The Thinking 

Alabama as an Independent Republic

November 23, 2012


HERE from the League of the South, a secessionist organization, is the case for making Alabama a separate country. The piece states, “It is time we Alabamians ruled ourselves. We have everything we need . . . if we can merely muster the will.” It begins:

Like many other States of this once-voluntary union, Alabama has all that is necessary to be a separate, independent republic. Our State’s population is 4.8 million (2010 US Census), which puts it equal to or larger than Norway, New Zealand, Croatia, Latvia, Estonia, Slovenia, and Iceland, among others. In total area (roughly 50,000 square miles) it is equal to or larger than Slovakia, Estonia, Denmark, The Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium, Israel, and Taiwan. It is a land of great diversity, from its resource-rich mountains in the north, to its luxuriant Black Belt farmlands, to its beautiful Gulf Coast. Alabama’s enormous natural resources range from timber and other forest products to the ingredients for steel production—coal, iron ore, and limestone.

Raw Materials and Agriculture

For example, in 2007 the State of Alabama ranked 16th among all the States in the production of industrial minerals ($1.34 billion in value). Specifically, Alabama produced 50 million short tons of Limestone and 20 million short tons of coal (2007 and 2009, respectively). Though Alabama now imports most of its high-grade iron ore for steel productions, the State Geological Survey in 2007 estimates that there is a 4.2 billion ton reserve of red iron ore in the central and east central part of the State that could be mined if necessary.

Indeed, Alabama could be largely self-sufficient as an independent republic by using and selling to others the produce, both natural and man made, of our great State. Sadly though, we currently are not in a position to do this because of our political status as a mere subset of an empire that is sinking beneath the waves before our very eyes.

Alabama is historically portrayed largely as an agricultural economy. Let’s look, then, at this situation as it currently stands. About 80% of Alabama agricultural production comes from livestock, with the other 20% from a large variety of crops. Livestock production is dominated by broilers (young chickens used for cooking) at 60%; cattle production is next at about 12%. The remaining 28% is made up of hog, chicken egg, and aquaculture (catfish and crawfish) production). Crop production in Alabama is led by greenhouse and nursery produce, and though cotton production is down significantly from earlier decades, it is still an important crop. Alabama produced 4% of America’s total cotton crop in 2004, mainly in the fertile Tennessee Valley.

Why is it that Alabama needs to purchase polluted seafood and catfish from China and other Asian countries when we can easily raise or procure it locally? Chicken, beef, lamb, goats, and other animals could be raised, processed and sold locally. Raw milk, cheese, and other dairy products as well as eggs could once again come from Alabama’s own farms, not from far away questionable sources. [cont.]

—- Comments —-

Terry Morris writes:

Yep. Another reason Alabama ought to be cut loose is because, according to data collected by the U.S., she receives, for every dollar she contributes to the U.S. economy, $2.03 in “federal dollars” in return. Indeed, 81% of “red states” receive, on average, $1.29 in return for every dollar invested. My state, Oklahoma, is one of the 81%. It just makes good economic sense to honor our wishes to self-govern.

Sometimes you just gotta cut a man loose.

Joe A. writes:

What does it mean to say “Alabama” receives $2.03 for every dollar “Alabama” sends to the Federal government?

It really means nothing since there is no such thing as “Alabama”. “Alabama” is an abstraction, simultaneously the name of a country (i.e., a land with acknowledged frontiers) and the name of a formerly sovereign government (i.e., “The State of Alabama”) since reduced to an administrative department of the Federal government.

However, flesh-and-blood people pay taxes and flesh-and-blood people receive tax monies previously taken from other flesh-and-blood people.

So the appropriate questions to ask would be, Who in the country (land) of Alabama pays taxes? Who in the country (land) of Alabama takes tax monies?

I suspect that discussion would be far less flattering to snotty, holier-than-thou New Yorkers and San Franciscans.

