19 Nov 2012

Question on Financial Repercussions of Secession

All Posts 205 Comments

[Second UPDATE below.]

[UPDATE below.]

Something is puzzling me here. People who are willing to have a war to prevent secession argue that they are trying to prevent secessionists from imposing costs on everybody else.

But what are the actual calculations to yield this result? Let’s take Texas for example. Depending on which estimate you look at, the actual GAAP net worth of the US federal government right now could be negative $75 trillion. Texas in 2011 had 8.2 percent of the US population.

So a back-of-the-envelope calculation (disregarding demographic of Texas vs. other states, relative income, etc.) suggests that if Texas left the Union and forfeited its citizens’ claims on future federal entitlements, the rest of us would be instantly $6.2 trillion wealthier.

Moreover, we would be able to slash military spending with no problem, because now there would be a nice big neutral country on our southern border, armed to the teeth. No outside army is invading the leaner US going through the Republic of Texas.

What am I missing? What could possibly justify bombing the Texans and killing thousands of them (many of whom would be children) in order to “save the Union”, if (by assumption) a majority of them wanted to secede?

UPDATE: Apparently a bunch of you are going to have a heart attack, because you don’t realize that when people refer to the “unfunded liabilities” of Social Security and Medicare, they are taking into account expected payroll tax “contributions.” That’s what the “unfunded” means. Also, to the extent that certain services (I’m using the term loosely of course, just to play the game) provided by the US federal government are proportional to population, that type of thing should be a wash. The only possible issue would be “public goods” that are cheaper per person, the greater the US population. I dealt with the military–what would seem the most obvious one–and think I showed if anything, it will be cheaper per person to provide actual defense (as opposed to maintaining a global empire) if Texas seceded.

However, Blackadder did point out one major omission: I forgot that the outstanding Treasury debt is a fixed obligation of the US government, regardless of population. So let’s adjust for that now:

I’m not relying on Shadowstats or some other controversial estimate. The 2012 Trustees Report says that Social Security and Medicare have $38.6 trillion in negative present discounted value (I think it’s over a 75-year window, but don’t quote me on that). So to repeat, that number already takes into account the expected payments into the systems from future workers and employers, and is saying the benefits due to recipients are so much higher, that even discounting those discrepancies means their present value sums to negative $38.6 trillion. I’m also pretty sure–but don’t quote me here either–that number treats the US federal government as a unified budget, i.e. it ignores the Social Security “trust fund.”

OK the net federal debt held by the public (meaning we’re not worried about the Treasury owing money to another government entity like Social Security) is $11.45 trillion in late 2012. So even if Texas doesn’t pick up a dime of the existing, outstanding Treasury securities held by the public, that’s still a savings of at least ($38.6 trillion – $11.5 trillion = $27.1 trillion) x 8.2% = $2.2 trillion for the rest of us, instantly. This is an extremely conservative figure, taking the official estimates of government actuaries at face value. And like I said, I think any reasonable calculation of ongoing expenditures for the US federal government (not counting entitlements) would be close to a wash. What other “public goods” besides military spending does the USG provide, that would make the rest of the US poorer because Texas seceded?

UPDATE #2: Some people in the comments can’t see what all the fuss is about. If some people in a state want to secede from the Union, all they have to do is ask for permission from the US government, and for all we know, that feds might grant them permission. In that case, no war is needed. So why all the whining?

Well right, I don’t think anybody is interested in the case where the US government allows people in a state to secede. After all, not even General Sherman said to Lincoln, “You know what would be hilarious Mr. President? Tell the Confederate States they have your blessing to leave, then we’ll invade and slaughter them anyway! Ha ha I’m such a jokester.”

No, the tricky issue occurs when a majority of people in a state want to secede, but the federal apparatus tells them “no.” Then the people in that uppity state–perhaps believing in “self-determination” or some such cockamamie notion–get it into their heads to go ahead and leave anyway. Now the tough question: Do the Americans in the other 49 states really want to start killing those people in Texas (say) until they see the error of their ways? I am astounded that so many people would apparently answer “yes” to that question.

205 Responses to “Question on Financial Repercussions of Secession”

  1. konst says:

    That $75 trillion is almost meaningless. You know that there’s going to be martial law before we even get close to dealing with those unfunded liabilities.

    The reason politicians, aka sociopaths, want to prevent a state, e.g. Texas from seceding is that sociopaths by nature hate to lose control of their victims. That’s similar to women in abusive relationships go through and their abusers act in similar ways. Same thing in cults and totalitarian regimes.

    • konst says:

      To clarify,

      Not all people who espouse that view, i.e. threatening violence against people wanting to leave the abusive relationship/state/union, are all sociopaths. Some are victims who are perpetuating the cycle of abuse.

      • Tel says:

        Someone who is crazy may have a perfectly valid explanation as to how they got that way by circumstance — but they are still crazy. If you need to negotiate with this person then you must negotiate on the basis of what they are, not what they might have been.

        • Anonymous says:

          I thought sociopaths are not aware that they are being violent.

    • Andrew Keen says:

      konst,

      (1) Constructive criticism: Your rhetorical style makes it difficult to take you seriously.

      (2) I agree with you that the federal government sees control of the land and residents of Texas as more valuable than its outstanding liabilities to the residents of Texas.

      (3) I think Bob is more interested in the reasoning of those arguing that secession would impose costs on the remaining states rather than the reasoning of the federal government should it decide to reclaim seceded states.

      • konst says:

        In my defense – didn’t get much sleep.

        The part about politicians being sociopaths is not rhetorical.

        • Natermer says:

          No kidding.

          Just look at a profile of a sociopath:
          http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

          Lets see how much a sociopath has in common with a politician:

          > Glibness and Superficial Charm

          Check.

          > Manipulative and Conning

          Check

          > Grandiose Sense of Self

          Check

          > Pathological Lying

          Check

          > Lack of Remorse, Shame or Guilt

          Check

          > Shallow Emotions

          Check

          > Incapacity for Love

          Well, that isn’t something they are likely to admit in public.

          > Need for Stimulation

          ? hmmm… Lets examine this one closer:
          … “Promiscuity and gambling are common. ”

          Ok. Check.

          > Callousness/Lack of Empathy

          Check.

          I could go on. But this is enough.

          Even if politicians are not actually sociopaths it’s obvious that sociopaths would make perfect politicians and their actions and behavior would be indistinguishable from those that hold office now.

          If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, swims around, and lays eggs… then it’s probably a duck.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        I take people more seriously when they aren’t afraid to use blunt language that doesn’t sugar coat things.

    • Z says:

      Using the word ‘sociopath’ is indeed a very loaded term as Keen says below. But I’d like to argue that it’s actually accurate in some sense. Most people in our society would probably not want to participate directly in killing and bombing people, but will gladly encourage others to do so. Many people cheered on the govt at Waco and Ruby Ridge if we remember. Now, it’s not nice to call a majority of people ‘sociopaths’, but from my vantage point that’s exactly what it seems like to me.

      • Silas Barta says:

        I agree. A more neutral term for the government would be “pimp”. He won’t let you leave him for another pimp, he claims an arbitrary portion of your earnings, he gets LIVID when you hide what you’re earning from him, and he tricks most of his victims into thinking he’s a benevolent hero they couldn’t do without.

      • konst says:

        Again I’m not using the term sociopath as a pejorative. What I meant is that most of the upper echelons of government are actually clinical sociopaths. I know lately that it’s become trendy to call politicians and some corporate executives sociopaths but I’m really serious that many politicians and government officials are actually clinical sociopaths. Not sure if I started this trend (probably not) though I noticed the similarities of the symptoms of sociopaths and government officials back in 2007.

        • Ken B says:

          I don’t use christian as a pejorative either.

      • Tel says:

        IMHO it is only meaningful to talk of society as existing in terms of an agreement between members. Same as a corporation exists by way of a charter and stakeholders.

        Part of that agreement is that I agree to behave nicely toward other people, on the understanding that they will respect my rights. It’s an uneasy truce because a lot of people out there plainly don’t respect my rights they way I would like, but anyhow the majority of people are OK, and I’m willing to overlook small difficulties in the interest of making the whole thing work.

        However, if someone very clearly shows hostile intent and is not in any way partaking in their side of the agreement, that pretty much makes it impossible for other people to keep up their side of the bargain too.

        Whether the people at Waco really were openly hostile to the other people around them is an arguable point, but the media made out that was the case, and a lot of people seem to swallow what they see in the media very easily.

  2. Ken B says:

    If you want to argue the principle then consider an example where the state would be making out like a bandit. Has your calculation included taxes from Texas to the feds?

    I think just to be fair — and variety is the spice of life Bob — DK endorses force against insurrection. He has clarified repeatedly that he would support a constitutional process to enable secession if the Texans ask.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Insurrection is not secession.

      Secession is a constitutional process, but DK did say that he supports federal armies occupying Austin and threatening the local populace if they refuse to stay in the Union.

    • Jason B says:

      Ken, maybe you can help me here, I haven’t dived too deep into the arguments, keep that in mind, is the determinant for Texas’ non-violent secession predicated upon whether or not it is blessed by the Constitution?

      • Matt Tanous says:

        Yes. Their argument is basically, screw the morality of the situation – it it isn’t deemed legal (according to their flawed and warped understanding of the Constitution that the Feds don’t follow anyway), then it’s time for war.

      • Ken B says:

        Jason, more or less. The constitution does not allow it now, so ‘seceding’ now is insurrection. Since there is no oppression sufficient to warrant that and since the rule of law matters, force can be justified here. It protects the rights of the minority notice. The force is not to stop secession but unlawful attendant acts.

