The July 28 Newsweek contains an article on how much difficulty the citizens of California are having in governing themselves. If you live in New Hampshire you are forced to deal with one enormous unresponsive and remote government (the Federales) but your state and local governments are reasonably comprehensive and tractable. California, however, has an economy bigger than France’s, a population of around 36 million (see this study, which notes that population growth in California every year adds the equivalent of the state of Vermont), and a geographic area larger than Japan’s. What interests does a rancher on the barren plains of NE California have in common with a recent Vietnamese immigrant in central San Diego? How is the average citizen of California supposed to be able to comprehend a $38 billion state budget deficit? ($38 billion is enough to purchase the U.S. Navy’s entire fleet of 8 Nimitz-class nuclear-powered aircraft carriers.)
Wouldn’t Californians be happier if they were broken up into the following states:
1) San Diego and its exurbs
2) Los Angeles and its exurbs, including Santa Barbara
3) Palm Springs and the surrounding desert
4) Central (the Big Sur coast all the way inland)
5) San Francisco/Sacramento and their exurbs
6) Northern California, capital at Chico or Santa Rosa (redwoods, ranches, etc.)
Now we have six reasonable size states in which citizens are usually within a 2-hour drive from their state government officials and never more than a 5-hour drive from their state capitol.
Comments from California readers?