I was struggling with the answer to the question of state unity, and the only clue I have that stopped me from saying “no” unequivocally is the fact that we can travel from state to state without a passport... for now!
I can't actually think of another example that would make me feel they are remotely united. Look at the big topics: presidential elections, the Electoral College, gun control, tobacco, derivatives, abortion, gay marriage, education, time, ethnic makeup, and my favorite: the mortgage industry. I would mention weather, but then Al Gore and I would have to start splitting hairs, and quite frankly I am follically challenged.
Before I sat down to write this article, I thought it was just the mortgage industry that suffered under the 50 state separation (autonomy) and the rest of life in these United States was fine. Maybe not.
Let’s look at the Electoral College in presidential elections. Those who live in smaller states have a greater influence with their vote than those who live in the larger states. That is because the Electoral College adds the representatives of a given state and the Senators and that is the number of votes out of that state. If you live in a smaller state, adding two Senators to 3 or 4 representatives gives you greater influence than the bigger states where you add two senators to 30 to 50 representatives.
Gun control laws differ dramatically when you compare, for example, Texas and California. When it comes to smoking, the "other" smoke is getting a hard look by states hard pressed to balance their budgets. I needn't spend much time on gay marriage or abortions, as everyone above the age of my new granddaughter has the info on the states that favor their views. I do believe, however, if government couldn't make money on marriage they would get out of it and the question would be left to the various religions, where it belongs.
When it comes to education, some states have an automatic entrance to the state university if you graduate from high school in that state. In California, though, you can graduate with a 4.0 (straight A), get a 1500 on the SAT's, be captain of your sports team, student body president of your high school, a volunteer at the local hospital, regularly attend your religious community for worship, and be a relative of the earliest residents of the state, and you are sure to make the waiting list for a spot in the next semester's class.
Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.