I was hiking with a friend last Friday and we we’re discussing the futility of American national politics. I mean, here we have President Obama, the progressive leader some of us always wanted, and after four years, he looks like George Bush Jr. Just like Clinton looked like George Bush Sr.
What force could turn a lifelong progressive like Obama into a Bush? IMHO, it was the corporations that own the U.S. government.
So we discussed what could be done by Americans to fix this beautiful country that seems to be owned lock, stock and barrel by Corporate America.
Back in late 2003, when I started this blog, I had come upon the idea that the next nation-defining war in America would be a civil one: People vs. Corporations.
For “Corporations”, I was referring to the old, big ones for which the pursuit of money always seems to trump human value. For 9 years, I pretty much went along with the assumption that all old corporations eventually turned against the people.
But hiking with my friend, I realized that this is not true for the old California corporations — specifically, old Silicon Valley and old Hollywood. What human lives does old HP threaten — long after the deaths of Hewlett and Packard? What human lives does old Disney threaten, long after the deaths of Walt and Roy?
The answer is none. These old California corporations grow old gracefully. I mean, I expect HP to die off of “natural corporate causes” sooner than later. Government won’t save it. Same for some old Hollywood studios.
This line of thinking was combined with a news item that my sister sent me. The item concerned the statement of a Texas judge saying that if Obama wins in November, there would be civil war in America.
Thinking about that gave me the thought of secession. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if California — the sixth largest economy in the world — seceded from the Union, taking along with it the the Western seaboard running from the Arctic Ocean down to Baja?
Maybe the Capitol of this new country would be somewhere near Ashland, OR. The country would have Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and Vegas — not to mention Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, and San Diego.
Baja would become the vacation hotspot of the nation. Within a short time, we’d vote in a green, state of the art, high speed rail system, running from Baja up through the Yukon. High speed links would join each major population center to this main line.
We’d leap over China in clean tech. I had been reading about how Silicon Valley is pulling away from clean tech. Basically, clean tech takes too much money to get off the ground, making those investments too risky for Sand Hill Road compared with software/web plays. What’s needed is major government investment.
But that’s never happening with a U.S. government owned by the corporations of Texas (Big Oil), Illinois (Big Food), and New York (Big Banks). Those other three regions of the country have their hooks into government.
Banks fail in New York and what happens? “Too big to fail”: U.S. government bails them out. Drought wipes out the corn crop this year. What happens? Corn farmers in the middle of the country make more money than ever. How? Massive government subsidy.
California is the only regional system that is truly Libertarian and Progressive at the same time. We don’t need no stinkin’ government to bail out our companies. The poorly managed ones fail and are replaced by agile startups.
Next, why might British Columbia join? I have long thought that Canada’s formation in 1867 was a reaction to the North winning the U.S. Civil war in 1865. That is, a backwater British colony looked southward across the 49th parallel and said: “Holy shit, that’s one huge, mechanized, standing army across the border. And just 50 years ago [in 1812], we burned down their White House. Maybe we should declare ourselves to be an independent nation, thereby bringing in the laws of nations, protecting us from an invasion.”
If something like that explains why Canada exists in the first place (i.e. America farts, and Canada is born), then if America splits up, I’d say all bets are off on Canada. I can’t see British Columbia and the Yukon not joining Coastal America, upon being invited.
And while we’re at it, we may as well annex the Alaskan panhandle, just for land and coastline contiguity.
Of course, that will put us in conflict with the Texas based surviving nation (for whom Alaska will be a satellite province). But hey, we’re going to have do a Berlin-like airlift of Austin, Texas anyway. So there’s no way of avoiding conflict with those assholes.
Obviously, lots more to say about this idea.
But I for one am now hoping that that asshole Romney wins in November just so this “Coastal America” meme can get a nice kick in the pants. 🙂