A Successful Path To A Peaceful Secession

A Successful Path to a Peaceful Secession

Robert young, a professor of political science, wrote an interesting paper about how peaceful secessions happen. In it, he analyzes various secessions from the past and theorized that the long term success of the peaceful ones depended on their fitting a general pattern.

He focuses mainly on three secession movements; Hungary from Austria in 1867, Norway from Sweden in 1905, and Singapore from Malaysia in 1965. It is interesting to note that, while they were considered peaceful, they weren’t without conflict — a Hungarian revolt was put down, there were threats of war between Norway and Sweden, and race riots sprang up in Singapore.

The pattern is as follows:

  1. Secession follows protracted constitutional and political disputes.
    It results from long periods of disagreement and crystallizes around a symbolic issue of principle.
  2. The secessor state declares its intent to withdraw.
  3. The predecessor state accepts the principle of secession: negotiations follow.
    This is usually a bitter and difficult decision, but one that marks the difference between contested secessions and peaceful ones.
  4. Secession is a momentous, galvanizing event.
    While “peaceful secession” gives the impression of tranquility, the aftermath can be a period of “disruption and uncertainty.”
  5. The government is broadened and strengthened on each side, and there is a premium on solidarity.
    The focus will be on the immediate need to reach a settlement.
  6. The negotiations involve few participants
  7. The settlement is made quickly
  8. The settlement involves a relatively short list of items
  9. Foreign powers play an important role
    International recognition is important for the new country and outside powers could be allies
  10. The secession is accomplished Constitutionally
    All peaceful secessions are accomplished through legal means
  11. There are no other substantial constitutional changes in either the seceding or the predecessor state
  12. Policies in the two states soon begin to diverge
  13. Secession is irrevocable
How Do Peaceful Secessions Happen?
San Diego Builds The Largest Desalination Plant In The Western Hemisphere

San Diego Builds the Largest Desalination Plant in the Western Hemisphere

The largest desalination plant in the western hemisphere has started operating in Carlsbad, and will generate 50 million gallons of fresh water daily for San Diego.

This could set a new precedent for the state, as plans for 15 other desalination plants along the California coast are currently being considered.

Desalination has always taken a smaller role in California’s water generation efforts, in no small part due to the concerns about the environmental impact of concentrated brine disposal. But the experience of Australia shows those fears may be unfounded.

From 1997-2010, Australia faced the worst drought in 1,000 years. This prompted their water utilities to build six desalination plants with varying capacities, from 35 million to 120 million gallons per day. Over the past nine years of operation there has been no impact on fisheries or marine ecosystems.

Resistance to the idea of California independence usually begins with an assumption that our water issue is an insurmountable hurdle that will stop the movement in its tracks. But that’s an attitude borne out of a dependency on out of state water that we’ve allowed ourselves to be lulled into. Much like what happened in Israel and Australia, our drought has shaken us out of our complacency and forced us to solve our problems with our own resources. That’s good not just for the state of California, but also the future nation of California.

A Look Inside the Largest Desalination Plant in the Western Hemisphere
California: An Island Of Islands

California: An Island of Islands

Thanks to Adolpho Rene Morales

BoomCalifornia tells the tale of a cartographic blunder that originally rendered California as an island. While it took over two centuries to fix the error, the idea of California as an island seems to have lived on in the imagination and firmly taken hold in our consciousness.

We may not technically be an island, but we are distinct from the rest of the country in terms of geography, climate, and culture. Separated from the rest of the lower 47 by deserts and mountain ranges, containing the highest and lowest points in the US, with record snowfalls, rainforests, great rivers, salt lakes, massive grasslands, and some of the richest farmland in the world. Home to the hubs of the movie, game, and technology industries, wine country, a robust fishing industry, agriculture that supplies two thirds of the nation’s produce, and almost every ethnicity on Earth.

“An island that is a world in miniature” as BoomCalifornia puts it, and that island is composed of still smaller islands within that all have their own character. The powerful city-states that dominate the coast give California its left-of-center reputation and they tend to overshadow the more conservative pockets of Jefferson and the central valley. And yet, taken as a whole, these islands are more dissimilar to the mainland than they are to each other.

Geography has shaped us, and our separateness has allowed us to independently develop values that have influenced the rest of the US for many years. America needs to accept that the California that existed as an island in our imagination so long ago is, in reality, a nation all its own.