        If i owe you money you cannot just take it from my wallet if i object, and you can be stopped forcibly even if the money is yours. Law is a pain sometimes. Try life without it.

        The const can be changed, and all bets are off if oppression reaches Stalin like levels.

      • Ken B says:

        Jason to expand still more, consider an example. Texas declares it has seceded. Give it a big vote in favour — 76%. Now the Texans immediately pass an apartheid law, and abolish trial by jury. Extreme I grant you. Now consider some poor black in the 24%. As far as the LAW goes he is a US citizen with rights. And the rest of us outside Texas have both the legal right and responsibility to defend his rights. And so I say that force can be used to restore his rights.

        That is the WHOLE debate here. Can Texas, by a simple majority legally vitiate the constitutional rights of its citizens. I say no. Bob et al say yes.
        Now they will insist they do not, because they would (pinky swear) allow the 24% to secede in turn. Well maybe, but that is not legal now. And there is no lawful way for all of Texas except Ft Worth to secede and Ft Worth remain. And if we try it and disputes arise, who settles them according to which law?

        At some point some dispute resolution mechanism is needed, some applicable law. Laws imply enforcement. So why not, when the law is in fact quite clear about how secession may be lawfully achieved — amend the constitution — accept that’s the way to go? My own feeling is that if 51% of texans wanted to secede they probably would not succeed, but if 76% did, they surely would. But it’s a guess.

        • skylien says:

          I fix that for you:

          “Now the US immediately passes laws like the patriot act, infinite detention without trial, etc They have secret kill lists that a handful of people can put together without trial as well and without any responsibility what so ever.”

          Ken, I guess force would be justified to restore rights of people of whom the rights were violated. And who does that, you personally?

          A tendency to more oppressive governments is much bigger when people like Ken believe that existing governments have the right to unilaterally stop peacefully seceding states from seceding. (A hint: oppressive governments will never let anyone secede peacefully)

          It is always unilaterally. The question is only if the people who want to secede are having it, or the people/government from which they want to secede. There is no “Lets make that decision together”. It is two parties facing each other. One of them has the final word. So what is better, if A is allowed to decide for himself, or if A has to subdue to B ?

          Also on the one hand you argue, secession needs to be stopped if you think that it would increase oppression in that area than before. On the other hand though you argue about legality? So if the constitution said literally that secession is perfectly fine for everyone and cannot be opposed by government or the rest of the federation then you drop this concern?

          Either you think if secession (legal or not legal) always must be stopped when by some arbitrary standard it is assumed to result in more oppression, or you don’t care about this at all and only ask if it is legal in that country or not. So what is it?

          • skylien says:

            drop the *if* before *secession* in my last paragraph..

          • Ken B says:

            As ever you ignore history and facts on the ground. In theory it is possible for the feds to be more oppressive than the states. But for Madisonian reasons it’s unlikely. And since 1789 it’s been untrue. Ask Bob’s neighbor, one James Crow.
            You ignore more than that, but that’s quite enough.

            • skylien says:

              Again I ask, how many times were seceding states more oppressive than the other way around? How about the complete eastblock, all countries seceding from Austria-Hungary etc? I think you ignore history and facts.

              Whatever at least you answered the first part, which means you just assume America is just unique and exceptional, and oppression only happens to other countries.
              Or expressed in short: A needs to subdue to B if B is the USA because Madison said so.

              • skylien says:

                Ok, Austria-Hungary is not good example because most of those countries were integrated into the Warsaw Pact steered by the Soviet Union.

              • Ken B says:

                No. I do assert the constitution , fedralism, separation of powers, and bill of rights have made America freer than nearly everyone else nearly in nearly all of history. It has been an engine slowly but effectively making us freer.

                People secede not just to escape oppression, which can happen, but also because they don’t get their way, and smaller groups often enforce uniformity. It depends on the cicumstances. I repeat that last sentence as MF and Bob deny it. Mf said he recognixed NO limit on the majoritarian poer of his seceded state, but he no longer says that.

              • Ken B says:

                No, no it’ks a great example. It shows that like all questions with moral overtones, circumstances matter, and a priori argumets are dubious. Thanks !

            • Major_Freedom says:

              As ever you ignore history and facts on the ground. In theory it is possible for the feds to be more oppressive than the states. But for Madisonian reasons it’s unlikely.

              As usual YOU are ignoring the history RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.

              It’s not just “in theory” the feds can be more oppressive than states. They ARE, RIGHT NOW, more oppressive than the states.

              Are you blind? The Patriot Act, indefinite detention, secret kill lists, these are all FEDERAL laws. It isn’t just theory, it’s fact.

              • Ken B says:

                I oppose some of these too. You need to change minds either way. Which is a better use of time, persuading people the patriot act is oppressive, or persuading them the constitution is?

                I think we’re in lather rinse repeat mode. Lets skip repeat

              • Major_Freedom says:

                You dodged the main point. The point is that right now, the feds right now are more oppressive than the states right now.

                Does that not imply that the secessionist movement right now is not to INCREASE oppression, but to decrease it?

                Just throwing that crazy loony, non-mainstream view out there.

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Do you honestly, truly, deep down, believe that if Texas secedes, that the Texas government will impose racial segregation against private property owners, including those property owners who want to make exchanges with, welcome, and allow people of other races to come onto their property?

          Like, do you really think the Texas government will arrest white gym owners for allowing blacks to drink from the same fountains as whites?

          Yes, it makes sense that dispute resolutions are available. If you asked me, it is morally legitimate if private dispute resolution organizations arise that use defensive force against any initiations of force that the New Texas government would impose, especially in the area of property rights violations where whites and blacks, who don’t want to segregate, are forced to segregate anyway by law.

          I think the chances of Texas imposing segregation is something like 0.0000001%, about the same chances as segregation being imposed at the federal level. Just think about what would have to happen for segregation to be imposed. What kind of force would be necessary in 2012.

  3. Blackadder says:

    If Texas seceded then the federal government wouldn’t have to pay future Social Security etc. for Texans, but it wouldn’t be able to tax Texans either, so that’s a wash. On the other hand, the U.S. debt/GDP ratio would shoot up as soon as Texas left as the debt would remain the same while the total economy would be significantly smaller.

    Plus, without BBQ and Tex-Mex to fuel the American economy, the U.S. would face a new Great Depression.

    • konst says:

      The rest of the economy can survive without Texas although the drop in supply of Miss USA/Miss America contestants might spark a new recession.

    • skylien says:

      So the only real reason is the debt? First that is a weak anti secession argument. And secondly you can give the Texans their fair share of that debt (Such things would be much easier if possible secession procedures where defined in ADVANCE before a Union is formed).

      • Ken B says:

        Huh? Now everyone has to recap every arguemtn before advancing a new one? BA found problems with Bob’s post and said so. He did not disavow any earlier arguemtns.

        • skylien says:

          You are right, I withdraw the first sentence. My bad.

    • Mike F says:

      I agree with your point that Texans won’t be able to be taxed, but I disagree that it’s a wash. The problem with our entire system is that people are being promised more than can be delivered, meaning they are expecting to get out more than they pay in. So, in other words, if Texans are being promised $1.50 in welfare payments for every dollar they’re putting in, the federal government really is saving 50 cents for each person living in Texas.

      • Mike F says:

        I say saving assuming they secede.

  4. P.S. Huff says:

    Fairness would seem to require that Texas assume some portion of the national debt.

    • Andrew Keen says:

      This is a good point.

      On the other hand, Texas could argue that the federal government is the 51st party to the constitution and that no state owns any of the debt taken on by the federal government. Then, if the other states don’t find value in their partnership with the federal government, they should secede as well and stick the disembodied federal government with the tab. After all, the Texas state government (which I assume would be the body declaring secession) never agreed to the debt in the first place.

      • skylien says:

        No, if the federal government takes up debt while you are a member of it, you are liable, there is no way around it.

        • konst says:

          No you’re not liable at all. Each individual didn’t agree to take on that debt. Unless your argument is that all the citizens of the state are slaves and the government officials are their slave masters/owners?
          Even in that case the slaves are still not liable for the debt.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            What about those Texans who lent to the feds? They benefited from federal taxation that falls on the entire country.

          • Tel says:

            But we have a democracy, so every individual is fully responsible for what the majority decides… because you had your chance to vote.

            • Galt says:

              No. I’m not responsible for what other people decide, especially if I was not one of those who voted for it.

          • skylien says:

            In German a citizen is called “Staatsbürger” or ” der Staatsbürge” which literally translated means something like “State’s Guarantor”. That is what you are a State’s Guarantor. So in German at least there is really no question who is liable.

            And as MF already hints at, I guess most Texans probably were already invested in federal bonds directly or indirectly.

            And especially if peaceful secession is allowed it must be assumed that up to that point you were voluntarily part of the union, and also therefore are liable to the debt accrued during that time.

            • skylien says:

              It is different of course if Ken B says no to your request for peaceful secession because he assumes you would form a more oppressive government than he does (Ken is benevolent you must know).

              Then of course you can make the case that the debt was forced on you, and you are not liable for it. The downside would be though you must fight a war to be able to secede.

              However I doubt that the “costs” of fighting a war can be lower than any federal debt you would need to take with you.

              • Ken B says:

                This is hbardly unprecedented skylien. You’ve heard of the American civil war? There are examples throughout history. I forget the town but in the 30 years war it seceded in Germany to become a theocratic state, and the result was mass slaughter.
                And that was not an isolated incident either. There is no general rule that people secede to be less oppressive.
                Easy to see George Wallace’s Alabama seceding to enshrine segregation. Rhodesia was more oppressive independent than as a colony.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Ken B:

                Even in democratic ideology, if the majority of a state wants to secede, it is not justified to use force to prevent it out of a fear that the state will turn into an Afghanistan.

