Essential Government Services in a Seceding Nation/State

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)
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.

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.

9 Responses to Essential Government Services in a Seceding Nation/State

  1. […] article by Russell D. Longcore on DumpDC.com. … Early on in the process of secession, the People will have to decide what their new […]

  2. Tom Utley says:

    The problem I find when talking to people about this is that most people have some pet government service that they don’t want to lose. The Tea partiers don’t want to lose Medicare and Social Security, for example. I explain to them that they are going to lose those anyway with the collapse of the dollar but they don’t seem to think that is true.

    I would love to see a libertarian nation arise in a seceding state, but it just seems like we’ll never get enough support for secession by offering up such an alternative to the US government.

    • dumpdc says:

      Tom- Your analysis is correct…right up the time when the economy melts down. When TSHTF some citizens will snap to attention. Most will bleat like the sheep they are and look for another shepherd…no matter how bad the new one is.

  3. Bleicke says:

    There are no essential government services. Does there exist a service which can only be sufficiently provided at the point of a gun? Does there exist a service that is best provided by a monopoly?

    The answer is, of course, no.

    Advocating secession from the federal government, but at the same time advocating a local government, is completely irrational. It is akin to a romanticizing of local governments, as if those weren’t as morally wrong and economically inept as federal governments.

    Secession is indeed the solution, but only private, individual secession. Any form of government is tyranny. Let’s secede from the USA. But then I will secede from the state. And the county. And the town.

    No gods, no kings. Only men.

    • dumpdc says:

      OK, Bleicke- I love the personal secession angle. But let’s live in the real world. No state is going to secede into anarchy, which is not chaos, but “no ruler.” I may be irrational, but I’m pragmatic. Of course all government is force and tyranny. But we could still keep trying to design one that is the least forceful and the least tyrannical. It is irrational to think that the millions living in even the most pro-secession state in America would ever agree to anarchy. So let’s go with pragmatic secession.

      • Bleicke says:

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d prefer living in a night watchmen state than living in this monstrosity. But I think private/individual secession is not un-pragmatic. Don’t let pragmatism be the enemy of principle.

        I’m perfectly willing to secede with you. But I think it is rather irrational to think you’ll convince the majority of people that a state should secede from the union. It’s far easier to convince 5 committed friends that they should buy a farm with you and privately secede. The chances of success are probably the same in both cases.

  4. Gary says:

    I’m a tea partier, and the only reason the Tea Party Congress would never repeal FDR’s New Deal is that it would get them booted out of office, and pretty damn quick. We’d be back at Square One in January 2009: Screwed. I would support it, but I would be one of the few.

    What few liberty minded people today understand is that changing over to a national sales tax under the present system would be as unconstitutioal as the present income tax is. The Constitution, as it is now written, forbids capitations, or direct taxes, to be charged against the private sector, unless they are apportioned among the States. That is how a national sales tax would have to work, if any. That is why the current income tax, as charged against the private sector, is illegal, because it applies a direct tax to private sector paychecks without apportionment. The IRS, of course, could not possibly care less about any of that. See the U.S. Constitution at 1:2:3 and 1:9:4.

    Charging other nations to import things here, or using tariffs, has always been constitutional, and it should be part of the new nation’s Constitution. That is largely what funded the U.S. until Lincoln instituted the original income tax in 1862 to fund the Union Army. It was struck down about 30 years later, then dug up and brought back to life in 1913, with the very same rules, along with the Federal Reserve and the 16th Amendment.

    Today’s income tax is supposed to work just as Lincoln’s income tax was intended to. It was meant to be paid only by the public sector, and Lincoln was the first president to pay it. That’s why you see most public officials paying their income tax today, as a “good example” to the rest of us, because they are required to pay it. The Constitution does not protect the public sector because the government needs no protection from itself. Constitutions are meant to protect the governed, or the private sector. We, in the private sector, are not required to pay any income tax, because of the capitation clauses that prohibit direct taxes without apportionment, as I stated above.

    This is why I say to use tariffs rather than a national sales tax. Leave the private sector’s money alone. Let the private sector keep everything they earn, and use tariffs for needed governmental functions, if we should decide that any are needed at all.

    • dumpdc says:

      Gary-
      You missed the entire theme of the article. Forget the taxation of the USA. I’m talking about taxation in a newly seceded state. Further, tariffs are a tax on imports to protect domestic industries, nothing more, nothing less. Russ

  5. David Snyder says:

    This is an excellent post.I hope all secessionists read it.I’ll take a copy to the Texas Nationalist meeting tomorrow.

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