The current crisis regarding Catalonian secession from Spain looks like it's handled in a heavy-handed manner by the Spanish government: a suspension of local government, calling out the funny hatted police, jailing some of the opposition, and a call for new elections so the Catalonians will do it the right way this time. (The right way, according to Madrid, that is.)
Some people from north of the Mason-Dixon line point out, individual southern states receive far more from the Federal government in terms of benefits than the same government realizes with regard to taxes. To give an example, Mississippi costs more to have around than it pays off in revenues for the rest of the country. Looking at it as if it was a store in a chain, it would be one that produces negative revenues. Using that criterion, that state seceding would have little impact on the rest of the country. Well, maybe northerners desiring to go to New Orleans might have to go through Mississippi customs. I'm sure that if Mississippi had border guards, they could be as inefficient as in anyplace else!
But, you know, the same could be said for several other states. Suppose the inhabitants of Vermont decided to go it alone; most of the rest of America would hardly notice. Well, maybe the leaf-peepers would have to go through customs, and Ben and Jerry's ice cream would be an import item now.
The same can be said for South Dakota. Hey, you only need to see Mt. Rushmore only once to be satisfied. And Georgia has its own version of landscape statuary gigantism: Stone Mountain.
Nevada? It's an easily available place for Californians wanting to misbehave: just a half-day's drive from L.A.!
So why quibble if Mississippi or Vermont or South Dakota or Nevada were to pass ordinances of secession?
Well, it's like this, folks. By allowing them to do it, a precedent is set allowing other states to follow suit if things are not going their way. And this might include states that punch in a pretty high weight class.
Imagine the impact if California or Texas or New York were to walk away with their marbles and go the independence route. (Do kids still play marbles now, or am I using a folk expression? I must confess to being a marbles virgin.) Florida, Ohio, North Carolina, Washington, and a few others also bring a lot to the economic table.
Well, this is exactly what Spain was looking at if Catalonia were to go. Spain probably could spare Basque Country with little difficulty: that might even solve some problems for them.
But if an economic and industrial section like Catalonia were to say "adios," this would squeeze Madrid in the huevos! So, in a nutshell, Spain had to react negatively to Catalonia going independent in that fashion, as crass as that sounds.
And, following this same logic, why can't we take the opportunity to dump Mississippi or Vermont? Because of California possibly getting the same idea.
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