Why Not Six Californias, For Freedom, Laughs?
According to a report by a state legislative analyst, it would be feasible to split California into six smaller states, although the process would be complicated. The news was reportedly received with great excitement by supporters of a proposed "Six Californias" amendment -- and there is at least one supporter, a "multimillionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist" named Tim Draper, who said in an email after the report's release,
"It is obvious that we need a breath of fresh air in California government, and creating six new states allows the refresh we need ... California, as it is, is ungovernable. We need our state governments to be local to us."
It's so inspiring to know that one wealthy douchebag with a pet project that seems doomed to irrelevance can nonetheless move his idea far enough to get the state to spend money on researching it. Seems like an excellent use of state funds in pursuit of a small-government agenda.
The report also predicted that the new states would be wildly unequal, with two of the new states becoming much richer and four of them becoming poorer. Not surprisingly, the teabaggers behind secession for a Northern chunk of the state think that's a nifty idea, even though their new state, "Jefferson," would have a tiny population, little tax base, and would be one of the new poorer states. See, they don't need no government teat, and secession leader Mark Baird is sure that, once freed from the oppression of Sacramento, the new state could eliminate regulations and taxes and attract industry that will make everyone in Jefferson Gulch happy and rich:
“We aren’t worried about the economy at all,” said Mr. Baird. “The way we figure it, we would create a state with a favorable regulatory and tax climate. We wouldn’t be driving business out with a stick; we would set up a business climate where they could prosper.”
Free acid rain and chemical spills for everyone!
The report indicated that the split would actually increase income disparities between the new states -- since most of the state's wealth is concentrated in the San Francisco Bay Area, the new state of "Silicon Valley" would instantly have the highest per capita income in the USA, and the new states' tax bases would be completely out of whack with each other. Silicon Valley and Northern California would have free healthcare on high-speed library trains, and the other states would be lucky to keep gas in the Highway Patrol cars. Again, that's perfectly fine with the libertarian doofuses pushing the plan:
Mr. Draper said support for the six-state concept is highest in Central California and Jefferson because “the existing state is not working for them.”
“Of course, we expect all six states to get richer because governments will be more in touch with their citizens,” Mr. Draper said.
The beautiful free market will make everyone so prosperous! And if it doesn't, they can always split the six new states into twenty or thirty smaller ones, so freedom can finally do its magic.
For Mr. Baird, that’s the beauty of the six Californias proposal: bringing government closer to the people it represents.
“When you ask people here about this, they tell you, ‘If I could live in a free state, I’d live with a few more potholes and some used equipment,’” said Mr. Baird. “We need representation. We’ll figure the rest of it out.”
Even in the unlikely event that enough brown acid is injected into reservoirs to make voters pass the amendment, the proposal to split up California would have to be approved by Congress; hard to say how they'd feel about the sudden addition of 10 new U.S. Senators and some additional states that would suddenly need bailing out (oh, of course they wouldn't, because free market magic). In any case, it's inspiring to see all this effort on behalf of an unworkable scheme that will never pass, because it proves that government has to deal with whatever terrible ideas people can get on the ballot.
[ Washington Times ]