Notes on California as an Island
The Good Kind Of Nationalism

The Good Kind of Nationalism

Thanks to Sven Arne Serrano

Benedict Anderson was a political scientist who conceived of ‘Imagined Communities’ as a way of analyzing nationalism. He believed that nations are socially constructed; that even though most members of a nation will never know each other, their similar interests and ideals hold them together in an imagined communion.

According to Anderson, nationalism arose due to two main causes: the rise of the printing press allowed people with similar ideas to communicate in their own language, and the fatalistic traditions of feudalism and divine right were being eroded by the Enlightenment. So as people were coming to terms with the idea of their own agency, the printed word allowed them to forge alliances around shared ideals.

Anderson’s view of nationalism seems very different from the conventional idea of nationalism with its roots in xenophobia and bigotry. This concept, that groups of people with common values should forge their own destiny, is a very positive one that provides the spiritual force behind independence movements like California, Scotland and Catalonia.

Sven Serrano adds:

“We should remember as we go forward that there is a ‘good’ nationalism, the kind that is used for nation building; progressive, inclusive, and tolerant. It had its great moment first in the New World 1776-1830, then in Europe from 1815 to 1850.”

It’s an important point, considering how other parts of the world, including America, appear to be flirting with nationalist movements that wallow in ignorance and racism, and yearn for regress to a darker past. With California’s embrace of progress, diversity, and scientific knowledge, our ‘good’ nationalist movement stands in stark contrast to theirs. They seek to leave the international community where we seek to build our own nation and join it.

While not every Californian will see eye to eye on every issue, our collective ideals have always set us apart from the rest of the country. As BoomCalifornia points out, California is an like an island containing many different islands, but the “whole is distinct from the rest of the country.”

We already have our ‘imagined community’ in California, and have had for some time. Benedict Anderson would say we already have our own nation. We just need to make it official.

Imagined Communities
Solar Will Power The Country Of California

Solar will Power the Country of California

California is currently embarking on an ambitious renewable energy program to reach certain benchmarks by 2030. It’s a great start, but why not replace all fossil fuel generated electricity with renewables? As of 2016, solar and wind became as expensive or cheaper than fossil fuels in more than 30 different countries – and as technology improves, efficiency is increased, and prices come down, this will only get easier.

Land Art Generator took a look at just how much land use is required to power California with renewables. It’s not as much as you would think. Most of the infrastructure could live on rooftops and public spaces and the rest could inhabit the areas already disturbed by existing fossil fuel operations.

California is acting on a plan that should set the standard for the entire country

As for the US, the size it would take to power the entire country with solar equals just a few counties in Texas. An MIT study on land use comparisons had some fascinating insights. In it, they find the land area required to power the US demand by 2050:

  •  Would be no more than the areas already “disturbed by surface mining for coal”
  • Is about half that currently being using to grow corn for ethanol
  • Is less than the area used by major US roads
  • Can be fulfilled 60% by the existing rooftop area in the US

And there are similar statistics for solar energy to power the entire planet:

  • The land area we would need is about the size of Spain or California
  • If we construct solar farms at the same rate we destroy forests, 170,000 km2 per year, we would be done in three years
  • If every nation embarked on a solar program equivalent to the US highway system, it could be completed in a 20-40 year timeline.

As a progressive and forward thinking country, California is the perfect place to show the world how to replace fossil fuel electrical generation with green energy. The only thing holding us back is the corrupt American oligarchy that raids our coffers while thwarting progress in renewables in favor of their petrochemical benefactors. As the recent election confirmed, nothing about this will change until we break free.

California Innovation

California Innovation

Bloomberg ranked all states in terms of innovation and California came in second, right behind Massachusetts, by one point.

It’s never been a secret that California is a powerhouse when it comes to innovation. We’ve been so for many generations. While we face multiple challenges in our quest for independence, notably water and power, this is where a major key to our success lies – in our forward thinking embrace of technology and R&D.

One thing to note is that the least innovative sates were Arkansas, West Virginia, and Mississippi. As you can imagine, they are also high on the list of welfare states – the states that California is subsidizing with our tax dollars to the tune of ~$59 billion a year.

As if that weren’t bad enough, their votes also count more.

