For most Southerners who've suffered through twelve years of government schooling, and successive years of media indoctrination, the above statement probably appears ridiculous. Some years ago, I brought up this idea with some coworkers at the engineering firm where I worked. One young man, a recent graduate of Louisiana Tech University sarcastically replied, 'Oh yeah, and go from being one of the poorest States to one of the poorest third world countries.' But would that necessarily be the case? Let's take a more critical look at my State, Louisiana, and see how my former colleague's statement fares.
In the yankee mentality, bigger is better. Part of their argument for holding this vast empire together by force is that in order to be a viable, stable country, we have to occupy a sizeable chunk of this vast piece of real estate called North America. However, does the reality surrounding the existence of many of the countries of the western world support this notion?
Louisiana covers an area of 43,562 square miles. That makes her only slightly smaller than Greece (50,942 sq. mi.) but larger than Hungary (35,919 sq. mi.), Portugal, Austria, The Czech Republic, Ireland, The Netherlands, Switzerland, and Belgium (11,780 sq. mi.). I dare say that no one in their right mind would declare any of the countries listed above to be unstable or unviable; especially since many of them have existed as countries for centuries longer than the united States. If, in typical, condescending yankee fashion, you would argue, 'Yeah, but those are rinky-dink countries,' (I suppose this is a slap at their lack of superpower military status), then consider that Louisiana is one-half the size of the United Kingdom and one-third as large as Germany (neither of which have been slouches in the military power game). On the population side, Louisiana ranks ninth on my list of ten at 4.52 million people. That places her just above Ireland (4.02 million) and well below The Netherlands (16.41 million). This places fair Louisiana in very good company compared to some of her potential neighbours, so the size argument is refuted.
It's the Economy Stupid!
Some of you may recall this phrase being bandied about during the Clinton administration. There is a kernel of truth in it though, as the real stability and viability of any country is achieved by its ability to conduct commerce, i.e. raise revenue, with other nations. This is the crucial attribute which can make size irrelevant. Let's look at Louisiana's trade potential.
As every imperial power who has ever wanted a piece of North America has known, New Orleans, and control of the mouth of the Mississippi River, is a strategic necessity. Modern air transportation has not negated the fact that the vast majority of the world's goods are still transported by ships. The Port of New Orleans is the second busiest in North America, and the Mississippi River is the watery highway used for transporting those good into the interior of the country.
Now, I've tried finding out just how much revenue is collected by the federal government at New Orleans, but would you believe that after a couple of freedom of information act requests, I couldn't find a single agency of the federal government that had that information! For illustrative purposes, this forces me to make a very conservative assumption as to what that amount is, and I'm going to set it at $100 billion. The fiscal year 2007 budget for the State of Louisiana is $30.91 billion. This amount includes $14.62 billion in federal funds (47% of the total budget). Currently, the $100 billion in tariff, impost, and duty revenue collected at New Orleans flows immediately to Washington, D.C.; however, if Louisiana were an independent country, that money would flow to Baton Rouge instead. Now you do the math.
At the current wasteful, bloated, socialistic level of spending, there would be enough money to finance the current budget 3.24 times over. The implications of this are that no one in Louisiana would ever have to pay income, sales, or property taxes again. We could have the best roads, schools, hospitals – you name it – and have plenty left over to buy a nice army with which we could defend ourselves. And it gets better. This doesn't include Louisiana's vast natural resources in oil and gas that could now be sold on the world market at fair prices versus the heavily controlled and regulated situation forced on us by the U. S. It also means that Louisiana's farmers could get out of a state of perpetual peonage to the U. S. Agriculture Department, sell their produce at world market prices, and become prosperous again. The advantages are legion.
Get Out Now!
As this short, critical analysis shows, the notion that independence means poverty and misery for any of our Southern States is a fallacy. On the contrary, independence opens the door to prosperity for our people. The only question remaining is – what are we waiting for?!?!
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