America Evolving: Six Californias
You grew up knowing only one America. You weren't alive during the colonial era or the American Revolution. You have only ever known one American flag – the flag with 50 stars. In some states, you 'll see the Confederate flag hanging in windows or unfurled across some building walls. That flag takes some Americans back to a very different country, much like the very first national flag of 1861 – the flag with seven stars. America is an evolving country, but its evolution is overlooked by generations that become comfortable with their country's present history. In 2014, something unique could happen. In this lifetime, our generation could see another phase in America's ongoing evolution.
America is a union of independent states. If a powerful American capitalist gets his way, the state of California could become six separate and independent states by 2016. Tim Draper, a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, has set out on a quest to gather enough signatures to put his proposal for six Californias on the November ballot. The benefits of a divided California come into effect when attempting to solve the state's most troublesome and dangerous problem to date: debt.
California's unemployment rate hovers around 10% with over 1.5 million members of the labor force without work. The state's debt sits at an astronomical $419 billion and is expected to surpass $420 billion by the end of 2014. As of today's date, California spends $72 billion more than it takes in. Dividing California into six separate states could also result in the state's current debt being divided into more manageable segments. More importantly, dividing California could alleviate the state's looming tax burden.
One of Draper's intentions is to create a new and competitive environment between the six states. Each region of California has its own priorities, such as the south and its concerns about immigration. A competition and division of priorities could solve California's most problematic situations, like aging infrastructure and declining education. According to Draper, each new state could address the problems that are unique to its residents without bearing the burden of improving the state's other regions.
The plan has its nay-sayers. Some have suggested that the plan is unlikely to become a reality, even if it passes a vote. Dividing California into six states would fundamentally transform Capitol Hill by adding up to 10 new senators. Dividing California into six sates would also require the approval of Congress. A division could also separate Californians along political lines. To the dismay of Democrats, five new Californias could open the door to more Republican representation, particularly in Eastern and Northern California, where Republican support is the strongest.
California has always belonged to the Democrats. It only seems appropriate to see most of the resistance to Draper's plan coming from Democrats. In parts of Southern California, where Republicans like Darrell Issa have occupied seats, there is worry that some of the new divisions in Draper's plan could also harm some GOP chances in future elections. Although Southern California has remained mostly under Republican control for some time – particularly the 49th Congressional District – under Draper's plan, parts of some Congressional Districts of Southern California could end up belonging to two other Californian states with higher Democratic influence.
Resistance will always come from those who feel threatened by new ideas. In Draper's case, most of the resistance will come from Democrats. Unfortunately, the few Republicans who will oppose the plan could give Congress the slight majority it needs to stop the plan. For Draper's plan to work, enough Americans will need to know the benefits of adding five new stars to America's flag. Division of debt could be one of the most compelling reasons for six Californias.
Here is a list and map of Draper's plan for California, along with population statistics and possible future electoral outcomes.
The possibility of Six Californias will depend on the American people and their engagement in their country's future. Emailing and petitioning their Congressmen and Senators will be pivotal in transforming California and America for the better.
Some Americans may opt out of attempting to divide California, particularly those who live outside of the state. It will end up becoming the decision of Congress, which will involve Senators and Representatives from all 50 states. The decision to divide California won't belong to Californians alone, but to all Americans. Dividing California's debt and tax burden may be in the best interest of all American and Californian conservatives.
Below is a list of some California Senators and Representatives, ones who may play pivotal roles and use their influence to make the new plan a reality.
Senator, Diane Feinstein - email - US Senate, 331 Hart Senate Office, Washington DC, 20510
Senator, Barbara Boxer - email
Congressman, Paul Cook - 1222 Longworth House Office, Washington DC, 20515
Congressman, Duncan Hunter - 223 Cannon House Office, Washington DC, 20515