Wednesday, February 20, 2008

War with Tennessee

The news that a UGA mathmatician screwed up the border of Georgia long ago will surely bring plenty of noise from our friends at the North Avenue Vocational School. But the talk is all very interesting.

Where does Georgia get these people to put in the legislature? For the uninitiated, the team of rocket-surgeons that meet under the Gold Dome are apparently considering a move to go and get 50+ square miles of land Previously Known as Tennessee. While stuff like this usually happens along the borders of states where the ever changing paths of rivers may alter the actual topography, this particular feud is brewing over an imaginary straight line that has been in place since roughly 1818.

The quotes are what really make this worthwhile:

"The Tennessee River was part of Georgia long before there was a state of Tennessee." (Though, perhaps someone ought to have told the mapmaker that salient fact, before he went to a place where he could see that particular river and placed it north of the border...)

"Congress established the State of Tennessee...and designated its southern boundary as the 35th parallel." (That it took nearly 200 years to actually pinpoint the exact location of this '35th parallel' speaks volumes on government efficiency...)

Two words "implied consent." "Georgia...has tried unsuccessfully at least four times since 1887" (That was 121 years ago, right? That's an average of one unsuccessful try every 30 odd years. I know folks who'd go to court 30 times in one year over the color of a neighbor's fence. You'd think 50+ square miles of water rich real estate may call for slightly more effort on the part of the plaintiff...)

All this so more people can live in metro Atlanta. But this does bring up one very important economic fact. New Orleans has a water abundance situation. Places like Georgia and California have a water shortage problem. Seems to me there might be some money to be made off this small geographic disparity. Hmmm.

1 comment:

Dante said...

Not all Georgia has a water shortage problem. Here in Commerce, GA we have more water than we know what to do with. In fact, we used to sell off water to Jefferson but can't sell as much to them now due to the water restrictions.

If I were Tennessee, my argument would be that Tennessee has collected taxes and provided services to the businesses and residents of the affected area for near a century. Tennessee has been caring for the land and therefore should is entitled to it (or at the very least entitled to compensation for the manpower and money spent the past century caring for the area).