Calexit or Calicadia Here’s how it Rolls

Bas St Laurent

There are few countries unaffected by the surprise win of President Elect Donald J Trump. His campaign spared no one the divisive proclamations meant to frighten, divide to conquer and gain attention.

For millions of Progressives and Liberals of every faith and nationality there is a feeling that can only be described as a dis-ease. What other explanation can explain the sense of anxiety and hopeless malaise in anticipation of what is to come in a Trump America.

The political arc now bends toward the extreme right in Washington DC. Global tribalism has set up shop in America. Bringing with it an anticipated rolling back of decades of struggle to win policies friendly to the disenfranchised and suppression of the science of climate change. His disavowing of hard-earned trade agreements seduces the dark specter of isolationism.

As we draw closer to Inauguration day, people are increasingly convinced that the campaigner Donald Trump will make good his harsh populist promises. In the days following his election victory, each choice of cabinet appointee reinforces the need for millions of Americans to join the world in exploring places for safe harbor, a place for what Tony Blair calls the “political homeless”, or perhaps a Calexit or Calicadia.

Insolence Incarnate

Perceived wealth is what the PEOTUS has used to sway political power. The same holds true for the value of American currency. Wall Street is a thin-skinned warrior that takes offence at the slightest uncertainty. We are the world’s largest consumer market with the biggest most successful economic experiment. Renegotiating our export and import agreements as well as threatening the efficacy of our immigration policy threatens to rip the socio- economic fabric of states like California. Nevertheless, just a scent of a successful coming of a split between Washington and a quarter of the country and its contributing GDP will send global markets reeling. Because the states demanding release from their agreements to stay as part of the union will own a GDP placing them 5th or 6th on the list of world economies, tied to France.

We have become a nation of political hegemony.

We are no longer a country of dual political parties. We have elected the gatekeepers away. Democracy has declined. Xenophobia’s influence on our economy will soon bear the costs of following its political dictates. Middle income and impoverished Americans will feel the outcomes first as social programs intermittently experience privatization.

SCOTUS will soon have the ability to reinterpret constitutional language for a host of political reasons. So to expect a country that is largely progressive to remain silent is not realistic. If California has its way, other states sitting on the fence will be compelled to follow suit and enact their own solutions to exit the union. This will definitely create a nation of independent states that may resemble a redefined EU, each with its own ideologies and sovereign laws. The loser in the final analysis will be the United States of America. Here is why it would be so very hard to achieve a Calexit or Calicadia.

Campaign Rhetoric laced with racial animus fueled an election while dividing a country along huge fault lines between Liberal and extreme Conservative ideologies.

The GOP party’s denouncement of lenient immigration policies was a successful distraction in winning control of Washington DC. But they failed to take into account the populace views in the successful states of Silicon Valley and Washington State. They take these conservative pronouncements seriously. Comprehensive immigration feeds the wealth of talent that created the cash cows of tech industries. They also happen to be the bastions of Liberal think tanks. Loosing these states from the union would constitute a huge brain drain while dealing a hard blow to the national GDP.

If California and other states achieve an exit from the union, an added benefit would be a clear path to renegotiate their own version of TPP. Emerging markets and the EU would welcome the opportunity to reignite a new and different trade deal, if assured that a mature government and a strong emerging economy was forming. Calexit or Calicadia would become a major avenue into the globes largest and fastest growing consumer markets in Asia. There will be little to restrain negotiating open borders between Mexico and Canada.

Consider this. California is part of a group of states that lies between the Pacific Ocean and the rest of the world. Almost 62% of Californians voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Median Income is $61,000. Californians pay more federal taxes than any state in the union. Their GDP places them at 6th in global economies.

Their bank of technical brains bracing for the coming of a cultural regression in science and shrinking liberal democracy makes this large productive diverse culture convinced that their government holds little resemblance to the values held by its statehood. California’s exit has been in the planning for years.

The national GDP without California in 2015 was $15.5 trillion. California’s GDP is $2.4 trillion with a growth rate of 3.2%. A proposal from neighboring states to join in a succession or Calicadia would have a combined GDP, using 2015 numbers, of close to $3.2 trillion. This assures a very self-sustainable sovereign.

In order to achieve the feat of creating Camelot there must be a successful referendum vote and ratification from 38 states. But consider this. The impact on sovereign treasuries and loss of income to the United States would be hard. Only with some arbitrary leave buy out and/or a systematic reparation of loss of inherent commodities and tax incomes could we hope to unlink California and her neighboring states, not an impossibility but a strong disincentive. The US government can never willingly allow these exits to occur. Nevertheless, religious and racial tolerance has been the hallmark of our constituted group of states.

As we push our country further to an extreme regressive culture, its policies will force many to rethink where to live and survive. States that offer a more forgiving social climate will reap the economic rewards of talented and youthful communities. But the shear headwinds of creating a nascent nation’s economic policies, constitutional and social constructs and monetary policies will be dreadful to untangle from the United Sates and then reassemble. This would completely upend the US economy.

Since the end of the Civil War, no state has succeeded, let alone an entire block of states. Agreements struck at the end of the war were meant to keep sealed the union. Becoming self-governing is the easy part. Becoming a separate entity reflecting all the social nuances of Camelot is another thing altogether.

Part of the composition of what makes our country great is the maturity and stability of governance. Without that, the impact on global markets would be bad. Just a hint to the financial markets that such a thing is possible would forever change all things. The nominal value of our dollar (globally used as the currency of choice) would plummet. It would mean the end to the American powerhouse, as we know it. We have already signaled an enabling of a stronger China by threatened withdrawal from trade agreements. But the desire for an exit from the union serves as a reminder of other countries who chose a leave referendum.

At this writing, the UK’s Autumn Statement detailed the fact of an 82.6 percent to 87.3 percent increase to debt and a lowered GDP due to economic uncertainties from the Brexit.

Unexpected turns of political events driven by tribalism have become a real and present danger to global stability. Where aggressive and progressive fiscal policies have been lacking monetary policies have supported.

Bad actors are influencing our politics and the growing conservatism populace is upending economies. Is a Calicadia possible? Britons asked the same about a Brexit five years ago. Thanks to isolationists right-wingers like UKIP’s Nigel Farage, it became a reality. That same sentiment brings into stark relief all aspects of a Donald J Trump administration.

The uncertainty of isolationism haunts Europe as well with the alt-right populisms of France’s Marine Le Pen, and Francoise Fillon, Germany’s alt-right leader of Alternative für Deutschland Frauke Petry, and Austria’s Norbert Hofer promoting “Oexit”. Their isolationist movements once living on the fringe now threaten liberal democracies.

With renegotiations of tariffs, customs taxes, loss of wages, devaluing of currencies and migration of human capita. The distracting politics of xenophobia and isolationism carries a high economic price tag.

Mashable – “Today, we woke up feeling like strangers in a foreign land, because yesterday Americans expressed their views on a pluralistic and democratic society that are clearly inconsistent with the values of the people of California,” California Senate President Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon said in a joint statement. “We have never been more proud to be Californians.”

They added that the state would continue being a “refuge of justice and opportunity for people of all walks, talks, ages and aspirations – regardless of how you look, where you live, what language you speak, or who you love.”

“Any access to the common market comes with rules and obligations and one of those is freedom of movement for people,” Ayrault said at a press conference of Paris. “It is not a la carte.”