John Thune and Black Elk: South Dakota rising — new buzzwords

The great anthropologist Joseph Campbell said one of the most significant moments in the spirit life of America was when the Lakota shaman, Black Elk, turning and pointing north to northwest, said to the poet Flaming Rainbow, “There is the center of the world.” Then he said, “But wherever you are is the center of the world.” He might have been right the first time, because Black Elk’s Dakotas are awakening. Just as the rest of us up here in the Northeast seem to be falling into a deep post-industrial slumber.

This current recession in no way resembles the Great Depression, when the “world economy” basically consisted of England, Germany and the U.S. Germany is doing well and Brazil is at 7 percent. China and Germany are creditor nations and, as Jim Rogers says, the U.S. is now the “greatest debtor nation in history.” But for our purposes here in the Land of the Free, we can see that the U.S. economy is REGIONALIZING in this recession. The red states are bountiful with commodities and agricultural products and are generally very healthy. And there is, says Rogers, “a definite shift from financial centers,” especially New York and London, “to the producers of real goods.”

Timothy Geithner can lecture the Chinese on currency and the first lady can lecture India on prostitution. God bless Iron Man and God bless America. But one-size government is no longer a practical fit globally or nationally in politics and in economy. In terms of U.S. economics, blue is on the wane and red is on the rise. Factor in the deep deficits in the post-industrial states and the red-state farmers are being asked to bail out the blue city folk.

“If you look at current unemployment rates by state, it appears that Nebraska, South Dakota and North Dakota have the lowest unemployment rates in the country,” says Laura Ebke, editor of Red State Eclectic. “Those three states, of course, depend very little on industrial/manufacturing employment, and significantly on agriculture-related business. Iowa and Kansas also have comparatively low rates.” While the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that industrial and post-industrial states — like California, at 12.4, Rhode Island at 11.5 and Michigan at 13.0 — are among the highest.

And creative business is heading to places like South Dakota, ranked one of the best pro-business states by Ronald Pollina’s Corporate Top 10, fleeing California. Utah, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas and Missouri are also ranked in the top 10, while California finishes last for the seventh straight year. The rising states can and should protect and advance their resources. Possibly Sen. John Thune (R) of South Dakota, who grows more impressive, should take command as their representative figure. He brings charisma to politics and cachet to the heartland.

The Hill columnist Dick Morris writes this week, “The Tea Party has made the Republican Party safe for libertarians.” This will change everything. As Morris points out, it is no longer about cultural issues, but about economics.

Something else: The pig is dead. For decades now both political parties have run deficits so deep that when the opposition came to power next, any new spending would break the bank. The only variation of this was when the most naïve of presidents, Bill Clinton, inexplicably hired the primo Republican trickster who advised him to kill the deficit, so the Republicans who followed could spend again, which they indeed did. Today, neither party can bring home the pork. The pig is butchered, baked, barbecued and eaten, and there is no pork left.

New buzzwords for a rising era: Regional accountability, states’ rights and Austrian economics.



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