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Goodbye, California? Tim Draper Proposes a 6-Way Split 489

Posted by timothy
from the apologies-to-alistair-maclean dept.
Daniel_Stuckey writes that venture capitalist Tim Draper has mooted a plan "to split California into six separate states, he told Tech Crunch, with Silicon Valley emerging as the richest and most powerful of all. The mockery is already pouring in. Of course a rich tech guru wants Silicon Valley to get its own government, so it can be freed from the dusty laws and regulations of California 1.0. Of course a deep undercurrent of self-aggrandizing narcissism runs through the proposal — only one other state-to-be gets an actual name, (inexplicably, 'Jefferson') and the rest are lazily affixed with topographical descriptors: West, South, Central, and North California...Yes, in shaping his doctrine, Draper has conjured the perfect blend of Seasteading's offshore tech nirvana lawlessness, boilerplate Tea Party antiestablishmentarianism, and good ol' secessionist chutzpah."
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Goodbye, California? Tim Draper Proposes a 6-Way Split

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  • Fail. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:38PM (#45754541)

    Of course a rich tech guru wants Silicon Valley to get its own government, so it can be freed from the dusty laws and regulations of

    Replace "tech guru" with "cotton plantation owner" and suddenly it all makes sense.

  • by EMG at MU (1194965) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:42PM (#45754565)
    It could be argued that Silicon Valley has benefitted the most from the California taxpayer. This proposal doesn't sound too bad as long as Old California's debt is distributed to the new states in a equitable way. The problem would be defining equitable.

    There is a really small but similar sentiment in Illinois too. The people who live in rural Illinois feel like the people who live in Chicago and the suburban areas surrounding Chicago disproportionately affect Illinois politics. They feel that the state would be better without Chicago.
  • Re:Huh? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:48PM (#45754611)

    Or is he just unhappy that each state gets an equal vote in the Senate?

    Why should the 38 million people in California get the same number of representatives as the half a million people in Wyoming? And don't claim the founding fathers meant it to be this way. The founding fathers did not have people elect senators: The current system was implemented by an amendment to the constitution.

  • No regulations (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:49PM (#45754617)

    For those of you who haven't been out there, when you walk along the streams, you will see signs that say "DO NOT DRINK FROM THE STREAM!".


    Because they are heavily polluted.

    From what?

    Silicone Valley companies that operated before our environmental laws existed.

    Tragedy of the commons [] indeed.

    Business people are too irresponsible not to be regulated.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot AT hackish DOT org> on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:51PM (#45754619)

    A split that puts Marin in a different state from SF doesn't make a lot of sense, considering how much commuting goes across the Golden Gate. The greater SF Bay Area should at least be in the same state.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:52PM (#45754631)

    Government doesn't want that and any forwarding thinking citizen should hate the idea too. There is no way for a single body government to effectively govern a mass of people of such diverse backgrounds and over such a diverse landscape effectively. Unless you have them do much less than they do today and let the people do for themselves again...

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:02PM (#45754713)

    It's a good idea, because California, all by itself, has the 8th largest economy in the whole world. It doesn't need the rest of America.

    Maybe Oregon and Washington would like to join it, plus some of the other western states like Nevada. All together, they'd easily be the most economically powerful country on Earth, home of all the major tech industries, and free from the idiocy in Washington (DC; the state should rename itself to eliminate this association) and the east coast states, especially the South.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:11PM (#45754781)

    Personally I can't see abandoning them

    Why not? If the voters in those states fundamentally disagree with you (and most of the rest of the country) on basic matters such as healthcare and other important factors, why do you want to keep them as part of your country so you can continue to butt heads with them? Some European countries have had socialized medicine for over a century now. We're not going to get there any time soon as long as we have so much diversity of political thought in this country.

    That's a fundamental philosophy that a lot disagree with

    Right, and as long as you keep those people in your country instead of letting them go away and form their own country, you're going to continue fighting with them over these fundamental points of philosophy, and nothing will improve.

    Why is it that the liberals bitch so much about conservatives and their regressive political views, but then when the conservatives propose removing themselves from the equation so the liberals can do whatever they want, the liberals start calling them "traitors"? It's always the liberals who are most anti-secession, when really, they'd have the most to gain from it. Liberals gripe and complain about the Southern states taking too much in tax money and not contributing much (because the South's economy sucks, quite frankly; it always has), but then when the Southerners start talking about seceding, the liberals are the first to bash this idea, call them traitors, and talk about how important unity is.

    If you think unity is so important, then you need to stop complaining about the political opinions of those who you refuse to allow to leave, and you need to pass more laws to keep them happy (such as legalizing widespread fracking, banning abortion and contraceptives, making Christianity the official state religion, etc.).

