Better off without'em

Chuck Thompson’s witty and fact-laden book Better off without’em: a Northern Manifesto for Souther Secession make a serious case for allowing the South to secede from the union.

He asks, “Why in the hell does the United States … allow the government to be held hostage by a coalition of bought-and-paid-for political swamp scum from the most uneducated, morbidly obese, racist, morally indigent, xenophobic, socially stunted, and generally ass-backwards part of the country?”

What makes the book a good read are two things: (1) his insults are witty, and (2) he backs up his insults with hard facts and with documentation from experts.

Southern politicians took the lead in instigating for the Civil War, for the Vietnam War, and for Bush II’s war in Iraq.

There’s only one white Democrat left in Congress from the Deep South. John Barrow of Georgia.  Blacks are gerrymandered into all black districts.

Northerners are surprised by the devotion of Southerners to (mostly Evangelical) Christianity, especially among African Americans.

In many southern cities, the whites send their kids to private schools and the public schools are almost entirely black.  In many places, public schools are chronically underfunded.  The centers of many southern cities are almost entirely black.

The South is like a third world country. In addition to underfunding education, it pays its workers low wages, it crushes unions, and it has weak regulations (so injuries are common).   Corporations, such as Boeing and foreign automakers, are paid handsomely to relocate to southern states, via generous subsidies.

As rust belt states lose population and the South grows in population, the South gains Congressional seats.

“According to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2011 report, seven of the ten most obese states are in the South (eight, if you count Texas).” (p 220)

Thompson isn’t sure that Texas is part of the South and is even less sure that the northern United States can get by without the wealth of Texas.  This seems like a serious flaw in his argument.

Three Novels About What Would Happen if Texas Seceded

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