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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7054/we-need-to-secede-if-we-are-going-to-succeed/

We Need To Secede If We Are Going To Succeed

August 30, 2007 by

Charles K. Eames writes:

New York state has failed the people. This beautiful state has vast resources, natural and man made yet people are leaving and companies are moving out. The reason is obvious. Under the New York City-based leadership, New York has become one of the highest taxed and most dysfunctional states in the nation.

The state has taken over many functions of local governance, imposing unfunded mandates and laws that are killing the upstate economy.

Issues of rent control, congestion pricing, farm regulations and county sales taxes are local issues and should be left at the local level…

Linda Holcomb responds:

I heartily agree with Charles K. Eames’ Aug. 20 “Upstate needs to secede from state to succeed.” For more years than I can remember, I have expressed that same sentiment. New York City should be a state, commonwealth or district like Washington and responsible for itself.

I am fed up with having to pay for New York City’s problems. It doesn’t seem to matter that only a small percentage of “upstaters” have ever been to New York City or even close to it, but they still have to pay for the city’s bills.

“Upstaters” are also stuck with the “Downstater” politicians who continue to push the money to the city and certainly have shown their true colors as to where their priorities are and that’s not with upstate…


IMHO August 31, 2007 at 1:50 am

On Long Island, Nassau and Suffolk Counties have considered seceding from NYS. The following link discusses an inequity with the STAR rebate program between Nassau and Westchester Counties.


But it’s not just NYC. There are also inequities within the State Park System. On Long Island, NYS parks that have beaches generate a great deal of revenue. Yet, despite all the revenue, our beaches were becoming very decrepit.

We found out that a lot of the money was being diverted to smaller parks upstate that were running in the red.

When they threatened to close down some of our beaches (which would have cause unbelievable congestion at the remaining facilities), Long Islander’s went ballistic. We put a stop to that idea, and the beaches have gotten their badly needed facelifts. But I suspect that funds are still being diverted upstate, because our parking fees have since doubled to $8. :-\

Paul August 31, 2007 at 1:56 am

We should kick Cook County out of Illinois while we’re at it.

TLWP Sam August 31, 2007 at 3:08 am

‘Tis interesting what results come up when you do a search on ‘micronation’.

Mauro Cella August 31, 2007 at 4:39 am

It’s interesting to note how the secession issue is common worldwide. It’s also interesting to note how the issue of “unity” is ferociously defended by legislators and politicians worldwide: most European penal codes dish out incredibly harsh sentences for anyone “threatening the unity of the nation”, no matter what are the means used. Ever wondered why secessionist movements either die out in a few years (ie Lega Nord in the historical Lombardy) or turn to terrorism (ie ETA in Euskadi)?
Also never, and I repeat never, underestimate the power of unitary propaganda: most people will quickly retrace their steps once they hear an high ranking official either thundering against “high treason” or blabbering about “how we need to preserve our unity to help out the poor and the meek”. I think this has something to do with compulsory schooling…

Manuel Lora August 31, 2007 at 6:12 am

Ithaca is already a world of its own. Might as well make it officia.

Anthony August 31, 2007 at 7:15 am

Heh I am hopeful that Scotland and the Flanders will secede sometime soon. It’ll set a nice precedent, and further undermine the Eurosocialist Union’s powers.

Sooperdave August 31, 2007 at 7:47 am

We should kick Cook County out of Illinois while we’re at it.


Bruce August 31, 2007 at 7:52 am

As a former citizen of New York (“upstate” as the city dwellers and out-of-state people call it) I certainly identify with the sentiments expressed above. Albany has been in the hands of New York (city) for ages now and it’s ruined or severely hampered practically all significant commercial activity in the commonwealth. If I had a comparable job waiting for me there, I should like to return. Alas, that possibility is quite remote in the foreseeable future unless something gives.

8 August 31, 2007 at 7:59 am

NYC could be generating a lot of tax revenue for the state, in which case you have a good argument for secession being beneficial to both parties, since Western New York as a state would probably cut taxes by a large amount. I don’t buy these arguments about spending, almost everywhere you go people think they are paying more than they’re getting back.

How difficult would it be to secede? They won’t be leaving the U.S. If they started electing their own representatives for a Western NY government and ignored New York’s laws, it might come down to a question of the National Guard, but most of them live in upstate.

Anthony August 31, 2007 at 8:11 am

Well it’d definitely be interesting.

Mike August 31, 2007 at 9:00 am

I live in Kentucky but I travel to Buffalo, NY a few times a year on business. The Food is great, the micro-brews are excellent, the countryside is beautiful and the taxes are ungodly. Godspeed in your quest to sever all political rule from NYC.

Sprungfeld August 31, 2007 at 9:20 am

Heh, I’m not surprised about the various comments re: kick Chicago out of Illinois. There’s a lot of resentment over the state being run more from Chicago than Springfield. At least here in Central IL, the faultline between downstate IL and Chicago is often evident even in people’s preferences for the St. Louis Cardinals (often Chicago-hating Republicans) over the Chicago Cubs (more commonly pro-Chicago Democrats).

