What's the income tax rate in NJ?
Although it would make me severely sad to have to associate with New Jersey, it really is a far more prosperous and rationally-administered state.
Philadelphia, on the other hand, would drag down both New Jersey and New York with its corrupt indigenous leadership. Harrisburg isn't so much the problem there as City Hall...but if a change of state were the best option for it, better it experiment with union with Delaware...
What's the income tax rate in NJ?
hahaha this thread is hilarious. you guys got too much time on your hands. dont waste it talking about upstate. that shit will never happen.
Why would it be sad. Jersey is a great state and I love it here. Really beautiful and senic in many places. The stereotypes are so old, over used and played out that they have no real foundation anymore. If NJ was to succed from the United States, it would be the richest country in the world because we are the richest state in America. If NYC and LI were to team up with NJ to form one giant, powerful, rich state, it would be amazing. See NJ makes perfect sense because it is the most economically diverse and its always proven that when ever the country as whole suffers an econmoic down-turn, we fair the best because of our economic diversity. Our unemployment rate is way way lower than the national average and that gives us the lowest unemployment rate in America. Also Fifty Fortune 500 companies have headquarters or conduct business from Morris County, New Jersey alone!! Also it is said New Jersey has the largest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the world: nearly one hundred companies on the Fortune 500 list have headquarters or conduct business from New Jersey!!
Futhermore several New Jersey counties; Essex, Morris, Middlesex, Union, and Bergen counties have been ranked in the World Almanac of 2002, as being among the top 15 highest per person per capita income areas in the country.
So really it just makes sense. With NYC being so powerful, and NJ being so powerful it just seems like the smart thing to.
New Jersey and NYC...Perfect Together.
Similar ideas from the Left Coast:
Unscrambling Eggs: It's Time to Break Up California
By Frank J. Gruber
"If nothing else, the comic opera collapse of the two-month political quest for a plan to improve highways, levees and other strained and deteriorating public facilities should finally convince Californians that their Capitol is a broken institution, endemically incapable of dealing with major policy issues. . . .
"Simply put, California's dizzyingly dense mélange of ideological, geographic, cultural and economic subgroups interacts with a political structure that, in effect, gives every 'stakeholder' a virtual veto power over the product. Under those circumstances, there are only two possible outcomes, both of which are bad. Either the product is a monstrosity that accommodates all demands but collapses of its own weight, or there is stalemate and no product at all." -- Veteran Sacramento watcher Dan Walters, writing in the March 17 Sacramento Bee.
Governor Schwarzenegger and the Legislature failed to agree on an infrastructure bond to put on the June ballot, even though everyone agrees California needs major public investment. This latest political fiasco is one more indication that California's politics are dysfunctional, as if the recall of a governor, the state's recurring fiscal crises, and the ever-increasing use of ballot box government were not enough.
Different analysts blame different causes, from term limits to gerrymandering to big money in politics, but they only scratch the surface, and no one has a serious clue how to fix the problem.
And no one will fix the problem so long as, in Dan Walters' words, California is a "dense mélange of ideological, geographic, cultural and economic subgroups."
It's time to break up California.
Our huge population, 37 million, and our 163,707 square miles spread over distinct regions with different needs, have reduced political debate to the cost of TV spots and political office to non-stop fund raising. Political discourse revolves around one word: taxes.
Most important, Californians have no common purpose.
On the national level, California is an anemic giant. Our two senators represent 37 million people -- about the same number as the 44 senators of the 22 smallest states. Not coincidentally, we rank near the bottom in the return on the taxes we send to Washington.
It's time to break California up into smaller, more governable states, each with its own representation in Washington, each more attuned to the needs and wants of its residents.
Breaking up California is an idea that has been around since as long as California has been a state. But it is an idea that only now makes sense. Only now can California divide on principles of equality between, and benefit for, each new state.
Some history. Almost immediately upon California's admission to the union, the "cow counties" of southern California wanted to secede. In 1859 a plan to divide the state north and south even passed the legislature, before dying in Congress.
In the 20th century, various plans to split the state emanated from the north as both water and political power flowed to the faster growing south. The most recent attempt occurred in 1993, when Stan Statham, a member of the Assembly from Shasta County, proposed to break California into three states. His bill to put the plan to a vote passed the Assembly.