  • by kheldan (1460303) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:25PM (#45754879) Journal
    I've often said that when times get tough, you find out what people are really like; when times are good and everyone has plenty, then it's easy to be nice, and courteous, and generous, but when times get tough, you find out who's really like that, and who's just been putting on a false face. In this case what we discover from tough times is who's actually smart, and who's actually dumb as a box of rocks. Splitting up California would wreck havoc with everyone in the former State, and would likely throw the entire U.S. into chaos, and all for the greed and lust for power of (excuse my using an over-used metaphor) the 1%. What they'd actually be doing is very transparent: Leave behind the poorer parts of the former California, so the rich don't have to be "burdened" by them anymore. For the northernmost parts of the State, you may as well just merge it with Oregon in that case, so you can have one larger state full of poor people living in relatively rural areas, all without anywhere near enough jobs to keep them all housed, clothed, and fed. Give the central valley a new spanish name, so the people who live and work there, working the fields, will feel more at home. I don't think I need to go on, you all get the picture, probably without my help in the first place. Of course like all rich despots this wouldn't go like they planned, the northern State could cut off all the water they've been sending to the south and hold it for ransom, jacking the price way up, and the central state could make the food they're growing so expensive that even the richest would be shocked at their grocery bill.

    This guy needs to be slapped.
  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:37PM (#45754977)

    No, I want the state split into smaller states which would maintain their existing limited independence from the federal government.

    The feds really have the same problem. They didn't used to have this much power over people or states. It was a much more limited government. And as a result, the territory was manageable because the government was focused on a short list of core responsibilities. Today, its too complicated and the federal government frequently interferes with local government matters.

    This leads to the federal government making policies that make sense in one place but don't make sense somewhere else. This is not because they couldn't make different policies for each place but because they have neither the time nor inclination to care to do it. This introduces inefficiencies, unhappiness, and unfairness as some areas get what they want while others do not... for no apparent reason besides that's what the law or some faceless bureaucrat says.

    Look. We need state governments and we need a federal government. But for our democracy to survive the government must be responsive to the people and accountable for their actions.

    As the government gets larger it accomplishes neither.

    By taking on too much territory, the government can't focus on particulars and instead has to make one size fits all rules. These serve no one well.

    And by taking on so much territory they acquire a large number of diverse voters with contradictory wishes. And that means that the government can effectively give no one what they want simply by vacillation between one faction and the next. Which often means they don't even try. They just do what the politicians want to do and then dither when that makes people unhappy.

    Ultimately, if you value democracy, you are against mass centralization. It renders your vote meaningless.

  • Define "improve" (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Mspangler (770054) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:39PM (#45754997)

    "the point of civilization isn't to protect property but to improve the lives of everyone. That's a fundamental philosophy that a lot disagree with."

    I might well disagree, depending on who defines "improve the lives of everyone". The world has plenty of unhappy experience with those who are convinced they can run other peoples lives better than they can.

  • by ganjadude (952775) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:40PM (#45755001) Homepage
    why would you want to put people who disagree on the way of living together instead of allowing them to be free to live as they wish in their own smaller states??
  • by Rick934 (3003359) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:55PM (#45755113)
    In a prison-type way.
  • by mtrachtenberg (67780) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @03:17PM (#45755249) Homepage

    It's sad that an artifact of the nation's early history results in a Senate where a few square post-independence states with tiny populations are effectively able to veto ideas supported by very large majorities of Americans. Splitting states to provide relatively equal populations per Senate district would go a long way towards eliminating the existing gridlock in American politics.

    There is simply no reason beyond historical accident why the 40 million people of California have two senators, while the combined 3 million people of the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana have eight senators.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @03:54PM (#45755477)

    California has a huge agriculture industry, you idiot.

  • by Grishnakh (216268) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @03:58PM (#45755515)

    Democracy only works on a very small scale. When it's expanded from sea to shining sea it becomes a tyranny throughout most the land, whether it's a tyranny for of most the people or not.

    Exactly, which is why the country needs to be broken up into smaller, more homogeneous units. Those European countries with the highest standards of living in the world, and the least amounts of corruption, are all small and relatively homogeneous culturally. They don't constantly argue internally over issues like abortion, or the role of government, or socialized healthcare. Democracy is a good thing, compared to the alternatives, but as you say, it just doesn't work on a large scale. The only rational solution is to reduce the scale, by breaking apart the country.

  • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) on Sunday December 22, 2013 @01:16AM (#45758155) Homepage Journal

    I think it was fairly obvious from the GP's complaint about the representative make-up that he was already aware of this. What he was asking was why.

    Your "+4 Informative" comment is essentially not merely repeating the basis of the questioner's question back to him, but then complaining he doesn't know why he's asking the question in the first place. It's spectacularly unhelpful.

    FWIW, the reason you should have given is that the original purpose of providing states with equal numbers of representatives in one house of Representatives was reflective of the USA's status as a Union of States, and that its purpose is historical. Like all historical conventions, it certainly should be reviewed from time to time. Proponents would suggest that by giving weight to arbitrarily drawn bordered land instead of people, the Senate more likely to come to agreements based upon reason rather than public opinion; however others would argue that there's no sign it does do that, and that the make-up simply provides disproportionate weight to political viewpoints that reflect a small ideologically far-right minority, rather than supportive of the country as a whole.

    In other words, the GP has a right to be concerned, as the reasons for the equal votes per state rule do not appear to be relevant today, in theory or in practice.

"Tell the truth and run." -- Yugoslav proverb