Wealthy venture capitalist Tim Draper, who funded startups such as Hotmail and Skype, has decided that the Golden State of California should be split into six odd-shaped pieces representing a utopia for a few proposed states, but very questionable success for the other less populated states.
The disparity between the income per capita of the proposed Silicon Valley state and the Central California state, which would be comprised of the San Joaquin Valley, is dramatic. The arrogant and ego bond tech society of Silicon Valley leaves few in doubt of what drives this push to split up California.
The nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found that Silicon Valley would become the nation’s richest state while Central California would become its poorest.
Draper’s argument is that California has become too big and has too many different interests to be governable. He says the school systems have suffered, unemployment is too high, 20 percent of our people live below the poverty line and the prison population has exploded.
The problem is that the idea that California should be split up to be more efficient and governable may work for the one proposed state that would be the wealthiest in the country, but its sister states would suffer with reduced revenues to support the many diverse and real issues we would continue to have: public education, water, pollution, traffic, infrastructure and judicial systems.
This rich man’s idea for California has left most of us scratching our heads with much skepticism over how dividing the state would improve it.
In the 1978 movie, Superman, Lex Luther had his own scheme to dramatically reshape California by triggering an earthquake along the San Andreas Fault.
“Everything west of this line is the richest, most expensive real estate in the world: San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco,” Luther explained. “Everything on this side of the line is just hundreds and hundreds of miles of worthless desert land, which just so happens to be owned by Lex Luther Incorporate.”
Luther’s crazy concept was to dump the coastal areas into the ocean and increase the value of the desert regions, which would then be oceanfront property.
Unlike the Lex Luther character, Draper has not figured out how to transform the desert portions of the state into coastal paradises that could survive without jobs, tax revenue and water resources.
To date, Draper’s petition has generated more than 1.3 million signatures, which exceeds the required number to make it onto the November 2016 ballot. In the unlikely event Californians fall into this scheme and approve this plan, it would also have to be approved by the California Assembly and then the U.S. Congress to become reality.
There have been at least 26 different proposals to split California over the years.
The first suggestions to divide California surfaced when folks in the southern part of the state wanted the capital located south, and the folks in north likewise wanted it in Northern California. Most at the time believed that the location of the capital would dictate the area that would receive the most political consideration.
In 1864, a state-splitting measure was placed on the ballot, approved by voters, signed by the governor, and sent to Congress. Congress did not approve it. In fact, no state in the U.S. has been split into two or more regions since 1862, when the western part of Virginia opposed that state’s secession from the Union in 1861, and Congress recognized it as the state of West Virginia.
Bye-bye, California. Hello, new west coast. My west coast. – Lex Luther