What all the old proposals had in common was the notion of secession, of escape. Break-up proponents wanted to escape the bigger whole by creating states that were more homogeneous -- more reflective of their own interests, culture, or ethnicity -- than the state or states they would leave behind. Statham, for instance, wanted a state of "North California" that would have had a population of 2.4 million, of which 93 percent would have been white.
All these plans failed, and for good reason; those who would be "left behind" had no good reason to let the seceders go.
Now Californians should consider breaking up the state on different principles: equality and mutuality. The purpose would be to create states with residents who are more united in what they want from government, but with populations that are more or less equal in size and diverse demographically and economically.
In fact, California has grown so diverse -- with no single ethnic group being in the majority -- that it is impossible to divide the state into three or four contiguous sets of counties, with roughly equal populations, that do not each have substantial ethnic diversity.
To understand why breaking up makes sense, it is important to remember that California's problems are political, not substantive.
California is a rich state. It is anything but in decline. It has ample resources -- human and economic -- to solve every one of its problems but one: the problem that Californians have lost confidence that government can do the solving.
Californians bemoan both gridlock in Sacramento and the regularity of "voter revolts" that perpetuate the gridlock, but if state senators represent almost 900,000 people each and members of the Assembly about 450,000, why shouldn't their constituents feel unrepresented?
When deep-pocketed private interests and special interest groups manipulate the initiative process, why shouldn't the people feel cynical about "popular democracy?"
When it costs tens of millions to run for statewide office, why shouldn't constituents lack confidence that their "representatives" will be looking out for them? For that matter, when the regions of a state are so diverse, why should we expect the people to agree on what "looking out for them" means?
Californians need state government that is closer to the people, and state government needs constituents who have more similar needs, who have a more common purpose.
The key to a successful division of California would be to create new states that make geographic, demographic, economic, and political sense. The states would need to be distinct and cohesive, yet maintain diverse populations and economies.
These states could have more or less the national average of eight million people per state, yet they would be so much smaller than California today that state government will be dramatically closer to the people and more responsive to their more homogeneous and identifiable needs.
As just one possibility, imagine if California divided into these four states: one combining northern and mountain counties with the Central Valley; a San Francisco Bay and coastal state; a Southern California state; and a state of Los Angeles County alone.
Each of these four states would have between seven and nearly eleven million people, and each would be big enough to have diversified economies and populations. At least 40 percent of the population of each state would be Hispanic, Asian, or African-American. The smallest in square miles, Los Angeles, would still be more than twice the size of Delaware and big enough to have within its boundaries the equivalent of two national parks.
Breaking up California would not be simple, although the legal procedure is not complicated. Under the U.S. Constitution, a state can divide if its legislature and Congress agree.
The Assembly and State Senate would presumably make their approvals subject to a vote by the people. If the people want to divide, then Congress would decide. While small states might not want to give up a little power in the Senate, the national political parties would likely go along, rather than alienate so many Californians.
Of course, drawing boundaries would raise a lot of big questions about what should constitute a joint political enterprise, and eggs would need to be unscrambled.
California's debts and assets would have to be apportioned. The new states may decide to hold and fund some assets jointly, such as the California Water Project or the state's institutions of higher education. ("The University of the Californias?")
Agreements that are intrastate now, such as those relating to water, and regional entities, would need to go interstate. Already, California and Nevada jointly manage Lake Tahoe, and the water from the Colorado River is subject to an interstate compact. Compacts between states are common elsewhere, as are interstate authorities like the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
Each state would have to write a new constitution, but that would be a plus, given the barnacles encrusted on the California Constitution. The electorate of each state will have the chance to start fresh.
The wild card would be politics. It's hard to predict how the various interests in the state will position themselves, but every big idea engenders opposition. The ultimate question will be whether Californians in each region are willing to give up some little control they have over other regions in return for having much more control over their own.
I recently listened to a 1993 recording of a debate over the Statham proposal to split California into three states. Assemblyman Statham and a supervisor from a rural northern county defended the plan. Then-Assemblyman Willard Murray from Paramount and historian Kenneth Starr opposed it.
What they said was illuminating. Although the Statham plan was never going to fly because it was so unequitable, giving two senators to three million northern Californians and two to seventeen million southerners, the arguments Assemblyman Murray and Prof. Starr mustered against the plan were weak.