Here are the Most Innovative States in America in 2016
America Is Bleeding California Dry

America Is Bleeding California Dry

Thanks to Jed Wheeler

Depending on exchange rates, California has the fifth or sixth biggest economy on the planet, just ahead of France. With the advent of Brexit, we could soon be ahead of the UK. We are the single biggest contributor of revenue to the US federal government, yet what we get back in return is always much less than what we put in.

In 2012, California paid $292,563,574,000 to the federal government. What we got back in federal spending was $59 Billion less than what we put in.

That $59 Billion shortfall is 2/3 what our state budget was ($91.5 Billion) for 2012. That’s 2/3 of our state budget going directly to subsidize other states that receive up to $2 for every dollar they put in. This forces us to borrow against our future and incur debt to fill the gaps; the same gaps that those other states are filling with our taxes.

The US military budget in 2012 was $681 Billion, and again, California was the largest contributor with $57 Billion. If California were an independent nation, we could easily use that amount to pay for a military that would rival France or the UK.

But, as CaForIndependence notes, Californians are peaceful and not given to foreign policy quagmires or military adventurism. If we took an approach similar to Switzerland and spent 0.7% of our GDP on the military, we would have $13.7 Billion to defend ourselves and not threaten others. We would save $43.3 Billion. And when you add that to the $59 Billion we would save from not subsidizing other states, our problems with underfunded schools, infrastructure, and other debt problems would rapidly disappear.

This all boils down to the classic taxation vs representation problem that helped formed the USA in the first place. If Californians found their values strongly expressed in US national policy, then it wouldn’t be so infuriating that we go into debt paying so much to subsidize others. At least there would be a trade-off. But we have almost no voice. The values expressed in American policy are the exact opposite of ours. They are those of the plutocrats pulling the strings of a hopelessly corrupted legislature. We can no longer act as the silent piggy bank for oligarchs whose values are the antithesis of ours. We need to forge our own path now.

What America Costs California
How You Can Help

How You Can Help

If you want to help California gain independence, here are the two most important things you can do:

  1. Become a monthly donor to the California National Party. The CNP is an all-volunteer force working hard to make this happen. A one-time donation would be great, but a monthly recurring donation, even as small as $5, would allow them a dependable monthly amount for operating expenses.
  2. Join the CNP and change your voter registration to California National Party. You will most likely have to print out your registration, sign it, and mail it in. If you fill it out but don’t mail it in, then a few weeks later they will send you a print out with a pre-addressed envelope that you can sign and send back in.

If, after doing the above, you want to do more, feel free to volunteer in additional ways:

  • Join the Slack channel and volunteer your talents, whether they be design, research, networking, organizing, data science, programming, or just lending your perspective (we need to hear from people from every section of California)
  • Join the Facebook group and join in the conversation
  • Volunteer to help canvas. The CNP needs 50,000 people to register under their name to qualify as a party on the ballots
  • Spread the word in your social circles
Timeline For Californian Independence

Timeline for Californian Independence

Here is the general timeline for gaining California’s independence:

  1. We need to get 500,000 signatures to put a plebiscite on the 2018 ballot. The plebiscite will ask the voting public if we should remove the language from our Constitution that considers California an inseparable part of the United States.
  2. If the initiative passes, then there will be a referendum in 2019 asking the voters if California should leave the Union.

In the meantime, the California National Party needs 50,000 people to change their voter registration to CNP to qualify as a party. Here’s how you can help.

 

California Vs The American Oligarchy

California vs the American Oligarchy

Thomas Piketty et al., expand on their earlier work showing how the US is entering a new gilded age. The main points are:

  • The bottom half of the country has been shut out from income growth for 40 years.
  • Government spending has helped lift lower incomes, but only a little.
  • Increased health care spending on the elderly consumes most of the gains.
  • The top 1% and the bottom 50% have swapped their relative shares of the national income.
  • Taxes in the United States are much less progressive than they used to be.
  • More women in the work force also helped mitigate rising inequality.
  • But there’s still a heavy glass ceiling.
  • Since 1999, any upper-middle-class income growth has been after-tax.
  • Taxes and spending helped blunt the effects of inequality and income stagnation.