Mr. Morris writes:

In response to Joe A. – Yes, of course. But we want the snotty, holier/productiver-than-thou New Yorkers, San-Franciscans, Bostonians, et al, to think they have a good economic reason to cut us loose.

Mr. Morris adds:

Here’s an anecdote apropos to this discussion: In 2010, after failing to complete my Census paperwork and turn it in to the IRS, I received a visit from one of those know-nothing temporary census workers who wanted to know (clipboard and ink pen at the ready) how many people live at my residence, and a couple of other irrelevant bits of information. I answered that “there are two electors who live here.” She, of course, wanted more information. I simply asked, “Why do you need to know that?” She said, “Don’t you understand, sir, that this is how the federal government determines where to send federal tax dollars; that these dollars are used to build and equip schools, police depts., fire depts., and etc…?” I snickered at that, saying “let me ask you something: Do you know where “federal dollars” come from; do you know what a “tax payer” is?” She looked at me completely bewildered and replied, “So you’re refusing to answer my questions?” I said “Yep. As long as you’re refusing to answer mine.”

Two weeks later I received from the IRS a notification informing me that my residence had been “selected at random” to receive a survey called “The American Community Survey,” and that, according to federal law, (the statutes were cited, but I don’t remember what they were) I must (their word) “respond,” or otherwise be subject to a fine, and/or, imprisonment. The survey came in the mail a few days later, and unless you’ve seen this thing, you can’t imagine the invasiveness of the questions on it. Besides all of the Census questions, it goes into great detail about how many vehicles you own, how many boats and RVs, how much energy you use in your home, whether you do any business from your home, and on and on.

I followed the statute and “responded,” though I did not fill out the survey. In my “response,” I simply pointed out that I had determined that none of the information they were asking for in the survey was relevant to the question a census is trying to answer; that my “response” is that I refuse to answer your invasive questions. That is the short of it. My “response” letter was a lot longer, and a lot more detailed.

Long story short – I’ve been harassed by the government ever since. I think they’re trying to wear me down. Ha, ha.

Jesse Powell writes:

Though Alabama as a whole continue to show family decline, the top 4% of Alabama by Global Fertility Level by Census Tract showed improvement in its family indicators among whites from 2000 to 2010; the comparable figure for the nation as a whole that shows such improvement is 3.35%.  Below is a table giving detail on the top seven percentiles of Global Fertility Level for Alabama in 2000 and 2010.

Definitions:  “United States” refers to the nation as a whole.  “Alabama” refers to the state of Alabama as a whole.  “Alabama QCT” means Alabama Qualified Census Tracts; these are all the Census Tracts in Alabama with 325 white children or more in 2000 and 250 white children or more in 2010.  “GFL” is Global Fertility Level; the average number of own children per family with own children.  “MPR” is the Married Parents Ratio; the proportion of own children living with married parents.  “cMPR” is the cumulative MPR; this is the MPR overall of the particular Percentile level or higher in the state of Alabama.  Percentile Level Data refers to the state of Alabama and is based on 2000 and 2010 Census Tracts where the minimum Census Tract population is 325 white children in 2000 and 250 white children in 2010.  The “99th Percentile” refers to the Census Tracts with the highest GFL containing 1% of all white children.  The GFL numbers given for each Percentile reflect the minimum GFL needed to qualify for the given Percentile level.  All numbers in the table refer to whites; non-Hispanic white alone.

  2000 GFL 2010 GFL 2000 MPR 2010 MPR 2000 cMPR 2010 cMPR
United States 1.760 1.710 80.9% 78.1%    
Alabama 1.700 1.706 82.2% 78.7%    
Alabama QCT 1.706 1.714 82.5% 79.0%    
99th Percentile 1.927 1.971 89.3% 91.0% 89.3% 91.0%
98th Percentile 1.874 1.906 89.3% 92.2% 89.3% 91.6%
97th Percentile 1.852 1.875 89.6% 89.6% 89.4% 90.9%
96th Percentile 1.844 1.867 92.5% 90.4% 90.2% 90.8%
95th Percentile 1.836 1.848 90.4% 84.8% 90.2% 89.7%
94th Percentile 1.831 1.831 90.2% 84.8% 90.2% 88.9%
93rd Percentile 1.826 1.828 90.4% 87.1% 90.3% 88.7%

