Free Scotland, Free New England!

I had the most fortunate turn of circumstances when my parents agreed to let me spend my summer abroad studying at the University of London back in 1987 and I took advantage of my four day weekend to travel north to Scotland with friends. What a country and what a people. I hope that they choose wisely for themselves and for the future. I just read Paul Krugman’s take on the independence vote and he is very concerned for their economic issues if they do choose independence given that they will playing with a smaller currency in a bigger arena without the might of a United Kingdom behind them. Paul Krugman brings the argument that economic unity without political unity cannot provide the needed security in times of turmoil to the foreground and it makes sense. In terms of ourselves, I have jokingly said in the past, especially after 2003 that perhaps we should divide our nation into four mini-states; the Northeast, the West Coast, the Middle and the South; each independent of each other economically and politically, establishing fair trade policies between them all with the understanding that diplomacy above all else would resolve any disputes. I joked about it since it would never work in reality, because I don’t see how the South or the Middle would survive without the Federal government’s help since historically they take in more federal help then they hand over in tax revenues. The big question is how do we convince the average republican voter or the average fiscally conservative voter that by voting for political parties that seek to implement policies that only serve the monied classes, that in the long run hurt the economic prospects of the working family, they are only hurting themselves. The most frustrating part of the question is that there is historical and empirical data that shows exactly how the Reagan and Thatcher policies have wrecked economic havoc on the working and middle classes and still these voters cling to those illusionary economic myths of trickle down and supply-side economic “theory”. I am at a loss. I wax nostalgic for the days of the neighborhood butcher, the fish monger and the small bookstores before huge conglomerates took over our economic, political and social landscape. I have been asking myself lately what does progress actually mean? Is what we are living with right now really progress and if this is what it means, I don’t like it.
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