It’s worth noting that the California values expressed in the CNP Platform are the exact ones that would have prevented this new Gilded Age from forming in the first place:

  • Progressive taxation
  • Social spending
  • Gender equality
  • Universal healthcare
  • Economy built from the middle out instead of top down
Nine New Findings About Inequality in the United States
The Fading American Dream

The Fading American Dream

In the last half century, children’s prospects of doing better than their parents has decreased by almost half, from 90% to 50%. The decrease is due much less to the decrease in GDP than it is to the unequal distribution of wealth during that time. If the growth in the past 50 years were distributed more broadly, children’s chance of achieving the American Dream would rise to 80%.

The death of the American Dream is a major symptom of the way the captured American government and its economy has been rigged for the very few. As such, it also serves as a major impetus for our independence movement, as we grow weary of an oligarchy that takes our money while pushing an agenda only beneficial to themselves. The American Dream can live again in California if we really want it.

The Equality of Opportunity Project
America Is An Oligarchy

America is an Oligarchy

A study out of Princeton and Northwestern concluded what we all already know. America in its current state is not a democracy nor a republic, but an oligarchy; where a small ruling class dominates the political system and forces their own agenda, to the exclusion of everyone else, into government policy.

In the last 5 years alone, the 200 most politically active companies in the US spent $5.8 billion influencing our government with lobbying and campaign contributions. Those same companies got $4.4 trillion in taxpayer support — earning a return of 750 times their investment.

Add to that the tens of billions of dollars per year we lose subsidizing smaller states whose values differ greatly from our own, but whose votes are weighted to count much more than ours… and you’ve got the broken system that we desperately need to break free from.

The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organised groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on US government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence

Testing Theories of American Politics: Elites, Interest Groups, and Average Citizens
Water Recycling Taking Off In California

Water Recycling Taking off in California

The OC Water District leads the nation in water recycling. They use reverse osmosis and filtering technology to treat wastewater and pump it underground to replenish the aquifers and groundwater. Pumping it back underground keeps out saltwater intrusion as well as filtering the water even more (even though the treated water is cleaner than what you buy at the store.)

They are expected to treat 130 million gallons a day by 2022, or 40% of all water needs in Orange County. After consulting with OC officials, Santa Clara and San Jose are conducting similar projects in Northern California, and Los Angeles is planning a huge effort that could surpass the one in Orange County.

When you think about the normal glacial pace with which water infrastructure projects usually get built, things are moving at a lightning pace in California

In our quest for sovereignty, water is one of the biggest hurdles that we must clear. The recent drought could be a blessing in disguise for our independence movement, as it seems to have sparked a massive interest in California solving her problems with her own resources.

At the Water Replenishment District of Southern California, their goal is to stop importing water

Nation’s Largest Water Recycling Plant Expanding in Orange County
California Needs A Severance Tax

California Needs a Severance Tax

Thanks to Christian Billson

There is a little known fact that California is the only major oil-producing state that does not have a per-barrel oil extraction tax, referred to as a Severance Tax.

There was a failed initiative in 2014 for a Severance Tax of 9.5% that could have raised $1.5-2 billion per year “to be spent on public schools, colleges, and universities; clean energy research and development; local infrastructure projects; and state parks.” For reference, Texas has a severance tax of 7.5% while Alaska has a stunning 25% rate.

While California will have no trouble balancing her budget once we stop subsidizing other states, it makes sense to seek out additional revenue where we can, especially when other states are already doing it.

California Severance Tax on Oil and Gas (2014)

California Has the Nation’s Least Powerful Votes

When it comes to Presidential elections and the Senate, California voters rank dead last in both categories in terms of power.

 

2016’s States with the Most and Least Powerful Voters
California Needs Its Own Tea Party

California Needs its own Tea Party

Yet again, California gets severely shortchanged on representation in favor of smaller, more rural states…the same states we are subsidizing with our taxes.

South Dakota, one of the most empowered states in the country, received almost twice the return on taxes as California, the country’s most populated state, while also commanding nearly twice as much power per capita in the Electoral College.

The Universal Basic Income

The Universal Basic Income

One item on the CNP platform, the Universal Basic Income, is sure to raise some eyebrows.

But it shouldn’t. UBI is not a new idea. It’s been around for a few generations and has garnered broad support spanning the political spectrum, from Friedrich Hayek and the Cato Institute to Martin Luther King Jr and the Brookings Institution.

