Skip to comments.California Breakup?
Posted on 05/23/2009 1:08:48 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
READ ARTICLE HERE
How are the chances of getting 2 red states out of the four?
You can say that again. It's long past time to recognize that Califoria needs to be reorganized into multiple states.
That's a serious problem for California.
Boxer moved to Jack London Square in Oakland nearer to her husband’s law practice.
“Agreed. But now if there should be just TWO new Senators, both from the new state of Jefferson, the I think we could live with the outcome!”
I could! See post #9
Can you say a “Yippie cayea mother- [blank]” On your way down? It would mean the world to these 7 yeare olds waitng for you to jump.
Their request to break up will be acceptable to me only if they don’t get any more senators.
We could just give it back to Mexico. Maybe we could trade it for Mexico’s oil deposits. Naaaah. The Mexicans would not be that stupid.
I'm opposed unless SF, Oakland and Marin promise to take the NYTimes, Chucky Schumer and Harry Reid with them.
Hey, I like it.
Others on FR have proposed similar break-up alternatives in past years.
I’d be left in la-la-land. :-(
*California breakup: *Californias ballot results highlight a simple
fact: Californians like electing big-spending state representatives but
hate paying the bills when they come due. This natural voter preference
is universal, but is exacerbated by a wealthy polity of 37m inhabitants
that is not fully self-governing, but subject to a distant central
authority in Washington. Its discontents cannot be removed through
restricting the right of referendum, which would further alienate voters
from their government. More radical surgery is needed: splitting the
state into more accountable government units.
The principal advantage of a federalist system is its ability to devolve
local tax, spending and regulatory functions to government units small
enough to respond to the wishes of local electorates who pay the bills.
Policies thereby vary considerably across the federation, being tailored
to the wishes of relatively modest electorates who share substantial
lifestyle and economic interests. National governments are restrained
from excess by their responsibility for maintaining plausible fiscal and
monetary policies in a world where bailouts do not exist (the US and
even California being too large for an IMF bailout.)
Americas Founding Fathers understood this. The US government never
defaulted on its debt, in spite of several wars and the abolition
(twice, in 1816 and 1836) of the central bank. State governments were
initially less careful; of the 28 states existing in the depression of
the 1840s, five (Michigan, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana and Florida)
repudiated their debts completely while four more (Maryland,
Pennsylvania, Indiana and Illinois) stopped paying interest for several
years. A second wave of defaults came in the 1880s, when eight Southern
states repudiated debts that had been assumed under the post-Civil War
California in 1850 had a population of only 93,000, so its state
government was fully accountable to its people, even though its vast
size made communications difficult. Today Californias population at 37m
is 50% larger than that of Texas, the second most populous state. Each
of its 80 state legislators represents around 460,000 people and its
electoral districts are gerrymandered along party lines.
Ethnically, economically and in terms of lifestyle California is more
diverse than most countries (the largest EU country, Germany, has twice
the population of California but 20% less land mass). State-wide public
sector personnel structures and pay scales that are appropriate for
high-cost coastal areas produce overpaid and under-employed state
employees in rural areas, imposing regulations that may be poorly
matched with those areas more traditional lifestyles and wishes. These
higher costs result in conservative rural areas appearing to be
subsidised by the liberal coasts (in terms of receiving more from the
state budget than they pay) but in reality their excess receipts
consist of salaries they should not need to pay and unnecessary services.
Californias budgetary spending tends to grow more rapidly than its
economy because it is to some extent a free lunch— the increasing
share of federal grants in state revenues allows the state government
the luxury of using political pressure in Washington to cover budget gaps.
In 2007, California had only the sixth largest per capita tax burden of
the 50 US states, the twelfth largest per capita spending burden and the
23rd largest per capita debt. It was also the seventh richest state per
capita. Thus its budget problems should be economically manageable if
its political systems functioned well. However the referendum process,
introduced by the Progressive governor Hiram Johnson in 1911, allows the
electorate to repudiate tax increases imposed by the state government to
balance the state budget (which is itself a constitutional requirement).
This happened in 1978, when Proposition 13 capped a rapidly rising
property tax, and it happened again on May 19.
Removing the referendum possibility without reforming state government
would help solve Californias current budget problem. However it would
dangerously reduce the state governments legitimacy and accountability,
alienating voters further. More representative government might be
achieved by quintupling the number of state representatives from 80 to
400, thus reducing each representatives constituents from 460,000 to
92,000. However that would be very expensive, and would not solve the
problem of coastal urban communities imposing costs and regulations on
A more radical alternative would be to break up California into new
states whose populations were more typical of other US states; splitting
California into four could create states similar in size to Michigan,
Georgia and North Carolina, for example. According to Article 4 Section
3 of the US constitution, such a split can be carried out with from the
state legislature (which by the California constitution would require a
two thirds majority) and Congress in practice, a state constitutional
convention would presumably be an appropriate mechanism.
A possible split of California into four states, each of which would be
regionally coherent might be:
* San Diego/ Orange County /Inland Empire: 5 counties, population
10.4m in 2008, about 45% of Hispanic origin. Strong military
presence; socially conservative and economically moderate.
Politics maybe similar to New Mexico.
* Greater Los Angeles: 3 counties (Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa
Barbara) population 11m, about 45% of Hispanic origin. Urban, with
both ghettos and substantial wealthy Hollywood and media
population. Socially and economically very liberal.
* San Francisco/ Sacramento/ Santa Cruz / Silicon Valley: 13
counties, population 9.9m. Socially liberal but highly educated
and market-oriented, with global-leading tech sector. Politics
maybe similar to Massachusetts
* Northern/Central valley: 37 counties, population 5.4m. Rural, vast
area, lower costs. Conservative politics similar to Kansas.
Such a split would create four states with coherent boundaries,
populations and economic bases. It would remove the bizarre current
anomaly whereby the liberal big-spending coastal communities both
subsidize the more conservative farm areas and impose unnecessary costs
on them. The rural state could achieve substantial cost savings from
lower salary scales for teachers and other state and local employees and
a less complex bureaucracy and regulatory system.
Politically, three of the four states should quickly arrive at a
satisfactory political and budgetary balance, with the amount and mix of
state services provided differing substantially between them, but all
remaining within the current US range of policy mixes.
The fourth new state, Los Angeles, would probably arrive at a
political/economic policy balance well outside the current US norm.
However its residents would retain the entire responsibility for finding
a workable match between state sector growth and private sector
viability without subjecting the entire state to their experiments.
In terms of national politics, a split should have little effect. As
four states, California would have six extra Congressional seats, but
Democrat gains from this would be balanced by the decennial
redistricting process being less subject to manipulation in smaller
states. The four states would have eight Senators instead of two, but
the split would generally be around 5-3 Democrat, leaving the current
California has become too diverse, culturally and economically, to work
well within the constraints of its 1850 status and its modern
democracy-on-steroids. Breaking it up on an amicable basis could create
three highly successful and well managed medium-sized states of
different types and one laboratory for the left.
As you know, most California bashers have never been here and have no idea of how vast, and conservative, our rural areas are.
Once California breaks up, then other blue states that have a large conservative area like New York and Pennsylvania could do the same, and then there would be more new conservative senators.
wonder what percentage of CA is illegal aliens?
The division would be as much along political lines as along population and lifestyle lines, so the new senatorial composition would either be 4-4 (good news) or 5-3 (which is the same 2-dem lead that’s the current make-up). So there wouldn’t really be a downside to splitting the state. I’d welcome it to be able to get away from L.A. and the bay area.
High but still a small percent of their huge population.
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