I just sent the following to the Letters to the Editor section of the Wall Street Journal. I doubt the editors there have the fortitude, testicular or otherwise, to publish it so I post it here. I am quite serious about the wager. Yes, the national debt is a problem but the notion of the United States dissolving in the next few years I find ludicrous.
Igor Panarin thinks there is a 50 percent chance that the United States will dissolve in 2010 (Wall Street Journal, 29 December 2008, A1). In the spirit of the late Maryland University economist Julian Simon, I'd like to wager an ounce of gold (presumably Mr. Panarin is not daft enough to accept a dollar denominated bet) that the United States will substantially retain its current borders through 2010. Even money of course.
Depending on the odds offered, I might also like to make additional bets that Mr. Panarin's "Texas Republic" and "Central North American Republic" would annex Mexico and Canada, respectively, before falling under their sway.