The Nation: Boston, Plym., and Boise, Bitt.

By the reckoning of G. Etzel Pearcy, recently retired from his post of professor of geography at California State University, Los Angeles, the total cost of operating all 50 state governments in the U.S. amounts to some $18 billion annually. That figure disturbs him, and he has proposed a simple solution: reduce the number of states. Since in his view the nation has 38 conveniently defined areas, Pearcy says that the ideal number of states would be 38. He estimates that the savings in state salaries, building maintenance, capital outlays and such would...

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