Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Imagine If The States Were 'Nation-States'

By Cernig

There's an interesting map going around which renames U.S. states with the names of countries having a comparable GDP. It comes via James Joyner, who notes that such a map clearly shows America's massive wealth and power, and Andrew Sullivan, who asks if New Zealand would be happy having no representation like its GDP counterpart D.C.

It's one of those maps that gives a springboard to the imagination. For instance:

Imagine that all those countries couldn't scrape up enough competent military and political leaders, enough resources and reconstruction experts, among them as could avoid having their combined asses handed to them by a rag-tag bunch of barbarians numbering only a couple of thousand in the hinterlands of Iraq and Afghanistan....

Or that the best efforts of all those nations could find, as candidates for their premier statesman or stateswoman, an actor who believes that war on Iran will look like a bigger-budget version of Iron Eagles 2 or a woman who insists that the quagmire in Iraq is the fault of those invaded, rather than those who voted for and ordered the invasion.

Imagine Canadians putting up with a poverty rate 50% higher than they currently have, as Texas does. That's despite having a population almost 50% higher. In other words, the gap between the have and have-nots in Texas is massively more than in Canada.

Imagine Ireland putting up with a literacy rate of 85% in return for it's wealth. (It's actual literacy rate is 99.9%).

Imagine the Swiss putting up with the crime rate or unemployment of Georgia.

Once upon a time, they were called "states" because they were de facto nation-states, federated together because it was believed the whole would be greater than the sum of its parts. That's still true, I would say, but one other thing this map shows is that Republicans have much to gain from greater federal control, no matter what their rhetoric - the "liberal" states are almost uniformly richer than and thus subsidize the poorer "conservative" ones.

I'm sure there's lots more. But our rightwing friends will be delighted, I'm sure, that "liberal-lefty" California partners with the sheese-eating surrender-monkeys of France.

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