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On Bryce’s Mind

Threatening secession: not a good idea

November 23, 2012
By Bryce Berginski Tribune Reporter , Pierce County Tribune

Recently in the news it was announced that residents of North Dakota, rather than the government, filed a petition with the "We The People" section of the website, WhiteHouse.gov to secede from the Union. Not to mention residents of states like New York, Louisiana, Texas, Delaware, Florida and others have done the same too? Why in god's name would some people threaten secession now?

For starters, a majority of the states threatening secession were states Mitt Romney carried in the Nov. 6 election. Not to mention there were a plethora of "I'm moving to Canada posts" from Romney supporters on social networking sites, but post-election hype like that happens. And only a few ever carry out that threat anyway.

Why do some states' residents, rather than their governments, want to secede? Some states' residents have cited government spending and perceived attacks on civil liberties as reasons for leaving the Union, but it is plainly clear that others just don't like President Obama and/or his policies.

Right now (or at the time this was written) there were over 10,000 signatures, but 25,000 minimum would be needed to grant a response from the White House. But a handful of those who signed the petition online do not even live in this state. And with the fact that only the signers first name and an initial show up, shouldn't this online petition's validity be called into question?

But what could happen if North Dakota were to actually secede? I personally could think of many things that could happen, and not all of them would be great for our state in the long run.

One, if Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana seceded then we would have to have several points of entry at the boarders. Flying, driving, or taking the train over the holidays would be troublesome (that's assuming that national airlines and railways would want to stay). Of course, even if we wanted to travel to somewhere in the U.S, we all would have to have passports, and possibly even visas depending on our stay.

Two, we would have to create our own currency, which means spending oil money to build mints. And it would have to be guaranteed against something of actual value, otherwise it's Monopoly money. Although that would create more jobs.

Three, we would actually lose some jobs because all Federal offices, including the United States Post Office, would disappear. All the branches of the military that have bases, recruitment and training posts here would pull out of North Dakota since it wouldn't be part of the United States anymore. Anything with the words "federal" or "united states" would disappear. We would also have to make our new country attractive to American businesses that were here before we decided to secede, and make them want to stay in a foreign country.

Four, our newfound "country" doesn't have a legitimate refinery yet so we would have to export oil and import gasoline.

Five, our neighbor to the north. If the worst that could happen would, we would have to have a military force made of North Dakotans if relations with Canada were to sour (even though Canada is a great country with nice people). And Canada does have a military force, don't question it.

Six, money. Oil, natural gas and coal don't last forever, and nor do the revenues from them. The government would have to tax the citizenry, including those that supported the elimination of property tax measure in the June primary, in order to have money to operate. We would have to be a lot more stringent with tax revenues, and cuts across the board would have to be made to programs that exist in our state right now. Things would start getting expensive, and we would have to do everything in our power to prevent an economic collapse,

Seven, and this correlates with the previous point, health care. Since Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid waved bye bye to the North Dakota populace when it seceded, this means the government would have to devise similar systems and pour money into them annually. While these administrations will create jobs, they will also be expensive.

Eight, because we would become a sovereign nation, we would have to either slightly or completely reform the government. There would have to be several changes made to our state's laws, and those would be complicated and time-consuming. After all, Rome wasn't built in a day.

I could probably try to come up with more cons and list them all day, but I'll stop there.

While these things are all speculation, it is clear that in their desire to not want to be in a country where Barack Obama is president for two terms, the drafters and signers of the petition did not consider any ramifications, damning or benign otherwise.

 
 

 

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