Thingish Things

Hook ‘Em Horns

Written By: William F. B. O'Reilly - Dec• 23•10

The damndest thing about history is that it doesn’t stop.  It hasn’t yet at least.

That’s potentially good news for states like New York, California, and Illinois that seem to be on the wrong side of history these days.  They can alter their futures any time they want, and they know exactly how to do it.

The bad news, though, is that history doesn’t stop.  Just because one’s star has fallen doesn’t mean it can’t fall further still.  Think “The Glory that was Greece” vs. Athens 2010.

News that the Empire State is losing two more congressional seats in 2011 – New York  will be down to just 27 House seats, the lowest number since  James Monroe paced the halls of the White House – should be bracing enough for Albany legislators to begin altering history.

But they won’t.

They know, based on results at the polls this past Election Day, that their personal futures – their ability to hold office – are safer in keeping things the way they are than in bringing fundamental change to state government. The public service unions and the voters they influence are ultimately more threatening to them than are everyday voters.

In fact, with all the hullaballoo about voter outrage in 2010, legislators in New York, California, and Illinois, the three states with the most urgent need for tax and spending reform,  pretty much stayed the same.  The majority of voters in those states, consciously or unconsciously, decided they would rather hang onto what they have in slowly dying states than part with their share of the spoils to help build a better future.

Wikipedia instructs that the first Europeans arrived in Texas in 1519, but didn’t significantly populate the area for 160 years. Who can blame them?  It was hot, dusty and filled with diamond-backed rattlesnakes. And the oil under the ground wasn’t ready to be tapped for another 400 years.

But lucky for Texas that history does not stop.  The Lone Star State’s star is now rising.  In 2011 it will pick up four congressional seats, like chips off a poker table, from high-taxing states on the East Coast, West Coast, and industrial mid-west. Other southern states, with relatively low tax rates, are benefiting as well.

None of us will know how this eventually plays out. But, in the relative short-term, the slow-motion decline of America’s former anchor states seemed almost assured.

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One Comment

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Chapin D. Fay. Chapin D. Fay said: RT @wfbor Hook 'Em Horns – via @Shareaholic […]

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