Nine Nations map

From the Nine Nations of North America book

Nine Nations of North America, or the Six States of California

I immediately thought of this book, Nine Nations of North America, [the link is to a fourteen page PDF the author wrote in summary] when I came across this article about these doings in California.

Now, I was all for it when Martha’s Vineyard wanted to secede from the USA. I think Vermont wanted to leave too. And then there’s those couple of counties in Colorado that got a referendum going in the last election.
There’s fair coverage on the subject on this wiki.

My thoughts written today are neither for nor against any secessionist policy (full disclosure: I’d let them go. Most splinter groups believe they have a valid gripe in support of their cause{s}, but they don’t take in the macro view).  I just want to examine some of the ideas put forth in this latest offering.

Start with the idea of breaking CA into six new states. According to the graphic, the two smallest would also be the richest and densest. The others being rural farmland and/or desert. Now, this has come up many times before. Remember the theme of my other posts: follow the money. A similar effort happened in Virginia; the northern enclave, home to three of the wealthiest counties in the nation, felt that the rest of the state was mooching.  (True; as defined by state tax revenues generated divided per capita.)

Which is why in so many of these cases it simply won’t work. Historically, when the states divested themselves, somebody stood to make a financial killing (at somebody else’s expense). But sooner or later, you can’t keep divvying up the tamale. Support to maintain lesser areas of any particular state is a cost of doing business within that state. If states stop accepting this as a business practice, the nation, in general, would revert to fiefdoms. Each duplicating the support efforts of the others – financially onerous and ineffective in the long game.

Which brings me back to the Nine Nations book (not the PDF).  In it, the author explained how each North American region supported its own interests. When I read that, it struck me as how a consolidation would be both logical and beneficial. In many respects, it already occurs.  Police and fire share and delegate across state lines; power companies are regional and direct resources where needed. The one large area where the most waste is… governance.  Overlapping, contradictory laws; regional, state, and local offices; the duplication of effort to accomplish identical tasks, is astounding.

But what do I know? I just follow the money.