              • Ken B says:

                MF: I said it needs to follow the laws and rules. That’s not the same as saying stop it. If Bob wants top leave my house he may, after he puts down my BluRay player and if he uses the door. He may not jump through my window because it’s faster.

                Plus you are again ignoring all the structural arguments about protecting the rights (andf lives) of the minority. Protectiong rights can mean anti-majoritarianism.

              • skylien says:

                American civil war:
                How do you know that the south would have instituted a more oppressive state than it was in? Even if how do you know that the civil war didn’t cause more pain, and costs? (Slavery mostly ended without the need of a civil war you know).

                I don’t know which town or circumstances you speak of, but Germany didn’t exist at this point in time. Germany only exists since 1871.

                BTW: What did happen more often? A peaceful seceding state becomes more oppressive than the state it was formerly in, or the other way around (Keeping them with force in a union leading to years of terror and oppression)?

                And is there a general rule that there is always or even mostly a benevolent Ken B who takes the oversight if a party is allowed to secede? You make the fallacy of composition.

                My argument is that if you allow people to self-determine than there is a strong tendency to less oppressive unions. That is because secession works as a check on accumulation of power.

                You are making the perfect case for conquering in your view too oppressive countries and make them your colonies or outright annex them. It would even be a better case for this, since you just can’t know in advance what will happen with a seceding state, but you actually do know if a different country is oppressive. So go on why not send troops to invade North Korea, Belaurus or Iran and annex them.

              • Ken B says:

                “I don’t know which town or circumstances you speak of, but Germany didn’t exist at this point in time. Germany only exists since 1871.”

                I give up on you skylien. I did mention the 30 years war. There was no German state but there were a myriad small ones; the land was still there. As was Muenster.

              • skylien says:

                Ken,

                It is different thing to follow a well-defined procedure of how to secede, with being not able to make that decision yourself. For the decision you do not need a procedure. To execute that decision yes you do. And that better be defined when the union was formed. I am sure nobody has a problem of doing this stuff orderly.

              • Ken B says:

                They do skylien. I asked questions about this specifically. MF explicitly answered. It’s implicit in Bob’s postings and refusal to address my questions. DK would use force to make sure they followed the process, not to stop them no matter what. He clarified that repeatedly, I stated that as my position from the get-go and repeatedly since, but Bob bangs on oblivious.

              • skylien says:

                “I give up on you skylien. I did mention the 30 years war. There was no German state but there were a myriad small ones; the land was still there. As was Muenster.”

                You mention some case in history which you only know was during the 30 years war with some incorrect information, and expect me to accept that as proof when I can’t find it? And when I say I don’t know that case, and correct your mistake you answer “I give up on you skylien”?

                I didn’t say that your case was wrong. I just pointed out it couldn’t secede from Germany..

              • Ken B says:

                It looked to me like a pedantic way to dismiss the claim and accuse me of lying. I apologize if that was a misreading of your intent.
                I quite clearly indicated my memory was flaky on the issue; Germany is a commonly used geopgraphical designation. And Muenster is and was in it even in 1535.

              • skylien says:

                “It looked to me like a pedantic way to dismiss the claim and accuse me of lying. I apologize if that was a misreading of your intent.”

                No worries, I understand. It’s ok.

                “I quite clearly indicated my memory was flaky on the issue; Germany is a commonly used geopgraphical designation. And Muenster is and was in it even in 1535.”

                I don’t know, I tried googling it but couldn’t find it. Münster it seems was the town in which the final peace treaty was made after this war.

              • skylien says:

                Ken, yes they had some crazy ideas, but they for sure weren’t alone in their position with crazy ideas at that time. In what way were they more oppressive than other average governments at that time and place?

                When I read this (and I also read the much more extensive German version as well) then the biggest pain, and cost put on the backs of the people were the besieging by Franz von Waldeck. So in what way does this show that secession is bad, or more bad then no secession?

      • K.P. says:

        Debt solution: All states seced then re-unionize under a new federal government.

    • Blackadder says:

      Fairness would seem to require that Texas assume some portion of the national debt.

      When the South tried this last time, I don’t believe they proposed to assume their share of the national debt.

      • P.S. Huff says:

        It might have been a subject for negotiation, had the 1861 peace commission been received. (I’m not sure what their instructions were.) In any case, I don’t think you want to argue that the Old Confederacy was the perfect embodiment of fairness.

        • P.S. Huff says:

          That link was supposed to lead to this page.

        • Blackadder says:

          I don’t think you want to argue that the Old Confederacy was the perfect embodiment of fairness.

          You are right about that.

        • Ken B says:

          BZZT. The demand being debated here is for secession WITHOUT negotiation.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Secession, gotcha.

      • Tel says:

        Hey there’s an idea, every state can succeed one at a time and shift it all to a new union, leaving the debt behind.

        Brazil should have thought of that… except they would have to change their name to something else.

      • Ken B says:

        They took responsibility for the costs of shackles instead.

  5. Max says:

    What justifies Texans bombing non-Texans, many of them children? (I mean, if the U.S. is bombing Texas, it’s reasonable to assume that there’s a real two sided war on and not some Ghandian non-violent resistance….)

    • Z says:

      Or Texas could just repel attacks and not step foot on any Non-Texan soil. Whether they would actually do that is questionable, but it’s possible.

    • Tel says:

      Ghandian non-violent Texans.

      What do you think of Western civilization?

  6. konst says:

    “HOT Ron Paul: You’re Not Free If You Can’t Secede From An Oppressive Government”
    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2012/11/hot-ron-paul-youre-not-free-if-you-cant.html

    • Major_Freedom says:

      When they say “impose costs on everyone else”, what they really mean is they will experience a removal of a portion of the host that the parasites desire to feed off of. A removal of a host “feels” to the parasite as having a “burden”, a “cost”, “imposed” on them.

      Yes, “parasite” and “host” are rather superlatives, but they capture the essence of what I think is meant by “impose costs on others.”

      One of the worst things about statism is the stealth income effect that is tied up with forced redistribution. Many people seem to be earning money through legitimate production, but a substantial portion of the revenues they earn are a function of redistribution, and so any reduction of forced redistribution would appear as heavy costs being imposed on people, when it is really the host being more free to decide what to do with their earnings.

      • Tel says:

        The same people call it a “subsidy” when they don’t take quite as much as they might have.

    • anon says:

      I think Ron Paul is somewhat wrong to compare succession today with the American Revolution.

      Don’t we justify the revolution on grounds of unequal treatment of the American colonies under British rule. What grounds does Texas have of unequal treatment today?

      • Matt Tanous says:

        “What grounds does Texas have of unequal treatment today?”

        NDAA, Patriot Act, TSA, regulation of needed industry, federal use of funds to blackmail states, and on and on.

        Honestly, if you sat down to do it, writing a formal list of grievances like the original Declaration would be rather simple.

        • anon says:

          But don’t those grievances apply to all states not to any one state? Doesn’t Texas have a vote? And if Texas left the union couldn’t you just write the same declaration again by county, city, or even by person? (I understand this may be what some of the people on this site may want, but still the comparison is not quite right.)

          • integral says:

            Actually, that’s quite similar to the situation of the US vs Britain. After all, they weren’t the only colonies in the empire, so any other colony could also have written that same declaration, which doesn’t make the secession of ’76 any less legitimate.

            • anon says:

              Guys, Texas isn’t like India or Palestine was to the empire. It’s like Scotland or Wales are today to the United Kingdom.

              (I’m thinking you could make a comparison to the American Revolution based on difference in culture to or proximity from (if not distance, natural geography) the host country, although you still have a problem of Texas having a vote.)

              (A good argument for secession may be population size. As population has increased an individuals share of representation lessens therefore it might make sense (to some people, in theory) to break up a large and populous country into smaller countries.)

          • Matt Tanous says:

            As integral points out, the Declaration of Independence had grievances that also applied to the Canadian colonies (as well as the other British colonies), and in fact the colonies that actually rebelled attempted to gain the support of the Canadian colonies as well.

            And yes, I would support the secession again by county, city, and even by person, for all the same reasons.

            • Ken B says:

              Yes, and failed. And then the loyalists moved to Upper Canada. This is why the earlier blatherings on these threads about Upper Canada (later Canada, a precusror to the 1867 one, then the current one) were yearning to burst free of the British or the crown but held under the boot. Just totally wrong. Since Responsible Government Canada has never been long denied greater independence when it sought it. Negotiations always resulted in changes.
              An interesting factoid. Canada declared war in 1939 one week after England. This was deliberate. After the first war all the colonies demanded control over foreign affaris and war. The week wait was to make a point. And there was no civil war over it.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                Canada rebelled in 1837-38. That was how it got its “responsible government” in the British Empire. The fact that the Empire caved to hold on to whatever power it could is irrelevant. The US government does not cave to state demands (quite the other way around!) and Canada required around 150 years to obtain full independence with its gradualist approach. None of that would have been possible without the previous American Revolution demonstrating the military weakness of the British Empire.

              • Ken B says:

                No Matt, that’s just wrong about responsible government. The 1837 rebellion was OPPOSED by the parliaments of Upper Canada and Lower Canada, not just the British administration, and nearly all its people too. Responsible governemtn was a long term development in Canada.

                You are quite right though about American independence taking a long time absent the revolution. As I recall it involved American seceders bombing and killing and lynching. I thought you guys were arguing that sort of thing was never OK.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                “The 1837 rebellion was OPPOSED by the parliaments of Upper Canada and Lower Canada”

                So? The colonial governments of many of the colonies in the American Revolution opposed the uprising. What was left of them, anyway, after the British government was through exerting its control.

