This past summer the kids and I took our annual trip to the beach in North Carolina from Connecticut. We decided to play the old license plate game along the way. Of course, the kids added a new media twist to it using an app. As we ventured down the east coast and tracked our states we started to question why there were so many states. Why was Rhode Island an actual state? No offense the Dakotas, you are awfully small.
3 teenagers and a preteen quickly reeducated me in the history of the United States, the colonies and how we came to be. The capitalist and cost optimizer in me then challenged them with new thinking. What if you had to start over today in 2014? Would you have this many states and if so, why, and if not, what would you do. As we checked the list of license plates we had gathered by the time we hit Virginia we started crafting a plan for the Consolidation of the United States.
We’ve all been thinking about it. Admit it. But no one has the guts to actually do anything about it or even write about it. We were going to be those pioneers.
The benefits are great and we didn’t think that we needed to sell them to the general public as we marched through our optimization plan. Lower overhead and costs to administer government services, benefits of consolidation in spend and decreased prices for supplies due to higher negotiation leverage, better borrowing costs, lower costs of capital, better services. We addressed the fact that we would keep the US House of Representatives at the same count and reapportion the seats. We also addressed the Electoral College and the US Senate and would too consolidate the US Senate providing more cost reductions and efficiencies.
The kids madly scrambled their plan with me as we identified states to “synergize”. We consolidated the 50 states into 34 states and gave them names. Some creative, some new, some not.
- Vermont, Maine and New Hampshire – all 3 consolidated into one state called “New England“. While the geography of the states might span some considerable lengths, the population doesn’t support 3 governments. Ben & Jerry might need to add a partner in LL Bean. The state’s total population would now be 3.3 million people finally reaching near the size of the Boston metro area.
- Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts – all 3 again into one state named controversially “Massachusetts“. This has bothered me since I moved to Connecticut. You can cross the state in a couple of hours, population is minimal and frankly we don’t offer much to the union. And it’s one of the most expensive states in the country to live in. Rhode Island needs zero justification to consolidate and we know that Massachusetts is the king of New England anyway. New population is 11.2 million not even doubling Massachusetts’ current population of 6.5 million.
- West Virginia and Virginia into one state called “Virginia“. There’s no need for a West any longer and there’s no need for the hillbilly reputation that you carry. Plus Rich Rodriguez is long gone and his ego no longer carries the need for a new state. Population for Virginia is now 9.9 million only adding 1.9 million from its westerly neighbor.
- North Dakota and South Dakota into one stated called “Dakotas“. This was controversial in the car as we wanted to consolidate more but the geography it covered was much too large to add to Minnesota or consolidate the states to the west. There will be synergies from this combination but the population still remains low at 1.5 million people. Probably all of which could fit in the Corn Palace and still less that the 2 million people that visit Wall Drug each year.
- North Carolina and South Carolina into one state – the “Carolinas“. We love North Carolina but there’s no need for your suburb of South Carolina any longer. There’s some moxy and gumption in South Carolina and they might fight this again by seceding from the Consolidated States of America. But we bet that they would revisit the history books before making that bold move. Total population of the Carolinas is 14.2 million by adding South Carolina’s 4.6 million, a huge efficiency play.
- New Mexico and Arizona are consolidated into one state called “Deserto“. It could be taken from a comic book. The Breaking Bad state now longer needs its own infrastructure and Walter White will have a bigger market. Additionally, it was determined that Deserto would have to quit playing games with its time zone and join the rest of us in standardization. New Mexico adds 2.1 million people making Deserto 8.5 million people
- Washington and Oregon are consolidated into “Washington“. Starbucks and Microsoft beats Nike in this play. Oregon is a beautiful state and the Ducks can still be from the state college of Oregon, but the Pacific Northwest now feels a bit homier even with all the rain. Total population is now 10.5 million.
- Utah and Nevada will be combined into one state called “Nevutah“. Nevutah will allow gambling in the now current Mormon state making Salt Lake City the ultimate in debauchery with gambling, prostitution and polygamy. Hold onto your hats for this social experiment! Total population of Nevutah will be 5.5 million with each state bringing the same amount of residents.
- Wyoming, Idaho and Montana will combine into one huge geographic state of “Frontier“. Eliminating the least populous state of Wyoming brings 3.1 million people together in this beautiful expansive state covering 329 million square miles makes it the second largest state besides Alaska in land mass. The people of Texas try to revolt by taking over Deserto but are successfully thwarted.
- Oklahoma and Kansas are converted into one state called “Cherokee“. Finally we get a tribute to our Native American founders in two states that when you look at a map truly geographically should be together just because it looks better. 6.6 million people will now reside in the Cherokee nation.
- Arkansas and Missouri are combined and the Show Me State will now be part of “St. Charles“. Whitewater be damned Bill Clinton this merger makes sense to give these two states scale. Walmart meet Mark Twain as you grow to 8.9 million.
- Ohio and Indiana combine into one big agriculture state called “Indioh“. I do this mostly in spite of how I feel about Ohio and I couldn’t leave it alone or let Indiana just merge into Ohio. All corporate mergers come with some passion and hatred towards something. We will also be renaming that school in Columbus to Indioh St. Thankfully. Indioh now has 18 million people.
- Tennessee and Kentucky will combine into one state in the probably most controversial name of “Hickville“. I don’t need to rationalize or justify this name. Hickville will now populate 10.7 million people.
An exhausting 13 hour ride produced one of the best consolidation efforts I have ever had the opportunity to be a part of. I could not be more proud of my children for thinking outside the proverbial box and getting this integration mapped correctly. Now the hard work begins….Look how beautiful our new country looks:
|Pre Consolidation||Post Consolidation|
|All United States||308,745,538||308,745,538|
|3||New York||19,378,102||New York||19,378,102|
|35||Nevada||2,700,551||Washington, D. C.||601,723|
|50||Washington, D. C.||601,723|