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As Congress starts to take a serious look at the mounting financial problems of many states, including allowing filing for bankruptcy to let them restructure their debt and contracts. There is one option that has yet to be considered. Merger……..Exactly. Merger.
Merger has long been successfully used in corporate restructurings. It can be a voluntary pairing, or it can be forced via bankruptcy. Basically, a merger takes one of two paths. A strong, financially viable entity takes over a weaker one. Many banks have undergone this process. The other option is when several weak sisters are combined. The airlines have been doing this for decades.
With states, either path would work. Tremendous economies of scale are realizable. Huge cost savings are possible. State mergers have pose one unique problem. For obvious reasons, merged states need contiguous borders.
So with that, before Congress takes up the question, we can begin to explore which state mergers might have merit.
Vermont & New Hampshire: Peas in a pod. And the two of them might decide to attempt a hostile takeover of Maine.
Rhode Island & Connecticut: There is no eartlhy reason for RI to exist. Financially, it’s a mess. And any electorate that chooses Lincoln Chafee as its governor has lost its collective mind. Indeed, it’s become more of a city-state, (Providence) than a state. And can you really have a state where more than 50% of the land area is paved?
Delaware & Maryland: Delaware encompasses just two major rest areas on I-95. You should have at least 3 to qualify as a state.
Kansas & Missouri: This would once and for all solve the problem of having both a Kansas City, Kansas, and a Kansas City, Missouri.
MInnesota & Iowa: A glance at the map shows that this combination provides an elegant “verticality,” stacking one atop the other. Residents of both states will no doubt welcome this, as the newly combined state universities might actually have a chance at winning the BIG TEN football championship. Come to think of it, if we can merge two more of the conference states, then the BIG TEN logo will once again really be just that.
Nevada & Utah: Nevada is basically Las Vegas surrounded by lots and lots of desert and federal land. The state is financially strapped, unlike Utah, which is on solid footing. Utah now does not allow gambling, but it does have an NBA team. This merger would thus allow present Nevada residents to have a professional team they can call there own, and would probably facilitate them getting a pro football and major league baseball team in the near future. This would also enable Yucca Mt. to finally get activated, as the Utah contingent of the new state would readily vote for the storage facility to come on line.
This last is technically NOT a merger. Wisconsin, having elected a strong conservative, pro businesss governor, will no doubt soon have its financial house in order. Thus, it should soon not have a problem securing the funds to purchase the Upper Peninsula from Michigan. Michigan can surely use the money. They can tear down the 60% of Detroit that now resembles Iraq, and plant trees. Though not as large a forrested area as the Upper Peninsula, the new woodlands will be more accessible to most MIchiganders. And Yoopers will immediately bond with Cheeseheads. And uncounted future generations of children will find US geography a tad easier.
Think of the added bonus. The number of senators will be reduced. That’s a good thing.
Red State readers are of course invited to offer their own suggestions.