Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Secession is Busting Out All Over

NASA Landsat satellite image of Long Island an...Image via Wikipedia

It seems here in Suffolk County, NY, we're really mad and we're going to talk about not taking it anymore. It all has to do with some taxes that are being levied on us to bail out the MTA (Metropolitan Transit Authority). And maybe we send Albany 3 million dollars more a year than we get back, which is entirely possible. So some lawmakers want to have a task force to study secession. This happens periodically. Sometimes it's all of Long Island that wants to secede. Sometimes the East End of Long Island wants to secede from Suffolk County. This year it's just Suffolk wanting out of New York State. Given the regularity with which this kind of sentiment appears I'm not too concerned that anything is going to come of it, other than possibly having to pay to fund a study. It did start me thinking about what secession from a state would entail. Quite a lot, I'd think. Just a few off the top of my head:

  • Stationery, business cards, changes to websites and everything else for every business and government office in Suffolk.
  • License plates. I hope we could at least have pretty ones, like Arizona, for instance.
  • Speaking of license plates, we'll be needing a prison system. We have a county jail. That's suitable for people awaiting trial and maybe people in trouble for not paying child support. If a person if convicted of a serious felony they go "upstate", now. Won't have that option.
  • We have to work out what happens to state property, like the state parkways and the state parks. We have some nice state parks.
  • Counties? We'd be very small. I wonder if Rhode Island has counties.
  • Updated court system. Right now we have things like State Supreme Court.
  • Marriage. We register marriage by town, but we get married "by the power vested in me by the State of New York".
  • Motto, bird, flower, seal
  • Insurance regulations
  • Every single state government function. I think there are a lot of those.
OK, that was just a partial list because I'm too sleepy to keep typing. I just wonder how long it would take to see a return on our investment if we decide to go ahead and secede. I'm betting that could take a while.

Morning addenda:
  • Oh, and the state university system. That's going to be awkward. Just for starters we have a large state university here, complete with a medical school and a big hospital. I think the state will want that back. And then there's the fact that residents have access to a whole lot of state universities and colleges at lower costs than they'd pay if they lived out of state. How we gonna replace that?
  • Health care for lower income people. It's not all medicare and medicaid, folks. We have two state administered plans for health insurance for some of the people that would otherwise be uninsured. One is free and one is lower cost than the same policy would cost on the free market. Are we going to replace that? Just wondering.
It seems like there might be a lot of reasons why this idea never goes anywhere. But I guess we have to vent.

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  1. Secession seems to be the word everyone starts throwing around now when they get "upset" over the taxes they have to pay. None of them ever stop to think about all the things that have to change, and how much more pressure will be put on them as taxpayers and citizens. They really don't realize that they will lose more than they gain.

    This is why we have elected officials. You don't like what's going on in govt, vote the people out who are in office.

  2. But look at all the "foreign aid" you could possibly get. And the best part is - you don't (won't) have to repay the funds. :)