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2/13/07 11:22 AM
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hubris
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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Op-Ed Contributor

California Split

By GAR ALPEROVITZ Published: February 10, 2007 SOMETHING interesting is happening in California. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger seems to have grasped the essential truth that no nation -- not even the United States -- can be managed successfully from the center once it reaches a certain scale. Moreover, the bold proposals that Mr. Schwarzenegger is now making for everything from universal health care to global warming point to the kind of decentralization of power which, once started, could easily shake up America's fundamental political structure. Governor Schwarzenegger is quite clear that California is not simply another state. "We are the modern equivalent of the ancient city-states of Athens and Sparta," he recently declared. "We have the economic strength, we have the population and the technological force of a nation-state." In his inaugural address, Mr. Schwarzenegger proclaimed, "We are a good and global commonwealth." Political rhetoric? Maybe. But California's governor has also put his finger on a little discussed flaw in America's constitutional formula. The United States is almost certainly too big to be a meaningful democracy. What does "participatory democracy" mean in a continent? Sooner or later, a profound, probably regional, decentralization of the federal system may be all but inevitable. A recent study by the economists Alberto Alesina of Harvard and Enrico Spolaore of Tufts demonstrates that the bigger the nation, the harder it becomes for the government to meet the needs of its dispersed population. Regions that don't feel well served by the government's distribution of goods and services then have an incentive to take independent action, the economists note. contd...
2/13/07 11:27 AM
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Steve72
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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John Titor predicted this.
2/13/07 11:28 AM
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hubris
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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wait til he starts demanding lebensraum from neighboring states... California would be a great country
2/13/07 11:29 AM
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Xtina
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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This will happen just before we drop off into the ocean after that huge upcoming earthquake.
2/13/07 11:37 AM
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TexArcher
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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I'm pretty sure most Texans wouldn't mind one bit if Texas became a republic again.
2/13/07 11:38 AM
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Xtina
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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I'm pretty sure the rest of the country would be ok with that, too.
2/13/07 11:39 AM
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hubris
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This would be great IMO I can't imagine a small country like Texas invading Iraq.
2/13/07 11:40 AM
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TexArcher
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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"I'm pretty sure the rest of the country would be ok with that, too." Until you found out you'll be paying $7.00 a gallon for gas!
2/13/07 11:43 AM
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Xtina
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Edited: 13-Feb-07 11:43 AM
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Yes, but then you'd lose the top 15% most good-looking people in the US.
2/13/07 11:43 AM
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Willybone
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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If they broke off, I'd move there. No shit.

"We have the economic strength, we have the population and the technological force of a nation-state."
He didn't even get into their tremendous agricultural resources.
2/13/07 12:17 PM
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Xtina
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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Ugh. I wouldn't want to live in a country like that.
2/13/07 2:35 PM
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hubris
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ttt
2/13/07 2:51 PM
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FlashGordon2002
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Edited: 13-Feb-07
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I was actually thinking about this a while ago. Basically, a state or any sort of community functions if the people living in it have enough in common so that they can work together towards common goals. However, as everyone knows, the bigger a group gets, the more difficult it gets for the group to agree on anything (how long does it take you and three friends to decide where to go for dinner as opposed to you and fifteen friends?). It stands to reason that eventually, once a certain group reaches a certain critical mass, it will become inefficient in its decision making process and the average person will feel that the decisions of the group do not represent his/her wishes (it's harder to keep the average person happy with the decisions of a group as the group gets larger). Societies only function when people put INTO the system as well as benefit from it. People are more likely to put INTO the system when they feel the system actually represents them. Once they begin to feel the decisions made by the system don't correlate to decisions they would make, they begin exploiting the system, thus creating inefficiency.
6/29/07 7:35 PM
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jaseprobst
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Edited: 29-Jun-07
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California is a massive economy and like us or not, the real point is that most of the people HERE (myself included) wouldn't live anywhere else in the states, whereas Cali haters can say that far less often. We get back 75 cents for every dollar we give to the feds. We are subsidizing far less productive states, that's for sure.
9/26/07 8:18 PM
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jackangle
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Edited: 26-Sep-07
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"California is a massive economy and like us or not, the real point is that most of the people HERE (myself included) wouldn't live anywhere else in the states, whereas Cali haters can say that far less often." I'd have no problem w/ Californian Independence. I also wouldn't mind the rednecks w/ Confederate flags in California being deported to a place where they would be warmly welcomed Confederate flag and all.
10/10/07 1:22 PM
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jaseprobst
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jackangle writes: "I also wouldn't mind the rednecks w/ Confederate flags in California being deported to a place where they would be warmly welcomed Confederate flag and all." There aren't a lot of Confederate flags in Cali. I've lived all over the state and see once maybe every six months.
10/10/07 8:21 PM
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jackangle
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"There aren't a lot of Confederate flags in Cali. I've lived all over the state and see once maybe every six months." quantity does not matter. Confederate flags have no business in California.
10/11/07 2:39 PM
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Jason Smith
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Edited: 11-Oct-07
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"quantity does not matter. Confederate flags have no business in California."{ so free speech doesn't exist in california?
10/12/07 2:47 AM
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jaseprobst
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Edited: 12-Oct-07
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Dude what are you talking about? I've lived here 25 years and seen maybe 20 Confederate flags. You ought to concentrate you attention to more highfalutin problems.

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