When the blue states quit the union

In a mind-numbing 19 pages in the New Republic, author Kevin Baker lays out a case for a Bluexit, a departure from the union by the blue states, those under the Democrat’s sway.

There is a much shorter version on the internet (which someone will find and send after reading this) but I will plough through Baker’s masterpiece,  written with the snotty, self-adoration of a coastal elite.

He makes a number of economic assertions that I will accept as truth, although his online piece lacks the links serious readers have come to expect. I wonder why he short-sheeted us. 

He starts out by saying blue states pay more in federal taxes than they take in, and there’s little doubt about that — California’s agriculture, tech and entertainment industries provide amazing wealth, and New York City, as the nation’s financial, fashion and communications hub, is filthy rich. And I do mean filthy.

“We have funded massive infrastructure projects in your rural communities, subsidized your schools… and simultaneously absorbed the most destitute, unskilled, and oppressed portions of your populations, white and Black alike,” writes Baker, just reeking of noblesse oblige. He says Hillary carried just 487 counties in 2016, but those 487 counties, he says, generate almost two-thirds of the nation’s economic activity.

That’s why he wants out — maybe not physical separation, but economic apartheid. “We’ll turn our back on the federal government in every way we can, just like you’ve been urging everyone to do for years, and devote our hard-earned resources to building up our own cities and states. We’ll turn Blue America into a world-class incubator for progressive programs and policies, a laboratory for a guaranteed income and a high-speed rail system and free public universities.”

First, I’d like to have what he is smoking, but, seriously, why don’t the blue states do that now? 

Maybe because of federal income tax, which Democrats love, but that he would abolish. “We will raise our state and local taxes accordingly to pay for anything we might need or want.” 

He’s talking about bluexiting with the Left Coast — California, Oregon and the State Formerly Named After a Slaveholder, to be renamed after Karl Marx, plus New Mexico, Hawaii, Colorado, Minnesota, Illinois, plus much of the Northeast, absent New Hampshire, Maine and Pennsylvania.

Baker brags blue states have the “best” universities and hospitals, so they will be smarter and healthier.

To the red states, he says, “Don’t worry: You’ll still dominate college football.”

Ha, ha. 

The divorce will allow blue states to demonstrate how much better they are, in every way. 

I am thinking we could give it a try.

Where would I want to live — blue or red? I am in a red state made purple primarily by the navy blue city in which I live, and as the local Democratic Party shifts farther Left, and Philly remains the poorest large city in America, I think, is this the best we can do?

Too bad for Baker, the Philly area has great universities and hospitals, yet we are not smart and not healthy.

Why is that?

A question for another day.

Let’s take a look at some of the blue states Baker thinks so highly of.

Here’s something New York (the nation’s most populous city), has in common with Los Angeles (the second most populous): You can’t find a U-Haul to rent because of the flood of people fleeing the city. San Francisco, too. No. 3 in population, Chicago, is the shooting capital of the country. That’s right — not those dummies in Topeka.

Take NYC, LA & SF together and you have the largest collection of homeless this side of Calcutta, with sidewalks filled with feces and syringes, all under the loving eyes of Democratic mayors. 

These are the incubators touted by Baker?

Tell you this: If the blue states leave, the red states won’t shed a tear. 

17 thoughts on “When the blue states quit the union”

  1. deep red Mississippi would be in favor of a bluexit,not realizing we’d soon go under without the feds propping us up, being a 3d world welfare state

  2. Philadelphia, PA

    Dear Stu,

    An historical antidote:

    Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster delivers famous Senate speech, Jan. 26, 1830.
    He told his colleagues,

    “Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!”

    See:
    https://www.politico.com/story/2015/01/daniel-webster-this-day-in-politics-114578

    I am reminded, though, of the American phenomenon of “the City and the anti-City.” It seems that every great American city has a corresponding anti-city. New York has Newark, N.J., Philadelphia has Camden, NJ, Chicago has Gary, Indiana, St. Louis has East St. Louis, IL, San Francisco has Oakland, (strangely, Windsor, Ontario has Detroit, MI across the river), etc. It is difficult to resist the idea that the comparative prosperity of the great city has something to do with the comparative poverty of the anti-city.

    Now, might the prosperity of the blue states have something to do with the comparative lack of wealth elsewhere? What might that be? Something about growing inequalities and every greater concentrations of wealth over decades –during the regime of globalization? Exporting U.S. manufacturing jobs has proved very profitable for some.

