If I were magic, do you know what I would do? After, of course, giving myself untold millions…and Brad Pitt’s pectorals…and, well, several other things that there’s just no point going in to if I’m ever going to make the point I’m here to make….
I would divide the United States into two equal parts (just to make a point).
Equal in size, equal in resources, initially equal in rural and urban population and of equal economic divisions. I might have to zig-zag the line of demarcation to accomplish this, but since I’m magic, I can make it happen.
One part would be governed by liberals and the other by conservatives. We each share the same Constitution and we have a small tribunal government that governs the same military (we don’t want a civil war, after all), but each side gets to have their dream interpretation and implementation of government as outlined by the Constitution.
What would happen…?
Let’s say that everyone has 6 months from the instigation of the new Divided-United States of America to decide where they’re going to live. At first, there will certainly be a greater influx of people into the conservative states from the simple fact that lower taxes appeal to most of us and there will also be a disproportionate number of unemployed people who migrate to the liberal states because they know that entitlements will soon come to an end in Conservative America.
But at 6 months the borders close and immigration is subject to the same restrictions as foreign immigration today. We can travel freely with passports and visas, but citizenship comes only with regulations.
Conservatives understand the need for some taxes and so there is a flat 15% tax across the board creating a giant treasury, but with those in necessary, but low paying labor positions, paying taxes will further decrease their ability to meet basic costs of living, there is an immediate poverty class.
The pure Capitalist structure that is the conservative dream is an unregulated free market, and while the motivation to succeed and the unfettered reward of success will keep the engine running and allow the biggest winners to accumulate without restrictions, it is simply a fact of reality that success will also produce failures. What, in fact, is success, if not measured against those who are not doing as well? Like the inevitable lower class paying the same tax percentage as the wealthy, but already cannot pay its bills.
Those who do not have the fortitude, cunning, skills or ability to compete, will fall by the wayside. But even Conservative American’s don’t step over their dead in the streets; something must be done to help.
Social programs in Conservative America? Never!
In Liberal America things aren’t exactly dreamy either. Taxes had to be raised to support the programs to help those who have not supported themselves and for increased medical and retirement expenses.
But over time, something happens. In Conservative America, marginal taxes could be lower because regressive taxes and fees were increased as a result of privatizing necessary functions. Resources and services are paid for on a Pay Per Need basis but poorer conservatives cannot consistently pay such fees and without government funding, infrastructure, as well as parks and public recreational facilities, start to decay. Conservative Americans take their vacations in Liberal America (with an appropriate visa!) where taxes support National Parks and recreation facilities keeping them in better condition.
Naturally, in Conservative America there are parks, schools and roads that are the crème de la crème because money always gravitates toward the facilities of the affluent, but for the rank and file who cannot afford the fees, the options are to stay home, spend less or travel to less expensive venues like the government run facilities in Liberal America. Consumer liquidity suffers.
In 30 years the divide between rich and poor in Conservative America is severe as the wealthiest, with the opportunities to invest and make money without increasing production, have increased their holdings 250%. The middle class has become the lower class and the growing class of poverty occupies the majority of space.
This isn’t theory, by the way, this is exactly what has been happening in America for the past 30 years as neoliberal economics (the parent of Trickle Down) has been the operating system of our economic policy.
In Liberal America, after several years of struggle to compensate for the inequity caused by the influx of poor conservative immigrants, taxes eventually came down because, as facts support, most people on welfare go back into the work force and contribute to the tax base after using the programs that sustained their lives or furthered their education. There is fraud, but studies show from major urban centers, its less than 2%. The growing tax base, therefore, improves schools, roads, commerce, parks and recreation. Increased consumer spending keeps the economy stable and growing.
Fantasy? Partly. But, look what happens when we hold our political timeline up against economic charts…
I may be magic, but I can’t do all the work…please, have fun…