Murray argued that Central Valley farmers would not be able to sell their products to Southern California, as if splitting California would revoke the interstate commerce clause, while Starr earnestly invoked our shared history and traditions.
Not long after listening to the recording, I spoke to Dana Cuff, a UCLA professor of architecture and planning who has written extensively on land development in Los Angeles. Speaking as a scholar but perhaps more importantly as a fourth-generation Californian, Professor Cuff had a more trenchant analysis.
As she put it, "in California, tradition doesn't mean too much."
More California(s) Dreaming
By Frank J. Gruber
I know that the column I wrote a month ago with my idea about solving California's political problems by breaking up the state has not caused a tsunami of comment, let alone action. However, I did receive enough inquiries to justify writing another one, to explain some of the details.
And anyway, I like writing about the idea.
Some inquirers wanted to know how exactly I would divide the state, and what the demographics would be. It's important to note that there are many ways to divide California based on the primary criterion I identified in my first column -- fairness. That means relatively equal populations, and representative demographics in all states.
But after tinkering with the map and the census figures, and talking over the idea with various people who know something about California -- including, in one case, with farmers at the Farmers Market from San Luis Obispo -- I came up with one plan that could work. Here's the map:
I call the coastal state "Pacifica," the mountain/Central Valley state "Sierra" (although it could keep "California" since it includes Sacramento), the southern state, "South California," and Los Angeles, the "State of L.A."
There are some counties that might not seem logically placed. The most difficult counties were Ventura and the two eastern Sierra counties of Mono and Inyo.
Ventura County is the most schizophrenic county in the state; part is connected to L.A. (though not many Venturans like to admit it), part to Santa Barbara, and part is still agricultural, like the Central Valley. Probably the most logical grouping would be to include it in South California, but I haven't researched whether a state can be non-contiguous.
The eastern Sierra counties present a special challenge. Although they resemble most closely Sierra in economy and culture, I included them in South California because of the difficultly in traveling from one slope of the Sierras to the other for most of the year, when the passes are snowed in.
If California broke up on these lines, this is what the demographics would look like:
New state: Sierra Pacifica So. Calif. L.A.
Pop. (in 1,000s) 7,177 8,807 9,088 9,519
White 67.48% 60.06% 64.18% 48.71%
African-Am. 4.51% 6.71% 5.13% 9.78%
Asian 6.09% 16.64% 8.55% 11.95%
Latino 28.05% 21.62% 32.60% 44.56%
(These numbers are based on the 2000 census; they are a little low, but they are not materially out of date for these purposes.)
You may have noticed that the percentages for the ethnic groups add up to more than 100 percent. The reason is that Latinos can be of any racial group. I am only using these numbers to show that all four states would have substantial minority populations. As opposed to the Stan Stathan plan of 1993, it's plain that no new state would be a white enclave.
The populations of the four states are all within the same range, as well, especially when one considers that the new state with the smallest population, Sierra, also has many of the fastest growing counties. The average is quite close to the national average state population.
Another question people ask me is how the new states would shake out politically, because they wonder if the politicians who would have to vote on the plan, both in Sacramento and in Washington, would go along.
The conventional wisdom is that Republicans would never agree to give Californians another six senators. But the numbers show that at least in the short run, Republicans would probably gain.
Republicans would gain because some of California's electoral votes -- now a lock for Democrats -- would be up for grabs. Democrats would gain because they would have the possibility (only a possibility) of increasing their proportionate representation in the U.S. Senate.
To the left is a map (using the familiar red/blue, Republican/Democratic convention) that shows how California counties voted in the 2004 presidential election:
It's obvious that California has its own red/blue divide; it seems that to be a Democratic county you have to have a coast. Here are the numbers for my four states:
New state: Sierra Pacifica So. Calif. L.A.
Bush: 56.64% 31.79% 56.54% 35.93%
Kerry: 43.36% 68.21% 43.46% 68.21%
What these numbers show is that Democrats would have a lock on L.A. and Pacifica -- no surprise to anyone. At the moment, the other two states are Republican, although not overwhelmingly so. Democrats -- perhaps only the moderate kind -- could win statewide elections in them, as well as presidential elections when the country wasn't scared about national security.
