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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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  • Jinx (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:32PM (#45754503)

    Any mention of 'Splitting up California' is just tempting fate at this point..

  • 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 epyT-R (613989)

      Living in a corporate town run by a coalition of plantation owners paying shit wages, vs living under fat socialist weasels who take big chunks out of them? Choices, choices..

      I vote neither! Now, I'd like my rights back please.

  • by khasim (1285) <brandioch.conner@gmail.com> on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:39PM (#45754555)

    Though he's probably proposing it for all the wrong reasons, Draper's terrible plan is premised on a totally salient criticismâ"it's absurd that California only sends two senators to Washington when it is by far the country's most populous state.

    He's never heard of the "House of Representatives"?

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

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:40PM (#45754557)

    Because it's a preexisting movement: http://www.jeffersonstate.com/

  • 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.
    • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:47PM (#45754607)

      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.

      I can actually understand that sentiment. But the California equivalent would be Central Valley or far northern secessionists. Silicon Valley can't really make the same kind of argument, because it is already very influential in California politics. Of course, it shares that influence with Los Angeles rather than having it entirely to itself, but the Bay Area is one of the state's main political power bases.

      • the up of michigan whats to be on it's own as well.

        make long inland / NY city into it's own state.

        Also cut up Texas into as many as five states,

        • by Trepidity (597)

          Cutting up Texas doesn't really resolve most of the political issues, though. There isn't a huge regional difference in attitudes, but more of an urban/suburban/rural split. The big Texas cities (Austin, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas) are all center-left to varying degrees, while the suburbs are center-right, and the rural areas are hard-right.

    • I think you'll find this sentiment in the agricultural areas of most states that have a lot of agricultural area and a few large (1 million +) metropolitan areas, as the metro areas are usually much more liberal than the agricultural areas. Their primary issues are often quite different also. Look at North Carolina, which lumps most of the liberals into a district that is Charlotte, Raleigh, and the interstate highway between them.
    • by khallow (566160)

      It could be argued that Silicon Valley has benefitted the most from the California taxpayer.

      Anything can be argued. And a lot of the drive behind the secessionist movement is the debt being accumulated by California as a whole. They don't want that debt.

      My view is that the only fair way is to allot a fixed amount of debt per citizen (around $5500-6000 per capita) and let the weaker states go bankrupt.

  • by onyxruby (118189)

    This is hardly an idea without precedent would better serve the needs of the constituents while be very much in the spirit of the Constitution. Virginia, New York and Massachusetts split and gave us a handful of other states. When states become two politically oriented in one direction for only a given geographical ares while ignoring the wishes and values of the other states they can and should split.

    The Constitution was designed to balance the power of the people so that you didn't have any one area with

    • This is hardly an idea without precedent would better serve the needs of the constituents while be very much in the spirit of the Constitution. Virginia, New York and Massachusetts split and gave us a handful of other states. When states become two politically oriented in one direction for only a given geographical ares while ignoring the wishes and values of the other states they can and should split.

      I'm not sure it was due to political orientation so much as the more basic "There's more people in these here hills, and we ought to have representatives for them to talk to less than a week away by horse."

      That isn't to say your premise is invalid -- those people's interests are going unrepresented and splitting them off may better address those needs. But to be honest, New York and California both need to be punched in the face repeatedly by the feds, then bent over and hammered in the ass until they stop

    • Fragmented local governments make less and less sense as travel speeds increase and communication costs drop. I think that was already evident when the last 20 states were admitted to the union. Land area of states, and even counties, have trended upwards, and not just because populations were small.

      If you fragment the tax base into little local communities, the poor stay poor. It's been a good thing for the "natural splendor" of Arkansas, but mostly, I think we're all better off it we take more even car

  • by Karmashock (2415832) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:47PM (#45754605)

    The only reason it is this big is because it was established at a time when the population was MUCH lower. Were you to do the same thing in the east coast but in reverse, you might get all of new england as ONE state.

    Now do you understand? California is much too big.

    The government is almost indifferent to voter opinion because they can always play one part of the state off the other part. Which means they never have to do anything anyone wants. They just mommy/daddy the whole thing and then lie when that doesn't work.

    Look. It needs to split because its unweldy, inherently corrupt, and incapable of serving the local needs of its residents.

    Everything revolves around Sacramento which is the least consequential portion of the state BESIDES for the politics. Its our version of Washington DC. What does DC do? Tell people what to do. Does it produce anything? Nope. Does it create anything? Nope. It just collects the taxes and decides what to do with it all.

    Genius ideas like our "bullet" train which as everyone knows is a giant fiasco... which we knew it would be from the start... because a bullet train in California makes about as much sense as a beach resort on the moon.

    But it sounds good to the twits in Sacramento so whatever.

