Essential Government Services in a Seceding Nation/State

January 24, 2011

By Russell D. Longcore

The daily news is filled with stories about how municipal governments…from townships to cities to counties to states…are facing massive budget shortfalls and bankruptcy. And they’re not kidding. Non-Federal governmental entities are in dire straits right now, and those dire straits don’t appear to be going away in the future. Why are these municipalities in such dire straits? Because they cannot print counterfeit money and inflate their way out of their troubles. All they can do is borrow money, and they have done that with a vengeance. One expert recently said that she expects at least 100 municipalities to default just this year.

All these defaults could easily become the tipping point for the economic collapse looming on the America horizon. But what will they do after the default?

The general worldview held by government enthusiasts is that the government needs to supplant the free market in many things. So, government delivers the mail, maintains the streets, provides police and fire protection, and educates the children…among many other things.

But looking at the condition of our economy begs the question: Just how many functions should government do, and how many of those functions can the taxpayer pay for?

That brings me to the subject of this article. Early on in the process of secession, the People will have to decide what their new national government will do and what it will not do. Those decisions will be best made as the new nation crafts a Constitution or similar founding document.

I am of the opinion that the nation that governs best governs least. Maximum individual liberty requires minimum governmental interference. Remember that a new nation doesn’t need most of the stuff found in the US Constitution since it is an individual state, not a confederation of states. So let’s begin to list only the things that the new national government should do.

1. Create a new form of governance, like the corporate model
2. Provide for the common defense with a national militia
3. Establish Justice – criminal codes, civil codes, courts, protect individual rights, protect property rights, protect right to contract (even many court functions could be privatized)
4. Stipulate what form of money taxes will be paid in (purity of precious metals and weight)

Do you see my point? The new national government should not be involved in most of the things that the present American Federal Government sticks its nose into. The founding documents should restrict the new government from certain actions in similar manner as the Bill of Rights presently purports to do.

That means that the new government should NOT:

Educate the children
Deliver the mail
Establish welfare, Social Security, medical benefits, etc.
Provide police and fire protection
Subsidize anything
Enact tariffs
Make law to restrict free speech
Make law restricting firearms ownership
Coin money or regulate its use
Allow military personnel on foreign soil
Make treaties that supersede national law
Create a central bank
And countless other functions

In another article, I recommend that the new nation adopt the National Sales Tax as its sole form of taxation. By using the NST, government would collect plenty of money to perform its duties.

But think about this taxation issue even further. With a government restricted to only a few duties and obligations, far less taxation would even be required in the new nation. There would likely be no reason for a governmental body to be seated all year long. Short legislative sessions would be acceptable to complete the tasks required of the governing body.

I already hear some of you wringing your hands and hollering at the computer screen: “Well, idiot…how are all the other things government has been doing going to get done?”

1. Could it be that some things that are done now will evaporate once tax money no longer funds them?
2. All other services can be provided in the free market. Yes, even jails, police and fire, and some courts can easily be done privately. And all the schools can be sold off to private entities to be operated for profit. That means that people without children will not be forced to pay for schools at the point of a gun.
3. Individuals not aggressively taxed will have the money to pay for their children’s education…or they can home school them. And they will have more money to pay for all the other goods and services they require or want…or they can go without.

Remember, at the beginning of the colony/states and the American nation/states, people earned money and paid for what they could afford. The new secession-formed nation/state must go back to that foundational principle if it has any chance of success.

As you can tell, this article is in no way exhaustive or complete. My intention is to get you to think differently about governance, taxation and individual liberty. I’m sure this will begin a lively discussion about the proper functions of government in a newly seceded nation/state.

Have at it, my friends!!

Secession is the Hope For Mankind. Who will be first?

DumpDC. Six Letters That Can Change History.

© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.