10 Reasons the Top 50 Major U.S. Cities Should Become States (The 100 States Proposal)
The seventh reason will surprise you!
Politics is frightening in the U.S. right now. No matter what your agenda, its pretty obvious our government is not working as it should.
Once you get tired of the partisan back-and-forth, you start to go looking for serious and systemic solutions to our nation’s problems. Perhaps you look at how we can fix gerrymandering or campaign finance reform. Maybe you look towards how to alleviate poverty or improve education. These are all good answers, but there is another solution: make the largest 50 U.S. cities into their own states. (List of cities at bottom of article)
How could cities form new states? Check out Article IV Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution that governs how new states enter the union and explains that if the state legislatures and Congress approve, new states can be formed out of existing states. So New York City could leave New York and Los Angeles and San Francisco could leave California to form their own states, each with their own Senators, Congress people, state income tax, and electoral college votes.
Here are some reasons why this is a damn good idea for everyone:
Reason 1 — Unfair Elections
The electoral college is famous for making votes in cities count less than in rural votes. Keeping major cities subservient inside of larger states unfairly blunts the political representation of urbanites. Moreover it makes politicians have to make impossible compromises between town and country interests in regional and state legislative bodies.
Reason 2 — Unfair Taxation
Right now cities pay more taxes than tax-benefits they receive from either the state or the federal government (City Dwellers Bear Disproportionate Federal Tax Burden, City Residents Pay More… Taxes). By becoming their own states, big cities will be able to levy and keep 100% of their state-level income tax, balancing the outflow of urban dollars to rural areas and the federal government.
Reason 3 — Economic Growth
It is a truism to say that cities drive the majority of economic growth. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York published a paper that states quite simply: “Cities are the location of the great majority of economic activity in the United States, and produce a disproportionate share of output. It is thus critical for the economy’s long term growth that cities operate efficiently.”
By separating urban metrapolitan regions out as their own states
Reason 4 — More Swing States Across the Country
If you removed LA and the San Francisco Bay Area from California, California’s population would be about 30 million and would still have 44
Congress people, 2 Senators, and 46 Electors. But by removing these democratic populations from the state, would California become a swing state? Perhaps. Isn’t that better? Isn’t it better if presidential candidates had to make their case to the whole country, and not just to the voters of certain states?
Reason 5 — Major Cities Everywhere Do It Already
What do Berlin, Paris, London, Tokyo, Madrid, Prague, Hamburg, Copenhagen and many other major cities in the world have in common? They are their own states in their respective nations. If you every stop and wonder why public transportation is better in every other city in the world, it is because each city can collect its own state income tax and then use the money on urban projects in their back yard.
Reason 6 — Partisan Politics
Did you know that the main issues that divide the nation between left and right, also divide the nation into city and rural areas? Topics like gun laws, family planning, and environmental issues like Global Warming are strictly divide between town and country voters. Large cities, by and large, have their own gun laws, they permit and support family planning, and they believe in science and Global Warming.
If 20 new state are formed, these urban interests will be more honestly represented. There will be a block of 40 new senators and over a hundred and fifty congress people who will support these issues unequivocally.
Reason 7 — Take Over the Country (Surprise!)
The combine population of the top 50 cities amount to 255M people.
All together these states would have
- 100 US Senators (out of 200)
- 302 Congress people (out of 435, or 69.4%)
- 402 Electors in the Electoral College (out of 538, or 74.7%)
That means that urbanites (who are with few exceptions Democrats and progressives) would control 50% of the Senate, the President, and have a super majority in the Congress.
Reason 8— Wyoming
Wyoming only has 500,000 citizens. It gets two Senators and only one Congress person. Every city on our list as a population >2M, so it is 4x the size of Wyoming.
Reason 9— Regional Pride
People from these regions have real regional pride and identity. You ask people “are you from New York State or City?” People say “I’m from the Bay.” People know there is a big difference between being from Chicago or from Illinois. It would not confuse anyone and it would reinforce these positive regional identities if we drew state lines around them. Imagine the sports rivalries!
Reason 10— Save The Country
Currently the country is being taken over by a powerful minority of people who are predominately rural people from small states. This proposal is a modest one to fix our democracy.
How To Do It
We use the New States Clause, found at Article IV, Section 3, Clause 1 of the US Constitution:
New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
So the majority of the legislatures of the states would need to agree and the majority of US Congress people would also have to agree.
List of Proposed New City States of America
This list is by order of population, and includes the new states number of congress people, senators, and presidential electors. Data from US Census Metropolitan and Micropolitan Statistical Areas Population Totals and Components of Change: 2010–2019.
With few alterations this list looks pretty good. Perhaps the whole SF Bay Area would want to be one state.