Almost a quarter of Americans think taking their state out of the union is a swell idea, a Reuters/Ipsos poll told us not long ago. But why go yourself if you can kick the other guy out? So Fox News hired Anderson Robbins Research and Shaw & Company Research to ask 1,049 registered voters if they thought booting a state or two to the curb was just good sense.
Of the 17 percent who thought that was a fine idea, there was an overwhelming favorite for who gets tossed from the moving vehicle: California.
Yes, the Golden State was the choice of a whopping 53 percent of respondents who thought yanking a star off the flag would make the world a better place.
New York came in second with 25 percent of votes, and Texas was third at 20 percent.
I stand second to none in my astonishment at the degree to which Californians have managed to render almost uninhabitable one of the nicest stretches of real estate on the planet. The state's dead-last business environment has driven one-sixth of construction workers to the shadow economy, and the official response has been to tighten the screws (with cheerleading from the contracting industry) rather than loosen the rules.
California ranks at 49 in overall freedom, according to The Mercatus Center's Freedom in the 50 States. Despite loosening of marijuana and marriage laws, it adds a high incarceration rate, tough restrictions on guns, gambling, and pretty much anything else you might want to do to brutal economic regulations.
So, yes. Booting California from the union, and from a say in the laws under which we live, just might give the rest of us some breathing space. But I can't help but think, with a glance up and down the East Coast, that we shouldn't stop there.
Or maybe we could go back to screwing things up in our own states without inflicting our preferred disasters on the neighbors.