                “nearly all its people too.”

                It is estimated that only about a third of American colonists supported our own revolution. Does that make it illegitimate?

                “You are quite right though about American independence taking a long time absent the revolution.”

                What? I’m not quite sure what you are saying. My point was that the concessions the British made to their colonies were made precisely because they realized they were vulnerable, having already lost one war of secession. I don’t see what this has to do with the individual acts of some of the American revolutionaries.

  7. Z says:

    Bob, you need to update your URL for Glenn Greenwald in the sidebar. He is now at Guardian, not at Salon.

  8. Bob Roddis says:

    Since Texas is a “state” and its soldiers would have official “state” uniforms (which statists always say gives its soldiers the right to slaughter others), why wouldn’t it be OK for Texas to firebomb Detroit if the USA firebombs Austin?

  9. joeftansey says:

    “Moreover, we would be able to slash military spending with no problem, because now there would be a nice big neutral country on our southern border, armed to the teeth.”

    I lol’d

    “So a back-of-the-envelope calculation (disregarding demographic of Texas vs. other states, relative income, etc.) suggests that if Texas left the Union and forfeited its citizens’ claims on future federal entitlements, the rest of us would be instantly $6.2 trillion wealthier.”

    Well, I think what these people are afraid of is that Texas will just leave and not assume its share of the debt and leave us with fewer people to pay the full $75 trillion. It depends on how they leave.

    “What am I missing? What could possibly justify bombing the Texans and killing thousands of them (many of whom would be children) in order to “save the Union”, if (by assumption) a majority of them wanted to secede?”

    Because if it worked and made everyone’s lives better, soon you’d have other states seceding from the union and then no more union…

    Sad day :(

    • Bob Murphy says:

      RPM wrote: “What am I missing? What could possibly justify bombing the Texans and killing thousands of them (many of whom would be children) in order to “save the Union”, if (by assumption) a majority of them wanted to secede?”

      joeftansey wrote:

      “Because if it worked and made everyone’s lives better, soon you’d have other states seceding from the union and then no more union…”

      Is that a joke?

      • Major_Freedom says:

        I am taking it as a joke.

      • joeftansey says:

        I’m joking that it would be a bad thing. I’m serious about the “dangers” of setting a positive precedent for secession.

  10. anon says:

    Bob, I don’t understand this at all. By forfeiting Texas’s claims on “entitlements” aren’t we also forfeiting Texas’s taxes to pay for the entitlements? Or are you saying you don’t consider social security and medicare to be pay as you go systems?

    I don’t understand the military spending either. Is Texas already armed to the teeth? I didn’t know that if it’s true. Texas would take over the Federal military bases (would they have to buy or rent them? Where are they getting their arms?), but might they not try to free ride off of most of America’s defenses? (It doesn’t seem as if the major military threats are “invasions” anyway does it? I mean is Texas going to keep Iran in check or start its own cyber security complex?)

    By the way, have you yet defined what you consider a just secession? Is a 51% vote good enough. Does it need to be a popular referendum or is 51% of the legislature good enough? Can individual counties and cities stay in the U.S. or is it an all or nothing thing?

    • Matt Tanous says:

      “might they not try to free ride off of most of America’s defenses?”

      Why? No one would threaten Texas any longer, as the world is far too focused on the problems the US creates around the world.

      “I mean is Texas going to keep Iran in check”

      By this definition, the whole Western World is “free riding” on the US. Worse, the whole “problem” of Iran was caused by the US, and is further exaggerated by the US for political points.

      • anon says:

        Matt, if Texas has no need for defense doesn’t that run counter to Murphy’s argument that Texas’s secession would save the US money?

        I’m trying not to argue for or against current or past defense policy, but asking why Texas leaving the US would save the US money? It’s possible, but I don’t see why it’s necessarily so.

        Perhaps their leaving will cause America to rethink it’s priorities, but I imagine that will be because they have less money not more.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          “Perhaps their leaving will cause America to rethink it’s priorities, but I imagine that will be because they have less money not more”

          If you lost a part of your wage of $10K, but also no longer had to pay an amount of $20K every year, would you say you lost or gained money?

          • anon says:

            Matt, I don’t understand. Is the US spending a lot of money on Texas’s defense now? Because of Mexico?

            How are you guys figuring the US would need less defense because of Texas? Murphy said because Texas would be “armed to the teeth,” but you said they wouldn’t even need defense.

            In the event of a Texas secession and subsequent arming to the teeth I imagine this might be cause for concern for the US not a relief of some sort.

            Why wouldn’t concern for the Mexican border shift to concern for the Texas border? (Assuming this is what you guys are assuming.)

  11. Cody S says:

    Anon,

    The suggestion that a free republic of Texas would “…try to free ride off of most of America’s defenses…” is utterly ignorant of the reality of Texas.

    You would be on better predictive footing to suggest the reverse. It is more likely.

  12. Matt Tanous says:

    “However, Blackadder did point out one major omission: I forgot that the outstanding Treasury debt is a fixed obligation of the US government, regardless of population. So let’s adjust for that now:”

    Could not the USG then nullify all bonds held by those that decided to become citizens of the new Texas government? That would alleviate some of the debt, at least, even if it is a bit petty and everything.

    • Blackadder says:

      Could not the USG then nullify all bonds held by those that decided to become citizens of the new Texas government?

      I would anticipate some rather nasty unintended consequences from this plan.

      • Ken B says:

        Since when does the Austrian contingent argue that borrowers can just default?

        • Major_Freedom says:

          Since the borrowers were actors.

          • Ken B says:

            You endorse this Murphy?

            • Major_Freedom says:

              Austrian economics is wertfrei.

              If Murphy “endorses” anything in the normative sense, it won’t be as an Austrian.

              My statement stands as it is independent of who else happens to “endorse” it.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              You’re reading too much into my comment, Ken B. I was’t “endorsing” debt default. I was answering your question.

              • Ken B says:

                I asked if Murphy endorsed your argument. I said nothing about what you endorse.

                So I repeat: Bob, do you endorse that borrowers can default if they choose to be ‘actors’. You may choose your own sense of ‘actor’.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                “Bob, do you endorse that borrowers can default if they choose to be ‘actors’.”

                One does not choose to be an actor. Everyone is an actor.

                And every borrower *can* default. This is distinct from whether they *should* or whether it is justified. You really are reading *way* too far into this.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Ken B:

                You’re asking Bob to act in such a way that he answers your question about whether or not he endorses the argument that borrowers can, as actors, default.

                Too funny.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          I’m not arguing that it is the sensible or just thing – only that it is possible. Like MF pointed out, the borrowers are actors, and default is a possible action.

  13. Ken B says:

    For those who care, William Lyon Mackenzie was the leader of the 1837 rebellion. Here is the Canadian Encyclopedia article. http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/william-lyon-mackenzie
    And here is the article on Papineau http://www.thecanadianencyclopedia.com/articles/louisjoseph-papineau The rebellion was bigger in French Lower Canada but MacKenzie is the more famous.
    Arguably the rebellions did influence the brits to unite the colonies, but that did not constitute agreeing to any of the rebel demands.

    The main thread of canadian history is increasing independence through negotiation and peaceful demands. Secession from the empire/commonwealth or crown has NEVER been a popular thing in Canada.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      “Secession from the empire/commonwealth or crown has NEVER been a popular thing in Canada.”

      There is a series of motions for secession from Canada itself, much less the crown. It is far more likely that Quebec, for instance, will secede from Canada than for Texas to secede from the US. They voted “No” on the issue in 1995 by just over 1% of the vote (50.6% to 49.4%).

      I don’t think your understanding of Canada is anywhere close to correct.

      • Ken B says:

        The issue under discussion was secession from England by Canada as a whole. Of course there is a significant Quebec separatist movement. I in fact have a lot of sympathy for it. The concensus here, bolstered by an explicit SC ruling, is that secession is not possible unilaterally but that it would be wrong to fail to negotiate in good faith if Quebec (or anyone else) actually voted to secede.

        In Canada it’s still unlikely we’ll even vote to drop the monarchy.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          “The concensus here, bolstered by an explicit SC ruling, is that secession is not possible unilaterally”

          Well, there you go. If the Supreme Court of the state that is being seceded from, or the “consensus”, is that it is not legitimate or legal, it clearly cannot be. Because we all know that Supreme Courts never make shit up to maintain power, and the consensus is always right.

  14. Ken B says:

    “Do the Americans in the other 49 states really want to start killing those people in Texas (say) until they see the error of their ways? I am astounded that so many people would apparently answer “yes” to that question.”

    So who here argued that? Several of us have argued that the state needs to negotiate and follow the rules. The rules pretty clearly seem to demand a change in the constitution. This is hardly unique. If a majority want to introduce slavery, allow the foreign born to be president, or change the defintion of treason, or make Chritianity the established religion they have to change the constitution. That’s not a bug, an annoying hindrance. It’s a feature: a protection for rights.

    There is always a process to follow. You want to cut gov’t spending? You need to pass laws, You want to legalize pot? You need to pass laws. That might require a majority, or more, or less. But it requires following a process. Process is what protects people’s rights. The exclusionary rule matters and all the arguments here would trash it. The contempt many here show for process, responsibilities, and the constitution is also a contempt for other peoples’ rights.

    Under Bob’s and MF’s scheme a simple majority can pass a secession, establish christianity, and enslave the 49% who dissent. All in the blink of an eye. That means the 49% wouldn’t actually have the rights in the bill of rights at all.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      So who here argued that?

      Oh hey, you must have just wandered into the conversation.

      Several of us have argued that the state needs to negotiate and follow the rules

      Secession IS following the rules. No negotiaton is necessary.