However, I personally manage to detest all sports and both political parties, so I don’t really have a dog in that fight. Therefore, I’m probably not giving the right trust cues to anyone.

Billy Beck August 31, 2007 at 9:42 am

Ithaca: “Fourteen square miles surrounded by reality.”

That reality, of course, is the functional depression rampant throughout Upstate for the whole 30+ years that I’ve known it.

David White August 31, 2007 at 10:39 am

I believe that this is the great battle to come, as the American welfare-warfare state exhausts itself in an orgy of overindulgence at home and overextension abroad. Seeking to save itself, Washington will strive for further centralization in the form of the already-proposed North American Union (google to find out more), together with the euro-like amero (google as well) to paper over the collapsing dollar.

Will the American people Just Say No, or will martial law (following the “national emergency” that will follow the upcoming attack on Iran) override the democratic process?

I say it will, at least in the short run, with the understanding that the only vote the American people really need is the one that the citizens of this fictional city used to send its government into exile — http://books.guardian.co.uk/reviews/generalfiction/0,,1754195,00.html

REB August 31, 2007 at 10:58 am

Shhhh,listen to that sound,’tis a Rebel wind a-blowin,and it whispers,Libertyyyyyy!

Sprungfeld August 31, 2007 at 1:41 pm

REB wrote:

Shhhh,listen to that sound,’tis a Rebel wind a-blowin,and it whispers,Libertyyyyyy!

That wind is mostly just the apathy of the general public passing gas. There is nothing at all like rebellion blowing in the wind. There is annoyance towards the current administration, but there is enough material comfort in this country that almost nobody would want to risk it on some vague experiment in rebellion or anarchy. Think of all the hicks with yellow ribbons on their pickup trucks and “these colors don’t run” stickers. They love ‘merica, no matter who misguided it becomes, because they conflate the state with the people. The government would have to be regularly shooting children in the street before a rebel wind would really blow.

Daniel M. Ryan August 31, 2007 at 2:08 pm

Come to think of it…secession of one part of a state from the rest of it can be sold to the “star-spangled eyes” crowd as a way of putting more stars on the U.S. flag without conquest.

Bruce Koerber August 31, 2007 at 5:27 pm

With the legal profession fully and ‘successfully’ diverted away from property rights and engaged in feasting on moral relativism the concept of States Rights is foreign to everyone, except those who are probing for the answers to the problem of dwindling liberty.

The perception is that a moral authority is absent and so nothing that the interventionists do can be halted. The irony is that when the economy is truly understood it will, itself, be seen as divine with an inherently moral authority that is diametrically opposed to all acts of intervention.

‘Secede’ is the word used to describe the freedom to test alternatives.

banker August 31, 2007 at 5:49 pm

This reminds me of a bar conversation I had with a rather liberal Democrat. He was complaining that big states pay a lot in taxes, but states in the rural areas get a disproportionate amount of benefits. I told him money should not go to Washington DC only to be filtered back to the people who paid the taxes. He said that idea was crap because some states needed help more than others.

This is the mentality what we have to go up against.

Reb August 31, 2007 at 7:08 pm

Uh,I was simply responding to the general underlying attitude expressed by folks here as to “rebellion ” against the regional opression they face in areas,we have it here too.Every rebellion starts with just a few people speaking out,I am involved very deeply in fighting this tyranny ,especialy where govicorp relates to agriculture and animal id. I am also deeply involved in the fight against Real ID,I meet thousands of people who are not merely “annoyed” with this govt but who are activly fighting to change things back to constitutional govt.

I agree many folks are apathetic and uneducated as to whats up,but many are not,remember a revolution need not be a violent one,preferably it wouldn’t be but if it is I know a lot of hicks as you call them who will be my best friends,they have the guns in them thar pickup racks,most non hicks are afraid to even talk about a gun,

our job is to educate the American people,they have been duped,after all they went to publick skools many have no idea of whats up,if you do then please get out there and teach don’t throw up your hands and say its hopeless cause it ain’t,theres a lot of good people out there,and I do hear a rebel wind blowing and it’s getting louder,jump in and lets stop the beast before it can stop us,thanks!

Anthony August 31, 2007 at 7:36 pm

Banker, I know what you mean. I spoke to a Walloon I know, and his argument against the Flemish seceding was that Belgium needs Flanders to transfer wealth to Wallonia. He got very defensive when I told him that is a form of vampirism.

IMHO August 31, 2007 at 11:53 pm


The seeds of change are beginning to take root right now.

For example, when I was collecting signatures to get Libertarians on the ballot, people asked me what Libertarianism was. I gave them an answer appropriate for a beginner, which was less government intervention and paying lower taxes. I know there are those here who probably think I should have said no government at all, but that would have frightened them. :)

Anyway, many people were interested in hearing what I had to say, and the fact that I still have a lot to learn seemed to help more than hinder; because I didn’t talk over their heads.

This year, a Ron Paul Meetup Group to which I belong is renting a booth at a town festival. It will be an excellent opportunity to get people on board with the basics. The fact that Ron Paul is running on the Republican ticket isn’t an issue, because everyone understands he couldn’t make it into office as a 3rd party candidate.

