California is a wonderful and beautiful place of immense natural wealth and innovation. Sadly, they have a corrupt government that enriches state workers, soaks anyone trying to make money themselves, and provides 'basic services' that many other states would deem luxuries. They have a budget problem. They have an incompetent, corrupt government problem that gives themselves giant pensions whicht hen becomes a problem. They have an out of touch elite problem. They have an immigration problem. They have a tax problem. They have a water rights and use problem. They have an enviro special rights douchebag problem. They have a lot of problems.
They have a lot of assets, but don't seem to use them. They also would draw in many skilled people if only they made the region more conducive to business. The potential is still there. It's having the will to unlock it. The anarchist and libertarian in me loves that they have the ballot referendum voting mechanism like my home state of Maine. I love it. It's kind of bit them in the back as they seem to like to spend money but not pay for it. They could make some tough decisions and choices and force the public pension system to be overhauled but they probably will not do it. They will wait for the White House to bail them out, which will just piss of the other 49 states.
Here's a plan: file for bankruptcy which will cause the old union contracts to be tossed out and negotiated to more favorable terms for long term stability. The pension system will go bust one day, so why not tackle it now while dollars are still real dollars. Here's another plan: break up into 3-4 states. Maybe one coastal state from San Fran to LA. Another that is the northern section close to Oregon. A third state from mid cali to the southern border. If that is too wide a range, then split it into 4 states. Still, the dominant feature would be the coastal state from San Fran to LA. They have so much politically in common, bwahahaha. I would love how this decentralizes power in Cali and let's people have more control over what would affect them.
This would never happen for many reasons:
1. Neither political party would allow it as they'd both see the downside (not the potential upside). Democrats would suddenly not have the lay up of 55 electoral votes that the GOP surrenders to them now because of LA-SF. The GOP could count on 1 piece of the 4, and maybe 1-2 more would be toss up states they could fight for (I view this as good since more states should be fought over). We could have years where a Democrat won 3 of 4 states and others where a Republican won 3 of 4. It would be exciting and make things more interesting nationally. It would also make it nearly impossible for a liberal Democrat to win the White House again unless the stars lined up like 2008. Even the GOP having one reliable "state" & say 10 electoral votes (equals Nevada & NM) makes for an interesting national campaign strategy. The GOP would only see the downside to the Senate alignment unless they ran moderate Senate candidates, which they have a hard time doing now.
2. The problem of water rights and use. This is far more intricate than I know about, but if one considers how the enviros removed all of the old dams and messed things up for some frogs and a few fish, you can understand how touchy this would be.
3. Immigration enforcement would be an issue as most of the immigrants would be crossing the southern new state's border with Mexico but trying to get to other sections of the old Cali region.
4. Prisons. Prisoner transfer, the prison guard pay lobby, where to keep them, the sunk cost of all those new expensive prisons built in the last 25 years.