Divide California into six states? Now there’s a dumb idea.
I mean, it took a lot of time and effort to make California the biggest, most ungovernable, least responsive state in the nation. And they expect us to give that up?
California went from being among the best in education but now ranks 47th in the nation for fourth-grade math and reading. The state is consistently listed at or near the bottom for its business environment, and its unemployment rate has been at or near the highest in the country for the last six years. Everybody knows all this – and here’s the good part – we like it that way. We must, since nobody does anything about it.
Of course, nobody can do anything about it. California’s too big and self-important for that. If you were really exercised about some problem, you have to form a group (as an individual, you’re a cipher in a state this big) and travel up to the state Capitol. It’s in Sacramento, which, according to this map I’m looking at, appears to be about a day’s flight from here. Once there, you could complain that, for example, you’re concerned that the state seems unable to house convicted criminals for their whole prison term. Of course, they’d probably say something like, “Hey, this is California. Nobody can do anything. Besides, do you really think it’s the state’s responsibility to protect you from felons?”
Admit it. This makes you proud, right? Unlike the other states, California is so big and powerful that its governing lethargy has become institutionalized and protected. It doesn’t have to listen to you or your group’s concerns. Even if you’re part of a group, you’re still a cipher in this state. Unless you’re with the teachers union, of course.
The guy who’s behind this Six Californias proposal, Tim Draper, complains that Californians are among the most heavily taxed in the country yet get little responsiveness, no real representation, from the bloated and regal state government. What’s he thinking anyway? Just because there’s taxation without representation, is that any reason to have a rebellion?
Draper’s suggested map of six new states is kind of funky, too. I understand why he proposes to cleave off Orange and San Diego counties from Los Angeles, but I don’t understand why he thinks Los Angeles should be combined with Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Los Angeles is big and powerful and bloated enough to stand alone as a state. It’s already as unresponsive as Sacramento.
It’d make more sense for Los Angeles to extend an arm east, way east and north, along the 15 freeway all the way to Nevada. And then, since we’re moving borders around anyway, let’s try to talk Las Vegas into being annexed into the new state of Los Angeles. People in Las Vegas get talked into doing crazier things all the time.
Draper thinks that during the next two years before the measure goes on the ballot, Californians will slowly come around to the idea of breaking up into six smaller and more responsive states. But political insiders think the real trick will come later, when the rest of the country needs to approve it. But I’m not so sure. That shouldn’t be hard. As an inducement to go along with this scheme, maybe Apple could offer the rest of the country a big price break on what will then be the new iPhone 17s. And Los Angeles could promise, once and for all, to stop producing any show that has to do with the Kardashians. That alone should push it over the top.
And that’s the big worry. I mean, what happens if this nutty Six Californias thing actually works? Maybe the state’s performance metrics would improve if the government were closer to the people. We’d no longer be No. 1 in bloat and unresponsiveness.
It took a lot of time an effort to get to this status. Do you really want to give all that up?