    Look, you don't like his plan to split the state... Fine. It doesn't really matter what the plan is so long as its reasonable. We just need a more local government in california. A government that actually lives where we live and cares about us because they're ACTUALLY our neighbors. Sacramento doesn't care about San Diego. It doesn't care about the Imperial Valley. It only cares about Los Angeles because that is where most of the votes come from. But it only cares about it in so far as those votes are concerned. Etc.

    Too big. Split it. Even in half isn't enough. It needs to be broken into something like three to six pieces.

    • by argStyopa (232550)

      "The government is almost indifferent to voter opinion because they can always play one part of the state off the other part. Which means they never have to do anything anyone wants. They just mommy/daddy the whole thing and then lie when that doesn't work.

      Look. It needs to split because its unweldy, inherently corrupt, and incapable of serving the local needs of its residents."

      I agree entirely that CA could be split into at least 2 more manageable states.
      Then again, I'd point out that there are few argumen

    • by spasm (79260)

      You do realize the 'idiots in Sacramento' spend most of their time living and working in their home districts and only go to Sac to represent their district's interests while the legislature is in session?

  • by Noishkel (3464121) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:48PM (#45754613)
    It really should be pointed out that this guy's idea is in no way new. There has been calls for breaking up California into a number of smaller states for years. Mostly for the reason I put into my previous post. In short: having a very large population being nominally controlled by the whims of LA. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_(Pacific_state) [wikipedia.org]
  • No regulations (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    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!".

    Why?

    Because they are heavily polluted.

    From what?

    Silicone Valley companies that operated before our environmental laws existed.

    Tragedy of the commons [wikipedia.org] indeed.

    Business people are too irresponsible not to be regulated.

  • by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...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 satch89450 (186046) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @01:56PM (#45754671) Homepage

    I've lived in a number of areas of the country. The common political element that rose above all the rest is the differences between the large cities and the rural areas. So, instead of a split by area, make each large city -- San Francisco/San Jose, Los Angeles/Hollywood -- its own state. (What to do about Sacremento? Is it a city or a condition as the State capitol?) Then City interests could be served by the City States, and the rest of the state with its agriculture base would be able to set policies and law for their own.

    Other states/areas could be split the same way: Massachusetts, Illinois, Washington DC area, Michigin (peal Detroit from the rest of the State), New York/New Jersey/Connecticut...and the list goes on. We could combine small states into large states -- think Providence Rhode Island versus the rest of the State.

    I'm not sure the Democrats would go for this.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Jefferson was proposed for parts of southern Oregon and northern California as far back as 1941, according to Wikipedia. I've seen a sign for the State of Jefferson Chamber of Commerce along I-5 somewhere in that area.

  • The US already has too many political subdivisions. We need to combine states into larger political entities (12-15 large states) rather than split the existing ones up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ganjadude (952775)
      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??
  • Jefferson (Score:4, Interesting)

    by SkOink (212592) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @02:08PM (#45754761) Homepage

    No comment on whether or not the state of Jefferson would ever be able to support itself without the rest of California, but Tim Draper didn't pull that particular state out of the ether. I have some parents that used to live up in North State, and the hill folk there love the idea of Jefferson.

    They even have a website: http://www.jeffersonstate.com/ [jeffersonstate.com]

  • 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.
  • SV has successful industry and a tax base and some hope of supporting itself. As opposed to the blithering morons who want to secede and form North Colorado (or Metherado as one wag said) who apparently have no idea who is actually paying for their schools and roads and police...

  • So when will we see the greater NYC area turned into a single state?

    The trend towards devolution and smaller, more responsive states is brewing in Europe, so it's no surprise it's also happening here. Is it really democracy when your elected leaders are hundreds of miles away?

  • "Sir, I'll see your 8 Californias, and raise you 13 Vermonts."

    Pontificating about jerrymandering states isn't really "newsworthy" if there are no real stakes. If it were actually feasible to jerrymander Senate seats (as can be done for the House of Representatives at the state government level), other states would copy it, which is exactly why it would never happen.

  • So long as these states are jointly and severally liable for all the debt California has rung up so far, I've no objection. (For future debt, they're on their own - and I'd avoid buying bonds issued by most of 'em.)

  • An unintentional Code Geass reference would have knocked me out of my chair!

  • Can't speak for his particular proposal (I haven't looked at it), but the idea of splitting up California has been around for years, and makes a lot of sense. It's far larger and more diverse than most other states, and that makes it really hard to govern. You basically have the SF bay megalopolis (with more population than most other states), the LA/San Diego megalopolis (ditto), the central valley (sparsely populated but with enormous agricultural wealth), and huge rural areas that in many cases don't w

    • "This also would gain California much more influence in the federal government (more senators, more electoral votes)."

      Since the reason to split it up is that the different regions can't agree, it seems unlikely their Senators would agree after splitting up. They would likely net out to about the same.

  • by GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) on Saturday December 21, 2013 @04:07PM (#45755579)
    Dear Mr. President, There are too many states nowadays. Please eliminate three. P.S. I am not a crackpot.

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