Now California provides Democrats in the U.S. Senate with a 2-0 advantage. Republicans would gain, therefore, if, after California broke up into four states, there would be 4-4 tie. Democrats would hold their own at 5-3, and improve if they could take half the seats in Sierra and South California.
The idea might look scary for Democrats and national Democrats would panic over losing the lock on California's bloc of electoral votes. But if my proposal ever gets beyond the stage of my fantasies, I would hope that Democrats would take a longer-term view.
First, increasing democracy, small-d, is always a good idea for Democrats. The fact that the urban populations of L.A. and Pacifica would have their own senators and House delegations is good no matter what.
For that matter, it would also be good for the nearly 20 million people in Sierra and South California to have as many senators as, say, the few hundreds of thousands of voters in North and South Dakota have, even if they are Republicans. They are going to be better Republicans, from a Democratic point of view, that those who come from Oklahoma.
Second, the populations of Sierra and South California are changing, becoming more urban and more ethnic. As they do so, there will be more opportunities for Democrats -- local Democrats who will understand the local politics better -- to improve their showings.
Liberals on the coast will gnash their teeth, of course, at the thought that they won't have as much control over the beloved mountains and the rest of California. But what has been evident for many years -- recently in the connection with the infrastructure bond -- is that counties like L.A. need more control over their own destinies than they need control over someone else's.
It will never happen as Northern California has one thing that Southern California doesn't have -- and desperately needs: Abundant WATER Supply.
Both the Sacramento and San Juaquin Rivers (that serve the central valley agricultural area and are fed by Sierra snow run-off) drain into the Pacific Ocean via San Francisco Bay.
SoCal has a few rivers / creeks -- that are basically dry most of the year (OK, there is the Colorado River, but now SoCal has to share that water with booming Arizona / Nevada).
Almost everything south and east of the Tehachapi Mountains is DESERT:
Here are the pipes that pull the water over the mountains from the Central Valley to quench LA's thirst:
It has been the age-old LA game to pretend it's a verdant paradise -- but that only came about from the Water Wars -- when LA stole water from NoCal via the Owens River on the eastern edge of the state (time to rent & view "CHINATOWN" again) ...
States can't share water supplies?
I hope not, can you imagine a loud, proud New Jerseyan such as myself, spitting or peeing in your NYC water supply? ^_^ j/k. Though I was wondering, if state still have the power to break-off from one another. Hell, West Virginia did it. Why not others? Ahhh, too much politics I tell ya!
We must separate immediately.
Well if we're breaking things up, should the city be split, with each borough being it's own municipality? It might be bit simpler to get things done in each borough, with dealing with the massive and unwieldy city bureaurcracy.
It would be in the City's best interest to leave the State. Most of the tax revenue from the State is from the City and basically Albany taxes City residents and spends it Upstate. The City is often not given aid from the state and that results in city taxes and fines being increased. Look at the schools, we had to take our own state to the suprem court to finally get them to aid us.
Fact is that if NYC was taken out of the State of NY, NY would be ranked 47 in terms of economy and would also be one of only three state in the last census to loose people. However this wont happen as the State wont let there bread winner leave.
There is very little manufacturing left in NYC proper. It produces money. No food. Some goods, but little compared to the past. The rest of NY State gives us that. Our water comes from upstate. Many NYC workers live outside the City limits. How would you tax them? The questions are many.
What would be the real upside of splitting?
Most of our food like comes for waaay out of state (like the rest of the country). The water thing is an issue, but I wouldn'd doubt they'd be more than willing to sell it to us for a fee.
As far as workers outside the city limits, talk to people from Jersey. They deal with this currently.
Water yes but we can strike a deal. Most food is from Out West or Latin America. You can tx them with the small commuter tax that use to be here. Its is a bad idea to have this when you ar double taxing people that live in the same state just to work in your city, but if they are coming from out of state a small tax would be acceptable. Plus the chances are that if NYC was free we could get more firms and employees to base themself here as most of the heavy taxes that force the firms to relocate out of NYC, are state level
Instead of splitting up, let's annex NJ instead.
Joking aside, why don't we work on the problems with NY State instead of all this fantasy talk of splitting this or that up?
Make the government programs more efficient and reduce taxes on residents and businesses and things will turn around.