Donald Trump’s US presidency may push the United States to split into two independent countries.
One could be comprised of 22 of America’s economically and politically progressive coastal, midwestern and mountain states and Hawaii.
It might be called Califowne+, standing for California, Oregon, Washington, the Northeast, plus a few other states.
The other could be comprised of America’s midwestern, plains and mountain states plus Alaska. That one could be called Homelandia.
California’s planned referendum next year on leaving the 50 state union — known as Calexit — could mark the starting point down this road.
Over the past 40 years, two ideological halves of the United States have grown ever further apart. A split would give greater political coherence to both sides. America’s Declaration of Independence sums up the rationale:
‘In the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, (a) separate and equal station.”
Initially, at least, Homelandia and Califowne+ would start separate lives as rough economic and population equals. Both would be $8-10 trillion economies.
While each would be smaller than China’s economy, each would be double the size of third-tier economies like Japan and Germany.
Splitting the United States into Califowne+ and Homelandia would allow each of the two new nations better internal political and economic focus.
Califowne+, for instance, could develop its economy through an economic ‘comparative advantage’ strategy.
This could be based upon intellectual property, open inquiry, science, reason, trade, development of carbon markets and international political and economic engagement.
Homelandia, meanwhile, could pursue economic autarky through ‘Homelandia First’ policies.
This could be based upon closed borders, reduced trade, a primacy of church in state affairs, capital punishment, teaching creationism in schools, open carry gun laws and elimination of background checks, state control of reproductive rights and abolishing limits on carbon emissions.
Markets could do the rest.
Califowne+ could expand and deepen trade and political links with Canada, Mexico, the European Union and China in investing billions of dollars to spur tomorrow’s new intellectual property industries.
High on the list: implementing carbon prices of $50-100 per tonne over the next 10-20 years. This would throw off trillions of dollars for reinvestment in the industries of tomorrow.
This would spur economic growth and enable Califowne+ plus to pay down its $10 trillion share of America’s current national debt, which would be split in half under the divorce.
Homelandia, meanwhile, could either renege on its debt or inflate it away. Homelandia also could impose capital controls, deepen state control of the economy and end external trade using the Argentina model as a blueprint.
Homelandia would in the split gain control over much of former United States’ oil shale and gas reserves.
This would make Homelandia self-sufficient in energy. And since Homelandia wouldn’t be able to trade those fossil fuels international due to high carbon tariffs, Homelandia could use these stranded resources to remain self-sufficient in energy for decades to come.
Next year’s 2018 mid-term US elections and the proposed ‘Calexit’ vote will provide initial clues on the potential for the outcome laid out above. The 2020 presidential elections will be critical as well.
If the United States is now a chain-ganged coupling of incompatible subnations, splitting the two in half could enable both sides to thrive.