      The rules pretty clearly seem to demand a change in the constitution.

      Incorrect. No rule change is necessary because the right of secession is retained by the states as there is no expressed authority in the constitution that grants the feds the power to stop it.

      If a majority want to introduce slavery, allow the foreign born to be president, or change the defintion of treason, or make Chritianity the established religion they have to change the constitution. That’s not a bug, an annoying hindrance. It’s a feature: a protection for rights.

      Secession is leaving the Union, not those things you listed.

      There is always a process to follow. You want to cut gov’t spending? You need to pass laws, You want to legalize pot? You need to pass laws. That might require a majority, or more, or less. But it requires following a process. Process is what protects people’s rights. The exclusionary rule matters and all the arguments here would trash it. The contempt many here show for process, responsibilities, and the constitution is also a contempt for other peoples’ rights.

      You are showing contempt for both process (unilateral secession is constitutionally legal), AND people’s rights (those whose rights would be less violated under a seceded state than under the federal state).

      Under Bob’s and MF’s scheme a simple majority can pass a secession, establish christianity, and enslave the 49% who dissent. All in the blink of an eye. That means the 49% wouldn’t actually have the rights in the bill of rights at all.

      Again, like I said before, that is a straw man. What you describing is mob rule under democracy. Individual states have constitutions no less than the feds. If you say that under state constitutions the state can “simply eatablish religion and enslave 49% of the population”, then that problem is even more prevalent under federal law, because the people have less power over federal states than they do individual state states. That is precisely why there is talk of secession today. Hint: It is not because Alabama wants to bring back slavery. It is because of the fascistic feds grossly violating the rule of law.

      Under your scheme, if the majority wants to amend the federal constitution, and impose Christianity and enslavement of 49% of the people, it would be perfectly 100% justified. What ‘s that? You would be against such a democratic movement? Now you understand my actual position.

      Secession is not enslavement, nor theocracy, nor segregation, nor anything other than…secession.

      I bet if you were alive during 1770s, you would have helped the Brits shoot at women and children of the settler families who wanted to “break the law” and declare their independence from the UK.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      “So who here argued that? Several of us have argued that the state needs to negotiate and follow the rules.”

      And if they don’t, the feds are supposed to start killing people who seceded until they see the error of their ways.

      “That’s not a bug, an annoying hindrance. It’s a feature: a protection for rights. ”

      This is ridiculous. No one would be arguing for a change in the Constitution if it was for the repeal of slavery that the North seceded for, instead of the other way around. They would recognize this as something the Constitution has no say in.

      “Under Bob’s and MF’s scheme a simple majority can pass a secession, establish christianity, and enslave the 49% who dissent.”

      No, the simple majority can pass a secession, attempt to establish Christianity, and then deal with yet more secession from their new country. If I want to declare my house as seceding from the United States, and becoming sovereign territory, I have that right – and damn your “process”.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Good point. The buck does not stop with the majority of the individual states either, no less than the buck does not stop with national majorities.

        When states are oppressive, it is justified to leave their authority.

        • Ken B says:

          Ahem, skylien? See what I mean?

          “If I want to declare my house as seceding from the United States, and becoming sovereign territory, I have that right – and damn your “process</b?”.

          • Z says:

            Yes, that’s exactly what we’re saying.
            Because your ‘process’ is not to file the appropriate paperwork and then it will inevitably be approved.
            Your process is to ask everyone else in the US whether Texas should be allowed to leave. If New York and California and all those other states say, No, you cannot leave, then Texas cannot secede.
            The whole point of secession is a protection of minority rights, but your ‘process’ is to ask the majority which is apparently oppressing the minority whether the minority should be allowed to leave.

            • Ken B says:

              So let”s review. I want to be clear I have you right Z.
              You demand the right to unilaterally and unconditionally secede at any level, in any configuration, in any numbers or any grouping, by majority wish, however expressed, instantly, without any intereference for any reason, and with unrestricted rights to establish and enforce new laws, instantly.
              Is that correct?

              • Z says:

                I believe that is mostly correct. Except I would replace ‘majority wish’ with ‘unanimous wish’. And I’m not sure exactly what you mean when you say ‘without any interference for any reason.’ As long as I’m not violating the ‘non aggression principle’, I suppose I would agree with that.

              • Ken B says:

                Because MF specified no intereference for any reason.
                You are adding a caveat about the non-aggression principle. If you violate it, can we interfere? If not what dfoes your proviso mean in practical terms?
                Most importantly you are rejecting majority vote. So if one Texan demurs the state may not secede?

              • Matt Tanous says:

                “So if one Texan demurs the state may not secede?”

                States need not be contiguous. Nor are you acknowledging the claim that one can secede from the seceding state – pull a “West Virginia” as it were.

              • Ken B says:

                I’m asking not arguing. You could learn from that Matt, frankly.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Ken B:

                Because MF specified no intereference for any reason.

                No, I said no interference FOR SECESSION ONLY.

                You keep straw manning me. Why?

                You are adding a caveat about the non-aggression principle. If you violate it, can we interfere?

                LOL at Ken thinking he’s the federal government.

              • Ken B says:

                That’s false MF. I asked here
                http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2012/11/question-on-financial-repercussions-of-secession.html#comment-50396 several questions

                3. Can the rest of us place restrictions on
                a) timing
                b) treatment of dissenters
                c) any laws the new Texas may pass
                d) the treatment of any person or property by Texas before during or after secession

                You answered
                3. No.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Bad link, Ken B.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                And why are you saying “the rest of us”, when I always argued the federal government has no right to stop secession?

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Oh, that. That “no” was procedurally, because procedure was the context.

                I would also argue that procedurally, the state of California cannot impose any laws on other states, even if other states impose slavery.

                But morally, which is my actual foundation, I would say it is ALWAYS justified to use defensive force to stop initiations of force. So when you generalized from my procedural argument, to what I personally would condone in general, you straw manned me.

                If the government of the new Texas imposed any coercive law, then I would say it would be justified to use force against the violators.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                But secession is separate from all that, and constitutionally speaking, the feds have no right to stop secession.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                In other words, the constitution does not grant the feds the authority to impose laws on non-American countries (e.g. new Texas).

                New laws in New Texas cannot come to pass unless New Texas is a country. But since New Texas is a new country, the feds don’t have any constitutional authority over that territory.

                Do you believe the feds have a constitutional authority to invade foreign territories that pass bad laws?

              • Ken B says:

                “oh, that.”

                Yes, that which shows that rather than straw-manning I I represented your stated position with perfect accuracy, that that.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Except you didn’t.

                You accused me of saying “Because MF specified no intereference for any reason.

                But I don’t think that. I hold that there are reasons to use force…to stop initiations of force.

                I said “no” in that other thread in the context of procedure only.

                You can’t generalize from procedure to “for any reason” and claim to not have straw manned me.

          • skylien says:

            “Ahem, skylien? See what I mean?”

            Wait Ken, I said I am sure they don’t have a problem with doing the stuff orderly. That is a matter of preferences.

            To use your picture of Bob jumping out of the window. He doesn’t do that for no reason. I am sure he would like to use the door actually, and maybe have a sit down with you to talk about who is getting the TV and the stereo.

            Yet at the moment you draw the gun to make clear that he can’t leave without your permission (which is part of your process) he is not very comfortable anymore, and rather takes the fast route through the window and just hopes that you won’t hunt him down.

            On the other hand if you make clear that you are not mad at him for leaving, and that this is his sole decision, but you would be mad for leaving you alone with liabilities you have acquired together, then I am sure the incentives are right to clarify that during a nice cup of tea. Bob wants to have a nice neighborhood. Yet if you threaten him with war already for the mere suggestion of leaving, then your relationship is already destroyed anyway.. Bob then may either jump out of the window directly or more realistically will try to play the game first of pretending he agrees with it and only negotiates to try to find any way to leave you before choosing the route of jumping out of the window. Only one thing is sure, his goal is leaving! And I can’t blame him.

            I hope that reconciles what I said with what Bob and MF are saying.

            • Ken B says:

              Nope. Look at Tanous’s comment about process. You seem more reasonable. This is a pointless debate at this time skylien. I claim fwiw complete vindication. I predicted the MF side would argue in effect that only malum in se matters not malum prohibitum. That is exactly what they argued. I think that is wrong, and that no large society can or will function without rules and laws; even if arbitrary they need some respect. MF and crew argue the opposite.

              It’s thankgiving, and I for one and thankful that the secession side has Matt Tanous and Major-Freedom to make its arguments for it!

    • Jason B says:

      Stop looking at things from the State’s perspective, Ken B. I think most people agree that if a minority of Texans secede and it forces a majority with them then that is a rights violation. But that isn’t what’s being argued here, not even close. It is by you, and perhaps Daniel, but it isn’t what is driving people to think yall are lunatics.

      What’s being argued is that since the State didn’t say, “yeah boys, go right ahead and do your own thing”, then therefore those boys should be invaded and potentially murdered, that the invasion and subsequent murder is incredibly immoral and that people who think its a legitimate use of force are insane.

      One reason I think it would be insane to use that force on secessioners is because the State has no bearing on the reality of the secession. If we knew for a fact that tomorrow morning Texas would not be part of the United States, then it wouldn’t matter a damn bit whether or not they got Congressional approval. It would to you, and to the State, but not secessioners. The ENTIRE point of secession is to make it about secessioners, not about State approval of secession.

      • Ken B says:

        This isn’t very coherent Jason. The ‘State’ is not just the federal government; states are State too. Your comment assumes otherwise.

        • Jason B says:

          “Your comment assumes otherwise”

          It does not, but even if it did the point still holds.

