The money question: “Why should America be a single country at all?” Behemoth countries with behemoth governments are already legacy, and it’s devoutly to be hoped that these dinosaurs will soon be extinct. From James Ketler at mises.org:
Far from being a unitive force, powerful, centralized government only serves to pit blocs of the electorate against each other. Division grows in lockstep with the ceaseless expansion of federal power, and the 2020 presidential election was a mere symptom of how heated that division has become. How much worse can it get? That remains to be seen. After Joe Biden’s contested presidential win, the country may have to break apart into multiple independent political units if it is to avert further social disintegration.
Power and Polarization
To win elections, candidates must pander to the lowest common political denominator; i.e., they must promise to expand wide-reaching projects like social security, public healthcare, economic stimulus, and the military. In fact, candidates are incentivized to outpromise one another and when in power to follow through on carrying out at least some of those promises in the interest of reelection. The mass-democratic structure lubricates this process, as costs are distributed across the entire population and thus become more or less “hidden.” That’s led to a constant, creeping growth in government power, behind which Republicans and Democrats almost always form a united front. As Tom Woods says: “No matter who you vote for, you always wind up getting John McCain.” Within that statist unity, however, exist the seeds of electoral division.
Old, widely accepted government programs are used by politicians as a springboard for new, more expansive powers. Consider, for instance, the Green New Deal; it could only have been seriously proposed because of the broad-based support the New Deal programs have today. Each new law, regulation, bureau, and program is like a brick on top of which many others can be laid. Government seldom abrogates any of its power, tending instead towards constantly expanding it. That raises the stakes higher and higher with each successive election, with the winning party taking office with more power than ever before.