    H.G. Callaway

      1. Philadelphia, PA

        Dear Stu,

        As far as I can figure from reading the literature, the phenomenon of the American “anti-City” began in the Gilded Age. The reformers would rise up in the city, and the corruptionists (in business practices) would escape to practice their accustomed ways across the river or state border in another “more liberal” jurisdiction. In those times, by the way, Big finance in Philadelphia could still compete, nationally, with big finance in NYC.

        NJ was particularly successful (a hundred years plus back) in attracting business across from NYC by “liberalizing” the state corporate law. For a time the residents of the state payed only minimal taxes, and the state ran on the proceeds from small taxes on the corporations. The NJ corporations were often allowed to do what was forbidden in other states and localities. I think we see the legacy of this in the frequency of “Wall Street” politicians in Trenton.

        By now, of course, NJ has a state income and sales tax and some of the highest real estate taxes in the country. In the longer-term, catering to the interests of big business and big finance did not suffice for avoiding high taxes on the citizens and residents. Although NJ is rich on average, it is also afflicted with very significant economic inequalities. (Witness Newark and Camden.)

        Perhaps you are thinking of the out-migration from Philadelphia? Of course, viewed from its high-point about 1950, Philadelphia has lost about a forth of its population (2M vs. 1.5M), and the outward migration has continued. Of late, people who do well have tended to move out from the NE to Bucks county in particular. This is surely a consequence of the felt lack of opportunity in the city for ordinary people. Notice that though Philadelphia shrunk by a fourth, NYC is still about the same size. Though Philadelphia is the “poorest of the 10 largest U.S. cities,” many others, not among the largest 10, are much worse off in comparison to Philadelphia.

        H.G. Callaway

    1. HAPPY TUESDAY !!!
      H.G.,
      every so often, you bring up a nugget from the past . Jobs started going south in the ’60s. Then they went out of the country in the ’70s.
      “Exporting U.S. manufacturing jobs has proved very profitable for some.”
      BTW. Middle America is happy to be farmers. They don’t expect wealth in the form of “cash”. They have family, friends and God for wealth. You know. All of those things that most people on either coast gave up, chasing the almighty buck !
      Tony

      1. Philadelphia, PA

        Dear Stu & readers,

        Another point which is often forgotten is that the massive industrialization of the U.S. in the Gilded Age (1870-1901) Took place behind very high tariff barriers against foreign imports of manufactured goods. This culminated in the sky-high “McKinley tariffs” of 1890, which eventually got McKinley elected President in 1896 and 1900. McKinley’s chief advocate was the Ohio industrialist Mark Hanna, also sometimes called “Dollar mark” Hanna. Industrial workers turned out in droves to elect McKinley twice, thinking that the high tariffs guaranteed them higher wages. After McKinley was assassinated in early 1901, big business favored running Hanna for President in 1904, but he died before the convention was held, and President Teddy Roosevelt got the nomination.

        McKinley’s Democratic opponent was the populist Wm. Jennings Bryan. The problem with the sky-high tariffs on imported manufactured goods was that it increased the market price of all manufactured goods. While big business loved it, it hurt the Southern and Western farmers in particular, who had to sell their goods on open international markets. (The constitution forbids tariffs on U.S. exports.) The populists organized themselves and eventually captured the Democratic party overthrowing the Democratic establishment and the “Gold Democrats” organized around former President Grover Cleveland –McKinley’s predecessor in office.

        At the time, the “liberals” whether Republicans or Democrats all tended to be free-marketeers, favoring the expansion of foreign trade and bringing down those sky-high tariffs on imports–and the prices of manufactured goods. Notice that this would also have satisfied the Southern and Western populists. Once in office, this is what TR aimed to do. It was a means of undermining and diminishing the economic and political power of the great industrial trusts. TR took on both J.D. Rockefeller and J.P Morgan with federal antitrust action from the Justice Department. (See the “Northern Securities” case which established TR’s reputation as a trust-buster.)

        Now the trick with all this is too understand that since sky-high tariffs can divide the country, as they did in the Gilded Age, then super-low tariffs can do much the same, because domestic industry goes kaput and working people are left out in the cold–while big finance and the coastal importers get rich. How to attack the vested interests now lined up against domestic manufacturing and good-paying industrial jobs?

        Part of the solution at the end of the Gilded Age was to lower tariffs, and the contemporary solution is to get out of disadvantageous trade deals, raise tariffs and bring back domestic manufacturing. Of course, those inclined to simply follow and support the existing economic power of gigantic corporations will likely resist that kind of development. Who might that be? Well, perhaps Pelosi, Schumer and the “free-marketeer” Republicans?

