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Idaho is not Scotland, but financial independency should not be ignored

Idaho is not Scotland, but financial independency should not be ignored

Fred Birnbaum
September 25, 2014
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September 25, 2014

The vote on whether Scotland would remain as part of the UK was not even close. The final tally had the vote for independence falling short by 10 percentage points. Pundits concluded that even though Scottish hearts wanted independence, their heads favored remaining in the UK.

Perhaps we should not be surprised at this outcome. Scotland has a large welfare apparatus that depends heavily on London. Apparently a large voting bloc in Scotland associated voting for their wallets with voting with their heads. The British prime minister has promised greater power sharing with Scotland, perhaps a sign of magnanimity in victory.

Idaho is in no measure proportional in size or impact to the U.S. as a whole as Scotland is to the UK. However, the trend lines in both geographies during the last century here and three centuries in Scotland do share one major characteristic; increasing dependence on the central government.

Few in Idaho believe that the state could or should become an independent country, which would be unworkable unless it was part of a larger union of Western and Midwestern states. The relevant issue, now, is how we manage our relationship with the federal government on issues like land use, Medicaid money, education funding, etc.

What ought to be clear to every Idahoan who cherishes liberty is that increasing financial dependence gives Washington, D.C., more political leverage through an expanded class of dependents within our boarders. If the goal of progressives is to make states mere administrative units of the federal government, then financial dependency is their most powerful political tool.

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