We’ll be distributing literature. One of the pieces will be a leaflet with the Constitution.

Reb, people are ready to listen; and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Anthony September 1, 2007 at 7:02 am

IMHO, good thinking. Advocating anarcho-capitalism to beginners is a bit too much. First introduce them to libertarianism, then move on to it.

Reb September 1, 2007 at 11:03 am


Thanks! I agree with your approach of starting folks out slowly in the direction of personal liberty and responsibility.

Many people have no past experience with anything but republican/democrat/socialist politics,and like a newborn they can’t be offered steak on day one, we must start out with milk so to speak.

I also respect Dr.Paul he has been very consistent and outspoken advocate for personal liberty over the last couple decades that I have watched him, he and his staff have always been very helpful when I have contacted them on various issues.I hope you do well in your efforts to teach folks about liberty.

IMHO September 1, 2007 at 2:21 pm

Reb and Anthony:

Thanks guys. This will be a very long, slow process, and the idealist in me would like to see it be peaceful.

People underestimate the power of words. Unlike a weapon, a well-spoken word can find that part of the brain where reason resides…that place in the heart where courage waits to be unfurled…that place in the soul where dignity and integrity yearn to once again make us whole.

People have lost themselves in a morass of entitlements. They need to rediscover the concept of self-determination.

nick gray September 2, 2007 at 8:24 pm

Anthony, Scotland wants to secede from the United Kingdom, but only so it can enter Europe as a separate nation! If once-Great Britain is going to accept edicts from Brussels, then Parliament is a puppet.
As for secession, we have the granddaddy of secessionist states here in Australia! Hutt River Province has claimed independence since 1970, and has paid no taxes since, AND they have a website!
Secessionists should form a Pansecessionism party, with a motto like ‘Help All Secede’. We should be a worldwide movement, supplying whatever is necessary to help individuals to own and rule their own lands- that every estate should be a state! This is the ultimate logic of Anarcho-Capitalism, in a form they can relate to.
A fitting symbol would be to have a UN-type globe, with an ‘X’ superimposed. We would be telling the world to get lost- not in trade terms, but in terms of rulership.

Anthony September 2, 2007 at 8:40 pm

Nick, good riddance to Scotland say I. Its politicians are responsible for a large degree of socialistic measures in GB. Now, even if this were not so, I would like to see an independent Scotland. Your idea on a global secessionist party/movement is good BTW.

nick gray September 3, 2007 at 12:03 am

I wonder how many viable microstates exist in today’s world? What is their secret? Does anybody know?

John Delano September 3, 2007 at 1:32 am

“We should kick Cook County out of Illinois while we’re at it.”

One secession movement I found amusing was the south suburbs of Chicago in Cook County talking about seceding from Cook County and forming a new county called…

Lincoln County.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!

A southern secession movement named after Lincoln.

Cyndi September 3, 2007 at 10:18 am

As a resident of Western Massachusetts, I wouldn’t shed a tear to see Boston and it’s Big Dig spenders go it’s separate way. Never mind the fact that out tax money never seems to find it’s way back here for needed initiatives, they even make us support their high insurance rates.

For example, the cost of auto insurance in Boston is excessive, but so is the risk compared to the rural areas. The fix they came up with for that was to spread the costs for their risk across the entire state population by mandating insurance rates. The result of that is that very few companies will even write auto insurance here.
When I lived in New Hampshire, I was within 40 miles of downtown Boston and it cost me $900/year to insure two vehicles. I now live 82 miles from Boston (but within Massachusetts) and the same two cars cost me $1,700 to insure because I am subsidizing the Boston residents so we can all have the same rates.

We don’t even need to be a 51st state–we’ll just make Vermont longer!

….just draw a line straight down the map and let the eastern half of the state go on it’s own. Hell, we’ll even give ‘em Worcester as part of the deal…..

Curt Howland September 3, 2007 at 12:19 pm

I’ve been lucky enough to live in many different states, always in the “other” part of the state.

Western Mass rather than Boston. Upstate NY rather than NYC. Northern (rural) NJ, Northern (way, way north) California, Western Colorado, Eastern Washington (state), Eastern North Carolina.

The sentiment of “their issues are different from ours, why do we pay for their mistakes” is universal.

I wonder if the “ancient” tradition of the City-State wasn’t a far more reasonable way to do things. Then let the City-States buy their food/water/etc from freely owned land inbetween.

Just a thought.

keith January 13, 2008 at 5:40 pm

long live the Republic of Vermont

Jim July 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm

It is interesting that this post mirrors the geographical voting patterns between Republicans, who are generally rural, and Democrats, who are generally clustered around universities and large cities.

If you take away a few large cities in the US, the whole country votes to the right (Whether Republicans actually support smaller government is another matter. That has been their reputation in the past).

As to remarks regarding rebellion, that is what the Tea Party is all about, even if as a loosely self-organizing group they may not ‘get’ all the nuance of theory and philosophy. They don’t have to. They get it enough. They want smaller federal government. They may get it.

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