        • Z says:

          Yes, the states are ‘The State’ too, but if I’m correct, Murphy allows secession down to virtually the individual level. Someone could secede from Texas and rejoin the Union or form ‘New Texas’ just the same.

          • Ken B says:

            Well that’s my point too. Murphy’s analogy to an individual leaving the US as a justification for secession doesn’t work. That’s an analogy to mass emigration — Pilgrims leaving England — not secession. It would be a good analogy if like Matt he claimed the right to secede his property and stay on it. I assume he does but he hasn’t said so explicitly here.

            • Matt Tanous says:

              “Murphy’s analogy to an individual leaving the US as a justification for secession doesn’t work. ”

              Only if you accept that the State owns my house. If it does not, I can declare my house to no longer be under its jurisdiction, and have thus left the US. The same goes for Texas, or any other part of a nation, if it secedes.

              • Ken B says:

                No, I need only accept that (here it is Bob, the ‘w’ word!!) the writ runs to your house. Murder and rape are crimes in your house too.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                Murder and rape are crimes in my house, yes. They are not, and never were, crimes merely because the government says so. Nor would they cease to be crimes if the government stops declaring them so.

                The writ does not run, as you put it, to my house.

                Malum prohibitum is a concept supported only by moral degenerates and fools.

              • Matt Tanous says:

                Further, we are dealing with secession here – presumably another government being set up that has the same authority (i.e. none at all, in my view) to determine what is and is not a crime. Your argument would imply that nothing short of a World State would do, as there are areas that have different laws now.

  15. President Awesome says:

    no hippies would go to war to keep texas in the US. i bet NY and cali would be happy if texas and the south left. pelosi and the rest would be able to have their welfare/gangster state without any impediment. and texas would have its military state.

  16. Dan says:

    Ken B., don’t you find it a little odd to ask a bunch of anarcho-capitalists what procedures people should follow in order to secede from the State?

    Still, the relevant question is if a state like Texas seceded, without permission from the US government, is it justifiable to use deadly force on these people? If so, why? You can try to change this to a discussion of what is the proper way to secede, but that is a totally different topic than the one presented by Dr. Murphy in these posts.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Secession needs to be spoiled with slavery and other extreme evils because Ken is slowly realizing that the constitution does not grant the feds the authority to stop them.

      • Matt Tanous says:

        I suppose that now would not be a good time to point out that the Constitution has no authority, anyway – that it cannot bind any but the individuals that signed the piece of paper it was on….

        What am I saying!? Malum prohibitum! It’s bad because I say so, so you can’t do it! Procedure, procedure, procedure. We get to decide if you get to leave. Rah, rah, rah, government is awesome! You dirty anarchists just want chaos to run rampant. Who will build the roads!? =P

    • Ken B says:

      No it’s not Dan. Look over the claims of Tannous, MF et al. They deny that the rest of us can require a proper way to secede, or that one is necessary. I think that’s inherent in Bob’s argument too.

      Just as a matter of fact, *no-one* here has advocated bombing people for seceding or wanting to secede. DK has adsvocated using force to prevent *insurrection*, which some unilateral attempts to secede would involve. But that’s not the same as bombing is it? And it’s not outrageous. I claim Bob owes me 5K for soemthing. Say I’m right. Can I just (in Bob’s favorite locomotie term) waltz in to his house and take it? Reach into his pocket? No, I need to go to court and Bob can use force against me, like calling the cops, if I ignore that. So Bob in that scenario is advocating bombing to *exactly* the same extent DK is.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Look over the claims of Tannous, MF et al. They deny that the rest of us can require a proper way to secede, or that one is necessary.

        Another straw man. You”re on a roll. I don’t deny that there is a proper procedure for secession. The proper procedure is for the people of a state to want to secede, and then to declare their secession to the feds, after which they settle on a name and/or new government, etc.

        Just as a matter of fact, *no-one* here has advocated bombing people for seceding or wanting to secede. DK has adsvocated using force to prevent *insurrection*, which some unilateral attempts to secede would involve.

        Unilateral secession is a redundancy. DK did in fact advocate for the use of force…against secessionists. You are trying to turn this into war against insurrectionists, as if the mere name change alters the actual actions. DK said he would support a war (invasion) of those states that wanted to secede. That’s what led to Bob writing about it on his blog. He was flabbergasted that DK would support a war against those states that wanted to secede.

        But that’s not the same as bombing is it?

        You’re right! It’s totally different to kill people with machine guns than with bombs.

        And it’s not outrageous.

        Of course it is outrageous, to those of us who have moral sensibilities and do not want women and children to be killed simply for wanting out of a contract that they never even agreed to signing in the first place because they weren’t even born yet.

        I claim Bob owes me 5K for soemthing. Say I’m right. Can I just (in Bob’s favorite locomotie term) waltz in to his house and take it? Reach into his pocket? No, I need to go to court and Bob can use force against me, like calling the cops, if I ignore that. So Bob in that scenario is advocating bombing to *exactly* the same extent DK is.

        Terrible analogy. Secessionists are not wanting to invade the rest of the country. THAT would be insurrection. No, secession is the act of leaving the Union. You are comparing apples and oranges. You are again insinuating that secession is something akin to violent crimes like slavery or theft. This whole time you have done nothing but seek to despoil the constitutionally authorized act of secession by introducing all sorts of evils into that act in order to rhetorically paint it as somehow equivalent to those acts.

        If you want to use an apt analogy, then your analogy has to involve a contract imposed on someone before they were born, and that this someone wants out of the contract, and that they have a right, both legal and moral (the latter which you are ignoring for obvious reasons, because you know it’s a moral act), to determine their own contracting thereafter. For example, a good analogy would be a woman who was contracted into a marriage before she was even born. Then, after a life that she doesn’t prefer, and realizing that she can leave the marriage if she wants, she decide to “secede” from the marriage.

        According to you, the husband, or his goon friends, have a legal right to use force to keep her in the marriage. Her act would be an act of “insurrection.” Then you would complain that others are accusing you of advocating for abuse, because you’re not advocating for abuse, you just want to shoot at her, that’s all. You would never advocate for bombing her! That would be evil.

        • Ken B says:

          Just so you know MF, I’ve stopped reading you on this issue. You posted and argued for pure unrestrained majoritarianism. Maybe that’s not what you really think but it’s what you ACTUALLY SAID. I’m not going to try to disentagle the various threads of what you said vs what you really think now, and whether you were just rash or inattentive or changed your mind here, it’s just too much work.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            Just so you know MF, I’ve stopped reading you on this issue.

            Yes, the truth hurts.

            You posted and argued for pure unrestrained majoritarianism.

            No, I posted and argued for pure constitutional legality of secession.

            Maybe that’s not what you really think but it’s what you ACTUALLY SAID.

            No, it’s not what I actually said.

            I’m not going to try to disentagle the various threads of what you said vs what you really think now, and whether you were just rash or inattentive or changed your mind here, it’s just too much work.

            No disentangling is necessary. Constitutional procedure really does permit unilateral secession.

            I have always maintained that I hold secession as justifiable for moral reasons, not legal reasons.

      • Dan says:

        Ken, I asked DK this in a previous thread, “How does killing peaceful secessionists minimize killing?”

        His response, “Disbanding this Union, I think, is likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple centuries. Its on the basis of that assessment that I’d back the move.”

        So there is someone advocating killing peaceful secessionists, and it happens to be the person who inspired these posts. I can only go off of what people ACTUALLY SAID.

        • Ken B says:

          Got a link? If yourecharacterization is accurate and fair with no important stuff missing then that would look bad for DK I agree. But I want the whole context.

          • Dan says:

            http://consultingbyrpm.com/blog/2012/11/the-economics-of-the-great-depression-online-class.html

            It was from this post. Scroll towards the bottom and you’ll find the exchange. Here is his full comment. The only clarification he made was that he wasn’t in favor of carpet bombing them, and he would probably favor seizing the Capitol, dropping leaflets, demanding them to desist, etc. before killing them. Fact is, he gave a perfectly clear answer to a perfectly clear question. He does indeed favor killing peaceful secessionists, and it is this belief that has started these posts.

            “Disbanding this Union, I think, is likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple centuries. Its on the basis of that assessment that I’d back the move.

            As I put it elsewhere – I’m not talking about carpet bombing Dallas. I probably would support holding the capitol in Austin and dropping leaflets informing people that they are in a state of rebellion and desist.”

            • Ken B says:

              I think DK clarified in the next para
              ———–
              Dan says:
              How does killing peaceful secessionists minimize killing?
              Daniel Kuehn says:
              at Disbanding this Union, I think, is likely to make for a very unpleasant next couple centuries. Its on the basis of that assessment that I’d back the move.

              As I put it elsewhere – I’m not talking about carpet bombing Dallas. I probably would support holding the capitol in Austin and dropping leaflets informing people that they are in a state of rebellion and desist
              ———-
              I agree DK’s wording leaves him open to your reading. He did not challenge — as I would have — your stipulation about ‘peaceful’. But I think it’s clear he’s talking (as I said) about insurrection. So he’s talking about people violating the law and envisioning escalating enforcement. So he’s not talking about waltzing into Dallas with machine guns to take on school children. He’s talking about troops insisting that children be allowed into the federal park past the ‘peaceful’ crowd blocking their way.
              So I disagree with your reading of him. But I will agree your reading is not baseless.

            • Major_Freedom says:

              Ken B:

              I agree DK’s wording leaves him open to your reading. He did not challenge — as I would have — your stipulation about ‘peaceful’. But I think it’s clear he’s talking (as I said) about insurrection.

              Secession is not insurrection.

