Anarchy in the Northeast

It's a pity this won't work:
KILLINGTON - Voters may consider something a bit weightier than the usual town meeting fare this spring - whether to secede from Vermont.

The Select Board is considering asking for voter approval to cut ties with the Green Mountain State and essentially have the town become a landlocked piece of New Hampshire. ...

'We're very serious,' said Select Board Chairman Norman Holcomb. 'It's not just an effort to make a statement. It's an effort to save our community.'

But officials in Montpelier don't seem worried about having to redraw any maps. Secretary of State Deborah Markowitz cited some imposing obstacles to Killington's quest, beginning with the legal relation between the state and its towns.

'This is symbolic, clearly,' she said. 'Absent an armed insurrection type of thing, there isn't anything a town can do to secede. A town is a construction of the state and exists at the pleasure of the Legislature.'

Killington's discontent has to do with justice as much as dollars, according to Town Manager David Lewis. It is rooted in the history of Killington's effort to fight for an equitable tax scheme since the passage of the statewide property tax, Act 60, in 1997, he said, and a sense that the town has exhausted all its options. The town manager compared Killington's situation to that of the American colonists under the British monarchy. He said Killington sends $10 million to the state every year through the statewide property tax, and receives only $1 million in return.

Sales and business taxes generated in the resort town add another $10 million to state coffers. But Killington, with less than 1,000 full-time residents and one legislator shared with three other towns, does not have the political clout to bring this money back to the community, Lewis said.

'They don't have to worry about 1,000 people here affecting anything politically. We're a big meal ticket to them,' he said.
They don't have enough rifles to pull it off. But imagine a world where every city, county, township, etc. was explicitly allowed to reaffiliate at will with the state of its choice. That's not so far fetched, but the effects would be far reaching. Suburbs and rural areas would secede from the more socialist states and affiliate themselves with low-tax states. This would concentrate tax-hating people into low-tax states, thereby creating political incentives to lower taxes even further. "New Hampshire", "Wyoming", and "Alaska" would spread nationwide. Meanwhile, the socialist inner cities would gradually all be gathered together into "California" and "New York", which would collapse financially because of ruinous taxation. People would then vote with their feet to get out of the socialist hellhole "states", and into the capitalist "states". But this would not typically very difficult - it would usually mean only moving to a nearby suburb, not out into the middle of nowhere. Eventually the capitalist states would have to take over and reform the socialist ones.

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