Friday, October 31, 2008

The Secessionist Movement

Some right wing and libertarian blogs are discussing possible secession of certain states should Obama win. Secession is nothing new. Wyoming had a secession movement in the 1930's for a portion of that state, as well as parts of Montana and South Dakota to become Absaroka. We also have other secession movements like Aztlan and La Raza (reconquista), which some say has it's roots in Mexico's intellectual elites. While I am not promulgating these prospects, I'd like to discuss the possibilities with anyone that is interested. Can you imagine the effects of an Obama presidency resulting in people wanting to secede or even leave the country, or is it a bunch of hoohah by a bunch of tinfoil hat wearing nuts? I have no dog in the hunt yet, but I'd like to hear from you. 

Thank you for reading this blog. 

6 comments:

Hector said...

I don't think movements like Aztlan or La Raza are inspired by Mexico's intellectual elites, but they might be happy having Texas, California, Arizona and New Mexico back... We do have our own secessionists movements (some people still call Yucatán "La República de Yucatán")...
In America's case, well, ther also was a secessionist movement in Lincoln's days. Anyway, how would an independent North Dakota survive economically?

The Right Guy said...

Oil: http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/topstocks/archive/2008/04/10/north-dakota-oil-discovery-called-biggest-in-u-s.aspx

The Right Guy said...

I think some people would gladly give california back... :)

Hector said...

We'd take it...
Oils isn't everything, we've had oil for most of our history, and we aren't exactly in the first world...

The Right Guy said...

I bet.. :) I think Mexico has some other problems when it comes to wealth, corporations and the government (crony-capitalism or just plain corruption?). For some reason it hasn't trickled down, and may be you could shed light on that. Look at Carlos Slim. He is only one man, but there has to be more than can be done for the economy to flourish such that there are more jobs in Mexico. take me to school on this, if you have the time.

Hector said...

I don't think anyone can say exactly why Mexico isn't growing as it should. However, we do have a lot of factors that prevent us from growing. Those factors are political, economical, cultural and international.
Among the political ones, our legislators can't get reelected. That gives tremendous power to the political parties, since they decide who gets what nomination, seat, etc. Also, we have a presidential system, but 2/5ths of our Congress get elected by proportional representation. That is a recipe for disaster (not many countries have survived this combination for long). Our small parties become pivotal in some Congress decisions. Also, labor unions do not represent the worker, but rather the interests of an elite that doesn't even work. Some unions protect their members so hard, that they no longer go to work (needles to say, most labor unions are incredibly corrupt).
Among the economical factors, we have a lot of monopolies. For example, look at Carlos Slim. Most of his wealth comes from TELMEX, a former state-owned bussiness ("paraestatal"). When president Carlos Salinas privatized it, he sold it to Slim. So we went from a state monopoly to a private one. The same thing happens with cell phones. It is not untill now that other telephone and cell phone companies are appearing in Mexico (but TELMEX and TELCEL –owned both by Slim– continue to have significantly more than 50% of the market share).
Also, our IRS (SHCP, secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público) has focused on taxing the middle class, leaving informal commerce (which is about 70% of the total) out of its reach. So a middle-class mexican is taxed everywherem and tax returns (such as taxes on price, –IVA–) come very late (2 or 3 years after they should)
In the cultural side, Mexico is highly uneducated. Public teachers belong to the biggest union in Latin America, the SNTE (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores de la Educación), one of the most corrupt unions in mexico. The SNTE does not incentive education growth, so no one wants to study in a public school (from elementary to high school). However, some public universities are very good (their teachers are not affiliated with SNTE), like the UNAM, the IPN and some state universities.
We also have a terrible national security issue: drug cartels. There have been more than 3000 murders this year because of narco warfare. Of course, drug cartels have paid a lot of campaigns and have in hteir payrolls many public servers.
Finally, U.S. interests have sometimes interferred with national developement (as they have in almost every latin american country). Until Lázaro Cárdenas exproperd oil (made it stet property) in the 30s, U.S. oil companies had interfered a lot in mexican politics (the plot to stage a coup on president Madero by general Victoriano Huerta was planned and signed in the U.S. embassy).
Of course, many mexicans like to say it's all the U.S's fault. I don't think so, I do admit that the U.S. has also slowed our developement, but we've done a grat job at it all by ourselves ;o). I like to think that we are heading on hte right path of developement, but a lot of reforms are needed, and all of them face strong political opposition.

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