              So he’s not talking about waltzing into Dallas with machine guns to take on school children. He’s talking about troops insisting that children be allowed into the federal park past the ‘peaceful’ crowd blocking their way.

              Gotcha, troops waltzing into Dallas with machine guns. How else can the troops “insist” that the state cannot secede? Magic pixie dust?

          • Dan says:

            Not to mention this quote from DK, “The point is, it’s traitorous and unconstitutional and clearly does not carry a payoff that makes it worth committing treason and violating the Constitution over. A war over it would be terrible, but I think over the very long run it would be better than letting them go.”

            This ties in with what he responded to me. He believes that if the peaceful secession were allowed then it would lead to a couple bad centuries, which justifies, in his mind, waging a war against these people and killing them.

          • Major_Freedom says:

            It’s funny you have to ask that, because you were posting all over the place in that thread, even including a defense of what DK said.

            So I guess I should assume that your defense of DK in that thread was a product of not even reading what DK said. Can’t say I am surprised. Party over principle.

  17. Marc says:

    Bob, I agree with you in the case of the US that it would be immoral to start a war over a state seceding. However, this is only because of the nature of the US as a country of separate states, each with their own sovereignty. Imagine though, if you decided to start your own sovereign nation in your neighborhood called Murphonia. The majority of your neighborhood agreed to be part of Murphonia. You were obviously elected as leader, and you started to create your own laws, build your own army, and you neglect every state and federal law in the US. Would you think the Federal or State governments have the right to use force? I say yes — this is a violation of sovereignty — a casus belli in international law. To throw a little spice into the argument: you make some blatantly immoral laws (such as the re-institution of slavery of minorities), that the majority agrees to. So in free US, there is now a little neighborhood that practices slavery. Would you agree the Federal/State governments have a right to use force?

    The mistake people who think the US should go to war are making: they assume Texas is violating the sovereignty of the US. That is not the case. But you make it seem like a violation of sovereignty in general isn’t a big deal or a cause for war. Well it is, but not in regards to states in the US.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Would you think the Federal or State governments have the right to use force? I say yes — this is a violation of sovereignty — a casus belli in international law

      The force against Murphy would be a violation of HIS sovereignty.

      You just advocated for violence to be initiated against Prof. Murphy if he peacefully wants out of the existing state authority. You may walk the streets not looking like an obvious sociopath, but I know better.

      • Marc says:

        MF

        You’re make the argument for anarcho-capitalism. I hear the moral argument to it, although I’m not an anarcho-capitalist.

        But if Bob Murphy’s point when he incredulously asks “What am I missing? What could possibly justify bombing the Texans…”, is really “What am I missing? Can anyone possibly in their right mind claim that anything other than anarcho-capitalism is moral??” and your point is “Anyone who doesn’t follow anarcho-capitalism is a sociopath”, than we have other issues at play here.

        For the record, I am an Austrian/libertarian.

  18. Porphy's Attorney says:

    The amazing thing is. . .only in America – land of the free, home of the brave – do correct-thinking, enlightened Americans think independence movements are an outrage worth killing over.

    For the rest of the world, correct-thinking, enlightened Americans believe in “national self-determination” and “national-liberation movements.”

    They may or may not have cheered on Irish independence, but they didn’t think it right for Britain to surpress it.

    Most of them cheered on the South Sudan independence movement and most of them think Darfur should be allowed to be independent if it chooses to. Perhaps they don’t think things in the U.S. rise to that level, but that makes the distinction a prudential one rather than a moral case that seccession/independence movements are wrong and should be put down by violent force.

    They may or may not think well of the Quebec separatist movement, or the SNP. Indeed they might be against independence of such nations on prudential grounds. But I highly (highly) doubt they think that, should the PQ or SNP ever win a refferendum on independence, Canada or England should subdue them by force, killinng as many of them who need to be killed until the independence movement is surpressed by armed might. Indeed, I imagine they’d be outraged if Canada or England tried to keep Quebec or Scotland in through using violence. And, indeed, I bet one of their arguments against that is that it would only further alienate the Quebecoi and Scotish people to speak of them of people who deserve to be put down by force and turned into unwilling subjects surpressed by force of arms.

    • Matt Tanous says:

      “most of them think Darfur should be allowed to be independent if it chooses to.”

      I bet Ken B. would say they have to follow the correct procedure, and cannot do this unilaterally.

      • Ken B says:

        If they lived in a constitutional democracy I would.

    • Tel says:

      Strangely enough, they were dead set against the idea of Iraq splitting into Suni-Iraq, Shiite-Iraq (a.k.a. Persia minor) and Kurdistan.

  19. anon says:

    Bob, I still don’t understand the update. I think you’re maybe confusing generational transfers with general debt. The shortfall in social security and medicare just means that those receiving the benefits, assuming they’re paid, are possibly receiving a lifetime transfer, but cancelling the social security and medicare payments of Texans won’t make any difference in the general debt if Texas pays taxes in proportion to it’s share of the national population.

    Any shortfall in the trust fund has to be made up out of current taxes in the present. This means that those receiving payments may receive benefits greater than the amount they paid assuming they’re not taxed to pay for they’re own benefits. This may be a generational transfer, but I don’t see how it can transfer money from Texas to the United States unless you believe the trust fund money is sitting in a bank. (I believe any surplus funds are used to purchase bonds, so the money to pay the bonds must recovered by taxation.)

    I still don’t understand the defense argument either. My understanding is that a traditional invasion hasn’t been a serious threat since the start of the Cold War. But even if invasion through Texas (from Mexico? It seems we would be pollicing the Gulf anyway) is a serious threat, couldn’t anarcho-Texas itself become a threat?

    Anyway I just don’t see how defense spending will be lowered by any significant amount by Texas leaving. It’s possible, but it’s also possible the defense burden will increase if we lose Texas’s tax revenue and Texas defense spending doesn’t fill the gap. (It’s seems easy to imagine Texas’s defense spending to be redundant rather than filling a gap in our own defense. But in any case we wouldn’t have any control over this and no guarantee that Texas will share information with us or be our ally.)

    So does your defense argument rest entirely on Texas defending our southern border with Mexico?

    • anon says:

      The debate basically boils down to one side knowing that the Modern Structure only works if the Tax Farm is kept in to to be extracted from so that the Vote Banks can be paid off and kept loyal.

      If the Tax Farm is allowed to secceed in any form, the structure brakes down. Thus the imperitive of preventing themfrom leaving by threat – and, if it comes to that, actuality – of violence. That’s the “great moral cause.”

      It would “impose costs” on others if the Tax Farm were to be separated from the Brahmans and their Vote Banks. They’d have to finance their own lifestyles and benefits then. That, as we know, would be morally wrong in the eyes of the Modern Structure’s expositors.

      • anon says:

        I suspect this second anon is some kind of parody. I’ll refrain from speculating as to who, but only say I haven’t made any argument about violence. (The discussion seems non-serious as people advocating secession seem to be either anarchists who don’t believe in a state, anti-federalist constitutionalists, or some sort of libertarian I don’t understand.)

        My comments were regarding Bob’s suggestion that Texas’s secession would make America richer because of lower medicare and defense spending. (Medicare spending would only be improved to the extent that Texas pays less taxes in proportion to it receives benefits, not as a matter of course.)

        I don’t know this anon’s comments about “Tax Farms” are meant to prove, I understand what he means, that taxes are “theft”, but what is her point? My comment didn’t argue that Medicare is a good program or current levels of defense spending is good, but that there is no reason as to why Texas’s secession must save America money and some reason in the case of defense why it would cost money.

        The issue, to my eyes, is back in the debt burden debate, with Murphy forgetting that GDP can be constant while the level of debt changes and that by removing the Texas’s entitlements you also remove their taxable income which is, all things equal, a wash.

        If this second anon hates medicare taxation he could just as well vote for politicians who hate medicare and would end the program negating the need for the taxation. (Or, god forbid, run for office.) I don’t know why I must be satirized for saying medicare legal existence is based on taxation. I’m wondering how people think it is otherwise run.

        • Matt Tanous says:

          “Medicare spending would only be improved to the extent that Texas pays less taxes in proportion to it receives benefits, not as a matter of course.”

          Murphy’s point was that these programs are in the hole with so many unfunded liabilities that every individual pays less taxes in proportion to promised benefits.

          • anon says:

            Matt, my understanding is that wouldn’t change anything regarding Texas vs. the rest of the US.

            Medicare paying out more than it takes in is only a transfer between those paying taxes and those receiving benefits and not paying taxes.

            Removing liabilities to Texas doesn’t change anything for the rest of the US because you also remove Texas’s taxpayers. (Assuming these are roughly equal.)

            Maybe I’m wrong about how Medicare is funded, but my understanding is it is a pay as you go system and the trust fund is not a pile of cash but government bonds so that any current benefits must be received out of current taxes.

            Similarly Texas has less taxes to pay but also loses their Medicare benefits. It seems a wash to me, but maybe I’m missing something.

            • Anonymous says:

              “Assuming these are roughly equal.”

              Strong assumption.

            • Anonymous says:

              you claimed you “didn’t understand” the debate, when really you just disagreed. I suspect you’re concern-trolling.

              “If you don’t like it you could vote for politicians! Or run for office!” – your confidence in majoritarianism isn’t universally shared, the idea that because 51% of people vote for something they can do whatever they want to the other 49% of people and the later have no grounds for complaint, they have their reccourse: they can keep dropping their pebble into the box with everyone else is precisely what is inccorrect.

              The fact is your argument shows that you simply want to keep people in so they can be used as resources to pay for the “benefits” extended to others: you won’t let them leave peacefully (that is what this discussion is about, so it doesn’t matter if you didn’t voice that explicitly yourself. If you are opposed to keeping them in by violence, then you can and should say so, and your other arguments are mute for the purposes of this thread. This thread is not “about how medicare is funded.”)

