Why California Must Secede at Once

My patience has run out. Although I have a living relative in California, it does not matter. All I want is for California to leave this union of states and go its separate way. In fact, the former Republic of California can also take Washington State and Oregon with it and start a new country on this continent’s West Coast. Maybe they can call this new nation Bolshavia.

The latest power crisis in which Californians are demanding that electricity producers outside the state work for free (a nice term for this is forced labor) to provide them with low-priced electrical power has put me over the edge. Until now, I could tolerate California, since it generally sends Washington, DC, more taxes than it receives in benefits (California: The State for Suckers!) and produced John Wooden’s great UCLA basketball teams.

However, now that California is showing its true colors, I admit that my eyes are opened at last. Whatever gains I might have from California’s excess of tax revenues has been swallowed up in the Free Lunch Philosophy that has emanated from that state for many years. California has been Ground Zero for many of the diseases that have plagued our body politic, and it is time that Californians and their "Left Coast" fellows bear the full cost of their Jane Fonda Socialism.

One may be surprised that I demand that another state secede from the United States. After all, I reside in South Carolina, which seceded in 1860 only to have Abraham Lincoln and his federal troops bring the folks here back into the union. This was not a peaceful reunion, as the federals burned down about half the towns in the state before the war ended. As much as other Americans may have hated South Carolinians, they did not insist that this place actually become a new country. (In fact, the saying in this state at the time was that "South Carolina is too small to be a country and too large to be an insane asylum.")

California, on the other hand, is an insane asylum and the rest of us are insane if we continue to allow that state to impose its evil will upon us. Believe it or not, the rest of us will be better off if the "Left Coast" forms its Bolshavia immediately. Let me explain by answering objections to the Golden State’s departure.

  • "If California leaves the union, then it takes all of its high technology firms with it." This objection is based upon the assumption that there are no gains from trade. Just because I want California out of our political union does not mean I want to boycott products from that state. Furthermore, I would want no trade barriers to block imports from or exports to California. Granted, Californians are stupid enough to set up trade barriers on their own, but the barriers would harm California more than this country. After all, even though Guatemala is a banana republic does not mean we don’t buy its bananas.

  • "We will lose all that federal tax revenue from Californians." Good, I say. The less money in the coffers of our central government will always be a victory for freedom and goodness. Fewer tax dollars means fewer bombs dropped on Iraq and less regulation.

  • "We will lose the use of port facilities on the West Coast." First, the US East Coast has more and better ports than the Left Coast. Second, even Californians and their Northwest brethren might even find that free trade works. Motivated people can find optimum trade relations if they wish, so the loss of port facilities does not have to matter a whit.

  • "We will lose the benefits of the excellent universities and schools in those states." Nonsense, I say. The University of California at Berkeley (or "Berserkely," as some locals lovingly call it) has always been at the forefront of trashing all things good and decent, while Stanford University hates Western civilization. Anyway, if smart, useful people who have attended California’s universities can find a way to work in the United States, then there will be gains from trade and the problem will be solved.

  • "We will lose some of our greatest political leadership." Oh, please! Barbara Boxer, Maxine Waters, Diane Feinstein, and Willie Brown are not political leaders. They are thieves, crooks, and charlatans. Any state that elects those folks to office deserves whatever punishment it receives.

  • "There could be a refugee problem, as productive, decent, and thinking people are forced out of the Marxist California state." This is a problem? Please remember that Fidel Castro ran out the cream of the crop in Cuba in 1960, thus sending us entrepreneurs and others who were productive. It was only later that Castro was left only with criminals who also found they could have better pickings in the USA. Certainly the mass exodus of productive Californians would be a boon to this country. Not only that, but those who would choose to leave the Socialist Golden State Republic would also be those who most despise the interventionist state.

Whatever the problems caused by the departure of the Left Coast may be, they are hardly insurmountable. That is because motivated people can engage in trade. On the other hand, should the Left Coast form its own Bolshavia, we can then see another socialist laboratory in action — and we don’t have to directly bear the consequences of socialist stupidity. We can simply sit on the sidelines and watch Californians implement socialism — and the rest of us won’t have to pay them a dime.

William L. Anderson, Ph.D., is assistant professor of economics at North Greenville College in Tigerville, South Carolina. He is an adjunct scholar of the Ludwig von Mises Institute.