Libertarians like it because it simplifies things by removing layers of government bureaucracy. Liberals like it because it will lift people out of poverty and keep them from falling through the cracks. The predictable criticisms that it will just create a society of lazy people who don’t try have been shown by experimental tests to not be true.

And one area right and left both agree on is that it will offset the human cost of increased automation in the near future.

There is a pretty good chance we end up with a universal basic income, or something like that, due to automation…I am not sure what else one would do. I think that is what would happen.
-Elon Musk

Whichever side of the political aisle you hail from, it looks like an idea that finally deserves serious consideration, as Finland, the Netherlands, and Canada are doing now.

The Conservative Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income
What If We Just Gave Poor People a Basic Income for Life?
A Universal Basic Income: Conservative, Progressive, and Libertarian Perspectives
A Socialist Bank In Deep-Red Dakota

A Socialist Bank in Deep-Red Dakota

If you’ve read the CNP platform, you’ll notice it calls for the creation of a public credit union. This is a fantastic idea that reminds me of the success of the nation’s only public bank in North Dakota.

The BND receives all state taxes and thus has a “captive deposit base.” They reinvest that money directly back into the state’s economic development. This takes the form of investing in areas the big banks are ignoring and using the state’s money to buy down interest rates for small business loans.

Other advantages include developing loan programs for natural disaster relief and the regular large dividends it pays back to the state that can fend off budget shortfalls during recessions. Over 10 years, the BND returned a dividend of a third of a billion dollars for a population of 600,000. Adjusted for California’s size, that would equal around $2.2 billion per year.

Though our public credit union will probably take a different shape than the BND (they take almost no individual deposits), it still serves as a great example of how a publicly-owned financial institution can be a huge boon to the California Republic’s economic growth and stability.

How the Nation’s Only State-Owned Bank Became the Envy of Wall Street
What North Dakota’s Public Bank Does for Small Businesses
Public Banks Are Essential to Capitalism

California: Low Dependency & High GDP

All while being the largest donor to the American government.

Dependency: 1 = Most Dependent

Tax Rates

GDP

2016’s Most & Least Federally Dependent States
California’s Voice Gets Drowned Out

California’s Voice Gets Drowned Out

The US was a shining light of representative government when we first won our independence. But since then, our continually growing and evolving country has exposed the weaknesses of our centuries-old institutions. We hold on to an archaic framework that may have made sense when there were only 13 states, but over time it has deteriorated from fair representation to total gridlock, corruption, and tyranny of the minority.

While we may have been the first of the modern age’s governments to solve our problems, other countries have the advantage of having solved their problems more recently than we did. As a result, they have more fair, proportional, multi-party representation while the US is stuck hopelessly in the past.

California’s representation in the Federal Government has been diluted out of all proportion when compared with our population, the size of our economy, and the amount of taxes we pay as a donor state to subsidize other states.

  • Wyoming has 0.2% of the U.S. population, 0.6% of the Electoral College votes for President, and 2% of the U.S. senators. California has 12% of the population, 10% of the electoral votes, and still only 2% of the senators.
    To put it another way: Wyoming has 6 electoral votes and 2 senators per million voters, while California has 1.5 electoral votes and 0.06 senators per million voters.
  • Electoral votes in California is 1 vote per 750,000 while Wyoming is 1 vote per 160,000. Which means votes in Wyoming are  four times more powerful than ours
  • Thanks to the Electoral College, a CA resident has 0.84 Real Votes, whereas a WY resident has 3.04 Real Votes
  • The bottom 23 states have a population roughly equal to California. Their total electoral vote is 102. California’s electoral vote is 55. The same bottom 23 states are represented by 46 senators, while California gets 2.
  • Voters in 17 small states with the same total population as California have over 50% more electoral college votes, and a massive 17X advantage in Senate
Loopholes For Becoming A Free Country Without An Amendment

Loopholes for Becoming a Free Country Without an Amendment

In a lengthier post, Dave M covers similar ground as Andre Santana, using Article 4 Section 3 Clause 2 of the Constitution.

In his take, a small part of California would have to cede the rest of California to the federal government, who, in turn, will create the territory of California and grant the state-owned property back to it.

Another interesting tack he explores is how, through treaties, the President and 2/3 of the Senate can cede land to foreign governments through treaties. This utilizes the fact that the US has broad discretion to recognize foreign governments. In this scenario, the US government recognizes the Republic of California as a foreign government (by treaty), after which they grant the California territory to it (also by treaty.)

