Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper’s proposal to split California into six states failed to garner enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
Good. It was a lousy idea.
Draper’s idea was an delusional exercise in callous libertarianism. The rich states would get richer and the poor Central Valley — which, together with all the mountain counties between L.A. and Sacramento — would become the nation’s poorest state.
But that was OK with Draper. Smaller states would be more “efficient.” The state of “Central California” would have incomes roughly half of “Silicon Valley,” but we could “compete” with other states, and that’s healthy, see.
“At least initially—and perhaps for many decades after their creation—the six proposed new states would have widely varying income levels,” the Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote in a report on the proposal. “The varied income levels would have important effects on each state’s tax base.”
That’s putting it mildly. The state of Southern California would have an annual taxable income of $157.5 billion. Our state would have to skimp by on $53.7, or 1/3 the amount. And we would be severed from the progressive distribution of taxes from wealthier regions. We could compete, all right. For a place in the soup line.
That would destroy what California is about. Or supposed to be about.
Considering that voters will sign virtually anything thrust at them outside a Target by signature-gatherers, Draper’s half-baked proposal got the rebuke it deserved. ‘Tis better to be underserved by one state than left to rot by five.