Voting with their Feet

A couple of recent articles have once more made the case, at least implicitly, for political decentralization as the only viable path which will begin to solve the seemingly insurmountable political, economic, and social crises which the Western world now faces.

 

Fracture lines – tax and regulatory competition allows people to “vote with their feet” – and they certainly do. [PT]

 

In the last few months, over 3,000 millionaires have fled the hopelessly corrupt and bankrupt state of Illinois.  When asked, 47% of Illinoisans would like to leave the state which, over the last decade, has seen over a half million of its residents flee.  Naturally, this exodus has exacerbated the Land of Lincoln’s financial straits to catastrophic levels.*

A report published by the American Legislative Exchange Council predicted that the tax flight which is occurring in Illinois will similarly take place in the coming years in high-tax blue states such as California and New York. The 2017 Trump tax reform will accelerate this process, since under the new legislation the amount of state income tax that can be deducted on federal tax returns has been capped at $10,000 per family.  The authors of the report wrote:

 

“[…] high [income] earners in places with hefty income taxes – not just California and New York, but also Minnesota and New Jersey – will bear more of the true cost of their state government.”**

 

 

Cartoonists have had a field day with the dysfunctional politics of Illinois for years – it currently sports the lowest credit rating of the 50 US states and frequent tax hikes have resulted in a mass exodus of wealthy and high income residents. [PT]

 

The not too subtle consequences of the new tax code will mean an even greater exodus of taxpayers out of blue states which will shrink state revenues even further and create job losses across the board.

 

Small is Beautiful – The Advantage of Seceding from Large Nation States

While those who want to escape the crushing burden of individual state taxation and regulation, if they have the means and desire to do so, can move to more favorable climes, no such option exists (except the drastic step of expatriation) to escape federal tyranny.

Yet, the same benefits which occur from a multiple of individual states and jurisdictions would be present if the various nation states which dominate the globe were broken up into smaller political units.

While the authors of the cited articles see the advantage that multiple states have where one can “vote with his feet,” the same logic can be applied to central governments across the planet who are, on the whole, more tyrannical than local jurisdictions.  More political bodies would not only provide sanctuary for the oppressed, but it would tend to keep a check on tyranny among existing states.

Political decentralization is a far greater deterrent to government largesse than constitutions, elections, or finding the “right person” to “fix things.”  The events of the last few weeks in the realm of US foreign policy once again demonstrate that trusting candidates to fulfill campaign promises is naive, to say the least.

To get to this goal, all and every secession movement, even of a Leftist bent, should be supported, whether they are nations that want to “exit” from larger political units, such as Great Britain from the EU, or within nation states themselves such as California in the US.  All should be encouraged.

 

A map of regions causing “fears of separatism” in Europe. What usually remains unmentioned is why exactly anyone should be afraid of regions going their own way. This is because only the political and bureaucratic ruling classes actually have something to fear – namely a loss of relative power if the territories they rule over shrink. For the average citizen small nation state territories are a great boon. As a rule they mean lower taxes, fewer regulations and far greater prosperity. It is no coincidence that some of the world’s smallest political entities are among the wealthiest places on the planet. [PT]

 

The Case for Decentralization and Breaking Up the Money Monopoly

Of course, the case for decentralization has to be made on ideological grounds.  The Left, most likely, will not be a natural ally for secession, nor are conservatives, most of whom are under the spell of “nationalism” and “restoring the Republic.”

Yet, the Right offers the best opportunity to build a secession movement and needs to be convinced that the preservation of the nation state will only lead to the complete triumph of liberalism.

Secession would also necessitate the breakup of the nation-state’s monopoly of money and banking.  Numerous political divisions would be more likely to adopt a single monetary unit – gold – which would guarantee financial stability rather than the debt ridden paper-money system now in place.

Next to the outbreak of World War III, immigration is the greatest threat to what remains of Western Civilization.  Smaller political units would be far better to control their borders than reliance on a central authority which can be easily manipulated from outside agents.

The solution to the myriad of social and economic problems that confront Western societies will not come about from a “reform” of the nation state, but through its dissolution.  Only through a world made up of hundreds, if not thousands, of Liechtensteins, Hong Kongs, Monacos, confederacies, free cities, etc., will it be possible to hope that these crises will be resolved.

 

Addendum: Bonus Charts on Illinois

 

Some data from Illinois and elsewhere from recent years, showing the effect of fiscal profligacy and the subsequent imposition of a regime of severe regulatory restrictions and high taxation on the state’s demographics. More and more wealth generating people move from Illinois to friendlier climes – it is no surprise that the state’s financial problems have become nigh intractable. [PT]

 

References:

 

*Tyler Durden, “This $5 Trillion Time Bomb Will Devastate Americans.” Zero Hedge.  9 August 2017.

**Robert Frank.  “800,000 People Are About to Flee New York and California Because of Taxes, Say Economists.”  CNBC.com. 26 April 2018.

 

Maps and charts by: Anadolu Agency, Illinois Policy Institute

 

Chart and image captions by PT

 

Antonius Aquinas is an author, lecturer, a contributor to Acting Man, SGT Report, The Burning Platform, Dollar Collapse, The Daily Coin and Zero Hedge. Contact him at antoniusaquinas[at]gmail[dot]com https://antoniusaquinas.com/.

 

 

 

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