It's easy to dismiss wacky venture capitalist Tim Draper's "Six Californias" plan. After all, the notion of splitting America's third-largest state into six pieces just for the tax benefit of Silicon Valley is silly! But it sounds even sillier from someone taking it seriously.
Tim Draper, with all the persuasiveness of a tired 8th grade football coach, gave the above talk yesterday during a press conference to celebrate his ballot initiative's success. It makes the whole thing seem like less of an internet in-joke, and more a genuinely powerful, wealthy man with a pernicious plan.
California has a lot of problems, Draper explains. Its roads, schools, and employment rate all need help. This also applies to every other state in the union, as well as every other country on the planet. But Draper isn't just stating the obvious—there's an apocalyptic bend to all this. California needs to be gerrymandered so that Californians will be prepared "when it all comes down."
Draper asks himself "why not just two states?" Perhaps he's approximating what it's like to talk with another human. "Remember when there were just two choices of ice cream? Vanilla and chocolate." I do not remember that, Tim, and neither do you, but you do present a very compelling argument here. "Two choices are better than one," Draper concludes, "but I'd rather have six!" This is also a convincing argument for subdividing California into 400 states—or how about 38 million states, one for each of California's silenced residents?
That's the idiot logic behind the Six Californias plan: empower the state by destroying it. It's the kind of logic only a man up to his neck in Silicon Valley swamp water could pitch with a straight face. His group even put together this twee little whiteboard video, explaining how much better things will work once there are more Californias:
State services, infrastructure, jobs, and literally everything else will somehow improve if Silicon Valley gets its own little constitutional enclave at the tremendous expense of the entire rest of extant California. But, on the plus side, Draper entices voters with a participatory component to neo-statehood:
"You can mold your own state. You can frame your own constitution. Your own system of government. Your own state bird. Social media and rating systems allow us to easily determine how each state can serve its people. We'll be launching sites for each state that can help you get started. Then, it is up to you."
Just imagine: a government where anything goes, operating as smoothly as Google Plus. I'd love to try it out—enlightened monarchy, anyone?—but right now the "Create Your State" section of Draper's site is just a picture of California above an email waiting list.