Talking about independence is all well and good, but we have to look beyond the ideal and face reality. In the end, there is one basic question that must be answered first. Could an independent Republic of Florida not only survive, but thrive as its own independent nation, free from the rest of the United States?
The answer is yes, and quite handily at that. These are the reasons why.
LAND AND PEOPLE
Florida certainly has the people and the land. With nearly 22 million residents spread out over 65,758 square miles (including the longest coastline in the lower 48 states) we are the third largest state in terms of population and, if we were an independent country we would rank well into the top half of nations in terms of territory and larger than the State of Israel in population.
Right now, even hampered by onerous Federal regulations instead of being able to fine-tune the way we do things to our advantage, Florida has the second largest economy (GDP by State in 2022) in the union. With a $1.1+ trillion GDP, if the Sunshine State were a free nation, it would rank economically as 16th in the entire world, ahead of most of the European Union States, and all of the former Iron Curtain countries with the exception of the Russian Federation. With our population, that makes for an average annual Gross Individual Product of $54,545, putting us at 16th in the world in that department, between Austria and the Netherlands.
Besides the most obvious industries like tourism and agriculture, Florida has thriving international banking, biomedical and life science, healthcare research, simulation training, aerospace and defense, electronics, and commercial space travel industries that are growing by the day. We are also ranked third among the fifty states in movie production and second in entertainment in general.
In terms of trade, Florida is the 8th ranked state in exports, sending over $60 billion dollars’ worth of manufactured goods and food abroad each year, and that’s with
the Federal restraints holding us back.
Can Florida feed itself? Yes, and then some! The Sunshine State is ranked 15th in terms of agriculture in the union, with almost 10 million acres devoted to producing approximately $8 billion worth of products, from beef to oranges.
As for our fisheries, Florida’s commercial landings of almost 70 million pounds net well over $3 billion dollars in profit and employ around 77,000 people, and that’s not counting the million and a half licensed recreational anglers whose sport and food fishing, when combined with the commercial fisheries, generates $14 billion a year.
Militarily and using only males, Florida, if it used a militia system similar to Switzerland’s, could put between 1.2 and 2 million able-bodied men of fighting age (17-45) in the field at any given time. With a large percentage of active-duty, veterans and military retirees here to form a core cadre and 21 existing military bases, the Sunshine State would be a force to be reckoned with.
So yes, Florida could obviously take its place among the nations of the Earth and prosper greatly in the process. In fact, without being held back and restricted by distant powers, we could do much better than we are now.
The Florida League of the South is continually working toward this goal.
Remember, If you’re not free to leave, then you’re not free!
-ARTICLE CONTRIBUTED BY GREG KAY-