Monday, July 21, 2014


Hey everybody, Tim Draper, a venture capitalist who totally doesn't have any sort of political agenda up his sleeve, has gathered enough signatures to put his 'Six Californias' ballot initiative up for a vote in 2016! Um...hurray? Oh wait, no, this is a terrible idea.
"Aw c'mon, I stayed up all night coloring in the map..."

-Tim Draper: man with a plan,
also a map, and billions of dollars
Don't worry, a high wall will be built
between them so no one in Silicon Valley
gets bummed out on the morning commute.
The plan would carve California up into six new states which, according to Draper, would be easier to govern, have more representation in congress and create America's new poorest state-wai-wah? Yeah, ok, he leaves that part out, but according to this, the 'Six Californias' plan would make the new state of Central California poorer than Mississippi. And just to make sure that the wealth disparity can be seen from space, it would share a border with the new richest state, Silicon Valley. Of course, this whole thing is crazy and will never happen, right? 

Absolutely. Unless, you know, it does. I won't lie to you, I don't understand California's politics, but the whole ballot initiative process that Draper is using sounds kind of awful. I mean, in theory it's super-democratic: you get enough signatures together and you can put whatever you want up for a show of hands. That's great and all, but I'm not sure mob rule is always the best idea. *cough* Prop 8.
Proposition 23, The Free Ponies for Everybody Act, passed with an overwhelming
majority today, with Californians swearing that they'll feed and walk their new
 ponies every day and brush their manes and take real good care of them.
"What? Being a venture capitalist is easy:
just find a start-up firm, invest a few
million and ca-ching. Anyone can do it."
Yeah look, I don't know, this whole thing is confusing and weird but what really gives me an icky is the fact that the proposal comes from a venture capitalist and I don't understand how that's a job. Teaching, waiting tables, standing outside a carpet store and dancing with a sign? Those are jobs. Sure this is a state that once elected Arnold Schwarzenegger, but at least acting is a job, even if you're wooden and hard to understand. Tim Draper uses his already considerable wealth to make even more considerable wealth. In many ways, his money does most of the work, he just sits there. 

Pictured: 5 other guys who like to call
 themselves Riskmasters and whose skills
at Risk seem more relevant than Draper's.
Ok, so there's probably a lot of forethought and planning that goes into venture capitalism, but there's also an enormous element of risk. In fact, Draper even calls himself the 'Riskmaster,' which, when you think about it is kind of weird. Anyway I guess taking risks is cool when the only thing you have to lose is a fraction of your overall net worth but this is an entire state he's screwing with and one he argues is already in a precarious position. Also, since when are venture capitalists known for altruism? I mean, as a rule, isn't the cutthroat world of start-ups less about helping people and more about investing, making a huge profit and then getting out before you lose it all?

I realize that this is a prejudice on my part and that Tim 'The Riskmaster' Draper may well be a decent human being with California's best interests in mind but holy shit, I don't think I'd trust him to split the check.
"The secret is to convince everyone to divide the bill evenly and then
you order the honey barbecue ribs. Suckers won't know what hit 'em!"

-Tim Draper, Financial Adventurer
and ceramic rhino-rider

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