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Can Secession Succeed?


Following on the heels of the excellent discussions during Secession Week at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom, my new Forbes column discusses secession at the state level. Specifically, a state legislator in Alabama has been looking into what it would take for Greene County–and the entire 7th Congressional District–to secede and form a new state. I don’t think there’s any chance Tuscaloosa County (home of the University of Alabama) or any part of Jefferson County (where Birmingham is) would secede, but I think it could be a very productive discussion.

Then, serendipitously, Mike Gibson at Let A Thousand Nations Bloom links to this article from the San Francisco Chronicle arguing that “The Bay Area needs to act like a city-state” and pointing out that if the Bay Area seceded, “it would instantly become the world’s 25th largest economy, ahead of Austria, Taiwan, Greece, and Denmark.”

Practicality aside, would secession be the right move for Alabama’s 7th Congressional District or California’s Bay Area? I don’t know, but it could be an interesting discussion. Just as long as Zombie Bob Murphy doesn’t get involved.


Contact Art Carden

Art Carden is assistant professor of economics, Brock School of Business, Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.

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