by Jed Wheeler
We’ve all seen and heard about how Californian companies are changing the world, from giants like Apple and Google to startups like Lyft and AirBnB to automotive companies like Tesla and Zero motorcycles to biotech, medical companies, and virtually every other industry. Californians have re-written the rules and disrupted virtually every industry on the planet. It seems like the only industry that is immune to disruption, in fact, is our government.
Ask yourself, why is that?
America’s political system is broken. Our elections are ranked as the worst among western democracies and recent studies show public opinion has virtually no impact on what politicians in Washington DC actually do. A recent Princeton study found that the US is not a Democracy or a Republic, it is an Oligarchy. Meanwhile, the gap between rich and poor is the biggest it’s been in decades. It’s not just you, the system really is rigged. And that’s before we even talk about institutionalized racism, classism, rampant discrimination against LGBTQ folks, or a dozen other issues.
Let me pitch an unusual Startup – not a company, but a nation.
California has the seventh largest economy in the world and is home to more than 38 million people – more than most independent nations. It is home to a disproportionate share of the world’s biggest technology and media companies and attracts half of America’s venture capital. As Governor Brown recently pointed out, California’s peers aren’t other US States, our peers are major world economies like France and Brazil.