The 96th Percentile is the last Percentile where the cumulative Married Parents Ratio improved from 2000 to 2010 meaning the top four percent of high fertility Census Tracts in Alabama saw overall improvement in their Married Parents Ratio from 2000 to 2010 but the top five percent didn’t. Interestingly there is a sharp drop-off in Married Parents Ratio in 2010 from the 96th Percentile to the 95th Percentile.  In 2000, the very highest MPR Census Tracts in Alabama had comparatively high fertility but not the highest fertility in the state; in 2010 the very highest fertility and the very highest MPRs went together.

In 2010, 27 Census Tracts made up the top four percent of high fertility Census Tracts in Alabama; of these 27 Census Tracts, nine were in Jefferson County, five were in Shelby County, three were in Madison County, two each were in Mobile, Montgomery, and Tuscaloosa Counties, and one each was in Autauga, Bibb, Dale, and Lee Counties.

The largest high fertility cluster in Alabama in 2010 is eight contiguous Census Tracts in Jefferson County (Census Tracts 107.03, 108.01, 108.02, 108.04, 108.05, 127.03, 129.05, and 129.11).  These Census Tracts are in the cities of Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Vestavia Hills, which are suburbs of Birmingham, Alabama.  For a map of the Census Tracts go to the following link.

These Census Tracts had a total population 37,522 people of whom 93.2 percent were white.  More information on this Jefferson County high fertility cluster is given in the table below.

In the below table information is given for Homewood / Mountain Brook / Vestavia Hills combined as well as for six of the eight Census Tracts combined in the Jefferson County high fertility cluster where 2000 and 2010 can be compared.  The Jefferson County high fertility cluster itself is also given but only for the year 2010 (due to changes in Census Tract boundaries only six of the eight Census Tracts were available for both 2000 and 2010 allowing for comparison).

Definitions:  “HW/MB/VH” represents the cities of Homewood, Mountain Brook, and Vestavia Hills, Alabama combined.  “Jefferson County hfc” represents the 8 Census Tracts of the Jefferson County high fertility cluster combined (Census Tracts 107.03, 108.01, 108.02, 108.04, 108.05, 127.03, 129.05, and 129.11).  “Jefferson County partial hfc” represents the 6 Census Tracts of the Jefferson County high fertility cluster that are available in both the 2000 and 2010 Census (Census Tracts 107.03, 108.01, 108.02, 108.04, 108.05, and 129.05).  “%W” means Percent White; the proportion of the total population that was white in 2010.  “%WC” means Percent White Children; the proportion of the child population that was white in 2010.  “WCP” means White Child Population; the number of white children in 2010.  “GFL” is the Global Fertility Level; the average number of own children per family with own children.  “MPR” means Married Parents Ratio; the proportion of own children living with married parents.  All numbers refer to whites; non-Hispanic white alone.

  %W %WC WCP 2000 GFL 2010 GFL 2000 MPR 2010 MPR
HW/MB/VH 85.5% 82.2% 16,701 1.823 1.876 88.4% 89.0%
Jefferson County hfc 93.2% 92.4% 9,621   1.957   91.3%
Jefferson County partial hfc 95.1% 94.3% 6,654 1.882 1.946 90.1% 91.2%

 All of the high fertility Census Tracts in Shelby County are also suburbs of Birmingham but they are to the East and South of Birmingham while the high fertility cluster in Jefferson County is to the West of Birmingham.

It seems that the biggest areas in Alabama showing improvement in both their Global Fertility Level and their Married Parents Ratio among whites from 2000 to 2010 are suburbs of Birmingham where whites are moving out of the central city areas to more suburban white dominated areas.

Small areas of improvement in the Global Fertility Level and the Married Parents Ratio among whites are forming all over the country; Alabama is just an example.

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