That’s It, I’m Taking My City and Going Home

The South tried it, the Carolinas and Virginas achieved it, Hong Kong and Singapore manage to make it work. This New York Magazine article throws out the idea of New York City seceding on the basis of taxation equity, as well as making common sense for us downstaters.

From what it should divorce itself from is an open question. From the US entirely is out of the question. Definately from the state — upstate is really a totally different animal from downstate. A 51st state would be rather nice, but a territory like Puerto Rico would make equal sense for a city that is an international capitol.

On paper it seems like it would work. NYC has twice the Gross Domestic Product of Hong Kong and three times that of Singapore (it’s slightly less than Taiwan). It has more people than Switzerland. Our standing security forces — NYPD and FDNY — are larger and better equiped than many countries (we have tanks, water and air craft). Unlike pre-1997 Hong Kong, we get to keep our northern water reserves, because someone with foresight bought the land for the City.

The question of New York secession first came up in 1861, under circumstances that showed just this kind of ruthless pragmatism, when Mayor Fernando Wood hoped to preserve the right to trade with both the North and the South. Most other New York City secession proposals have focused on becoming a separate state. In 1788, Alexander Hamilton warned that the city’s secession was “inevitable” if the state failed to ratify the Constitution. In 1969, Norman Mailer and Jimmy Breslin ran on a mayoral platform arguing that the city, needing local control of its services and finances, should become the 51st state. The most inspired part of their proposal contended that the city had dibs on the name “New York.” The rest of the state, they suggested, should be renamed “Buffalo.”

That was really funny.
I’m still for a United States of America; New York City ought to be a discrete part of it.

0 thoughts on “That’s It, I’m Taking My City and Going Home”

  1. “New York City ought to be a discrete part of it.”

    You mean like Washington, D.C.? 😉

    (seriously, the only thing hurting D.C. is the whole lack of total enfranchisement; that and a problem with urban crime, but that’s another story entirely).

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