Saturday, November 12, 2016

Thoughtful Article About California Secession Dreams

Whether or not secession works out, people like Altman have plenty of backup plans. In an earlier interview with the New Yorker, Altman explained his preparations for the apocalypse: “I have guns, gold, potassium iodide, antibiotics, batteries, water, gas masks from the Israeli Defense Force, and a big patch of land in Big Sur I can fly to.” Plan B is to fly to New Zealand with billionaire venture capitalist Peter Thiel.
Okay, this is why half the country hates the wealthy elite. They can muck things up all they want, and simply leave when the going gets tough....
California’s secession is unlikely to go any better. It became the world’s sixth largest economy thanks in large part to transfers from the rest of the country. The Bay Area tech industry received much of its early funding from the U.S. Navy for things like radios and aeronautics research, which created demand for vacuum tubes and San Jose’s mercury mines. The biggest buyers of early silicon circuitswere the Department of Defense and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
Secessionists point out that California receives only 94 cents in federal spending for every dollar it pays in income tax. Yet leaving could sever crucial ties to the rest of the country. Southern California gets most of its water from the Colorado River in Arizona, and the entire state’s natural gas and oil supply arrives through pipelines coming from Texas. Many California-based companies are incorporated in Delaware, for the lower tax rates.
In theory, state representatives could negotiate independent trade agreements, but this would cost a lot more than the 6 percent of California tax dollars that go to other parts of the union (there’s something to be said for economies of scale). Plus, the new Republic of California wouldn’t survive a foreign invasion unless it built its own military or became the protectorate of another nation.
I had not even thought of water issues.  Not mentioned is how much electricity comes from the Northwest's hydroelectric system. Even today, a lot of California industry is DoD-funded, which would come to an end.

8 comments:

keathwarlick said...

I still think it's a great idea. We shouldn't try and talk them out of it. :)

James Gibson said...

Last I checked a lot of the electricity comes from the inter-mountain network- aka a large coal burning facility in Utah. Then there is all the Fed money California used revamp its rail system to the large container port at Long Beach. May be some should start compiling the costs to California if it left the Union. I couldn't do it, I'm too much of the view to see them try and fail to teach national liberals a strong lesson.

Joseph said...

Wait a moment... Are trade agreements supposed to make things more expensive or less expensive?

Karl said...

Three words:
Intermountain Power Project.

LADWP plans to divest completely by 2025, so maybe California won't need that energy. Or maybe it will still have to come in, by a less direct route.

I may have to buy a residence to establish citizenship so I can actually retire to the state I want to in a few years.

Joe Carpenter said...

The first prediction I have for the post-secession country of California: the armed fight for independence by Northern California that wants very much to be free, and not socialist. They may very well break off to rejoin the US as the state of Jefferson.
It would be nice to just let them socialists have their cake and drop it, but their existence depends very much on those around them. And, we benefit greatly from their presence as well.
Dangit, we all need to figure out how to get along after all.

StormCchaser said...

Errr. the Colorado River isn't in Arizona except for the Grand Canyon. There is an agreement between the states on the river, and Mexico, that handles allotments.

But... California gets a lot of power from out of state. We have the nation's largest nuclear plant just outside of Phoenix, and California owns a big chunk of it.

I would be fun to have them dependent for electricity on a foreign nation!

BTW, what California really needs is internal federalism. There are parts of the state that are suffering mightily from the policies of the coast elite that would really like to not be ruled by them. In fact, if CA came apart, some of them would probably join AZ and NV.

Will said...

The voting map shows solid blue all along the Mexican border of CA. I would predict that Mexico will overrun them after independence, and the Asians will bail pretty quickly. LA would run the state, and they are more stupid than the idiots in Sacramento. Kiss it goodbye!

Rich Rostrom said...

This article is probably a farrago of ignorance. The author writes

the entire state’s natural gas and oil supply arrives through pipelines coming from Texas.

But in fact California is the 7th largest oil producing state, with about 5.5% of total U.S. production. Yes, that's less than California consumes, but it's a lot more than nothing. California also produces about 10% of its natural gas requirements.

California oil production has a fairly prominent history; Chevron used to be Standard Oil of California. Anyone who doesn't know this industry even exists is grossly ignorant.