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Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Calexit worse than people think

Photo credit: Dongyoung Won

For several years, people have been suggesting that California secedes from the United States to become its own sovereign country. It was only recently the idea began to gain momentum with the hashtag Calexit flooding Twitter just after the election.

Many people may feel disconnected with the rest of the country after this election, but a California secession isn’t just unlikely, it could be harmful to both the state and the rest of the nation.

An organization called Yes California is pushing for the state’s referendum. The group states, “The United States of America represents so many things that conflict with California values.”

It makes sense that Californians are mad that they now have a leader that virtually none of them wanted, but is it really the mature, logical decision to separate from the country? If we want to unify the nation, we won’t do so by separating from it. How are we supposed to work with other countries when we can’t even work well within our own borders?

The #Calexit movement is childish, like a toddler threatening to run away from home for not getting their way. People are upset and that’s understandable, but it is stubborn, unreasonable and uncompromising to suggest we should separate from the rest of the country. Threatening to leave the union is an emotional response to the election and not a seriously thought out fix to any problems.

The state’s problems are our fault and the fault of our policies. Its problems are not the fault of people in other parts of the country who hold different values.

California is a great place to live and there are great people here, but the truth is that the state is in worse shape than most other states. We have a failing infrastructure, one of the worst education systems in the country, a drought that needs serious focus and more than a fourth of the people in California are living below the poverty line. We have numerous problems in this state and the fault lies within itself.

Long term consequences of a secession would exist for both the U.S. and California. The U.S. economy would suffer dramatically and the global economy would face huge changes. Democrats would never win another election in the United States since California has 55 electoral votes and hasn’t been a Republican state in decades.

All federal agencies in California would immediately be relocated and California would have to appoint its own president, vice president, secretary of state, etc. Conflicts would soon follow within California’s own borders. Conservative counties would try to declare their own exit from California. Basically, a secession would cause worse harm than the harm we should expect from our future president.

Beyond all this, leaving the union is illegal as it stands with current laws. A new bill would have to be passed with Congress’ blessing to allow for a state to declare independence. This would require a majority vote from congress as well as the president’s approval. A secession is possible, but it is far-fetched and highly unlikely.

Too many people are being pessimistic about the direction the country is taking.

Talk about a secession or moving out of the country shows a lack of faith in the rest of the nation.

Thankfully the #Calexit movement just seems to be an immediate response to the election and won’t gain any serious ground. If people are really worried about the future of the United States, they should do their best to work at fixing the problems, not give up and watch as others send themselves down the wrong path.

Jeff Guzman can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.

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Jeff Guzman, Staff Writer

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  • A

    Alejandro // Dec 10, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    California subsidizes the Deep South every year; we have issues but we’d work through them better than DC. We could fix healthcare within 2 years with proper drug price regulation. And I bet Oregon and Washington would be willing to come with us.

    Finally, we shouldn’t forget where the booming economies in America are.

  • E

    Elaine // Dec 10, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Nonetheless, we here in California will not be letting GOP’s christofascism infect our legislation. Republicans really are sick people.

  • R

    Russ // Dec 10, 2016 at 6:53 am

    “We have a failing infrastructure, one of the worst education systems in the country…”

    Yes, the CA Ed system has serious major flaws, but to be fair, maybe no worse than other states, really. Our poor state results stem mostly from California’s societal woes, some of which you point out. Ours is an ever more unstable, mobile population that with every year becomes increasingly more difficult to educate… Every year there are fewer Kindergarteners with oral (much less written) English skills, more absentee-parent families, more drug problems (and soon more pot-heads,) more psychological pathologies, more attitudes of disrespect for the cornerstones of civilization (law enforcement, teachers,) and more poverty, tribal hate, and general hopelessness. It’s often all schools can do to keep kids safe from one another when they do show up, much less do homework. No wonder high school grads exit with marginal skills. And now CA wants teachers to test kids’ phoneme acquisition every other month and thus produce little scholars. I think many teachers have just given up.

    At the CSU, the gradual disappearance of math and English remedial classes should not be taken as a sign of success. It’s political. Don’t reject applications from the deficient, but lower the bar, don’t fret over the small stuff, and put them all in 1A so that no one feels inferior and state dollars aren’t spent teaching more high-school English and math. If they can’t write so well anymore, we’ll just say it’s great writing that’s more “diverse.” There used to be a time when cream-of-the-crop, budding college journalists would put out less-clunkily-penned grammatical pieces than this one. The first sentence alone should alarm anyone educated a couple of decades ago…

    “For several years, people have been suggesting that California secedes from the United States to become its own sovereign country.”

