LITTLE knits California together. With a GDP of about $2 trillion (nearly as big as Russia's), the state is huge and sprawling, home to one out of every eight Americans. Spanning over 164,000 square miles, California is best seen as a federation of little states, each with its own sports teams, media markets and local pride. In light of this unwieldiness, there have been quite a few proposals to split the state. Kevin Starr, a former state librarian, has counted over 200 since statehood began in 1850. An intriguing new plan comes from Tim Draper, a rich Silicon Valley investor. His proposal to split the state into six smaller ones has no chance of ever happening, but it offers a fine chance to consider the oddities of this odd state. Check out this nice short video about why splitting up the golden state isn’t easy. And read more about Mr Draper's plan here, in which our west-coast correspondent argues that unravelling California would be "immeasurably more painful than dealing with its flaws"—though the flaws are many.
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