I'm starting to doubt Republicans and Libertarians read newspapers..

One of my favorite methods of auto-flagellation is to follow the US political system. From this act I'm starting to gather that there appears to be a run-up to an election and one of the themes is that the US government needs to be cut in size and more economic power handed over to the individual states. The ones pushing the hardest for this is the Republican party in general and the Libertarians in particular. Apparently, cutting the size of government is the panacea to all social issues.

I don't immediately buy this argument, in fact, I actually have sincere doubts about its validity. The US is a large federal state made up of many cooperating member states. When signing up to be part of the US, states agree to a number of things, i.e. to share a common external border, allow free flow of goods, services, capital, and people, and accept the dollar as the currency. 

Within such a construct, what can happen if the role of the federal government is reduced? Well, it's difficult to say, economics isn't really an experimental science. However, it is a comparable science. So, let me think. Is there anything which has some of the characteristics of the US..? Hmm.. It's a tricky question..

Oh wait! There's this thing called the EU! It's made up of many member states, has a shared external border, a customs union, allows for the four freedoms, and it even has its own currency. In addition, the EU budget is tiny , only around 5% the size of the US federal budget; Surely, this must be a true Libertarian paradise. It's a good thing that one of the lessons learned the hard way these days is that having a monetary union without a fiscal union does not cause major economic headaches.

Oh wait.. That's exactly the lesson being learnt these days. The EU is pushing hard for closer fiscal cooperation. It's been found to be near impossible to have a monetary union - a single currency and a single central bank - without also having extremely strong and complex regulation of member states fiscal responsibilities or a larger common budget.


So seeing as this story should have been reported in the press (even in the US) I'm really starting to doubt that Republicans and Libertarians read newspapers.. Or perhaps, just like many Europeans want a United States of Europe, perhaps these people want an American Union. :p

Views: 237

Comment by Spartacus of Thrace on September 25, 2011 at 3:45pm

To consider the 50 states of the United States of America now as really anything more than administrative regions is, indeed, ridiculous.


Any substantive difference between being a citizen of one state over any other is negligible. With the exception of differences is state income taxes, the serious exception of some states not recognizing gay marriages from other states, and that of differing waiting periods before one can receive some social services.


You can't find a job in your hometown?  You can move to another state and establish your home there with NO bureaucratic restrictions.  You want to incorporate a business you're running?  Delaware has the most corporate-friendly laws, you can incorporate there instead of your home state. 


I live in New York State. How much farther away is the federal capital than my state capital? 15 minutes.


From today's perspective, "states rights" is an accident of history.

Comment by Arcus on September 25, 2011 at 4:07pm

@Spartacus: Soo.. not too dissimilar to Europe then?

My main concern with the current state of affairs is the extreme discontent with the federal gvmt leading to a draw down of its power and responsibility. A weaker federation usually leads to a higher focus on local solutions, which again leads to less entanglement, which eventually leads to secession since the Federal government tends to "smooth out" intra-national income disparities.

How long will the northern states accept to finance the southern and mid-western states?

Comment by Ed on September 25, 2011 at 9:21pm



How long will the north finance the south and mid-west?   ...huh ???


Problem solving at a local state level seems an effective approach. It's obvious the Federal government has waaaay too much on it's inept plate.




Check out CNN if you need a liberal slant/agenda to the news.....

Actually watching CNN and Fox will keep you thoroughly confused at to what to believe....   :^ )


The death penalty is alive and well thankfully. We can flush a second trimester fetus w/o a second thought but giving that POS that raped & killed a little girl a fatal cocktail is a trajedy. Gimme a break.....





Comment by Sassan K. on September 25, 2011 at 10:48pm

The death penalty is wrong, inhumane, and only propagates the cycle of violence - not decrease it. The concept of retribution and an eye-for-an-eye is a religious one and should be shunned upon. The United States is the only western country to still have the death penalty and I find that to be abhorrent.

Comment by Sassan K. on September 25, 2011 at 11:09pm

Although I am against abortion past the 1st trimester unless the mother's life is in harm or the baby has some forms of defect such as down syndrome.

Comment by Dylan Sloboda on September 26, 2011 at 12:26am

The libertarians actually aren't involved. Libertarians are a minority party that really only caries any clout in Delaware's state government. Outside of Delaware, most Libertarians are aware of the inherent restrictions to liberty that capitalism creates and instead choose to be called Libertarian-Socialists. There are really only 2 major parties in the US: the Democrats and the Republicans.


By "cutting the size of government"  the conservatives just mean they want social programs cut... implying that social programs are where the bulk of the government's assets are devoted... which is incorrect. They also are trying to deregulate corporations even further... even though deregulation is where the financial melt down came from.

Comment by Dylan Sloboda on September 26, 2011 at 12:34am


The North East and the Pacific coast states DO finance the rest of the country. There are more jobs, more federal income comes from them. It is a bitter irony that most people living on welfare live in red states.

Comment by Ed on September 26, 2011 at 10:38pm

@Sassan     Why is it wrong to terminate an individual who has no respect for human life? If someone premeditatedly kills someone else what is the justification to not punishing them? Are we supposed to turn the other cheek? If you lock them up for life who is to say they won't kill again. Another inmate, correctional officer, prison staff. They have nothing to lose if they know their doing life with no possibility. Is it really humane to lock someone in a 6 by 10 foot concrete room for 23 hours a day? Or should we offer them rehabilitation and after their doing really 'swell' again we release them back into society. This has happened in the past and MORE innocent people were killed.

It doesn't cost a million dollars to 'juice' a con on death row. Save the taxpayer the cost of feeding the pathetic POS for the next thirty years. Now to really blow your socks off. Pedophiles are right there with murderers in my book. Statistics show a deplorable success rate for these losers when they get out. Over 90% will do it again. I guess you also have a problem with letting the neighborhood know when they move in next door. 

I believe if more people went to work for a few years at their local state prisons they would realize that their exists truly despicable individuals who have absolutely no socially redeemable possibilities. It's a stark reality but a true one nonetheless.


Why does it matter how far along the fetus is in regards to abortion? At what point is it no longer acceptable to just flush it?


@Dylan    We here in the South certainly appreciate ya'll..... keep them checks coming....


@Matt      Davis was guilty; he got to live 18 years longer than he should have. He should be thankful for that.   As to a fetus: my niece just had her child taken early at 6 1/2 months due to complications. With life support assistance the child is making it. Should she of just terminated the pregnancy instead? Taking a child premature is an expensive proposition. Are the costs justified?

Comment by Arcus on September 27, 2011 at 2:45am

"Why is it wrong to terminate an individual who has no respect for human life?"

So those in favor of death penalty can be terminated since they also fulfill your premise? :)

"If someone premeditatedly kills someone else what is the justification to not punishing them?"

Why the fascination with punishment? Why not rehabilitate and make the productive members of society? A justice system is based on three basic rules: Vengeance for the victims, protection of society, and rehabilitation of the criminal. My main focus is on no. 2.

My issues with death penalty:

1. It's ineffective as a measure to reduce crime.

2. It's expensive.

3. It's inhumane.

4. Lex talionis is a basic religious tenet. As an atheist, I prefer secular based jurisprudence.

As the argument goes: Killing people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong, is wrong.

Comment by Dylan Sloboda on September 27, 2011 at 7:58am

I for one do not understand why exile isn't used anymore as a form of punishment. If people can not fit into civilized society then we should just pile them on some island. Hell... we could make a reality show out of it for our own morbid entertainment; rather than being a drain on our resources or dealing with the ethical complications of capital punishment.


Coming next year, Survivor: Convict Edition!


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