Time to redraw state boundaries or merge states to save money


Each U.S. state requires a huge administration (and commensurate budget) to keep it running. If these were a private companies, they could, and would, save a lot of money by merging and consolidating their management. Perhaps, now that virtually every state is struggling to make ends meet, the time is right to consider merging states, too.

The idea is not mine. Back in the 1970's, C. Etzel Pearcy, a professor from Cal State U., took the U.S. and divided it into states based not on political boundaries but by commonalities; concentrations of population, natural geographical boundaries, size and shape (none of those expensive panhandles). His map divided the U.S. into 38 states, from the corn heartland of Platte to the deserts of Cochise, from the densely-populated urbanism of Hudson to the green coastline of Cascade.

The divisions could go a long way toward government efficiency as it brings together people of like expectations, and solves the problem many states face of a dual constituency. For example- Chicago would end up in the center of the state of Dearborn, joined by similar cities such as Gary, Indiana and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, rather that as part of a state that is otherwise devoted primarily to agriculture. Appalachia would consolidate the mountain areas of West Virginia, Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina, bringing together a culture that transcends current state boundaries. Washington and Oregon, two very similar states, would comprise most of the state of Cascade, while the over-sized Texas would give up the northern bit to form, with Oklahoma, the new state of Shawnee.

In an era of economic emergencies, why not consider bold strategies? There's nothing magical about state boundaries, and running fifty parallel administrations is a recipe for inefficiency, imho.

- Filed from the State of Erie

Also read: Should Minnesota and Wisconsin merge?