I’ve thought over the years that the US is too large to govern in a cohesive way and this research reiterated it for me. The governance in states can vary so widely that there are places I would not be able to live. Add to that, they can be behemoths all their own and still suffer significant social issues. I could see how a state could be an ideal for one to live but applying that uniformly involves federal government assistance in the current structure. I don’t see how a state could truly have all citizens thrive without becoming some entity of its own. It’s hard to say. I’d be interested in a thought experiment showing what would happen if Utah became a country.

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Brilliant piece, Elle. I feel like we could narrow in even more to American cities as utopias. I live in Chicago, which feels like its own separate economic and political organism compared to Illinois.

I wonder if cities in America can lead the charge on some of these issues like healthcare, poverty, education and housing?

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There is so much to digest here.

My overarching belief is American Exceptionalism is the philosophy that will keep this country from ever arriving at utopia. When we think we stand alone, or pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps, it creates a cycle of wealth and power that make the wealthy wealthier and the already powerful more powerful.

One of my state senators in Missouri has made comments over the past two years about their intent to make the state red in a way where those that are more blue politically move to blue states. I do wonder if our current arrangement of states and politics will result in this in the more near future, furthering divide among states.

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Interestingly enough, the EU needs to be a little bit stronger, particularly in defense.

So the real model is somewhere in between what we have in the US and the current EU, skewed more towards the EU.

This is a breakup of sorts for the US though into 50+ independent nation states.

Personally, I'm all for it.

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Oh this is great.

Whole Poli Sci courses need to be taught on just this concept. Because there's so much rich potential in this concept for both sides of the grand canyon-esque political divide to feel seen and heard.

I can hear the cheering now:

States rights! Whoo!

Take money and decision-making away from the do-nothing, too-big-to-fail feds! Whoo!

Social capitalism! Whoo! Winning at big ass economic engines! *and* Winning at big ass social services and safety nets! Whoo! Whoo!

All types of universal care! Whooooo!!!

There truly is something for everyone.

Except the USA as it currently exists.

Today's USA doesn't survive this scenario.

But honestly, we're unsustainable as we are now. And we're told that we have to crash and burn in order to rebuild.

Because the alternative is we'd have to socially, politically, and collectively agree to hit a peaceful reset button. Hold another Constitutional Convention.

Live streaming on social media, rather than trickling information through pubs and pamphlets.

And unfortunately crashing and burning, then figuring out how to build an Emerald City from the ashes, sounds easier to most people.

I believe in us and our ability to all agree this broken and try to fix it.

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Oct 9, 2023Liked by Elle Griffin

personally, I'd do away with aaaaaall that corporate welfare from both state and federal governments and use it to support social programs like you're talking about. the government in the US both state and federal, seem to have a philosophy of let the big corporations solve most problems and pours money into the private sector, which by the way makes it harder for small businesses who aren't getting propped up by all that government money to even survive.

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I think the solution for a state providing more social services will have to come from the federal government increasing spending on the social safety net and then giving states block grants to implement as they see fit. That would require a sea change in our current politics, but it could happen in time.


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