And as we all know from civics class, the US Constitution views treaties as the supreme law of the land.

Constitutional Loopholes for Independence
How California Can Legally Leave The US

How California can Legally Leave the US

Andre Santana posts on Medium of a way he believes California could become a country without changes to the constitution. He refers to Article 4 Section 3 Clause 2: 

“The Congress shall have power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States;”

The crux of the argument is that, since California was a territory before becoming a state, a simple act of Congress could perform the statehood process in reverse, reverting California back to a territory.

And there is a historical precedent, as in the cases of the Philippines and Cuba, to grant US territories their independence.

California can legally exit the U.S.A without any changes to the Constitution and there’s Historical Precedence supporting it
California’s Advantages

California’s Advantages

Thanks to Mário De Sá Campos

  • We have a GDP of $2.5 Trillion, which makes up 1/8 of the USA’s GDP of $18.7 Trillion.
  • We have the sixth biggest economy in the world. With the advent of Brexit, we may slip ahead of the UK and be the fifth.
  • We have estimated population of 39.5M, and we would rank 35th in the world if ranked as a country.
  • In August of 2016, California job growth was responsible for 40% of US total job growth for that month.
  • We have four out of seven ports on the west coast. Three of them, Long Beach, Los Angeles, and Oakland, are among the busiest ports in the US. Los Angeles is the busiest in the entire country.
  • We are the largest producers of many crops in the entire world.
Israel Can Show California How To Overcome Drought

Israel Can Show California how to Overcome Drought

Spurred on by the seven-year drought, Israel developed a desalination program with a goal of creating 200 billion gallons of potable water per year by 2020.

As California and other western areas of the United States grapple with an extreme drought, a revolution has taken place here. A major national effort to desalinate Mediterranean seawater and to recycle wastewater has provided the country with enough water for all its needs, even during severe droughts.

Aided by the Sea, Israel Overcomes an Old Foe: Drought

The Rise of the Scottish National Party

As you may know, the California National Party takes its inspiration from the SNP of Scotland. Here is an interesting mini-doc by the BBC about their incredible rise from obscurity.

 

The California National Party Platform

The California National Party Platform

There are a few groups out there advocating for Californian Independence. We here at IndependentCalifornia believe that the California National Party has the most thorough, well thought out plan. It addresses just about all of the desires that poll highly among the voting public, yet get ignored by the corrupt sellouts in the American Congress.

Some key points and highlights:

  • Progressive taxation
  • Universal Healthcare
  • Universal Basic Income
  • Creation of a public Credit Union
  • Robust funding for R&D
  • Ending cable monopolies
  • Massive investment in infrastructure for transportation, water, and power
  • Neutrality and resonable, but very reduced, spending on the military along with minimum, but compulsory, military service (based on the Swiss model.)
  • Investment in STEM fields and public K-12 education, publicly funded colleges and trade schools
  • Multilingual education
  • Return to the Fairness Doctrine as well as basic standards for journalistic integrity (based on the Canadian model.)
  • Immigration reform
California National Party Platform
California Ranks #1 In Agriculture

California Ranks #1 in Agriculture

Thanks to Kevin Hile

In 2014 (latest figures) California had $54 billion in agricultural receipts, ranking it #1 in the nation. Iowa was second with $30.65 billion.

  1. Milk: $9.4 billion
  2. Almonds: $5.9 billion
  3. Grapes: $5.2 billion
  4. Beef: $3.7 billion
  5. Strawberries: $2.5 billion
  6. Lettuce: $2.6 billion
  7. Walnuts: $1.8 billion
  8. Tomatoes: $1.6 billion
  9. Pistachios: $1.6 billion
  10. Hay: $1.3 billion
California’s Debt “Problem” Isn’t Really A Problem

California’s Debt “Problem” isn’t really a Problem

Thanks to Mário De Sá Campos

Much has been made about California’s debt as one of the hurdles we’ll face in becoming an independent nation. But a closer look at the numbers really brings that obstacle down to size.

  • California’s debt is around $400B.
  • But California’s GDP is $2.5T ($2,500B) and accounts for 1/8 of the overall GDP of the USA.
  • We have a budget of $160B with a budget surplus of $2.8B.

