Irreconcilable Differences: Let's Divide America in Two

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- From the fiscal cliff to gun rights, from divisive social issues to mandatory health care insurance -- America is more divided between red and blue than even the 1860s. We are a nation that is trying to compromise between driving on the right side of the road or on the left side such as in the British Empire and Japan.

In this chaotic mix of trying to drive a little bit on the right side of the road and a little bit on the left, there is not only almost zero economic growth and legislative stalemate, but also eternal strife ahead. Each side will not yield, and the result will continue to be societal unhappiness and massive waste of productivity. Gridlock defined.

The creation of America in the 1770s was about freedom of choice. The options to mankind were to be expanded from a few monarchies in Europe to a new form of a country on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean. This birth of freedom ignited the greatest expansion of economic activity, standards of living and average biological longevity in history.

In those colonial days, however, the U.S. population was less than 1% of what it is today. The U.S. population has increased more than 100-fold in 236 years. We often wonder why small countries with only 10 million or 30 million people can exhibit so different social characteristics than the U.S. Well, one of those reasons is that they are so relatively small -- 10 million or 30 million people isn't 300 million.

Trying to keep 300 million people of widely different ideological beliefs together under an umbrella of ideological rigidity only lasts so long. We saw this with our Cold War adversary the USSR, which in 1991 dissolved into a broad set of republics.

Considering the current fundamental disagreements about taxes, government spending, regulation, government deficits and debts plus all the other socio-cultural issues, one can make the argument that we now have the following three options in the years ahead:
  1. Hold hands in continuing economic paralysis, leading to the ultimate bankruptcy and hyperinflation. No balanced budget ultimately results in the government printing the difference. With hyperinflation comes the total societal collapse, such as in Germany in the 1920s.
  2. Civil War. Yeah, another one. Irreconcilable differences without divorce can result in spousal abuse. Witness what happened in Yugoslavia in the 1990s and in Syria today.
  3. Amicable divorce. This is what happened to, for example, Czechoslovakia in the early 1990s. Two countries emerged without a shot being fired and they have both seen increasing relative prosperity to varying degrees. It's a success story.

Any fourth "option" is a pure fantasy and product of utopian wishful thinking. Each side of the political divide may believe that it will prevail forever, suppressing the other side into a compliant and irrelevant minority. History does not speak well to this kind of prospect.

So what is America to do? It is clear to me that America needs to be split up, into at least two countries. At over 300 million people, the conglomerate has become one that business schools would use as a case study for unlocking the value by divestitures. Any corporation with over 300 million people is probably way too big, with massive inefficiencies and lack of management accountability.

Each side of the political divide should welcome this prospect with open arms. No longer would they have to wait two, four, six or eight years -- or potentially even more -- to turn the political cycle to their favored direction. You would have the choice: Driving on the right side of the road, or on the left. No more wild compromises where there is a mixed-side driving environment, politically speaking.

The political left, in particular, ought to welcome this amicable American divorce.

You have all seen the charts and maps in recent years, frequently circulated on the social networks, illustrating how the "blue" states (New York, California, Illinois, et al.) allegedly subsidize the "red" states (Utah, Alabama, Texas, et al.). I have my doubts about the methodology behind this math, but at least the liberals tend to circulate this as the truth so it must be true.

If this is indeed what the left seriously believes, then it shouldn't possibly object to dividing the United States into two. The only thing worse for 150 million liberals than having 150 million conservatives around is having to subsidize these 150 million conservatives. In a rational liberal's mind, spinning off these vast swaths of Neanderthals into its own conservative asylum should therefore solve all problems, right?

If the liberals are right, and the society they create is indeed better for everyone, all the smart people would flock to the "red" states, where there would be a strong liberal majority to implement whatever Nirvana they have in mind. Why should they risk a Republican President and a potential Republican Senate getting elected in 2016 to upset this path to liberal prosperity?

We just had an election cementing divided government -- for now. The liberals have the White House and the Senate and the conservatives have the House and most governorships. The country has been within a few short percentage points from 50-50 for 20 years now, and on most election years before then as well.

With our governmental bodies almost equally divided from year to year, we lurch from just under 50% of the population being unhappy and depressed for two-four-eight years, to another just-under 50% of the population being unhappy and depressed for the next two-four-eight years. Imagine the loss of productivity that follows from this anger and strife, all the brain cycles lost into the ether of political conflict and razor-sharp losses.

If America divided into two, both sides would get their way. There would be no losers. People could focus on working and living their lives. It would be like having the cake and eating it too. How could anybody without dictatorial ambitions possibly oppose this?

President Obama, of all people, ought to love it. As the liberal darling of the quarter-century, perhaps half-century, of the blue states, he could probably be elected ruler for life. Or if not elected, probably not face meaningful opposition if he decided to just stay in power on his own. Golf and Air Force One forever? C'mon, you know you want it!

As I was writing this article in various stages over the last few months, someone sent me this specific map and proposal for how to practically implement the separation treaty into the two new Americas.

Look at the map. Does anyone else have a better way for how to make this happen? Let me know. And let the rest of America know. It's the best way forward.

Our differences are irreconcilable, and cliff is ahead. It's time for an amicable national divorce.

At the time of publication the author had no position in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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