    Still, I think you guys got it mostly right – CA’s problems run much deeper than syntax flaws and won’t be solved with Calexit – or, IMO, with the current bullet-train, sanctuary-city mentality and the general decline in California’s values.

  • A

    Annonymous // Dec 8, 2016 at 3:42 pm

    “On the basis of its fiscal solvency in five separate categories, California ranks 44th among the US states and Puerto Rico for its fiscal health. California’s fiscal performance is weak across several categories. The state has between 0.67 and 1.44 times the cash needed to cover short-term liabilities. Revenues exceed expenses by 4 percent, producing a surplus of $250 per capita, but on a long-run basis California is heavily reliant on debt, with a negative net asset ratio of −0.40 and total liabilities amounting to 73 percent of total assets. Total debt is $118.17 billion. When valued on a guaranteed-to-be-paid basis, total unfunded pension liabilities are $756.67 billion, and other postemployment benefits (OPEB) are $29.05 billion. These three liabilities are equal to 46 percent of total state personal income. “

  • B

    Barbara Cerda // Dec 8, 2016 at 5:55 am

    From: Calexit or Calicadia Here’s how it Rolls Posted on December 2, 2016

    Part of the composition of what makes our country great is the maturity and stability of governance. Without that, the impact on global markets would be bad. Just a hint to the financial markets that such a thing is possible would forever change all things. The nominal value of our dollar (globally used as the currency of choice) would plummet. It would mean the end to the American powerhouse, as we know it. We have already signaled an enabling of a stronger China by threatened withdrawal from trade agreements. But the desire for an exit from the union serves as a reminder of other countries who chose a leave referendum.

    At this writing, the UK’s Autumn Statement detailed the fact of an 82.6 percent to 87.3 percent increase to debt and a lowered GDP due to economic uncertainties from the Brexit.

    Unexpected turns of political events driven by tribalism have become a real and present danger to global stability. Where aggressive and progressive fiscal policies have been lacking monetary policies have supported.

    Bad actors are influencing our politics and the growing conservatism populace is upending economies. Is a Calicadia possible? Britons asked the same about a Brexit five years ago. Thanks to isolationists right-wingers like UKIP’s Nigel Farage, it became a reality. That same sentiment brings into stark relief all aspects of a Donald J Trump administration.

    The uncertainty of isolationism haunts Europe as well with the alt-right populisms of France’s Marine Le Pen, and Francoise Fillon, Germany’s alt-right leader of Alternative für Deutschland Frauke Petry, and Austria’s Norbert Hofer promoting “Oexit”. Their isolationist movements once living on the fringe now threaten liberal democracies.

    With renegotiations of tariffs, customs taxes, loss of wages, devaluing of currencies and migration of human capita. The distracting politics of xenophobia and isolationism carries a high economic price tag.

    May I add that those who speak to the improbable of a Calexit should examine human economic behavioral sciences. Brexit is a prime example of what is possible.

  • D

    Dr.Xylem Gill // Dec 7, 2016 at 5:54 pm

    hey you know what? I have no room for reasonableness, right now. Yes, i want out of this Union, and *NOW*.

  • W

    will // Dec 7, 2016 at 10:33 am

    You write:” If we want to unify the nation, we won’t do so by separating from it.”

    Nobody wants to unify the nation. People in California (or New York) have no more in common with those in Alabama or Kentucky as they do with North Korea or some sharia law controlled village in Afghanistan. The hatred and disconnect between red and blue isn’t just deep, its irreconcilable . We need two countries and division is inevitable. Hopefully people will recognize this and it can happen without war, but war is a much more palatable option than unifying with the hateful, fear mongering, corrupt, racist, christian taliban, low IQ republicans. The feeling is mutual…. Just listen to anything Trump (or his supporters) have ever said during his klanpaign rallies. Nobody wants to unify, some just want others to blindly obey.

  • B

    Bob // Dec 7, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Its not childish to be angry at having 2.5 million of your citizens’ votes disenfrachised by an electoral system which was created almost 250 years ago to protect slave owners.

    What is childish is not seeing that this is a very serious and untenable position, and to laugh at the efforts of those who are pushing to do something about it.