Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Are You Ready For Six Californias?

Yes, not one, or two Californias but if venture capitalist Tim Draper has his way and the voters approve, we could see the once Golden State split into six states.
Yes, there have been multiple proposals to split California into two states with the most recent being in 2011 and it was proposed by Jeff Stone.
And there is the ongoing attempt to get some of the most northern counties to split off from California and with some Southern Oregon counties getting together to form the State of Jefferson.
But this plan by Mr. Draper could make the general election ballot in 2016. And with about a year and a half to get about 806,000 signatures, it should make that ballot.
I don't find myself drawn to this plan because it is too many divisions and has a lot less chance of seeing the light of day as opposed to simply dividing the state by north and south or east and west.
And while this is only a potential ballot initiative, judging by the people on this Facebook link with KNBC 4 News, the beyond low information voter is rearing their collective heads in a really bad way.
Overwhelmingly, the majority of commenters are against the general idea of splitting the state in any way. And that is fine in and of itself. Yet few if any give a substantive reason as to why it would be a bad idea.
A lot of people think that because Mr. Draper is a venture capitalist, that automatically disqualifies him from even promoting such an idea.
Still many think that Mr. Draper is an eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll Republican and just trying to give the GOP some kind of electoral advantage.
Too bad that Mr. Draper is not a Republican but a Libertarian.
And really, if California were to be split in an east/west way, it would guarantee that it would be a GOP electoral gain. Even a north/south split would be better for the GOP than six separate states.
Look at the map below.

I look at three states that will be Democrat and or Democrat-leaning. That would be North California, Silicon Valley and West California.
And three states that would be Republican and or Republican-leaning. Those states would be Jefferson, Central and South California.
In terms of presidential elections, it would probably be a wash regarding the electoral college. The same in terms of representation in the senate. And possibly each state House of Representatives would be more competitive.
Nothing in this life is a guarantee, but in this being some eeeeevvvvviiiiilllll Republican plot, eh, not so much.
There would be some very wide economic disparities in each state.
The three coastal states of North California, West California and Silicon Valley would be pretty invested in technology.
Central and South California would be heavily invested in agriculture.
Jefferson would probably be the most economically depressed of the six states for a variety of reasons.
So if that is the case, and I am only generalizing based on the current economy in each of the proposed states, again what is the possible benefit?
Well for one thing each state would be able to exert greater control over issues that they find to be important for each state's citizens. Each state could determine tax policy and what kind of taxes they want.
Each state would be able to determine their own policies towards education, law and order, prisons, whether they want to continue the policy of the ballot initiative or not.
In other words, each state determines it's fate on it's own terms. That is that does not violate the United States constitution.
One of the problems is that local control, cities and counties, seems to erode year after year. More and more matters that cities and counties should handle are being taken by the state.
An example are plastic bag bans.
As I noted in an earlier post, my hometown, Pasadena, passed a city ordinance that supermarkets could not continue to provide plastic shopping bags for customers. That customers could purchase a paper bag for 10c if they do not want to bring plastic, reusable bags. Besides it being crony capitalism at its worst, I think that it will not help in the matter of litter and the like. Now there is a push to take this ban state-wide. Thus no matter where you go to shop, no matter what city, better have those reusable plastic bags if the legislature has its way.
That is not the state's business. Let the local governments decide such issues.
That is sort of the point of why Mr. Draper believes its time to break up the state.
I think that this is worth discussion. I think that if the required signatures are made, this should go to the voters. We need to have a serious talk with each other. I fear that the reactions of the commenters on the KNBC 4 Facebook page is a bad sign. It is clear if you go to the link that many are the lowest of the low information voters.
I'm not sure that this has any more of a chance than the many other proposals to break up the once Golden State, but let's have a serious, adult, conversation about it. About the possibility of six Californias.

1 comment:

Socially Extinct said...

I'm already priming my candidacy for Governor of the Great District of Jefferson!