Sweet Home Oaklabama

| October 16, 2008 9:39 am

A few months ago, Ognen’s firm hired another young American lawyer – straight from the (possibly) great state of Oklahoma. Eager to make a positive impression on the only young American we could potentially make friends with here, we all went out to the Rudas Baths – Budapest’s finest. Not willing to attempt to make a meaningful connection, especially seeing as we were all in swimsuits and had not yet disclosed any potential Blue State – Red State unpleasantries, we settled for inane small talk and somewhere in the middle of it all Juan asked something along the lines of “What town in Oklabama are you from?

Following the dishing out of the unavoidable, insensitive and merciless ridicule, it soon became evident that Juan had inadvertently stumbled onto one of the greater public policy initiatives of our time, namely, the pressing need to merge Oklahoma, Alabama and everything in between (Arkansas, Louisiana – if it still exists after the next hurricane, Mississippi and Tennessee) into one. The benefits of such a move should be self-evident, so we enumerate only a few here:

  • economies of scale (or is it scope?) on the state level – the U.S has been Balkanized for way too long and it’s time we took a hint from our brilliant corporate leaders that serve the country so well and implement consolidation in the public sphere. Why have 6 sets of state legislatures, public administrations, welfare offices, traffic regulations, legal codes and all the rest of it when you could have just one? After all, it is the politicians from precisely these states that often lead the charge to reduce unnecessary government spending and overhead. It’s time to give them what they want.
  • improved federal policies – the benefits don’t just stop at the state level but rather accrue to the entire nation thanks to our federalist system. Just think about it – only 2 senators instead of 12 from this region
  • better SAT results – there is such a waste of precious classroom time on memorizing all the States and, in the end, most products of the American public education system – especially those from Oklabama – probably wouldn’t even notice the change or effects of the state merger. In fact, they’d likely welcome it and our kids would be able to focus on the core subjects and boost SAT scores. At the very least, we could utilize the State geography time to teach more physical education, seeing as the merger is almost certain to lead to…
  • … amazing University of Oklabama and Oklabama State college football teams!!! Should be a great rivalry, too.

Surely, we need not go on. In fact, it turns out the term Oklabama was already in widespread use before Juan’s stroke of genius. But our merger proposal is superior to the existing and inferior uses of the term in that our efforts are neither derogatory to the region (unlike this definition) nor partisan (despite Barack’s attempts to the contrary). Instead, this is change we can really believe in.

But why stop here, you ask? For any idea to be truly great – especially in the context of mergers – it must be easily and successfully replicable. And we agree – there is absolutely no excuse and zero need for both a North and a South Dakota. Time for Idasota (Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, both Dakotas. Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota) and Nevssouri (Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, and Missouri) to come into their own too. All of the above benefits would continue to apply (especially the college football teams) and more.

post-merger map of the US

Sure, some states might try to resist and attempt to hold on to their quaint, folksy ways while pretending that the era of mergers and private equity is not upon us. But that’s the beauty of mergers – they can be hostile, too. In fact, Ognen’s willing to donate his legal skills pro bono for any such effort.

Fine, smartasses, why don’t you take your elitist, patronizing ideas and just merge the entire East coast or create a Washifornia while you’re at it or just eliminate the entire federalism system as is?,” some doubters may ask. Well, that’s just stupid, because, as in business, some state mergers work and others are poorly – even catastrophically – conceived (see e.g. Yugoslavia). And we certainly do need federalism to an extent – but it would work just as well with 20-something states as it does with 50. So for now, let’s just stick with our above three initial selections, although we agree that Geroginia and Kentchigan are also worthy of exploration.

Think our idea is not going anywhere? Check out a recent episode of the Colbert report, and listen carefully to the intro before the credits.

Oklabama – don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!

2 Responses to “Sweet Home Oaklabama”

Cliff wrote a comment on December 9, 2008

Hahaha, oh man, this is hilarious.

I have to say that I actually really like some of those states…they have a charm and the people sure are a lot nicer than the people in NY and CA.

But this article is hilarious either way!

Knight N Squires Hack wrote a comment on September 23, 2014

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