Skip to comments.The Problem With More Than 50 States
Posted on 10/16/2013 12:09:44 PM PDT by RKBA Democrat
In an argument for statehood, George Sundborg, a newspaper editor who went on to help write the Alaskan constitution, decreed that in the making of the Union, It seems that Americans no sooner got their feet upon the ground than they wanted to make the ground into a state. What Sundborg didnt mention is that sometimes Americans want to take their states and turn them into more states, which is both a current and historical trend. In the 19th century, residents of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan began lobbying for statehood, while in 1915 representatives from Panhandle, Texas, drafted a bill to secede and form the State of Jefferson. Now, arguments for another Jefferson have been made, this time by displeased citizens in northern California and southern Oregon. Movements from Maryland and Colorado have also received media attention, leading some critics to argue that instead of seceding, unhappy residents could always just move.
The 1863 formation of West Virginia was the last successful state secession, but a poor track record hasnt kept some Americans from thinking that its possible. A recent Rasmussen report states that 17 percent of Americans would secede from their own states, while 34 percent of Republicans think its likely some states will break up within the next 25 years. While 44 percent of adult Americans believe new states would be bad for the country, 12 percent still feel it would be for the best. "The thing about a larger union is that if its diverse it requires more conversation, more effort to figure out whats really in our common interest. If you have a small union, then its easier to lord over others."
Which raises the obvious question: Would it be that bad if we added more states?
In an ideal world, itd probably be better to redo the whole state alignment, make them more equal in population, and start from scratch, said Bruce Cain, a professor of political science at Stanford. But in reality of course, thats not going to happen for any number of practical reasons.
New state formations would be disastrously expensive, Cain said, and the areas that want to secede simply dont have the economic capacity to pay for the level of services they would need as states. But the bigger issue is that, yes, it would be bad if we added more states.
Its one thing for the federal government to let some states set up health exchanges and others not. Its another thing to create new representation, which changes the composition of the Senate, Cain said. That would infringe on the very bitter politics that were seeing on a day to day basis now.
Jack Rakove, also professor of political science at Stanford, agrees. You can say, OK I see how that would make sense on a state level, Rakove said. But if you look at the state of the national policyand this is not a bad week to think about thatthis scenario is going to create more Republican states that will represent the kind of constituencies that are already over-represented.
If the federal gridlock seems bad now, more states could make it worse.
Of course, Rakove said, you can definitely imagine lots of ways of restructuring the map so that it would make more geopolitical sense. But its probably in our best interest to have large, diverse states, which tend to keep extremists from misusing their power. According to Rakove, through history weve learned, the thing about a larger union is that if its diverse it requires more conversation, more effort to figure out whats really in our common interest. If you have a small union, then its easier to lord over others.
While states successfully seceding doesnt seem to be in the future, a version of secession does work at the level of local governmentareas that incorporate or annex themselves into different jurisdictions to avoid unfavorable political situations. At some point over the next 10 years or so, Cain said, I think there is going to be a lot of effort by local governments to take more control over policies and services and representation at the local level.
But could that then spread out to state-level secession?
No, Cain said, I dont think its going to lead to the creation of new states.
Over represented? Delusion is a disease.
This situation is created and reinforced by a SCOTUS ruling (I cant remember the title off the top of my head) which prevents the states from having two houses, one representing a land area such as the counties. The distribution of state senate AND house is now done exclusively by population.
I am of the opinion that there is a growing divide between country/rural/city. This pressure will only continue to increase as the city pushes for the enforcement of their ideals upon country/rural population. If allowed to continue, this will again result in a civil war.
I also believe that the ONLY long term fix for this situation is a constitutional amendment that requires the states to model their state governments in the following manner. An upper chamber composed of 1 Senator per county and a lower chamber composed of an equal number of representatives who are apportioned by population. Absent that fix, I do not see any possibility of avoiding an eventual Civil War II.
“Which raises the obvious question: Would it be that bad if we added more states?”
No, but America is full of sentimental idiots that think the way the map looks now, and the number of stars were ordained in 1787 (assuming they know what 1787 means).
“New state formations would be disastrously expensive, Cain said, and the areas that want to secede simply dont have the economic capacity to pay for the level of services they would need as states.”
Okay. That didnt make any sense. If a new state doesnt have a money sucking large city in it, and they live with a budget, then they can do perfectly fine.
Hawaii certainly doesn’t anything going for it, and it became a state. I still think we made it a state because we felt sorry for what happened at Perl Harbor.
it may be the ONLY answer...even if our present big-gubmint enabling constitution survives at all...
Bullsh*t! Wyoming, just to take one example, has a large area, a small population and is one of the best fiscally managed states in the country.
It is isolated, cold and has a rather high cost of living (excluding taxes) compared to the rest of the country.
But it is extremely well-run and business friendly. Maybe it has something to do with the Democrat party holding only 4 of 30 and 8 of 60 seats in each chamber of the state legislature. Ya think?
Interesting, the assumptions in this statement...
What "level of services" is ACTUALLY "needed" as a state?
I'd bet anything that that "level of services" was NOT present when the state became a state.
None of the arguments against smaller (population) states bears up under scrutiny. The most easily demolished is the argument that smaller states can’t afford the cost of statehood. A look at state debts per capita destroys that argument.
I thought we already had 57 states?
What he REALLY means.
We already have large diverse states where the extremists wield power...but that's OK because they are Democrats (New York, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, California...).
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