I grew up on the border of Vermont & New Hampshire and went to school with students from both states from 7th-12th grade. http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~raymondfamily/Vermont/Vermont1867M.jpg
When I was a political science major at Union College, I was fascinated when on the first day of class, my professor presented an unusual notion to us. He challenged something I had never even paused to consider whether it was worth while to change or not. Something I had taken for granted, yet deeply resistant to altering…
Borders. More specifically, why we should…. re-draw the US states.
Borders. More specifically, why we should…. re-draw the US states.Carving them up into different subunits on the map instead of the old-fashioned states we know today.He presented his case and then opened it up to the class. It was designed to stimulate debate and it really got us thinking differently about how our country is divided up. I haven't stopped thinking about that notion since….
And so now, in the wake of one of the most contentious yet highly participated-in elections in history and in a time of record debt and economic resession, I think is the perfect exercise to explore as we look ahead to the challenges we face as a country.
But seriously, how relevant are border we have these days? Many of the current state borders drawn in a time when we lacked accurate geographic maps of their territory or knowledge of future population centers and the human mobility networks that have now formed, often despite them
When Travel was local, borders and communities were easy to define.
But now, our connectivity is more complex than the current border design we have can handle.*********************a recent paper by a group of geographers, sociologists, and mathematicians has again reconsidered the layout of the lower 48 states. Though they don’t go so far as to propose a replacement map, their study sought to determine which of today’s borders have real meaning. To do so, they used bill tracking data from the site Where’s George. Watch a full video here: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2010/02/money.html
My point:The borders separating the United States’ 50 states are outmoded and not fit for the modern times we live in. There are compelling arguments for their social, economic, cultural, and political obsolescence that cannot be ignored. That doesn’t mean state borders are not important—they affect our economics, government, and more….
—but they can be reformed to a more perfect union just as easily as they were created. The best solution, and the most fun, would be to throw out the old map and start fresh. ;)
Now, this is a hard notion not to resist reflexively. Our state borders are important imaginary lines. They literally define where we live, who we call neighbors and how we are governed.
Is it worthwhile to consider redrawing state lines? If so, what would the U.S. map look like? It IS worthwhile. And necessary. Lets consider the arguments why:
Some are arguments from an economic standpoint (market patterns, cost savings etc.), Market Patterns:Show Where's George MapLook at this data map from the Where’s George project: Research has shown that this flux of money data is a good proxy for human mobility.What value does a state border have to the modern economy when it was drawn without knowledge or consideration given to the extensive railroad system that we would come to have available, let alone superhighways, airports, and the internet?
Or the location of the nearest Starbucks?!
A significant portion of each states budget goes simply to the cost of maintaining the state itself. At a time when states are going bankrupt and the federal government is about to go flying off the fiscal cliff, can we really afford the fixed costs of maintaining so many separate state governments, especially those whose borders distort and hinder, not help the market?Watch a full video here: http://www.northwestern.edu/newscenter/stories/2010/02/money.html
here's an argument to be made for better Organizing regions around common cultureswhere theres shared traditions, interested and dialects that today are divided by borders, Cue the map by soda found here: http://www.theatlanticcities.com/arts-and-lifestyle/2012/04/invisible-borders-define-american-culture/1839/#OPTIONAL READ: One of the most distinct regional maps of the the U.S. is when it is broken up by tracking the words people use to refer to soft drinks: While “soda” commands the Northeast and West Coast (green) and “pop” is in between (black), “Coke” reigns in the south (turquoise). One cannot deny the cultural benefits of feeling like a more connected community means we're more likely to share common values and make more harmonious decisions.
Data gathered on 210 million public Facebook profiles. Showsthe information by location, with connections drawn between places that share friends. For example Columbus, OH and Charleston WV are nearby as the crow flies, but share few connections, with Columbus clearly part of the North, and Charleston tied to the Southhttp://petewarden.typepad.com/searchbrowser/2010/02/how-to-split-up-the-us.html
There are societal arguments Made in light of America's ever-growing cities and the increasing urban rural divide. Look around at the examples of borders out of step with their societies:Who should pay for a rapid transit system in St. Louis? Only those citizens within the boundaries of Missouri, or all residents of St. Louis's metropolitan area, including those who reach over into the State of Illinois?This "straddling" of State lines causes economic and political problems around planning building and maintaining the infrastructure needed to thrive economically http://www.slfp.com/020107/SLFP-MetroMap_07.jpg
Urban communities and rural communities while in the same state, are often at odds with each other.States like Wisconsin, Penn, illinois, Ohio, many of our historical "swing states" are that way because they're divided by the pull of large cities.
The current 50 states have populations ranging from a half million to 33 million. As a result we have over representation of small states in instances such as the senate and presidential voting. Forming coherent policy is a challenge
A reformed map would bring better decision makingThis Electoral Reform Map redivides the territory of the United States into 50 bodies of equal size according to The 2000 Census. In this map, new states have formed, all with equal populations of roughly 5,617,000.2Advantages of this proposalPreserves the unique US federal system and keeps states at 50. Could be redistricted after each census - just like house seats are distributed now.Have already have local government in place at the county levelto deal with shift in state laws and procedures.
We all know it’s not constitutional for a state to secede from the Union—that was made pretty clear with the Civil War. But, did u know it is constitutional to create a new state out of an existing state—that is, with the approval of the state legislature and of Congress? There's a process for carving out a new state is outlined in Article IV, Section 3 of the Constitution.
This process has been used successfully to create five states. Ranging from VT from NY in 1791 to West Virginia from Virginia in 1863Source: http://www.yellowmaps.com/maps/img/US/blank-county/
New United States have been created out of other states, when enough people voted for it. They can be again. So, if it is possible to do, nows the fun part…..
What Would your ideal US borders Look Like?:
Why this is a good conversation to have as a country right now:Exploring reorganizing the states of America opens pathways to investigation of various importamt areas of how our country is run. I challenge you to be inspired by the possibility:Go online, do some research, join the debate and see if you can't unlock the secret to a more perfect union:What do you think? How can we draw the lines on the U.S. map to create a more perfect union?
Reorganizing the us states tm speech #4
TM Speech #4 – Get to the Point• Presenter: Nick Salvatoriello• Senior IMC• Co-VP of Public Relations, HubSpot Toastmasters• HubSpotter Since April, 2011