June 25, 2016


After Brexit, what? U.S. secessionists hankering for 'Texit'  (JON HERSKOVITZ, 6/26516, Reuters)

Emboldened by Brexit, U.S. secessionists in Texas are keen to adopt the campaign tactics used to sway the British vote for leaving the European Union and are demanding "Texit" comes next.

The citizen-driven vote in Britain can be a model for Texas, which was an independent country from 1836 to 1845, and its $1.6 trillion a year economy would be among the 10 largest in the world, said Daniel Miller, president of the Texas Nationalist Movement.

"The Texas Nationalist Movement is formally calling on the Texas governor to support a similar vote for Texans," the group said on Friday. The office of Texas Governor Greg Abbott was not immediately available for comment.

The group, which claims about a quarter million supporters, failed earlier this year to place a vote on secession on the November ballot but aims to relaunch its campaign for the next election cycle in 2018, buoyed by the British vote, Miller said.

"Texit is in the air," he said.

Calexit or Caleavefornia? Brexit lifts Golden State independence campaign (Valerie Richardson, June 25, 2016, The Washington Times)

Pro-independence Texans weren't the only ones energized by the vote by Brexit vote.

The California secession movement has been riding a wave of interest since Thursday's vote by the United Kingdom to leave the European Union. The campaign has already gained a Brexit-inspired nickname: Calexit

"We have a lot of people sending us messages and a lot of people want to find our online digital version of our independence referendum," said Louis Marinelli, who heads the Yes California Independence Campaign. "We have a lot of people who have joined our Facebook page, a lot of people who are talking about this issue on Twitter. The #Calexit hashtag for example has begun organically. There's another one called #Caleavefornia."

When small is beautiful : How big should a nation-state be? (The Economist, Dec 18th 2003)

OF THE ten richest countries in the world in terms of GDP per head, only two have more than 5m people: the United States, with 260m, and Switzerland, with 7m. A further two have populations over 1m: Norway, with 4m and Singapore, with 3m. The remaining half-dozen have fewer than 1m people. What do such variations imply about the link between population size and prosperity? [...]

One implication of this analysis is that, where the preferences of a country's people count, their country is likely to be smaller than it would otherwise be. Dictators typically suppress dissent, regional or ethnic. They see the benefits of size (and grab many of them); democracies are more conscious of its costs. So there are few recent examples of mergers between nation-states (North and South Yemen and the two Germanies are rare exceptions) but many of secession. The main reason for the resulting rise in the number of mini-countries is the shift from empire or dictatorship to self-determination, especially in the past quarter-century. "Borders need to satisfy citizens' aspirations," observe the authors.

However, the trade-off between the costs and benefits of size is affected by another factor: trade restrictions. The importance of economic size for prosperity depends crucially upon how open a country's economy is. Small countries that may not be viable in a world of trade restrictions can prosper when trade is liberal and markets are open. "Henceforth," say the authors, "one should expect economic integration and political disintegration to go hand in hand, in a mutually reinforcing process." 

It will be impossible to avoid the implications of the idea of self-determination on ourselves, nevermind the economic reality of how successful smaller state are.

Posted by at June 25, 2016 11:53 AM