A Silicon Valley one-percenter is proposing to split the state six ways. Guess which part will end up with all the money? It ain’t us.
Meanwhile, on September 18th, a referendum in Scotland will determine whether Scotland remains part of the United Kingdom or goes independent. The similarities between the Scottish situation and the putative State of Jefferson are interesting to compare.
MONEY: Scotland is a rich country due to the North Sea oil reserves. They can leave the Brits behind and still survive economically. (Scotland can already afford to educate its university students for FREE.) A State of Jefferson on the other hand will end up as the Appalachia of the West. Other than tourism and weed, which will be selling for pennies after legalization, what do we have? Oysters. Good oysters, but still…Every candidate for office in Humboldt County in the last twenty years has run on a platform of bringing jobs to the county. Where are those jobs? I must have missed something.
HISTORY: The Scots were an independent people until 300 years ago with their own culture and language. ( To this day the average American has about as much chance of understanding a Scot speaking what is now is considered the Scottish dialect as he would have understanding someone from Newfoundland.) 300 years ago there were no “white” people in “Jefferson”. The State of Jefferson would have the highest proportion of Native Americans of any area in the State. Separating from California would not enhance their economic situation one bit. If it would, tell me how. Yes, they would carry more clout locally because everyone else will be broker. But will their situation really improve? Will anyones?
POLITICS: The Scots have long been more “socialist” than the rest of the UK. Within recent memory they were still sending a Communist or two to Parliament every year, usually from Glasgow. The factories and tenements of Glasgow were the inspirations for Karl Marx’s Capital. Glasgow is the only place where I ever had a cabbie return a tip because good Marxists don’t believe in tipping. The Scot’s desire to be free of “imperialist state” of the UK has deep roots and may well carry the day. Politics in “Jefferson” is more chaotic. With a 20% participation in the recent elections, it seems clear that most Jeffersonians (is that what they call themselves?) are not participating in politics because they’re hopeless or too stoned. This paves the way for the Tea Party or other fringe groups to fill the vacuum. Not a pretty sight.
Anyway, September 18th should be interesting. If the Scots opt for independence will they be part of NATO? Will they adopt the Euro? What will happen to the North Sea oil, in which the Norwegians also have an interest? It’s been a long time since our states changed boundaries. In November, will the divide-and conquer strategy of the SV plutocrats win out over the welfare of the rest of us? Stay tuned. And for God’s sake register to vote.