During the four terms of Reagan and Dubya we ironically had people in the highest offices of national government who believed that government doesn't work and should be starved, hogtied and pecked to death.
Because the best way to change the system is to ride in the limos, then enjoy a rich retirement paid by it, right? Were they bright enough to see that in not responding to a nonpolitical emergency like Katrina, it would send a deep emotional message that, uh, government doesn't work? I doubt if the neocons will be eager for us to conclude that the Gulf oil disaster proves that big business doesn't work -- because their whole brief is that a federal government that looks out for everyone equally (admittedly an ideal, but one that can be striven for) should be replaced by big business.
What if we just closed up the shop and let them have what they say they want? Events may make that come about, as one Igor Panarin, former KGB analyst, predicted long before the economic crisis (which he and others also saw coming in the 1990s). His map (lower left) delineates how, probably after much turmoil, six regions will replace the current federal union, and they may come under the influence of other powers who generally were wise enough not to believe in "something for nothing/borrowing your way to prosperity," like we did.
He sees wealthier states hoarding their funds, withholding them from the Fed, then seceding. Not inconceivable. Will these regions each form a retro Articles of Confederation-type union that would warm the hearts of the teabaggers? I wonder if thousands of changes to our complex system, like tolls on the inherited sections of the interstate highways, no FAA, import tariffs at the borders or the loss of the CODIS criminal DNA database would disrupt commerce and greatly expand our population of serial killers. Or will these secessionist states, in the context of pervasive insecurity and fear, spin out of orbit and become thugdoms, kleptocracies, or medieval throw-backs like some of the so-called republics created out of the former Soviet Union? They may find out how getting government off the backs of plutocrats has worked out for Haiti.
Would Wall Street run the Atlantic America segment? Big Oil be the boss of the Texas Republic? Monsanto Corporation rule the Central Republic? Will conservative real-estate developers and agribusiness billionaries in extended California be at the throats of coastal liberals with good libraries but no armed retainers? Think what the unrestrained timber and coal industries did to Pennsylvania and the Virginias, and are capable of doing with 21st century technology in a weak-government situation.
The "Jesusland" map on the right has been around a while, illustrating the possible outcome of an apocalyptic cultural split resulting in an expanded Canada absorbing the blue states and the red ones forming a lovely new Confederacy with no public schools, no FDA or SEC, no estate taxes on the insanely wealthy, dirt roads and employment consisting only of police, prison guards and sharecroppers. At least they won't have Wall Street; but the Carolina coast will be all privately owned.
Government is like a big, dumb dog on your porch. You think it eats too much for what it does, but it keeps the salesmen and missionaries away. It needs discipline, for sure, but think twice about exchanging it for one that will turn around and eat you.
"If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
-- Abraham Lincoln
(Credits: New Zealand blog, "Thinking Shift")