the latter half of the eighteenth century, Americans came to the reluctant conclusion that America and its future generations would be better served governing themselves rather than continuing to exist as a subservient component of the larger British empire, which had become increasingly insensitive and unresponsive to the needs and desires of the American colonies. This sentiment was so strong that Americans were prepared to use violence, confront the mightiest army of the time, and face certain hardship and probable death in order to pursue just a chance that they might secure self governance for the generations of Americans that followed. The political philosophy and sentiments underlying this difficult decision were expressed and immortalized in the preamble to the United States Declaration of Independence
. The American struggle for independence was noble, but not elegant - it was arduous, bloody, never certain as to its outcome, and almost a decade in duration. But, having succeeded, this action by the founding fathers and their generation of Americans has since come to be revered as transformative for this continent and for the world - a triumph for the concepts of local rule and self determination.
Today however, the United States, having since grown some 100 fold in population, seems increasingly unable to govern itself. As an example, the US social security system, designed originally to benefit from the wonders of compound interest and, in doing so, be self supporting, has been raided and plundered by the same baby boom generation that now seeks to benefit from it. As this financial Titanic heads inexorably toward it's actuarial iceberg, even a party that controls all branches of federal government and professes to be the party of financial responsibility, has been unable or unwilling to address the matter at all and continues to kick the problem down the political road, leaving to the next generations only limited, and mostly draconian, solutions. There are of course other examples or ineffective governance and as historic US economic power begins to give way to globalization and the emergence of new economic powers and evolving economic conditions, the ability of the United States to buy its way out of domestic mismanagement will increasingly be undermined - leaving truly responsible and responsive governance as the only path to effective government.
The emergence of America as the world’s greatest power occurred largely because of the heroic efforts of our grandparents’ generation. They persevered through a depression and a world war, either of which could have destroyed the nation’s economic or political fabric. This “greatest generation” not only prevailed over Nazism, Japanese Imperialism, and severe economic hardship; they handed to their children an America that was the clear leader of the world, morally and economically, as well as militarily.
However, the baby boom generation, which inherited this wealth, freedom and the ability to live a leisurely lifestyle, has not invested its share of blood and toil; instead, this over-privileged generation is in the process of consuming all of this wealth and capacity for investment in the future. Certainly, the fiscal behavior of individual boomers who spend 101% of their income (including a newfound addiction to $4 cups of latte) is shocking to parents and grandparents, who saved and reused tinfoil to assist the war effort.
But equally as troubling is the unwillingness and/or inability of our leaders in government to discipline the budget process. With Democrats seeking an expansion of the welfare state, Republicans seeking ever-lower tax rates, both parties feeding at the pork-spending trough, and nobody in authority willing to tackle the explosion of immense entitlement liabilities, one suspects we may be nearing a “tipping point” beyond which it will be too late to administer fiscal discipline without triggering a massive depression.
Despite periodic talk of structural changes (balanced budget amendment, line-item veto, campaign finance reform), or the long-awaited emergence of a centrist, fiscally responsible third party, there is no real evidence that any of this will happen in our lifetimes. As the two major parties appeal increasingly to their ideological extremes, the only things they can agree upon are the preservation of their special interest gravy trains, and the imperative to keep competing ideas from third parties out of the process. In the process, the great majority of Texans are becoming, effectively, disenfranchised.
Given the apparently inability of the United States government and political system to effectively manage many of the critical issues now casting shadows on the future of Americans, and the seeming unwillingness of those in power to make structural changes to a system which appears to be broken, many Texas have begun to wonder if participation in the US Federal system of government is really working to meet the needs and desires of Texas, Texans, and future generations of Texans. Recently, a similar question has faced other populations around the world:
---> Beginning in 1991, members of the Soviet Union and, previously, the Russian empire chose independence and/or confederation as their alternative.
---> In the 1990's, Yugoslavia, following the death of Tito, chose essentially to revert to its component states, some of which have reformed their alliances.
---> In 1992 Czechs and Slovaks chose to dissolve their prior alliance.
---> In 1995, Quebec came within about a half percentage point of voting themselves into secession from Canada
Like many of these populations, Texas was an independent nation prior to its integration with a larger entity, but this fact, while interesting and certainly relevant, is not a prerequisite to the consideration of an independent future for Texas. Tellingly, the concept of secession in the United States is not unique to Texas. Independence movements exist in other states as well, including California, Alaska and Hawaii.
Some secession movements have been characterized by and caricatured as the individual, militia, or cult who hordes weapons, declares their home to be an independent nation, and (finally to the point) refuses to pay taxes. Groups or individuals advocating such actions will not be interested in this web log. The purpose of this web log is not to promote independence for Texas but, instead, to provide a forum in which the future of Texas and Texans can be responsibly reviewed, analyzed, and debated, with political independence being treated as a legitimate potential solution worthy of serious consideration. We hope to provide an environment that allows an academic and non-seditionary look at if and how an independent Texas fits into the overall analysis of what is best for future generations of Texans.
The editors of this web log pose three basic questions:
1) Is the US federal government functioning effectively and is it delivering the brightest possible future for the coming generations of Texans?
2) If not, is reform of the US government and/or political systems possible, and if so, would it lead to a resolution of our major problems?
3) If not, should Texans (and perhaps other portions of the country), consider independence as a solution and would this be the best hope for maximizing the security and prosperity of subsequent generations of Texans?
To this end, we will establish several departments in which subscribers can link, post, and comment on the political, legal, economic, cultural, and practical aspects of each question.
This web site is intended to serve as an environment where reasonable and comprehensive academic analysis of these issues can be engaged in, all with the same end in mind - the potential opportunities and standard of living for future generations of Texans.
We thank you in advance for your interest and participation in the discussion.