        Who will be calling the shots if Vice President Biden is elected in November? What will the “regular Republicans” be left with as a platform? The “free-marketeer” solution is always that “nothing can be done” about even severe economic disruptions and dislocations. But notice how the Republicans in Harrisburg seem very intent on not taxing PA oil and gas production from fracking. Don’t they aim by those means to keep the industry in the state?

        H.G. Callaway

  3. HAPY SUNDAY !!!
    my palie,
    As always, I am amused by the writings of several of the regular bloggers. ( Ivory tower, here I come )
    I never read Mr. Baker, and I certainly won’t be starting on his latest masterpiece. MAD magazine is still around and is entertaining. I’m not sure about Popular Science and Popular Mechanic. Those two were always god read. Back to Baker. I think his necktie is cutting of the oxygen to the brain.
    BUT ! Should there be a great divide in the very near future. I’m heading to Hawaii ! There’s a lot to be said about being ” a ward of the state” in a warm environment ! Baxter isn’t doing away with welfare is he ? I want to reap the rewards for being in a blue society .
    enjoy your winters . I’m outta here !
    Tony

    1. If you go to Hawaii, you will be dismayed: the natives intensely dislike ‘mainlanders.’

      Now comes the election, when Philadelphia will again vote overwhelmingly for whatever Democrat runs for whatever office. And as the sun slowly sinks in the west — and the City along with it — we will once again remember the cry of the Left: “If you’ve lost your aim, redouble your effort.”

      1. HAPPY MONDAY !!!
        Vince,
        It’s ben awhile, but I have ben there. True. The locals would just as soon you mail your money, rather than show up and spend your money. I don’t know if that holds true just for us “mainlanders”, as opposed to the huge Asian population that visit the islands.
        Philly politics: Are all of the council members REALY dimocrats ? Of course not. There is a mix of everything possible, masquerading as the people who get behind the donkey, or jackas*, if you will.
        Out here in the counties, the lines are more clear. dimocrats vs deplorables
        Tony

        1. Tony, just finished a one-month drive to Ohio, then south to Texas, and a bunch of other Red states across the South and was amazed at the number of TRUMP signs I saw displayed — I mean thousands. One farmer painted the entire roof of his barn with huge letters, so that incoming flights would see the message TRUMP. Saw precisely four Biden signs. Doesn’t mean anything, but sure felt good while driving. Stopped in Hope, Arkansas (Bill Clinton’s birthplace — his home is a museum) and in the middle of that small town was a large TRUMP FOR PRESIDENT Republican Committee site. Stopped and bought a hat, tee, and TRUMP 2020 sign. I think I will sneak out at night and put the sign on the lawn of a very liberal good friend of mine. Is it really Blue versus Red, or socialism versus capitalism? Which way will America go? God is in charge but He isn’t talking.

          1. Vince,
            had I known that you were taking a road trip, you could have stopped in at Lawrenceburg, Kentucky for me. My son, could have amused you a bit !
            Apparently, the blue is concentrated in the heavily populated northeast, a bit near the great lakes and forgetabout the northwest.
            oy !
            Tony

          2. Vince,
            The South is Trump. Like Tony I have relatives in SC.
            Rush is pointing out how the polls are the same like 2016. In other words, don’t believe them. How about the crowds at the rallies! You won’t see on the MSM, but you can believe. I’m very confident! 4 more years!!
            Tom

  4. Tom: our last stop on our long road trip was at a B&B in Enfield, North Carolina. It’s a small town with about 40% Black population. The owner of the B&B is also the mayor of the town and he said most of the Black residents have told him they support DT because (as he told me they told him) they have jobs and a steady income and credit DT for it. The mayor also told me his town has the highest rate of Black employment in the town’s history. Our Black brothers and sisters CAN leave the Democrat plantation — the fences are down, the gates are open, and all they have to do is leave. Of course, this won’t happen in Philadelphia for reasons I cannot fathom.

    1. Sounds like you had a nice time, Vince. I’m confident because of what you just said about Enfield. This is a real thing happening, and it scares the hell out of the dems. I predict 15-20 % Black and higher Hispanic. That should do it!!
      I also have relatives (farmers) in New London Ohio…about 50 mi S of Cleveland.

      1. Tom,
        I didn’t know that you had Amish in your family. I guess you shortened your name.
        Regardless, a little late, but “good holy day ”
        Tony

          1. I take a shovel and go to Lancaster County, Amish country, to scoop up Democrat speeches left by the Amish horses.

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