Since it was election night last night several of us got into a dinner discussion about where the country is headed and where it might end up. The conclusions ran the gambit ranging from national bankruptcy, to civil war, to revolution. The only consensus that was agreed upon by everyone at the table was that we (America) cannot survive on the present course.

If you take just one factor, the current deficits, and ponder the time required to retire those debts it is mind-boggling. Even if we had the political will, the discipline and the job growth to run a half trillion dollar a year surplus (and clearly we don’t) and then apply it all to the deficit, it would take 34 years to pay it off. And that doesn’t even count the astronomical amount owed by states like California.

That said some kind of adjustment or collapse seems inevitable.

Given that one of the topics on the table last night was the secession vote by several Colorado counties, one potential conclusion seemed more interesting to me than the others so I thought I’d share it here. It was state boundary realignment.

What struck me about the theory of state boundary alignment is that the way it was offered, it would be the perfect test of ideologies with the question being, could either survive for long?

The premise was this:
Northern Illinois for example, is predominately liberal and so is north western Indiana. Conversely, both southern Indiana and Illinois are more conservative. So what if we redrew the lines of both states so the lines ran more east-west than north -south. Illinois for example would now consist of the northern third of Illinois as we know it today, plus the north western corner of Indiana as we know it today. Under this arrangement the liberal homes of both former states would be joined and essentially so would the more conservative homes to the south. Similar realignments would take place in other parts of the country until similar like-minded ideologies existed within each state. At least in theory the bickering would stop because each state would be politically agreeable.

Now mind you, the discussion did not differentiate along racial or ethnic lines at all, only liberal vs. conservative beliefs.

Having redrawn all the states along these ideological lines, the great experiment would begin. We would soon start to see which if any states prospered, which states held their own and which would implode.

Having aligned in this way, each state would be permitted to reinvent itself according to the wishes of its population. Conservatives could bring back traditional approaches to public education. They could demand attendance, pursuit of excellence, corporal punishment, recognition of the role of religion in child and educational development. Similarly, they could reconstruct the traditional family unit, clean up entertainment, reconstitute their court system, establish accountability in social safety netting and control their borders.

Meanwhile those in the liberal states would be equally free to pursue life as they saw it, complete with all the hallmarks of modern liberalism. Presumably this would include open borders, universal healthcare, liberal education, open life styles, easy access to social programming, limitless environmental regulation, aggressive taxation, legalized access to a wide variety of drugs, no personal access to firearms and a substantially less aggressive criminal justice system.

Upon fully outlining these theories everyone at the table just went silent.

In the end we all walked away with our own theories as to whether or not either approach could hold stay. Speaking for myself, and only having minutes to ponder the likely outcomes, I suspected that the conservative populations might well experience shortened life cycles due to boredom. However, I left equally convinced the other states would implode.

What’s your take?