Archive | August, 2019

Is America too large? (Heck Yeah!)

13 Aug
Eli Dourado Wonders: Maybe America is Simply too Big (2016):

But I want to focus on something else. I can’t shake the idea that we’re way out of equilibrium in terms of optimal country size. If this idea is correct, then at least some of our problems could be the result of a mismatch between reality and the unexamined assumption that we all have to be in this together.

He goes on to summarize a classic paper on optimal country size, concluding:

…if economic integration prevails regardless of political integration—say, tariffs are low and shipping is cheap—then political integration doesn’t buy you much. Many of the other public goods that governments provide—law and order, social insurance, etc.—don’t really benefit from large populations beyond a certain point. If you scale from a million people to 100 million people, you aren’t really better off.

As a result, if economic integration prevails, the optimal country size is small, maybe even a city-state.

The number of independent nations in the world has been roughly tripled over the last century. As for the United States:

In his book American Nations, Colin Woodard argues that North America is actually composed of 11 distinct cultures, each dominant in different parts of the continent. Many of our internal political divisions—over gun control, the death penalty, abortion, the welfare state, immigration, and more—may actually reflect these cultural differences.


Given what we know about optimal country size, a monolithic America makes less sense today than it did a century ago. What made America into the superpower that it is today is its massive internal free trade area. Now that trade barriers have declined worldwide, this is less of an advantage than ever before. It’s not at all clear that this diminishing advantage outweighs the cost of our divisive politics based on unshared cultural assumptions.

All of which argues for a look at a pamphlet I edited, with some help from Charlie Keil, Thomas Naylor’s Paths to Peace: Small Is Necessary (Local Paths to Peace Today))

promoting decentralization direct democracy and peace everywhere

5 Aug

by Charlie Keil

Toward an Anthropology of Women (1975) edited by Rayna R. Reiter’
contains gayle rubin’s “The Traffic in Women: Notes on the

‘Political Economy’ of Sex” which contains this simple sentence:
‘If sexism is a by-product of capitalism’s relentless appetite for profit,

then sexism would wither away in the advent of a successful socialist revolution.’
maybe this is exactly what bernie & tulsi & a o c plus three & mayor pete have in mind

patriarchal capitalism married to the state is fascism
they will wither away together warren willing

when 2 + million watch jimmy dore plus four take down bari weiss
it puts a small dent in the DTs’ power to confuse

DTs =s Death Trippers =s Delirium Tremens =s Donald Drumpf Tweets
you don’t win against an irrational charismatic Death Tripper
by imagining a better imaginary center that exists nowhere
by promoting silly smugnorance in comfort zones
by wagging the finger of political correctitude at nukes
you follow the Constitution
and demonstrate that the occupant
lies and lies and boasts of some crimes and tries to hide others
lay out a comprehensive set of 50 to 60 brief articles of impeachment
take a weekend to assemble some evidence for each article
send it over to the senate and let them refuse to look at it
let chief justice roberts refuse to preside over a trial
the occupant retires to protect a piece or two of his “brand”
the gabbard/warren ticket wins big in november
because ron paul and a million young libertarian republicans work hard for it
more women wake up across america
joni ernst and lisa murkowski desert the miserable remains of the GOP
bernie sanders replaces bolton at NSA
a o c becomes secretary of state replacing pompeio
mayor pete becomes secretary of defense
imagine a sunshine cabinet full of smart and ethical people
a department of peace & a department of ecoequilibrio
promoting diversity of species and cultures at home and abroad
promoting self-determination of peoples and persons
promoting decentralization direct democracy and peace everywhere