Glenn Beck is so outraged by the bailout of banks that he wants conservative states to secede from the union:
Beck is not alone in his desire for patriotic conservatives to put an end to the vile United States. A couple of years ago, religious conservatives were getting ready to colonize South Carolina in order to avoid being exposed to sinful activities like gay marriage and Sean Penn movies.
Leaving aside, for a moment, the irony of self-declared patriots advocating the balkanization of the union, consider the sort of nation Beck and his righteous brethren would find themselves in if they were, actually, to leave.
Beck, of course, didn't enumerate which states he wants to take with him, so let's start with the working assumption that it would be those states that voted for John McCain in the last election. They can be assumed to be the last bastion of conservatism, just the kind of places Glen Beck wouldn't mind associating with, and by using them no one can accuse me of cherry-picking states to make my point. They are:
When Beck's done with his act of insurrection -- once they've burned all the American flags and surrendered their Social Security cards -- he'll be left with a country that has an awful lot of problems.
His new nation, separate at last from the liberal hell-hole he's so anxious to abandon, will contain nine of the 10 states with the lowest per capita gross domestic product and only one of the states in the top 10. While his conservative Utopia represents 32% of the electoral votes, it's only responsible for generating 26% of the nation's wealth -- and much of that is concentrated in Texas and retiree-intensive Arizona. Take those two states out and Beck's starting with an income base roughly 16% the size of the existing U.S. income base. That means there are an awful lot of poor people out there. In fact, they'll have eight of the 10 poorest states.
(Economic statistics courtesy of the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, based on 2007 data.)
The citizens of Beck's Utopia will not only be poorer, they're going to have more out-of-wedlock births and a higher divorce rate than the heathen citizenry of the liberal hell-hole. Beck's Utopia will have seven of the 10 unhealthiest states and seven of the top 10 ranked for gun-related deaths -- which explains why Beck's Utopia will execute more than twice as many of its citizens as the the states he'd leave behind.
Beck's Utopia will feature none of the 10 most educated states, only one of the 10 states with the most students testing above grade level in 4th grade math, and none of the top 10 states in percentage of college degrees held by citizens.
Perhaps paradoxically, there will be an almost instant improvement of government services and decrease in taxes back in the liberal hell-hole, as the United States sheds some of its biggest deadbeats. Seven of the 10 states that draw the most from the federal government, relative to their tax
contribution, will become Beck's problem and not ours. Take Mississippi (please), which draws more than $2 in benefits for every $1 in tax it pays. Or model-of-rugged-independence Alaska, which snarfs down $1.84. Beck prefers those states to nightmarish Massachusetts, which makes do with $0.84 cents for every dollar paid. That tells me Beck has just the kind of math skills that are typical of his backward neo-nation. For the rest of us: All 10 of the states that pay the most federal tax and receive the least
payout in return will be left behind in the liberal hell-hole. They could drop their taxes an average of 25% and suffer no decrease in services.
The net result of canceling all that redistribution of wealth will be that Beck's poor nation will get even poorer, and the relatively rich nation against which he advocates treason will get even richer.
Ultimately, there's no better summation of the health of nations than life expectancy. Everything affects life expectancy, which is a broad, in-a-nutshell assessment of the success (or failure) of a society as whole. It is interesting to note that when Beck's Utopia launches, it's residents (not including the ones the government executes) will enjoy a slightly shorter life expectancy than the citizens of Uruguay.
Have fun, Glen. Don't let the door hit you on the way out.