Friday, November 09, 2018

2017 The License Plate Theory of Civilization

We are forever hearing about “two Americas.” This group and that.  These places and those.  Here’s another key.

For the most part, civilized states issue both front and back license plates and uncivilized or semi-civilized  ones issue only one.

Is that the cause of problems? No, but it’s a symptom.

Here are the 19 states that have only one plate.  Is yours among them?
--New Mexico
--North Carolina
--South Carolina
--West Virginia 

Thirty-eight percent.

Now let’s get into the details.  For example, you can’t really call Delaware uncivilized.  But they’re so bound up in their motto: “Freedom for Corporations that don’t really do any business here but love our laws and courts” that little things like car tags aren’t all that important.

Notice that most of the states with single plates were in the Confederacy, and at least two others might as well have been.  

Why two plates?  Well, it’s tradition.  Time was every state had two.  Also when someone rear-ends you on the highway, at least you know where they’re from. That can be handy if they take off before the cops arrive.

The joke about prisoners making plates isn’t a joke. In many cases they still do. Prison labor is cheap.  Some states have farmed out tag-making to private businesses, often in states other than their own. 

Does that save money?  Probably.  It also rewards the governor’s brother-in-law who owns the stamping business.

If you look closely at the picture of the 1959 Montana plate, the low end, under the state name, you’ll see “Prison made.”  Does it pay to advertise?

Okay, now let’s go back to that list.  Are there any states on it that beckon you, states you really really truly want to live in?

Have you ever caught yourself saying “gee, if only I could move to Mississippi?”  Probably not unless you’re a frustrated cotton farmer or want to retire to the State Home for White Supremacists, which now posts a sign on the gate “All Welcome. Some exclusions apply.”

Housing prices in Delaware are reasonable and if you have a hankering to become a sand miner, that might be a place for you.  Democrats far outnumber Republicans in voter registration, but the state has the country’s most “business-friendly laws.

--The way now-former Attorney General Sessions was treated this past year makes even some of the hardest hearts sympathetic.  But please remember this was a miserable little gnome whose own state wouldn’t put him on the bench.  And he was a Senator from Alabama, which says it all.

--Sessions’ replacement, Matthew Whitaker is another prize winner but with one characteristic Sessions lacked.  He’s the ultimate toady - ass kisser - loyalist.  So better figure he’s going to put the brakes on Mueller.  With any luck Mueller’s findings are already before grand juries where -- allegedly -- they can’t be scrubbed or stopped.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2018

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