Recession, depression, secession | FT Alphaville

Recession, depression, secession

Interesting news reaches us via US-based energy blogger Gregor. Apparently there’s a bit of a 10th amendment craze sweeping through the union of states that is the country of America. The message being, if you’re disgusted with Washington meddling too much with your affairs, just leave! (And in some cases take your oil resources with you).

As Gregor highlights (our emphasis):

It appears Texas is about to join states such as Oklahoma, Indiana, and South Dakota in the 10th Amendment craze that is sweeping the nation. These states and others are introducing, and in some cases now passing, Resolutions of Sovereignty. The 10th Amendment to the Constitution is quite simple, and declares: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. In populist terms, these declarations are currently expressions of public disgust at Washington’s behavior in the wake of the financial crisis. While this may seem quaint, these declarations are legal platforms for future secession from the Union.

And yes, it is a serious issue.

South Dakota passed the HCR 1013 bill last month.  Entitled “Reasserting sovereignty under the Tenth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States over certain powers and serving notice to the federal government to cease and desist certain mandates,” it aims to empower the state accordingly.
Meanwhile, Texas — also fed up with Washington’s intrusion into state matters and wanting to reassert some sovereignty– currently has the bill HCR50 passing through its house. The bill is supported by both a Democrat and Republican in the senate.

Championing Texas’ cause specifically is the Governor, Rick Perry.  The Daily Mail reports how Perry whipped up a ‘patriotic’ crowd of supporters into something of a frenzy during a tax protest on Wednesday.
Encouraging the movement across America too is the Tenth Amendment Coalition, a group which describes itself as working to preserve and protect Tenth Amendment freedoms through information and education.

But while CNN’s Lou Dobbs claims up to 28 states are now considering or already in the process of similar actions, Texas’ case should perhaps be more alarming for Washington than most. As Gregor notes:

Given that Texas, starting with Cortez in 1519, has functioned under six flags already I thought it might behoove to take a quick look at how Texas might fare under a seventh. Specifically, with respect to the supply of Oil and Gas. Would an independent Texas be able to produce enough oil and gas to serve its own population, with some left over for export ? Indeed it would. In fact, Texas produces more oil than any other state and accounts for 19.7% of total US output. Texas also produces more than 30% of US natural gas supply. Texas does consume a goodly portion of its own oil output, about 75% of what it produces. But, it only consumes half of its own natural gas production. For secessionists, these numbers look good.

Perhaps some other resource-rich secessionist states should take note. Remember there is precedent, Western Australia voted in a referendum to secede from the rest of the country in 1933.