14 July 2009

The Several Californias?

The Volokh Conspiracy | Ilya Somin | Should California Be Broken Up?

By now, almost everyone agrees that California government is seriously dysfunctional. The state suffers from a grave fiscal crisis, extraordinarily high taxation (which, however, is still not enough to finance the state's exorbitant spending), overregulation, and numerous other problems. "Governator" Arnold Schwarzenegger has been no more able to curb these tendencies than his much-reviled Democratic predecessor, Gray Davis. Steven Greenhut suggests that California's problems are structural, not merely the result of bad decisions by individual politicians. He argues that the Golden State's people would be better off if it was broken up into three or four separate smaller states.
Somin's support for partitioning CA rests mostly on making it easier for people to vote with their feet against the state's bad policies. Not a bad idea.

I'd like to add that it would actually make things better for everyone, both within California and without, when it comes time to vote for a President. In order to maximize everyone's power when voting* you want electoral college-like districts to be of equal sizes to to support each candidate as evenly as possible. There's no just and stable way to accomplish the latter, but the former would be pretty easy to do. You wouldn't need to necessarily partition California in order to break up it's 55 electoral votes into more modestly sized blocks, but it wouldn't hurt.


* Where we'll take power to be loosely defined as "the chances of having your own vote be the one that determines the winner of an election." See Math Against Tyranny by Will Hively, based upon the work of physicist Alan Natapoff, for details.

(Via TJIC)

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