It is fascinating to consider what would happen if California left the United States. The first questions that come to mind are who decides and who would stay?
Who will secede?
Which majority rules in the secession vote? In all likelihood, San Francisco and Los Angeles would vote to secede. Can they take the rest of the state with them? There are 10 California counties with democrat minorities. These counties border other states or border counties who do. Can these counties reject secession and become part of greater Oregon, Nevada, Arizona or a new state unto themselves? In a surprise political move, the drug lords in some southern California counties want to make their counties part of Mexico.
Speaking of drugs and votes, California politicians guaranteed the success of its secession referendum by including on the ballot a drug decriminalization referendum.
It will be a messy divorce. The rest of the US will maintain their naval base in San Diego, their Air Force base at Vandenberg, and the Army training center in Fort Irwin.
The US government would stop paying for all environmental cleanup operations in California. California also owns its nuclear waste. I’m betting that China will buy it…for a price.
Who will stay?
The big cultural sort accelerates across the US once California separates. Conservatives, particularly conservative business owners, leave California. Many have to leave at night to avoid new California taxes imposed on refugees fleeing California. Democrats in the US are shocked by the results. Nevada and Arizona experience a political shift to the right. Mayors in several liberal US cities complain after socialists move to California from Seattle, Boulder, and Austin. That migration further cements the move of the US to the right and California to the left.
The west-coast media are now foreign correspondents, but they have been for a while.
Who will pay?
Californians has a welfare rate that is almost three times higher than the US average. Post-partum, the feds won’t pay for welfare, unemployment, or medical assistance for US nationals living in the PRCa.
California citizens face some hard decisions. Say you’re 50 years old and you’ll apply for social security in 5 years. You’re now a foreign citizen living in a foreign country and paying California taxes. California start its own retirement program. You get to pay the new California taxes that replace the old federal taxes. If you think California will pay your retirement… Well, you have noticed how California is deep in debt?
Students still owe their student loans. Will California respect the claims of “foreign” financial institutions” or the claim of the US government on California citizens?
Corporations come and go.
Some companies briefly move their headquarters to California to escape high federal taxes in the US. California then raises its taxes on businesses and exceeds the US tax rate. Competitive companies move their incorporation from California. Now, all Californians are driving foreign cars.
Would California pay its government debts and will California bondholders call due their state and municipal bonds? California politicians will issue their own currency to pay state debts. (Some northern California counties propose denominating their money in terms of drugs. One “California Smokey” is worth one joint.)
Bond holders will flee the California market. Expect China and George Soros to buy California debt…and California politicians. Some things never change.
Who will vote and how will that vote change?
California was the most populous state in the US. Now, it is Texas. California had 55 electoral votes that went reliably to Democrats. Democrat presidential candidates in the US still have a chance since some Democrats won the electoral college vote by more than 55 votes. (Never overestimate the stupid party.) The new political alignment will make a difference in several ways.
The Hollywood celebrities who made hundred-thousand dollar political donations are now foreign citizens donating in US elections.
Can non-resident non-citizens vote in CA elections? Did I lose my new “CA citizenship” when I moved out of the state? Some California Socialist will claim dual citizenship and request to vote in US elections.
Who will succeed?
California defense contractors become a contradiction in terms. California politicians claim they didn’t want those jobs anyway. California will impose import and export taxes in an effort to boost its falling tax revenue. Ports in Oregon, Washington, and along the gulf coast will love this.
These new taxes will raise the cost of living in the PRCa. Import taxes also make California companies less competitive.
California gets to pay international rates for electricity, water and oil. All are based on scarce US dollars. The old water treaties that sent Colorado water to California would have to be re-negotiated or abandoned entirely.
New York City is the first to recognize the country of California. Venezuela and Cuba were close behind. Hawaii and Austin start referendums to form a California Confederation.
Former government employees refuse to take California currency and demand to be paid in US dollars. California retaliates by stopping the retirement benefits to “foreign” nationals, basically retired California law enforcement officers now living in Idaho. Gavin Newsom withdraws the proposal after the Hispanic Caucus accuse Newsom of cultural appropriation for using the term “foreign”.
President Gavin Newsom announces a corporate licensing agreement with the entire nation of California becoming the Magic Kingdom. Negotiations break down after Wiccans and Native Californians accuse Newsom of cultural appropriation of the term “magic”.
The rise of the left
California began enforcing border checkpoints after businesses kept disappearing in the night. At first the conservatives fled east, but soon they had to flee through Mexico as the eastern border checkpoints sprang up. California issued a request for bid to build permanent checkpoints. Venezuela and Cuba were the first to answer.
Image: Excerpted from: By BrokenSphere – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3958299