically powerful states being in the Union. Weak economic states benefit from being in a union with strong economic states, but it hurts the strong economic states, in some respects.

 

 

 

 

 

 

US Economic Freedom Rating Falling

Here is an interesting article based on findings of the Economic Freedom of the World annual report.

“The annual Economic Freedom of the World report, including an index of country rankings, has just been released, and it should be a wake-up call. The United States was known as the bastion of economic freedom for more than two centuries, and it was because of its economic freedom that the nation became the pre-eminent economic power. However, in just a few short years, the U.S. has fallen from No. 3 in 2000 (behind the city-states of Hong Kong and Singapore) to No. 8 in 2005 and to No. 18 in 2010, the last year for which complete statistics are available. Worse yet, the U.S. decline continues, and in next year’s ranking, it is almost certain to be lower.

The main components of the index include the size of government (taxing and spending), legal systems, property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation (including credit markets, labor and business regulations). The report says it “uses 42 different variables derived from sources such as the World Bank to measure the degree to which the institutions and policies of 144 countries are consistent with economic freedom.” It is published by the Cato Institute in the United States, the Fraser Institute in Canada and a network of institutes in 78 other countries. The authors of the report are James Gwartney of Florida State University, author of a major economics textbook and former chief economist of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, Robert A. Lawson of Southern Methodist University and Joshua Hall of Beloit College.

The godfather of the Economic Freedom of the World report was Milton Friedman (1912-2006), who said that “if economic freedom could be measured with greater accuracy, it would be possible to isolate its impact on the performance of economies and other factors of interest.” Since the report was first published in 1996, it has provided overwhelming evidence that economic freedom is highly correlated with economic progress, liberty and well-being.

A few facts will help illustrate why economic freedom is so important. The freest quartile of countries had an average per capita income of $37,691, while the least free quartile had a per capita income of just $5,188 in 2010. The freest quartile grew at an average annual rate of 3.6 percent 1990-2010, while the quartile that was least free only grew at an average rate of 1.6 percent over the same period. Life expectancy in the freest quartile was 79.5 years in 2010, as contrasted with 61.6 years in the least free quartile. Those people who are more concerned about the poor than economic growth should take note that the poorest 10 percent in the least-free quartile only had a per capita income of $1,209 in 2010, as contrasted with a per capita income of $11,382 for the poorest 10 percent in the freest quartile. Greater economic freedom is also associated with more political and civil liberties. In sum, by almost any measure of human well-being, a person is far better off being in a country with a high degrees of economic freedom than in one with restricted economic freedoms.

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You can read the whole report itself here.