In contrast, the US is almost $20T in debt with a GDP of $18.7T, a budget of $3.8T with a budget deficit of $0.5T. So California’s debt is less than 20% of our GDP while the US has a debt greater than 100% of GDP.

In 2012, the last year which all the information is available, $59B of California’s taxes went directly to other states. And that’s just one year out of many since the 1980s when California paid much more to the federal government than we received. So it bears mentioning that our debt wouldn’t even be close to where it is if we weren’t constantly subsidizing other states over the past 30+ years and forcing ourselves to borrow against our own future.

California is one of 50 states, yet, as mentioned above, we provide 1/8 of the GDP of the USA. And for that distinction we’re rewarded with being treated like a piggy bank to subsidize many other states while having our voting power watered down to a fraction of theirs. We can do better.

Israel Shows One Possible Path Towards Water Independence

Israel Shows One Possible Path Towards Water Independence

Israel embarked on a serious effort towards desalination after a very bad drought in the 90s. The two techniques driving the industry are Thermal Desalination and Membrane Technology.

The company running one of Israel’s plants, IDE Technologies, is the same one building a new facility in SanDiego. It will be interesting to see what effect it has on their water issues. One caveat, according to one of the heads of the project, is that desalination is not really a first step. Recycling is also a big part of Israel’s water program, as “86% is now recycled … providing farmers half of their annual need.”

Desalination may not be the magic bullet to fix California’s water issues, but it can be part of a multi-pronged effort that includes rainwater collection, recycling, and marine layer condensation.

It’s been an “incredible game-changer,” Gilron says. “What it means is that, even in a year where we don’t get enough rain, that difference can be made up from desalination.”

Another cue we can take from the Israeli program is the creation of a central Water Authority. According to them, the US drought problems are caused, in large part, by “hodgepodge management.”

Israel Bringing Its Years Of Desalination Experience To California

California’s Diluted Voting Power

Thanks to Doug Mahugh

17 small states with the same population as California have over 50% more electoral college votes, and massive 17X advantage in the Senate.

And yet, California pays much more in federal taxes than all these states combined while receiving less in federal funding than they do. Our voting power is being diluted by the very welfare states that our taxes are subsidizing.

The Electoral College Is A Compromise With Slavery

The Electoral College is a Compromise with Slavery

It permitted southern states to disfranchise large numbers of slaves while allowing these states to maintain political clout within the federation by using the three-fifths compromise.

Racism Baked Into Electoral College

Racism Baked into Electoral College

Max Bernstein has an interesting post on Medium about how the Electoral College distorts the will of the voting public, favoring whites.

We all know the Electoral College was made to give the slave states more power, since slaves counted as 3/5 person but couldn’t vote. And to this day, we continue to hold on to this relic of our racist past that puts it’s thumb on the scale of our supposedly democratic elections.


If electoral votes were divided evenly, each one would represent 583,305 people. A fair electoral representation is 1/538,305 of an electoral vote per person. I refer to this as a Real Vote.

  • On average, a white person has 1.0214 Real Votes, or 102.14% of a fair electoral representation — a 2.14% edge.
  • On average, nonwhites as a whole have 0.9625 Real Votes, or 96.25% of a fair electoral representation — a 3.75% disadvantage.
  • On average, a hispanic voter has 0.9322 Real Votes, or 93.22% of a fair electoral representation — a 6.78% disadvantage.
  • On average, a black voter has 0.976 Real Votes, or 97.6% of a fair electoral representation — a 2.4% disadvantage.
  • A white vote is worth on average 6.1% more than an average nonwhite vote, 9.6% more than a hispanic vote, and 4.7% more than a black vote.
  • A CA resident has 0.84 Real Votes, whereas a WY resident has 3.04 Real Votes (much has been made of this disparity already). Wyoming is 85.9% white, California is only 40.1% white.

A majority of Trump supporters believe that racial discrimination harms whites more than minority groups. Now that their man has been elected president based on a system that gives white voters a 6.1% bonus, they should stop believing that nonsense.

How Much Racism Is Mathematically Baked into the Electoral College? Quite a Bit.
California’s Watered-Down Representation

California’s Watered-Down Representation

The bottom 23 states have a population roughly equal to California. Their total electoral vote is 102. California’s electoral vote is 55.

The same bottom 23 states are represented by 46 senators, while California gets 2.

US Census: Population and Electoral representation