Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Breaking Up A State: A Letter

To:  Lady Liberty
       Washington D.C.

Congratulations on your decision to divide your country in smaller countries!

We know that this has been a difficult decision for you - after all, any relationship which has been enduring through the years always creates pain when the relationship ends. But fear not - we here at Chaos, Catastrophe, and Unintended Consequences LLC (CCUC) have a great deal of experience in the matters and are looking forward to serving you and making the process as easy and non-emotional as possible.

I see here on your basic dossier you have elected to divide your country via a vote.  Overall an excellent choice - after all, where possible violence is should be avoided - but we do feel compelled to warn you that votes do not always go the way one hoped.  Within every geographic area there will be groups that feel they do not want to leave the larger unit.  Will you allow them to exercise their own voting rights, or do you intend to force them in - as they will point out, thus using the same argument your previous partners used on you?  This leads to either rather bothersome population relocation (our staff is looking into the India Partition and the unfortunate incident of East Pakistan) or the outbreak of fighting which in fact does often lead to a civil war (our publishing department is working on various methodologies in the event of this unfortunate occurrence.  We have found in the past that the words "insurrection", "rebellion", and "civil disturbance" are infinitely preferable to "revolution".).

We appreciate that you have completed the additional sections around manner of government, rights of citizens, and broad government policies.  We note, however, that you have missed some common items that might have an impact on your separation process:

- Currency:  We see that you have suggested the previous national currency as your currency of choice.  We regret to inform you that in most cases, the predicate country will not allow their currency name to be used.  As a subtext to this, we might also note that you will have to develop a backing for your currency in order for it to be accepted on the world market.  You should give some thought now to how that will be accomplished.  Please remember that, in general, promissory notes and a belief in "The New You" are not considered sufficient collateral.

- Land and Facilities:  As with most dissolutions, the land and facilities between the smaller geographic entities and the larger geographic entries - often referred to in the legal documents as "Federal" and "State" - are often co-mingled and therefore difficult to separate.  Some past dissolutions have opted for a blanket possession of all assets; while this is simple enough to implement it does create issues if you intend to do business with your former associates.  It perhaps would be more prudent to consider an exchange of land for debt now and work that into your legal documents (see below).

- Debt:  As with the reallocation of assets, so the reallocation of debts.  Be aware that debtors will not accept a separation as a failure to pay borrowed money.  It is up to you to make provision for the portion of the debt you will be inheriting upon dissolution of the relationship.  If the assessment of Land and Facilities and assets of the previous relationship is not sufficient, we often recommend a "new state tax" to cover the difference, presenting it as the cost of becoming independent.  We do note that such a tax is not universally welcomed and in some cases may create further "disturbances" and trust you have allocated a sufficient budget for your armed forces/law enforcement units to handle the issue..

- Business: The lifeblood of any state is its business, the primary way its citizens are employed, materials provided, and taxes paid.  Understand that from the business' point of view, your separation is not necessarily an asset.  Any attempt to make their working relationship in your new state reflect your vision of the new state - and thus make it unique - will make the business take a serious consideration of it is worth its resources to continue to operate there.  We recommend maintaining, as closely as possible, similar policies to your neighbors or even to your previous relationship.

- Neighbors:  With the advent of your new single status, you will find that you are now the focus of intense interest on the part of any number of other states.  Like any other relationships, these have advantages and disadvantages.  Some will seek to sweep you off your feet.  Others will seek to undermine you for past hurts they may feel.  And for an unfortunate few, your new single status will be viewed as the opportunity to force their way upon you.  As with any change in relationship status, we recommend you manage your new relationships with the care and concern that any reasonable person would exercise in an unknown environment.  We would especially warn you that the practice of "On-line State Dating" is inherently risky and should be avoided.

Again, congratulations on your step into a brave new world!  We are sure that you find that the benefits of self-state-actualization and freedom will counterbalance any temporary issues arising from violence, an ungrateful population, bankruptcy, economic downturns, and neighbors that refuse to cooperate.


I. M. Chaos
Principal Partner
Chaos, Catastrophe, and Unintended Consequences LLC


PeteForester1 said...

Let's not forget that the "new state tax" will be hard, if not impossible, to extract from a population largely made up of welfare bums and illegal immigrants; a population you so diligently cultivated during the "easy to fool, easy to rule" phase of the divorce...

Rev. Paul said...

Not bad ... not bad at all.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

Thank you Reverend. This has been percolating for about a week. I am a bit ashamed at how fun it was to write.

Toirdhealbheach Beucail said...

An excellent point Pete. The citizens of a new state have a direct impact on the financial beginnings of any state. Too often I think states are in the throes of being "free", but find out (often too late) that just because people voted for independence does not mean they are willing to pay for it.