Friday, June 08, 2007

Republic of Vermont?

There is a growing secession movement in Vermont. While many think that the issue of secession was settled with the Civil War, there are a couple of key differences here. The movement calls for a peaceful withdrawal from the Union, and slavery is illegal in Vermont.

The biggest military mistake that the Confederacy ever made was firing on Fort Sumter in the first place. A little bit of patience and lobbying through Congress may or may not have gotten them what they wanted, but whatever would have happened would have been better than what did happen. More Americans died in 3 days at Gettysburg than died in 10 years of Vietnam. The South started that war and got what they deserved.

It can be said that the Civil War was a struggle of state's rights versus human rights. Whenever it comes down to a question of supporting one over the other, I will always support the rights of the individual over the right of a state government. And if the majority of individuals in a state wish to part ways with the rest of us, they should be allowed to do so.


Karen Goldner said...

Does that mean that Ben & Jerry's ice cream would become an imported item?

Anonymous said...

It means that we could outsource to Vermont!

Robert Enders said...

Aren't a lot of manufacturing jobs moving to the South because of lower wages? Its like they really did win the war!

Karen Goldner said...

The movement of manufacturing jobs to the southern US was a "last century" phenomenon and of course now has been replaced with the movement of those jobs offshore entirely.

When you compete on wages you are bound to lose because there is always someplace where labor costs are lower. And even more to the point, nobody really wins in a race to the bottom.

Robert Enders said...

Wages aren't the only factor that a business takes into account when deciding where to locate a factory. And I think some businesses shoot themselves in the foot when they go all out to cut costs.
For example, the Midwest is the ideal place for a call center. We have the flattest accents among English speakers around the world. A call center in India may be cheaper, but many custumers have trouble understanding their accents.

On the other end of things, you always when you compete on incentives because someone is always willing to offer a bigger check. Desperate people are willing to work low wages, desperate communities try to bribe companies with subsidies.

An independent Vermont may be an attractive place for companies because they would not have to pay federal income tax there. For the rest of the country to compete, the federal government will have to lower taxes.

Jeff Pruitt said...

It may not be very libertarian (on the other hand perhaps it is), but I would support a federal law that bans local and state governments from offering subsidies to businesses.

This would truly bring back the era of comparative advantage - at least within the US...

Robert Enders said...

It is very libertarian to support such a law. Mike and I had the same idea. One of the reasons for having a federal gevernment at all is to regulate interstate trade.

Squarefinger said...

Such a law only works if there is a level playing field and everyone is playing by the same rules. Global competitors do not play by the same rules as the US, and many companies take advantage of that fact, creating competitive pressures on US companies competing in the same space, and a disparate economic advantage that accrues to the foreign competitor.

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