Hello and welcome to The Rundown. My name is Vincent, and I will be your guide. Let’s begin, shall we?
So Tim Draper, one of the capitalists behind Skype and Hotmail - has announced new details about his “Six Californias” plan, which would divide the Golden State into - you guessed it - six new states.
So why is this important to us tech folks? Well one of Draper’s proposed states is all of Silicon Valley. As one of the six proposed states, Silicon Valley would have its own Senate representatives in Congress to “better represent the interests of its citizens.”
So instead of having to turn to Sacramento for state laws, passing bills and such, the tech sector could pretty much just do what it wants.
The idea is supposed to encourage technological growth in California - Draper proposes that by breaking the successful sector off, the new states will be free to develop their own industry instead of being bound by the current out of touch central California legislature.
But new tech sectors won’t just “pop up” in California - that’s not how people work. Silicon Valley took decades to develop and become what it is today because it had a set of geographical conditions that other places in the state don’t - population density and proximity to water, for example. So it’s hard to imagine that somewhere like Bakersfield becoming a tech Mecca, considering it’s in the middle of nowhere.
Admittedly, there is some sense in Draper’s proposal - new centers for tech startups and companies have arisen in the last decade - Austin, Texas, for example, has seen a gigantic influx of new, young professionals. But it also has events like South By Southwest to encourage cultural development within the city - and a cultured city is a cool city, which attracts even more people.
So. Where does somewhere like Shasta fit in. Not every city can be a tech hub - there are other needs to fill.
Now, assuming Draper’s plan is actually put to vote on the state ballot, the move would have to be passed by Congress as well - the last time Congress ratified a new state within pre-existing state borders? West Virginia, 1863.
So ends this episode of The Rundown. Join us next time, and follow us on Twitter @ IBTimesTV.
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