Robert Stark talks to Shankar Singam about the California independence movement. Shankar is executive director of Independent California and is also an author, graphic artist, and musician.
How Shankar started identifying as a Californian rather than American, and how that’s the first step to independence
The Calexit movement groups including Shankar’s Independent California, Yes California, California Freedom Coalition, and the California National Party
How the United States is stunting California’s growth, including loss of tax revenue
Shankar’s upcoming petition, proposing a commission on the potential economic benefits to independence
The legal and constitutional process to independence
How the Calexit movement is much more than a reaction to Trump
The ineptitude of the Democratic establishment, both nationally and in California
Alternative political models including a multi-party parliamentary system and local autonomy
Economic policies including public banking Shankar’s appearance on Tucker Carlson and the context of his comment on the middle class exodus
Shankar’s rebuttal to California’s detractors (ex. worst income inequality)
Foreign models for California to emulate (Canada, Australia, UK, France, and Singapore)
Ideological roots of Georgist thought
Georgist view on property ownership
How to better incentivize efficient land usage
How Georgism can facilitate better urbanism and prevent sprawl
The difference between a land value tax and general property tax
How a land value tax relates to zoning regulation
Concerns for land foreclosures
The issue of the middle class being forced to invest all their income into real estate
The SingaporeLand Authority
The concept of having a local currency tied to the cost of living
Bay Area Housing Crisis
Disneyland as an urban model
Prior to the 1950’s, the urban core of LA, centered around Downtown, was relatively small. It was also much more compact and vibrant, however, than it became in the second half of the 20th Century. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in urbanism and walkable communities, and LA’s downtown, historic core is now revitalized and booming with new highrise construction.
While LA is just in the early stages of creating an integrated metro system, the region once had a vibrant street car system connecting the urban core with extensions to street car suburbs such as Santa Monica and Pasadena.
According to Curbed LA : “in 1945, a sinister corporation called National City Lines took over the thriving Los Angeles Railway, which served most of the sprawling region. Then, over the course of the next two decades, LA’s extensive streetcar network was eliminated and the iconic Red Cars that Judge Doom mentions were replaced with shiny new buses.