              On a general point: I do love that pepole are trolling murphy on the issue of slavery and enslavement, when they’re the ones that want to keep states and people inside the country who would otherwise want to leave, precisely so those people can have resources extracted from them at the point of a gun. And they say the Mises Institute is pro-slavery.

              HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

              • anon says:

                “Anonymous”, I don’t think you know what concern trolling is. (I fear your not knowing this makes you look bad.)

                It seems ironic you’re opposed to “majoritarianism” because the people advocating secession seem to be saying a 51% is good enough for secession or else they don’t believe in a state at all which seems to make the question of secession disingenuous as a state’s secession is still a state.

                Nonetheless in America we don’t have pure “majoritarianism” we have a representative democracy known as a republic, which I’m sure you know.

                If you want to Texas to secede because you live in Texas and hate Medicare you apparently have to vote for representatives in Texas who hate Medicare and want to secede.

                But if you don’t live in Texas and want Texas to secede because you hate Medicare and want to pay less, this is what I was arguing doesn’t make sense.

                I understand it’s possible Texas is getting more in benefits than it’s paying in taxes relative to other states, but if you read Murphy’s post you’ll see he said he’s disregarding that for the sake of argument.

                You may have a point regarding defense, if Texas leaving the union costs the US money rather than saves money on defense spending, but Murphy is saying it would save the US money. So “I don’t understand” why you have a problem with me if you agree with me that it might cost rather than save the US money on defense if Texas left the US.

                On slavery and taxes, the comparison is not quite right, just like the comparison between secession of Texas today and the American colonies under the British is not quite right. Slavery is about unequal rights based on race, whereas taxes, depending on how you look at it, are (or at least can be) applied equally to everyone.

                I realize some might say that progressive taxes are treating the wealthy unequally, I disagree, but if you’d like imagine a poll tax.

                (Note that I disagree that progressive taxes are unequal because income is not fixed or guaranteed. They apply equally to anyone earning more, and everyone in theory has the opportunity to earn more (or less). This doesn’t mean you can’t still try to claim taxes are theft, but that the comparison to slavery is not quite right.)

  20. Craig says:

    Just curious, Bob, why in your emotive post about the poor old south ‘jest decidin to git up ‘n leave’ (and then that nasty Lincoln decided to ‘slaughter’ them anyway) you failed to mention that your freedom loving secessionists had slaves. Gee, I wonder why people think the Mises Institute is racist?

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Craig because I assumed my readers were older than 4.

    • Tel says:

      You certainly have come up with a good explanation for why Lincoln declared war on Zanzibar.

    • Richie says:

      you failed to mention that your freedom loving secessionists had slaves.

      Right, because slavery existed ONLY in the south.

      • Ken B says:

        Oh please. Whatever the merits of secession, the Ole South seceded because of the perceived threat to their alleged ‘property rights’ in black people.

        Did any non-slave state secede?

  21. Ken B says:

    Before I secede from this blog for the weekend I want to note a few small things I will be thankful for.

    I am thankful that the modern secessionist movement is represented at its most articulate and able by Matt Tanous and Major_Freedom.
    I am thankful that when I lived in Georgia my black neighbours were not slaves.
    I am thankful the constitution of the United States guarantees free speech to all its inhabitants, even secessionists, unlike the constitution of the short lived slave-holding confederacy.

    Happy Thanksgiving to all.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      You’d first have to actually understand what I am arguing about secession, before you can claim to have an informed judgment my “representation”. All I saw were straw men. But anyway…

      I am thankful that secession is not what you have rhetorically insinuated it is (institution of slavery).

      I am thankful that the American colonial secessionists during the 1770s decided to not listen to any pro-monarchists who may have claimed that secession is an imposition of slavery.

      I am thankful that the internet has a historical record of the claims made by secession haters, who have written in black and white that they are in favor of the murder of anyone who dares leave a contract they never even agreed to in the first place.

      I am thankful that many people think moral law trumps positive law.

      I am thankful that there are people who know better than to believe that free speech is “guaranteed” in a statist society, as if the constitution is even respected by those sworn to uphold it and defend it, for they instead attack whistleblowers of state atrocities.

      I am also thankful that you are in no position of power.

      ——————–

      Should it be mentioned that the first Thanksgiving was declared by John Winthrop, to celebrate the safe return of a band of heavily armed hunters who slaughtered over 700 Pequot Indians: men, women, and children?

      I can see how Thanksgiving would be especially satisfying to some of the people on this thread. Those damn Indians dared declaring their independence from the colonialists authority. Those Indians were probably racists.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Very charitable Ken B. I’m thankful that my life doesn’t depend on the decisions of Ken B. and Daniel Kuehn.

  22. Ken B says:

    Would the internally held debt be a wash because we owe it to ourselves?

    Just askin’.

    • Anonymous says:

      Dear God,

      No.

      Sincerely,

      Anonymous.

  23. Ken B says:

    Re update 2. Did a majority of ANY state vote to secede in 1861?
    I’m curious if we can say for sure that most of the people in any state even wanted to secede.

    Anyone have a convincing factual case?

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Texans voted to secede from the Union by a 76% majority.

      If that happens again, I guess we should expect you and DK to be seen wandering around in Austin, dropping threatening, violence advocating pamphlets, and armed with machine guns, making sure that none of the teachers and students dare believe they’re no longer in the US, those racist slave drivers.

      • Ken B says:

        The slave votes counting 3/5?

        • Ken B says:

          Just in case anyone missed it, MF failed to give a single example. Instead he gave a number, and by claiming it confers legitimacy, dismissed the blacks entirely.
          This should help persuade minorities in Texas that secession will be good for them i suppose …

          • Major_Freedom says:

            I didn’t claim it confers “legitimacy.” Another straw man. How many is that? I count at least 3 or 4 in the last couple days alone.

            You must feel so embarrassed and ashamed for advocating for killing people who simply want out of a contract they never agreed to signing in the first, that you have to smear those who are pointing this out to you, so that you can drag them down with you.

            To be clear, I am not pro-democracy. I am not pro-democracy because I don’t accept that 50% plus 1 individuals in a given geographical territory have the right to impose their will on the remaining 50% minus 1 individuals by force. I consider democracy to be a watered down version of communism. I also consider democracy to be unstable and prone to collapse, because of a prevailing myth that arises that everyone has the right to live at the expense of everyone else. Democracy failed in ancient Athens after there was no more loot to take, and the social upheaval was followed by totalitarian dictatorships.

            I’d rather transition out of democracy before the loot runs dry and before social upheaval.

            Now, you asked for an example of a state where the majority voted to secede. I gave you an example. You then accuse me of believing that it confers legitimacy? What absurdity. You just want to paint me as apologetic towards slavery because your mind is warped into believing that secession is equivalent to slavery.

            There was slavery and 3/5 blacks in southern secession states. How can this be a reason to reject answers to your question? Do you understand how silly your question becomes when you do that?

            It would be like me asking you to show me an example of human genocide in Africa, and then when you do, I say “doesn’t count, I meant African states where there an equal distribution of races.”

            • Ken B says:

              I asked for a state where a majority of the inhabitants voted to secede. You have not provided one. By citing the 76% in Texas you are suggesting that vote counts as a majority. Only if you place no value on the slaves, and even then it falls way short.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                I asked for a state where a majority of the inhabitants voted to secede. You have not provided one. By citing the 76% in Texas you are suggesting that vote counts as a majority.

                It was still a majority even if you correct for the “3/5 of other persons” compromise. Even if every single black person voted not to secede, and their vote counted as 1/1, then there still would have been a majority in Texas.

              • Ken B says:

                Because Texas had universal suffrage and almost 100% turnout. Children too.

                Not even close MF.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                You just conceded that we don’t have a legitimate federal government.

                There was less than 100% turnout, and out of everyone who can vote, less than 50% voted for Obama.

                Or are you going to say not voting is implicit consent?

                OK, then so were Texans in 1861.

                If you notice what I said, I said even if you include all blacks as 1 for 1, and even if they all voted nay, then there still would have been a majority for those who chose to show up.

              • Major_Freedom says:

                Children never could vote, so that’s just a dumb comment.

              • Ken B says:

                No, because i never specigied thats what makes it legit. You introduced the majority not I.

                But now you rely on that vote being law. You see the problem for your position?

              • Major_Freedom says:

                No, because i never specigied thats what makes it legit.

                You didn’t have to. The reasoning for conclusion that the Texas vote doesn’t count, would nullify the federal vote.

                You introduced the majority not I.

                False. I did not introduce majority, you did in your question. I simply answered it.

                You see the problem for your position?

                I’m still waiting for you to see the problem in yours. You seem to not see it.

  24. Ken B says:

    “omission: I forgot that the outstanding Treasury debt is a fixed obligation of the US government, regardless of population”

    Don’t get huffy Bob, but isn’t that a pretty big omission, considering how much you obsess on debt? A million words on debt and secession and never the twain did meet?

    Anyway, i think this poses a real problem of logic for you. There is an issue to be resolved and negotiated regardless how secession happens isn’t there? But your whole argument is based on a rejection of the claims of others that you follow laws. If texas and the US disagree on debt or assets or federal parkland, how does this get resolved? Why is that bit of process legit but not the current constitution?

  25. Ken B says:

    Another factoid, just for fun. Upper Canada was chartered in 1791 as a semi self governing colony, with a limited franchise. It corresponds to modern Ontario. It’s where many Tories fled after and during the revolution. In 1791 it passed its very first law, a ban on slavery. The secessionists to the south took a bit longer!

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