When we first read over superstar tech capitalist Tim Draper's "Six Californias" plan to make Silicon Valley its own state, we were a little skeptical. Was dividing California into six new states a sound idea? Maybe—let's wait and see. A new government study shows there might be some snags, like forming an arbitrary zone of extreme American poverty.
The analysts concluded that under Draper's plan, per capita personal income for residents of the proposed Silicon Valley state would rise to $63,288 compared with the $46,477 per-capita number that Californians currently pull down.
If California is split into six states as proposed by this measure, two of the six states (Silicon Valley and North California) would have PCPI above that of today's California, while the other four states would have lower PCPI based on 2012 data.
Silicon Valley's PCPI—$63,288—currently would rank as the highest among U.S. states ($3,600 above Connecticut, but still below the District of Columbia). Central California would rank as a leading agricultural producer. Its PCPI and that of Jefferson, however, would be notably lower than the PCPI of the other four new states. Currently, Central California's PCPI would rank last among all U.S. states (about $150 below Mississippi).
Anyone who has followed tech's growing obsession with isolating itself beneath layers of organic wool and hubris will find no surprise here: Tim Draper wants to turn Silicon Valley into the richest state in America, at the expense of "Central California," which would become the poorest. Sucks for you, non-techies, I guess.
Luckily for everyone outside of Draper's personal distortion sphere, the study also outlines plenty of reasons why this is a fool's errand, a startup of an over-fattened brain.