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State Franchises

Let people live where they want, without moving, sort of.
  (+4, -1)
(+4, -1)
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The United States of America, as may be inferred from the name, is a collection of individual states in which there is a degree of governmental autonomy. Some states collect lots of tax, some less, some let you do some things, some don't.

You may wish to live, for example, in Colorado. However your job is in Philadelphia, and as such you are faced with either an impractical commute or a job hunt. Now, what if states were allowed to franchise themselves. For example, a county in say, Pennsylvania, could elect to become a franchise of Colorado. They would be subject to Colorado laws and taxation. As such the former Pennsylvanians could enjoy the sheer unadulterated liberty of buying a bottle of wine, a case of beer and some tonic water in fewer than three stores. Hell, even in one store.

Eventually, popular state franchises may start to fill up, driving up tax revenue, and encouraging neighboring counties to start thinking about their own franchise status. Conversely, a state that starts losing territory may think about sorting out the more ludicrous of its laws before it finds itself erased from the map.

bs0u0155, Sep 03 2014

Other folks think like this also... http://www.antipope...-question.html#more
[normzone, Sep 10 2014]

Our current system is nearly 400 years old... http://en.wikipedia...phalian_sovereignty
[normzone, Sep 10 2014]

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       Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong, courtesy of Neal Stephenson in Snow Crash.   

       Taxation would be interesting.
normzone, Sep 03 2014

       Not really, Federal and state taxes are already separate. People routinely work and live in different states and file returns for both. The biggest problem would be a critical mass. You'd have to have enough people that it'd be worth administrating.
bs0u0155, Sep 03 2014

       When are you people going to gather your 50 asses together and become a real country?
MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 03 2014

       Actually, it goes a lot further than [bs] suggests ...   

       "The service provider model as a sucessor to the nation state" ...   

       What is a government, after all ? It's a service provider operating in a fixed geographic area.   

       If you live in, say, Freedonia, you pay taxes to the Freedonian government. In return, you're supposed to get, at a minimum, external and internal security, i.e. the state protects its own existence; if it ceases to do this, it ceases to be an effective state. Things like roads, education, healthcare and drains are tacked on the back end.   

       But the question remains; in a connected world with free moverment of goods, services and people, the nation state in its fixed area becomes an anachronism.   

       Effectively, this is the logical extension of cellular phone roaming. You pay a monthly fee to your cellular service provider, and wherever you go, you can access cellular services.   

       When you're in a "foreign" country, you get "consular help" from your homeland, but the point-of-use services are provided by the local administration.   

       So, instead of paying tax to an organization tied to a bit of land, what if you paid a proportion of your income - probably a large proportion too - to a service provider who guaranteed that wherever you were, your safety, health and welfare would be protected ?   

       This would have the added advantage of making conventional warfare impossible, since currently enemy assets are location-bounded. When infrastructure is shared, any attack is self- defeating, literally.   

       We suggest wise investors should put their money into Tyrell Corporation, Umbrella, Omni Consumer Products, Cyberdyne Systems and of course Disney. But to hedge your bets, stock up on "canned foid and shotguns".
8th of 7, Sep 03 2014

       //canned foid   

       Sorry old chap, but your keyboard defaulted to Bronx accent just there.   

       normzone, you beat me to it. And conventional states seem to getting bigger, the UK is part of the EU, Russia etc.
not_morrison_rm, Sep 03 2014

       This would just intigate a 'race to the bottom', with no states wanting to charge any taxes, etc. for fear of losing voters, and force the federal government to step in and do all the things the franchised states are too scared to do.
hippo, Sep 04 2014

       This is feasible if, say, New Jersey was declared a Native tribe's second reservation.
4and20, Sep 04 2014

       //This would just intigate a 'race to the bottom', with no states wanting to charge any taxes, etc. for fear of losing voters//   

       Yes, I think that's the point, and I wholeheartedly support it.   

       //and force the federal government to step in and do all the things the franchised states are too scared to do.//   

       Ah, but they can't, thanks to federalism. It's in the Constytooshun!
ytk, Sep 10 2014

       Isn't this effectively managed already (after a fashion at least) by having both property tax (paid were you live) & income tax (collected from the employer)?   

       Have to admit to a degree of ignorance on the tax set up your end (haven't read the other anno's either so sorry if already mentioned).   


       Hmm... but it's the commute that bothers you, you want to live same place as work but pay as if you lived where you want to, in that case why bother with this, what your really after is federal control of taxes so everyone pays the same.   

       Umm... no that's not it either, you want them all competing for your tax dollars so they enter a price war leading to falling taxes ;) nice idea.   

       So how are you going to avoid the different states getting together & forming a cartel to fix tax 'prices'?
Skewed, Sep 10 2014

       // your keyboard defaulted to Bronx accent / /   

       We should have put quotes round it … it's the 'brain Gremlin' …
8th of 7, Sep 10 2014

       //So how are you going to avoid the different states getting together & forming a cartel to fix tax 'prices'//
Capitalism encourages (or at least is conducive to) cartel behaviour, so the solution is built in, though only it must be said, each state's likely perception of the "problem", rather than each taxpayer's view.
calum, Sep 10 2014

       //So how are you going to avoid the different states getting together & forming a cartel to fix tax 'prices'?//   

       There are, quite a lot of states. There are very few markets with 50 equally placed players. Cartels tend to form with relatively few players where each member can quickly detect any other member's departure from the agreement. Given that states are supposedly run by elected officials, who are swapped out frequently, and the fact that there's a lot of them introduces too many variables for cartel stability.   

       Furthermore, the tax/services ratio is not fixed. States can effectively offer no services for no taxes. I'm not sure a cartel could exist where some members don't even bother selling a product.
bs0u0155, Sep 10 2014

       The barriers to entry to market are sufficiently great (that is, they are total) that this 50-party market could tend cartelwards relatively easily, particularly as public policy has to be public. Changes in personnel at the top politcial level are as unlikely to discourage cartelisation as changes in CEOs and management teams.
calum, Sep 10 2014

       Alaska's Permanent Fund would make it a popular franchise... at the outset anyway.
LimpNotes, Sep 11 2014


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